Friday, December 29, 2006
In a discussion, my older sister (the smart one in the family) told me how many religious laws have or had very practical applications. Certain foods, especially pork, were more likely to be contaminated and harmful if eaten. If you look at the Ten Commandments from a social point of view, they promote a more stable and fair society.
And, no matter what you think about sex in terms of individual rights, you must admit that the fewer partners you have during your lifetime the lower you chances of contracting AIDS or any other STD. Evidence points to greater sexual satisfaction (The Redbook Report on Female Sexuality) for "religious women."
It's time to focus more of right choices. Condoms as disease prevention? Would you knowingly have sex with an HIV positive person with only a condom as protection? I sure as hell wouldn't. But some want you to believe that condoms are the answer to AIDS and other STDs. Condoms can and do fail. At least one of my children is due to condom failure.
Recently, it has been discovered that a sexually transmitted virus causes cervical cancer.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most prevalent sexually transmitted infection in the world, occurring at some point in up to 75% of sexually active women (Groopman 1999). Although HPV infection is widespread, few people even know they are infected because they seldom have noticeable symptoms. For example, males with virus infecting the cells of the urethra rarely have a discharge or visible lesions on the penis. Even less well known is that nearly all cervical cancers (99.7%) are directly linked to previous infection with one or more of the oncogenic (cancer-inducing) types of HPV (Judson 1992; Walboomers et al 1999). While women, and men as well, usually are infected shortly after they become sexually active in their teens, 20s or 30s, progression to cervical cancer generally takes place over a period of 10 to 20 years. Unfortunately, some early lesions can become cancerous over a shorter time interval—within a year or two.And we propagate the myth that science and technology will save us all from ourselves. Billions are being spent to find the cure for AIDS, cancer, etc. If a cure is ever found, will it be found in time to save you? Remember, we haven't found a cure for the common cold yet.
Yes, we have all sorts of "rights" but making the right choice can be more important than any of our rights.
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Problems with Schools
Don't Need School Solutions
James Williams, Superintendent of Buffalo Schools had this to say in reply,
"Well, one problem in this country, education is structurally flawed. Until we change the structure of public education, we're not going to make progress.Often the comparison we make when discussing school problems is between present day schools and schools of the 1950s and 60s and now. The performance of students from those eras is often used as the measuring stick for today. If this is a "structural" problem, why was the "structure" successful then and not now?
The school system is operating the same way today as they operated when I finished school in 1962. We start school at 8:00, we get out at 3:00. We have first period, second period, third period, etc. We didn't change the structure. We need a longer school day, longer school year."
I graduated high school in 1969 and it seems to always be today's students are unfavorably compared to those of my generation. Maybe some structural changes are needed as society and kids have changed in the last 50 years, but, again, Mr. Williams "solution" is far from the best direction. We don't need more school; we need better school.
Mr. Williams response is a typical governmental bureaucrat response.
You need more of us.
But, you're the problem.
Precisely, that's why you need more of us.
Isn't this like "If the only tool you have is a hammer...?"
Yes. That's why you need more of us. We are the hammer.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result.
We don't need a longer school day and we don't need a longer school year. Kids would be so sick of school the drop out rate would rise and they would be less likely to pursue higher education.
We need more stimulating classes and better teaching techniques. We need more classroom involvement from parents, business people, and other community members. Most learning occurs outside of school. Having a longer school year and longer school days would interfere with the outside of school learning, which may be more important and more effective than much of the in-school learning.
I remember reading an article in a parenting magazine when my now 18 year old son was an infant. The article pointed out that toddlers that followed their parents around and communicated with their parents during ordinary day-to-day activities performed better on measure of earlier childhood intelligence that toddlers whose parents used more formal learning methods such as flash cards of animals, etc.
As students enters higher educational levels, they spend less time in the classroom, graduate students less than undergraduates, undergraduates less than high school students, and high school/middle school students less than elementary students. Obviously, more classroom time and longer days are not necessary for higher learning to take place. The performance of home schooled students, who may have little or no traditional classroom time, points to the same conclusion. Classroom time is not critical.
