March 28th, 2012


Emmy Noether, The Most Significant Mathematician You've Never Heard Of

Scientists are a famously anonymous lot, but few can match in the depths of her perverse and unmerited obscurity the 20th-century mathematical genius Amalie Noether.

Albert Einstein called her the most “significant” and “creative” female mathematician of all time, and others of her contemporaries were inclined to drop the modification by sex. She invented a theorem that united with magisterial concision two conceptual pillars of physics: symmetry in nature and the universal laws of conservation. Some consider Noether’s theorem, as it is now called, as important as Einstein’s theory of relativity; it undergirds much of today’s vanguard research in physics, including the hunt for the almighty Higgs boson. Yet Noether herself remains utterly unknown, not only to the general public, but to many members of the scientific community as well.

When Dave Goldberg, a physicist at Drexel University who has written about her work, recently took a little “Noether poll” of several dozen colleagues, students and online followers, he was taken aback by the results. “Surprisingly few could say exactly who she was or why she was important,” he said. “A few others knew her name but couldn’t recall what she’d done, and the majority had never heard of her.”

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I love reading about awesome women. She reminds me a bit of Sofia Kovalevskaya, one of my childhood heroines - I did a presentation on her in the third grade, as I recall. It's always good to have women like that in mind for me, since I'm taking science and math classes right now.

Source is the NY Times; article by Natalie Angier
Scientist Salarian :: Mordin Solus

The Best Birth Control In The World Is For Men

And... no one knows about it!

If I were going to describe the perfect contraceptive, it would go something like this: no babies, no latex, no daily pill to remember, no hormones to interfere with mood or sex drive, no negative health effects whatsoever, and 100 percent effectiveness. The funny thing is, something like that currently exists.

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I'm sorry for not including all the links! Definitely go to the main article for those. I DID make a point of linking to the HIV study because MEDICAL MIRACLE STATUS. This is exciting news and something I thought _P would want to know about even though it might be more fitting at ONTD_science
dubstep cat, sodoesrachael

The Sketchiness Continues

Trayvon Martin Investigator Wanted Manslaughter Charge

The lead homicide investigator in the shooting of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin recommended that neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman be charged with manslaughter the night of the shooting, multiple sources told ABC News. But Sanford, Fla., Investigator Chris Serino was instructed to not press charges against Zimmerman because the state attorney's office headed by Norman Wolfinger determined there wasn't enough evidence to lead to a conviction, the sources told ABC News.

Police brought Zimmerman into the station for questioning for a few hours on the night of the shooting, said Zimmerman's attorney, despite his request for medical attention first. Ultimately they had to accept Zimmerman's claim of self defense. He was never charged with a crime.

Serino filed an affidavit on Feb. 26, the night that Martin was shot and killed by Zimmerman, that stated he was unconvinced Zimmerman's version of events.

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Source #1

Source #2

*to the mods, remembered the source this time =)
Suzumiya Haruhi

S.F. mayor to suspend sheriff sentenced in domestic violence case

TW - minor discussion of domestic violence

A day after Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi was sentenced in a domestic violence case, a somber San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee said he would suspend the sheriff — the first step in removing him from office for "official misconduct."

After reviewing the city charter, evidence in the case and consulting with the city attorney, Lee said, he gave Mirkarimi an opportunity to resign. The sheriff refused, the mayor told reporters Tuesday, "and now I must act."

"As public officials, our first responsibility must always be to fulfill the obligations entrusted to us by the people of San Francisco," Lee said. "We must always be held to the highest legal and ethical standards. Sheriff Mirkarimi's actions and the confession of guilt clearly fall below these standards of decency and good faith."

Last week, Mirkarimi pleaded guilty to a single count of false imprisonment stemming from a New Year's Eve fight with his wife, Venezuelan telenovela star Eliana Lopez. Mirkarimi, 50, grabbed and bruised his 36-year-old spouse, according to Dist. Atty. George Gascon, who had charged the sheriff with domestic violence battery, child endangerment and dissuading a witness.

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Source: Los Angeles Times


Ross Mirkarimi, who was suspended from office a week ago, petitioned the court Tuesday to reinstate him - the latest twist in a political and legal saga that began two months ago.

Mayor Ed Lee, who charged Mirkarimi with official misconduct after he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor false imprisonment of his wife during an argument on New Year's Eve, wants to strip Mirkarimi from the office permanently.

But Lee's action is an "abuse of discretion and not supported by substantial evidence," Mirkarimi's attorney, David Waggoner, argued in the writ of mandate that asks for the court to overturn the suspension.

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San Francisco Chronicle

EDIT: TW for discussion of domestic violence and domestic violence culture. An additional article from the San Francisco Chronicle, pointing out some of the reasons why Mirkarimi is putting up such a fight. Among other things, his wife was adamant that his charges be dropped. I have issues with how they portray some of their arguments, but it is an insight into why Mirkarimi thinks he's not at fault.

The bitter truth about sugar

It's addictive, potentially harmful and absolutely everywhere. But is sugar really a poison that should be kept out of vulnerable hands?

