Posts Tagged ‘ FTB ’

How jealous Aristotle would be

Nov 14th, 2014 4:05 pm | By

More cheerfully – the lander also tweeted a graphic confirmation that it drilled into the comet.

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Baby don’t go

Nov 14th, 2014 4:01 pm | By

Philae is losing energy fast. It sent us a graphic of its declining voltage.

Make it hop! Make it hop out of the shadow!

No Philae don’t goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo… Read the rest

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Pants in flames

Nov 14th, 2014 12:03 pm | By

News not news: Brendan O’Neill “argues” dishonestly.

Case in point: he has a stupid rant about how the Grand Old Feminism of Yesteryear has reversed course and gone all wrong. You know what it is without looking – feminism used to be brave and tuff and liberatory, and now it’s all about being viccctimzzzzzzzz. The first few paragraphs could have come from Christina Hoff Sommers or Richard Dawkins or TIME magazine. Then he gets into particulars, and that’s where the dishonesty comes in.

From aspiring to freedom to conspiring with the authorities to harry and censor alleged deviants — how did feminism’s star fall so hard? For a glimpse into feminism’s stunning shift, look at what feminists in the

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Use coercion and threats, use intimidation

Nov 14th, 2014 11:42 am | By

Excellent – so Brazil is another place that won’t be giving Julien Blanc a visa. John Morales left a link to this ABC (Australia) article yesterday.

Brazil has said it will deny a visa application from an American “pick-up artist” who was forced out of Australia last week after a social media campaign against his methods of teaching men to seduce women.

No, not seduce – assault and (if successful) rape. Seduce means persuade. You don’t “seduce” people by grabbing them and shoving their heads onto your crotch.

In a statement, Brazil’s foreign affairs ministry said there were “enough elements” about Julien Blanc’s background to deny him a visa.

Blanc teaches men to seduce women using techniques that include choking

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Philae may go to sleep in a few hours

Nov 14th, 2014 10:56 am | By

The Rosetta scientists are going to try to make it hop out of the shadow, but it sounds like a long shot.

Scientists controlling the Philae lander on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko are preparing to make a last ditch attempt to “hop” the robotic probe into a sunnier spot on the comet’s surface.

If they fail, the lander will go into hibernation. Without sufficient sunlight on its solar panels, its mission will be over.

The lander’s legs have a built-in spring action that can be commanded to fire. These commands will be uploaded tonight during an expected communications window that opens at around 21:00 GMT. There is no guarantee of success.

Yeah no kidding. Where’s the complaint desk we could go … Read the rest

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TIME flops

Nov 14th, 2014 10:37 am | By

Surprising no one anywhere (maybe that can be  one of TIME’s “words” to be banned next year), TIME’s offering of “feminism” as a candidate for its annual “what word should be banned” poll provided inspiration for the kind of people who hate feminism. How could TIME possibly have foreseen that??! Other than by thinking about it for a quarter of a second, that is.

Yes, why does everyone have to talk about feminism? Why can’t we all just be feminists quietly? At home? Only very late at night when everybody’s sleeping? Or like in our teeny tiniest voices? Or in a soundproof hyperbaric chamber, maybe, where it won’t, like, bother anybody?

Ok, maybe that’s not quite fair, but making

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European Space Agency hangout

Nov 14th, 2014 8:58 am | By

For your enjoyment and enlightenment: a hangout with a bunch of people involved in the Rosetta project. They are there to give updates on what’s happening.

One of the people is Matt Taylor, he of The Shirt. Starting at 15:20 (which is the first time he talks) he apologizes for wearing The Shirt. Good; thanks, ESA. Then he collects himself, and gets a pat on the shoulder from the guy next to him, and then he talks about the project.

Good. Done. Now we can talk about the project and leave The Shirt behind!

//www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Xm6y0LzlLoRead the rest

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Women are characterized as crazed and vindictive

Nov 13th, 2014 5:52 pm | By

A very interesting commentary on Jian Ghomeshi from a couple of weeks ago.