In my own experience, I've explained and taught my kids many math and science concepts in 5 or 10 minutes that, apparently, the teacher couldn't adequately teach in an hour. Perhaps, much of the problem facing schools is what goes on outside of school, not inside.
With the tremendous growth in single parent families, fewer parents have adequate time to help with homework and school projects. Also, with only one parent, parental resources are halved. The father may be able to help with subject areas in which the mother is not fluent and vice versa. But I doubt that both parents are easily accessible in most single parent families thus depriving children of half of their parental resources. Here is an article on the importance of father's involvement in education.
School choice also provides potential to create improvements in schools. Competition drives athletes and businesses to new heights of performance every day, why not schools. Mostly because school systems are scared to death of having to perform well enough to attract and keep students. Private schools only provide a competitive alternative where they are available and to those who can afford them.
My oldest son attends a Catholic high school which claims to be the cheapest Catholic high school in the country. I do know that it is 50% to 70% cheaper than the Catholic high schools in Cincinnati. It is still more expensive than what an in-state college student pays at the University of Tennessee.
The obvious answer here is vouchers. This exchange displays the public school attitude towards school choice
QUESTION: Yes. Actually, what I'm going to ask, given what you've heard tonight is going to seem crazy, but in the coming weeks, they are going to announce in Buffalo that a number of schools are closing with excellent test scores because of the enrollment. They're private Catholic schools. What can we do to...Mr. Williams says, "I like the competition." and "the great thing about America is choice,..." But he tiptoes around the voucher issue like a ballerina. I'm sure he loves choice and competition as long as that choice is no threat to him and his bureaucracy. Like virtually every other public educator, he is scared to death of vouchers. Once parents have real choices, you can bet the farm on what will happen and Mr. Williams and most other public school superintendents won't be too happy.
DOBBS: Why are they closing?
QUESTION: Because enrollment is low and too few people can afford that education. What can we do in the community to get past this special interest so that the money follows the kids to the education choice that's best for them?
DOBBS: Superintendent Williams?
WILLIAMS: Did he say Catholic schools?
DOBBS: He did.
WILLIAMS: Oh, well, we're developing better public schools, so I like the competition. When I came here we had 15 charter schools -- and I believe in competing. And to compete, you have to have rigorous curriculum. You have to hold people accountable and you have to have quality teachers, and we're working on those things.
But we are competing to -- this year, we have got 1,200 additional ...
DOBBS: I'm not hearing a lot of sympathy from the superintendent about those Catholic schools.
It's one -- you know, I happen to be a great fan -- the great thing about America is choice, but I happen to be a fan of public education. It changed my life. I come from a working class family. I would never -- I can tell you six public school teachers turned my entire life in a different direction. That's something I think we ought to have for every kid.
For those who can benefit from a parochial education, private schools, God bless, but let's invest in our public schools, because that is our future.
But school choice has much opposition. Some oppose supposed government support of religion, most private schools are religious. Some believe, as commenter Mercurior said the other day, "the government doesnt want people to think for themselves, that they want them to obey the state.." For the most part, I have to agree. But, mostly, public school systems and their teachers are scared to death of going out of business. They know they deliver an inferior product and don't want to be further exposed.
I'll have some proposals on what schools can do soon. One thing we can be sure of is that effective solutions to school problems are not likely to come from within the established educational minds such as Mr. Williams. They are the same people who go us here in the first place.
Sunday, December 24, 2006
Happy New Year!
Here are some Christmas and Holiday scenes from Maysville, KY.
Old Washington Post Office
This is the oldest Post Office west of the Allegheny Mountains. Built in the 1790's, most of the logs are from the original structure. If I remember correctly it is the only log post office east of the Mississippi River, maybe in the lower 48 states.
Second Street Mall
A small outdoor mall in downtown Maysville. There is a stage at the back of the mall that is used for bands, plays and other activities during festivals and other celebrations.
