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Susan Komen Foundation attains the sellout singularity with a pinkwashed fracking-drill bit

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The Susan G Komen Foundation is the poster-child for shitty charitable activity, from its notoriously high overheads (which divert donors' money to executives, rather than cancer research) to its antipathy to Planned Parenthood (because forcing women to have babies is more important than screening their breasts for cancer), and then there's its string of dubious branding deals. <!-more-->

But now the charity has attained a new peak of sellout pinkwashing, partnering with fracking giant Baker Hughes to cover the tips of its drills with pink paint. The fracking company says this is "doing our bit" for the cure. Gettit? Bit!

It's funny because it's carcinogenic! However, the Komen Foundation assures us that none of the carcinogens that fracking forces into our drinking water cause breast cancer.

...Each steel bit — weighing 85 to 260 pounds — is painted by hand at the company’s drill bit manufacturing facility in The Woodlands and then shipped to the drill site in a pink-topped container containing information packets with breast health facts, including breast cancer risk factors and screening tips.

The hope is that the roughneck who cracks open that container learns a little more about the disease that afflicts 200,000 women per year.

Fracking company teams up with Susan G. Komen, introduces pink drill bits “for the cure” [Linday Abrams/Salon]

(Image: Baker Hughes)

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sarcozona
8 hours ago
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satadru
11 days ago
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New York, NY
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MotherHydra
10 days ago
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The Komen foundation is great at funneling money, what a shame that the majority of what is taken in doesn't go towards breast cancer. What a farce, there are plenty of great charities to donate or get involved with but this isn't one of them. Shame.
Space City, USA
chrisrosa
9 days ago
Think Before You Pink!

If you love science, love methods sections

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Mensh and Kording (2017) have a new paper on scientific writing. It’s very good. I agree with most of their advice. But not this.

You should also allocate your time according to the importance of each section. The title, abstract, and figures are viewed by far more people than the rest of the paper, and the methods section is read least of all. Budget accordingly.

No. Do not skimp time spent on your methods sections.

I get where this advice is coming from. It’s the same sentiment that has lead some journals to put their methods section at the end, or to stuff parts of papers away in online “supplemental information.”

But we read papers for lots of different reasons. I read lots of papers that are only tangentially related to me out of curiosity. But when there is a paper that is in my field, that I need to understand, I dig deep into those methods sections.

I’ve run into so many cases where something that looked like a solid finding looked very shaky once you realized how the data were collected. While Mensh and Kording are right that few people read the methods, it neglects that those who do are going to be the most intense and critical readers.

A recent feature in Nature showed that weak detailing of methods was leading to irreproducible results (my emphasis).

In one particularly painful teleconference, we spent an hour debating the proper procedure for picking up worms and placing them on new agar plates. Some batches of worms lived a full day longer with gentler technicians. Because a worm’s lifespan is only about 20 days, this is a big deal. Hundreds of e-mails and many teleconferences later, we converged on a technique but still had a stupendous three-day difference in lifespan between labs. The problem, it turned out, was notation — one lab determined age on the basis of when an egg hatched, others on when it was laid.

The article give multiple examples of how hard it is to standardize methodologies, but how important it is to achieving consistent results. This older Drugmonkey post, makes a similar point.

The methods section is where the rubber meets the road in terms of actually conducting science. If you don’t get that methods section right, you’re wasting the time of people who come afterwards.

References

Mensh B, Kording K. 2017. Ten simple rules for structuring papers. PLoS Computational Biology 13(9): e1005619. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1005619

Lithgow GJ, Driscoll M, Phillips P. 2017. A long journey to reproducible results. Nature 548: 387–388. https://doi.org/10.1038/548387a

External links

The most replicated finding in drug abuse science
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sarcozona
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You’ve Probably Never Heard of America’s Most Popular Playwright

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Daniel Pollack-Pelzner in The New Yorker:

Pollack-Pelzner-Youve-Probably-Never-Heard-Americas-Most-Popular-PlayrightOn a six-hour drive from San Francisco to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival a few years ago, the playwright Lauren Gunderson raised a question: What does American theatre need? “It was ridiculously presumptuous,” Gunderson told me recently, over the phone, “but it’s the conversation everyone is having.” Gunderson was travelling with her friend Margot Melcon, a former literary manager, who reminded her that every theatre needs a holiday show: something clever, heartwarming, and family-friendly enough to entice an audience inured to “A Christmas Carol.” Gunderson recalled their idea: “You know what people love? Jane Austen. You know what people really love? Christmas and Jane Austen.” By the time they finished the drive, they had outlined a script on Starbucks napkins: a holiday reunion for the Bennet sisters, from “Pride and Prejudice,” with a courtship plot for Mary, the pedantic middle sister, who emerges as a surprising feminist heroine. (Mary and her beau spark over a copy of Lamarck’s “Zoological Philosophy”; Gunderson calls Mary an emblem of “geek chic.”) “Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley” is now a regional-theatre hit.

