Thursday, June 30, 2016

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Gender Identity and Autism Spectrum Disorders

"An increasing number of reports describe gender-related concerns in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Abelson [1] drew attention to the specific potential for gender issues in individuals with ASD, and subsequently, a number of case reports and at least one systematic study have appeared in the literature [2-9]. Perhaps the earliest case report [2] was of two male individuals with ASD who presented with “feminine gender-stereotyped preoccupations,” and subsequent work has cited this case report as an early example of comorbid gender identity disorder (GID) and ASD [9]. A subsequent case report appeared in 1997 [3] and drew attention to the hypothesis that impairment in social interaction could contribute to atypical gender identity formation.

"The report of two cases by Mukaddes [3] was notable for identifying patterns of transgender identity and behavior in two boys seen at the same clinic for several years, although even in this study the individuals were not followed-up beyond a young age (7 and 10 years) — a critical shortcoming given the low rate of persistent transgender identification following puberty [10]. It was not until 2005 that a case report described an adult with Asperger syndrome (AS) and “GID according to DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual) criteria” [8]. The authors go on to introduce the hypothesis that GID developed as a “sequel to AS,” highlighting the extreme-male brain hypothesis and the patient adopting “male emotional and cognitive traits.” Perhaps most recent was the report of two cases of individuals with both ASD and GD according to DSM-5 criteria [11]. In this paper, the authors highlight specific aspects of ASD, including theory of mind deficits and cognitive style as being potential influences on the process of gender identity formation." READ: Gender Identity and Autism Spectrum Disorders -- Yale J Biol Med. 2015 Mar; 88(1): 81–83. Published online 2015 Mar 4. PMCID: PMC4345542 Focus: Autism Spectrum Disorders

Related article: "While this article is specifically about autism and gender identity, it cites multiple research studies that confirm, once again, that MOST children who question their gender in childhood end up as gay or bisexual if left alone. Also, socially immature/isolated kids, or kids with ASD, probably need even longer to figure out who they are, which makes a good argument that dysphoricadolescents and even young adults with social anxiety or other similar issues should not start medical transition, as they too often do." Read: President Obama, how is this not anti-gay conversion therapy? -- Posted on April 9, 2015 4thwavenow

LGBT themes in Hindu mythology

Shiva in the form of Sambashiva, his half-male, half-female, Ardhanaareeshwara form.

"LGBT themes in Hindu mythology involve Hindu deities or heroes whose attributes or behavior can be interpreted as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT), or as having elements of gender variance and non-heterosexual sexuality. Traditional Hindu literary sources do not speak of homosexuality directly,[1] but changes of sex, homoerotic encounters, and intersex or third gender characters are often found both in traditional religious narratives such as the Vedas, Mahabharata, Ramayana and Puranas as well as in regional folklore." LGBT themes in Hindu mythology-- Wikipedia

Wired differently: Exploring brain connectivity in autism

Wired differently: Exploring brain connectivity in autism by neuropsychologist Aarti Nair, currently a postdoctoral scholar and clinical instructor at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior of the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Nair was part of the 2012 class of Autism Speaks Weatherstone Predoctoral Fellows. Her fellowship project involved research into brain connectivity and function in adolescents with autism. Autism Speaks

Related article: Autism Speaks Collaborative Releases First Full Genome Sequencing For Autism -- July 11, 2013 Neuroscience News

Monday, June 27, 2016

What the Sleeping Hermaphrodite Tells Us About Art, Sex and Good Taste

Beautiful hermaphrodites exist in nature. Can we please be inclusive and accepting of intersex people without demolishing the differences between men and women, and erasing the issues specific to biological sex? To say biological sexes don't exist because of gender identity is binary thinking in and of itself. What the Sleeping Hermaphrodite Tells Us About Art, Sex and Good Taste -- Blurring the borders of identity feels modern, but ambiguity has ancient roots. By Daniel McDermon, June 24, 2016 The New York Times

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Senate approves women registering for the draft (and can override a veto)

Majority in Congress can override a veto? What kind of country do you want America to be? One that has no qualms about putting women in harm's way? Do we really think the people pushing for this sort of equality have actual people's best interest at heart?

"The White House has threatened to veto the defense bill due to other provisions that the administration’s Office of Management and Budget called “attempts to micromanage” the Department of Defense. However the overwhelming number of Senators who approved the bill would be more than enough to override a veto." Senate approves women registering for the draft by CNN, June 15, 2016

"Override of a veto - The process by which each chamber of Congress votes on a bill vetoed by the President. To pass a bill over the president's objections requires a two-thirds vote in each Chamber. Historically, Congress has overridden fewer than ten percent of all presidential vetoes."

