First of all, I'm not a big fan of Tumblr - it often seems to be the worst kind of social media: no original content or even your own thoughts, just reposting, BUT, these, these I approve of:
Dads are the Original Hipster
And Hipster Animals:
Then, some feminism related links:
Poor Jane’s Almanac
By JILL LEPORE
The New York Times
THE House Budget Committee chairman, Paul D. Ryan, a Republican from Wisconsin, announced his party’s new economic plan this month. It’s called “The Path to Prosperity,” a nod to an essay Benjamin Franklin once wrote, called “The Way to Wealth.”
Franklin, who’s on the $100 bill, was the youngest of 10 sons. Nowhere on any legal tender is his sister Jane, the youngest of seven daughters; she never traveled the way to wealth. He was born in 1706, she in 1712. Their father was a Boston candle-maker, scraping by. Massachusetts’ Poor Law required teaching boys to write; the mandate for girls ended at reading. Benny went to school for just two years; Jenny never went at all.
Their lives tell an 18th-century tale of two Americas. Against poverty and ignorance, Franklin prevailed; his sister did not.
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Dallas Sports Columnist Displeased With Pitcher’s Decision To Do A Totally Normal Thing
It can be hard to tell that Dallas Observer sports blogger Richie Whitt is a sports blogger, since his professional blog, the one that is actually hosted on Village Voice servers, largely consists of pictures of women in various states of undress and reflections on recent Korn performances, so you could be forgiven for wondering where the hell he thinks he gets off shitting on Texas Rangers pitcher Colby Lewis for having the gall to miss a start in favor of attending the birth of his second child.
I mean, my first question was, what is Richie Whitt doing writing about sports, anyway? Is there not a wet t-shirt somewhere in the whole of suburban North Texas that needs his undivided attention?
Apparently not. No, when Whitt heard that Colby Lewis skipped a game, well, this:
In Game 2, Colby Lewis is scheduled to start after missing his last regular turn in the rotation because — I’m not making this up — his wife, Jenny, was giving birth in California. To the couple’s second child.
That’s right, folks. If you can believe it, this guy attended the birth of his child. Take a moment to collect yourselves if you must. I know news like this can be hard to process. Ok? Ok.
And lest you think that Whitt was just joking, I invite you to read further, wherein Whitt doesn’t really joke at all but just talks about how hard it is for him to wrap his mind around the idea of taking a day off to see your kid born.
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Academia related links:
April 24, 2011
Paranoid? You Must Be a Grad Student
By Don Troop
Memo to grad students: Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not about to give you a Ph.D.
A mild case of paranoia might even help you navigate the tricky path to that terminal degree, says Roderick M. Kramer, a professor of organizational behavior at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business.
It's an academic cliché that graduate students are paranoid, but Mr. Kramer has actually crafted a linear model to explain it. The model depicts how factors common to the graduate-school experience—like being a newcomer unsure of your standing, and knowing that you're being sized up constantly—can ultimately induce social paranoia, a heightened sensitivity to what you imagine others might be thinking about you.
"That self-consciousness translates into a tendency to be extra vigilant and maybe overprocess information on how you're treated," Mr. Kramer says. (He published his model in a 1998 paper, "Paranoid Cognition in Social Systems.")
To be clear, he is not talking about clinical paranoia, an illness he studied at the University of California at Los Angeles under the psychiatrist Kenneth Colby, who had developed a computerized paranoid schizophrenic called PARRY. And Mr. Kramer, who has written extensively on the social psychology of trust and distrust, doesn't regard social paranoia as a pejorative term, either.
"It's meant to be almost a playful label to help people remember the consequences of being in these situations," he says.
Not only does he know what you're thinking, but he also knows why. Roderick M. Kramer has developed a linear model to explain the type of social paranoia common to graduate students.
