Category Archives: What’s the Difference?

Download and Watch Movie The Boss Baby (2017)

Streaming Movie The Boss Baby (2017) Online
  • The Boss Baby (2017)

  • Duration
    97 mins
    Genre
    Animation, Comedy, Family.
  • In Cinemas
    March 23, 2017
    Language
    English.
  • Country
    United States of America.
  • Watch and Download Movie The Boss Baby (2017)

Plot For The Boss Baby

‘The Boss Baby’ is a movie genre Animation, was released in March 23, 2017. Tom McGrath was directed this movie and starring by Alec Baldwin. This movie tell story about A story about how a new baby’s arrival impacts a family, told from the point of view of a delightfully unreliable narrator, a wildly imaginative 7 year old named Tim.

DIRECTOR

Tom McGrath.

Producer

Ramsey Ann Naito, Denise Nolan Cascino.

Production Company

Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, DreamWorks Animation.

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Political perspective: Liberals and Conservatives really ARE different (but maybe not how you thought)

Most people don’t want to talk, or even think about politics. It’s too divisive, and rarely pleasant. Unfortunately, politics is a part of our lives whether we like it or not, and we’re better served to not stick our heads in the sand and hope everything just works out.

That said, I found an article recently that finally seems to bring some clarity to the age-old Liberal vs Conservative debate. I’ve been really into the idea of emotional intelligence lately – understanding someone else’s situation, point of view, why they feel the way they feel. In doing this, it’s easier to relate, empathize, and maybe even work together (compromise), rather than just saying “I don’t agree with you, you’re stupid, I’m going to make your life harder”.

From Vox.com comes “Why Democrats and Republicans don’t understand each other”, and I think it does a good job of explaining some key differences that we hear about, and we perceive ourselves, but they’re finally presented in a more “tangible” way.

First:

Democrats are more focused on making policy to appease their various interest groups and Republicans are more focused on proving their commitment to the small-government philosophy that unites their base.

As Speaker John Boehner put it when he was asked about the slow pace of lawmaking in his House, “we should not be judged on how many new laws we create. We ought to be judged on how many laws we repeal.”

As one example I can think of (though I’m sure there are better ones), I watched a documentary years ago about Ralph Nader called “An Unreasonable Man”. The title is derived from the quote “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself, thus all progress depends on the unreasonable man”. In this documentary, it chronicled how Nader initiated several organizations and committees to protect various groups – workers, consumers, families… and he was making quite a bit of headway, until the next Replublican president was elected and quickly squashed and stagnated his efforts.

This next bit speaks to a point that Chris Rock made in one of his stand up specials, about being liberal on some issues, and conservative on others:

On its face, this presents a puzzle: how can conservatism be the more popular ideology even as the Democrats are the more popular party?

Grossmann and Hopkins disagree. They see this not as a puzzle about American politics but as an explanation for why it works the way it does. They note that 73 percent of Republican voters say they’re conservative but only 42 percent of Democratic voters say they’re liberal. And they note that while voters tend to agree with Republicans on the philosophical questions in American politics (should government be smaller?) they tend to agree with Democrats on the policy questions in American politics (like should Social Security be smaller?).

The Republican Party, in other words, has a very good reason to base itself around philosophical conservatism, while the Democratic Party has a very good reason to base itself around policy deliverables.

This next part is pretty interesting, and gives you an idea of the broader, longer-term implications of this:

The chart above shows the results: Democrats consistently prefer politicians who compromise and Republicans consistently prefer politicians who stick to their principles.

What’s remarkable is that held true even when Republicans controlled the White House. “Though they voiced strong disapproval of Bush, Democrats still expressed a preference for compromise in government — a tendency that has carried over to the Obama era,” write Grossmann and Hopkins. “Republicans have been consistent in their elevation of principle over moderation, regardless of which party is in power.”

