Daily Archives: May 10, 2011

“Where’s Hillary-Gate” as a cautionary tale for religious accommodation

You’ve all seen the photograph. Here’s a closeup:

On the right is a bunch of people in the Sitch Room at the White House watching in-house coverage of the Navy Seals taking out O-b-L. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Counter Intel Adviser Audrey Tomason are, notably, the only women in the room. There are not a lot of women in the highest echelon of power in the US, it would seem. The photograph on the left is the same shot published in the ‘newspaper’ Der Zeitung, a Brooklyn Hasidic publication. Here, the two women who actually were in the room have been deleted for religious reasons.

People noticed (Hasidic Paper Removes Hillary Clinton From Osama Picture, Spot the differences, When religion protects sexism, Hasidic newspaper regrets editing Hillary Clinton out of photo, Eating your cake and having it). The reason given for blanking out the two women in this photograph is straight forward: It is against the Hasidic religion to depict women in photographs in newspaper stories about them.

Don’t believe me? Leviticus is explicit:

Continue reading “Where’s Hillary-Gate” as a cautionary tale for religious accommodation

The Paleolithic Prescription: A Program of Diet & Exercise and a Design for Living

A lot of paleolithic diet and exercise books, many how to be a hunter-gatherer guides for the suburbanites, and numerous biologically-based-sounding self-help volumes based mainly on woo have been produced since The Paleolithic Prescription: A Program of Diet & Exercise and a Design for Living was published in 1989. To my knowledge, none of the subsequent books has been as useful or as well done, even if TPP requires some updating.

I’m not recommending the book as a self help guide, but rather, as a way of linking the scientific evidence for human diet and activity, based mainly on work with living foragers, with your own process of making choices. Konner and Shostak, of course, worked and lived with the Bushmen during the Harvard-Kalahari project. Mel wrote the excellent overview of the biology of behavior that if you ever took a class from me I probably made you read: The Tangled Wing: Biological Constraints on the Human Spirit, which is still very much worth reading. Marjorie wrote Nisa: The Life and Words of a !Kung Woman, also very much worth the read. (Yeah, I made you read that one too.)

The Paleolithic Prescription was based in part on a paper published in JAMA by the same authors. I like the fact that this is a “self help” book for regular people based on a peer reviewed paper in a medical journal, as opposed to some crazy idea some guy got while stoned on eating too many sesame seeds or something.

Disturbing behavior

UC Davis Prof Steps Down from Chair-ship over his own misogynist treatment of grad students:

A while back

…a department chair in the veterinary school at the University of California at Davis had polled a class on what grade he should give to a student who had to miss some quizzes because she had given birth.

This week,

… the university released a statement from Edward Feldman, chair of the medicine and epidemiology department, in which he apologized for the incident in his class, and said that he was complying with the university’s request to step down as chair.


Birthers are going extinct.

The ranks of birthers have thinned significantly since President Obama released his long-form birth certificate on April 27.

But they have not gone away …. more here.

Don’t forget to sign this petition to object to the anti-gay law in Uganada.