Unfogged Mobile

Cool it.
Posted by Heebie-Geebie on 01.24.20

I think this is fascinating:

Stanford University researchers looked at data from Civil War soldiers and veterans and two more recent cohorts to confirm that body temperatures among American men averaged around 98.6 degrees F back then but have steadily fallen over time and that temperatures among women have fallen as well. Their data find an average for men and women of 97.5 degrees F.

I've known for at least a decade that I hover in the 97s when I'm feeling fine, and that 98 or 99 is a slight fever for me. But I always attributed it to science not properly using data from women when computing averages. I find it bizarre that we're actually cooling down as a whole cohort.

And also:

Parsonnet says she suspects it might be healthier to have a lower metabolism and body temperature. And she hopes to explore that connection more in the future.

They don't go into why it's healthier, but at least if it's a good thing, then this one scientist isn't saying that it's punishment because we're all lazy shmucks who deserve the hellscape we've built for ourselves. That's nice.

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Posted by Heebie-Geebie on 01.23.20

Mossy sends over this link about India's new controversial citizenship law, and leaves it to me to eke out something intelligent to say about it. Well, I can pull quotes intelligently:

The recently enacted CAA makes illegal migrants living in India from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh who belong to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian religious communities eligible for Indian citizenship. The act notably excludes Muslim migrants.


There is another dimension to the protests across India--its implications for Indian citizens. Most centrally, protesters are worried about the combined effects of the CAA and the government's controversial plan to create a National Register of Citizens (NRC). The basis for the NRC comes from both a 2003 amendment to the 1955 Citizenship Act and the rules issued in 2003 to operationalize the amendment. However, until recently, limited steps have been taken toward the implementation of the register. The NRC will reportedly require every individual across India to demonstrate that they are Indian citizens through certain specified documents. Under the NRC, individuals will have to show proof of their residence and date and place of birth as well as the citizenship of their ancestors, going back to a cutoff date specified by the government.

It sounds seriously bad.

There! How'd I do?

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Amish Silence
Posted by Heebie-Geebie on 01.22.20

Here's a depressing one:

Over the past year, I've interviewed nearly three dozen Amish people, in addition to law enforcement, judges, attorneys, outreach workers, and scholars. I've learned that sexual abuse in their communities is an open secret spanning generations. Victims told me stories of inappropriate touching, groping, fondling, exposure to genitals, digital penetration, coerced oral sex, anal sex, and rape, all at the hands of their own family members, neighbors, and church leaders.


Virtually every Amish victim I spoke to--mostly women but also several men--told me they were dissuaded by their family or church leaders from reporting their abuse to police or had been conditioned not to seek outside help (as Sadie put it, she knew she'd just be "mocked or blamed"). Some victims said they were intimidated and threatened with excommunication. Their stories describe a widespread, decentralized cover-up of child sexual abuse by Amish clergy.
"We're told that it's not Christlike to report," explains Esther*, an Amish woman who says she was abused by her brother and a neighbor boy at age 9. "It's so ingrained. There are so many people who go to church and just endure."

I honestly hadn't thought about this one way or the other, but upon hearing it, thought, "Oh, that makes perfect sense." It was a similar reaction to the one I had to the article about how white men raped black women on a mass scale during the Jim Crow era, as a counterpart to lynchings: "How has this never occurred to me?! Of course they did."

(Is widespread, perpetual rape the historical norm? Or is it just stochastically scattered in pockets throughout history? Is it below my unbearable threshhold or above it?)

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