Thursday, November 26, 2015


As a psychology undergrad I was sent out to record the sitting postures of men and women.  The theory, generally supported by this new data, is that men are more likely to sit with their legs spread apart, and women with them together or with legs crossed. These days spread apart legs can cause issues in places like a train where it leads to guys taking up more than their fair share of he seating (a.k.a. manspreading)

Then, as now, I think it is incorrect to treat seating posture as purely a matter of gender-conditioning.  Dudes do have some stuff that can more easily get squished in a closed or cross position, especially in tight trousers.  While women are more likely to be wearing shirts and need to avoid giving the person sitting opposite a show. These things are gender-related but in a physically tangible, way not a purely psychological one.

That said, dudes who think sitting cross-legged is unacceptably ladylike need to take a lesson from he bad-ass Victorian naval officers shown below.  Totally rocking the cross-legged look and also somes beards modern hipsters only aspire to in their wildest dreams.

Friday, November 20, 2015


I do have to say that I am getting a little tired of the Paris-sympathy-shaming. I think we need to expand the moral circle, not contract it. If people feel a special bond to Paris before and after the attacks, that needs to be accepted and expanded to equally deserving communities because sympathy and support is the right response. We just need to extend it to places that lack some of the immediate fame/privilege/whatever of a European capital.

I understand the anger of those who are being over-looked. It is a completely valid response. But nothing is achieved by tearing Paris down or belittling what was experienced there. Cycles of compassion are the only answer to cycles of violence.  Decades of research has shown that knowing about people and places directly causes more sympathy for them. And very few cities in the world are as famous as Paris.

Places that are seen as remote, or unimportant, or unfamiliar, or flat out disrespected for racist or other prejudiced or ignorant reasons, they need to be raised up into the light beside Paris.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

You can now offically get Frozen themed *anything*

The Mote and the Beam

Two days ago this sign was finally taken down.  But why was it every put up?  The crusades were five centuries of religiously motivated war against the people of the Middle East.  The only reason to remember them should be to realize that the trite phrase currently circulating in the wake of the Paris attacks ("not all Muslims are terrorists but all terrorists are Muslims") is an order of magnitude wrong.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Emilio Cavallini tights

So adorable

Unisex does not always mean traditionally masculine

In Praise of "They"

While I am indifferent about The Oxford dictionary choosing an emoji as word of there year, I whole-hearted support the runner up: "they" as a gender neutral singular.  This use of "they" is common across most of the world and needs to also be adopted by US style guides.  It is functional, sleek, simplifies phrasing, and has a long lineage of being used to refer to an individual without specifying gender.

They: "Used to refer to a person of unspecified sex," according to Oxford Dictionaries.