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July 23, 2012

Ride Sally Ride

I am so sad that Sally Ride died today. Sally Ride-- the first American woman in space. The Russians had a woman in space 20 (yes 20!) years before us but we had Sally! And Sally was just so cool. Her website says it best:

Sally’s historic flight into space captured the nation’s imagination and made her a household name. She became a symbol of the ability of women to break barriers and a hero to generations of adventurous young girls. After retiring from NASA, Sally used her high profile to champion a cause she believed in passionately—inspiring young people, especially girls, to stick with their interest in science, to become scientifically literate, and to consider pursuing careers in science and engineering.

Good bye Sally and thank you- we will miss you. And may you always Ride Sally Ride.

July 21, 2012


So I figure this kinda fits under FairerScience because he was a grad student in neuroscience but actually I don’t care if it fits or not. So how come:
• every time I go on CNN and Google News, without signing in I find out how many of my Facebook friends have already liked this article?
• before I sign into Amazon, they know who I am and what I might like?
• when I go on Orbitz and I don’t sign in…
Oh never mind—you get the picture, actually you’ve experienced the picture.

So if the entire wired world knows about my blog posts, my Amazon choices, my flights and pretty much everything else I do, how come did no one know that this dude had bought:
• many many guns
• 6000 rounds of ammunition’
• better body protection than out troops get when they are in combat (sorry that’s probably another rant)?

Obviously they did—so while it is ok to violate my privacy to let the world know that I bought Whistling Vivaldi and How I Killed Pluto (BTW both really good books) it is not ok to use the same tools that figure out my buying patterns to find out that others have buying patterns that are likely to mean that they are REAL THREATS to people.

Darned if I know, but it scares the bloody blue blazes out of me and it should scare you too. I’m going to try to find out what is going on; perhaps you should try too.