Saturday, March 08, 2008

International Women's Day


This is just to remind you that today, March 8th, is International Women's Day.

If you're a man, take a moment to imagine how much more boring the world would be if your coworkers all had Y chromosomes. Take a moment to appreciate your girlfriend's constant reminder to eat more healthy, and your wife's habit to brush real or imaginary dust off your shoulders.

And if you're a woman, well, we all know who actually makes things happen in this world, don't we?


[See here for picture information]

58 comments:

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Bee,

Yes, on this day and all others I agree we must give credit and thanks to the women of the world as it just could not exist or be a worthwhile place in their absence. Also, I would agree that long after the so called “theory of everything” is not only discovered, yet understood by even school children that approximately 50% of the populous will not be any closer to understanding the nature and actions of this vital subset of the species:-)

Best,

Phil

Uncle Al said...

...Sugar and spice and everything nice, with 0.1% sodium benzoate added as preservative.

The Big Bang Theory,
Leonard: "Leslie and I do research together at the university."
Penny: "Oh, wow! A girl scientist!"
Leslie Winkle: "Yup. Come for the breasts. Stay for the brains."

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Bee,

Despite the levity I expressed in my last post, I’d like now to bring to your attention a more serious matter. That matter relates to the web site you point to in relation to Women’s Day. When going a little further you find a link to a section of the Web site that has women in different capacities point out the importance and significance of this day. In going down the list and seeing and listening to what was being said I noticed a glaring omission in the representation of women among the speakers. That omission is that there was not a single comment presented by a female scientist. I am thus brought to wonder if this is simply a coincidence, lack of a women willing to step forward to express her views or a perception of women as a group that someone of this vocation does not serve as a worthy representative or aspiration for them? What then are your thoughts in this regard?

Best,

Phil

Bee said...

I am presently mostly puzzled by how you managed to write this comment while I was shown a 'Google Error'. I am on my way to catch some talks at the workshop, more later.
Best,

B.

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Bee,

I experienced the same problem as you and as reported by Blogger so has everyone. It my attempts to access my own Blog and so forth I gave it one more try and was successful. More resultant of persistence rather then ability, I’m afraid. Then perhaps they just cut us old people a break, who knows? :-) Good luck with the seminar, I hope you can keep all the bands and their significance straight for I certainly couldn’t.

Best,

Phil

Phil Warnell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

"Take a moment to appreciate your girlfriend's constant reminder to eat more healthy, and your wife's habit to brush real or imaginary dust off your shoulders."

The problem of course is that my wife and my girlfriend don't appreciate each other.

Bee said...

ha, that was a good one :-)

Bee said...

Hi Phil,

I didn't know you were writing a blog! Only just had a look. I think you deserve a link in my sidebar :-)

Need some coffee now. I feel way too non-gaussian for a Saturday afternoon (and besides this, it could really stop snowing at some point).

Best,

B.

Neil' said...

Many would like to see more women getting into physics. It seems like lots of talent is going to waste, if there really aren't very many taking that route (but can they find work? ...) If Bee can inspire some of those ladies, they can be called "wanna-Bees" - to follow on phil warnell from the "Talk like you want" thread.

PS: I remember back in mid-80s when girls who wanted to be like, and did dress like, Cyndi Lauper and Madonna were called "wanna-bees."

Arun said...

Dear Bee,
Today's the day to appreciate women in uniform!

:)
Best,
-Arun

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Bee,

“I didn't know you were writing a blog! Only just had a look. I think you deserve a link in my sidebar :-)”

As flattering as I find the offer I would insist that would be ill-advised on your part. It would totally destroy the integrity this blog has in only promoting what would be considered a sound scientific perspective :-) Besides, it’s not very good and only serves to have some place to jot down my noodlings.

“Need some coffee now. I feel way too non-gaussian for a Saturday afternoon.”

I understand your feeling for although not at the lecture I did watch it via PIRSA delayed. Dr. Wandelf although clear and well prepared stood only to show that the method(s) they used to analyze the data was sound. The use of the hockey stick as a pointer did however serve to give it a distinctly Canadian flavour. The only thing that became plainly obvious to me is that it would be far simpler if the Milky Way was in the way. Then they could eliminate all this Monte Carlo slight of hand stuff to calculate what lay beyond the foreground. Damn nuisance this galaxy of ours is:-)

Best,

Phil

stefan said...

Dear Bee,


Oh, I didn't know that, the International Women's Day. Anyway, it's nive to see Rosie again ;-)

Stefan

Bee said...

Dear Arun:

yeah... even those with uniforms. (Though I'm more a friend of multiforms.)

Hi Neil',

I couldn't stand Madonna in the 80s, but since the mid 90s I admit on being impressed by her creativity and persistence.

Many would like to see more women getting into physics. It seems like lots of talent is going to waste, if there really aren't very many taking that route (but can they find work? ...) If Bee can inspire some of those ladies,

Well, as long as the circumstances are what they are, it's not easy. I am afraid my attitude towards the women-in-science issue isn't quite politically correct, but since it's International Women's Day I hope there's even enough tolerance for my opinion. I think most of the women-in-science initiatives are mislead because they don't address the problem.