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Professor Deeply Hurt by Student's Evaluation
The Onion, APRIL 2, 1996
Leon Rothberg, Ph.D., a 58-year-old professor of English Literature at Ohio State University, was shocked and saddened Monday after receiving a sub-par mid-semester evaluation from freshman student Chad Berner. The circles labeled 4 and 5 on the Scan-Tron form were predominantly filled in, placing Rothberg’s teaching skill in the “below average” to “poor” range.
English professor Dr. Leon Rothberg, though hurt by evaluations that pointed out the little globule of spit that sometimes forms between his lips, was most upset at being called "totally lame" in one freshman's write-in comments.
Although the evaluation has deeply hurt Rothberg’s feelings, Berner defended his judgment at a press conference yesterday.
“That class is totally boring,” said Berner, one of 342 students in Rothberg’s introductory English 161 class. “When I go, I have to read the school paper to keep from falling asleep. One of my brothers does a comic strip called ‘The Booze Brothers.’ It’s awesome.”
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A really great article on politics, science, and psychology: The Science of Why We Don't Believe Science
How our brains fool us on climate, creationism, and the vaccine-autism link.
By Chris Mooney, Mother Jones
"A MAN WITH A CONVICTION is a hard man to change. Tell him you disagree and he turns away. Show him facts or figures and he questions your sources. Appeal to logic and he fails to see your point." So wrote the celebrated Stanford University psychologist Leon Festinger  (PDF), in a passage that might have been referring to climate change denial—the persistent rejection, on the part of so many Americans today, of what we know about global warming and its human causes. But it was too early for that—this was the 1950s—and Festinger was actually describing a famous case study  in psychology.
Festinger and several of his colleagues had infiltrated the Seekers, a small Chicago-area cult whose members thought they were communicating with aliens—including one, "Sananda," who they believed was the astral incarnation of Jesus Christ. The group was led by Dorothy Martin, a Dianetics devotee who transcribed the interstellar messages through automatic writing.
Through her, the aliens had given the precise date of an Earth-rending cataclysm: December 21, 1954. Some of Martin's followers quit their jobs and sold their property, expecting to be rescued by a flying saucer when the continent split asunder and a new sea swallowed much of the United States. The disciples even went so far as to remove brassieres and rip zippers out of their trousers—the metal, they believed, would pose a danger on the spacecraft.
Festinger and his team were with the cult when the prophecy failed. First, the "boys upstairs" (as the aliens were sometimes called) did not show up and rescue the Seekers. Then December 21 arrived without incident. It was the moment Festinger had been waiting for: How would people so emotionally invested in a belief system react, now that it had been soundly refuted?
At first, the group struggled for an explanation. But then rationalization set in. A new message arrived, announcing that they'd all been spared at the last minute. Festinger summarized the extraterrestrials' new pronouncement: "The little group, sitting all night long, had spread so much light that God had saved the world from destruction." Their willingness to believe in the prophecy had saved Earth from the prophecy!
From that day forward, the Seekers, previously shy of the press and indifferent toward evangelizing, began to proselytize. "Their sense of urgency was enormous," wrote Festinger. The devastation of all they had believed had made them even more certain of their beliefs.
In the annals of denial, it doesn't get much more extreme than the Seekers. They lost their jobs, the press mocked them, and there were efforts to keep them away from impressionable young minds. But while Martin's space cult might lie at on the far end of the spectrum of human self-delusion, there's plenty to go around. And since Festinger's day, an array of new discoveries in psychology and neuroscience has further demonstrated how our preexisting beliefs, far more than any new facts, can skew our thoughts and even color what we consider our most dispassionate and logical conclusions. This tendency toward so-called "motivated reasoning " helps explain why we find groups so polarized over matters where the evidence is so unequivocal: climate change, vaccines, "death panels," the birthplace and religion of the president  (PDF), and much else. It would seem that expecting people to be convinced by the facts flies in the face of, you know, the facts.
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And some funnies:
XKCD + Star Wars:
Probably the best Dinosaur comic ever: