In a milestone for gender equality, the Pentagon is finally ending the combat ban for women - a ban that had become woefully obsolete. At last, women warriors will get the recognition and promotions they deserve. The brass ceiling has been shattered, and that’s good news for both women and the military.
Or is it? I admire tough fighting women as much as anyone. Their leadership skills are as good as men’s. They have important roles to play in war, and they’ve been on the front lines - and dying - for years.
But please, people. Let’s get real. Women cannot equal men in ground combat, the kind of dirty, brutal stuff that (fortunately) makes up a very minor part of modern military life, especially post-Afghanistan. It’s not that they can’t be trained to kill - they can. The issue is that the physical differences between men and women are very large, and on the battlefield, they really matter, and can’t be wished away. Men are better fighters because they are bigger and stronger and can endure far more physical punishment before they break down.
The average female soldier is “about five inches shorter than the male soldier, has half the upper body strength, lower aerobic capacity and 37 per cent less muscle mass,” Stephanie Gutmann, author of The Kinder, Gentler Military, wrote in the New Republic. “She cannot pee standing up … She tends, particularly if she is under the age of 30 (as are 60 per cent of military personnel) to get pregnant.”
U.S. Marine Captain Katie Petronio is as tough and motivated as they come - a combat engineer officer with five years of active service, during which she led many field operations. She used to think women like her could serve in the infantry, but she has changed her mind. For one thing, women are far more prone to injury than men. Her last stint in Afghanistan was so gruelling that after seven months, she had lost a large amount of muscle mass and stopped producing estrogen. “I went from breaking school records to being broken in a rather short amount of time,” she told an interviewer. “And I was only doing a portion of what my infantry brethren were doing.”
Here’s a wake-up call for snorers: Snoring may put you at a greater risk than those who are overweight, smoke or have high cholesterol to have thickening or abnormalities in the carotid artery, according to researchers at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.
The increased thickening in the lining of the two large blood vessels that supply the brain with oxygenated blood is a precursor to atherosclerosis, a hardening of the arteries responsible for many vascular diseases.
“Snoring is more than a bedtime annoyance and it shouldn’t be ignored. Patients need to seek treatment in the same way they would if they had sleep apnea, high blood pressure or other risk factors for cardiovascular disease,” says lead study author Robert Deeb, M.D., with the Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery at Henry Ford.
“Our study adds to the growing body of evidence suggesting that isolated snoring may not be as benign as first suspected. So instead of kicking your snoring bed partner out of the room or spending sleepless nights elbowing him or her, seek out medical treatment for the snorer.”
There’s a well-known saying in New England that if you don’t like the weather here, wait a minute. When it comes to independent voters, those weather changes can just as quickly shift beliefs about climate change.
New research from the University of New Hampshire finds that the climate change beliefs of independent voters are dramatically swayed by short-term weather conditions. The research was conducted by Lawrence Hamilton, professor of sociology and senior fellow at the Carsey Institute, and Mary Stampone, assistant professor of geography and the New Hampshire state climatologist. The research is presented in the article “Blowin’ in the Wind: Short-Term Weather and Belief in Anthropogenic Climate Change” in the American Meteorological Society journal Weather, Climate, and Society.
“We find that over 10 surveys, Republicans and Democrats remain far apart and firm in their beliefs about climate change. Independents fall in between these extremes, but their beliefs appear weakly held — literally blowing in the wind. Interviewed on unseasonably warm days, independents tend to agree with the scientific consensus on human-caused climate change. On unseasonably cool days, they tend not to,” Hamilton and Stampone say.
The discovery of a new bird-like dinosaur from the Jurassic period challenges widely accepted theories on the origin of flight.
Co-authored by Dr Gareth Dyke, Senior Lecturer in Vertebrate Palaeontology at the University of Southampton, the paper describes a new feathered dinosaur about 30 cm in length which pre-dates bird-like dinosaurs that birds were long thought to have evolved from.
Over many years, it has become accepted among palaeontologists that birds evolved from a group of dinosaurs called theropods from the Early Cretaceous period of Earth’s history, around 120-130 million years ago. Recent discoveries of feathered dinosaurs from the older Middle-Late Jurassic period have reinforced this theory.Eosinopteryx Credit: Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences.
The new ‘bird-dinosaur’ Eosinopteryx described in Nature Communications this week provides additional evidence to this effect.
With projections of 9.5 billion people by 2050, humankind faces the challenge of feeding modern diets to additional mouths while using the same amounts of water, fertilizer and arable land as today.
Cornell researchers have taken a leap toward meeting those needs by discovering a gene that could lead to new varieties of staple crops with 50 percent higher yields.Cross section of a mature maize leaf showing Kranz (German for wreath) anatomy around a large vein. The bundle sheath cells (lighter red) encircle the vascular core (light blue). Mesophyll cells (dark red) encircle the bundle sheath cells. The interaction and cooperation between the mesophyll and bundle sheath is essential for the C4 photosynthetic mechanism.
