We’ve come a long way since that ad above might have been acceptable. If it, or anything similar to it, were reproduced today, well, it’s pretty obvious that the backlash would be indescribable. There was a time when women weren’t allowed to speak in public, vote, or to work where men worked. Just this past election, a woman ran for the office of President. Times have changed and women are slowly, but surely, being recognized as equal to men. Or are they? Does sexism still exist when women can hold public office, lead companies as executives, fly into space, and serve as some of the most respected and iconic figures of our time? I was sparked to write this after reading a brief post on feminism from a site, appropriately enough, called Superfem. (Since a particular post moved me to writing this, I might be referencing it a few times and offer my opinions and disagreements.) The answer to the question about sexism is yes. Yes, sexism still exists and it’s much worse than we think.



Some crazy scientist at Oxford has just uncovered some extraordinary news! It turns out that being active on Facebook, as well as other social networking sites, rewires a developing brain. Wow, that is groundbreaking. It’s not like learning how to play an instrument, listening to music, reading a story, playing sports and other activities will rewire a child’s brain. Oh wait, yes it does. Why is Miss Scientist so concerned? She feels that communicating online will eventually phase out real life conversations and dampen social skills. Someone should remind her that instant messaging has been around forever and that AOL allowed for profiles and social networking long before MySpace or Facebook ever came about.

Emily Yoffe at Slate says this scientist is concerned that “we are at risk of raising a generation of solipsists.” Are we? Or is the solipsist in all of us attracted to this medium of communication and sharing?

Someone needs to calm the alarmists down. Apparently, children’s brains are getting damaged because they aren’t engaging in activities that they have been for millennia. One would think that a child wakes up, spends all day on Facebook, and then goes to sleep and repeats the same thing everyday. Fact check: they don’t do that – adults do and it’s called work (how do you think all that daytime Facebook activity goes on?). Someone should remind these scientists that adult brains are capable of being rewired, damaged and reshaped, too.

I pose this question to those who think that Rock and Roll, TV, radio and Facebook are ruining the younger generation: Do you think there might be a certain personality type that is addicted to those activities? Is social networking ruining the brains of young children, or are young children with the disposition to abuse social networks being ruined?

Guns don’t kill people. People who want to own those guns and kill people… um, kill people.


Check her out – totally mesmerized by some mad hypnosis skillz. For the most part, hypnosis has always been considered by skeptics like myself as a pseudo-science… well, to a degree. I’d just as soon believe there is a magical, mystical, all-knowing being watching over 6 billion people reading all their minds at once as I would believe you can make a woman quack like a duck against her better judgment. However, it seems that hypnosis (the non-radically-ridiculous kind) has its place in science and study of the mind. Whether the benefits of hypnosis are all just psychological (well, duh, they have to be) in the placebo sense, or they are actually tapping into a resourceful part of the mind, it seems that it can do more good than harm in many cases. Hit the link provided for a good read, but be warned… if you have the attention span of a 4-year-old after drinking a can of Coke, don’t bother clicking.

[Via Scientific American]

The image above clearly shows what’s going to happen next: Splat! Kerplunk! Why is it funny when people fall or trip over themselves? According to Scientific American, we all develop a sense of humor (some worse than others…) and the first requirement for the illicitation of laughter is something called a “play frame.” A real-life, non-serious event would fall into such a category as no one is actually harmed and nothing serious is destroyed. Otherwise, the reaction would be far from humor due to our ability to empathize grief and pain. So, miss-slippery-heels there can slip, flail her arms around, and fall without an injury and it would be a play frame that would likely cause a few snickers and giggles. Should she be seriously injured, however, the reaction would be quite different. Perhaps an, “Oh shit!” Maybe a call to the paramedics.

The next requirement, aside from play frames, is incongruity. In this case, incongruity is the irregular instance where the woman slips and falls. Though I’m sure it happens every day, falls are still uncommon enough (since we’re all experts at walking by the age of 3 or 4) to cause a brief and startling reaction. In conjunction with play frames, there is the beginnings of a recipe for laughter or humor.

Finally, a theory by Scientific American suggests that the idea of mirror neurons, the part of the brain which allows us to empathize and “feel” what someone else is feeling, make is a little more humorous, too. When we look at the image of the lady slipping, or perhaps see someone else stumble out in public, we can almost feel exactly what they’re going through. That, coupled with incongruity and a play frame (a surprise which yielded no injury) might cause us to laugh just a little… perhaps deep inside.