Gamer Girls and Misogyny

Recently there’s been quite a bit of negativity directed towards female gamers, and Felicia Day has been one of the most prominently attacked people so far. First there were the comments on the music video for her jaunty tune, Gamer Girl, Country BoyThen, Ryan Perez, who used to be a gaming blogger for Destructoid, went on an unprovoked Twitter rampage against Felicia Day. He mostly got negative responses (including distancing himself/being fired from Destructoid), but he also found support from other men on the internet. Although Perez apologized to Felicia Day, he didn’t seem to see anything really wrong with the intent behind his post, just that he posted it (and then got a lot of flack). These two instances are just attacks on one of the more prominent female gamers in the community; other women have gotten hurt by the misogyny in the industry.  I don’t know why there’s this idea that women playing games is a threatening idea to men, or why men feel the need to be so misogynistic on the internet. I would be tempted to say that it’s because of the whole anonymity-on-the-internet thing that gives people the freedom to express themselves without fear of repercussions. However, recent research shows that there’s not really that effect at all, and that people who are jerks on the internet are most likely jerks in real life too. Not to mention the fact that if people are just expressing their true thoughts on the internet, why is it that they think women can be insulted simply for being women (who, in this case, happen to enjoy playing games)? There’s something inherently wrong, and I don’t know how to fix it. But I think awareness that this is happening will help. Part of it probably has to do with the marginalization of women by the government (I’m referring to all the women’s reproductive health stuff that’s been going on), but there’s got to be more going on. Now that I’m done ranting, does anyone have any idea why this is a widespread thing that’s happening?

My advice to everyone, on the internet and off, is to quote Wil Wheaton: Don’t Be A Dick.


Higgs Boson: Very Likely Discovered!

Physicists announced today that they definitely found a particle that looks, acts, and behaves like they expect the Higgs boson to behave. I’m not really good with physics and tiny tiny particles, so I’d recommend you read the descriptions over at Bad Astronomy if you want to know more. The graph that’s the featured image is a plot of the highly significant results that they found. It’s a big day for physics!


P.S. Happy Independence Day if you’re in the U.S.!

Climate Adaptation In 2 Generations?

Global climate change is predicted to cause a rise in ocean temperatures by 1.5 to 3 degrees Celsius, as well as a shift to a decreased pH (more acidic water). For many years these predictions have been associated with gloomy the-reefs-and-all-their-fishes-will-die predictions. Those predictions were not unwarranted, as young fish have been shown to be particularly vulnerable to the predicted warmer & more acidic waters. However, a recent article has been published that demonstrates that offspring of anemone fish raised in seawater that is 1.5-3 degrees Celsius warmer and that has a slightly lower pH were not adversely affected by the altered environment. The authors of the study suggest that the parents are influencing the success of the offspring, likely via epigenetic pathways. Epigenetics are likely to be playing a role, but without demonstrating an actual mechanism the idea is just a hypothesis. And it may be that rearing the offspring in the harsher environmental conditions is enough to switch on or off certain genes (that’s basically what epigenetics does–turns certain genes on or off), and there may be no parental effect whatsoever. Either way, it seems clear that there is much more to investigate, but that maybe our climate change models have been a little too harsh on the outcome of the fishes.