Looking down Market Street towards the Ohio River from Third Street. A couple of weeks ago, a friend at work showed me a photograph in a magazine taken from this same spot about 80 or 90 years ago. All but two buildings remain from then. The cars are newer, of course.
Window at the Bank of Maysville
The Bank of Maysville, established in 1834, is the oldest bank in Kentucky. Several small, local banks flourish in Maysville and the surrounding area. These banks truly deliver personal service, partly because almost everyone knows everyone else. You treat your old schoolmates, neighbors and the guy who sits at the table next to you in a restaurant the best you can. Otherwise, you go out of business.
I have a small connection to this bank. In the main branch there is a large safe with a huge, round door like ones you see in movies. Two people can easily walk through the safe door side-by-side. My grandfather worked at Mosler Safe Company during the 1920's and 1930's when this safe was manufactured. Being a machinist, every safe Mosler manufactured during that time including this one, contains parts my grandfather fabricated. Kinda neat.
Friday, December 22, 2006
Feminization of Best Buy??
Laura points out that USA Today calls this "feminization" of Best Buy. How does this become a male - female thing? If a store under goes "masculinization" does its employees become rude, crude and socially unacceptable? Can't USA Today leave gender politics out of it?
Who opens doors for others? Traditionally, and from what I observe is still true, males are taught to open doors for women, allow women on and off the elevator first, go down with the ship while women and children (apparently children are second to women in this case) take the lifeboats. Who lets women go first in virtually every circumstance? Who gets items off the top shelf at the grocery store for little old ladies. Men do.
Indeed, Laura's example of the good customer service she received involved a male helping her. Further more...
Thus it was quite interesting to come across an article in today's USA TODAY about the efforts Best Buy is making to provide better service, particularly to women. Where previously the store was designed as a loud "grab and go" environment with guys in mind, now "shoppers may notice a softer, more personal atmosphere. Music is quieter... Salespeople talk to customers..."I hated the loudness of Best Buy which is one reason I rarely visit it. Even though I'm a computer programmer, there is much I don't know about hardware and, in the past, I found that Best Buy's staff didn't know much either. One of my male co-workers bought a new radio/CD player for his car at Best Buy a year or so ago. The big part of his buying story is that the salesperson only knew what was printed on the little product tags, which meant he was actually of help only to the illiterate.
Part of the flip side of this is that females are so helpless and fragile that they need extra help and special environments in order to successfully negotiate a large discount store. Frankly, I think somebody, maybe many, are idiots. Everyone likes good customer service and knowledgeable sales staff. Few like loud over-bearing music in stores which make it necessary to shout in order to be heard. Those few can shop at Pac-Sun, Bad Boards or Spencer's Gifts.
And, now, good customer service is considered a female trait and pleasant stores are considered feminine.
Just another small example of the continued denigration of masculinity in America.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Pinching Epidemic Continues!!
A kindergarten student was accused earlier this month of sexually harassing a classmate at Lincolnshire Elementary School, an accusation that will remain on his record until he moves to middle school.Perhaps Maryland is jealous of Massachusetts' long tradition of witch hunts arising from mass hysteria and irrational beliefs. It will take a lot of absurd accusations for Maryland to catch up but apparently they think it is worth the effort.
Washington County Public Schools spokeswoman Carol Mowen said the definition of sexual harassment used by the school system is, "unwelcome sexual advances, request for sexual favors and/or other inappropriate verbal, written or physical conduct of a sexual nature directed toward others."
Mowen said that definition comes from the Maryland State Department of Education.
According to a school document provided by the boy's father, the 5-year-old pinched a girl's buttocks on Dec. 8 in a hallway at the school south of Hagerstown.
Charles Vallance, the boy's father, said he was unable to explain to his son what he had done.
"He knows nothing about sex," Vallance said. "There's no way to explain what he's been written up for. He knows it as playing around. He doesn't know it as anything sexual at all."
The incident was described as "sexual harassment" on the school form.
