Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for January 25th, 2023

Misogyny is systemic: Women scientists at famed oceanography institute have half the lab space of men

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Meredith Wadman reports in Science:

Women constitute 26% of the scientists at the prestigious Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), but only hold 17% of the space, according to an unprecedented report released last week.

SIO’s 56 women scientists have on average half as much research space and one-third the storage space of their 157 male counterparts, according to the 95-page report by a task force of SIO faculty and staff and UCSD officials. The 16 labs defined as “very large” all belong to men. Women also have less office space. And of 32 coveted storage containers in service yards on site—as opposed to at less convenient remote locations—31 are assigned to men.

The authors said the differences could not be “explained away” by funding, years at SIO, discipline, or research group size. “Our analysis points to the existence of widespread, institution-wide cultural barriers to gender equity within Scripps,” they concluded.

The report was commissioned in May 2022 by the university chancellor, executive vice chancellor, and SIO director after SIO faculty raised concerns. Its findings are likely to resonate in other institutions. American Geophysical Union President Lisa Graumlich, a paleoclimatologist at the University of Washington, Seattle, says that at major research universities she has visited nationwide, faculty from marginalized groups have told her they don’t have enough space for their research and that space allocation policies lack accountability. She is “sadly not surprised” by the findings at SIO, she says.

The storied 120-year-old research center for ocean, earth, and atmospheric science, perched on bluffs above the Pacific Ocean, appears to be the first scientific institution to have conducted and released such an exhaustive statistical analysis of space allocation by gender. But its findings echo those of an investigation nearly 30 years ago led by Nancy Hopkins, now a biologist emerita at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). In the early 1990s, under cover of dark, Hopkins measured every lab in the biology building there before leading a groundbreaking 1999 report on systematic discrimination against MIT faculty women. Hopkins calls the new results “stunning. … I looked at this thing and I thought, ‘Oh my God, 30 years; I was doing this 30 years ago.’ It has been written about and talked about and it’s still happening.”

The 1999 MIT report concluded that women there lacked space relative to men. But the data behind that finding were kept confidential. A 2000 gender equity review by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution found women scientists experienced a striking space deficit compared with their male peers as both advanced in their careers, but it did not examine possible confounders as the current study did.

When the authors of the new study corrected for variables such as funding, time at SIO, and discipline that might explain the stark differences in space assignments, they came up empty. As faculty gained more funding, space assignments for men grew at four times the rate that women’s did. And as the size of their research groups grew, men’s research space expanded at nearly double the rate of women’s. The gender gaps persisted across . . .

Continue reading.

This sort of gender bias is not only unjust, it’s also stupid. It would be equally (un)productive to randomly divide the scientists into two groups and provide one group with ample resources and the other group with inadequate resources and then observe the accomplishments of each group.

Written by Leisureguy

25 January 2023 at 8:47 pm

Posted in Business, Daily life, Science

Tagged with ,

Sounds like a great restaurant

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If I could have a dinner here, I would set aside my whole-food plant-based diet for the evening.

Written by Leisureguy

25 January 2023 at 8:15 pm

Why I added baking soda when I cooked dried beans

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In my guide to making your own tempeh, I include a warning on not adding any baking soda to the water when cooking dried beans: Rhizopus oligosporus, the fungus that turns beans (and grain) into tempeh, requires an acid environment and will not grow if the beans are alkaline.

Someone in the Tempeh Makers group on Facebook asked why would I even add baking soda when I cook dried beans. Here’s why: if you’re just cooking beans to eat, a little baking soda makes them cook much faster, be more tender, and (some say) less gassy. See this Cook’s Illustrated article. It worked so well when I tried it, I made it a habit. All well and good, until I tried to make tempeh with beans cooked that way: consistent failure until I twigged to the problem.

Written by Leisureguy

25 January 2023 at 7:22 pm

I tried boiled mushrooms

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I got some good mushrooms — domestic white, good-sized — and decided to try boiling them, much as described in the video at the link. The only change I made was to include alliums, which the video neglected to do: 1/4 large red onion, chopped, and 4 large Russian red garlic cloves, thinly sliced. I put those along with 10 large mushrooms, sliced, in a skillet, covered them with water, and set them on the induction burner turned to 250ºF until the water was gone, about 35 minutes.

Then I added a pinch of salt, decided to forego the olive oil, and served them with some of my Tempeh Greens.

They’re very tasty. I’ll make them again..

