novapsyche: a person removing a shirt, revealing a system of organs & skeleton underneath (bodyundershirt)
As I was on the bus headed to my poetry class, I couldn't help but overhear this woman behind me on her phone. Bad enough that she had a captive audience--it was really unfortunate to hear her spout off about Ebola.

Not that she's the first person I've heard talk about Ebola, not even the first to do so in a public space. But she was the first I've encountered who was relaying patently inaccurate information to those around her. Sort of like an information disease vector.

First she talked about how the dog of a woman who contracted (or is suspected of contracting) Ebola had to be put down. That is true. But she said it was because the woman spread Ebola to her dog. That was not determined at the time of the destruction. I highly doubt this turned out to be the case.

Then she speculated about why the latest victims in the US have been women. "I don't know if it's because women are more susceptible?" she began. That's when my eyebrows went up in alarm.

Captive audience. Everyone there was listening to her & her ignorance.

She did temper her conjecture a bit when she offered that maybe it was because more women were "on the front lines." I don't know if she meant that more nurses are traditionally female & the number of nurses combating the disease necessarily outweigh those of doctors, who are for more often male. I want to give this woman the benefit of the doubt.

But the nail in the coffin final straw was when she dismissed the fact that Ebola is only spread through direct contact with bodily fluids. She spoke about how some people get infected after being around a dead body & how that didn't make any sense. "The morticians, I'm sure they wear gloves, so I don't know how these people would have been in contact with bodily fluids." After listening to her friend, she said, "Yeah, it's airborne! That must be it."

After about a minute of listening to this, I turned around & looked at her. I wasn't going to say anything, but she mentioned my turning around to her friend. "It's not airborne," I said flatly. "It's only transmissible through bodily fluids."

"Well, I don't know . . . ." she said, apparently trying to leave a crack in the door.

"It's true. This is what is known about the disease. You should look it up."

"Well, that remains to be seen," she said.

"It's scientific fact," I responded, finally brusque at her unwillingness to let go of speculation. "You should look it up," I entreated again.

I would have apologized later for being somewhat short in our exchange, but she remained on the phone to her destination, which was just a few minutes further up the road.
novapsyche: a woman of stature circa 1900s peering out of a ring (womanring)
Riot erupts near St. Louis over police shooting of teen | more -- The FBI has launched a parallel investigation.

Amid pressure, New York releases half of Common Core test questions

Study: More coffee may prevent your ears from ringing

Babylon 5 reboot likely to become big-budget film: Original series creator will pen the script, possibly finance the film

Dear Johns: Actually, You Should Be Ashamed to Buy Sex -- There is a lot that is wrong in this article, or at least wrong-headed. The author (strangely enough, a woman) decries the industry by contrasting the relative freedom the customers enjoy (rarely prosecuted) with the restrictions sex workers endure (especially those trafficked into such work). The piece takes pot shots at everything, mainly casting aspersions. She does admit that "some woman [sic] do choose this line of work, and sex-workers unions argue that prostitution can be a freely made choice" but dismisses it in the same sentence. What the author fails to realize or acknowledge is that 1) it's not called the oldest profession for nothing--it's not going away, & 2) the illegality of the trade is the root cause of most of its problems. The best way to tamp down on most of the concerns is to pursue legalization or decriminalization, so the industry can be regulated.
novapsyche: a woman of stature circa 1900s peering out of a ring (womanring)
I'm still recovering from how crack-delicious my dinner tonight is/has been. Anyway.

James Brady, former White House press secretary, dies at 73 -- When could we expect another conservative gun-control advocate? Especially one who did not experience such a personal attack? Best to the Brady family.

Six Philadelphia narcotics officers arrested for robbing dealers -- "The 42-page indictment describes scenes that Hollywood would have trouble topping, including a 2007 robbery during which Norman allegedly held a man over an 18th floor balcony to get him to divulge the password to his handheld computer."

Tennessee Denies Public Assistance To Drug Users -- Error: just because someone may have used drugs in their life history does not mean that they are currently abusing drugs. Bad interpretation, bad policy.

Eating Fish Makes Your Brain Healthier, Study Says | Fish Consumption Linked to College Education -- NOT linked to omega-3 intake, amazingly enough.

Oxytocin Isn't Lacking In Children With Autism, Researchers Say

Lego sells out of Research Institute set after responding to 7-year old girl's request

Forget Charcoal Versus Gas. The Best Way to Grill a Steak Is With Molten Lava.
novapsyche: a woman of stature circa 1900s peering out of a ring (womanring)
12-year-old Florida boy arrested in killing of homeless man

Police: Man put needles in meat at Belleville grocery store 'for the hell of it' | more

Chinese Officials Seal Off 'Plague' City, Puzzling US Experts -- That is a little extreme.

USDA overhauls decades-old poultry inspections -- "The changes would be voluntary, but many of the country's largest poultry companies are expected to opt in." Yeah, okay. Recommended changes must not have been terribly hard to implement.

