Without further analysis from my side, the links are followed by exchanges that occurred elsewhere - in an e-mail thread among A.B. authors and my Facebook page. (Joe, see I always follow good advice!)
The most complete 3-D map of the universe: (link Dean)
Norman Costa: The 2MRS image is a hoax. It is actually a recently discovered, and previously unknown, Jackson Pollack canvas. The astronomers superimposed a Mercator Projection of grid lines upon the image. The fraud was uncovered by a grandson of Pollack, a graduate student at Yale University in the Art History department.
Missing mass of the universe found: (link Dean)
Dean: Love this sentence: "We don’t know where it went. Now we do know where it went because that’s what Amelia found." Reads like one of my kids' bedtime books!
Prasad (our own resident physicist): Ah, I have nothing to say about the universe, but mass is a weird thing, psychologically speaking. You think of what masses want, and basically it's to be left to do as they please, Newton's first law style. And the heavier something is, the better it withstands your pushes and pokes at it. It's a principle of self-respect and stateliness, combined with some John Wayne type loner. But then there's gravity. Masses lose their minds when they encounter each other. You take more than one of these dignity-soaked objects, and right there they have to run right toward each each other. And if there's something really top-dog around like the earth, you can see how everything around it, feather or ten-ton weight, runs toward it at the same rate, independent of how much heft it has in its own right. It would be hard to make sense of a person who behaved in this peculiar way.
"Storming" gender biases: (a link I posted on Facebook; do read the news report before you look at the comments that follow)
BTW, I think it is a boy.
But Stocker and Witterick's choices haven't always made life easy for their kids. Though Jazz likes dressing as a girl, he doesn't seem ...to want to be mistaken for one. He recently asked his mother to let the leaders of a nature center know that he's a boy. And he chose not to attend a conventional school because of the questions about his gender. Asked whether that upsets him, Jazz nodded.
Elatia Harris: If they have rights to raise there children this way, then our questioning their wisdom is only an exercise. I'll bet we all know some very impaired people who raise their children with love and precious little judgment. As long as love is ...present, life at home may be better than life in the foster care system. But defiantly presenting your child to the world as ungendered, and digging out on all the ensuing confusion because, s--t, man, your point is made, and you HAVE gotten in peoples' faces, is really unhinged. Malicious stage-mothering x 10, and I wish a sane auntie would step in.
Lester Hunt: By "have the right" I just mean it would be wrong to use force or violence against them. The rest of us have a right to remonstrate with them, ridicule them, and so forth. To start coercing people about things like this would be a slippery slope to Hell, I believe.
Elatia Harris: I agree, Lester -- the greater harm would not be outbalanced by the isolated good. This is like the Neo-Nazis parading in Skokie, IL, home to many Holocaust survivors, some decades ago. A real test case. If these parents are let alone, to w...oefully compromise their kids' journey to puberty, because they are not doing anything illegal, only something grotesque and harmful, then the rights of unconventional parents who do not expose their children to harm are safeguarded. Difficult as it all is, it's better so.
Lindsay Beyerstein: This is a publicity stunt. I don't see why people are so exercised about it, though. Basically, they're saying that they're not going to announce the kid's gender based solely on his (?) anatomical sex. They're waiting for him (?) to come t...o his own conclusions. If you accept the thesis that gender is primarily a matter of what's in your brain, as opposed to what's between your legs, it seems only reasonable to wait until the individual can express their identity. Odds are, Storm will come to the conclusion that his brain matches his junk--but if not, so what? I don't buy the whole "confusion" argument as to why you're abusing your kids if you don't relentlessly drill gender norms into them. I'm too much of a biological determinist for that. Kids know who they are. The worst-case scenario is if the brain doesn't match the junk and society spends an entire childhood trying to ignore or suppress the mismatch. That's what's confusing.