Archive for May 21st, 2009

The "Science" of Angels & Demons

By Chris Mooney | May 21, 2009 11:02 am

Dan Vergano of USA Today–one of our top still-institutionalized science writers–has a fun piece today about scientific reaction to Ron Howard’s Angels & Demons, the film version of the novel by literary titan Dan Brown, in which an antimatter bomb stolen from Europe’s CERN threatens destroy the Vatican. It’s science fiction of course, but what’s interesting is how “realistic” the filmmakers tried to make their very unreal plot–down to the use of a CERN scientist as an adviser and the careful design of a “magnetic thermos bottle” to contain the antimatter bomb:

“Audiences are getting smarter by the minute, so I think it’s just playing fair,” Howard says. “I would like someone to see this and say, yes, it’s science fiction, but it’s smart science fiction.”

I am then quoted in the article providing the counterpoint to this perspective….

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On Motherhood, Identity, And Feminism

By Sheril Kirshenbaum | May 21, 2009 9:02 am

Regular readers know how I feel about the benefits and costs of new media.  As a middle of the road user, I stay connected by way of a limited Facebook profile, but refuse to foray into the twitterverse for previously stated reasons.  And while I like the opportunity to create a virtual bookmark in time, there’s a dark side to so much accessibility: It provides ever more means to pass unfair judgment on others.

A friend recently pointed me to this particularly ridiculous article criticizing moms who post profile photos of their children*.  The author Katie Roiphe goes so far as to suggest feminist Betty Friedan would ‘turn in her grave‘ at such behavior:

The mystery here is that the woman with the baby on her Facebook page has surely read The Feminine Mystique in college, and The Second Sex, and The Beauty Myth. She is no stranger to the smart talk of whatever wave of feminism we are on, and yet this style of effacement, this voluntary loss of self, comes naturally to her. Here is my pretty family, she seems to be saying, I don’t matter anymore.

Huh?  Read More

MORE ABOUT: attitudes, judgement, women

The Fine Print

By Sheril Kirshenbaum | May 21, 2009 12:08 am

On Wednesday, Congress sent a bill to President Obama restricting when and how a credit card company can raise interest rates, who can receive a card, and how much time we’ll be given to pay bills.  Sounds reasonable, until your read the fine print:

Included in the bill is an unrelated measure by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., that would allow people to bring loaded guns into national parks and wildlife refuges.

MORE ABOUT: Congress, credit cards, guns

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