You may have known this all along, but now it has been demonstrated scientifically: bikinis make men stupid.
This month’s issue of the Journal of Consumer Research features a paper titled “Bikinis Instigate Generalized Impatience in Intertemporal Choice,” which is a neuroeconomist’s (definition in a moment) way of saying that men don’t make good decisions while checking out pretty girls in bikinis.
. . .
In the “bikini” experiments, Belgian researchers conducted a series of tests on 358 young men. In one test, the men looked at images of women in bikinis or lingerie and at images of landscapes. In another, some men were given T-shirts to handle and assess while others were given bras. Another batch of men was assigned to watch a commercial featuring men running over landscapes while other guys watched a video of “hundreds of young women, dressed in bikinis running across hills, fields and beaches.” (No word on whether they used “Baywatch” slo-mo).
In each test, the researchers offered the men the choice between being paid 15 euros immediately or bargaining for a larger sum that they'd be willing to wait a week or a month for. In all the tests, the men exposed to the sexy imagery or bras cited delayed reward amounts that were lower than the amounts cited by the men who saw sex-neutral imagery. For example, while a man who looked at landscapes might have demanded an extra payment of 10 euros a month later (totaling 25), the bikini-gazer might have been willing to settle for five extra (totaling 20). The sexy imagery did not work on all men all the time, but, as a group, men with sex on their brains settled for a less lucrative bargain, suggesting they were more impulsive and valued immediate gratification more than the controls.
“I observed in my studies that men are more likely to pick a smaller immediate reward over a larger later reward,” Bram van den Bergh, the study’s lead author, tells me. “Hence I do think that men might spend money on something they might otherwise not purchase. Men would become more impulsive in any domain after exposure to sexual cues.”
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
I should have waited a few years and gone to UCI. It's UCI, but nonetheless imagine getting a J.D.-debt free. A girl can dream, right?
Students who enroll at the University of California’s new law school in Irvine next fall will get their legal education for free.
The law school is giving full tuition scholarships worth about $100,000 to its first 2009 class of about 60 students, the National Law Journal reports.
Charles Cannon, assistant dean of development and external affairs at the law school, told the publication UC Irvine hopes to attract high-quality students with the offer. The free tuition is expected to cost the school about $6 million, he said.
The school is seeking donations to cover the scholarships and has so far raised about a third of the money.
The story also reports that the law school had originally called itself the Donald Bren School of Law in honor of a $20 million donor, but the school is dropping the name. It will be called the University of California, Irvine, a name that is parallel to other UC schools.
Granted one couldn't trade the experience of living in SF (where I'm enrolled in law school) for that of living in Irvine; Irvine can't compete. However, there is definitely something to be said about having $100,000 of your law school expenses handled. What I wouldn't give to not have to worry about how to pay rent, where to find the extra $3,000 for tuition increases, the prospect of graduating into a bad economy with very few public interest opportunities, etc.!
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
I'm loving this video, but realistically the difference between Obama and McCain is not as fabulous presented here. I mean McCain will bomb Iran and Obama will instead bomb Pakistan.
However, be sure to check out your local propositions and candidates. Your vote can make all the difference for the 15 year old incest victim seeking an abortion, the high school student being lured into the army by lying soldiers, and yes even the definition of marriage.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Proponents of Prop 8 continue to lie in their television ads.
Vote as you please, but don't be deceived. Here’s what’s fiction and what’s fact:
Fiction: Teaching children about same-sex marriage will happen here unless we pass Prop 8.
Fact: Not one word in Prop 8 mentions education, and no child can be forced, against the will of their parents, to be taught anything about health and family issues at school. California law prohibits it, and the Yes on 8 campaign knows they are lying. Sacramento Superior Court Judge Timothy Frawley has already ruled that this claim by Prop 8 proponents is “false and misleading.
Fiction: Churches could lose their tax-exemption status.
Fact: Nothing in Prop 8 would force churches to do anything. In fact, the court decision regarding marriage specifically says “no religion will be required to change its religious policies or practices with regard to same-sex couples, and no religious officiant will be required to solemnize a marriage in contravention of his or her religious beliefs.
Fiction: A Massachusetts case about a parent’s objection to the school curriculum will happen here.
Fact: Unlike Massachusetts, California gives parents an absolute right to remove their kids and opt-out of teaching on health and family instruction they don’t agree with. The opponents know that California law already covers this and Prop 8 won’t affect it, so they bring up an irrelevant case in Massachusetts.