Seriously, is there something about majoring in education or the experience of being a school teacher or school administrator that causes one to lose any semblance of reason and logic? I had a few good teachers while growing up but not many. It seems the problem has increased geometrically. Do we need classes in common sense? Would we be able to find anyone qualified to teach common sense? Please pass out the hobnail boots to our "zero tolerance" educators so we can hear them coming.
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Swiss Army Knives
Combined they probably fulfill 80-90% of my needs for everyday tools, etc. Scissors, tweezers, tooth pick, can opener, screw driver, knife blades, nail file, corkscrew, awl and more compactly carried in my pocket. I only buy Victorinox, the original. Excellent quality.
Yes, folks, I'm a furly dangerous man. I carry two knives. (Apologies to Charlie Daniels.)
Monday, December 18, 2006
Teenager Gets 10 Years for Receiving Oral Sex
From what I've read about teenagers and sex you might as well back up the prison bus to the high school door.
I also agree strongly with Instapundit's comment.
What's more, were the genders reversed I doubt that it would even have been prosecuted.Remember how all those pretty high school teachers preying on boys got almost nothing for their crimes?
Snowman Viciously Attacked
Robert Snell, age 18, and Nathaniel Daniels, also 18, have been arrested and charged for the crime. Welcome to adulthood. These guys have definitely shown the intellectually capacity to be career dumbest criminals. Keep it up guys. We need the occasional chuckle. Just don't get too serious.
Sunday, December 17, 2006
Are Gift Cards Offensive?
Performing several searches of the Web, I couldn't find any solid information on this issue. If you know of any, send me the link, please.
But, it sounded quite plausible. We have become such a spoiled, self-centered society that we expect everyone and everything to walk on egg shells in order to not offend us. Some of the most innocuous comments have become grounds for lawsuits, firings and scandal. We are even expected to not offend those too ignorant to know the correct meaning and origin of the word "niggardly."
So, God only knows how offensive giving someone a gift card might be.
Personally, I like gift cards. Very few stores have nothing I want. Sure, I might not shop at that store normally. But, if I buy a $40 item using a gift card and $15 of my own, I've gotten a helluva deal no matter what the store.
My only complaint regarding gift cards is that often the card is not completely used leaving lots of pure profit for the retailers.
My final thought on this issue is a new one for me. Since I had never considered just how offensive a gift card could be, I had never considered the potential of purposefully using one to offend someone. This year I am considering getting all my liberal, Walmart-hating friends a gift card to Walmart.
Walmart wins no matter what. If the person refuses to use the card, Walmart collects 100% in profit. If the person uses the card, one of their liberal friends may spy them shopping at the Beelzebub operated Walmart. The scandal that ensued would be of hellish proportions. And, of course, Walmart still makes a profit.
My shopping list suddenly has become very short.
11John answered, "The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same."So simple, yet so profound. So much of the core of Christianity bound up in a few simple
12Tax collectors also came to be baptized. "Teacher," they asked, "what should we do?"
13"Don't collect any more than you are required to," he told them.
14Then some soldiers asked him, "And what should we do?"
He replied, "Don't extort money and don't accuse people falsely—be content with your pay."
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Proper Shopping Technique
Also, as with sports, there are a few basic techniques that form the foundation for all else. Thus, the common sports cliche "working on the basics." In my observation, many, many people need to work on the basics of shopping. After working on the basics, one can begin to improvise and create unique combinations of basic moves. By doing so one can become a Michael Jordan of shopping.
First, perhaps the most fundamental move of shopping is the "one-person aisle block." This technique is illustrated in the diagram below. On the left side of the diagram you see a person looking far an item on the store shelf. The cart (or buggy as some call it) sits directly in front of the person which allows others to easily pass by! Poor technique.
Using the proper technique, illustrated on the right of the diagram, the person positions their cart on one side of the aisle, stands beside the cart, and looks for an item on the store shelf on the opposite side of the aisle of the cart. No one can pass the person using this technique as it effectively blocks the entire aisle.