That is…extraordinary. Even when a Republican president was facing a Democratic Congress, Republicans did not choose the answer that would have helped their president get more done. And even when a Republican president was facing a Democratic Congress, Democrats did not choose the answer that would have stiffened their party’s spine against passing Bush’s bills. I would have bet money against surveys showing this kind of stability between Democratic and Republican administrations. This is a difference between the two parties that runs deep.

This is something I do tend to find frustrating about more pure conservatives, some might call it “stubbornness”, and it’s important to be able to tell the difference between stubbornness (refusing to budge no matter what) and sticking to principles because you don’t feel you’ve been giving satisfactory reasoning for a change.

“Democrats and liberals are more likely to focus on policymaking because any change that occurs is much more likely to be liberal than conservative. New policies usually expand the scope of government responsibility, funding, or regulation. There are occasional conservative policy successes as well, but they are less frequent and are usually accompanied by expansion of government responsibility in other areas.”

The cleanest way to shrink the size of government is to repeal laws and regulations. But it doesn’t happen very often. In the American political system, Grossmann says, “it’s hard to pass anything, but it’s particularly hard to repeal a law that already exists.” Systematic analyses show it’s rare for laws to be repealed wholesale. “That creates perpetual disappointment among the Republican base,” Grossmann continues. “They correctly perceive that their party does not succeed in enacting their professed ideology.”

But they’re a reminder that American politics is fundamentally rational. Republicans are uncompromising because compromise tends to expand the scope of government. Democrats are willing to make deep concessions because policy moves in a generally liberal direction. Republicans have a clearer message about government because their message about government is fundamentally popular. Democrats talk more about policy because what they have to say about policy is fundamentally popular.

I think that’s a good distinction, and I think if more people were aware of it, it could help grease the gears a bit better and perhaps lead to a little more getting done. I think it suggest that partisanship is at least partially misconceived. Yes some people are truly stubborn and unwavering for personal and/or selfish reasons, but I’m sure that’s actually a minority.

This next bit feels a bit like the whole “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” idea, but applied to politics:

The data also explains why Democratic and Republicans have so much trouble understanding each other. Democrats tend to project their preference for policymaking onto the Republican Party — and then respond with anger and confusion when Republicans don’t seem interested in making a deal. Republicans tend to assume the Democratic Party is more ideological than it is, and so see various policy initiatives as part of an ideological effort to remake America along more socialistic lines.

This is really why effective communication is so important. If you make assumptions that are wrong, you obviously won’t get the results you expect. As frustrating and broken as the 2 party system often seems, perhaps there is a healthy balance hidden in there.

I’ve been “liberal” and “socialist” for a long time, and used to be much more ideological than I am now. If I was given political power in my 20s, I probably would have made a bunch of laws which were well-meaning, but not fully or properly considered/researched. Now I feel like I would think longer and more carefully before setting a policy for something.

The Gender Map: How well do we really understand gender? (not very)

Here’s a video from on YouTube. It’s pretty simple but touches on some important information, which is why I’m sharing it.

And since it’s a shorter video, I wrote up a transcript since I’d rather you get the information than not, and you may be more inclined to read it than watch/listen (but you should, because visuals!)

You may remember studying Columbus, Vasco de Gama and Magellan in middle school, they’re on the books for their pioneering explorations, their navigations of the ocean, and their rudimentary thinking.

Magellan is known for being the captain of the first voyage to circumnavigate the globe. Except that wasn’t circumnavigation. We called this circumnavigation because no one at the time realized that planes and rockets and satellites and who knows what else could actually circumnavigate more efficiently.

This is where we are with gender. Magellans.

We’re curious, and we’re navigating, but we’re limited by our abilities and our language to truly and completely navigate gender. Sometimes we have the words but not a complete sense of the concept. Like gender performance, roles, script. Other times we have the concepts, but lack the words to realize them.

Historically, navigation of gender has looked like this. We started with no gender. These (penis and testes) were merely the inversion of these (ovaries and uterus). The thinking was that this body (male) had more “vital heat” and thus forced the genitals to descent in order to “cool off”. Then there was a belief that gender was strictly grammatical. Any use beyond that was considered a joke, or an error.