Increasingly, theatres are banking on Gunderson, who, at thirty-five, has already had more than twenty of her works produced: among them witty historical dramas about women in science (“Emilie,” “Silent Sky,” “Ada and the Engine”), giddy political comedies (“Exit, Pursued by a Bear,” “The Taming,” “The Revolutionists”), and wildly theatrical explorations of death and legacy (“I and You,” “The Book of Will”). According to American Theatre magazine’s annual survey, released last month, Gunderson will be the most produced playwright in the country for the 2017–18 season.

More here.

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sarcozona
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Wounded Women

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Jessa Crispin in Boston Review:

 

Crispin---Sala-webIf you are wounded, everything you do is brave and beyond reproach. If you are wounded, you get to say that any portrayal of a woman as lying or manipulative is harmful to the culture and all of the future wounded women. If you are wounded, you get to control what is said and thought about you, and you get to try to create a criticism-free world.

The world is not a safe place. It harms us, jostles us, exposes us to burns and pricks. So we tell ourselves and each other stories to help us understand the what and the why. If we didn’t we would all be like Melzack’s dogs, unsure who is hurting us or what is to be done about it. But it is easy to misdiagnose the source of the problem, and once you do, the proper treatment will also elude you. Universalizing our pain challenges the culture to protect us, but it diminishes our individual responsibility. These stories gain traction because they validate what we feel—vulnerable and tossed around—and give us simplistic reasons for why we feel this way. If we claim vulnerability is our natural state, there is nothing we need to change. The world needs to change for us. Insisting we are distinct from men in our woundedness is an easy and soothing story. Men are the enemy who can redeem themselves by turning their nature to our benefit, by protecting us. But in the end we are estranged from our humanity. Here we are not participants in society; we are merely at the mercy of it.

More here.

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sarcozona
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Penguins die in 'catastrophic' Antarctic breeding season

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All but two Adelie penguin chicks have starved to death in their east Antarctic colony, in a breeding season described as "catastrophic" by experts.

It was caused by unusually high amounts of ice late in the season, meaning adults had to travel further for food.

It is the second bad season in five years after no chicks survived in 2015.

Conservation groups are calling for urgent action on a new marine protection area in the east Antarctic to protect the colony of about 36,000.

WWF says a ban on krill fishing in the area would eliminate their competition and help to secure the survival of Antarctic species, including the Adelie penguins.

WWF have been supporting research with French scientists in the region monitoring penguin numbers since 2010.

The protection proposal will be discussed at a meeting on Monday of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR).

The Commission is made up of the 25 members and the European Union.


  • Adelie penguins are the most southerly breeding bird in the world.
  • They are found along the Antarctic coast, and breed from October to February
  • They typically lay two eggs in nests made of stones, and parents take turns to incubate the eggs
  • Breeding adults may have to travel up to 30-75 miles (50-120 km) to catch food to then regurgitate for their chicks
  • See more on Adelie Penguins

Source: National Geographic and Antarctica.gov.au


"This devastating event contrasts with the image that many people might have of penguins," Rod Downie, Head of Polar Programmes at WWF, said.

"The risk of opening up this area to exploratory krill fisheries, which would compete with the Adelie penguins for food as they recover from two catastrophic breeding failures in four years, is unthinkable.

"So CCAMLR needs to act now by adopting a new Marine Protected Area for the waters off east Antarctica, to protect the home of the penguins."

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sarcozona
10 hours ago
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acdha
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Washington, DC
satadru
8 days ago
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New York, NY
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Taco Bell Testing Quesadillas Filled With Kit Kats, Twix Bars

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Taco Bell is basically a deep-fried stick of butter away from being a food booth at your local state fair. The latest result of the Bell’s plan to wrap any recognizable junk food inside a tortilla has resulted in two dessert quesadillas stuffed with either Twix bar pieces or Kit Kats.

Taco Bell customers began spotting the “Kit Kat Chocoladilla” and “Twix Caramel Chocoladilla” in recent weeks, as Brand Eating reports that the fast food company is testing the desserts at stores in Wisconsin.

The items look much like a traditional quesadilla, but instead of chicken and cheese, they come stuffed with Kit Kat or Twix pieces and melted chocolate.

Both of the desserts — or they could be your meal, no judgment here — are selling for $1.

This isn’t the first time Taco Bell has offered the chocolatey quesadillas. Brand Eating notes that the fast food company sold the Kit Kat version in the UK last year, but called it the “Chocodilla.”

Consumerist has reached out to Taco Bell for more information on how long the tests will last and if the product will make it to more restaurants. We’ll update this post if we hear back.

Spotted In The Wild

Several Twitter users have spied both versions of the Chocoladilla at their local Taco Bell restaurants.

Reddit user kgjettaIV said the Twix version wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great, either.

“I was hoping for something good as I really enjoy a Twix bar every now and then and while it wasn’t perfect it was pretty good,” he wrote, adding that the flavors “worked pretty well together,” though the filling was as plentiful as photos make it seem.







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sarcozona
10 hours ago
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I want this right now
satadru
22 hours ago
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It takes a lot to make me call something being sold at Taco Bell an abomination...
New York, NY
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