Fiction: Four Activist Judges in San Francisco…
Fact: Prop 8 is not about courts and judges, it’s about eliminating a fundamental right. Judges didn’t grant the right, the constitution guarantees the right. Proponents of Prop 8 use an outdated and stale argument that judges aren’t supposed to protect rights and freedoms. This campaign is about whether Californians, right now, in 2008 are willing to amend the constitution for the sole purpose of eliminating a fundamental right for one group of citizens.
Fiction: People can be sued over personal beliefs.
Fact: California’s laws already prohibit discrimination against anyone based on race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation. This has nothing to do with marriage.
Fiction: Pepperdine University supports the Yes on 8 campaign.
Fact: The university has publicly disassociated itself from Professor Richard Peterson of Pepperdine University, who is featured in the ad, and has asked to not be identified in the Yes on 8 advertisements.
Fiction: Unless Prop 8 passes, CA parents won’t have the right to object to what their children are taught in school.
Fact: California law clearly gives parents and guardians broad authority to remove their children from any health instruction if it conflicts with their religious beliefs or moral convictions.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
I saw this animation last year. I wanted to blog it, but I think the creator had at that time disabled embedding. Anyhow, it seems she went on to the big leagues.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Early in 2007, just as her husband launched his presidential bid, Cindy McCain decided to resolve an old problem -- the lack of cellular telephone coverage on her remote 15-acre ranch near Sedona, nestled deep in a tree-lined canyon called Hidden Valley.
By the time Sen. John McCain's presidential bid was in full swing this summer, the ranch had wireless coverage from the two cellular companies most often used by campaign staff -- Verizon Wireless and AT&T.
Verizon delivered a portable tower know as a "cell site on wheels" -- free of charge -- to Cindy McCain's property in June in response to an online request from Cindy McCain's staff early last year. Such devices are usually reserved for restoring service when cell coverage is knocked out during emergencies, such as hurricanes.
In July, AT&T followed suit, wheeling in a portable tower for free to match Verizon's offer. "This is an unusual situation," said AT&T spokeswoman Claudia B. Jones. "You can't have a presidential nominee in an area where there is not cell coverage."
Over the course of the past year, Cindy McCain had offered land for a permanent cell tower and Verizon embarked on an expensive process to meet her needs, hiring contractors and seeking county land-use permits even though few people other than the McCains would benefit from the tower.
Ethics lawyers said Cindy McCain's dealings with the wireless companies stand out because Sen. John McCain is a senior member of the Senate Commerce Committee, which oversees the Federal Communications Commission and the telecommunications industry. He has been a leading advocate for industry-backed legislation, fighting regulations and taxes on telecommunications services.
McCain and his campaign have close ties to Verizon and AT&T. Five campaign officials, including campaign manager Rick Davis, have worked as lobbyists for Verizon. Former McCain staffer Robert Fisher is an in-house lobbyist for Verizon and is volunteering for the campaign. Fisher, Verizon chief executive Ivan Seidenberg and company lobbyists have raised more than $1.3 million for McCain's presidential campaign and Verizon employees are among the top 20 corporate donors over McCain's political career, giving more than $155,000 to his campaigns.
See every little bit, even the telecomm companies we choose to support, matters.
Monday, October 13, 2008
The case for why Columbus should NOT be honored:
Columbus planned to conquer and colonize all the Caribbean islands and the mainland. The islands were populated by over a million Taino Indians, peaceful farmers and fishermen. Unable to find enough gold to finance his schemes, Columbus captured thousands of Tainos and shipped them to the slave markets of Spain. The Tainos resisted with fishbone-tipped spears, but these were no match for artillery. Columbus demanded that each Taino pay a tribute of gold dust every three months, under penalty of amputation of the hands. In two years over a hundred thousand Tainos were dead, and the survivors were slaves in the mines and plantations. Columbus personally invented European imperialism in the Americas and the transatlantic slave trade.
And so Columbus, desperate to pay back dividends to those who had invested, had to make good his promise to fill the ships with gold. In the province of Cicao on Haiti, where he and his men imagined huge gold fields to exist, they ordered all persons fourteen years or older to collect a certain quantity of gold every three months. When they brought it, they were given copper tokens to hang around their necks. Indians found without a copper token had their hands cut off and bled to death.
The Indians had been given an impossible task. The only gold around was bits of dust garnered from the streams. So they fled, were hunted down with dogs, and were killed.
Trying to put together an army of resistance, the Arawaks faced Spaniards who had armor, muskets, swords, horses. When the Spaniards took prisoners they hanged them or burned them to death. Among the Arawaks, mass suicides began, with cassava poison. Infants were killed to save them from the Spaniards. In two years, through murder, mutilation, or suicide, half of the 250,000 Indians on Haiti were dead.
