Men upset by cartoon

This cartoon, published in The New Yorker, is upsetting men today. The cartoonist is Will McPhail, who is good at capturing the moment.

So:

Robert Jeantet So, she's allowed to tell him what she thinks of it, but he's not allowed to tell her what he thinks of it ? What a great way to have a dialogue. To call it "mansplaining" is just as patronizing. Sauce for the goose, sauce for the gander. And inversely.

Angus Moorehead You expect them to wonder in silence rather than discuss the art. Really.

Gary Wheat "I wonder" in conversation is commonly interpreted as an invitation for help in understanding something. If this were a date and I had some insight about the painting to offer and was met with such a passive-aggressive response, I would certainly reconsider a second date

On and on it goes. Prints are available. Read the rest

Where's the ball going?

Enjoy this supercut of legendary snooker player and commentator John Virgo saying "Where's the cue ball going?," usually at a volume that pushes the envelope of the Snooker Commentator's Hush. Read the rest

A "not insignificant" defense of gleeful scientists

Just a few minutes ago, researchers with NASA's MESSENGER mission announced the publication of data that strongly suggests the poles of Mercury contain significant quantities of frozen water.

On the one hand, this is not exactly new news. The possibility of water on Mercury has been a topic of research for something like 20 years. And scientific discoveries tend to move in little mincing steps, not giant leaps, so there have been lots of previous announcements about evidence supporting the hypothesis of water of Mercury — including very similar announcements from the MESSENGER team in December 2011 and March 2012. Your life will not change in any significant way because there is frozen water on Mercury. You probably won't even make a note to tell your children where you were the day NASA announced that ice most likely existed there.

But that doesn't mean this news isn't damned exciting. And it doesn't mean that the scientists involved shouldn't be giddy about it. We are, after all, talking about a mission that sent a spacecraft into orbit around another planet and has quite likely found frozen water sitting on a landscape that is hot enough to melt lead. What's more, they think that ice is covered in places by a thin layer of some coal or tar-like organic material. That is huge news. It's going to change textbooks. And because the scientists think both the ice and the organic material got to Mercury via collisions with asteroids and comets, it's going to be an important part of our ongoing efforts to understand how life begins on planets like Earth. Read the rest