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“Princess Qajar” and the Problem with Junk History Memes | A Bit of History
In their own time, ‘Esmat and Taj were not defined by their appearance. Their accomplishments were not the result of either setting or copying cultural standards of beauty. They were women of merit and substance whose stories deserve to be told and perpetuated in a respectful and meaningful way, not diminished and ridiculed.

In writing of the women of the Qajar court, like ‘Esmat and Taj, whose pictures hold so much historical meaning and significance, Dr. Scheiwiller poignantly wrote, “The photograph of oneself was able to transform one from being meaningless, whose story would not be told, to one of a face etched in time.”[12]

It would be a travesty to sit back and let a fatuous meme mar the true beauty and historical importance of these women and their images.
iran  persia  women  femininity  beauty  body-image  internet  memes  history  humbug 
6 weeks ago by StJohnBosco
Vitamin D, the Sunshine Supplement, Has Shadowy Money Behind It - The New York Times
Enthusiasm for vitamin D among medical experts has dimmed in recent years, as rigorous clinical trials have failed to confirm the benefits suggested by early, preliminary studies. A string of trials has found no evidence that vitamin D reduces the risk of cancer, heart disease or falls in the elderly. And most scientists say there isn’t enough evidence to know if vitamin D can prevent chronic diseases that aren’t related to bones.

Although the amount of vitamin D in a typical daily supplement is generally considered safe, it is possible to take too much. In 2015, an article in the American Journal of Medicine linked blood levels as low as 50 nanograms per milliliter with an increased risk of death. That’s within the level considered healthy by the Endocrine Society, which defined vitamin D “sufficiency” as between 30 and 100 nanograms, Rosen said.

