We were grabbing a bite of lunch at a small cafe, in a mall, right across from a booth that sold jewelry and where ears could be pierced for a fee. A mother approaches with a little girl of six or seven years old. The little girl is clearly stating that she doesn’t want her ears pierced, that’s she’s afraid of how much it will hurt, that she doesn’t like earrings much in the first place. Her protests, her clear ‘no’ is simply not heard. The mother and two other women, who work the booth, begin chatting and trying to engage the little girl in picking out a pair of earrings. She has to wear a particular kind when the piercing is first done but she could pick out a fun pair for later.

"I don’t want my ears pierced."

"I don’t want any earrings."

The three adults glance at each other conspiratorially and now the pressure really begins. She will look so nice, all the other girls she knows wear earrings, the pain isn’t bad.

She, the child, sees what’s coming and starts crying. As the adults up the volume so does she, she’s crying and emitting a low wail at the same time. “I DON’T WANT MY EARS PIERCED.”

Her mother leans down and speaks to her, quietly but strongly, the only words we could hear were ‘… embarrassing me.’

We heard, then, two small screams, when the ears were pierced.

Little children learn early and often that ‘no doesn’t mean no.’

Little children learn early that no one will stand with them, even the two old men looking horrified at the events from the cafeteria.

Little girls learn early and often that their will is not their own.

No means no, yeah, right.

Most often, for kids and others without power, ”no means force.”

from "No Means Force" at Dave Hingsburger’s blog.

This is important. It doesn’t just apply to little girls and other children, though it often begins there.

For the marginalized, our “no’s” are discounted as frivolous protests, rebelliousness, or anger issues, or we don’t know what we’re talking about, or we don’t understand what’s happening.

When “no means force” we become afraid to say no.

(via k-pagination)

For the last line of the above comment - When no means force, we become afraid to say no.

(via lettersiarrange)



How Mandelbrot’s Fractals Changed The World

by Jack Challoner/BBC News

During the 1980s, people became familiar with fractals through those weird, colorful patterns made by computers. But few realize how the idea of fractals has revolutionized our understanding of the world, and how many fractal-based systems we depend upon.

Unfortunately, there is no definition of fractals that is both simple and accurate. Like so many things in modern science and mathematics, discussions of “fractal geometry” can quickly go over the heads of the non-mathematically-minded. This is a real shame, because there is profound beauty and power in the idea of fractals.

The best way to get a feeling for what fractals are is to consider some examples. Clouds, mountains, coastlines, cauliflowers and ferns are all natural fractals. These shapes have something in common - something intuitive, accessible and aesthetic.

They are all complicated and irregular: the sort of shape that mathematicians used to shy away from in favor of regular ones, like spheres, which they could tame with equations.

Mandelbrot famously wrote: “Clouds are not spheres, mountains are not cones, coastlines are not circles, and bark is not smooth, nor does lightning travel in a straight line.”

The chaos and irregularity of the world - Mandelbrot referred to it as “roughness” - is something to be celebrated. It would be a shame if clouds really were spheres, and mountains cones.

Look closely at a fractal, and you will find that the complexity is still present at a smaller scale. A small cloud is strikingly similar to the whole thing. A pine tree is composed of branches that are composed of branches - which in turn are composed of branches.

Read the entire article

Fractal images © Laguna Design / Science Source

Mandelbrodt photo © Emilio Segrè / Science Source



Watch: “It’s on us” urges the White House in powerful rape prevention video

If a man is preying on a woman who has had too much to drink, it is her responsibility to stop him and her fault if she can’t? No, it’s on us.

That is the message President Obama and Joe Biden are sending today with the launch of their new sexual assault prevention campaign “It’s On Us.”

This is a huge step forward | Follow micdotcom


Anonymous asked:

Ive spoken to Med Students at my local med school. They said that their work is too dense to rewrite notes. Could you go into some more detail about how you are able to rewrite your notes and manage your time? How long does it take you to rewrite notes?

ladykaymd answered:

I think that anyone who thinks something is too dense to condense doesn’t understand how beneficial it can be!! The thing about medicine is you can’t know everything it is 100% impossible, so it’s incredibly important that you figure out how to pull out the essential stuff, understand the overall concept, and be able to apply. 

I usually just sat down for about 30-45 min after a lecture and took everything that they said in the lecture and tried to get it onto two or three pages in my small moleskines. It worked GREAT for me. I also tried to work quickly. this helped me not only get through everything, but also to ensure that I was only really focusing on the most important ideas and not trying to learn absolutely every teeny tiny detail (which is impossible with all the stuff you have to know about medicine). Early in your career, focus on learning the large ideas and general schema for things and later when you specialize you can learn all those little tiny things. 



Mark Bittman on what’s wrong with food in America

In an interview with Vox, Mark Bittman discusses how our industrial system of food production has led to cheap food filled with calories, but with very little nutrition. It’s a problem that needs to be addressed to prevent a health crisis.

Vox: What are things in society that need to tip for these to become more mainstream issues?


1. The more research we see about added sugars, the more we’ll see how damaging it is.

2. An outbreak of antibiotic resistant bacteria linked to overuse of antibiotics in animal production.

3. Confined animal feeding operations. We’re finally seeing how poorly animals are treated.

Researchers across the University of California system are working to address these issues.

Jered Lawson and Nancy Vail, graduates of UC Santa Cruz and UC San Diego, have formed Pie Ranch, a farm that teaches urban high school students about where their food comes from.

Robert Lustig, a UCSF professor of pediatrics said at a symposium on sugar and other sweeteners, “Enough people are sick that we need a societal and government intervention on the scale of that mounted against tobacco and alcohol.”

UCSF is eliminating antibiotic meats used in their cafeterias.

Annie King, an animal science professor at UC Davis, explains the difference between cage-free, free-range, and many other egg terms found at the grocery store.

Earlier this summer, University of California President Janet Napolitano and chancellors from all 10 campuses announced an initiative to tackle these problems on a global scale by harnessing the collective power of UC to help put the world on a path to sustainably and nutritiously feed itself.

Learn more about the UC Global Food Initiative