Category: Culture

Some terrible tips for women courtesy of 19th Century Fox

FoxBullshit

Fox & Friends…recently produced a litany of advice for young women that could have been ripped from the pages of a 1950s home economics textbook. Here are a few of the most egregious examples of Fox-approved tips for women:

“Don’t talk too much.”

Over the course of the interview with Hewlett, women are told to “keep their voices down” and avoid “talking too much” no less than four times… Call this the anti-Sheryl Sandberg mantra. Instead of asserting their right to actively participate in workplace discussions, women should refrain from “dominating” the conversation and be sure to monitor the volume and tone of their voices…

“Keep your husband happy.”

In the depressingly simple world of “Princeton Mom” Susan Patton, marriage is the be-all, end-all goal for women. Once you’ve found a husband, your job is to do everything in your power to nurture and care for him, making sure his needs are being met. Even though women comprise 47 percent of the US labor force, and 73 percent of working women hold full-time jobs, it is still, for some bizarre reason, their responsibility to offer their husbands a drink and cook them a meal at the end of the work day.

Never mind that women also spend almost twice as much time as their spouses on childcare each week. Fox’s hosts happily reinforced this sexist message, with Doocy asking Patton “When did it happen when men and husbands became doormats?” Because we all know asking a man to help out around the house or cook dinner is the pinnacle of emasculation. Even more disturbingly, Patton warns against ending relationships that aren’t working out because of “how difficult it would be to replace him.”…

RTFA for more – you’ll have to decide whether to laugh or barf.

19th Century Fox says: don’t talk, look pretty, focus on your family, don’t push for equal rights, and care for your husband. Stupid or ignorant? Your choice!

Thanks, SmartAlix

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College athletes with abusive coaches more willing to cheat

“Ethical behavior of coaches is always in the spotlight,” said lead researcher Mariya Yukhymenko, PhD, a visiting research associate at the University of Illinois at Chicago. “Our study found several negative effects related to abusive coaches, including a willingness by players to cheat to win games.”

Men’s teams were much more willing to cheat than women’s teams, according to the study, and men’s football, basketball and baseball teams reported the highest willingness to cheat at large universities in Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, where players are often under intense pressure to win…

Both men’s and women’s basketball teams were much more likely to report they had abusive coaches than any other sport, although the reasons weren’t clear from the study, said researcher Thomas Paskus, PhD, a quantitative psychologist and the NCAA’s principal research scientist. Almost one-third (31 percent) of male basketball players and one in four female basketball players at Division I schools said their head coaches put them down in front of others, according to the survey results. “I think that raises some questions about the culture in that sport, even though there are a lot of coaches doing it the right way,” Paskus said…

Abusive behavior by college coaches has been a growing concern, following several high-profile incidents of coaches being fired or sued by players for alleged abusive behavior, including screaming insults, shoving or kicking athletes. This study looked only at verbal abuse by asking players whether a coach ridiculed or put them down in front of others. The study did not determine whether abusive coaches actively encouraged or permitted cheating by their teams, but there was a correlation between abusive coaches and an increased willingness by players to cheat in order to win.

Players who said they had abusive coaches also were more likely to report that their coaches didn’t create an inclusive team environment and that both their coaches and teammates were less respectful of people from other racial or ethnic groups and less accepting of differing viewpoints and cultures, according to the study…

The researchers recommended that college athletic departments conduct workshops or other programs to improve ethical leadership by coaches. “The impact that athletic coaches have on their athletes potentially affects everything from retention and chances of graduation to how these student athletes coach future generations of young athletes,” the study noted.

Offhand, I can’t think of a team sport at the collegiate level where I haven’t witnessed players diving to gain an advantage.

How strong has this become at the high school level?

Priest says soccer is Gay – You can tell by the shoes

While thousands of Russian fans were left devastated by their team’s early exit from the World Cup tournament, one Orthodox priest has openly rejoiced at their failure, denouncing the contest as a “homosexual abomination.”

Priest Alexander Shumsky seems to have taken particular exception to the brightly colored footwear on display in Brazil, writing in his column on Christian website Russian People’s Line that players who wear green, yellow, pink or blue shoes helped promote the “gay rainbow.”

“Wearing pink or blue shoes, [the players] might as well wear women’s panties or a bra,” Shumsky wrote, adding that he was also offended by the “unthinkable” hairstyles of some of the players in Brazil.

The 2014 World Cup has seen competitors from across the globe sport a range of colorful shoes, with all three of the major sporting brands — Adidas, Nike and Puma — unveiling brightly colored designs at the tournament in an effort to capture something of the Brazilian carnival flair.

But for Shumsky, the marketing campaigns appear to have had the opposite effect.