When it became clear that there was no gold left, the Indians were taken as slave labor on huge estates, known later as encomiendas. They were worked at a ferocious pace, and died by the thousands. By the year 1515, there were perhaps fifty thousand Indians left. By 1550, there were five hundred. A report of the year 1650 shows none of the original Arawaks or their descendants left on the island.
Columbus is DIRECTLY responsible for the deaths of thousands of Arawaks in Haiti. He forced them into gold mines for 6-8 months and 1/3 died, exhausted, depressed, ceased to procreate, killed their infants. Columbus also killed them thru murder, mutilation, suicide, overwork, abuse, and diseases.
The following history is one of depopulation: a heavy toll from wars of resistance, hard labor, and malnutrition. In 1492 there were 3 million people on Hispaniola. Two years later the population was cut in half. In 1515 it was down to 50,000, in 1550 it was 500 and by 1650 there weren't any left. Furthermore, Columbus' actions launched an era of modern colonialism, rape, pillage, genocide, cultural destruction, slavery, economic & environmental devastation.
To celebrate Columbus is, as one Guatemalan has noted, the same as having Jews celebrate Hitler and the holocaust. Columbus is much more than a representation of evil; he is the very embodiment of that evil.
Need I say more?
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Here I was thinking the condition of hip hop was beginning to take a turn for the better. I should have known better, Busta Rhymes has of course "blessed" us with some new trash disguised as music:
Posted by Zahra Billoo at 6:07 PM
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Katie Couric: Do you consider yourself a feminist?
Sarah Palin: I do. I'm a feminist who believes in equal rights and I believe that women certainly today have every opportunity that a man has to succeed and to try to do it all anyway. And I’m very, very thankful that I've been brought up in a family where gender hasn't been an issue. You know, I've been expected to do everything growing up that the boys were doing. We were out chopping wood and you’re out hunting and fishing and filling our freezer with good wild Alaskan game to feed our family. So it kinda started with that. With just that expectation that the boys and the girls in my community were expected to do the same and accomplish the same. That's just been instilled in me.
Couric: What is your definition of a feminist?
Palin: Someone who believes in equal rights. Someone who would not stand for oppression against women.
Couric: Where do you stand on the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act?
Palin: I’m absolutely for equal pay for equal work. The Ledbetter pay act - it was gonna turn into a boon for trial lawyers who, I believe, could have taken advantage of women who were many, many years ago who would allege some kind of discrimination. Thankfully, there are laws on the books, there have been since 1963, that no woman could be discriminated against in the workplace in terms of anything, but especially in terms of pay. So, thankfully we have the laws on the books and they better be enforced.
Couric: The Ledbetter act sort of lengthens the time a woman can sue her company if she's not getting equal pay for equal work. Why should a fear of lawsuits trump a woman's ability to do something about the fact that women make 77 cents for every dollar a man makes. And that's today.
Palin: There should be no fear of a lawsuit prohibiting a woman from making sure that the laws that are on the books today are enforced. I know in a McCain-Palin administration we will not stand for any measure that would result in a woman being paid less than a man for equal work.
Couric: Why shouldn’t the Ledbetter act be in place? You think it would result in lawsuits brought by women years and years ago. Is that your main problem with it?
Palin: It would have turned into a boon for trial lawyers. Again, thankfully with the existing laws we have on the books, they better be enforced. We won't stand for anything but that. We won't stand for any discrimination in the workplace - that there isn't any discrimination in America.
Posted by Zahra Billoo at 10:47 PM
Monday, October 06, 2008
I couldn't figure out what to get my brother for Eid. He has everything he needs and is leaving the country in a couple of days. I, of course, resorted to fulfilling one of his few remaining American food cravings.
Evan Roth designed these custom etched metal plates to show up on X-ray machines when your luggage is scanned at the airport. And let me tell you this, airport security loooooves a good joke.
Thursday, October 02, 2008
Dear Governor Schwarzenegger,
I am deeply disturbed by your veto of funding for the UC Miguel Contreras Labor Program. This was a difficult budget year, but the state budget should not be used as a political tool to target one specific research and educational program. Your action violates fundamental principles of academic freedom and university governance.
As governor, you should be representing all working families in California, but once again you have cut out funding for the only program at UC that is dedicated to labor research and education.
The Miguel Contreras Labor Program has provided valuable and highly respected research on such issues as health care reform, climate change legislation, workforce development, and paid family leave. The labor studies programs have supported new and innovative courses and educational curriculum on all ten UC campuses and the education and outreach programs represent a significant investment in California's work force.
I urge you to work with UC to ensure that the Miguel Contreras Labor Program receives funding this year, and to restore permanent funding in the future.
(Send your own letter: take action)
Posted by Zahra Billoo at 7:48 PM