Yes, there is the problem with the sexist males, that is undoubtedly disgusting and a reason to stay away. But what is more troublesome is that the 'selection criteria' strongly favor what I would call (forgive me) typically male attributes. E.g. favored are people who do well under high competitive pressure, people who are very convinced of themselves, (or if they have doubts about their own abilities, keep them for themselves). Profs are typically impressed by students who disrupt lectures with a lots of questions, at least in the classes I took these people were usually boys Besides showing an interest in the topic the questions didn't actually say anything about their qualifications, but that's the people you keep in mind. They are impressed by students who fly over 'details' to arrive at the 'right' conclusion (an 'intuition' that one can easily fake I should add), whereas in the exercise groups I've been in the girls usually were much more careful - therefore also slower admittedly, and also less 'impressive'. (I read a survey on that matter a while ago, if I find it I will add a link.)

Add to this that on a later stage any kind of future planning becomes increasingly difficult, which strongly favors people who don't care about longer term planning. This is something I think women are just less willing to tolerate for a time as long as it is in theoretical physics - typically up to the mid or late thirties. That is to say in contrast to my male colleagues, I can't wait until I'm 50, marry a younger women and have children. In addition to this I believe (and please keep in mind that this is my very subjective opinion, and I do not claim it is shared by my female colleagues) that women are generally less tolerant towards personal bullshit at the workplace. I don't necessarily mean actual insults, but lacking respect, messed up collaborations, unreliable coworkers etc (and I don't mean less tolerant in a psychological way, but I mean they will draw a line earlier, and make decisions accordingly). Take all this together, and I come to believe that the reason why there are less women the higher the step on the career latter is simply that they aren't willing to pay the price.

An obvious way to improve the matter is more security with the job situation at an earlier age.

Hi Phil,

The blogs I link to in the sidebar aren't there neither because it's an extensive list (I am sure you can find one elsewhere) nor because I rank them the highest quality, but mostly because I like the authors, the content, or maybe just the layout. If you are very unhappy about it, I will of course remove the link.

Best,

B.

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Bee,

“If you are very unhappy about it, I will of course remove the link.”

Of course I’m not unhappy about it, in fact you’ve made me blush, which I’m not in the habit of admitting is possible. In as I gave you fair warning, I therefore graciously accept. I hope that the link I have provided on my own site to yours will be perceived as equally welcome. One thing I can attest to is that all of the few I have are of significant value. At least I can say it has at least this much in its favour:-)

Best,

Phil

Kea said...

Oh, I missed it. I didn't notice any particularly friendly behaviour at work, either. Well, happy Women's Day anyway.

Lumo said...

The famous female worker is not Rosie the Riveter but a nameless woman modeled on Geraldine Doyle. Finally, I would like to emphasize that the painting was made by J. Howard Miller who was male, much like the authors of virtually all important things in our civilization. ;-)

I suppose that respecting copyrights and giving the proper credit to authors is not the most convenient policy for feminist propaganda.

Neil' said...

Well Bee I think the traits that you ascribe to women are much needed in physics. Lumo probably won't appreciate that. The non-feminine trait I think most damaging is to glide over details to get the "right" answer. That usually works OK because the assumptions are usually right, but we need some people to look around that. It's a matter of combining talents more than it is of which way is better.

BTW I think that certain images are so well-recognized that it is accepted that crediting in specifics is not needed? Then I guess it's a vague boundary as to which is which.

Bee said...

hi neil,
yes, I agree it's a matter of combining talents. and I do think that the way people are selected now misses part of these talents. I am however against artificially increasing the number of women by having a quota or, worse, restricting selection to women. i've myself been on scholarships for 'outstanding women in science', and though it's certainly nice this support exists the backlash is the gossip that you're only surviving in the field because you've special support, not because of your actual qualifications. it's just not helpful. best,

B.

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Bee,

That was a nice piece you addressed to Neil in regards to women and their perceived place in the physics community. I’ve noticed that of all the sub-disciplines of science, theoretical physics appears to have the least representation and you express yourself pretty well as to the reasons. It does however seem to come down to the fact, that in the main, many of your peers are loud mouth snooks. I would suggest that the competitive aspect therefore is somewhat secondary since sectors such as biology, zoology; medical research and even mathematics seem to be experiencing a steady rise in representation and contribution.

The one thing that you didn’t address is your take on how women as a group regard those such as yourself. In being only a physicist wish-they-bee I realize that within the general population one is perceived as somewhat strange. I also have a perception that women as a subset are even more biased in this viewpoint. Do you think this is related to a perception that this is unappealing for them or it is related to more that it is somehow considered something that only a man would like to do?

