Stranger In An Even Stranger Land - blog by Gurdur

 




A blog of random jottings on events, science, renfairs, travel, reading, music, humanism, religion, atheism, and even the odd spot of gardening.

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The "invisible wife", Gia Milinovich, who was slurred as the "wrong wife", was blacklisted on the BlockBot for objecting to racism

Posted 28-Mar-2015 at 04:02 PM (16:02) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)

Gia Milinovich (@giagia) was a successful science-communication professional on British TV in her own right well before she married Prof. Brian Cox (@drbriancox). She has written about her experience of becoming an "invisible wife" once Brian Cox became famous. What then adds insult to injury is when flamers and BlockBot team members such as Sarah Brown (@auntysarah) attempted to browbeat Brian Cox into remonstrating with his own wife merely for her uttering uncontroversial opinions over Twitter....
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Rating: 5 votes, 5.00 average.

Classism, sexism, racism, snobbery, community, #scicomm and #citizenscience

Posted 29-Nov-2013 at 03:57 AM (03:57) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 29-Nov-2013 at 06:29 PM (18:29) by Gurdur

The blogger @drisis put up a blog post talking about her take on science-communication (#scicomm) and the people involved in that general area, i.e. what could be called the general #scicomm community. That would include the component communities like the #ScioX community (centering around the anual scicomm conference in Raleigh, NC, USA), or the #SpotOn community (centered around the annual scicomm conference in London, UK, and IIRC the one in NYC, USA). @DrIsis' blog post was titled, "An Open...
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Rating: 4 votes, 5.00 average.

Death of an ignorant peasant woman, survivor of a witch-hunt

Posted 14-Apr-2013 at 05:20 AM (05:20) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 14-Apr-2013 at 04:58 PM (16:58) by Gurdur

On Sept. 7, 2010, Delfina Alvarez Cruz Selgado, a 42-years-old Mayan mother of five, became the target of witch-hunts - some face-to-face, one being police-action prompted against her, and another being online. Delfina originally came from a village, but then lived in the town of Punta Gorda, in the Toledo district, Belize, in a house she had built herself out of scraps scrounged from garbage-dumps around town. Her name wasn't even Delfina Alvarez Selgado, but that is how it was entered in the...
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Weird: John Horgan contra drones.

Posted 30-Oct-2012 at 03:17 PM (15:17) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 30-Oct-2012 at 05:46 PM (17:46) by Gurdur

In a blog post on the renowned Scientific American site, John Horgan (@Horganism) takes aim at drones, but unscientifically so. Right on the eve of the national election for the presidency, his blog post starts off with his stating that a lot of his liberal friends are "disappointed" with President Obama. Then Horgan zeroes in on drones and their use by the USA in Pakistan and the Yemen.

His entire argument is slapdash. He points to problems the Pakistani democracy has with legitimization...
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Rating: 4 votes, 5.00 average.

No, immunology should get the same scrutiny as psychiatry. And vice versa.

Posted 19-Aug-2012 at 06:03 PM (18:03) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 19-Aug-2012 at 06:31 PM (18:31) by Gurdur

Play Sherlock Holmes M.D. for a few minutes. You're a busy healthcare person, and somebody turns up acting weirdly and confused, and complaining of hearing voices. She shows real problems, and cannot look after herself. What do you reckon is the problem with the person? So far it sounds like schizophrenia, no? Hold on to that, we will deal with the case throughout this post. Now, separately, one response to my last blog post "How not to criticize psychiatry, part 1" was a bit of a mix; it covered...
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In Alabama, 21% of polled are still against inter-racial marriage

Posted 14-Mar-2012 at 08:44 AM (08:44) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)

A new poll of Alabama voters has just been released. The poll, which was carried out by Public Policy Polling (PPP), can be found on a .pdf here. The poll had as respondants 600 likely Republican primary voters in Alabama, and it was carried out on March 10th and 11th. According to PPP, the margin of error for the Alabama poll is +/-4.0%. The PPP say their poll was not paid for or authorized by any campaign or political organization. It was conducted through automated telephone interviews. Women...
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Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.

