Category Archives: Tracing History

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Two Night Stand (2014) HD

Director : Max Nichols.
Writer : Mark Hammer.
Producer : William D. Johnson, Sam Englebardt, Ruben Fleischer, Beau Flynn.
Release : September 26, 2014
Country : United States of America.
Production Company : Demarest Films, Flynn Picture Company.
Language : English.
Runtime : 86 min.
Genre : Romance, Comedy.

Movie ‘Two Night Stand’ was released in September 26, 2014 in genre Romance. Max Nichols was directed this movie and starring by Analeigh Tipton. This movie tell story about After an extremely regrettable one night stand, two strangers wake up to find themselves snowed in after sleeping through a blizzard that put all of Manhattan on ice. They’re now trapped together in a tiny apartment, forced to get to know each other way more than any one night stand should.

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Humans Need Not Apply

I had the nerve to say on twitter that “CGP Grey may have just made the most important video of our generation” about this next video. I fully admit that’s hyperbolic, but as I was watching the video, each succeeding segment made me feel as if all the safety and security that I know in modern times, is pretty much an illusion. The robots, they’re takin’ over mate. And we’re programming them how to do it.

Luckily, since Grey narrates all his videos, there is a transcript on his site (because I’ve learned it takes me roughly 3x as long as the video’s length to type out the transcript of what it says), so I don’t have to type one out and post it below. You just get the enjoy the video. I will include a list of topics though.

Physical Labour
Luddite Horses
The Shape of Things to Come
Creative Labor

I will highlight part of the closing statements:

Right: this might have been a lot to take in, and you might want to reject it — it’s easy to be cynical of the endless, and idiotic, predictions of futures that never are. So that’s why it’s important to emphasize again this stuff isn’t science fiction. The robots are here right now. There is a terrifying amount of working automation in labs and wear houses that is proof of concept.

We have been through economic revolutions before, but the robot revolution is different.

Horses aren’t unemployed now because they got lazy as a species, they’re unemployable. There’s little work a horse can do that do that pays for its housing and hay.

And many bright, perfectly capable humans will find themselves the new horse: unemployable through no fault of their own.

This video isn’t about how automation is bad — rather that automation is inevitable. It’s a tool to produce abundance for little effort. We need to start thinking now about what to do when large sections of the population are unemployable — through no fault of their own. What to do in a future where, for most jobs, humans need not apply.

In the words of a clever friend of mine: “Good morning, unemployed horses 🙂 ”

Of course, I don’t imagine this will be a problem in my lifetime, but it is kinda scary to see the first blushes of things we’ve seen in Sci-Fi movies, becoming reality. I can’t imagine what it must be like for someone who has been alive since before or during World War 2. Looking back at what the world was like then, just 70 years ago, compared to now, it seems so archaic and quaint. Now I feel like I am getting a glimpse into the future, what the world might look like in another 70 years. It’s a bit mind-bending.

Gendered Marketing aka Why is there a man and woman’s version of everything?

Here’s another video that I liked so much, I took the time to write out a transcript. From ABC1’s “The Checkout”, it’s a video showing how marketing has evolved to segment everything into male and female versions (and how inherently insulting this is to the average consumer):

The world isn’t black and white, it’s pink and blue! And available at Australian Geographic.

From the moment we’re born, it’s frills for girls, and force for boys. It’s called market segmentation. The theory goes that dividing consumers up into smaller groups is good for business. And what better way to divide humanity than by the junk between our legs!

Kirsten, don’t confuse sex with gender.

And what easier way to divide humanity by the totally valid personal self identification as male or female [actually gender spectral] and all things in between.

But we actually don’t want to get into all that, we just want to know who’s really paying for gendered marketing.

Is it me? It’s me, isn’t it?

You know, it hasn’t always been this way, in fact it used to be the other way around.

“Pink, being a more decided and stronger colour, is more suitable for the boy while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl” – Earnshaw Infant’s Department, June 1918

By the early 1970s, the split between girl’s toys and boy’s toys seemed to be eroding. Today, that’s all changed.

“The companies who make these try to trick the girls into buying the pink stuff instead of stuff that boys want to buy, right?” – little girl on youtube

That’s right, cute youtube kid!

They worked out that by segmented the market into narrow demographic groups, they can sell more versions of the same toy.

