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Comment We're past peak maple. (Score 1) 399

I'm from Western Massachusetts and can tell you that global warming has been driving maple syrup production northward for half my life.

The family with the farm nearest the subdivision where I grew up made and sold their own syrup all through the '70s and '80s from a long double row of old sugar maples along the road. Some time in the '90s, production began to fall off. Now I don't think they sell syrup at all, don't even know if they collect/boil sap for personal use. Could be just the age of their trees, or the age of their family members who know the work, but there's also a trend here. And FWIW, the neighborhood I'm talking about has always been right on the cusp between the weather forecasts for the Connecticut Valley and for the "hill towns." It's in the hill towns where maple syrup is still produced in quantity in MA.

Here's an article noting Massachusetts production has been up and down in recent years and a prediction "that climate change over roughly the next hundred years will result in the loss of maple trees across much of New England." http://articles.boston.com/2012-03-07/metro/31132698_1_maple-syrup-syrup-producers-sugaring-season

And here's a PDF noting a climate-affected declining trend in U.S. syrup production generally with corresponding increase in Canada. The statistics admittedly don't all point the same direction but they're still sad. http://www.cara.psu.edu/about/publications/Maple_syrup.pdf

Comment "Look for the moment when pride becomes contempt" (Score 1) 1127

I think Barbara Kruger has your answer: http://edu.warhol.org/app_kruger.html The kind of courage necessary to challenge received opinion in risky ways can shade into, or derive from, an arrogance that refuses to see others (or selected categories of others) as fully human. Fortunately for humanity, courage doesn't always work through the suppression of empathy. But it happens. Also, iconoclasm and outright narcissism can go together. After all, narcissists do tend to think rules don't apply to their own exceptional selves.

And, sadly, an accusation can happen to be both factually true and politically convenient.

It is false evenhandedness to call "on the one hand" for measures to prevent crimes against women and "on the other hand" for measures to prevent false accusations by women. Men are more likely to commit crimes against women when they can do so with impunity due to social and legal traditions that are slanted against female accusers. While the truth of any testimony should be tested fairly, the last thing any group or legal system needs are "protections" specifically meant to discourage women from stating inconvenient facts in public.

Comment No, but being visibly female here has consequences (Score 2) 240

I can imagine that some female commenters here might wish to appear safely ungendered. At Slashdot, the discussion is ordinarily sane, intelligent, mutually respectful and clever, but as soon as the existence of the female sex gets mentioned, a certain proportion of the self-identified males start to grunt contempt at women and girls in general, and the whole sense of an inclusive, honorable community slumps into crud.

Comment Re:Pink one. (Score 1) 732

Half the world's population is female. Billions of different people are women or girls. You cannot announce what interests "women" or "girls" in general with any hope of accuracy. There are just too many of us. Including quite a lot of us who find the color pink insipid, were spared the familial and social undermining that cultivates "math anxiety", developed childhood fascinations with medieval armaments rather than "playing house", and otherwise fit none of the stereotypes announced here as being universal. There's no need to discuss anyone's cloaca. Not even any point in doing so: in the study you mention, the parents of the biologically ambiguous children knew their children's medical histories. If traditionally minded, then, consciously or not, they're likely to have raised the children who were provisionally labeled as girls with the greater physical permissiveness and the stronger encouragement to assert control over the physical environment that traditionalist parents grant to children they view as being boys.

Comment Re:Pink one. (Score 1) 732

Eh, pink can look nice, some people like it, it's their business if they do. They just shouldn't be stuck with it, nor saddled with the meanings sometimes attached to it. One of the next comments after "buy her pink" was more or less, "buy her a cheap Toshiba and paint it pink." So, if we're talking about a high-powered customized dream machine and it's also pink, that's great. But if "pink" is code for "insultingly cheap so long as it looks cute, because she won't know the difference," that's something else again. Me, I'm Gen-X, likely older than some of you here, and in my generation, "you should wear pink" was code for "you should stifle your dreams." If that isn't true any more, well, color me impressed. But I kinda think it sometimes still is. Hey, the four-year-old said it better last winter, do watch her video if you haven't: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2011/12/girl-4-blasts-companies-for-pushing-girls-to-buy-pink-stuff/

Comment Re:Pink one. (Score 1) 732

"Entitlement?" Interesting pejorative use. Yes, I suppose entitlement is involved. Entitlement of girls and women to the full human variety of tastes, interests and work. Eh, if he still wants to be reductive, buy this boy an eight-pound Panasonic Toughbook and cover it with olive-drab nylon grip tape and rivet a lot of nylon webbing loops to random points all over the case. Maybe he'll be happy. Maybe not.

Comment Re:Pink one. (Score 1) 732

Girls are told from infancy that people such as themselves like pink, and that people such as themselves don't like math, and that females who do like math and computers, or who (horrors) take an interest in asserting their rights, are dreary unnatural creatures who don't get invited to parties. "Interest" in a subject isn't an innate immutable quality in a child. It reflects the child's training. nbauman, it's wonderful that you tried to interest your niece in the sciences, but you aren't the only person teaching her what ought to interest her. She's also being taught that by the other kids and the television and the all-pink-princess "girls'" aisle at Toys-R-Us.

Comment Re:Pink one. (Score 1, Interesting) 732

Get a pink one. She'll be happy.

Why pink? Oh, I get it, pink because she's a gurl. Because you've heard tell of creatures in this world called gurlz, and, legend has it, they're irrationally fond of the color pink. Also you've heard you can palm off pastel-colored cheap computers on gurlz because they won't know the difference, since gurlz treat computers as accessories, not as equipment, right? Because persons born female cannot be sophisticated computer users, let alone programmers, as the lady parts are well known to strangle up the neural pathways, right? That's very funny. Ha ha. Now, I want you to imagine that you are a programmer born with lady bits who is reading this thread. How exactly do you feel right now?

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