Soldiers have been drafted in to fill empty seats at the London 2012 Olympics after prime blocks of seating at the Aquatics Centre and gymnastics arena went unused on the first day of competition.
Troops were despatched to the North Greenwich Arena this morning to take up seats left empty by accredited officials from Olympic and sporting federations, as well as some sponsors and members of the media. More troops, many of whom had their leave cancelled to provide emergency cover after the organisers failed to find enough security guards, will be issued with last-minute invites to take seats in venues when blocks of seats are found to be empty, the games organisers said this morning
- Read the full story at guardian.co.uk/olympics
From the pleasant music to the choice of floor tiles, retail stores are cleverly designed to do one thing: make you spend money. Here are some of the marketing tactics you should know about so you can shop with a clear head.
This weekend marks the centenary of Alan Turing’s birth. Turing was one of the greatest computer scientist of all time. In a 1950 paper that outlined what has come to be known as the Turing Test he offered a way out of endless philosophical speculation about whether computers could ever be classed as ‘intelligent.’ He said that if human judges ask interview questions of a hidden computer and a hidden person and cannot tell the difference after five minutes, the computer should be considered intelligent. Nowadays, programmers compete yearly for the Loebner Prize, which is won by the computer that is most often mistaken for a human.
But the Turing Test’s application is no longer limited to questions of artificial intelligence: Social scientists too are getting in on the action and using the test in a completely new way — to compare different human subjects and their ability to pass as members of groups to which they do not belong, such as religious and ethnic minorities or particular professional classes. With the Turing Test, sociologists can compare the extent to which subjects can understand people who are different from them in some way.
Read more. [Image: Anton Zabielskyi/Shutterstock/Rebecca J. Rosen]
A legislator is calling for a sex strike, due to the worst anti-abortion bill in the nation up for consideration in Michigan right now.
This is happening.
There are female athletes who will be competing at the Olympic Games this summer after undergoing treatment to make them less masculine.
Still others are being secretly investigated for displaying overly manly characteristics, as sport’s highest medical officials attempt to quantify — and regulate — the hormonal difference between male and female athletes.
Caster Semenya, the South African runner who was so fast and muscular that many suspected she was a man, exploded onto the front pages three years ago. She was considered an outlier, a one-time anomaly.
But similar cases are emerging all over the world, and Semenya, who was banned from competition for 11 months while authorities investigated her sex, is back, vying for gold.
Semenya and other women like her face a complex question: Does a female athlete whose body naturally produces unusually high levels of male hormones, allowing them to put on more muscle mass and recover faster, have an “unfair” advantage?
In a move critics call “policing femininity,” recent rule changes by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), the governing body of track and field, state that for a woman to compete, her testosterone must not exceed the male threshold.
If it does, she must have surgery or receive hormone therapy prescribed by an expert IAAF medical panel and submit to regular monitoring. So far, at least a handful of athletes — the figure is confidential — have been prescribed treatment, but their numbers could increase. Last month, the International Olympic Committee began the approval process to adopt similar rules for the Games.
There’s a lot going on here, but here’s what jumped out at us immediately: Women, particularly women athletes, are constantly told they’re not as strong or fast as men—and now that they’re proving otherwise, they’re being forced to undergo hormone treatments. We don’t think it’s a coincidence that women of color are coming under fire for this more than white women. From the article: “Lindsay Perry, another scientist, says sometimes whole teams of African women are dead ringers for men.” This is a clear example of how we’ve constructed a very particular, very narrow ideal of femininity and womanhood that devalues and casts aside black women in particular.
bolded for emphasis
while authorities investigated her sex
what the actual fuck
This is Tony Nicklinson. For the past seven years he’s lived in a state of complete paralysis after suffering a stroke. Nicklinson is in the midst of a court battle for the right to end his own life — he’s called his post-accident existence “dull, miserable, demeaning, undignified and intolerable” — but on June 13, the Brit did something uniquely remarkable: he made his debut on Twitter using only his eyes.
Read more. [Images: YouTube, @TonyNicklinson]
How did we get to this point?! David Frum:
Step 1: A story begins in the real world. In this case, some Nebraska ranchers objected to the longstanding practice—approved by the Supreme Court in 1986—of the use of aerial photography to enforce clean water laws.
Step 2: Their elected representatives raise the issue.
Step 3: Somebody on Twitter mistakenly converts “aerial” surveillance into “drone surveillance.”
Step 4: The conservative website PJ Media puts the error into a headline: “EPA Using Spy Drones to Fly Over Midwestern Farms.”
Step 5: The mistake jumps to Fox News, first introduced by Bob Beckel, the token liberal on the afternoon program, “the Five.”
Step 6: Fox News’ Megyn Kelly reports the rumor as fact, unsourced.
Step 7: The Daily Show mocks Kelly’s report, but treats the use of drones as a genuine fact nonetheless.
Step 8: Republicans in Congress write furious letters of complaint.
Step 9: The story is by now a national controversy, without there ever having been a word of truth to it.
via David Frum, h/t Mediaite for the screengrab.
remember when i made that text post that was something like, fox headline of the day ‘is govt spying on cows?’, this was what it was about
LGBTQ* Surveys and Polls
12 Least LGBT-Friendly Universities/Colleges in the USA (2012)
(information from Huffington Post)
- (12) Boston College
- (11) Providence College
- (10) Wheaton College
- (9) Hapden-Sydney College
- (8) University of Notre Dame
- (7) Southern Methodist University
- (6) College of the Ozarks
- (5) Thomas Aquinas College
- (4) Brigham Young University
- (3) Texas A&M University
- (2) Grove City College
- (1) University of Dallas