Some researchers say vitamin D may never have been the miracle pill that it appeared to be. Sick people who stay indoors tend to have low vitamin D levels; their poor health is likely the cause of their low vitamin D levels, not the other way around
health  vitamins  humbug  for-profit-medicine 
9 weeks ago by StJohnBosco
My name is Victoria Carlini.  I wasn’t sure if I...
I posted on twitter about this and blamed myself for the loss of my dad. Some of my friends that are fans of Orion and also watch him on his twitch channel, had informed Orion of the death of my father and the fact that I was in the middle of Hurrican Irma without my knowledge.
On the 13th of September 2017, I had learned that he had set up a charity stream for me and that all donations were going to my family because we were victims of Hurrican Irma and my father had died. I will be honest; I was confused for many reasons.  At this time, I was backing away from his channel due to some of his behavior choices that had made me upset and very uncomfortable. I was also confused as to why he didn’t ask me if I was alright or ask permission of any kind if he could do this. At the time, due to events that were transpiring, I was just so confused, I decided to be thankful and thought he was being kind.
charity  geek  loss  exploitation  streaming  humbug 
june 2018 by StJohnBosco
Koko, Kanzi, and ape language research: Criticism of working conditions and animal care.
Long-term studies with human-reared apes are designed to create bonds between apes and their caregivers so that the pair feels comfortable communicating. This closeness often means that the caregiver is the only person able to “translate” for the ape, and it’s difficult to disentangle how much interpretation goes into those translations. As a result, the scientific community is often wary of taking caregivers’ assertions at face value. Some are straight-up skeptics. In a 2010 lecture, Stanford primatologist Robert Sapolsky alleged that Patterson had published “no data,” just “several heartwarming films” without “anything you could actually analyze.”
animals  language  communication  primates  science  humbug 
june 2018 by StJohnBosco
How peaceful was Harappan Civilization?
The current Radio 4 series, which I have not heard, if what you say is true, is perpetuating myths about the Indus Civilization that scholars are working hard to explode. There has never been a society without conflict of greater or lesser scale. Previously it was thought that the Maya Civilization and the peoples of the American Southwest were entirely peaceful. In both cases, because the glyphs were deciphered in the first case and because archaeological and bio-archaeological studies proved otherwise in the second case, we now know that this idea of peaceful societies for those two instances is without foundation. As noted, for the Indus, we lack much of what might give us direct evidence of conflict or warfare such as graphic iconography and a readable script. Until recently, standing armies of any size did not really exist; warfare was seasonal and often based on raiding at a greater or lesser scale. Some of the most successful "warfare" has been carried out by very mobile horse mounted groups, e.g. the Comanches of the historical American SW and the Mongols of Central Asia, but horses were not used widely in the Near East, South Asia, or East Asia until after ca. 1900 BC. Conflict was much more likely to be local, with periodic raiding of particular concern along with local conflict over rights to water or to land or to other resources. The first empire based on conquest is thought to be the Akkadian empire of Mesopotamia ca. 2350-2200 BC, and the Akkadians had little problem with the walled cities of the region, so walls are not really an issue. What the political structure of the Indus Civilization was is unknown and perhaps unknowable because what we know about that structure in Mesopotamia and in Egypt and in China is largely from the texts. The Indus people certainly did have serviceable weapons of copper-alloy materials including knives, spears, and arrow heads (many have been found) and there are depictions, for example, of a man spearing a water buffalo so the concept of attacking with a spear is certainly present. And organization is certainly as important as technology – Alexander of Macedon, Napoleon, Ghengis Khan, etc., all showed that.
ancient-civilization  indus  harappan  archeology  war  humbug  myth  violence 
may 2018 by StJohnBosco
Twitter
RT : The Cost of True Love (a.k.a. The Tidy — and expensive! — Twelve Days of Christmas)
humbug  rstats  from twitter_favs
december 2017 by rtanglao
Inside the Cult of 'Carol,' the Internet’s Most Unlikely Fandom | WIRED
But I saw something else at play: Carol boosters (Carolinians? #catepeople?) exhibit the kind of devotion typically reserved for subreddits devoted to Dredd. These are the kinds of fans who start an in-joke about something a fan overheard an older woman telling her male companion during a screening (“Harold, they’re lesbians”). This is fandom of the sort you see with any under-appreciated futuristic sci-fi movie, but with a meditative queer drama set in the 1950s. It is, essentially, internet obsession for grownups.
fandom  queer  lesbian  queer/geek  film  humbug 
may 2017 by StJohnBosco
Debunking the Myth of 19th-Century 'Tear Catchers' - Atlas Obscura