That’s why Lego ads used to look like this [1955 Lego commercial, fairly generic], but now look like this [2012 Lego commercial, heavily targeted to girls]

That move tripled the number of girls using Lego, and scored the company a 25% increase in revenue globally.

But market segmentation isn’t just for kids. By making two versions of otherwise identical products, celebrity slim can sell many more slim shakes. And hairdresser’s formula can sell more hair pills. And Gillette can sell more razors. And Cotties can try to sell more cordial, and fail.

And it’s not just about trying to sell more, it’s about trying to charge more too. Take this body glide anti-chafe bar. Triathlon lube – it’s a thing. And it’s great for feet, thighs, and upper body.

But Zoey, we’re ladies, we don’t have upper bodies, we have feet, thighs, and BRAs, which is why we need body glide for HER!

Wait, aren’t our bras on our upper bodies?!

Oh Zoey!

That’s why our version costs nearly 60% more per gram than the original. Because according to body glide, we ladies need a petite sized product, for carry along convenience.

…Because there’s no way a woman could carry a normal body glide…?

And you don’t have to be a lube using triathlete to feel the rub of gender marketing.

It comes with everything, from shaving cream, and depilatory cream, to styling powder, and eye gel. And we might not even realize it’s happening, because we only look at our section of the store, and ignore anything that’s not obviously for us.

And it’s not just colour, companies also use: “Shape, texture, packaging, logos, verbiage, graphics, sound, and names to define the gender of a brand”.

Lighter colours, smoother edges, floral motifs, softer lines, they’re for ladies. Whereas darker colours, harder lines, squarer shapes, and sciencey type pictures mean it’s for men.

That’s why this pastel pack of Tena incontinence pads for women features a pretty little flower, made of wee drops. Whereas the men’s packet has a grid and arrows on it, and very specific measurements.

Now, market segmentation can backfire. Gender contamination is where a product is so strongly associated with one gender that the other gender refuses to buy it.

Why don’t they just call it the cooties effect?

Because we’re grown ups.

Anyway, it’s much easier to get women to buy men’s stuff, than it is to get men to buy women’s stuff. Take Dove, when they entered the male skin care market, they realized “the name Dove lacks macho mystique, especially when rendered in slender italics and accentuated with a stylized bird logo”

Stylized birds are totally for pussies. So they compensated, by “printing Men Plus Care in stand up capitals and by the use of a battleship grey background”

They even squared off the curves of the icon dove soap bar to give it a more manly appearance.

Surely dudes are too smart to just fall for girly goop in drag? Nope! in one year they gained millions of new customers in 30 countries with $150 million in sales, just by reminded men that “You’re a MAN!”

And dove aren’t the only ones. You’ll also see products with really stupid man names to help encourage men to splash their man card “Broga! Brogurt! Brotox! Guyliner! No! You can’t buy candles! You need MANDLE! in meat and potatoes, gunpowder, campfire smoke, and stripper’s mouth!”

But don’t worry guys, you’re not the only ones being patronized. A couple of years ago, fujitsu launched a computer for women. The floral kiss laptop for users with long fingernails came with scrapbooking and horroscope softwares, tinier adornments, and a floral motif. And for women who couldn’t use a computer, big brought out “Pens for Her”.

And today we have “Burgen bread for women’s wellbeing”, Burgen called it this because they claim it may help maintain breast health, they don’t mention men’s well being though, despite also claiming that it may also help maintain prostate health. Yeah, but no one wants to think about prostates when they’re having a sandwich.

Can’t we just stop all this dividing people? Unilever found a way to bring the genders together, and shop them both. To “unileverage us”. Their french brand, “Signal White Now” toothpaste, started out “for the whole family”, but then they launched a glittery gold version for women and followed up with a mannish version for men, because they said “It will contribute to driving the market up”. And it did, although slightly more for women.

So, that’s all kind of depressing. But it’s hard to be sad in this playpen. Don’t worry if you don’t live in a playpen though, there are some other things you can do. Ask yourself “am I buying this just because it says it’s for my gender?”, it might be worth checking out the other half of the range. If you’re willing to put up with grey packaging and straight lines, and don’t need your shampoo bottle to reassure you that “You’re a MAN!”, you could save a fortune.

I find that since the video puts all these examples together at once, it really hits home because otherwise you don’t even notice it (it’s rather subtle). But yes, every time I go into someone’s bathroom and one half of the counter is pink and the other half is blue, I cringe a little.