The gene, called Scarecrow, is the first discovered to control a special leaf structure, known as Kranz anatomy, which leads to more efficient photosynthesis. Plants photosynthesize using one of two methods: C3, a less efficient, ancient method found in most plants, including wheat and rice; and C4, a more efficient adaptation employed by grasses, maize, sorghum and sugarcane that is better suited to drought, intense sunlight, heat and low nitrogen.
Seeing something cute actually does bring out aggression in us, according to a paper presented at Society for Personality and Social Psychology’s annual meeting in New Orleans last Friday.
Researchers found 109 people to look at pictures of animals — cute, funny and “neutral” photos of fluffy, fluffy puppies. The lucky participants then rated how they felt about the pictures: whether they agreed with the statement like “I just can’t handle it!” (or perhaps “It’s so fluffy I want to die!” whether they made them want to squeeze something or whether they were suddenly seized with the impulse to say something like “grr!” The cuter the animal, the more aggressive the response.
The study’s researchers, led by Rebecca Dyer, a graduate student in psychology at Yale University, dubs the phenomenon “cute aggression.”
“We think it’s about high positive-affect, an approach orientation and almost a sense of lost control,” she said. It’s so adorable, it drives you crazy.
IN November I quit my job as the editor of Wired to run 3D Robotics, the San Diego-based drone company I started with a partner as a side project three years ago. We make autopilot technology and small aircraft — both planes and multirotor copters — that can fly by themselves. The drones, which sell for a few hundred bucks, are for civilians: they don’t shoot anything but photographs and videos. And they’re incredibly fun to build (which we do with the ample help of robots). It wasn’t a hard decision to give up publishing for this.
But my company, like many manufacturers, is faced with a familiar challenge: its main competitors are Chinese companies that have the dual advantages of cheap labor and top-notch engineering. So, naturally, when we were raising a round of investment financing last year, venture capitalists demanded a plausible explanation for how our little start-up could beat its Chinese rivals. The answer was as much a surprise to the investors as it had been to me a few years earlier: Mexico. In particular, Tijuana.
Late in 2012, the Brookings Institution published its annual Global Metro Monitor (by Emilia Istrate and Carey Anne Nadeau), which estimates economic data for the 300 world metropolitan areas with the largest gross domestic product (GDP). The Global Metro Monitor also provides estimates of the GDP per capita for each of the qualifying metropolitan areas. The surprising news: after at least five years of the most laggard economic performance in adult memory, the United States continues to dominate the highest GDP per capita data.
Summary by Geography
Among the 10 metropolitan areas with the highest GDP per capita, nine are in the United States (Figure 1). Hartford ($79,900 per capita), for the second year in a row, was ranked the most affluent metropolitan economy by Brookings. The US accounts for 36 of the top 50 metropolitan economies, and 67 of the top 100.
Islamic clothing is getting a bit more hip in Southern California.
Home to one of the largest Muslim communities in the nation, the Southland has become fertile ground for a new generation of designers crafting clothes for women who are limited by faith and conviction from flashing too much skin.
Although Muslim women have been dressing fashionably for years, many in the U.S. say they still face tricky challenges when getting dressed — and especially dressed up.
“We are Muslim and we can still express ourselves, be fashionable, as long as we do it in a halal way” or in keeping with Islamic law, said LaTanya Maassarani, 30, a postal carrier from Long Beach. “But unless you have lots of money or lots of time to shop, it’s been hard for years to find clothes in America that aren’t dowdy.”
Filling that void now are designers such as Afra Said-Ahmed and her sister Eiman Ahmed, both Muslims, who launched Irvine clothing company Mohajababes. The name is a mash up of the words “babe” and “Muhajiba,” or one who wears a hijab scarf.
“Trying to conform to Muslim dress codes, you get stuck in a rut of black, black, black all the time,” said Ahmed, 26. “It’s definitely very difficult, especially in the U.S. You want to fit in, but still be appropriately dressed.”
So she and her sister scraped together $2,000 and began selling caftans and rhinestone accessories for head scarves at the end of 2011. The line is modest — caftans sweep the floor and hang loosely on the body. Yet the jewel-colored clothing comes with feminine frills such as silky fabrics and metallic embroidery.
Said-Ahmed said their goal was to dress fashion-conscious shoppers who are faithful to Islamic mandates but want nothing to do with traditional black coverings such as abayas and burkas, which are too hot for the California sun.
“There is a huge market here for Muslims who can’t access clothing like this,” she said. “People were saying, ‘Oh my God, that’s amazing. I have been looking everywhere for this.’”
Local designers in Irvine, Long Beach, San Diego, Newport Beach and Los Angeles are opening stores, showing off wares at conventions and sending models down runways in the Southland.
Is Pamela seething and shrieking about this yet?
There is a cute little boutique in Dearborn that I used to drive past last year, called “Hija Bee.” It’s not on my way any more, but I thought about going in there and buying something when Terry Jones and his gang of fascists were in town.
I hope this is true …