Every Time She’s Harassed, This Biologist Creates a Wikipedia Page for a Woman Scientist.

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Every Time She’s Harassed, This Biologist Creates a Wikipedia Page for a Woman Scientist.

Maybe success is the best revenge — what if the rest of the world fails to acknowledge your success the way that they should? Is there a way to go back and correct history? Emily Temple-Wood, a biology undergrad student at Loyola University, has some ideas on the matter.

As geobiology professor A. Hope Jahren wrote in the New York Times, female scientists often receive emails from male colleagues that are leering, lascivious, and unwarranted: all examples of sexual harassment in the workplace. In an effort to make the best of this crappy situation, Temple-Wood decided that for every harassing email she receives — ones that include date requests, talk of her body, and inappropriate sexual implications — she’ll write a Wikipedia entry for a woman scientist.

A former Wikimedia Foundation staff member, Siko Bouterse, told the Wikimedia Blog that Temple-Wood’s project has been a huge success so far. “She’s created hundreds of articles about women scientists, including articles that address multiple gaps in Wikipedia — it’s really important that she’s not just writing about white women scientists, she’s also working to address underrepresentation of women of color in Wikipedia and looking at other points of intersectionality as well.”

Temple-Wood has been adding new entries to the WikiProject Women Scientists since 2012 (and has taught others how to do so as well). So far she’s featured everyone from Nobel Prize winner Barbara McClintock (above), experimental physicist Chien-Shiung Wu, and neuroscientist Liliana Lubinska.

Source: http://thecut.io/1RwTTvk

Hospital pays bitcoin ransom after malware attack.

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Hospital pays bitcoin ransom after malware attack.

A Los Angeles hospital just paid a ransom equivalent to around $17,000 in bitcoins to get its computer systems back up and running.

Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center staff noticed issues accessing its computer network on Feb. 5. Malware had locked access to certain computer systems and prevented communicating electronically, the hospital said in a statement.

 “The quickest and most efficient way to restore our systems and administrative functions was to pay the ransom and obtain the decryption key,” said Allen Stefanek, president of Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, in a statement. “In the best interest of restoring normal operations, we did this.” The price to regain access was 40 bitcoins, equivalent to around $17,000.

Stefanek said the electronic medical records system was restored Monday. He said the hospital had contacted law enforcement and was working with a team of experts to better understand the attack.

The FBI said it is investigating the incident, but declined to give specific details.

Source: http://cnnmon.ie/1MwwfSO

Mormons Are Declaring War on Masturbation.

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Mormons Are Declaring War on Masturbation.

Earlier this month, Steveningen the hilarious story of the Mormon Church and Brigham Young University trying to get students to pressure each other to give up pocket pool.

A PSA starring Brigham Young University president Kim B. Clark compares ignoring a masturbating roommate to leaving your war buddy behind on the battlefield:

“The enemy whispers ‘Don’t get involved, it’s not your problem.’  Brothers and sisters, don’t leave the wounded on the battlefield.”

Complete PSA:

Last night an filled with valuable pointers for those trying to quit the Devil’s rubbing cold turkey.  The writing is attributed to notorious LDS racist Mark E. Peterson, who looks like he knows a thing or two about “jostling the elder.”  More on him later.

The pamphlet begins by assuring chronic masturbators that there is hope:

Be assured that you can be cured of your difficulty. Many have been, both male and female, and you can be also if you determine that it must be so.

It then launches into a long list of “Steps in Overcoming Masturbation.”

Here’s the first section, “A Guide to Self Control“:

1)  Never touch the intimate parts of your body except during normal toilet processes. Avoid being alone as much as possible. Find good company and stay in this good company.

2)  If you are associated with other persons having this same problem, you must break off their friendship. Never associate with other people having the same weakness. Don’t suppose that two of you will quit together, you never will. You must get away from people of that kind. Just to be in their presence will keep your problem foremost in your mind. The problem must be taken out of your mind for that is where it really exists. Your mind must be on other and more wholesome things.