The liberal ideology of globalism clearly wants to oppose Christianity with football. I’m sure of it. Therefore I am glad that the Russian players have failed and, by the grace of God, no longer participate in this homosexual abomination,” the priest wrote in his online column.


Shumsky is still pissed-off that Robbie Coltrane beat him out for the part of Rubeus Hagrid in HARRY POTTER.

Thanks, Mike

American students are the problem with America’s colleges

Calvin & Hobbes on learning

President Obama, among others, likes to say that the US has the “world’s best universities.” That claim, though, refers the tip-top of prestigious universities: The US has 11 of the top 15, according to one international ranking.

So how good are US colleges overall, really? Kevin Carey, the director of the New America Foundation’s education policy program, recently argued in the New York Times that they aren’t that great, given that American adults — even college graduates — don’t perform well on an international test of adult skills. And Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Wednesday night that he generally agrees.

But this isn’t entirely fair to America’s colleges. The problem, really, is America’s college students.

…there’s a simple explanation for this, which makes it hard to tell how good American colleges actually are: American students are starting college farther behind than students in better-educated countries.

American students get about average scores on the Programme for International Student Assessment, the international test used to measure the skills of 15-year-olds globally. And while policymakers are concerned that the US is falling behind in college attainment rates, an above-average portion of Americans still end up earning a college degree.

So America has average students heading to college in above-average numbers. The result, in studies, is that the mediocrity is magnified.

Meanwhile, Korean and Finnish students end high school ahead of American students, as measured by the OECD’s tests, and also graduate from college in high numbers. So it’s no surprise that their college graduates rank higher than ours do. Asking American colleges to make up the difference isn’t entirely fair

This is a well-understood, if controversial, concept in [American] K-12 education. Teachers are increasingly judged based not just on students’ standardized test scores, but on how students are performing relative to expectations. So a teacher with a classroom full of fifth-graders who do math at a third-grade level might be rewarded, not punished, if those students had started the year at a first-grade level. They haven’t caught up yet, but teaching two full years of math in one academic year is a pretty amazing achievement.

But an international value-added comparison for higher education is a long way off. Some American colleges already measure learning gains, but the results are neither public nor national…

I noticed this was already happening – in 1964. I wondered why teachers and professors, the folks who taught teachers and professors were allowing it to happen.

It was fashionable. Students needed to find their own way. It was part of their freedom, individualism. Uh-huh.

Who do idjits elect? Worse idjits!

Kentucky politician learned science from black-and-white sci-fi movies

Kentucky’s Interim Joint Committee on Natural Resources and Environment met today to discuss the new EPA rules to fight climate change by limiting greenhouse gases from power plants. The committee is chaired by Rep. Jim Gooch, D-Providence, a proud climate change denier who has suggested in the past that Kentucky secede from the union in order to avoid federal environmental regulations. Yes, he chairs the committee, because it’s Kentucky.

I don’t even know where to start on sharing some of the wisdom that was expressed by our state legislators during this hearing. No, actually I do. I give you the honorable Sen. Brandon Smith, R-Hazard:

“As you (Energy & Environment Cabinet official) sit there in your chair with your data, we sit up here in ours with our data and our constituents and stuff behind us. I don’t want to get into the debate about climate change, but I will simply point out that I think in academia we all agree that the temperature on Mars is exactly as it is here. Nobody will dispute that. Yet there are no coal mines on Mars. There are no factories on Mars that I’m aware of.”

First of all, I did not make up that quote, it’s quite real.

Secondly, while the average temperature on Earth is roughly 58 degrees Fahrenheit, the average temperature on Mars is approximately -80 degrees Fahrenheit. In Sen. Smith’s defense, he’s only off by about 138 degrees or so, which happens sometimes…

Thirdly, note that when Smith refers to those in academia, he uses the word “we.” Because he’s obviously one of those academic types. He has “his” data, and the 98 percent of climate scientists who believe in climate change have “theirs.” Nobody will dispute that.

Fourthly, while Mars doesn’t burn any coal — smashing claims that climate change on Earth is due to this, since we have the same temperature* — Smith can’t be sure that they don’t have any factories giving off greenhouse gases. We’ll have to check with the data of the Martian scientists before we can confirm this claim.

Lastly, Smith is an actual elected official in Kentucky’s state Senate, who has been elected to this position twice by real Kentucky voters, and served four terms in the House before that.

There were plenty of other amazing and “insightful” quotes in this hearing from members of both parties that I’ll share later — where the people who say Mars is the same temperature as Earth allege that climate scientists don’t know what they’re talking about — but right now I think I need to lay in the fetal position for a couple of hours.

