You are currently browsing the Breaching The Web blog archives for June, 2001.

My birthday

June 18th, 2001

This morning I was startled awake at 5:00am by a tickling in my ear. I rubbed my ear, and then tried to make myself comfortable and go back to sleep — you see, I didn’t have to work today and I wanted to sleep in. However the tickling continued. Suddenly, I realized what it was and I leaped out of bed screaming “there’s a bug in my ear, there’s a bug in my ear, there’s a bug in my ear” over and over. My husband didn’t know what to do, and tried to help me calm down. I ran out of the room to find a q-tip. Out came the bug–it was a nasty little black thing with wings. I calmed down a bit and climbed back into bed, where my husband whispered “happy birthday.”It was not an auspicious start to my 30th birthday.

New Apartment

June 13th, 2001

I’ve been out of town for a few days. I went to back East to find an apartment — it was hard work, but I found a nice place for us.

I know this is old news, but I wanted to comment on it. Russian attempts to reach Mars will most likely be limited to men-only crews. The Russians have decided that mixed-sex crews on lengthy Mars missions will likely create stress and conflict [link courtesy of Feminist Media Watch].Ok, fine. Let’s assume for the moment that mixed-sex crews would be problematic. Here’s what I want to know: Why do male astronauts get to go? Why not have women-only crews? Why is the default response to exclude women? Nothing would make me happier than to witness a women-only crew become the first human explorers on Mars.


June 8th, 2001

Update to yesterday’s comments on the May Day Mystery: apparently, I am way out of the loop. Last night, my husband said that he was equally amazed by the fact that I’ve been at the University of Arizona so long without knowing about it. It’s one more example of the serious blinders graduate school imposed on me.

Thanks Jen! I’ll definately give Powermarks a try. It sounds like exactly what I’m looking for.


June 5th, 2001

I think this article Boys play with found guns is profoundly important. Here’s a summary of the study:

They studied 29 groups of boys between the ages of 8 and 12. They were left in a room for 15 minutes. They were told to wait while their parents participated in a study. They didn’t know what it was about. They were told they could play with toys that were on a shelf. But in two separate drawers, a real gun was concealed, and two water pistols. The researchers found that 75% of the boys discovered the gun. Of those, about 75% handled it, and half pulled the trigger with enough force to fire a gunshot. This was recorded with a radio transmitter. The boys were observed through a one-way mirror. Only one of the 29 groups left the room to tell the adults they had found a gun.

While the study suggestions that children will play with guns when they find them, there are important limitations to the study. Most importantly, the children were in a clinical environment and may have felt “safe.” It would also be interesting to see how girls responded, and how each sex reacted in mixed-sex groups.However, I think the study is important because it highlights the importance of parents’ roles in gun safety. I myself would support strong restrictions on gun ownership, but absent that, I think adults need to take responsibility for the weapons they may have in their homes.

In this editorial, Phyllis Shlafly takes on a group called Doctors Against Handgun Injury. She explains that the group’s purpose is to encourage doctors to “use regular medical checkups to ask patients about firearm ownership and storage in their homes and warn them of the risks of this behavior.” Ms. Schlafly then goes on to argue that this will make people lose trust for their doctors because doctors will “be perceived as an arm of the government prying into their private lives, or as a spokesman of a special-interest advocacy group pursuing a political agenda.” Her arguement makes no sense whatsoever. Asking about firearm ownership is really no different from asking about smoking, eating, sexual or driving behaviors (all of which I’ve been asked about by doctors). If a doctor lends some advice about how to safely store or maintain a gun, I fail to see how that makes the doctor into Big Brother. It’s not as if the doctor is reporting this info to the CDC or the ATF (although Schlafly tries to suggest that they are in her editorial).I dug up a few more links about Schlafly in an attempt to find a site examining her infamous “potty politics” arguement against the ERA. I couldn’t find anything on-line about that idiocy, but I did find several other links. I simply do not have the intestinal fortitude to post them here though. Their absurdity, generality and odd persuasiveness are simply too much for me to deal with at the moment.

Well, We’re in Media, Not Browser Business Now explains why Netscape 6 is so crappy:

“The browser is a crown jewel. However, six months from now, you won’t consider Netscape to be a browser company,” Netscape President Jim Bankoff told Reuters…. Netscape, which plans to embark on a brand advertising campaign later this year, wants to act as a hub for the wide array of core Time Warner media properties — such as Fortune and Time magazines and the 24-hour cable news network CNN.

I think this is called “forgetting your roots.” If Netscape 6 worked decently, then integrating the other properties would make sense. However, since N6 is irritating, slow and buggy this strategy seems a bit ridiculous.