Links Du Jour – Tasmanian Devils And Jenny McCarthy Mommy Blogger (No, Not Versus Each Other…)

Firstly, sorry to people attending the Meetup tonight at UWA – I’m exhausted after running around the city today and have to take a break (and I have a late night intensive interview, so I better err on the side of my health). If you are attending the UWA Science and the Supernatural Cafe, I hope you have a great time.

A few things that additionally caught my eye today:

Washington Post - Jenny McCarthy to blog about parenting for Chicago Sun-Times

Some in the autism community are concerned that McCarthy will have such a public platform for her ideas. Emily Willingham, one of the editors of the “Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism,” wrote in a piece on Forbes.com that “McCarthy has no expertise in autism, Google U notwithstanding, and no credentials in science. She remains on the board of directors of Generation Rescue, an organization devoted to the debunked notion that vaccines cause autism and that autistic people can be ‘recovered’ from their autism by way of various unproven and sometimes dangerous interventions, including chelation.

“I’m baffled that the Sun-Times would give someone with this public record of ignoring evidence in favor of indigo children a voice as a columnist.”

But My Opinion Is Right - The Problem With The Big Bang Theory… 

…When Big Bang came along it claimed to be heralding a new age of “geek chic”, nerd culture was cool and mainstream television wanted a piece of the pie (or should that be pi?). Here was a programme whose main ensemble was made up of four highly intelligent scientists who love science fiction, fantasy and gaming. Here was a show with nerd protagonists aimed at the mainstream. We were finally getting some representation.

Except that we’re not. At least not any more.

‎The Guardian - Online bullying – a new and ugly sport for liberal commentersEven if you’re fighting the good fight, if it’s more about shaming, righteousness and public performance I’m not fighting with you.

…I don’t care if your politics are progressive and your focus is on social justice: if you’re shouting at people online and refusing to have a dialogue, you’re bullying. I don’t care if you’re fighting the good fight: if you’re fighting in a way that’s more about public performance, shaming and righteousness, I’m not fighting with you.

… Even if I agree with your goals.

My big challenge is knowing how to respond to this kind of feedback, which comes in almost daily. Sometimes it feels like I have two options:

• Acquiesce to every complaint of anyone anywhere on the internet, until we’re putting trigger warnings at the top of posts that mention balloons because some people are globophobic (TRUE STORY!).

• Align myself with insensitive assholes who defend their right to hate speech.

The Raw Story - Mayans demand an end to 2012 doomsday myth:

GUATEMALA CITY — Guatemala’s Mayan people accused the government and tour groups on Wednesday of perpetuating the myth that their calendar foresees the imminent end of the world for monetary gain.

“We are speaking out against deceit, lies and twisting of the truth, and turning us into folklore-for-profit. They are not telling the truth about time cycles,” charged Felipe Gomez, leader of the Maya alliance Oxlaljuj Ajpop.

Finally, because people online seemed to be charmed by this story (and a video which demonstrates that, yes, they are quite little and quite feisty) – all three escaped Tasmanian Devils from my local Peel Zoo have now been found.

Here’s the account of what happened when first escapee was caught: ABC News – Freedom over for Scratchy after bush chase.

Wearing only thongs, they chased the devil through the bush and into a pool of water, where Mr Haddow was able to grab it by the tail. “He was running along the train tracks and he ran off into the bush and he went into the water so we had to jump in there,” Mr Feeley said. “[I] had a few beers down me belt so wasn’t really too worried about it to be honest.” 

…”They have been hand-reared and that so it wasn’t too bad ’til we got home and he chewed a hole in me mate’s bloody bathroom.”

Video of a pair of Tasmanian Devils playing with a keeper, to give you an idea of their size:

About Kylie Sturgess

Kylie Sturgess is a Philosophy teacher, media and psychology student, blogger at Patheos and podcaster at Token Skeptic. She has conducted over a hundred interviews including artists, scientists, politicians and activists, worldwide.
She’s the author of the ‘Curiouser and Curiouser‘ column at the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry website and travels internationally lecturing on feminism, skepticism, and science.

  • Trebuchet

    Someone please tell me that “wearing only thongs” is a reference to their foootwear. Please!

    • Kylie Sturgess

      LOL! Indeed: http://goaustralia.about.com/od/language/f/thongs.htm

      “Aussie thongs are basic footwear consisting of a sole and a thong passing between the first and second toes of the feet and affixed in a Y formation on three points to the sole.

      They’re your basic sandal, mate, and they’re also called jandals, slippers or go=aheads in some parts of the world.

      In New Zealand, because of the sound they make, they’re called flip-flops.”

      • Trebuchet

        That’s what “thongs” were in this country when I was growing up as well. Once the underwear became popular, they became “flip-flops”. There wasn’t any real doubt in my mind, but oh, that mental image!


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