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The trial of a 14th century female doctor

In November 1322, Jakoba (or Jacoba) Felicie stood trial in her native Paris for the crime of practicing medicine without official sanction. Over the course of the trial, it became clear that her work as a doctor had been excellent. But Dr. Felicie was stuck in an unfortunate catch-22. She could not legally work as a doctor without first getting professional training. And she could not get professional training because she was a woman. The ScienceZest blog tells her story. Maggie

BART cop Mehserle gets 2 years (minimum possible sentence) for shooting unarmed man in the back

mehserle_grant.jpg

A judge in Los Angeles today sentenced 28-year-old Johannes Mehserle (shown at left), former BART transit officer, to two years in prison for shooting an unarmed man on an Oakland train platform. Oscar Grant, 22 years old, (shown at right) died.

A number of witness cellphone videos circulated online shortly after the incident, and were used in the court hearings.

Two years was the minimum sentence Mehserle could have received for the involuntary manslaughter conviction. The trial had been moved to LA over concerns about the extensive media coverage of the killing in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Let's hope Oakland stays non-violent tonight. Oakland-based Youth Radio has some excellent coverage of the Oscar Grant story.

More on today's sentencing: NPR, LA Times, SF Chronicle, Oakland Tribune. The SF Appeal is liveblogging whatever unfolds with protests tonight.

Mississippi school purges top student from yearbook for being lesbian

Ceara Sturgis, a top student at Wesson Attendance Center in Mississipi, has been purged from the yearbook. She attended the school for 12 years, but she's also a lesbian, and so they made her an un-person.
"They didn't even put her name in it," Sturgis' mother Veronica Rodriguez said. "I was so furious when she told me about it. Ceara started crying and I told her to suck it up. Is that not pathetic for them to do that? Yet again, they have crapped on her and made her feel alienated."

Sturgis and her mother commissioned the Mississippi ACLU to protest officials' October 2009 decision not to allow Sturgis' photo to appear in the senior yearbook because she chose to wear a tuxedo instead of a dress.

The ACLU wrote an October letter demanding officials use Sturgis' submitted photo in the yearbook, but Copiah County School District officials refused. Rodriguez said she expected the yearbook to at least contain a reference to her daughter on the senior page. What she discovered on Friday, when the yearbook came in, was that the school had refused to acknowledge her entirely.

School Cuts Gay Student Photo from Yearbook (Thanks, Matt!)