Written by Leisureguy

25 January 2023 at 6:54 pm

A Hollywood Armorer on the “Rust” Shooting Charges

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In the Atlantic, Caroline Mimbs Nyce interviews a movie armorer on the fatal shooting on the set of Rust. The article begins:

When someone is accidentally shot and killed on a film set, who is responsible: the actor holding the gun, the person who handed it to him, or the professional charged with managing the movie’s weaponry? Last week, New Mexico prosecutors proposed an answer: all three.

The actor Alec Baldwin will be charged with involuntary manslaughter for the fatal shooting of the cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the film Rust. Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the film’s armorer—the person who manages the set’s firearms and their related safety protocols—also faces charges. Meanwhile, Assistant Director Dave Halls, the person who reportedly handed Baldwin the gun moments before the incident, has taken a plea deal on a charge of negligent use of a deadly weapon, according to prosecutors.  Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed have denied responsibility for Hutchins’s death.

I spoke with Thomas Pimentel, a Massachusetts-based armorer, twice over the phone about the charges, the state of the armorer position in the movie industry, and whether Hollywood should stop using guns on film sets altogether.

Our conversations have been condensed and edited for clarity. . .

Continue reading. (no paywall)

Written by Leisureguy

25 January 2023 at 5:03 pm

Court-watchers blocked

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Government should be responsive to the public (presumably the group on whose behalf they work), and not focus so much on self-protection and secrecy.

January 23, 2023

Fiona Apple
Courtwatch PG
Los Angeles

In favor of: H.B.133/S.B. 43 An Act Concerning Courts – Remote Public Access

My name is Fiona Apple and although I do not reside in Maryland, I have been courtwatching for Prince George’s county for two years and I am honored to have ties to this community. I could go on and on about the injustices I have witnessed and try to appeal to the humanity of the government but instead I will focus on the logic of granting remote video access.

We had Zoom access for many months during the height of the pandemic when everyone was equal in the regard that no one was able to attend court in person. When the courts opened their virtual doors we were reminded that so many people were already unable to attend court in person. People with disabilities who cannot make the physical trip to court. People with jobs where they can’t get time off to make the physical trip to court. People who lack the funds and the means to make the physical trip to court. The courts opened their virtual doors because it was the right thing to do. It is still the right thing to do. We had Zoom access until it was suddenly taken away and then we were left with audio that could hardly be called access. Many days, a person calling in to court would not be able to identify who is speaking. Proceedings continue to be delayed and cases postponed as we have found the audio quality changes constantly.

People have a constitutional right to open and public courts and people have the right to participate in their own defense. The audio “access” we have presently does not allow the judges to hear the defendants and sometimes vice versa. This violates the defendants’ constitutional rights.

We know it is possible to have video access because we have had it before but I only found out recently that DC already has video access in place and it seems to be working fine – so it’s very hard to see what the hold up is, unless the government of Maryland wants to hide what is happening inside its courtrooms the way a bad police officer wants to turn off his body camera.

If I could courtwatch virtually where I live, I would. But I’m glad that I’ve been a courtwatcher for PG County because it has taught me that community can stretch far across state lines and that being a good neighbor is possible even if you don’t live right next door.

This legislation would make Maryland leaders on the way to a more just, transparent, and accountable system that will protect the trust of the public you are meant to serve.

It is constitutional, it is available, and it is the right thing to do.

Thank you.

Written by Leisureguy

25 January 2023 at 12:43 pm

I Coloniali and 4711

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Shaving setup: a tube of I Colniali shaving cream stands next to a silvertip shaving brush whose white handle bears the word "Emperor." To the right is a squat bottle of light-green aftershave in a transparent glass bottle that has a rectangular black cap and the label "No. 4711." In font is a black slant razor with a thick handle.

It’s too bad that I Coloniali shaving cream is now a thing of the past. I’m not sure what role rhubarb plays in its formulation, but it was an excellent shaving cream — and mine still is, as evidenced by the luscious lather created with my Simpson Emperor 2 Super shaving brush.

The Holy Black’s SR-71 slant razor uses a clone of the Merkur 37 head, but the thick and heavy brass handle substantially changes the feel in the hand. Three passes left my face smooth.

A splash of No. 4711 aftershave, which has a classic cologne fragrance, augmented with a couple of squirts of Grooming Dept’s Aion Hydrating Gel finished the shave. As is the common practice, the number in the title refers to their street address.

My morning caffeine today is coffee, not tea, and soon I will need to buy a new pound of coffee. Only a short walk away is a Discovery coffee shop, Discovery being a local coffee roaster that offers excellent coffee. (Hover over a blend name to see the flavor profile.) I’ll buy a bag of one of their blends. (And later I’ll try some coffee from Fantastico, another local roastery.)

Written by Leisureguy

25 January 2023 at 12:41 pm

Posted in Caffeine, Shaving

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