Rebecca Watson

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Rebecca Watson

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    It’s a day that ends in “y” so it’s time for another important study on whet […]

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    Was QAnon…right??? So asks New York Magazine’s ironically named I […]

    • Where I struggle with this whole “more optimistic belief than reality” idea is I’ve encountered some of these conspiracy theorists and they don’t seem to be good people. They don’t seem to be all that concerned about sex trafficking because the next minute they gripe about #metoo and how there could be false accusations that cost men their jobs. Rather, it seems to be about taking down political opponents. (That said, I don’t understand what the objectives behind some of the “Deep State” conspiracies might be.) So, from my perspective, the idea that this is a “more optimistic belief than reality” rests on the assumption that the belief is sincere. I’m very sceptical of that.

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    Billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein is back in the news, because after years […]

    • Henlo, can we start a comment section here? I mean come on this is good material and there must be some pun I mean fun to discuss under it!
      =8)-DX

    • David Gross

      Really?

    • I realize this will be an unpopular opinion here, but here goes anyway. There is clearly a great deal of smoke surrounding the Epstein accusations, and we all know the old saw about smoke. Assuming what Rebacca says is true, I cannot fathom Krauss’s response to Epstein’s first trial.

      All that having been said, Epstein is not guilty of trafficking…yet. He has been convicted of solicitation of a minor, and he is currently under indictment for trafficking, but he has not been convicted. Trafficking and solicitation are distinct from each other. I don’t believe anyone clearly understands the reason(s) his first indictment resulted in a plea deal. I’ve read that the law at the time made a conviction for trafficking uncertain, and Federal prosecutors rarely go to court unless conviction is a certainty.

      So, perhaps the reason you are not hearing many scientists–who are supposed to withold judgment until they have all the facts–condemning Epstein for trafficking minors is because they are waiting for the outcome of the legal case. Accepting money from him is another question entirely. I suppose each person would have to make their own moral judgement on that one. If one believes Epstein benefited financially from his behavior involving minors and still accepted money from him, then that would certainly reflect poorly, to me at least.

      I realize this can sound like a crass attempt at playing semantics with sex involving minors, but that’s not my intent. There is a great deal of confusion among the general public when it comes to the term “trafficking.” Many of the highly publicized busts of “sex trafficking rings” have turned out not to be trafficking at all. The recent case involving Robert Kraft, for example, was touted by law enforcement officials as among the largest sex trafficking rings in history. Prosecutors have since stated publicly that they had no evidence of trafficking, and I believe some of the women that were initially called victims remain under indictment for prostitution.

      To be clear, I believe if Epstein is truly guilty of everything he’s been accused of then he deserves all the punishment allowed under the law–and then some. Indeed, his admission to solicitation of minors makes him a piece of shit in my mind. But trafficking is a far worse crime than what he’s been convicted of, and at this point he has not been convicted.

      • Personally, I strongly feel that soliciting a minor for prostitution warrants condemnation. To be fair, I don’t know how many of the people mentioned in the article did condemn Epstein for that, but a) it was not enough for them to feel uncomfortable in his presence, and b) Krauss most certainly did not.

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    Hey, are you dumb? Would you like to be SMART? Well, allow me to sell you some […]

  • Rebecca Watson posted a new activity comment 1 week, 5 days ago

    You are flirting with self-awareness, here. The questions you ask are the ones I made the video to inspire, so you’re well on your way.

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    With the recent relaunch of Skepchick, I’ve started paying a bit more attention to w […]

    • The Allies waged war against the Nazis not because of their violence to Jews, Roma, homosexuals, and others. They waged war against the Nazis because they invaded other countries.

    • Rebecca, what is your position? On the one one hand you say you’re not on board with beating Ngo (although throwing a milkshake is ok? Isn’t that assault?) then you suggest we might have avoided millions of Jewish deaths if we had only beaten up Nazis when it became clear what they stood for. Since you have made it clear you believe Ngo is a fascist (Nazi) then why wouldn’t it be ok to beat him up?

      You say Antifa’s body count is zero and compare that stat against fascists who are “murdering antifascists, Jews, Muslims, and women at an alarming rate.” Is that fair when “fascist” is such an arbitrary label? Antifa is visible, mainly because they mask themselves, while facists are…? Who decides who is fascist? Obviously you think Shermer isn’t able to identify one, so who is the authority?