…graphic videos were presented to CBC executives — by Ghomeshi! — as a pre-emptive gambit, to save his job, an attempt to convince the stunned suits assembled that the women were willing participants and, look, bruising could occur even when the activity was consensual.

The women who’ve spoken out insist they never consented to this treatment.

Within a legal framework, consent is crucial. In practice, however, it turns into a judicial ledge from which an accused can jump into the “she-was-willing” safety net below. The standard of proof is simply too high, as victims have learned to their traumatizing dismay.

With plain assault, that doesn’t work – … Read the rest

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Very small and very far away

Nov 13th, 2014 1:54 pm | By

Reading up on the Rosetta mission.

Golly.

What makes the Rosetta mission so special?
Rosetta will be undertaking several ‘firsts’ in space exploration.

It will be the first mission to orbit and land on a comet. That makes Rosetta one of the most complex and ambitious missions ever undertaken. Scientists had to plan in advance, in the greatest possible detail, a ten year trip through the Solar System. Approaching, orbiting, and landing on a comet require delicate and spectacular manoeuvres. The comet, 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, is a relatively small object, about 4 kilometres in diameter, moving at a speed as great as 135,000 kilometres per hour.

And doing that very very very far away.

How did Rosetta reach comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, and

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Despite a request from the prosecution

Nov 13th, 2014 1:31 pm | By

A bit of sadism from the Italian Supreme Court. A couple in their 50s tried three times to adopt a child and failed, so they paid a woman in the Ukraine to have a baby for them.

Italy’s supreme court has ruled that a baby born to a surrogate mother in Ukraine cannot be kept by the Italian couple who paid for it and must be put up for adoption.

Under Italian law, the person who gives birth to a baby is legally its mother, and the use of surrogate mothers is outlawed.

I have my doubts about surrogacy, and maybe some about people in their 50s adopting, but yanking an existing baby away seems like a crap thing … Read the rest

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Guest post: Dumping them out is a fine solution

Nov 13th, 2014 12:41 pm | By

Originally a comment by themadtapper on Dissent of the day.

I don’t believe in an identity politics that seeks to remove structural oppression by forcing others to say things they may not want to say, or do things they may not want to do, or by ostracizing people for whatever-ism they are found guilty of.

Isn’t “ostracizing people for whatever-isms” precisely the remedy libertarians suggest in place of “forcing people to do things they may not want to do”? Don’t require restaurants to serve black people, just boycott them and let them know you won’t deal with racists! Don’t require Christians to serve gays, just boycott them and let them know you won’t deal with homophobes! Free market will … Read the rest

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It’s all about the provocations

Nov 13th, 2014 12:31 pm | By

Via Lou Doench and Craig Stiles, a piece about Andrew Sullivan that the excellent Eric Alterman wrote for The Nation in January 2013. I think I once knew some of this and buried it, but a lot of it I didn’t know.

The fact that few individuals can be shown to have demonstrated worse judgment over the course of the past two decades, and risen higher as a result, is yet another example of the changes that Sullivan-style “journalism” has helped to bring about.

He first made a splash as the young conservative editor of The New Republic, where he championed a lot of terrible people.

It’s no easy matter to determine which of these charlatans did the

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Dudes in shirts

Nov 13th, 2014 10:38 am | By

Discussion of Matt Taylor continues, for instance via Alice Bell in the Guardian:

It’s not just what he wore either, his language stunk of a casual sexism too. Watch the video in the Mail’s version of this “British scientist taking Twitter by storm” story, and you can hear Taylor refer to the Rosetta mission as “the sexiest mission there’s ever been. She’s sexy, but I never said she was easy.”

I captioned a Facebook post about this yesterday “with dialogue by Chuck Lorre” but I didn’t realize quite how accurate that was. “Easy” – good god, he sounds like Julien Blanc.

