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Guest Post - Way past offensive
Posted by Heebie-Geebie on 10.31.14

Natilo sends in: I'm not sure there's much to say about this except "Wow, that's really messed up!"

I would note that most of the photos on the site coincidentally happen to be of "traditional" children, rather than the other kinds. Waiting couples are all traditionally gendered as well.

Heebie's take: It is totally fucked up (to have differential adoption pricing based on the race and body of the child), but I think it's pretty standard. I think of it more as a mirror being held up to a screwed-up society than itself being a problem - the standard rebuttal being "this is how you get the most kids into loving homes, so..."

To play devil's advocate, there must be a group of potential parents who would be happy with any kid, and it just hadn't crossed their mind that their kid need not look like them until they saw it explicitly laid out, and these parents are well-served by a financial nudge towards harder-to-place kids.

(That said, it stings in a shitty way to see bias laid out so explicitly.) Take it away, Thorn.

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Hangover-free beer?
Posted by Heebie-Geebie on 10.31.14

Supposedly! They equate hangover with being dehydrated, so what they've actually done is create a beer that is less dehydrating. I certainly believe that being dehydrated doesn't help, but no one gets hungover from slamming a bunch of coffee, so that's not exactly what's causing the hangover.

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Medical Bits
Posted by Heebie-Geebie on 10.30.14

There's a woman who posted to the local mother's group something to the effect of "I just took a positive pregnancy test and I'm in tears. This is my worst nightmare. I have a 15 month old and this is the very last thing I wanted. Thoughts?" (I'm paraphrasing.) Then there are 30 comments of people saying "I have two kids and it's GREAT!" and "I'm super close with my close-in-age sibling!" and the original writer saying "Thanks, all, you're making me feel much better about all this!"

I'm sure I won't say anything, but I have a small urge to send her a private message saying, "Abortion is legal, and if it's something you're comfortable with, you can obtain an abortion for much, much cheaper than an actual pregnancy. And much less medically intrusive. You can tell everyone that you miscarried. Being pregnant is something you can choose, or choose not to do. Here are some numbers of clinics that are still open."

Mostly I'm struck by how absolutely off-the-table any mention of ending the pregnancy is. What I assume is that if she were open to the idea of an abortion, she would not have posted publicly about being pregnant in the first place.

On a different note, how about that young activist who has received a shit-ton of media, for choosing physician-assisted suicide this Saturday, because of the brain cancer? It all seems reasonable to me, but maybe if it bothers you, you can speak up and we can all argue.

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Guest Post - We Are All Science-Deniers
Posted by Heebie-Geebie on 10.30.14

K-Sky writes: Mooney tries to be fair in his write-up, but evopsych really rings people's troll bell. Jonathan Haidt (whose moral modules work I like well enough as a descriptive schema, evolutionary origins aside): "On the left, including the academic left, the most sacred issues involve race and gender. So that's where you find the most direct and I'd say flagrant denial of evidence."

Heebie fills in the context: At the link, you'll find some epic trollery, as he reports a study searching for what kinds of science liberals are most likely to dismiss. It turns out that liberal sociologists don't trust the science of the veldt. Wackadoo.

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NYC Meetup
Posted by LizardBreath on 10.29.14

Thursday, the usual 6:30-7ish, the usual bar, the usual people plus Ajay. Have we completely exhausted the supply of lurkers? Anyone new shows up, I'll buy you a beer.

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Mississippi
Posted by Heebie-Geebie on 10.29.14

Mississippi, you are so depressing.

"We work hard at being last," said Roy Mitchell, the beleaguered executive director of the Mississippi Health Advocacy Program, when we met in Jackson. "Even a dog knows the difference between being tripped over and being kicked."

The especially depressing part is that Mississippi was actually ahead of the curve on building a healthcare exchange before Tea Party sheer hatred of Obama scuttled it. It was actually open and operational for four months, and then had its exchange application rejected by the federal government, because the governor would not sign on. It's hard not to lay all these unnecessary deaths and ill-health at John Robert's feet.

Via you-all, there-all

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Guest Post - Radiation
Posted by Heebie-Geebie on 10.29.14

Lw writes: What's up with the gulf of Mexico? That's where our wild-caught shrimp comes from in the US, mostly. Science budgets for identifying harmful agents in the US are dwarfed by budgets to investigate compounds that can cure disease.
I really enjoy this artist's thematically related watercolors.

Heebie's take: I don't know if [President Harding] is around, but I also don't want to bust their pseudonymity too much.

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