Pakistan's Express Tribune forced by protest to remove article by Saba Khalid mocking mental illness

Posted 18-Feb-2012 at 05:07 PM (17:07) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 13-Mar-2012 at 01:18 AM (01:18) by Gurdur

Yesterday an op-ed article by Saba Khalid appeared in Pakistan's Express Tribune newspaper, which is published in partnership with the famous International Herald Tribune, and is owned by the Lakson Group of companies. The article by Saba Khalid was titled "Celebs with mental disorders: Lock up the crazy"; while the online version has now been taken down, you can still for a short while find the Google Cache copy of the original page here. I also include a screen-capture pic of part of the article...
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Bad blood: The long shadows of the Tuskegee and Guatemalan syphilis studies

Posted 17-Jan-2012 at 06:52 AM (06:52) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 17-Jan-2012 at 07:49 AM (07:49) by Gurdur

Between 1932 and 1972 medical scientists working under the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) in Tuskegee, Alabama, studied the progression of untreated syphilis in 399 adult male black Americans in Macon County, Alabama. Initially, the study started off with all trhe best intentions; when funding was cut off as a result of the Great Depression and other factors, the study continued, and became far more unethical as time went on. Participants were not told they had syphilis; once penicillin became...
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Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King , Jr., Day today

Posted 16-Jan-2012 at 06:57 PM (18:57) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)

Today is Martin Luther King Day, celebrating both the accomplishments of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and also his ideas of service to others.

Martin Luther King and those who worked with him achieved a huge deal. They changed the face of life of the USA, they changed the world, through such things as MLK giving inspiration to others worldwide in the struggle against discrimination, racism, and poverty. Who does MLK belong to? In one way, he belongs to American blacks, those...
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No, but seriously. If I was a poor black kid? Racism, class, poverty and escape

Posted 22-Dec-2011 at 08:14 PM (20:14) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 23-Dec-2011 at 12:20 AM (00:20) by Gurdur

By now many know Gene Marks wrote an article for Forbes magazine in which he opined on all the things he would do if he was a poor black kid. His article is a mess, and it has been savagely criticized right across the net, but let's look at exactly what is wrong in Gene Marks' thinking. The first thing that strikes the eye is how Marks seems to be admitting all the things he recommends others are things he didn't do himself. His unconscious arrogance was analyzed well by Ta-Nehisi Coates (@tanehisi),...
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Society, Ethics And Science Weekly blogs round-up - 10 August 2011

Posted 10-Aug-2011 at 05:26 PM (17:26) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 10-Aug-2011 at 07:11 PM (19:11) by Gurdur

So here's the Society, Ethics And Science (SEAS) Weekly blogs round-up yet again. You can see other blogs round-ups of mine here. Of course, times are rather overshadowed by the UK riots, but onwards we go. A little disordered, and some posts mentioned are from July, but hey. I'm still catching up in all of this.

Skepticism, atheism: Barbara A. Drescher gets really stuck into certain atheists wanting to take over the skepticism movement for their own, in "Take Back Skepticism, Part...
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Dr. Tim Stanley is clueless about theology, psychiatry, the law, ethics or the mind ....

Posted 26-Jul-2011 at 03:17 PM (15:17) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 26-Jul-2011 at 04:55 PM (16:55) by Gurdur

... but he really, really doesn't want you to make any connection between violent rhetoric and violent deeds. Dr. Tim Stanley has a PhD, but it would seem to be in history, and when he writes on psychiatry, you find out quickly why you go to a medical doctor and not a historian for medical matters including psychiatry. Stanley has written an ignorant piece for the Daily Telegraph blogs. In it, two of his concluding sentences are, "The kind of person who can systematically shoot and kill that many...
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Anders Behring Breivik, terrorism, and those who make excuses for terrorism

Posted 24-Jul-2011 at 06:37 PM (18:37) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 24-Jul-2011 at 07:42 PM (19:42) by Gurdur

Terrorism is the use of violent acts intended to create terror and which deliberately target or disregard the safety of non-combatant civilians, in pursuit of any alleged goal. By that and by any other reasonable definition of terrorism, Anders Behring Breivik is a terrorist. There is no excuse; he is a terrorist. The murder of innocents; Breivik went out of his way to specifically murder innocents, whether in Oslo or in Ut°ya, many of them young teenagers. He is also a classical narcissist, unable...
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How to deal with Richard Littlejohn and the #DailyFail -- write to advertisers, and use istyfosty and <nofollow>

Posted 23-Mar-2011 at 04:14 AM (04:14) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 23-Mar-2011 at 02:44 PM (14:44) by Gurdur