It wasn’t until 1955 that gender took on the meaning it has today.

The Reimer family consulted Dr. John Money about their two boys. One’s penis had been damaged during surgery and Dr. John Money recommended that (1) the penile tissue and testicles be removed and (2) that the child be raised as a girl. Similarly to Magellan’s 炒外汇入门 European sailors bringing disease and death to the natives, Money’s pioneering thoughts on gender were also traumatic. Baby Bruce, who was raised baby Brenda, reportedly never felt, acted or identified as female and eventually committed suicide. Nurture over nature? Uh, no.

Gender is a complex sense of how an individual relates to, identifies with one, multiple, or no gender categorizations that our culture constructs. Some describe it as a “sense of identity”. In my culture this may include bi gender, man, gender fluid, gender queer, woman, cis, transgender, agender, pangender, two-spirit, neutrois, questioning, M to F, F to M, M to M, F to F.

In comparison, gender roles are the stereotypes that our culture has for these genders. Primary assessment of one’s adherence to these roles was designed in the 1970s by Dr. Sandra Lipsitz Bem. This is an online version of the . 60 items, 20 feminine, 20 masculine, 20 neutral. It was designed in the 1970s, of course I’m going to splatter the gender roles.

Gender isn’t the parts of your body, it’s how you express your body in the context of culture. Innately or otherwise. In the words of gender navigator Judith Butler, “We act as if that being of a man or that being of a woman is actually an internal reality or something that is simply true about us, a fact about us, but actually it’s a phenomenon that is being produced all the time and reproduced all the time”

Perhaps we are each a unique gender, perhaps no gender at all. Until then, we draw squiggles, it’s our best effort to understand gender as we develop the language that allows us to circumnavigate it.

Stay curious.

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 , 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 fxcm 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.

What’s the difference – Vigor vs Rigor

It’s been a while since I last did one of these comparison/clarification posts, but I found another example of two words that I didn’t clearly know the difference between.

I had thought vigor and rigor were basically the same thing. Upon looking them up, I had the correct understanding of rigor, but was a little off on rigor.

According to Merriam Webster:

Rigor – a (1) :  harsh inflexibility in opinion, temper, or judgment.

Examples:
They underwent the rigors of military training.
They conducted the experiments with scientific rigor.
A scholar known for their intellectual rigor

And that last one might be part of why I had them somewhat confused.

Vigor, on the other hand:

1:  possessing vigor :  full of physical or mental strength or active force
2:  done with vigor :  carried out forcefully and energetically
So, it seems they are kind of related. You can do things rigorously, and with vigor.
I clearly have a very vigorous brain to run a site like this, don’t you think?

Streaming Full Movie The Bye Bye Man (2017)

Streaming Full Movie The Bye Bye Man (2017) Online
  • The Bye Bye Man (2017)

  • Duration
    96 mins
    Genre
    Horror, Thriller.
  • In Cinemas
    January 12, 2017
    Language
    English.
  • Country
    United States of America.
  • Streaming Full Movie The Bye Bye Man (2017) Online

Plot For The Bye Bye Man

‘The Bye Bye Man’ is a movie genre Horror, was released in January 12, 2017. Stacy Title was directed this movie and starring by Douglas Smith. This movie tell story about When three college students move into an old house off campus, they unwittingly unleash a supernatural entity known as The Bye Bye Man, who comes to prey upon them once they discover his name. The friends must try to save each other, all the while keeping The Bye Bye Man’s existence a secret to save others from the same deadly fate.

DIRECTOR

Stacy Title.

Producer

Simon Horsman, Trevor Macy, Jeffrey Soros.

Production Company

Intrepid Pictures, Los Angeles Media Fund (LAMF).

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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.