I needn’t add anything to this blog – do I?

If you ever care to wander through the realm of sound peer-reviewed science, I suggest a couple of the sites I link to over on the right side of this page. I especially enjoy RealClimate.

Thanks, Mike

Director charged over crew death while producing Greg Allman biopic


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The director of a biopic about singer Gregg Allman, and two of the film’s producers, are facing involuntary manslaughter charges.

It follows a fatal train crash on the film’s set in south east Georgia in February, which led to the death of camera assistant Sarah Jones.

A grand jury charged Randall Miller, producer Jody Savin and executive producer Jay Sedrish…

Jones, 27, was hit by a train on the first day of filming Midnight Rider.

Seven other crew members were injured in the incident, which saw the camera assistant fatally struck after the crew placed a bed on the railway tracks in Doctortown while filming a dream sequence.

It is understood the crew were expecting two local trains to pass through, but a third had arrived unexpectedly. A warning whistle was blown, but they had less than a minute to remove the bed from the track.

Miller, Savin and Sedrish are each charged with involuntary manslaughter and criminal trespass, according to a statement from local district attorney Jackie Johnson…

It remains unclear whether the crew had permission to be on the tracks. Local police investigators say they did have permission to be on property nearby.

The manslaughter charges against the film team could bring a possible sentence of 10 years in prison under Georgia law…

Filming on Midnight Rider was suspended in the aftermath of the train tragedy, and actor William Hurt – who was due to play Allman – pulled out of the production.

I haven’t any personal insight into the case. Though I spent an important though small portion of my life with folks deeply committed to the craft of acting all I can say is there wasn’t any uniform opinion of producers or directors, film or stage. Most discussion resolved to questions of political courage or cowardice – for that was in the darkest days of the blacklist throughout this so-called land of freedom.

Thanks, Mike

Germany arrests suspected double agent spying for U.S.

An employee of Germany’s BND foreign intelligence agency has been arrested on suspicion of spying for the United States…

The German Federal Prosecutor’s office said in a statement that a 31-year-old man had been arrested on suspicion of being a foreign spy, but it gave no further details. Investigations were continuing, it said…

The man, who is German, has admitted passing to an American contact details about a special German parliamentary committee set up to investigate the spying revelations made by former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, the politicians said…

Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert said: “We don’t take the matter of spying for foreign intelligence agencies lightly“…

The United States embassy in Berlin, the State Department in Washington and the White House all declined to comment.

Germany is particularly sensitive about surveillance because of abuses by the East German Stasi secret police and the Nazis. After the Snowden revelations, Berlin demanded that Washington agree to a “no-spy agreement” with its close ally, but the United States has been unwilling…

Bild newspaper said in an advance copy of an article to be published on Saturday that the man had worked for two years as a double agent and had stolen 218 confidential documents.

He sold the documents, three of which related to the work of the committee in the Bundestag, for 25,000 euros, Bild said, citing security sources.

The United States government – regardless of which of the two TweedleDee and TweedleDumb parties is in residence – can always be counted on to rely on duplicity and lies in our relationship with every other country on this poor old planet.

The same lies they feed us.

An alphabetical guide to things communities ban for no good reason

A is for Artichokes: In 1935, New York City mayor Fiorella LaGuardia banned the sale, possession and display” of artichokes. But only small ones. It was an offensive move against Ciro Terranova, “the artichoke king.” “In the past and until Thursday,” one article said, “produce men, it was said, either bought artichokes from him or they didn’t have artichokes for sale.” The ban lasted three days…

D is for Dying: The mayor of Le Lavandou, a town in France, banned dying in 2000 after the local cemetery filled up and he was denied permission to build a new one. He told the BBC the day after the announcement, “No one has died since then and I hope it stays that way…”

E is for Emergencies: When Colorado passed a law that prohibited towns from hiring part-time police officers, the town of Hotchkiss responded by banning crime, emergencies, accidents and death on Mondays and Tuesdays — the town marshal’s days off…

K is for Kissing: In 1969, the “tiny farming town” of Swedensboro, New Jersey banned kissing and hugging “in all public parks, lakes and places.” The penalty was a $200 fine…

N is for Noisy things: In the 1960s, the town of Eveaux-les-Bains in France was very anti-noise. They went so far as to partially ban the use of cars. Other measures included banning “the crowing of cocks, the barking of dogs and the braying of donkeys,” as well as “assemblies, noises and gatherings and any acts calculated to disturb public tranquility…”

U is for Unwrapped ukuleles: It was illegal to carry an unwrapped ukulele around the streets of Salt Lake City as of 1976…

There are lots more letters in the article. Even some more silliness for the letters already illustrated above.

You deserve a chuckle.