The Victorians were experts in the art of mourning: They wore black for extended periods, wove human hair into elaborate wreaths, and wept, it is said, into delicate glass bottles called “tear catchers.” Victorian ephemera is hot these days, as is death, oddly enough—see the rise of the #deathpositive movement—so mourning artifacts are in high demand. Vintage tear catchers, also called “lachrymatory bottles,” can be found in online auctions and marketplaces, as well as through estate sales and antique stores. During the 19th century, and especially in America during and after the Civil War, supposedly, tear catchers were used as a measure of grieving time. Once the tears cried into them had evaporated, the mourning period was over. It’s a good story—too good. In truth, both science and history agree, there’s really no such thing as a tear catcher. Caveat emptor.
Victorian  mourning  things  humbug  material-culture  memorialization 
may 2017 by StJohnBosco
March 28, 1941: Virginia Woolf’s Suicide Letter and Its Cruel Misinterpretation in the Media – Brain Pickings
But, devastatingly, even Leonard’s rebuttal, too, was twisted out of context. Published under the already misleading headline “I Cannot Carry On” — the then-version of clickbait — the article replaced the phrase “those terrible times,” Virginia’s reference to her first acute bout of depression in her youth, with “these terrible times,” changing the meaning completely and making it a reference to World War II, an interpretation that aligned quite conveniently with the media’s spin of Woolf’s suicide as an act of unpatriotic cowardice rather than a personal tragedy. To make matters even more lamentable, the Times reprinted the misquotation several days later — the then-version of reblogging or retweeting without critical analysis and fact-checking. Similar attacks, some of which were even unleashed on Woolf’s posthumously published work, continued in the press for more than a year.
depression  suicide  tabloids  humbug  compassion  empathy  assholes 
march 2017 by StJohnBosco
How internet porn caused the rise of Donald Trump | Dean Burnett | Science | The Guardian
This article just is an example of how easy it is to create a valid-sounding theory by forming a conclusion and reverse engineering it, cherry-picking things that back it up from the vast amount of data available. I cynically picked porn and Trump because those are two extremely popular search terms right now, so people are more likely to read it, but it could have been anything: how renewable energy lead to Labour’s Copeland by-election defeat. How feminism caused the Oscars announcement chaos. How Netflix lead to Brexit. They even sound similar!
argument  logic  opinion  humbug  to-teach 
march 2017 by StJohnBosco
Colombian hacker says his fake Twitter army won elections | Fusion
Which leads me to the scariest quote I have read in a very, very long time, from Sep├║lveda: ΓÇ£When I realized that people believe what the Internet says more than reality, I discovered that I had the power to make people believe almost anything.ΓÇ¥ WhatΓÇÖs notable about this tactic is that itΓÇÖs not even illegal, only against Twitter policy. You may be wondering why Sep├║lveda would admit to all this. Well, heΓÇÖs telling the story from behind bars. Sep├║lveda is currently serving 10 years in Colombian prison ΓÇ£for charges including use of malicious software, conspiracy to commit crime, violation of personal data, and espionage, related to hacking during ColombiaΓÇÖs 2014 presidential election,ΓÇ¥ writes Bloomberg.
elections  fraud  propaganda  internet  social-media  humbug  Delicious 
august 2016 by StJohnBosco
The Myth of WelfareΓÇÖs Corrupting Influence on the Poor - The New York Times
One billion people in developing countries participate in a social safety net. At least one type of unconditional cash assistance is used in 119 countries. In 52 other countries, cash transfers are conditioned on relatively benign requirements like parentsΓÇÖ enrolling their children in school. Abhijit Banerjee, a director of the Poverty Action Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, released a paper with three colleagues last week that carefully assessed the effects of seven cash-transfer programs in Mexico, Morocco, Honduras, Nicaragua, the Philippines and Indonesia. It found ΓÇ£no systematic evidence that cash transfer programs discourage work.ΓÇ¥ A World Bank report from 2014 examined cash assistance programs in Africa, Asia and Latin America and found, contrary to popular stereotype, the money was not typically squandered on things like alcohol and tobacco. Still, Professor Banerjee observed, in many countries, ΓÇ£we encounter the idea that handouts will make people lazy.ΓÇ¥
welfare  poverty  inequality  a-study-says  humbug  Delicious 
march 2016 by StJohnBosco
Testing for Joy and Grit? Schools Nationwide Push to Measure StudentsΓÇÖ Emotional...
ΓÇ£I do not think we should be doing this; it is a bad idea,ΓÇ¥ said Angela Duckworth, the MacArthur fellow who has done more than anyone to popularize social-emotional learning, making ΓÇ£gritΓÇ¥ ΓÇö the title of her book to be released in May ΓÇö a buzzword in schools. She resigned from the board of the group overseeing the California project, saying she could not support using the tests to evaluate school performance. Last spring, after attending a White House meeting on measuring social-emotional skills, she and a colleague wrote a paper warning that there were no reliable ways to do so. ΓÇ£Our working title was all measures suck, and they all suck in their own way,ΓÇ¥ she said. And there is little agreement on what skills matter: Self-control? Empathy? Perseverance? Joy? ΓÇ£There are so many ways to do this wrong,ΓÇ¥ said Camille A. Farrington, a researcher at the University of Chicago who is working with a network of schools across the country to measure the development of social-emotional skill
education  education-reform  emotional-intelligence  feelings  metrics  juking-the-stats  statistics  testing  humbug  Delicious 
march 2016 by StJohnBosco

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