ESA can land their robot on a comet. A comet! It’s amazing. But they still can’t see misogyny

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Dissent of the day

Nov 12th, 2014 5:20 pm | By

Our own friend MrFancyPants wrote Andrew Sullivan’s Dissent of the Day for today. There’s glory for you!

I’m also disappointed in the continuing scorn that you heap upon feminism. You don’t seem to understand even the most basic facts about it and the sneering tone that you take is unbecoming and not like you. You seem to lose all ability to understand nuance when you write about it. I’m a “straight white male” and even I realized that, in that video, my demographic “as a group” was not being disparaged. You’re like a walking poster child for the #notallmen hashtag and the enraged, entitled, petulant man-boys who complain on it.

And the strawmen – could you just stop with

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What a theory is

Nov 12th, 2014 4:38 pm | By

Have a very cool video that Alom Shaha pointed out to me, without even mentioning that he’s the one wot wrote it. It’s narrated by Jim Al-Khalili. It’s about the difference between “just a theory” (as in a “theory” that Elvis is still alive or a “theory” that the reason your friend believes that is because she has low self-esteem) and a scientific theory.

It’s got brilliant animations.

//www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uzsuCFUQ68Read the rest

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“The people I work with don’t judge me by my looks”

Nov 12th, 2014 4:00 pm | By

Business Insider comments on Matt Taylor aka Mr Lookit teh Haff-Nekkid Laydeez On My Shirt guy.

All of humanity made history today by landing a spacecraft on a comet.

Unfortunately, many of the women following that development — and a few men, too — were made to feel pretty unwelcome in the space exploration sphere when one of the people leading the mission decided to show up to talk about it wearing a shirt covered in dozens of half-naked women.

Really, what kind of clueless jackass does that? I’ve seen it suggested that Taylor wanted to emulate the coolness of Bobek Firdowski’s mohawk.

If so – dear god how clueless. Spot the difference – one is an amusing … Read the rest

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Making a statement

Nov 12th, 2014 11:49 am | By

Sexism? What sexism? I don’t see any sexism.

(I wonder how many posts I’ve begun that way. I have a feeling it’s several. Also some with misogyny replacing sexism.)

Behold Matt Taylor, the lead project scientist of the European Space Agency’s Rosetta project:

Gee, I wonder why there aren’t more women in STEM fields.… Read the rest

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Which Word Should Be Banned in 2015?

Nov 12th, 2014 10:23 am | By

Time magazine has an annual “what word would you most like to see disappear?” feature. This is its fourth annual one. It gives a list of Horrible Words for people to vote on. Guess what’s in there. Go on, guess.

Feminism.

If you hear that word one more time, you will definitely cringe. You may exhale pointedly. And you might even seek out the nearest the pair of chopsticks and thrust them through your own eardrums like straws through plastic lids. What word is this? You tell us.

For TIME’s fourth annual word banishment poll, we’re asking readers to vote another word off the island, following previous castoffs OMG, YOLO and twerk. Cast your vote, encourage your

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Philae has landed

Nov 12th, 2014 9:48 am | By

No biggy – just setting down a probe on a comet.

The Philae probe has landed on the surface of a comet, scientists from the European Space Agency (ESA) announced Wednesday.
It is the first time a soft landing has been achieved on a comet.

It will be sad if we succeed in putting things on Mars and comets but fail at keeping the planet from becoming inhospitable to mammalian life.… Read the rest

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It’s not rape if you’re famous

Nov 11th, 2014 5:18 pm | By

Huh. So celebrity rapists don’t always get to silence all their victims or accusers. Mary Elizabeth Williams at Salon tells us how Bill Cosby hasn’t been able to lately.

there was beloved icon Bill Cosby – who’s come under fire recently thanks to a new 500-page biography that conveniently omits a 2006 lawsuit and settlement from a woman who claimed he drugged and raped her — and the more than a dozen women who have also come forward with very similar stories. The response to Cosby today is vastly different than it was eight years ago, when the entire case went largely unremarked.

Comedian Hannibal Buress made it part of his routine last month in Cosby’s old stomping ground

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