First of all, I want to say how saddened I am by the deaths of the hostages in the Kosher supermarket today. I wrote yesterday about the original attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices, and I have some more links about the attacks in the comments of that post.
But I want to talk about other things for the rest of this post. If you do not, click back to the other post and find links there.
This long article on women in the senate is worth your time.
Surprising exactly no one, men on the internet are not convinced by evidence that sexism is a problem in science.
You probably also won't be surprised by the stupid things people say to a blonde engineer at MIT. I'm sad that things don't seem to have improved much since my college days, where a line I got on some of the rare occasions that someone actually tried to pick me up was "what school do you go to? You're too pretty to go here." It never worked.
Rose Eveleth has an interesting theory about women and group projects in school.
Cate Huston wrote a great post about the bystander problem in tech.
The EFF finally says something about the problem of online harassment. I am encouraged by the fact that they clearly state the problem of harassment as one that inhibits freedom of speech. I am discouraged that they don't seem to be planning to do anything concrete. One of my favorite ideas that I've seen recently is that someone should establish a fund to pay reward money for actionable evidence identifying the people who send death threats- sort of like a CrimeStoppers for online harassment. It seems to me that the EFF would be an excellent organization to help set something like that up. I'm sure there are other ideas worth considering, too. I hope this announcement is just a first step.
Kathy Sierra weighs in on the announcement, via a friend's blog.
Jamelle Bouie is fast becoming one of my "must read" writers at Slate. He had two smart pieces this week, one on Jim Webb, Democrats, and working class white voters and one on why police departments should welcome reforms.
There's good news on the antibiotics front. Read Ed Yong's article for the basics of what was discovered and how, and then if you're curious about what this means in terms of drug discovery, read Derek Lowe's post on the topic. Derek Lowe's blog is one in which it is usually worth reading the comments, and that is the case here, particularly if you are not in the field, because a couple of commenters ask some basic questions and get good, patient answers.
But just to keep things in perspective:
Much ink on a new antibiotic. #tbt to platensimycin, reported ‘06, still preclinical. http://t.co/l4pZkmirU0 Drug discovery’s hard.
— Carmen Drahl (@carmendrahl) January 8, 2015
Sticking with science, here's a good piece from Science Careers about the plight of postdocs.
And here's a nice story about a dad dropping his gay son off for a date, to end this post with a smile.