      You want to prosecute people who commit violence? You want to confront VIOLENCE with violence? You stand next to me and I got your back. But as long as a person is not directly calling for violence against others, stating an opinion, no matter how idiotic, is not violence. The most inspirational, powerful, moving, and persuasive arguments in favor of freedom and human rights throughout history have often been responses to people expressing really bad ideas. Setting aside the question of who gets the privilege of determining which ideas are “wrong,” prohibiting people from expressing bad ideas denies everyone the right to hear the responses of those who disagree.

      • You are flirting with self-awareness, here. The questions you ask are the ones I made the video to inspire, so you’re well on your way.

    • Apparently, Shermer must find his foot delicious the way he keeps putting it in his mouth.

  • It’s the end of the month, and that means it’s time for the greatest live science-themed comedy panel quiz show of all time, Quiz-o-Tron! On Friday, June 28 at 7pm you can see Discovery Channel’s Julia Wilde, […]

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    Will using your cell phone make you grow HORNS out of your SKULL like HELLBOY? No. Don’t b […]

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    Guys, I’m going off-script. I mean, not really, there will be a transcript b […]

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    As I’ve mentioned in the past, I’m mostly vegetarian. I occasionally eat fis […]

    • I would be fine with growing gills so I could breathe under water. I would no longer have to swim the deepest ocean to prove my love; I could stroll along the bottom and enjoy the sights along the way.

      • My niece wanted to become a mermaid in order to study marine creatures more easily, so I think she would be fine with gills. She seriously (I think, sometimes it’s hard to tell) asked me, when she was about 6, whether when people became merpeople, if their legs fused together to form the tail or if their legs were absorbed and the tail grew out of their spine, sort of like a tadpole turning into a frog, but in reverse.

    • I’m an ovo-lacto vegetarian and I’ve tried the Impossible Burger a few times at the one place it’s available in my city. My question is: is it bland? Or is it just how the place here prepares it? I thought it was good and the texture was good, so I’ll definitely get it again once they get it back in stock, but I’m just wondering about what other people thought of the flavor. It’s also never pink inside, so maybe this place just doesn’t know how to prepare it? If it’s not the place messing it up, I don’t think it would convince anyone who regularly eats burgers made from ground beef that it was made out of meat.

      (I order mine with mushrooms and Swiss, if that helps.)

      • I tried the Impossible Burger at a Red Robin in the northeast. I thought it was bland, tasteless actually. My burger did not bleed, nor was it pink inside. I don’t know if I would have it again. My IB was plain with lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles, ketchup, and pepper. It was more expensive than a regular hamburger.

        I’m vegan and I do not eat processed foods like frozen veggie burgers. However, after reading all the hype about the IB I tried it out of curiosity. I was disappointed.

    • Your description of haem and of myoglobin is lacking. I will use English spelling here!

      ” the Impossible Burger is so much like meat because of heme, a protein that meat releases when you cook it.”
      “Leghemoglobin is the plant form of myoglobin, the thing in animals that releases heme.”

      My nitpicks are that haem is not a protein and that haemoglobin also contains haem.

      The function of both haemoglobin and myoglobin is to store oxygen.
      Haemoglobin is a protein found in blood, myoglobin is a different protein found in muscle.
      Both contain the oxygen-binding haem moiety in their molecular structure.
      Haem is red, giving blood and muscle its colour.
      Haem is not a protein in itself.
      Yes myoglobin is found in legumes,

      I suppose the idea of the myoglobin in the IB is to make it appear like rare steak, as if it was pink and bleeding.
      I strongly doubt that it affects the flavour in any way.

      I do not know how different the molecular structure of Legmyoglobin may be from the animal protein.
      It is remotely possible, for example, that it could cause food allergies in some individuals.
      The FDA was right to be careful, but unfortunately animal tests do not exclude this possibility.

      I strongly agree with the overall thrust of your article though.