Deep sea octopus mom tends her eggs longer than any animal on Earth -- "[D]uring those 4-1/2 years that she is protecting her eggs, she does not appear to eat."
novapsyche: a woman of stature circa 1900s peering out of a ring (womanring)
Chinese man brings gay conversion therapy lawsuit -- "'According to the law, both sides should sign an agreement before electric shock or hypnosis is carried out, but (the clinic) did not offer,' said Li [Doilong, the man's lawyer]. 'The staff told my client the electric shock felt like "being bit by a mosquito" but it turned out not to be.'"

Seattle cop under investigation for busting too many pot smokers | Seattle cop who issued 80% of marijuana tickets reassigned -- Let's see. That one officer wrote 4/5ths of all such citations. "The police department said 36 percent of the tickets were issued to African-Americans, who make up just eight percent of the city's population." I'd like to see the Venn diagram on that one.

Utah language school blogger writes about homophones, gets fired for 'associating the school with homosexuality'

Scientists Shed Light on Link Between Depression, Dementia
novapsyche: a woman of stature circa 1900s peering out of a ring (womanring)
Why do men prefer nice women?: Responsiveness and desire -- Good description of study.

Science of dating: why playing hard to get only works for men -- Not so good description. It's not that "[m]en should play hard to get if they want to attract the opposite sex on a first date otherwise women will see them as unmanly or manipulative," it's that being overly responsive & agreeable will set off red flags. On a first date? Ingratiating oneself is never a good mating strategy, but many women will indeed see it as such: a mating strategy, not one for building a relationship (especially not between equals).

Lesson: Don't be smarmy.

Man dressed as Spider-Man punches NYPD cop in Times Square, authorities say -- I love how the Daily News just uses a pic of a random guy in a Spidey suit, not of the alleged criminal himself so outfitted.

2 injured when cable on Ohio amusement park ride snaps | Two people hurt after cable snaps on Skyhawk at Cedar Point -- Bad news for my favorite amusement park. Never been on that ride, though, and probably won't any time soon.

Learning the smell of fear: Mothers teach babies their own fears via odor, U of Michigan research finds: Research in rats may help explain how trauma's effects can span generations

My Rapist Was a Sweetheart -- I'd been avoiding Huff Post since their posting access restrictions changed. Against my better judgment, I clicked on this, mainly because the subject is part of the national conversation right now. This article is really not good, not for its content per se, but for its structure. I'm not just talking about mechanical errors (though those irk me, especially as the byline lists the author as an "editor"); no, the main problem is that it starts out as anecdote, then abandons that midway through. What happened the rest of the way home with her friend? What did they talk about after Terry Richardson came up in conversation? Did they have a blow-up? Are they still friends? You don't abandon a story midstream. Tie loose ends, dammit.
novapsyche: a woman of stature circa 1900s peering out of a ring (womanring)
Todd Akin retreats from 'legitimate rape' apology

Lawmaker Accuses Supreme Court Justices Roberts and Alito of Misleading Senate -- Yeah, and many of us knew it at the time, but nothing can be done about it now.

Forgotten vials of smallpox found near D.C.

Democrats prepared to counter Hobby Lobby -- Good luck with that. I say that with a sarcastic tone, but, really, good luck with that.

New blood test to predict onset of dementia could be 'devastating' for sufferers -- Ridiculousness. If I had the proteins that predicted dementia, you bet your life I would want to know, so I could take measures to stem the tide.

Sex Change: Algae May Point to Origin of Male-Female Split -- Some headlines for this story called the intersex algae "transgender". Hermaphroditic would have been far more accurate & far less offensive.
novapsyche: a woman of stature circa 1900s peering out of a ring (womanring)
Jody Hice: Mr. Bigot Goes to Washington?

Supreme Court hits new low: Only 30% have confidence in justices -- "[C]onfidence in the Supreme Court has slipped steadily since its heydey during the Reagan administration, when 56% of Americans said they believed in the high court in 1985 and 1988. The ratings for the court mostly stayed in the 40s and 50s but took a sharp turn down to 34% in 2007--a year after George W. Bush won Senate confirmation for Samuel Alito to the court."

FDA Approves ReWalk Motorized Exoskeleton For Sale In The US

Math Under Common Core Has Even Parents Stumbling (NYT)

Regret the Error: Poynter's Newspaper Misspells the President's First Name

Chinese man dies after heart is ripped from his chest and eaten following fight about noodles

Kansas woman charged with arson after allegedly lighting fire to kill a spider
novapsyche: a woman of stature circa 1900s peering out of a ring (womanring)
Gun Shy: What happened to the Second Amendment at the U.S. Supreme Court this year?

ABA: Lawyers can scour jurors' social media sites -- Yet another reason I won't be migrating to Facebook. It's bad enough (actually probably worse) that employers can demand your social media account particulars.

Christian radio host in Michigan busted in child sex probe, feds say -- "[Balyo] was cuffed while working at a Christian music festival in Gaylord on Friday." It's all about the cover story.

Time-traveling photons connect general relativity to quantum mechanics

Death to high school English: My college students don't understand commas, far less how to write an essay. Is it time to rethink how we teach? -- This article is so true. I read essays written by schoolchildren for a living. The general level of grammatical readiness is atrocious.

Artistic food deemed tastier, scientists and chef show -- "Participants were also willing to pay more for the Kandinsky-inspired plating[.]"


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