Mark Peterson

3)  When you bathe, do not admire yourself in a mirror. Never stay in the bath more than five or six minutes — just long enough to bathe and dry and dress and then get out of the bathroom into a room where you will have some member of your family present.
4)  When in bed, if that is where you have your problem for the most part, dress yourself for the night so securely that you cannot easily touch your vital parts, and so that it would be difficult and time consuming for you to remove those clothes. By the time you started to remove protective clothing you would have sufficiently controlled your thinking that the temptation would leave you.

5)  If the temptation seems overpowering while you are in bed, get out of bed and go into the kitchen and fix yourself a snack, even if it is in the middle of the night, and even if you are not hungry, and despite your fears of gaining weight. The purpose behind this suggestion is that you get your mind on something else. You are the subject of your thoughts, so to speak.

6) Never read pornographic material. Never read about your problem. Keep it out of mind. Remember — “First a thought, then an act.” The thought pattern must be changed. You must not allow this problem to remain in your mind. When you accomplish that, you soon will be free of the act.

7)  Put wholesome thoughts into your mind at all times. Read good books — Church books — Scriptures — Sermons of the Brethren. Make a daily habit of reading at least one chapter of Scripture, preferably from one of the four Gospels in the New Testament, or the Book of Mormon. The four Gospels — Matthew, Mark, Luke and John — above anything else in the Bible can be helpful because of their uplifting qualities.

8)  Pray. But when you pray, don’t pray about this problem, for that will tend to keep it in your mind more than ever. Pray for faith, pray for understanding of the Scriptures, pray for the Missionaries, the General Authorities, your friends, your families, but keep the problem out of your mind by not mentioning it ever — not in conversation with others, not in your prayers. keep it out of your mind!

9)  Avoid being alone as much as possible. Find good company and stay in this good company.

Additional suggestions after the break, including one about imagining yourself eating worms.

Source: http://bit.ly/22EtBlf

Robert De Niro Pulls Anti-Vaccination Documentary From Tribeca Film Festival.


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Robert De Niro Pulls Anti-Vaccination Documentary From Tribeca Film Festival.

“We do not believe it contributes to or furthers the discussion I had hoped for,” actor says

Robert De Niro has reversed his decision to screen an anti-vaccination documentary at the Tribeca Film Festival.

“My intent in screening this film was to provide an opportunity for conversation around an issue that is deeply personal to me and my family,” De Niro said in a statement provided to TheWrap. “But after reviewing it over the past few days with the Tribeca Film Festival team and others from the scientific community, we do not believe it contributes to or furthers the discussion I had hoped for.”

“The Festival doesn’t seek to avoid or shy away from controversy,” he continued. “However, we have concerns with certain things in this film that we feel prevent us from presenting it in the Festival program. We have decided to remove it from our schedule.”

On Friday, De Niro defended screening the film at the festival he helped found. “I am not personally endorsing the film, nor am I anti-vaccination; I am only providing the opportunity for a conversation around the issue,” the actor said.

The documentary in question,”Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe,” has drawn outcry from many corners including several prominent science-themed publications. Many in the scientific community feel that “Vaxxed” director Andrew Wakefield is responsible for helping to create the belief that the MMR vaccine can cause autism.

As a result of that belief, many people stopped getting the MMR vaccine, leading to a rise in measles.

Source: http://bit.ly/1UuUJPx

70,000 Muslim clerics issue fatwa against Isis, the Taliban, al-Qaeda and others.

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70,000 Muslim clerics issue fatwa against Isis, the Taliban, al-Qaeda and others.

Nearly 70,000 Indian Muslim clerics have signed a fatwa against Isis and other terror groups saying they were “not Islamic organisations”.

Around 1.5 million Muslims visiting a shrine dedicated to a Sufi Islamic saint near the city of Ajmer in north western state of Rajasthan during the Urs religious festival  have signed a petition against terrorist attacks.

Mufti Mohammed Saleem Noori, one of the clerics who signed the fatwa, told the Times of India: “From Sunday onwards, when the annual Urs began, members of Dargah Aala Hazrat have been distributing forms among followers seeking signatures to show that those signing stand against terrorism.

“Nearly 15 lakh (1.5m) Muslims have recorded their protest. Around 70,000 clerics from across the world, who were part of the event, passed the fatwa.”

He called on media organisations to stop referring to the groups – including Isis, the Taliban and al-Qaeda – as “Islamic”.

Another cleric, Hazrat Subhan Raza Khan, said the decision had been made in the wake of the Paris attacks to spread out the message that the Muslim community condemns Islamist extremism.

The head of the shrine at Ajmer, Mohammed Ehsan Raza Khan said: “It is written in the Quran that killing one innocent person is equivalent to killing all humanity”.

But the clerics also opposed the bombing campaign several Nato countries – including the UK whose parliament approved airstrikes last week – against Isis in Syria saying innocent women and children had been killed in the strikes.

They said Western powers should focus on stopping the terrorists but not at the cost of civilian lives.

Source: http://ind.pn/1UuUoMJ

North Carolina’s New Law Discriminates LGBT People and their use of bathrooms.

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North Carolina’s New Law Discriminates LGBT People and their use of bathrooms. 

The North Carolina state Legislature has passed a law blocking local governments from passing anti-discrimination rules to grant protections to gay and transgender people.

The law comes a month after the city of Charlotte passed a measure protecting gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people from being discriminated against by businesses.

That measure was set to go into effect on April 1.

The state’s General Assembly wasn’t due to meet until late April, but it scheduled a special session — for the first time in 35 years, member station WUNC reports — on Wednesday to respond to the Charlotte measure before it went into effect.

Over the course of 12 hours, the state legislators introduced, debated and passed the bill, and Gov. Pat McCrory signed it into law.

The new law establishes a statewide nondiscrimination ordinance that explicitly supersedes any local nondiscrimination measures. The statewide protections cover race, religion, color, national origin and biological sex — but not sexual orientation or gender identity.

One word dominated the debate over the bill and the Charlotte ordinance before it: “bathroom.”

Charlotte already protected residents from discrimination based on race, age, religion and gender. On Feb. 22, the city council voted to expand those protections to apply to sexual orientation and gender identity, too.

The most controversial element of Charlotte’s expanded ordinance was the fact that it would allow trans people to use the bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity.

Opponents argued this would make bathrooms unsafe for women and children. WFAE’s Sarah Delia, reporting on NPR in February, spoke to Pam Burton of Charlotte.

“I’m not scared of transgenders. That’s not what I think the problem is. Sexual predators are not good people,” Burton said. “They don’t do the right thing. They’re going to see this ordinance as a golden opportunity for fresh victims — our children. My 16-year-old daughter swims at The Y year-round. I’m not going to be able to confidently continue to allow her to use that locker room if this passes.”

Charlotte resident Lara Nazario, a trans woman, said critics of the measure have it backward. The idea that it would be dangerous to defend trans people’s rights to use the bathroom of their gender identity “is opposite to the reality that I live in,” Nazario said.

It’s forcing trans people to use the bathroom of the opposite gender that is dangerous, she said:

“If I were to walk into a men’s bathroom, I would either be told that I’m in the wrong bathroom or I’d be outed as a transgender woman. This can often lead to violence or harassment, especially when there’s no protection in place for people like me.”

The Charlotte nondiscrimination ordinance extends protections to LGBT customers at bars, restaurants and stores, and in taxis. The heated debate over trans access to restrooms led to it being labeled by some as the “bathroom ordinance.”

And North Carolina’s response, in turn, is being called the “bathroom bill.”

The law opens by requiring all government-controlled facilities — including schools and universities — to assign all multiple-occupancy bathrooms and locker rooms to a single sex and prevent anyone who doesn’t match that biological sex from using the facility.