By now, a good many people will be aware of the trash-talking that Richard Littlejohn indulges in. Littlejohn is a British hack who routinely trolls in a twice-weekly column for the tabloid The Daily Mail. It's important to realise that he trolls -- he is only assuming racist and other bigoted stances such as hinted homophobia just to annoy the public, and to gain supporters pathetic enough to need to live vicariously through Littlejohn, to make their little wieners feel longer. Moreover the Daily...
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The inadequacy, narcissism and racism of Richard Littlejohn

Posted 23-Mar-2011 at 01:15 AM (01:15) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 23-Mar-2011 at 02:44 PM (14:44) by Gurdur

Richard Littlejohn is a British, rightwing hack who writes a twice-weekly column for the tabloid the Daily Mail. He delights in trying to troll the public, but his childish narcissism has now reached rock-bottom; he has stated in effect Japan deserves no help from outside after the earthquake -- because of World War Two. Since WW2 ended over 65 years ago, you might think it's somewhat irrelevant. Since one whole lot of Japanese children died in the tsunami and its wake after the earthquake, you...
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Rating: 3 votes, 5.00 average.

Lara Logan of CBS, Nir Rosen and Debbie Schlussel - sexism, rape and sexual assault

Posted 16-Feb-2011 at 04:27 PM (16:27) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 16-Feb-2011 at 08:40 PM (20:40) by Gurdur

Yesterday came the very sad news that an American woman reporter in Tahrir square, Cairo, Egypt, on the night it was announced Mubarak had stepped down, had been very nastily beaten up and sexually assaulted. The facts of the matter were that some group or momentary group had assaulted her; Tahrir square is very large, and it took a while for others to notice. She was eventually rescued by a group of Egyptian women (from the pro-democracy protestors) and Egyptian Army soldiers working together to...
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Too small for a republic and too large for an insane asylum: South Carolina does it yet again

Posted 13-Feb-2011 at 08:57 PM (20:57) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 13-Feb-2011 at 10:43 PM (22:43) by Gurdur

Back shortly before the American Civil War officially began in 1861, a jurist in South Carolina, Judge James Louis Petigru (1789-1863), commented on the secession of South Carolina from the Union in 1860 that, "South Carolina is too small for a republic and too large for an insane asylum".

South Carolina effectively started the American Civil War all by itself, in attacking (the Federal) Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861; South Carolina (SC) attacked because its politicians feared that...
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Today is Charles Darwin Day! As important as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and vice versa

Posted 12-Feb-2011 at 07:12 PM (19:12) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 12-Feb-2011 at 10:27 PM (22:27) by Gurdur

Today is Charles Darwin Day, and it -- like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day -- is something everyone should celebrate. Darwin's discoveries of natural selection and evolution through such selective mechanisms were not completely new when he made them; several others were working towards the same discoveries, and an apiarist (a beekeeper) actually wrote down a fair description of evolution soon before Darwin did, but it was Darwin who did the most work and research of most of the naturaliists at the...
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The revolution eats its children: the debates among atheists and separately among Christians regarding sexism, ethnic minorities, community and support

Posted 22-Nov-2010 at 03:48 PM (15:48) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 28-Apr-2012 at 11:35 AM (11:35) by Gurdur

Exactly what is atheism? The stance that there are no gods at all. But even there atheists will disgree on just what atheism is. Is there an atheist movement? Of course there is. Is there a loose atheist "community"? Of course there is; there are atheist bulletin boards, there are atheist meetings, there are atheist associations. And so on. Is the atheist movement or community united? No, not beyond the basic atheism -- everything else is up for grabs. There are some pretty deep divisions within...
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Desmond Tutu on homophobia: a crime against humanity and every bit as unjust as apartheid

Posted 10-Oct-2010 at 03:27 AM (03:27) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 10-Oct-2010 at 05:31 AM (05:31) by Gurdur

Desmond Tutu on homophobia: homophobia is a "crime against humanity" and "every bit unjust" as apartheid. The former archbishop, distinguished anti-apartheid campaigner and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Desmond Tutu of South Africa, made the remarks in the course of a book launch in July this year of the book, "Sex, Love and Homophobia: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Lives" (USA edition, British edition), authored by Vanessa Baird, with a foreword by Desmond Tutu, published by Amnesty International....
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