I will tell you straight off that I myself have no such bias when it comes to this. In fact I have often wondered what the true potential of say those such as Emmy Noether would have been if she hadn’t faced the obstacles that you mentioned to the nth power. I have to agree with Neil that it is indeed unfortunate that women are not better represented in your vocation. I would say for instance that Noether’s insight was a left brained thing, as she demonstrated how symmetry and conservation are connected. I am therefore brought to wonder what more of this slant in terms of perception would bring to the discipline and thereby our understanding.

Regards,

Phil

Anonymous said...

hi bee, regarding your comment of 'the gossip that you're only surviving in the field because you've special support, not because of your actual qualifications.', well.. that's not prejudice against women, I mean the Noether's reward, you can understand it by realizing that men actually think you have skilzz but its not socially acceptable to say so (or they would be thought of as wussies) so they invent prizes like that to get around that and be able to gossip (and therefore real men) while secretly congratulating you.
A.

Bee said...

Hi Phil,

Well, that's a huge question, and one that I can't really answer. To be frank, I have noticed repeatedly that many of my female colleagues disagree with me on these matters, so I am probably not the best person to ask. There seems to be a lot of talk about the 'natural' level of women in physics, one that isn't biased by socialization and tradition. I can't make much sense out of this because I regard socialization and tradition 'natural'. If somebody wouldn't be happy in physics for whatever reason, what's the point of urging them to go there.

To come to the more unpopular point of view I seem to hold, I do indeed believe that women and men do - on the average - have for genetical reasons different interests, and address problems differently. You find an abundance of references on this point of view, as well as on the opposite on the web, so I won't bother you with references - I guess you've read sufficiently much about the topic. It might indeed be that (on the average, always on the average) women are less inclined to work on certain topics, and I actually don't see why one has to change this. As you mention, the fraction of women is particularly low in theoretical physics. It is higher in mathematics, so maths isn't the problem. To come back to something I've mentioned earlier: there is e.g. the problem of specialization vs. generalization. Focusing on a single target and blending out the rest seems to be something men do better in.

But besides this, there is also the question of how theoretical physics is perceived and communicated, something that I believe influences in many instances whether or not somebody would like to work in the field. I hope that our blog can make some difference in this regard, by giving a voice to the equations.

Regarding the question of appealing or unappealing, this again is hard to say. There is of course the chicken-and-egg problem. If I had a choice I would probably prefer a department with women in the faculty over one without. On the other hand, I haven't paid much attention to the women fraction when I went into theoretical physics, and I usually do well with male coworkers (possibly a consequence of having three brothers).

What drives me up the walls though is what I like to call the 'cute-nose-effect'. There is a subclass of senior males who nod and smile at everything I say, tell me completely unrelatedly they have a daughter my age (or a son who just got married), occasionally they even pad my head or put an arm around my shoulders. In extreme versions I've been called 'my girl' because the person evidently couldn't even recall my name. This kind of not being taken seriously drives me nuts, and it's incredibly hard to avoid. I am still waiting to grow out of that age. Possibly the grey hairs will actually be good for something ;-)

Best,

B.

Bee said...

PS: Just realized the sentence "many of my female colleagues disagree with me" could be misleading: almost all of my male colleagues disagree with me on the questions as well (it presently seems to be hugely unpopular to believe that genetic differences between men and women play any role).

Bee said...

Hi A,

Interesting point of view. That might indeed be the case. However, 'secretly congratulating' isn't a very good motivation, especially not if the gossip reaches you around several corners (it always reaches you, sooner or later). Plus there is the problem that people start believing things they've heard repeatedly, no matter what the initiator 'secretly' thought.

B.

Anonymous said...

bee, have you ever actually heard such gossip? by any body? be honest now and say who gossiped that?
A.

Bee said...

Hi A, I don't know where it came from. - B.

Anonymous said...

aha!
if you havent heard it from anybody, you conjured it up.
sory, but you simply imagined it and convinced yourelf.
(maybe by some quirk in your german;) upbringing)
A.

Bee said...

A, exactly what is your problem? Gossip is most often communicated to me by well-meaning friends, who will say something like somebody said something about somebody who heard something from somebody etc. That something might very well have been started out as a joke, who knows. I actually don't give a shit what you believe I convinced myself of, possibly I am indeed just delusional, and you're one of my multiple personalities, who cares. I should add that later I was actually grateful for sitting on that scholarshit, but that's a different story. -B.

Bee said...

ha, 'scholarshit', that's one of my more amusing typos.

Anonymous said...

don't be mad at me:)

we vov you 8o)

A

Bee said...

don't worry. getting mad at anonymous commenters doesn't quite seem worth the energy. thanks for dropping in - B.

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Bee,

“To come to the more unpopular point of view I seem to hold, I do indeed believe that women and men do - on the average - have for genetically reasons different interests, and address problems differently.”