Rep. Charles Rangel Again Calls for Military Draft, War Tax

I have faith that President Obama will veto NDAA, but I will never trust the Democratic Party again, with lawmakers like Charlie Rangel, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand of NY, alongside Hillary Clinton and "RINOs" Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush and John McCain himself, thinking drafting women is a great idea. Charles Rangel has been trying to reinstate a draft not just for women but everybody since 2003? Wake up, New York! Rep. Charles Rangel Again Calls for Military Draft, War Tax by Sandy Fitzgerald, 20 Mar 2015 Newsmax

The best countries for gender equality may also have a domestic violence problem

We all knew this from seeing the kinds of guys who are cheering for the women's draft and equality where we can not compete equally. Logic at the expense of rationality makes me sad and afraid for the future of American society. The best countries for gender equality may also have a domestic violence problem by Adam Taylor, June 10 Washington Post

Friday, June 24, 2016

Pentagon Expected To Repeal Ban On Transgender People Next Month

First drafting women, now this (though I am counting on President Obama's veto). Will a draft for LGBTI follow next? Pentagon Expected To Repeal Ban On Transgender People Next Month by Reuters 06/24/16

Brain sex does not exist

This reminds me of the old sexist notion that girls can't do math, which they can, and neuroscientists who use brain mapping to tell people what personality type they have. The only facts about differences in gender that I know of are that men are by and large physically stronger, some gender roles are shaped by social mores (chivalry) while some are based in biology (more men are capable of physical activities due to superior strength and endurance), and some people have different sexual orientations. I can "think like a man" (use logical reasoning (whether rational in a larger context or not)) and not actually be one.

"Neuroscience is methodologically flawed. Even when an effect is objectively measurable, small sample sizes and poor statistical significance plague brain imaging studies. Most results are not replicable and, often, the alleged “findings” are not even based on human research. Extrapolating functional or behavior qualities from these studies is logically tenuous at best." Read: Brain sex does not exist -- Sex matters.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Cognitive Dissonance Theory

You know that thing where something dull is advertised as shiny, and your mind lies to you to deal with the irrationality? It can be used to sell us all kinds of things and ideas. Cognitive Dissonance by Richard Hall, Psychology World

The Theory

"Almost half a century ago social psychologist Leon Festinger developed the cognitive dissonance theory (Festinger, 1957). The theory has obviously stood the test of time in that it is mentioned in most general and social psychology textbooks today. The theory is somewhat counterintuitive and, in fact, fits into a category of counterintuitive social psychology theories sometimes referred to as action-opinion theories. The fundamental characteristic of action opinion theories is that they propose that actions can influence subsequent beliefs and attitudes. This is counterintuitive in that it would seem logical that our actions are the result of our beliefs/attitudes, not the cause of them. However, on further examination these types of theories have great intuitive appeal in that the theories, particularly cognitive dissonance, address the pervasive human tendency to rationalize."

Related links:

"Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), Van Veen and colleagues investigated the neural basis of cognitive dissonance in a modified version of the classic induced compliance paradigm. While in the scanner, participants "argued" that the uncomfortable MRI environment was nevertheless a pleasant experience." Cognitive Dissonance on Wikipedia

"False consciousness is theoretically linked with the concepts of the dominant ideology and cultural hegemony, and to a lesser extent with cognitive dissonance." False Consciousness on Wikipedia

"When it comes to resolving cognitive dissonance, only the most intellectually honest succeed." Cognitive Dissonance in Science and Medicine – An Anecdote About How to Detect Pseudoscience, and Why Smart People Fall For It January 4, 2016 by SAMSUPOWIT

The gender identity movement erases women

"The politics of the gender identity movement that is sweeping the country is bringing with it a multitude of problems for women and girls." READ: The gender identity movement erases women by Kathleen Sloan, July 22, 2016 Delaware Online

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Clinton Says Women Should be Included in Draft: Huffington Post

I'm going to be offline for awhile because this news is making me sick. I'm with Ted Cruz. I believe women and men are equal but not the same. Clinton Says Women Should be Included in Draft: Huffington Post -- by Holly Rosenkrantz, Bloomberg News

Senate Votes to Require Women to Register for the Draft By Jennifer Steinhauer, June 14, 2016 The New York Times

Pending Legislation: H.R.1509 - To amend the Military Selective Service Act to require the reinstatement of the draft

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Japanese Donald Trump Commercial

Japanese Donald Trump Commercialトランプ2016
Uploaded by Mike Diva on You Tube

Bath & Body Works Golden Pineapple Luau

Congratulations to all new graduates, and Happy almost Summer! Here's a fabulous scent to take with you on vacation, or spritz before a balmy night out: BBW Golden Pineapple Luau, a refreshing and sweet tropical melange of piña colada and a bit of papaya. The coconut note is more obvious upon dry down. It's on sale on the BBW web site; try it!