If you feint finding what you want, and occasionally look as if you are about to move you can maintain this position of several minutes or more before someone dares to ask to pass. The other advantage of this technique lies in that only one person is needed to perform it. Bring your children with you to the store and you can enhance this into the "family aisle block" technique which has been known, if properly performed, to impassable.
Next, let's look at the "intersection conversation block" play. The diagram below shows an adult with children talking with two other adults. The beauty of this technique is that it closes down movement in four directions. Having children involved makes this play particularly effective because you can use several minutes "gathering" your children together before you move on.
Once in a Super Walmart, three groups performed the "intersection conversation block" simultaneously and shut the place down for 45 minutes. Beautiful.
Finally, the "aisle wander" completes our introduction to basic shopping techniques. I have attempted to show the "aisle wander" in the diagram below. Properly practiced the aisle wander consists of a random series of slight turns accompanied with abrupt and equally random changes in speed. This makes it particularly difficult for others to pass by you. But, since you are moving, they don't want to seem impatient or rude by asking to get by. Again, with this technique, you can create maximum frustration in other shoppers with only one person and little effort.
A couple of final notes, as with most sports, size matters. Personal width enables one to more easily block aisles and frustrate others. The preferred spot for width is the hips. Broad shoulders, while they may look impressive, can be quite ineffective as aisle blockers. In my own case, while I have fairly broad shoulders, I am also tall and most people can pass by easily because they are below the level of my shoulders.
With large, wide hips one easily blocks the aisle and others cannot easily avoid the hips. Since the posterior is a "personal" area, others are much more reluctant to have physical contact with an other's butt area. Bumping shoulders only requires a perfunctory "Excuse me." Bumping butts may mean jail time.
Additionally, it is considered extremely rude to say anything that implies at even the slightest level that someone has an enhanced gluteus maximus. Again, this makes the person wanting to pass you even more reluctant to say or do anything except stand there and internally combust in frustration. Also, training for a true gluteus MAXIMUS is much more fun that training for a marathon.
Remember, always strive to combine these basic techniques into new, and unique combinations. Michael Jordon learned how to make unbelievable shots by first making believable shots. Creativity and improvisation are the keys to becoming a truly great shopping athlete.
Also, your cart is your friend. A cart easily blocks double the pathway of a single person if positioned carefully. Just as a basketball player learns to dribble, shoot and feel the basketball is an extension of his own body, let the cart become an extension of you. I get shivers just picturing the havoc a skilled cart handler can wreak.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Saturday, December 09, 2006
Conservatism: The Gift That Keeps Giving
Here are some more tidbits.
"Conservatives are even 18 percent more likely to donate blood. "Stossel also ran a little experiment of his own.
Says Brooks: "The most charitable people in America today are the working poor."
We saw that in Sioux Falls, S.D. The workers at the meat packing plant make about $35,000, yet the Sioux Falls United Way says it gets more contributions of over $500 from employees there than anywhere else.
Finally, Brooks says one thing stands out as the biggest predictor of whether someone will be charitable: "their religious participation." Religious people are more likely to give to charity, and when they give, they give more money -- four times as much.
But doesn't that giving just stay within the religion?
"No," says Brooks, "Religious Americans are more likely to give to every kind of cause and charity, including explicitly nonreligious charities. Religious people give more blood; religious people give more to homeless people on the street."
To test them, ABC's "20/20" went to Sioux Falls, S.D., and San Francisco. We asked the Salvation Army to set up buckets at their busiest locations in both cities. Which bucket would get more money?My 13 year old son and his friends worked the Salvation Army bucket at the Walmart in Maysville, KY today. I have a special affinity for The Salvation Army (besides The Band singing about it). Taking a course on the sociology of disasters in college, I learned that The Salvation Army was the best disaster relief organization.
And what happened in our little test? Well, even though people in Sioux Falls make, on average, half as much money as people in San Francisco, and even though the San Francisco location was much busier -- three times as many people were within reach of the bucket -- by the end of the second day, the Sioux Falls bucket held twice as much money.
Another myth bites the dust.