Stupid Question: Curiosity + Misunderstanding

Back in March, at the Nerd Nite before the one I spoke at (video hopefully coming this weekend!), there was a talk called “Stupid Question: Is Fire a Solid, Liquid, or Gas?” by Craig Fay.

It was a really good talk, which also happened to boil down a concept really well. You’ve probably heard the expression “there’s no such thing as a stupid question”. Well, there might be, but if you’re willing to ask it, at least you can potentially learn something. To borrow another phrase, “ignorance is fixable”.

Craig basically boiled down the premise to this:

Stupid Question = Curiosity (desire to know it) + Misunderstanding (what they don’t know)

And of course, since last October when I started this blog, I’ve been drawn like a magnet to anything involving curiosity, so I loved that he came up with this “equation” (in quotes because let’s face it – not real math).

I found a picture I took during that presentation on my phone and decided I wanted to talk briefly about it. I’ve been having a minor, friendly debate with a friend recently, over the idea of are stupidity and ignorance the same thing, and is one fixable and one not?

Ignorance, according to google, is defined as:

lack of knowledge of information

Stupidity is defined (again, according to google) as:

lacking intelligence or common sense

Now, ignorant is listed as a synonym for stupidity by google, but stupidity is not listed as one for ignorance.

They sound like they are virtually the same thing, but in thinking a bit deeper into it, stupidity is arguably the lacking of ability to understand or interpret information (even once you are given the information), whereas ignorance is merely a lack of information.

We all do “stupid things” sometimes, or maybe to put it another way, we often do things “without thinking” (or watching what we are doing/where we are going). It seems to me that the adjective “stupid” gets thrown around too liberally (or worse yet, people get called “retarded” when someone is really just meaning to imply they’ve done something foolish or ignorant). Being mentally handicapped is a separate thing entirely, so please do not misuse that term.

But I think Craig’s talk was great because it showed that even “smart” people who are into science and learning, can still have things they don’t know, and act based on incomplete or faulty information and arguably “do stupid things” (like read the comments section on YouTube videos)

The other funny part is the idea of “common sense”, which one of my friends regularly points out to me “is not common at all”. Let’s look at the definition from Wikipedia:

Common sense is a basic ability to perceive, understand, and judge things, which is shared by (“common to”) nearly all people, and can be reasonably expected of nearly all people without any need for debate.

Basically, it’s supposed to be stuff that everyone knows, is rational, and forms the set of rules we all follow to live our daily lives. But arguably the education system doesn’t well-equip every kid (and not every parent is amazing either), so not everyone has the same toolkit of knowledge and critical thinking skills.

I do dumb things all the time. But I ask a *ton* of questions. In fact, I’ve even gotten into the habit of prefacing some questions with “this might be a really dumb/ignorant question, but I want to know better”. I think that’s the key, people are afraid to ask questions and get made fun of for not knowing, or having a few things wrong, but we should instead be applauding them for identifying the gap in their knowledge and trying to correct it.

That is part of why this blog exists – to help bust myths, raise awareness and teach critical thinking skills (which I myself am still developing). I can and will ask the stupid questions for all of us 🙂

stupid question

How to Spot “Bad Science” in 12 Easy Steps (an infographic)

Compound Chem has a post titled “A Rough Guide to Spotting Bad Science“, which features an infographic (not easily re-posted here due to it’s size) but is downloadable as a PDF.

Basically it points out common errors and red flags (and explains what they are) to help you determine if an article or finding is believable (worth considering) or bunk. They include:

1. Sensationalized Headlines (the media is generally terrible for this)
2. Misinterpreted Results
3. Conflict of Interests
4. Correlation vs Causation (this is an error people make all the time)
5. Speculative Language (say it like you mean it!)
6. Sample Size Too Small (1 in 2 bad scientists agree!)
7. Unrepresentative Samples
8. No control group used
9. No blind testing used
10. Cherry-Picked Results (this is an easy trap to fall into and also ties into #4)
11. Unreplicable Results (this sinks a lot of promising results from what I understand)
12. Journals and Citations

The article makes sure to state:

The vast majority of people will get their science news from online news site articles, and rarely delve into the research that the article is based on. Personally, I think it’s therefore important that people are capable of spotting bad scientific methods, or realising [sic] when articles are being economical with the conclusions drawn from research, and that’s what this graphic aims to do. Note that this is not a comprehensive overview, nor is it implied that the presence of one of the points noted automatically means that the research should be disregarded. This is merely intended to provide a rough guide to things to be alert to when either reading science articles or evaluating research.