Yes you are bold and probably unpopular in holding this opinion. Is it not strange that looking at a problem more strongly and intuitively from a certain perspective could be perceived as perhaps to be a disadvantage? My point with Noether for instance. In the way I framed it, you would say that women (not yourself) on one hand might see this as a limitation to their insight; where men might choose to deny that gender could make it more likely that such a perspective would be realized by a women. I would point out to them that Einstein raved about how Noether’s discovery was something that totally evaded his perception and gave credit to how important is was in terms of pointing him and others in a more enlightened direction. I would say those women would benefit if they come to realize, as many have as it relates to strictly superficial attributes; if you’ve got, flaunt it :-)

Best,

Phil

Neil' said...

If I may segue into a point about Noether's theorem itself (per the idea of isotropy/symmetry of space-time leading to conservation laws): Such principles involve a degree of circular argument, depending on certain assumptions and conditions to hold in order to require outcomes such as conservation laws, true? Consider the following simple exception: let’s assign different values of G to two otherwise identical masses, and connect them with a rod. (Hence, we keep the definition of “mass” per inertia and kinetic energy.) The forces between them will be unbalanced, and the system will accelerate. Energy and momentum are not conserved unless perhaps we make awkward demands on general relativity etc. Yet time and space were isotropic by nature, meaning we cannot rely on naively intuited implications of oft-repeated statements about symmetry. Either I don't properly understand the theorem (or maybe it is presented too simplistically in the middle-brow treatments I read), or it is misleading to presume simply that “space/time isotropy leads to conservation of ___.”

Bee said...

Hi Neil',

Sorry I don't understand the question. A circular argument is one in which you've assumed what was to be proven. Noether's theorem says if you have a symmetry, then it comes with a conserved charge. Of course you need assumptions for this prove, e.g. that the system has a Lagrangian to begin with, and that the symmetry is incorporated in a specific invariance of that Lagrangian, and probably some nice-ness conditions on the functions involved etc, but the existence of a conserved change is not one of the assumptions.

I have no idea what problem you have with your example. Yes, the masses will accelerate towards each other. If you don't like GR, try with Newton and convert potential in kinetical energy. If you connect them with a rod, details depend on the rod, plus the rod breaks the symmetry. GR has conservation laws as well, but they necessarily include the gravitational interaction. Best,

B.

Bee said...

Hi Neil,

Upon thinking about it, it seems to me your confusion stems from the term 'space-time isometry'. The symmetry that Noether's theorem needs is one of the system (i.e. the Lagrangian). Best,

B.

Bee said...

Besides, it's homogeneity of space and time that implies conservation of momentum and energy, not isotropy.

Christine said...

it presently seems to be hugely unpopular to believe that genetic differences between men and women play any role

Unpopular, yes. But I, being a woman, have no doubt that men and women in general tend to think differently in several aspects and to have different interests. But I don't know how to gauge the genetic and environmental components that lead to those differences. If you go to a toy shop, the girls section is all pink. At least this is the fact here in Brazil. Only dolls and their dresses and makeup, pink poneys and toy kitchens. The boys have all the best toys, intelligent toys, animals, spaceships and so on. Why do they impose such a pronounced difference to the kids? Is it really because the majority of girls really enjoy those toys (and pink color everywhere, it's sick) or is it some kind of deeply rooted imposition to them from an early age, that nevertheless brings consequences to their behaviour and way of thinking as adults?

Tell me, Bee, what kinds of toys did you enjoy as a kid? I never liked to play with dolls (like eg., Barbie-like dolls; however, I very much enjoyed Playmobil toys and used them as astronauts; we used to build spaceships with common objects like boxes, calculators would became computers, etc). I had my own animal miniatures and enjoyed very much to play with the boys, with spaceships. Even today I can't stand a conversation with women that can only talk about typical feminine trivialities. These types tend not to chose a career in the exact sciences.

But, of course, every rule has an exception, and I may be wrong.

Best,
Christine

Neil' said...

Thanks Bee. OK, "circular argument" was misplaced, I meant the NT may have hidden assumptions that help to make its point, but which may not be justified. The important thing I meant was, you can have homogeneity of space and time but not have conservation of energy/momentum/angular momentum if you are allowed to make unrelated (?) alterations, like different G for two different masses (but otherwise everything the same.) I take "homogeneity" to imply isotropy, but in any case we have homegenous space and time in the case of different values of G for different masses, or don't we? (REM also that the NT refers to space-time principles, not the symmetry etc. of a given structure, right?)

In any case, there would be a reactionless motion if we connect two masses with different G. It violates conservation laws. That happens because the forces between them would not be equal:

a1 = G1m1/r^2
a2 = G2m2/r^2

The effect on the masses is a function only of mg, since we are just by fiat adjusting G and not inertial mass. Hence:

F12 = G1m1m2/r^2
F21 = G2m1m2/r^2.

And different G preserves the effective masses for kinetic energy and momentum, so it isn't like "negative mass" where m can be negative for calculating those quantities. Would this have surprised Emily Noether? I don't know, but it shows that mere homogeneity/symmetry isn't enough to ensure conservation laws AFAICT. You need additional specs.

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Neil,

"Yet time and space were isotropic by nature, meaning we cannot rely on naively intuited implications of oft-repeated statements about symmetry."