Top Notes: Luscious Papaya, Maui Pineapple, Goji Miracle Berry, Splash of Citrus
Mid Notes: Tropical Hibiscus, White Kadota Fig, Salted Sunrise Seashell, Kauai Water Lily
Dry Notes: Coconut Palm, Coral Musk.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Va. eugenics victims would receive compensation for sterilization under proposed bill

Va. General Assembly agrees to compensate eugenics victims by Jenna Portnoy, February 27, 2015 The Washington Post

Related article: Va. eugenics victims would receive compensation for sterilization under proposed bill by Fredrick Kunkle, January 30, 2013 The Washington Post

(Edited at 8:48 A.M.)

What It Is Like to Like

From The New Yorker: "The subject of Tom Vanderbilt’s “You May Also Like” (Knopf) is taste, the term he uses for whatever it is that guides our preference for chocolate over vanilla, taupe over beige, “The Bourne Supremacy ” over “The Bourne Ultimatum,” and Artur Schnabel and Joseph Szigeti’s recording of Beethoven’s tenth violin sonata over Vladimir Ashkenazy and Itzhak Perlman’s rendering of the same work." Read: What It Is Like to Like -- Art and taste in the age of the Internet. By Louis Menand, The New Yorker

Magic and Loss by Virginia Heffernan, image via

Friday, June 10, 2016

J. Lo Miami Glow

I have no idea if this is a discontinued perfume or not, but I'm glad I got it, even just for the cute bottle with chancletas dangling on it. It's not the coconut scent I was after, but it's arguably beachy. Mostly, I'd say it's an ambery, maybe woodsy floral with some deep notes reminiscent of Tom Ford Black Orchid or something along that vein, not musky in the "white musk" sense but in a not very sweet, soapy, perfumey sense. Still, it's soft for an Oriental type scent, warm and clean at the same time. I like it, but I prefer it layered with a more obviously tropical fragrance like Bath and Body Works Malibu Heat.

Enjoy your weekend!

Does chocolate milk really help with post-workout recovery? For most athletes, the answer is yes

Does chocolate milk really help with post-workout recovery? For most athletes, the answer is yes -- Chocolate milk has been touted by marketing campaigns and the health fitness industry as a natural sports recovery drink, and a healthier alternative to carbohydrate sports drinks like Gatorade or Powerade. By Mary Ellen Shoup+ 01-Jun-2016

Victoria’s Secret perfume is an effective mosquito repellent, study suggests

Victoria’s Secret perfume is an effective mosquito repellent, study suggests by Carmen Chai, Global News

Related link: DEET on Wikipedia

Cornel West on 'The Radical King'

Dr. Cornel West, I once had a dream, too, but it's clear to me now, that most people in America don't want a colorless, genderless* (see below) society, but a segregationist one that uses "intersectionality" to divide people into very specifically colored, gendered groups. I have always found it artificial and insulting to be told to only play with other girls or stick with my "own kind," so for me, it was refreshing and hopeful to see Martin Luther King's dream come alive for a few months during Bernie Sanders' campaign.

That said, it's also understandable that turning a spiritual fight into a fight for economic justice is too radical for a capitalist country where we have individual rights and liberty. Perhaps our best hope is to do what we can to ignore the stereotypical barriers and prove those divisions wrong in each our own lives. I feel in my own life growing up here, that I have aspired to do so.

In Dr. West's words are found every reason Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was both loved and despised in his day, the same way Cornel West is a divisive character in today's world where the ironic acceptance of overt racism and sexism is the new cultural norm.

Cornel West: "King's dream was fundamentally Christian. His commitment to radical love had everything to do with his commitment to Jesus of Nazareth, and his dream had everything to do with community, with a "we" consciousness that included poor and working people around the world, not just black people. (...)

"King was about militant nonviolence. It goes back to radical love: You don't begin by dehumanizing those who are dehumanizing you, because it contributes to the cycle of dehumanization in the world. And you're right: It takes unbelievable spiritual courage, moral fortitude, to engage in militant nonviolence. To put it another way, Martin King was an extremist of love. We live in a world where people are fearful of extremism, but King would say he was always trying to keep the flow of love in place. In that sense, he turned the world on its head." Cornel West on 'The Radical King' by Kevin Nance, Jan. 15, 2015 Chicago Tribune

Dr. Cornel West spoke his mind about the presumptive Presidential nominees at Bernie Sanders' DC rally, and taught us some new words -- shall we take a look at how he sees Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump up close?