So, go educate yourself, and you can learn to better proofread scientific literature!

There’s socially awkward, and then there’s creepy. It’s an important difference.

I was recently turned onto a blog called Dr. Nerdlove. That latest article (at least as I write this) is titled “Socially Awkward Isn’t An Excuse”. I think this is a fantastic article for anyone who isn’t so great with the social skills. It may help your self-awareness and learning to better moderate your behaviour and interactions.

Believe me, I was one heck of a socially awkward duck as a teenager (I have some seriously embarrassing stories I could tell). It took me 6 months just to build up the courage to talk to a girl I thought was cute (this is not an exaggeration, I swear). I would start classes in September, get a crush on a classmate, and if I was *lucky*, I’d manage to say more than “Hi” to her by April. In fact, I asked out one of my best friends when I was in college, and I was so awkward about it that she had no idea that I was asking her out. I told her later and she was like “you asked me out? when?!“. In her defense, “I’d like to hang out with you more often” is definitely not the same thing as “I like you romantically and would like to go on a date with you”.

As guys, I think we are given the impression by TV and movies (and the often sleazy and creeptastic “Pick Up Artist” movement) that men have to be direct and aggressive (and not take no for an answer, and be really degrading), but when you honestly don’t know what to say or how to say it, it’s easy to make some really epic screw-ups. I have chased countless women away and got really frustrated, until I just forced myself to slow the heck down, and try to be honest (and a little bit of humility can go a long way!). It was definitely hard at first, and I wasn’t sure if it would work. As my friend Heather puts it “make a clear statement of intent, giving them the ability to easily opt out”. Oh, and don’t freak out or be deflated if they say no!

Anyway, this article basically sums it up like this:

Here’s the thing about the socially awkward: they don’t want to trip over people’s boundaries. You can almost always track the exact moment they realize that they’ve done something wrong by the way they desperately try to backtrack, apologize and generally try to reassure the other person that they didn’t mean to and they’re so embarrassed and are kind of freaking out and, and, and…

You know what you don’t see? You don’t see them justifying their behavior. Or turning it around and making it about the person whose boundaries they just blew past.  They don’t rely on social pressure – either through making a scene or through other people justifying their actions for them – to make the other person submit to their demands. They don’t argue that the other person is obligated to forgive him, to give him a second chance or otherwise pretend that the awkwardness just didn’t happen. Creepers and predators rely on other people insisting that their social awkwardness is a mistake because it gives them cover. When the “socially awkward” exception is in play, other people are less likely to call him out on his creepy behavior .2 It becomes a way of isolating somebody from potential allies and tricking others – people who might otherwise object to his bad behavior and assist his target – into being complicit in his actions. The Awkward Exemption teaches other people to tolerate, even expect creepy behavior… and to forgive it because hey, “he means well.” It gives the creeper cover and allows him to continue being part of the community; he’s not “Johnny the creepy predator”, he’s “Johnny the decent guy, a little weird sometimes but harmless.”

Basically – genuinely awkward people are genuinely sorry when they realize they screwed up. Creepers are not, they will try to justify their behaviour and hide behind a fake excuse. They may be a little bit awkward too, but they’re certainly not trying to fix that.

The article goes on to basically say “hey, some people are genuinely awkward, it’s a thing, but it’s a thing you can work on and improve, and you should try”. And that’s absolutely true. I’m living proof!

On a related note – The difference between introversion and shyness.