In terms of your argument as it relates to relativity, I believe Bee has handled it nicely. As to symmetry when taken together with economy as being a naïve approach, you might just as well dismiss many of the discoveries made of our natural world as being resultant of such a naïve acceptance. Your statement serves more as an example to what I said as being the strength of a certain perspective that oft times others would choose to deny.

Regards,

Phil

Neil' said...

Wikipedia says:

Noether's theorem is a central result in theoretical physics and the calculus of variations that shows that a conservation law can be derived from any differentiable symmetry of a physical system. For example, the conservation of energy is a consequence of the fact that all laws of physics (including the values of the physical constants) are invariant under translation through time; they do not change as time passes.

Noether's theorem, published in 1918, holds for all physical laws based upon the action principle.
...

So maybes different G for different masses make a universe that violates the action principle? Note G varying from place to place, not in time, but my example violates conservation of energy and linear/angular momentum. IOW, the NT expects a certain other thing to hold? I (ill-advisedly) called that a "circular argument."

Heh, the verification started with "iht" FWIW. "ihtkhek", all physics symbols.

Bee said...

Hi Neil', I already told you Noether's theorem draws conclusions from the symmetries of the Lagrangian. I don't care what Wikipedia says. Try to write down a Lagrangian for your construct and show how it violates Noether's theorem. I doubt there is one, the force you have doesn't look integrable to me. It might be possible to cook up something in which G is position dependent, but that would violate homogeneity. Best,

B.

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Christine,

“Unpopular, yes. But I, being a woman, have no doubt that men and women in general tend to think differently in several aspects and to have different interests. But I don't know how to gauge the genetic and environmental components that lead to those differences.”

I take it by your above statement that you haven’t looked into what some of these might be and serve to count for. As for the cerebral ones I’d prefer to leave those to the side as of course this is a tricky area. One example that I can point to is the phenomena of “colour blindness”, as it relates to the two sexes. In men this is a very common affliction while with women very rare. I for years was curious how this could be explained within a Darwinian framework. Then a few years ago I read in a Discover magazine a proposal that was made by some researchers to explain this. It was observed that men with this affliction were better able to track a camouflaged object within a complementary background. It turns out that with the elimination of the distraction of colour that movement was easier to detect. So in this case those with this affliction were better hunters and such served as an advantage that would be filter via evolution. Now on the women’s side it was proposed that since they were more the gatherer’s, rather then hunter’s, that acute colour differentiation as well as taste would form an advantage. These strengths continue to be born out under empirical scrutiny.

I offer this as only one example, as there are many more. I then see no reason to expect that gender does also play a role in the cognitive realm that cannot be accounted for by nurture and experience. We should then recognize these differences in terms of there strengths, rather as weaknesses so that they be exploited more fully. Now it could be argued as our methods of survival have altered over time, so will the spread in these naturally selected differences. However it will be a slow one at best, unless science is allowed to intervene.

Regards,

Phil

chimpanzee said...

http://baldwinracegirl.blogspot.com/2006/07/baldwin-race-girl-pit-area-corr-06-722.html
[ note that there is a young girl with her father, who is showing interest. This is what girls need, role models at an early age ]

You can see the "We can do it!" logo on 1 of the race-cars (female racer).

2005 was the year of the "female racer", where Danica Patrick was hyped up by the IRL (Indy Racing League, who subsequently was nicknamed "gIRL").

[ the same year L. Randall/Harvard began to make her push into media (CNN appearance, Re: Larry Summers scandal) ]

Champcar (the opposing series to IRL (there is a big SPLIT in N. American OW/Open Wheel Racing, a real tragedy "United we Stand, Divided we Fall") responded by promoting Katherine Legge from the Toyota Atlantic feeder series:

K. Legge made history in 2005 by winning 3 races (1st time a female ever WON a major N. American open-wheel race, 2 in a row at one point).

Long Beach GP, podium [ 1st race, 1st place! ]
[ more pics here ]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katherine_Legge
http://www.gokatherine.com/

She was the reason my Jumplive.com project tried the Champcar market (originally targeted Offroad Racing), to help the "female racer" strategy:

http://katherinelegge.blogspot.com

I met her (& her Dad) & demonstrated the "Katherine Legge" iTunes video-podcast. She is a nice person with a friendly/outgoing personality:a

"Class always figures out a way to win"
"Your character defines your destiny"

Unfortunately, she was rushed into the major league series too soon (Development Curve requires time, like a fine wine) & struggled in 2006/2007 (auto racing is EXTREMELY competitive).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-AZhF_1InE

Her 2006 season was highlighted by a spectacular crash at Road America:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8h2iqmliVMk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3t6f2YdfB4

[ her crash was a pretty frightening thing, it had the feel of the Greg Moore fatal crash http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tl-6oqN0i4, where there was a sudden deceleration (wall impact). It was only progressive "energy transfer" which saved her ]

"You go girl" [ Taking Charge ]

K. Legge's career in Europe was at a stalemate in 2004, so she took things in her own hand. She went "top-down": cornered K. Kalkhoven (billionaire Champcar series co-owner) in England & got a ride in (N. American) Toyota Atlantics in 2005. She was promoted to Champcar in 2006, subsidized for 2 years by KK.

