link lovington

HLNTV blogger on the convention:

Ultimately then, what should be the most troubling aspect of Ms. Romney’s speech and the GOP’s attempt to reach out to women voters in general, is their embracing the narrative of women as eternal martyrs.  In claiming that moms “always have to work a little harder,” and then following up with “and that’s fine,” this ultra-wealthy stay-at-home mom is valorizing the status quo—in which many women are indeed getting the shaft — even as much of society is moving beyond it.

Gifted exchange with the sweet question, What are your hopes for the school year?

Stolen from wandering scientist, Anyone can get a bug bite–and everyone is better off when that risk is shared.

This post from Wil Wheaton reminded me why NPR annoyed me this morning.  They had some commentator come on to say that Obama’s speech failed because she didn’t think it was as good as Michelle Obama’s or Clinton’s.  Even if that’s true (and I think the speeches were all good but they were focused on different aspects of the message), I wasn’t aware that Obama was running against Clinton and Michelle Obama.  I thought he was running against Romney.  Heck, I thought Michelle Obama came with the Obama package.  In any case, I’d hoped to hear some legitimate reporting, not the opinion of how the speech made some person I could not care less about feel.  But opinions are easier than facts.  Cheaper.

I continue to be in love with The Daily Show.  And, you know, math.

We endorse this solution by itsprobablymephd to the lots of books conundrum.

Why you can’t just block internet stalking from DC Women Kicking Ass.

We were in this week’s carnival of personal finance.

20 Responses to “link lovington”

  1. Lance @ Money Life and More Says:

    Thanks for the link back to the CoPF!

  2. becca Says:

    Gotta say, I loved the Daily Show bit too.
    I loved in a different way how Fox was describing it derisively as “wonkish”. Seriously? Content is wonkish? And that’s a bad thing?

  3. becca Says:

    Sidenote- I just read the bug bite one. It’s extremely well written. BUT… I’m a microbiologist, and I want to make sure people understand: MRSA is not just a fact of life. This type of problem should not be thought of as a Random Act of Bug*. It is the entirely predictable result of excessive use of antibiotics. It is the eventual inevitable result of the inexorable march of microbial evolution (which is FAST, compared to ours), but it is intensively sped up by NOT devoting resources to these kinds of problems- to not developing new antibiotics and to not having a public health infrastructure that takes this shit seriously.
    Sorry, I may just be a bit cranky on this issue. We had a great project all set up for me to do some molecular epidemiology to track whether the MRSA strains causing infection in a local hospital all had the same source, and the uni wouldn’t fund it because it “wasn’t risky enough” (Seriously, wtf? Maybe they meant we could have gotten conventional grant funding for it, and it thus wasn’t a good fit for the grant mechanism, but still…). It wasn’t Thrilling. It wasn’t sexy. It wasn’t going to pull in a ton of grant money (though tracking MRSA generally was going to save the hospital 3 million a year on their insurance policy- there’s no way to funnel that to a postdoc salary). So I’m out of a job. And the patients are out of luck. Except it’s not the luck that ran out, it’s the common sense and compassion that makes people fund this stuff.

    *this in no way diminishes from the importance of healthcare coverage, of course

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      But from the individual person’s view, it’s a random act, right? Even if from society’s perspective it isn’t. Is that fair to say?

      That’s another really good argument for government intervention right there.

      • becca Says:

        In the same sense it’s a “random act” when a hurricane blows down your house in New Orleans and there’s no one there to help you clean it up, and you just happen to be poor and black.
        I think individuals consider things random acts because the alternative is to get mad at at the world, which doesn’t necessarily help.

        But yes, definitely an argument for government intervention.

    • Cloud Says:

      @Becca, I actually agree with you on MRSA. In fact, I feel the same way about most food poisoning outbreaks- the fact that they occur as often as they do in this country is not random accident. I can get quite worked up about that, actually, particularly every time I make cookies with my kids and have to keep them from eating the dough, because that has actually gotten MORE dangerous than when I was a kid and it doesn’t have to be that way.

      But to me, the point of the post was that to an individual family, events like this ARE random. We as a society could minimize MRSA and food poisoning. We could do a better job with vaccinations and whooping cough wouldn’t be having the resurgence it is having. But there would still be health-related things that could come along and consume a family’s savings, and there was nothing they individually could have done to prevent it. In other words, exactly the sort of thing you want insurance for. Except not everyone can get insurance. And that is a big problem.

