Recent Articles

Happy Birthday to Dangerous Intersection

Happy Birthday to Dangerous Intersection

| February 21, 2007 | 4 Replies

One year ago, I made my first tentative post to this blog.  It was really a test more than a post, as were the handful of posts for the next two weeks.   We really didn’t get running until mid-March, 2006.   In that month of March 2006, “Grumpypilgrim” and I were happy to see that, on […]

Read More

Astrophysicist Ashes: Sort of a Rambling Eulogy

Astrophysicist Ashes: Sort of a Rambling Eulogy

| February 21, 2007 | 4 Replies

Today is the first anniversary of my dad’s death. Yesterday I came home from the crematorium “with me dad took’d under me arm,” to badly paraphrase the children’s song about Ann Boleyn. Death doesn’t frighten me in an abstract way. I grew up with Tom Lehrer music, Charles Addams cartoons, Hitchcock short story books, and […]

Read More

The effect of media images of sexed-up girls and women posing as adolescents

The effect of media images of sexed-up girls and women posing as adolescents

| February 21, 2007 | 13 Replies

According to a recent report by the American Psychological Association,

Inescapable media images of sexed-up girls and women posing as adolescents can cause psychological and even physical harm to adolescents and young women.

According to this APA report, the pressure of this “sexualization” can lead to depression, eating disorders, and poor academic performance. See, also, Yahoo’s article on this report.

What are the sources of these images? The report points to these examples:

Advertisements (e.g., the Skechers “naughty and nice” ad that featured Christina Aguilera dressed as a schoolgirl in pigtails, with her shirt unbuttoned, licking a lollipop), dolls (e.g., Bratz dolls dressed in sexualized clothing such as miniskirts, fishnet stockings, and feather boas), clothing (thongs sized for 7– to 10-year-olds, some printed with slogans such as “wink wink”), and television programs (e.g., a televised fashion show in which adult models in lingerie were presented as young girls).

It is difficult to not notice this modern smearing of the boundaries between female childhood and adulthood. Our media is obsessed with presenting images of women acting like little girls and little girls forced to act “sexualized.”

What’s the difference between “sexualization” and healthy sexuality? According to the APA report, “sexualization” occurs when

a person’s value comes only from his or her sexual appeal or behavior, to the exclusion of other characteristics;

a person is held to a standard that equates physical attractiveness (narrowly defined) with being sexy;

Read More

Compelling photography from World Press Photo’s annual contest

Compelling photography from World Press Photo’s annual contest

| February 20, 2007 | 4 Replies

If you’d like to view some compelling photography, take a look at the prize winners of World Press Photo’s annual contest.  The purpose of the contest is to offer “an overview of how press photographers tackle their work worldwide and how the press gives us the news, bringing together pictures from all parts of the […]

Read More

I wonder if Bush ever thinks about all the dead Iraqis his lies have produced

I wonder if Bush ever thinks about all the dead Iraqis his lies have produced

| February 19, 2007 | 2 Replies

Just imagine if some foreign demagogue had caused the daily slaughter of scores of people in America’s capitol city. I wonder what we would think of him, and of the people who brought him to power.  We gripe, for good reason, about Osama bin Laden, but his act of terrorism pales in comparison to that of George Bush’s, […]

Read More

A brain?  No thanks, God.

A brain? No thanks, God.

| February 19, 2007 | 1 Reply

No further comment necessary, right?  Except that I’m publishing the above image with the express permission of Pixwit.com.   Oh, and one other thing.  Don’t overlook your chance to earn $1,000,000 by participating in Pixwit’s “Miracle Challenge.”  If you win, just send me my 10% finders’ fee.   Oh, and there’s that one little thing . . […]

Read More

Cartoon moment

Cartoon moment

| February 19, 2007 | Reply

            [Thanks to Milard Draudt for permission to reprint this cartoon here.  I noticed this cartoon in Funny Times, which I dutifully read every month]

Read More

Murtha’s plan and the war (of words)

Murtha’s plan and the war (of words)

| February 18, 2007 | 1 Reply

When I see how this war of words is going on, it depresses me.  As reported by DailyKos: The GOP is trying to frame Murtha’s plan of requiring improved troop readiness as the exact opposite. According the GOP: Murtha’s plan is to “cut funding”, is a “strategy to pull the rug out from under our […]

Read More

Electing a person of competence over a “person of faith”

Electing a person of competence over a “person of faith”

| February 18, 2007 | 3 Replies

Mitt Romney proudly stood up for himself today. He boldly told a large Florida crowd what kind of president we need to elect in 2008: “One of the great things about this land is that we have people of different faiths and different religions, but we need to have a person of faith lead the country,” […]

Read More