[ who I met by *accident* at the 2006 Long Beach GP, & I did like K. Legge: got permission for 3 races Long Beach GP, Houston GP, Monterrey GP.. to do multimedia "tests" ]

2007 was a bad year for Champcar: races were cancelled (incredibly BAD management), K. Legge was not supported well (she was offloaded to a lesser team), my idea got hijacked by a 3rd party (who secured an iPhone promotion deal with Champcar).

Champcar just BLEW UP (declared bankruptcy, got taken over by IRL), & everyone: racers, fans, sponsors are CRAZY upset. Reportedly, 50 million + 250 million was "spent" by CC!!?? Racers & Teams are in turmoil: moving, shutting down, etc.

Death of Champcar
[ the split is frighteningly similar to the infighting among Science (Funding Crisis, exacerbated by Iraq War) ]

In 2008, K. Legge is racing for Audi in DTM (German touring-car series). I've been waiting for things to clear, so I can handle my infringement case (a legal settlement against the perpetrators, "unfair competition")

Bottomline:

Some F**G moron/idiots/fools (male variety) trying to save their respective series in OW (IRL & Champcar split), USED/MANIPULATED female racers as a frivolous promotion tool. Tony George/IRL (aka FTG="F**G Tony George", "idiot grandson", owner of the Indy 500) is promoting Danica Patrick (good racer, not great..has never won a professional big league race) as a headliner, which is totally bogus. You want to promote "heroes", not mid-packers. She has crossed the line into some "sexist" promotion: FHM (mens magazine) & Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue, her team has a 35 million dollar deal w/Motorola..never won a race!!?? Another female-racer, Milka Duno (multiple masters degree, incl Marine Biology) was rushed into IRL, & is frankly unprepared..she is a danger to herself (& others). She is Venezuelan, sponsored by CITGO (Venezuelan oil).

"It's all about PREPARATION"
-- Offroad Racing

"Failure to prepare, is Preparation for Failure"
-- John Wooden, UCLA coaching great ("Wizard of Westwood", 10 NCAA championships)

"(on Lewis Hamilton after his first practice session at his debut GP - Australia 2007) [Lewis Hamilton] is the best prepared first year Formula One driver that I've ever seen"
-- Sir Jackie Stewart, F1 champion
[ L. Hamilton is Caribbean-British ("black") rookie F1 phenome, who almost won the F1 chamipionship ]

Bee:
Add to this that on a later stage any kind of future planning becomes increasingly difficult, which strongly favors people who don't care about longer term planning

Totally agree.

"Instant gratification" VS "development curve"

This whole EOP (Equal Opportunity Program) is flawed, because it's essentially reverse-discrimation..NOT based on meritocracy & "development curve".

This whole thing (leveraging females as a novelty) is a slight to female-racers, because as K. Legge as shown (3 wins in a major N. American OW race), they CAN be competitive. There was a French woman Michele Mouton, who is arguably the most successful female racer (Rally cars). Has wins there & Pikes Peak. You might have seen that commercial, where she is with a baby (left racing to start a family). They are predicting that Danica Patrick will get her 1st win this year (she is with a top-tier team, AGR/Andretti Green Racing), but as some have said "even if she gets her 1st win, we won't be impressed".

You might have heard of Janet Guthrie (aerospace engineer, I even heard "Canadian physicist") who competed in Indy 500 & Daytona 500 in the late 70's. Also, Lynn St. James (who raced Offroad, & I've met). Neither have won in OW, like K. Legge.

I believe that if K. Legge was properly prepared (developed by her so-called caretakers), she would have been the "real deal" for Women in Racing. BTW, she raced with Louis Hamilton [ challenged K. Raikonnen for '07 F1 championship ], & "won the pole at Oulton Park, breaking Kimi Raikkonnen’s [ '07 F1 champion ] track record".

Louis Hamilton ("black") got the preparation treatment ("meritocracy"), while K. Legge ("woman") got the EOP ("instant gratification"). Both have talent, unfortunately KL was mistreated. K. Kalkhoven is now being referred to by fans as FKK ("F**G KK"), for his bungling of Champcar (& mismanaging K. Legge, he was her manager). BTW, he made his millions (500 million) by "making like bandits" from JDS Uniphase (one of the .com telecommunication "bubble busts"). Figures.

On to Physics
This is how I got here, via Cosmicvariance.com (via the NY Times article on Lisa Randall/Harvard, Re: "Jody Foster lookalike"). I wandered into the SUSY '06 conference, using the same multimedia technologies (LiveWebCast over Textamerica.com mobile-blogs & iTunes video-podcast). That's where I met Bee (whose posts I had seen on CV), & I attended her talk

http://susy06.blogspot.com

I've got a solution for the HEP community in terms of PR ("Big Science requires Big PR"), based on J. Hewett/SLAC's concept. She's involved with HEP PR.