Most common language spoken by state after English and Spanish

A lot of people learn English as a second language so they can come to America to take their shot at the so called “American Dream”. America was settled by Europeans, but more recently a lot of immigrants have also come from south of the border – from Spanish speaking countries.

Thanks to Policy Mic, we have 2 visualizations – a visualization of the most common language (besides English) by state, and one for the most common language after both English and Spanish.

Spoiler alert – German is the next most common language spoken in the USA. Considering English has most of its roots in German, this probably shouldn’t be very surprising. French and Italian are pretty common as well.

I always find these sorts of maps interesting, so I like to share. Have a look and see what state you might do best in if your native tongue isn’t English or Spanish.

Moore’s Law and How Processors Work

I don’t know if you know much about processors (or transistors) and technological advancement, but here’s a handy video to explain a bit of the history, where we’re at now, and where we might be headed. It’s kind of an “all you need to know in 10 minutes or less” kind of video viagra kaufen italien.

It talks about Moore’s Law, how computers actually carry out the process of processing, a little bit about parallel processing, and more.

So come, learn!

Pink and Blue and Others Colours Too

I have written on this blog in the past about various issues pertaining to raising children in the best way possible, and I’ve written about gender issues. Today I get to write about both!

We set examples for children in many ways, including ways that we aren’t even aware of.  Children can only know what we teach them, and there is an overwhelming amount of environmental reinforcement in our society that teaches kids that boys are tough and smart, and that girls are frail and pretty. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

There are some very simple ways to counter-act this messaging, and one of those ways is by not dressing all boys in blue and “masculine” colours, and not dressing all girls in pink and “feminine” colours. We also shouldn’t have kids wearing clothes that say “smart like daddy” and “pretty like mommy”.

Last year, expecting mother Jenn Neilson walked into a store to buy clothes for her unborn child, and was stunned that her options were literally just blue, or pink. But there are plenty more colours than that, and babies like all colours. Jenn is among the growing movement of people who feel this needs to change, and she decided to do something about it (the most important step!).

She put her money where he mouth was, and she started a company – Jill and Jack Kids which has a KickStarter that you should check out. Jill and Jack Kids is an environmentally friendly baby clothing company that doesn’t just feature two colours, but 4 to start. And the designs themselves promote gender-neutrality and gender-equality, which is great. One of the shirts is captioned “half of all T-Rexs are girls”, and hey – that’s a fact!

Not only are the clothes environmentally friendly, but since they are gender-neutral, they also work as great hand-me-downs, meaning you buy a lot less clothes in the end! And they’re built to last, so you can stretch your clothing bucks to the maximum and save some money for college funds.

If you are thinking to yourself “so what, how does the colour of kids clothes matter? they don’t even know what colours are yet!”, well, that’s the thing. As I said, kids only know what we teach them, so if as long as they can remember, they’ve worn certain colours, and the kids with different parts than them wear different colours and are treated differently, they notice, and they respond. As a friend of mine has said, “we raise boys and girls instead of raising people“.

I just did a very quick internet search for “how does clothing colour affect kids gender?” and here is a good, short explanation from Yahoo answers, that explains gender conditioning and the social pressures that follow:

If a girl wears a skirt, it’s fine. If a girl wears pants, it’s fine. When I guy wears pants, it’s fine. When a guy wears a skirt, there is something wrong with him! Wearing clothing, listening to certain kinds of music and even television shows fall under this ‘gender bias’. Having a certain ‘norm’ forced on you can be rather troublesome. Like a girl who wants to ‘code and hax’ rather than ‘curl her hair’ may be frowned upon by her more ‘girly’ peers, where as she may appeal more to ‘the guys’ now.

That’s a very simple explanation, but you get the idea.

On a more complex scale, this comes from a WikiPedia article title “Social Construction of Gender Differences”:

Gender identity is not a stable, fixed trait – rather, it is socially constructed and may vary over time for an individual. Simone de Beauvoir’s quote, “one is not born a woman, but becomes one” is applicable here. The notion of womanhood or femininity is accomplished through an active process of creating gender through interacting with others in a particular social context.Society typically only recognizes two genders. Therefore, when transsexuals want to have a sex change operation, they must prove that they can “pass” as a man or woman – so even the choice of changing one’s gender is socially constructed. The fact that these individuals want to be one sex or the other speaks to the “’essentialness'” of our sexual natures as woman or as men”

Diamond and Butterworthshow how gender identity and sexual identity are fluid and do not always fall into two essentialist categories (man or woman and gay or straight) through their interviews with sexual minority women over the course of ten years. One woman had a relatively normal early childhood but around adolescence questioned her sexuality and remained stable in her gender and sexual identity until she started working with men and assumed a masculine “stance” and started to question her gender identity. When ‘she’ became a ‘he’ he began to find men attractive and gradually identified as homosexual as a man.