Recently an American doctor called Robert Lustig has been calling for laws that restrict sugar as if it were alcohol or tobacco. Like many people, I suspect, my initial reaction upon hearing this was: give me a break. Lustig, who thinks sugar is a dangerous poison, has considered several strategies. For instance, we could double the price of fizzy drinks, so children can’t afford them. We could get sweet shops to close in the afternoons, when children are going home from school. We could restrict the advertising of foods with added sugar.

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Gryffindor corgi

Women's HERstory Month Day 28: Fighting for Life, the story of Dr. Sara Josephine Baker

by Marsha Lakes Matyas
The American Physiological Society

History of the Times

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, infectious diseases were a major concern of both physicians and researchers. In larger cities such as New York and Boston, sanitation was poor. The rotting bodies of dead horses lay in the streets and unpasteurized milk was sold from rusty, open cans. Dysentery, smallpox, and typhoid were major health problems. Although we are often unfamiliar with these diseases today, they caused horrible suffering. Dysentery caused severe diarrhea and loss of fluids. The bodies of smallpox victims were covered in painful sores. Typhoid resulted in high fever, delirium, and intense headaches. These diseases were especially common and deadly among young children. In New York City, one-third of all deaths were among infants less than one year old. In New York's Hell's Kitchen 1,500 infants died each week during the summer of 1902, primarily due to dysentery.

During the same period, preventative medicine was almost unknown. It was only when a person became ill that medical treatment was sought.
There were no public health nurses and few large-scale public health programs or policies. It was also a time of social change. Women were marching in the streets to gain the right to vote. Certainly, female physicians were a rarity at this time; they accounted for less than 1% of all physicians. Few medical schools were open to women; it was very different from today when nearly 39.2% of medical school graduates are women.

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Pretty much every single one of us have something to thank Dr. Baker for, even if it's something as seemingly simple as the invention of baby formula.
Not what you think I am

Kathryn Lehman, Republican Lesbian Who Helped Write DOMA, Is Now Lobbying To Repeal It

WASHINGTON -- It has been 16 years since Kathryn Lehman was a Republican Hill staffer working on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the federal law that defines marriage as between one man and one woman.

Now Lehman's back on Capitol Hill, in a new capacity: as a lesbian GOP lobbyist trying to repeal the law she helped write.

Things were pretty different in Lehman's world in 1996. She was engaged to a man. Same-sex marriage wasn't legal anywhere. And the public perception of what it meant to be gay wasn't anything like it is now, she says.

"There was nobody married, it wasn’t allowed anywhere," Lehman recalls. "The view of gay people ... it wasn't Ellen [DeGeneres]. It wasn't Neil Patrick Harris. It was kinky sex and women riding around on motorcycles without shirts on. That was sort of the view that the community projected as well."

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lennon studio

Book tells Muslim men how to beat and control their wives

Book tells Muslim men how to beat and control their wives
Controversial guide sold in Toronto
By Terry Davidson, QMI Agency (March 24)

TORONTO - A local bookstore has “sold out” of a controversial marriage guide that advises Muslim men on how to beat their wives.

The 160-page book, published by Idara Impex in New Delhi, India, is written by Hazrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi, who’s described in the book’s foreword as a “prolific writer on almost every topic of Islamic learning.”

The store’s manager, who didn’t give his name, said the book had been sold out for some time, and the store’s owner, whom the manager identified as Shamim Ahmad, refused to comment for the story.

It wasn’t clear whether the shop has ordered more copies of the book, but it’s available at online Islamic bookstores and even through eBay.

In the book’s opening pages, it is written that “it might be necessary to restrain her with strength or even to threaten her.”

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oh holy shit
  • chaya

Collection Post for the Trayvon Martin Case

There have been an unprecedented number of articles posted about this subject. To the best of my ability, here are all _p entries so far that are directly related to the Zimmerman/Martin incident, in reverse chronological order. If there are link issues or missing posts please let me know in the comments. Feel free to use this as a reference or a primer for others.

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buffy spike black&violet by gilkurtisctx

Oklahoma Mandatory Ultrasound Law Is Ruled Unconstitutional

An Oklahoma state judge on Wednesday permanently blocked enforcement of a law that would have required doctors to give a woman an ultrasound and describe the fetus to her in detail before performing an abortion. The ultrasound law, which the Oklahoma Legislature passed in April 2010, had been temporary blocked since the Center for Reproductive Rights filed a lawsuit against it the following month.

The Oklahoma County district court judge found the law unconstitutional, agreeing with the plaintiffs' arguments that it violates medical ethics by forcing doctors to perform medically unnecessary procedures and discounting women's ability to make personal health decisions without the government's interference.

"The court has resoundingly affirmed what should not be a matter of controversy at all -- that women have both a fundamental right to make their own choices about their reproductive health, and that government has no place in their decisions," said Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, in a statement.

A similar mandatory ultrasound law in Texas was upheld by a federal appeals court in January. Chief Judge Edith Jones of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit wrote that the "required disclosures of a sonogram, the fetal heartbeat, and their medical descriptions are the epitome of truthful, non-misleading information."

But North Carolina's ultrasound law has been enjoined since October 2011, and Idaho lawmakers dropped their version of the bill on Wednesday because it was so heavily embroiled in controversy.

"Today's decision adds to the growing momentum of a nationwide backlash against the overreaching of lawmakers hostile to women, their doctors, and their rights," Northup said.

Source: Huffingtonpost

Wow - some good news!