"Deals are what make the world go around"
-- Shawn H., HS classmate & lawyer friend

LOTS of UIUC (my alma mater) technology/business contacts, who have worked at Paypal, Youtube (2 UIUC alumni are founders), XX (major govt contractor, with DARPA contracts, VP & Director of Research is a PhD from my old UIUC group 10 yrs later), Tesla Motors (co-founder is a colleague from grad-school), VP of Georgia-Tech (colleague from grad-school, whose ex-GaTech colleague is now President of Caltech). LOTS of media-contacts, since I was with Gamma Liaison (bought out by Getty Images).

Are you ready for this? The key figure is Kea (& other female physicists). She is like a Louis Hamilton/F1, who has an exceptional multi-dimensional package:

“Lewis is exceptional,” said the three times World Champion [ Jackie Stewart ]. “The big success in life comes as much outside as inside the cockpit. You cannot make the other career work without being awfully good in the cockpit. Lewis already has that bit. He has the mind for it, the attitude, the God-given skill, but he is already recognising that he needs something else.

[ Kea has that mountaineering/skiing ("action") & 4-day survival ordeal ("drama"), plus opera-singing ("art"). Bee has the painting ("art"), T. Dorigo has the piano ("art"), chess, family. All are well-rounded, & this is what Science PR needs to project: Human Interest. That's why there is a crisis in Public Perception of Science, it's too "dry & boring". There's no "action" or excitement ]

That’s why he is in the factory every day, that’s why he is already more popular than many British drivers who have won world championships. And he is doing it with style and humility.”
The 67 year old believes Lewis is the first of a ‘new wave’ of racing driver, already groomed for a life at the top of motorsport.
“I think he is going to rewrite the book. We will see a new generation of what I call properly prepared professional racing drivers. I don’t think there is one who is that. [ Michael ] Schumacher [ German F1 legend ] became that but I am talking about fully-rounded. Schumacher was not as good as he should have been, not in terms of the driving but the total package.”

Bee said...

Hi Christine,

Well, I don't spend very much time in children's toy section so it's hard to say. The pink/blue question is interesting anyway. Traditionally, red used to be the male color (symbolizes power) and blue the female one. Look e.g. at old religious paintings, it is usually Mother Mary who wears blue, and her son red. (Example, but not sure how authentic).

I wasn't much of a toy kid. I learned reading early, and liked to paint and later write stories (on my mum's typewriter). I had some dolls, and a whole collection of teddy bears and plush toys. I was more into Lego and Fischertechnik than Playmobil. Ah, I just saw Fischertechnik still exists, I just loved that stuff. Best,

B.

Bee said...

Hi Chimpanzee,

I am actually not sure what you are saying, but I am not much interested in PR of any kind, I don't like to see myself videotaped, and it's certainly nothing I would do voluntarily.


Speaking of role models, despite the fact that I didn't vote for Angela Merkel (and have my reservations about her politcal actions), I think it's great the German chancelor is a) female and b) a physicist. It would be interesting to see a statistics on whether this will influence the f/m ratio in physics.

Best,

B.

Bee said...

humm, come to think of it, I later had a whole series of electronic kits that I believe was called 'Cosmos' but I can't find it online. maybe it no longer exists. the stuff was somehow annoying though because the parts got damaged really easily if you got the color code on the resistors wrong. now i wonder whether it's so suprising i ended up as a physicist ;-)

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Bee,

“I later had a whole series of electronic kits that I believe was called 'Cosmos'”

I would be curious to know, were you offered them or asked for them? :-)

Best,

Phil

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Bee,

“Traditionally, red used to be the male color (symbolizes power) and blue the female one. Look e.g. at old religious paintings, it is usually Mother Mary who wears blue, and her son red. (Example, but not sure how authentic).”

Interesting, I’ve never thought of this! Perhaps then the tide turned with Gainsborough and his “Blue Boy”. Then again it could relate to the availability of the colour at his disposal. If you look at the painting there is not much red beyond his pinkish face. Imagine, if he’d had more red it might have been “The Red Rouge”. :-)

Best,

Phil

Bee said...

were you offered them or asked for them?

Good question. I actually can't recall. Chances are I got the first as a present. I remember though that I later filled out orders for other sets/extensions and replacements. My younger brother had a similar set for chemistry. I believe it was from the same company (he didn't become a chemist though). It had the drawback however that it came with a limited amount of chemicals that one couldn't reuse. I also had several microscopes (handed down from a local school via my mother). I guess my whole family is very scientifically challenged ;-)
So, what did you play with as a kid?
-B.

Bee said...

Interesting, I’ve never thought of this!

I wouldn't have thought of it either, hadn't I read a book about the use of colors, and what meaning/emotions people attach to it. I think the explanation that was offered in the book about the color swap was connected to blue (indigo) becoming the color of the working class (which was then predominantly male). That must have been end of the 19th century I believe. Maybe Gainsborough was ahead of his time.