The perception of sexuality by others is an extension of others’ perceptions of one’s gender. Heterosexuality is assumed for those individuals who appear to act appropriately masculine or appropriately feminine. If one wants to be perceived as a lesbian, one must first be perceived as a woman; if one wants to be seen as a gay man, one has to [first] be seen as a man.

So, that, I would argue, is why this is important and why it matters. Kids don’t know any better so we should try to be careful about what we teach them as facts of reality.

EXTRA: May 23, 2014 – I recently interviewed a Queer Adult Entertainment Performer named Mara Dyne for my podcast, and we spent a good chunk of the interview talking about what gender is and means, and highlighting some of the problems related to it. The interview is clean (no swearing), but obviously the subject matter is a bit heavier. If you might be interested, here are the promos to give you an idea:

You can find show notes and subscribe here.

Five creatures that aren’t dinosaurs

Another video from SciShow here that I really enjoyed. It helps explain why evolution can be really confusing and strange to the uninitiated. Perhaps most importantly, a lot of creatures that you and I thought (and were taught in school and by popular movies or children’s TV shows) were dinosaurs, aren’t. Oh, and scientists are apparently really bad at naming things, at least in the dino world.

Hopefully you won’t be too disappointed, like when Pluto was demoted from planet status, but hey, now we know better, right?

Oh, and while we’re talking dinosaurs, Cara Santa Maria recently had noted dino-writer Brian Switek on her podcast “Talk Nerdy”, and yes, there was some good “origin of the species” type conversation on the episode.

The Deepest Hole on the Planet

This is quite fascinating, Russian scientists spent 24 years drilling a hole into the Earth – The Kola Superdeep Borehole. The project came to an end when they got to the point where the temperatures were too high, but by that point they had gone a little over 12,000 metres down. And that is only 0.2% of the entire distance to the center of the Earth.

Lots of cool discoveries were made along the way, check out the video to find out what, or read the Wikipedia article.

The History of Light, from an Economic point of view

I enjoy NPR’s “Planet Money” Podcast for it’s style of short (usually <15min per episode), “Explanatory Journalism”, focused on Economics. I followed the whole European Debt Crisis through the podcast a couple of years ago and it was really interesting.

Well, their latest episode (at the time of writing) is #534 – “The History of Light”.

On today’s show: How we got from dim little candles made out of cow fat, to as much light as we want at the flick of a switch.

The history of light explains why the world today is what it is. It explains why we aren’t all subsistence farmers, and why we can afford to have artists and massage therapists and plumbers. (And, yes, people who do radio stories about the history of light.)

The history of light is the history of economic growth — of things getting faster, cheaper, and more efficient.

This episode is 21 minutes, and very interesting. Really puts some things in perspective as far as how hard it used to be to get light for work or play after sunset.

Another fantastic and fascinating episode was #320 – “How Fear Turned a Surplus Into Scarcity”. Described thusly: “In this global caper of good intentions gone wrong, there are shadowy trade deals, corrupt government officials, and warehouses full of rice in a country that didn’t want it.” Really makes you think twice about food prices and just how much artificial manipulation goes into them.

See also:
How Modern Lightbulbs (of various kinds) work
An environmentally safe (and pretty) way to reduce light pollution
Two interesting uses of light

Nerd Nite Presentation Recap – Life as a Polymath

[Update 2 June 21, 2014 – I’ve come across data that refutes the validity of the MBTI system, so the reference to INFJ in this post isn’t as relevant anymore]

This post is essentially a written transcript of my Nerd Nite Presentation (delivered on April 17, 2014). The presentation was titled “I want to do EVERYTHING! (Life as a Polymath)”.

So, we start with a photo of Albert Einstein, and a quote of his:

I have no special talents,
I am only passionately curious

This quote has pretty much come to define my life, and I only discovered it last year.

So let’s start with a question. It’s a pretty common icebreaker when meeting new people. So, what do you do? Continue reading