It later declares nondiscrimination “an issue of general, statewide concern,” and says local jurisdictions can’t craft their own nondiscrimination measures.

That nullifies Charlotte’s ordinance — as well as existing LGBT nondiscrimination ordinances in a half-dozen other jurisdictions in North Carolina, WFAE reports. It also blocks any other city or local government from extending such protections to LGBT residents in the future.

Biogen, which employs more than 1,000 people in North Carolina’s Research Triangle, and the Dow Chemical Co. have both tweeted their objections, as employers, to the new law.

The law bars local governments from passing other ordinances, as well.

Again, WFAE’s Tom Bullock, from the station’s extensive coverage during the bill’s debate and passage yesterday:

“The bill would bar cities or counties from imposing their own minimum wage. So any move to establish a local minimum wage higher than the $7.25 an hour federal minimum wage would be a nonstarter. This has been done by other cities such as Seattle, which is phasing in a $15 an hour minimum wage.

“Cities and counties often have employment rules for companies seeking contracts. This bill also bars counties or municipalities from requiring these companies to pay a higher minimum wage in order to qualify for contracts. … This provision also bars requirements like companies provide paid sick leave.”

The bill passed the Republican-controlled General Assembly 82-26 in the House, and 32-0 in the Senate.

Gov. McCrory, after signing the bill late Wednesday, described the bill’s passage as “bipartisan.” But The Associated Press notes:

“Although 12 House Democrats joined all Republicans present in voting for the bill in the afternoon, later all Senate Democrats in attendance walked off their chamber floor during the debate in protest. Remaining Senate Republicans gave the legislation unanimous approval.

” ‘We choose not to participate in this farce,’ Senate Minority Leader Dan Blue of Raleigh said after he left the chamber.”

McCrory also said he was acting to protect citizens’ privacy, and criticized the Charlotte ordinance as “government overreach and intrusion.”

Source: http://n.pr/1MphiSx

Is buying organic worth it? The numbers don’t seem to add up.

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Is buying organic worth it? The numbers don’t seem to add up. 

I don’t buy organic foods. In fact I specifically avoid doing so. It’s not my place to tell anyone else what to do, but I’d like to lay out three, seriously considered factors that have shaped my personal stance on organic:

  1. Informed confidence that we are safe buying “conventional” foods
  2. Recognizing that some of the best farming practices from an environmental perspective are not always allowed or practical under the organic rules
  3. An ethical problem with the tactics that some organic advocates and marketers employ which seriously misrepresents their “conventional” competition

For the last 40 years my wife and I have shared the shopping and cooking for our mostly home-based meals. We have always gardened, but also buy much of our fruit- and vegetable-rich diet from stores. When I say I don’t buy organic, that involves frequent decisions.

By all rights I should be an enthusiastic advocate and consumer of organic. I was a child of the generation influenced by “Silent Spring.” I was a dues-paying member of the Wilderness Society in high school. I grew up helping my beloved grandfather in his organic garden in the 1960s.  Some of our best friends in the late 1970s were pioneers in the development of the commercial organic industry. I’ve spent a significant proportion of my career developing biological and natural product-based pesticides which are applicable to organic. I fully appreciate the contribution that the organic movement made in the early 20th century when it highlighted the importance of fostering soil health. My problems with institutional organic are not at all about its founding ideals or about organic farmers, but rather about organic’s self-imposed limitations and about the ethics of a sub-set of its promoters.

Recommended by Forbes

Confidence in the Conventional Food Supply

The USDA, which oversees the foods labeled as “Certified Organic”, states quite clearly on its website about its role in organic,  that “Our regulations do not address food safety or nutrition.”  Foods labelled “Certified Organic” must adhere to certain rules and regulations but aren’t endowed with any particular nutritional or safety features. However, many consumers believe that the Organic label means the food has superior nutrition and is safer, especially in regard to pesticide residues.  This is not true. Studies have shown no appreciable difference in nutrition between crops grown either organically or conventionally.