Bee said...

sorry that kind of sounds confusing. I didn't mean color of the working class in a political way (in most parts of the world red seems to be the left wing color), but just by work clothing (think of Jeans).

Arun said...

Even if every male with the genetic config that leads to colorblindness died in infancy, colorblind men would continue being born. I'm not sure Darwin can do much about it. Therefore these research stories that find selective advantages are so much made up. Sort of like Thor's hammer and thunder.

Researchers have to find out when colorblindness originated. E.g., (just for instance) if it did after the invention of agriculture then we know at once this hunting story is pure myth.

Then, e.g., I found this abstract:

"Incidence of Red-Green colour blindness was studied in a Libyan population and was then compared with the same in two samples of Indian population. The incidence of the Red-Green colour defect was found to be 2.209% amongst the males and 0.0% amongst the females in the Libyan study. However, the incidence was only 1.841% amongst the ethnic Libyan males. This incidence was comparable with those reported from other African countries like Congo and Uganda. The incidence of Red-Green colour defect amongst the Indian males was found to be 2.295% while it was 0.840% amongst the Indian females."

From this we should conclude I suppose that hunting in India was more crucial to survival than hunting in Libya?

Arun said...

Turkish men hunt a lot:

1: Ophthalmic Epidemiol. 2005 Apr;12(2):133-7.Click here to read Links

Comment in:
Ophthalmic Epidemiol. 2007 Mar-Apr;14(2):98; author reply 99-100.

Congenital color blindness in young Turkish men.
Citirik M, Acaroglu G, Batman C, Zilelioglu O.

SSK Ankara Eye Hospital, Altindag, Ankara, Turkey. mcitirik@hotmail.com

We investigated a healthy population of men from different regions of Turkey for the presence of congenital red-green color blindness. Using Ishihara pseudoisochromatic plates, 941 healthy men from the Turkish army were tested for congenital red-green color blindness. The prevalence of red-green color blindness was 7.33 +/- 0.98% (5.10% protans and 2.23% deutans). These ratios were higher than other reported samples from Mediterranean Europe. Higher percentages of color blindness were found in regions with a lower education level and more consanguineous marriages.

PMID: 16019694 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Bee,

Good question. I actually can't recall………….. I also had several microscopes (handed down from a local school via my mother).

Well as it appears it was some of both nature and nurture. This reminds me when discovering that in Hawkings' family they had a peculiar habit of coming to the dinner table and then proceed to each read a book through the course of the whole meal. I thought this was kind of strange. However, each to their own as they say.

“So, what did you play with as a kid?”

This of course could be considered a leading question to which I could simply respond girls, yet that wouldn’t be true :-) Actually the things that I was interested in were much the same as yours, such as chemistry sets, mechanical sets, microscopes, telescopes, and of course reading. These were of my own volition as my parents did not have a similar acumen as yours. I did not however have stuffed animals and such:-) In the environment I grew up in there was nearby forest that could be explored and hiked through, along with a clear sky which gave one a view of the heavens which city folk seldom experience and one thing I miss the most being now a resident of one.

Best,

Phil

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Arun,
“Therefore these research stories that find selective advantages are so much made up. Sort of like Thor's hammer and thunder.”

First, this is something I won’t go to the matte with you on, in as I am not a specialist in any of this, yet would like to hear from those out there who might be (please no Anonymous replies). Next, I will tell you that I didn’t read it in the national enquirer yet rather Discover. True this is not a research journal, yet they for the most part only report items from serious and professional sources.

As for your evidence it appears it could be considered within the constraints of standard deviation and therefore indicates nothing unusual. What is consistent however is that there is a significant difference to be noted between the genders. I also see no other offered explanation other then risk of colour blindness is mitigated and increased by being stupid and having questionable sexual practice. What should we call this, the red neck theory of colour blindness? Also, I’m not clear if you are pro Darwin or not? Perhaps you could give us your position on this?

Regards,

Phil

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Arun and all,

Just so you know that I look at things for the most part objectively and I’m not beyond admitting a mistake I checked out what I reported. In fact the article I was referring to was bases on findings of a primate known as capuchins, found in South and Central America. This was then put forth as a possible explanation as to it occurring in humans. Therefore it is still only a hypothesis which remains to be supported or disproved by further study. There is still however no other consistent explanation to account for the difference that I can find. However, it does require I withdraw this as a example and also apologize.

Regards,

Phil

Neil' said...

Just a reminder that, although there can be inborn differences of gender leading to divergent "tendencies", that is highly conditioned and excepted by two forces:

1. The varying post-partum influences on, and yes the efforts of, individuals.
2. That averages are just that, and there are many exceptional individuals of various degrees. Furthermore, the exceptional individuals are perhaps most likely to enter into difficult and special fields of study and endeavor, etc.

Rae Ann said...

Men are just bitter that we women are the ones who can create and grow life inside our bodies. Nothing they can create will ever outdo that. ;-) And how easily they all forget that they came out of their mommys' vaginas, or uteruses in the case of c-sections.