Welcome to Sott.net
Tue, 05 Dec 2023
The World for People who Think

Society's Child

Bizarro Earth

A tweet about a 'dongle' leads to two firings, death threats

© @adriarichards/Twitter
A software developer was fired after tweeting a photo of a man she said was using sexual innuendo during a conference.
Offensive jokes whispered at a tech conference last Sunday night have now spread much further than anyone would have ever thought.

While at the PyCon technology conference last weekend, Adria Richards, a software developer and self-described technology evangelist, overheard two men behind her making a series of offensive and sexual jokes about "dongles" and "forks."

"They started talking about 'big' ad dongles. I could feel my face getting flustered," Richards wrote on her blog titled "But You're a Girl." "I was telling myself if they made one more sexual joke, I'd say something. Then it happened ... the trigger."

Richards didn't turn around in her seat and talk to the two men. But she did speak up on the Internet. She snapped a photo of the two men and tweeted it: "Not cool. Jokes about 'forking' repo's in a sexual way and 'big' dongles. Right behind me #pycon pic.twitter.com/Hv1bkeOsYP."

Richards then tweeted at the PyCon account, and as a result, the two men were removed from the conference.

That was just the start of the impact of those tweets. Later in the week, one of the men, whose name has not been revealed, was fired from his job at Playhaven, a mobile gaming company.


In twist, fake medicine could save rare animals

Chinese Medicine
© iStockphoto
Fake and diluted ingredients, including herbs and animal parts, are increasingly finding their way into traditional Chinese medicines. Investigators have found many supposedly medicinal powders diluted with everything from flour to corn starch to sand.

Sometimes the dilutions are the result of cutting corners by manufacturers, but often it's done by middlemen and retailers seeking to increase their profit margins.

There is little or no governmental regulation of these medicines, and the problem is getting worse. As one traditional Chinese medicine manufacturer noted, "counterfeiters are posing a great threat, as fake products are made to closely resemble genuine ones.

Counterfeiters can produce fake medicinal herbs with starch and gypsum powder, or mix dirt or dust with the herbs to increase their weight."


French are 'taught to be gloomy by their culture'

© Lipnitzki/Roger Viollet/Getty
The haunted face of singer Edith Piaf represents an archetypal image of Gallic gloom.
Research finds that despite high standard of living happiness is elusive

France, once famous for its joie de vivre, is suffering from existential gloom - and the French have only themselves to blame for their malaise, according to a study to be presented in London next month. Research by a French academic to be delivered to the Royal Economic Society suggests that the country's citizens are "taught" to be miserable by elements of their own culture.

Claudia Senik, a professor at the Paris School of Economics, argues that her country's education system and its cultural "mentality" make the French far less happy than their wealth and lifestyle suggest they should be.

The French enjoy a high standard of living, Senik notes. The country has a generous welfare state, plus universal and free access to healthcare, hospitals, public schools and universities. It also has a 35-hour working week and many foreigners aspire to make it their home - 150,000 Britons have chosen to live there.

Yet the French are gloomy. A recent WIN-Gallup poll found that their expectations for the coming year ranked lower than those in Iraq or Afghanistan.


Police arrest 2 teens in Georgia baby killing

Sherry West was comforted by Luis Santiago, the child’s father.
A pair of teenagers were arrested Friday and accused of fatally shooting a 13-month-old baby in the face and wounding his mother during their morning stroll through a leafy, historic neighborhood.

Sherry West had just been to the post office a few blocks from her apartment on Thursday morning and was pushing her son, Antonio, in his stroller while they walked past gnarled oak trees and blooming azaleas in the coastal city of Brunswick.

West said a tall, skinny teenager, accompanied by a smaller boy, asked her for money.

''He asked me for money and I said I didn't have it,'' she said Friday from her apartment, which was scattered with her son's toys and movies.

''When you have a baby, you spend all your money on babies. They're expensive. And he kept asking and I just said 'I don't have it.' And he said, 'Do you want me to kill your baby?' And I said, 'No, don't kill my baby!' ''

One of the teens fired four shots, grazing West's ear and striking her in the leg, before he walked around to the stroller and shot the baby in the face.

Red Flag

High-school sex-ed teacher is being punished for saying the word 'vagina'

© Shutterstock
Tim McDaniel, an 18-year vetaran of the biology department at the public school in Dietrcich, Idaho, might have to figure out how to teach the miracle of life to his high-school students without saying the word "vagina" after a group of unhappy parents found the word offensive. Because now he's kind of in big trouble for, you know, doing his job in the teen pregnancy capital of Idaho. According to what McDaniel told Twin-Falls's Times-News, four parents at the school complained that he taught their children "the biology of an orgasm" and said the word "vagina" during his sex-education lesson to a room of sophomores. Yes, sophomores, some of whom have had vaginas for 14 to 15 years. It's unclear whether the word "penis" was met with equal offense. But, apparently, allegations from parents also complain that McDaniel has shown the film an Inconvenient Truth in class, and according to a letter served to McDaniel by a quick to respond official from Idaho's Department of Education:
[T]he allegations also include that he shared confidential student files with an individual other than their parents, showed a video clip in class depicting an infection of genital herpes, taught different forms of birth control and told inappropriate jokes in class.

