Daily Archives: November 17, 2007

Blame, Jail, and Torture The Victim

This is the kind of story that makes it difficult to remain culturally relativistic. it also makes it hard to look at women who are in purdah walking around in a “free” country like the US and not, in part blame them for compliance.A woman was gang raped in Saudi Arabia. Fourteen times. Seven men are now in jail, convicted of rape and serving sentences up to five years. In Saudi Arabia, I think five years is a lot for violently raping a woman.The woman who was raped, however, was sentenced to be tortured for being in the car of a “strange man.”In this case, the torture would involve 90 lashes. She appealed. The court, because of her appeal, changed the sentence from 90 lashes to 200 lashes. The courts punished the girl because she, allegedly, tried to “aggravate and influence the judiciary through the media.” The victim’s lawyer was also punished.Obviously, the Saudis, their government, and their society, are totally fucked. That is my considered anthropological opinion of the matter.But don’t worry. If anything bad threatens Saudi Arabia, the United States is there to protect them with the full strength of our military.

Get Your Own Genome Sequenced

Today, deCODE genetics announced the launch of their consumer genotyping service, deCODEme. deCODEme is the first personal genomics company to launch, and will provide sequencing information about 1 million SNPs for the introductory price of $985. The service has two components:[source]

From deCODEme (Man, I’m siCK of these miXEDcase companynames.):

“Through your subscription to deCODEme, you can learn what your DNA says about your ancestry, your body -traits such as hair and eye color- as well as whether you may have genetic variants that have been associated with higher or lower than average risk of a range of common diseases. This information will be continually updated as new discoveries are made.”

Cool. They’ll tell you what color eyes you have and everything.See the decode.com webcast. They are very professional looking, I must say. But I could only get through the first two minutes, so don’t take my word for it.

IPCC Working Group 3: Mitigation of Climate Change

This report covers six topics:

  • Greenhouse gas (GHG) emission trends
  • Mitigation in the short and medium term, across different economic sectors (until 2030)
  • Mitigation in the long-term (beyond 2030)
  • Policies, measures and instruments to mitigate climate change
  • Sustainable development and climate change mitigation
  • Gaps in knowledge.

This link will eventually get you to the PDF file of the summary for policy makers.The full report is here.