    • My question about the IB stems from wondering how the increased processing of the proteins affects the water/resource usage to produce. I’m sure it uses less water and power than beef, but a quick search hasn’t given me an insight.
      Really, I’m sure it’s my own laziness and I could find the info if I searched harder.
      Oh one other concern. If I ordered one, would my knowledge that it is not beef make it taste better or worse?

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    Hey, remember Michael Newdow? He’s the prominent atheist lawyer who has s […]

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    Ah, Jenny McCarthy, the former model and actress who now focuses almost […]

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    I talk a lot about abortion on this channel because it lies right at the […]

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    You know what I love? Food. You know what I love even more than food? […]

    • What sort of ‘food’ and what sort of ‘process?’
      Industrial packaged food seems to include an array of substances that nobody would pick to start with; ‘Crystalized Cottonseed oil’ anyone? That’s what ‘Crisco’s’ name is derived from.
      Garbanzos, sesame seeds, garlic, olive oil are a long way from corn syrup, hydrogenated seed oils, cornstarch, weird thickening ‘gums,’ etc. etc.

    • Very interesting analysis, Rebecca. Your thoughts echoed mine when I first heard of this.

      So yeah, point 1, eating ultraprocessed food allows you to eat more, easily, and there lies the harm.

      I would love to see one of these studies where actual calorie intake was constant, rather than just “eat as much as you like”. A lot of Michael Moseley’s “research” fails in that respect, it drives me crazy.

      Point 2 , depressed people eat a lot of ultraprocessed food (because it’s easy and you don’t feel like cooking).
      So depression is associated with ultraprocessed food.

      Depression is also associated with poor health outcomes. No shit, Sherlock! Now tell me, which is cause and which is effect?

  • Rebecca Watson posted a new activity comment 1 month, 1 week ago

    Yes, sorry! Fixed!

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    Getting sexually harassed sucks, but what sucks even more is that that’s o […]

    • “There is some good news. The researchers found that if it was one of Sarah’s coworkers who reported her sexual harassment to HR, the subjects weren’t less likely to punish her.”

      Possible typo on “weren’t”? Because otherwise that doesn’t _sound_ like good news?

    • Apropos of nothing, I suppose; but I was shocked – I’d like to think of a stronger and better word for it, but I can’t – at the reaction by a broad swath of what was then thought of as the skeptic “community” to those comments by you, and to statements and disclosures by other women in the community saying basically the same things about their own experiences. People I had always respected and thought of as rational and even, just seemed to go absolutely over the rail when they started discussing this issue, and I became so disillusioned that I ended up leaving “skepticism” behind (as a part of my identity, not the methodology of course). In retrospect, it seems like the skeptical community had what amounts to the beginnings of a MeToo moment, but completely failed to rise to it – or more like positively quashed it.

      I almost had to laugh a couple of years later when GG happened, because it was practically a shot-for-shot remake; it was seriously uncanny.

    • The HR training at my company says we have a duty to report harassing behavior we observe, and asking the victim if you should can contribute to a hostile culture by making only the specific victim responsible for deciding what is harassing behavior. I have no idea if there’s any empirical validation to that idea, but it runs contrary to one clause of one sentence in your post and I thought I’d share.

    • Hi Rebecca,
      I’m sorry you’ve had such an awful experience.

      I’ve been diverted to your website from PZ Myers. I was confused by his reference to Michael Shermer and Sam Harris.

      How do you feel they have contributed to your awful experience or are relevant to the whole chain of events?

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    Last month I talked about Candace Owens and the alt-right’s habit of c […]

    • I’m not sure if you’re aware of this, Rebecca, but Shapiro is actually Jewish. Doesn’t make him any less of a rightwing asshat, but he’s not a presuppositionalist or any kind of Christian – he practices Orthodox Judaism

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    Naomi Wolf is back with a brand new book, and you know what that means! […]

    • The other day at a restaurant someone told me she was big into chemtrails and I actually did a spit take with my water.

    • Thank you for this article, which comes as a surprise. I have taught Wolf to undergrads, and had no idea she was such a shoddy scholar.

  • Good news everyone! The world’s greatest science-themed quiz show is happening tomorrow — Thursday, May 30, at 8pm at Pianofight in beautiful San Francisco! This month’s show will feature Tested.com’s Sean […]

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    Recently I was joking around with some friends about our anxiety disorders. […]

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