Grey Alien

Huffington Post reporter "seeks people who have had sex with aliens"

Romenesko reader Mike Poller spotted this on HARO (Help a Reporter Out):
Summary: Sex with aliens

Name: David Moye The Huffington Post

Category: General

Email: query-2×59@helpareporter.net

Media Outlet: The Huffington Post

Deadline: 7:00 PM EST - 22 March


HuffPost journalist is doing a story about the concept of sex with aliens. Would like to speak with people who've had sex with aliens, UFO experts, biological experts who can discuss the potential problems of mating with a foreign species, psychological experts who have studied the phenomenon.


Looking for people familiar with the phenomenon of sex with aliens, considering all points of view skeptics and believers.

Alarm Clock

Police prevent hungry crowd from taking free food

Law enforcement officials pushed back hundreds of people who were crowding around a large pile of merchandise outside an Augusta grocery store Tuesday afternoon.

But the goods sitting in the parking lot of the Laney Supermarket didn't make into anyone's hands.

Instead, the food people hoped to take home was tossed into the trash.

"People have children out here that are hungry, thirsty, could be anything. Why throw it away when you could be issuing it out?" asked Robertstine Lambert.

The Marshal of Richmond County, Steve Smith, says the food wasn't theirs to give away, so they had to trash it.

Black Cat 2

Child porn downloads cause raid at Catholic parish in Missouri

Federal and state authorities on Tuesday raided a Catholic parish in Independence, Missouri as part of an investigation into child pornography.

A spokesperson for the Catholic Dioceses of Kansas City-St. Joseph said that investigators tracked down child porn downloads to an IP address used by an unsecured wireless network at the offices of St. Ann Parish in Independence, according to The Kansas City Star.

Four computers seized in the raid will be analyzed to determine if they were used to download the illegal material from a peer-to-peer network. It is possible, however, that outside computers accessed the wireless network because it was not password protected.


Steubenville case highlights need to rewrite rape laws

© AP
Rather than trying to prove a rape victim was capable or not of saying 'no', it should be demonstrated that both parties said 'yes', which will protect victims in an environment when rapists tend to escape punishment lightly
The current legal model for prosecuting rape should shift to that of 'affirmative consent'.

Earlier this month, the Steubenville, Ohio high school football players who sexually penetrated an intoxicated and sometimes unconscious teenage girl were found guilty of rape. The boys' defence was that the girl was drinking, but she wasn't so drunk that she couldn't have said no if she didn't like what they were doing. A week before that, on the HBO television show Girls, one of the lead male characters initiated a variety of sex acts that his girlfriend clearly did not enjoy or anticipate, but to which she doesn't exactly say "no" even though she doesn't exactly say "yes", either. Think pieces and 140-character philosophies on consent abounded. Were the events in Steubenville and the scene on Girls rape, rape-rape, unfortunate misunderstandings or just bad sex?

To abate our widespread confusion about sex and consent, we need to change our understanding of masculinity, sexual virtue and sex itself. But we also need to change the law. Rape laws have always both reflected and shaped our cultural views of women and of sex, and our modern system is no exception. The feminist movement of the 1970s achieved significant victories in how our legal system deals with rape and sexual assault. Decades later, our understanding of sex crimes is more evolved, and it's time for another legal shift to reflect that.

Arrow Up

Bad PR: University of North Carolina drops proceedings against rape victim after national outrage

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chancellor Holden Thorp on Tuesday asked the school's Honor Court to drop its proceedings against a student who said she was raped.

"For several weeks, the University has grappled with how best to respond to a public claim of retaliation against the University while maintaining the autonomy and integrity of our Honor Court proceedings and the privacy of the individuals involved," Thorp said in a message to students.

"Recognizing the potential conflicts that may exist by allowing both processes to continue, we have asked the Student Attorney General to suspend the Honor Court proceeding pending an external review of these allegations of retaliation," he continued. "The University takes all allegations of retaliation seriously, whether against an individual or an institution, and this allegation is no exception."

The situation has prompted outrage across the nation. Landen Gambill, a sophomore at the university, found herself facing the threat of expulsion after speaking out against her ex-boyfriend and abuser. Along with other students and a former assistant dean, Gambill filed a federal complaint against UNC in January over its handling of sexual assault cases.