The primary reason for this is that The Salvation Army helps whomever needs help. They don't check your credentials, bank account, etc. They simply feed, cloth and provide shelter for victims of disaster. They do it quickly and effectively. The Salvation Army also provides a myriad of other social services.
Personally, I like to give my time and money to non-political charitable organizations that focus on making life better for people. Once an organization, charitable or not, starts making political statements than run a high risk of losing my support. I haven't bought myself a pair of Levis since they quit giving money to Boy Scouts of America.
On Thanksgiving I posted a rather innocuous comment at marccooper regarding conservatives being more generous than liberals.
Those of you who criticize Woody’s remarks just remember that religious conservatives actually give more than secular liberals to help those less fortunate than themselves. Solid proof here and here. Have fun engaging in your ad hominems but write a check to charity first.But those wonderful liberals can't tolerate the hint of criticism. (And why should they, everyone knows liberalism is an infinitely superior philosophy compared to conservatism.)
One liberal responded:
BTW, this year the wife and I will probably include the ACLU, MercyCorps, Amnesty International and the Nationa Resources Defense Council as our targeted charities.Charities? Although it has a definite political tint, I suppose you could consider Mercy Corps as a charity. The others are not charities. They are political organizations with political agendas. There is a difference between a charitable organization and a not-for-profit organization. Sometimes that difference can be tremendous.
Some guy calling himself Ed Watters said,
Conservatives, when slashing social programs, usually rationalize by saying that ‘throwing money’ at a problem is counterproductive, ‘creating dependance’.Yep, if I don't buy into Cindy Sheehan's shenanigans, I'm lacking compassion. If a person like Watters considered me compassionate, I'd worry. I wonder if the not capitalizing Christian was intentional, or just a mistake like misspelling dependence.
So I can only conclude that all of the christian conservative donations spring from malevolent intentions.
Hey Everyone! Go to DADvocate’s Sept ‘05 archive (re: Cindy Shehan) and you’ll find all you need to know about DAD’s sense of compassion.
Incidentally and since shifting the subject has proven convenient for Dadvocate, “compassionate conservatism” was founded primarily on a debate over allocation of tax monies to private religious organizations because they would supposedly be more effective in enforcing a moral code on the poor. Using taxes to fund charitable efforts, for which “Dadvocate” presumably lambastes liberals, was at the very core of this “conservative” movement to empower fundamentalist sects in the social service sphere.I never brought up "compassionate conservatism." For me it's just and advertising slogan and a straw man for liberals to throw darts at. Liberals like doing that because facing reality is too painful. I think we should be taxed less and give more to charity, real charity, not the ACLU.
Randy Paul accused The Salvation Army of corruption.
With regard to the Salvation Army, their financial controls are piss poor. An embezzlement here, an embezzlement there."Any excuse will serve a tyrant." -Aesop
Randy found his excuse. I'm sure United Way nor any other "liberal approved" organization has experienced embezzlement. (Please don't think about the Democratic Jefferson guy when you read this. Too much reality.)
I put something in The Salvation Army bucket every time I go to a store that has one. I don't claim any charitable deductions. Don't need to. Maybe, for once, Uncle Sam will put a couple of extra bucks to good use.
Keep on giving all ye conservatives. All ye liberal brethren, give just a little bit more. It actually feels good. And as you say, "If it feels good, do it."
Friday, December 08, 2006
Male Student Sexually Molests Teachers Aide
The only problem with the incident is that the male student is only 4 years old.
Damarcus Blackwell's four-year-old son was lining-up to get on the bus after school last month, when he was accused of rubbing his face in the chest of a female employee.I suppose the school officials believe they are doing society a favor by nippimg in the bud the blooming career of a sexual predator. Who knows? In a couple of years, he might pinch a girl. He might eventually try to kiss a girl. Yuk!!
The prinicipal of La Vega Primary School sent a letter to the Blackwells that said the pre-kindergartener demonstrated "inappropriate physical behavior interpreted as sexual contact and/or sexual harassment."