      • becca Says:

        Cloud- are you sure it’s more dangerous than when you were a kid? There are so many risks that are treated differently nowadays. We sure know a lot more about processing eggs than we used to (I think the Salmonella risk is like 1/10,000 eggs).
        But, yes, absolutely, we could be doing so much more when it comes to foodborne illness outbreaks. I am Not Happy about the USDA cutbacks.

        I think the reason ‘random’ is important for the story to work is that the appeal to self-interest is persuasive. In a way, it saddens me nobody could write a compelling piece lamenting a $24k bill for whooping cough, if their kid wasn’t vaccinated; or a $24k bill for lung cancer if the patient was a smoker.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        There is a difference, and this is something we talk about in social science and policy making. Things can be non-random at some levels and random at other levels. When they’re random at a level we can use them as a source of exogenous change in our data analysis, but more importantly, there are different policy prescriptions at different levels. It has nothing to do with self-interest and a story.

        For individuals, the policy prescription is to get health insurance. At higher levels, the hospital level they have to keep things clean and use checklists etc. At the government level or AMA level, the prescription is to stop over-using anti-biotics and fund things that will wipe out the problem. (One doctor stopping overuse of antibiotics does nothing– it has to be stopped at a higher level.)

        Does that make sense?

      • Cloud Says:

        Yes, @becca, I’m sure there is a difference. I did a biodefense project at one point and read up on safety in the food industry, as it is, as it used to be, and as it could be. It is a bit of a miracle that I still eat.

      • becca Says:

        Maybe we’re very different ages. I was in prime cookie-dough eating years from 1987-1995, right when Salmonella enterica serotype Enteritidis cases were peaking ( So I don’t think the risk now is that high compared to when I was a kid.
        And I’ve spent the last year in one of the top food science departments in the country, doing research on molecular epidemiology of Listeria and studying how it forms biofilms. There are a LOT of ways our food supply is much safer than it used to be, and a LOT of things that should probably outrage all consumers and would keep me from eating anything (if I hadn’t studied immunology first).
        I will say that if I compare data from 1980 outbreaks to 2011 outbreaks, it’s astonishing there are ANY outbreaks from the earlier period. Not because the food supply was safer, but simply because the epidemiological tools they had at their disposal were so much more limited (and I certainly hope we fund things enough that in another 30 years, I’ll be shocked we even considered the types of molecular subtyping we do now).

      • Cloud Says:

        @Becca, yes, I believe I am at least 10 years older than you. I am 40. I was in high school and college during your cookie dough eating years.

  4. Ianqui Says:

    It’s too hard to paste the link from my phone, but you should check out Jessica Valenti’s recent piece on Babble, excerpted from her new book. It’s quite related to the quote you started out with.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I think Cloud links to it (or actually links to the ask moxie post that links to it) today. It’s a similar point, but a somewhat different focus. About how being a parent is a relationship, not a job.

  5. Revanche Says:

    The internet stalking thing was killing me – I’d been following that for a little while and the fact that someone can get away with that kind of behavior all the more easily because it’s on the internet, not that it’s unusual as we see those attacks across genres, not just the women in comics but also women in tech, women in politics, women in policy, etc. Cyberbullying plus misogyny. All the best of mankind. /sarcasm.

  6. Comradde PhysioProffe Says:

    I love the clouds floating by on that dude’s blogge.

  7. Comradde PhysioProffe Says:

    The Internet stalking/harrassment described in that post is absolutely horrifying.

    • Comradde PhysioProffe Says:

      Sorry: clicked submit too soon.

      I have no contact with the comic book community, but based on what I have seen going on in the atheism and skepticism communities, none of this surprises me at all. The pattern in those (overlapping) communities has been that when the complete unfettered dominance of white dudes to both set substantive agendas and control the allocation of material and intellectual resouces is challenged, many of those white dudes go ballistic at the threat to their privilege.

      • Revanche Says:

        Agreed that it’s not actually a surprise, as such. I see what you’ve observed in the scientific communities as well, as well as among ethnic communities, and I’m becoming less convinced that it’s predominant to specific belief sets or communities, outside of the gender divide. Certainly the patriarchal privilege is a dominating factor.

        Still, as I’ve found in writing this up for the upcoming week, there are some, albeit lesser, balances.

  8. MutantSupermodel Says:

    Love love love the Daily Show piece

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