As for the safety issue. When most people hear the word “pesticide,” they imagine something scary in terms of toxicity to humans and the environment. The reality is that modern agriculture employs an integrated suite of non-pesticidal control measures, and the actual pesticides used today are mostly relatively non-toxic to humans. Organic farmers also use pesticides, and the products they are allowed to use are constrained with few exceptions by whether they can be considered “natural.” That is not a safety standard since many of the most toxic chemicals known are “natural.” Like all pesticides, these natural options are subject to EPA scrutiny, and so the pesticides that organic farmers are allowed to use are “safe when used according to the label requirements” which is the same standard for synthetic pesticides allowed on conventional crops. When it comes to pesticide residues on our food, there is a USDA testing program that demonstrates year after year that the pesticide residues on both organic and conventional foods are at such low levels that we need not worry about them. I confidently buy non-organic foods based on this public data that demonstrates that our system is working and that we consumers are well-protected.

Kay with raspberries

What the USDA data demonstrates is that the environmental movement was not a failure – it effected real change over the past 5 decades! We don’t have a two-tiered food supply in terms of safety in which only those who can afford the premiums get safe food. I also believe the global scientific consensus that “GMO” foods are safe, and so I don’t need to buy organic to avoid those.

This no-till field in Illinois is good for the environment and food supply. Such innovations involve many expert contributions

Environmental Idealism

I have always been concerned about the human impact on the environment, and particularly about the impact of farming since that industry has the largest “footprint” in terms of land area. I spend a lot of time reading the scientific literature concerning agriculture and the environment. Some of the farming practices that are commonly employed on organic farms are very positive from an environmental perspective, but those practices are also used by progressive “conventional” growers. There are also quite a few farming practices with excellent environmental profiles which are difficult to implement under the organic farming rules (e.g. no-till farming, spoon-feeding of nutrients via irrigation). Compost, which is a major input for organic farms, has a shockingly high “carbon footprint” because of methane emissions. The carbon footprint of “synthetic” fertilizer is much smaller.

From an environmental perspective, the biggest issue for organic is that it requires significantly more land to achieve the same level of production. Were organic to become more than a niche category, this yield gap would be highly problematic from an environmental point of view.  I would much rather buy food from “land-sparing” farming systems.

Organic yields are substantially lower for many major row crops

Ethical Issues

My third reason for not buying organic has to do with ethics. Organic exists as a sort of “super brand” that transcends anyone marketing under that banner. Unfortunately, within the organic realm there are certain major marketers (and advocacy groups they fund) who employ fear-based and falsehood-based messages to demonize “conventional” foods.  They use these methods as a means to promote organic. One of the most egregious examples is the “Old McDonald/New McDonald” video funded by Only Organic – a consortium of very large organic marketers. This bizarre publicity piece exploits children to depict a completely distorted view of mainstream farming.  I consider it to be “hate speech for profit.” Another example is the organic-industry-funded Environmental Working Group which grossly distorts that transparent, USDA, public database documenting the safety of the food supply and turns it into a “dirty dozen list” designed to drive organic sales. These are extreme examples, but the organic marketing community as a whole quietly benefits from this sort of propaganda and does nothing to correct the “convenient fiction” that organic means no pesticides. I realize that only part of the organic industry funds and promotes the most vicious sort of disinformation, but I rarely see organic representatives standing up and objecting to the sort of fear-mongering that ultimately benefits the sales for the entire super-brand.

The fear-based messaging drives the intense social pressure, that parents in particular feel, about whether they need to buy organic. I don’t want any part in rewarding this sort of fear/shame based marketing. In the absence of a significant objection from more of the organic community, I don’t want to support the “super brand.”

So, these are my reasons for not buying organic products. I feel perfectly comfortable buying the alternatives that align with my practical, idealistic and ethical standards.

Source: http://onforb.es/1o80FPN