Blackwell says it's ridiculous that the aide would misread a hug from a four-year-old. Blackwell wrote to administrators demanding that the whole incident be expunged from his son's academic file because his son is too young to know what it means to act sexually.
David Davis, the executive director of the Advocacy Center in Waco tends to agree with Blackwell. He says assuming the boy has not had sexual encounters, or been inappropriately exposed to pornography, most four-year-olds are sexually innocent.
Allowed unchecked, this could lead to putting two of his fingers inside a girls waistband. And finally, he might actually KISS A GIRL!!! Double Yuk!!!
And they wonder why boys don't like school. They wonder why boys have higher dropout rates and higher suicide rates.
These idiots claim they are intelligent enough to teach our children. I think not. If you're perception of reality is so tainted, so slanted that you can't discern childhood affection and play from sexual harassment, you have no business in the teaching profession. You probably have no business in any profession that involves any significant interaction with others. You need to work the graveyard shift in the graveyard.
And some people continue to wonder why the American education system is so poor. The answer is obvious and the answer IS NOT lack of parental involvement.
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Unlike modern humans, who had developed a versatile division of labor between men and women, the entire Neanderthal population seems to have been engaged in a single main occupation, the hunting of large game, the scientists, Steven L. Kuhn and Mary C. Stiner, say in an article posted online yesterday in Current Anthropology.Hawk disagrees.
Hawk gives a strong argument supporting his position.
I think that the adaptive landscape assumption is the greatest flaw in this hypothesis. Kuhn and Stiner's hypothesis depends on the assumption that sexual division of labor is quite rigid, so that Neandertals did not adopt a modern organizational strategy even though such a strategy was adaptive for modern humans in the same habitat.I don't need to rehash Hawk's argument here but one thing Hawk never touches upon it a motive for Kuhn and Stiner to create such a claim.
The obvious is "publish or perish." University professors are often under pressure to publish or fail to be granted tenure, or worse, be fired. A radical but somewhat plausible, such as this, increases the chances of being published.
The motive that jumped out at me is feminism. As mentioned in yesterday's post, many assert that the primary differences between men and women are learned behaviors whether it be social roles or throwing a baseball. This despite the evidence of differing roles in every mammalian species on the planet.
But feminists have to play the "fantasy is real" game. As Hawk says, "The "why not" in this case is, obviously, that Neandertal Amazons are a product of fantasy." But feminists want use to believe that women are equal to men in every way except in the ways they are superior. Not only do they want to re-write history, much as Clinton want to re-write it to enhance his legacy, but, now they want to re-write prehistory. Perhaps the ultimate oxymoron.
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Are Women Addicted to Talking?
It is something one half of the population has long suspected - and the other half always vocally denied. Women really do talk more than men.I've been trying to say this for years, but someone of the female gender always interrupts me.
In fact, women talk almost three times as much as men, with the average woman chalking up 20,000 words in a day - 13,000 more than the average man.
Women also speak more quickly, devote more brainpower to chit-chat - and actually get a buzz out of hearing their own voices, a new book suggests.
The book also states that women devote more brain cells to talking. Indeed, it claims women get a high from talking similar to the high heroin addicts from the deadly opiate.
And, if that wasn't enough, the simple act of talking triggers a flood of brain chemicals which give women a rush similar to that felt by heroin addicts when they get a high.In the book, by Dr Luan Brizendine, the author claims "testosterone also reduces the size of the section of the brain involved in hearing - allowing men to become "deaf" to the most logical of arguments put forward by their wives and girlfriends. " I wonder how the Dr. Brizendine reached this conclusion. A logical argument has to be verbalize in order for one to become "deaf" to it. If our wives and girlfriends ever put forth a logical argument, we might listen. (Here I put the obligatory :-) for those too dense to recognize satire.) :-)
The male brain does have its advantages.
But what the male brain may lack in conversation and emotion, they more than make up with in their ability to think about sex.Now that is a good use of the super processing power of the brain. How can you only think about sex once a day? Ridiculous.
