Monthly Archives: July 2009

Corrective Rape

Thirty-one lesbian women have been reported raped and murdered in homophobic attacks in South Africa since 1998. But according to Triangle – a gay rights organisation – only two cases of “corrective rape” have ever made it to the courts; there has been only one conviction. “This is a sad fact in this country generally, women are very reluctant to come forward,” says Sharon Cox from Triangle. “Corrective rape” is the term used to describe the rape of a lesbian woman by a man to either punish her, or “correct” her behaviour.

via Corrective Rape: An Ugly Contradiction.

Bolivia Bans All Circus Animals

Bolivia has enacted what animal rights activists are calling the world’s first ban on all animals in circuses. A handful of other countries have banned the use of wild animals in circuses, but the Bolivian ban includes domestic animals as well. The law, which states that the use of animals in circuses “constitutes an act of cruelty”, took effect on 1 July with operators given a year to comply, according to the bill’s sponsor, Ximena Flores.

via guardian.co.uk.

Take Back the Beep

These messages are outrageous for two reasons. First, they waste your time. Good heavens: it’s 2009. WE KNOW WHAT TO DO AT THE BEEP.Do we really need to be told to hang up when we’re finished!? Would anyone, ever, want to “send a numeric page?” Who still carries a pager, for heaven’s sake? Or what about “leave a callback number?” We can SEE the callback number right on our phones!

via Personal Tech on NYTimes.com

Slowing Light Down to 38 MPH

But in 1998, Hau, for the first time in history, slowed light to 38 miles an hour, about the speed of rush-hour traffic. Two years later, she brought light to a complete halt in a cloud of ultracold atoms. Next, she restarted the stalled light without changing any of its characteristics, and sent it on its way. These highly successful experiments brought her a tenured professorship at Harvard University and a $500,000 MacArthur Foundation award to spend as she pleased.

via Light and matter united