Neoliberalism on Wikipedia

Neofascism on Wikipedia

*Genderless does not mean ignoring obvious differences in biological sex. I shouldn't even have to explain this, but some people, like the lawmakers that want to draft girls off to combat, are hell bent on making equality about equating what men and women are physically capable of, which is irrational. We need to value each other for our biological differences. It also goes without saying that forcing anyone is immoral.

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Read Bernie Sanders’ Comments After Meeting With President Obama

Maybe we can hope for Bernie as VP! Read Bernie Sanders’ Comments After Meeting With President Obama by Ryan Teague Beckwith, TIME

Warren has concerns about being Clinton's VP - report

I hope Senator Warren (D-Mass.) will help bring not only Senator Bernie Sanders' supporters into the fold, but those issues to the Democratic table that his young supporters feel strongly about, such as debt-free college and taking marijuana off the federal government's list of criminal substances. Warren has concerns about being Clinton's VP - report by Rebecca Savransky, June 09, 2016 The Hill

Related article: "The Sanders endorsement marks the first time the WFP has endorsed a national campaign, although the group joined the effort this winter to draft progressive favorite Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) into the 2016 race. The effort to draft Warren closed shop in June, after she repeatedly disavowed interest in a White House bid. Sanders has since won over many of Warren's erstwhile backers with his summons to a "political revolution" against income inequality and what he routinely calls "the billionaire class." Bernie Sanders Just Received One of His Biggest Endorsements Yet by Luke Brinker, Yahoo News, December 8, 2015

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Sanders Vows to Keep Fighting for Nomination Even If Hillary Is Elected President

#ThankYouBernie You made this election fun, & made history, too! We love u

LOL via The New Yorker: Sanders Vows to Keep Fighting for Nomination Even If Hillary Is Elected President By Andy Borowitz, June 7, 2016

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Why 85% of Black Female Voters Support Hillary Clinton (And Its Not for the Reasons You Think)

Congratulations to Hillary Clinton for making herstory by clinching enough delegates to become the presumptive presidential nominee of the Democratic Party. She couldn't do it without the strong support of women. Heading towards November, I hope she'll be a great presidential candidate to represent all Americans. Why 85% of Black Female Voters Support Hillary Clinton (And Its Not for the Reasons You Think) by Constance Hilliard, June 5, 2016 Dailykos

Monday, June 06, 2016

Lancome cancels concert after Chinese online backlash

Lancome cancels concert after Chinese online backlash -- French cosmetics giant Lancome has cancelled a promotional concert in Hong Kong after an online backlash in mainland China over an artist apparently set to perform. 6 June, 2016 BBC World

"On 5 June 2016 Lancôme cancelled a promotional concert by Hong Kong singer Denise Ho that was scheduled to be held on 19 June in Sheung Wan.[10] This action was taken in response to a boycott campaign launched by the Communist Party-controlled Global Times, which denigrated the Cantopop star for supposedly advocating Hong Kong and Tibet independence.[10] Lancôme also added, in a Facebook post, that Ho is not a spokesperson for the brand.[11] In addition to her singing career, Ho is an outspoken advocate of democracy.[12] The Tibet allegation appeared to have stemmed from Ho's May 2016 meeting with the Dalai Lama.[10] The cancellation drew a heavy backlash in Hong Kong.[10][12] Listerine, another brand that Ho represents, retained the singer despite the fact that the Global Times also criticized that company hiring Ho as its public face in Hong Kong.[10]" Lancome on Wikipedia

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Puerto Rican governor slams Trump during bankruptcy rant

Puerto Rican governor slams Trump during bankruptcy rant -- Puerto Rico Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla made reference to Trump International Golf Club Puerto Rico's bankruptcy protection filing while questioned why the financially troubled island cannot do so. By Kenneth Lovett, New York Daily News, September 9, 2015

Related articles:

Why this Puerto Rico golf bankruptcy is bad news for Donald Trump -- It is unrelated to the candidate’s controversial remarks, but still another in a line of recent bad news for his golf business. By Daniel Roberts, July 14, 2015 Fortune

(Blogger's note: Dear Mr. Trump, please don't refer to your values as "New York values" if your idea of aspiring to greatness is to play a sport to flaunt one's wealth.) Read the article: Donald Trump: Let golf be for the rich elite by Daniel Roberts, July 1, 2015 Fortune

Saturday, June 04, 2016

L'Orientaliste Fleur d'Oranger

Spring in New York is fleeting, but I'm enjoying the days we have left to the fullest. My jam these days besides my longstanding coconut phase is my love of orange blossom. This fragrance launched in 1997, inspired by the city of Marrakech, Morocco, is a stunner, a simple pleasure of solifloral redolence, citric fresh and just a bit honey sweet. The sillage is good, and it lasts longer than 4711 on me. The only sadness is that I can't locate a bottle for sale.