Dr Brizendine says the brain's "sex processor" - the areas responsible for sexual thoughts - is twice as big as in men than in women, perhaps explaining why men are stereotyped as having sex on the mind.
Or, to put it another way, men have an international airport for dealing with thoughts about sex, "where women have an airfield nearby that lands small and private planes".
Studies have shown that while a man will think about sex every 52 seconds, the subject tends to cross women's minds just once a day, the University of California psychiatrist says.
Now for the clincher -
"Girls arrive already wired as girls, and boys arrive already wired as boys. Their brains are different by the time they're born, and their brains are what drive their impulses, values and their very reality.We used to know this and then feminism insisted we pretend the differences don't really exist. I wonder how many people think that, given the proper upbringing, girls could run as fast and throw as far as boys. Folks, it ain't gonna happen.
Roger Banister broke the four minute mile in 1954 with a time of 3 min 59.4 seconds. The current world record is 3:43.13. The fastest time ever by a woman is 4:12.56. Jim Ryun ran a sub-4-minute mile in 1964 while still in high school.
In shot put ("throwing" a heavy iron ball), the records are very close. The men's world record is 75 ft 10¼ in. For women the record is 74 ft 3 in. Oh, I almost forgot, the women's shot put weighs 8.8 pounds. The men's shot put weighs 16 pounds, almost double the women's'.
This kind of obvious information should give warning to those that believe all the gender differences are learned. From the same article:
Other scientists, however, are sceptical about the effects of testosterone on the brain and say many of the differences between the male and female personality can be explained by social conditioning, with a child's upbringing greatly influencing their character.Yeah, right. I bet the last statement ought to be "if you aggregate a large number of studies, compensate for the amount of time spent in the presence of others, count guttural sounds and farts as words, then there is little difference between the amount men and women talk.
Deborah Cameron, an Oxford University linguistics professor with a special interest in language and gender, said the amount we talk is influenced by who we are with and what we are doing.
She added: "If you aggregate a large number of studies you will find there is little difference between the amount men and women talk."
Why can't we accept who we are? I'm content being a man, which means in many feminist's minds, female and male, I am stuck in a stereotypical role and living a rigid gender restricted life that prevents me from reaching my full potential. One thing I've learned about reaching one's "full" potential - be what you are, develop your abilities as fully as possible and DO NOT try to be something your not. My oldest son is lean, quick and fast. Making him a lineman on a football team would defeat the use of his abilities, wide receiver or defensive back is where he should be. My youngest son is beefy, weighs 25 more than his slightly taller brother. He has good, not great, speed and quickness "for his size." As a wide receiver or defensive back he would be a complete failure. At linebacker he could wreak terror in opposing quarterbacks and running backs, which he did this past season.
All the "step outside your gender roles" stuff in fine. But. But if you don't admit who really you are (and that doesn't mean a 6'4" transsexual lesbian) and what you can really do, success will be elusive. I believe that is one reason that my children perform so well. Their mother and I keep our expectations for our children within the realm of reality not some fantasy of our daughter playing football or our sons becoming the "sensitive" type.
Friday, December 01, 2006
Light a Candle for AIDS
My brother died from AIDS in 1987. His suffering was relatively short for AIDS. He died just a few months after symptoms first appeared. He spent only the last 10 days of his life in the hospital due to misdiagnosis by the family doctor. Watching him lie there, knowing he would die was the most difficult time of my life.
I sat in a small meeting room in the hospital, just my parents and I, holding their hands while they cried when they first realized death was imminent. I still wish in some way I could have done something more to comfort him and show him my love for him.
I watched my brother's arm die before he did due to the aggressive antibiotics they gave him to try and extend his life for a short while longer. The pneumonia in his lungs required he be put on pure oxygen. Within days, the oxygen, itself, killed the cells of his lungs. No hope.
Tears well up in my eyes as I write this. I don't care who you are or what you've done. No one deserves to die like this. It's a horrible, painful, slow death. Twenty years later I can barely write of it, which is why I rarely do.
Go to Light to Unite and make a difference in just a few seconds.
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