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December 14, 2012

Incredible sadness

As with so many of us tonight I am in tears about those babies in Newtown and the adults who died with them or trying to protect them, I know we are sending our thoughts, prayers and, well in my case, food. But that is not enough-- that will NOT stop this from happening again.

As we mourn those poor babies in Newtown; along with taking our own political action, considering adding to your emails, 'Please send your senators, representative and President Obama a note that says that if they fight for gun control, you will have their backs."

We are all so sad but along with good thoughts and prayers we have to make a commitment that we will make it harder for this to happen again and that means gun control.

Musings

If you can do the work of scientific doing research of a quality good enough to get published in first rate journals but yet you have problems with the grad school academic courses, is the problem with you or the courses?

If you can do the work of scientific doing research of a quality good enough to get published but you donít score well on the GRE is the problem with you or the exam?

December 05, 2012

December 6, 1989 Remember

Each December 6th, along with many other science blogs, we at FairerScience remember the 14 women engineering students at the Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal, Quebec who were killed because they were women in engineering. It's been 23 years and it is still important to remember. A couple of years ago Alice Pawley posted this tribute

"On December 6, 1989, an armed gunman named Marc Lepine entered an engineering classroom at Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal, Quebec. He demanded all 48 men in the class leave the room, lined up all 9 women against a wall, and, shouting "You are all a bunch of [expletive] feminists!", proceeded to shoot them. He went into the hall and shot 18 more people, mostly at random. He finally shot himself.

He had killed 14 women all together, and injured 9 more women and 4 men.

The women who died could have been anyone. They could have been your friends, your mothers, your sisters, your lovers, your daughters, your neighbors, your students, your teachers, maybe even you.

They were killed because they were women."

Remember those who died in the Montreal Massacre:

Genevieve Bergeron, 21, was a 2nd year scholarship student in civil engineering.
Helene Colgan, 23, was in her final year of mechanical engineering and planned to take her master's degree.
Nathalie Croteau, 23, was in her final year of mechanical engineering.
Barbara Daigneault, 22, was in her final year of mechanical engineering and held a teaching assistantship.
Anne-Marie Edward, 21, was a first year student in chemical engineering.
Maud Haviernick, 29, was a 2nd year student in engineering materials, and a graduate in environmental design.
Barbara Maria Klucznik, 31, was a 2nd year engineering student specializing in engineering materials.
Maryse Laganiere, 25, worked in the budget department of the Polytechnique.
Maryse Leclair, 23, was a 4th year student in engineering materials.
Anne-Marie Lemay, 27, was a 4th year student in mechanical engineering.
Sonia Pelletier, 28, was to graduate the next day in mechanical engineering. She was awarded a degree posthumously.
Michele Richard, 21, was a 2nd year student in engineering materials.
Annie St-Arneault, 23, was a mechanical engineering student.
Annie Turcotte, 21, was a first year student in engineering materials.

Please honor the white ribbon as a symbol of the fight against violence against women.

December 7, 1989 my then 12 year old daughter went to her junior high school with the names of those 14 women with an in memoriam pinned to her shirt. I cried when I saw what she was doing-- both for the women and for her courage. Each year I think of my daughter and of those women and so hope that we have the courage to fight to make sure this will never happen again .

December 01, 2012

World AIDS Day: Words To Live By

Since 1988 World AIDS Day has been held on December 1st. It reminds us to continue to fight against HIV, show support for people living with HIV and commemorate people who have died.

There are, as MTV points out, some things that we all can do help prevent AIDS, and what better day to point this out than World AIDS Day:

+ Use Protection

Whatís more important than wearing red [tomorrow sic] is wearing protection tomorrow night. And every night! Condoms are the only method that protect against HIV, STDs, and pregnancy. A pack of condoms can cost more than my favorite sushi roll. BUT some places do offer them for free! Head over to your local Planned Parenthood, for example, where they will literally give you a backpack full of rubbers if you ask. Donít ask me how I know that.

+ Get Tested

According to the Center For Disease Control (CDC), more than half of young Americans with HIV donít know they have it. As it takes a while for the symptoms of the virus to show, the only way to know your status for sure is to get tested. Itís quick, painless (if youíre afraid of needles, your doctor can test your spit!), free of charge, and judgment-free. If you think you feel the nurseís eyes judging you, itís probably just you judging yourself for that sloppy Saturday night hookup. Sh*t happens...just make sure it happens with a condom on!

+ Get Educated

The only way to prevent HIV is to know how and how not to get it. There are tons of misconceptions about safe sex, like that two condoms are better than one, or that you canít get STDs if you only sleep with members of the chess club or that innocent chick from Bible study. Learn more about HIV -- the facts, the myths, and how to best protect yourself -- with MTVís Itís Your (Sex) Life.

+ Educate Others

Youíre reading this, but not everybody is as awesome as you are! Now that you know how to protect yourself, share your knowledge with your family, friends, significant others, and 2 a.m. booty calls. You can also spread the world by Tweeting #positivetalk all day.

Now if FairerScience readers are lusting after chess club or Bible study members, I suspect you are watching too much Glee and I really don't want to know. And don't call me at 2:00 am for any reason other than you need me to help in an emergency or the Noble Committee has just called with good news. But "use protection", "get tested", "educate yourself" and "educate others"-those are words to live by.