Monthly Archives: February 2011

Women Earn More Doctorates Than Men

American women are now earning more doctoral degrees than men, according to a new enrollment study by the Council of Graduate Schools. During the 2008-2009 academic year, 28,962 women earned PhDs, as did 28,469 men.

In the last ten years, women have also become the majority in both law schools and medical schools.

Many undergraduate major areas that were once dominated by men are now dominated by women. In 1970-1971, 9% of business majors were women; by 1984-1985, women were 45% of business majors. Currently, 58% of all undergraduate business majors are women.

Men continue to earn more graduate degrees in computer science, engineering, mathematics, and physical sciences.

Via Newsweek.

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Ohio Supreme Court Sets Seven Execution Dates

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Tuesday, the Ohio Supreme Court set execution dates for seven convicted murderers, bringing the total number of 2011 executions scheduled in that state to nine.

Two weeks ago, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction announced that it was changing its execution protocol. The state is switching to pentobarbital from sodium thiopental, which has been in high demand since the sole U.S. manufacturer stopped producing it. The maker of the new drug, meanwhile, has protested its use for executions.

The new drug is scheduled to be used for the first time on March 10, 2011. Executioners will use the last of the sodium thiopental on February 17 for the execution of Frank Spisak.

Here are the scheduled executions for the remainder of the year:

Clarence Carter, April 12;

Daniel Bedford, May 17;

Shawn L. Hawkins, June 14;

Kenneth W. Smith, July 19;

Brett X. Hartman, August 16;

Billy Slagle, September 20; and

Joseph D.Murphy, October 18.

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Caught between Supporting the People and the President

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In this NPR News article and audio clip, we hear about the American President caught – as one so often is – “between the natural desire to support the demonstrators” in Egypt “and long-standing U.S. support for an autocrat.” It’s a really good article. You should check it out.




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Man Sues Drug Company for Gambling and Sex Addiction


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Didier Jambart, a 51-year-old French man, is suing GlaxoSmithKline for the consequences he suffered while taking Requip, a drug that treats Parkinson’s disease.

Jambart claims he became a “compulsive gay sex addict and began exposing himself on the Internet and cross-dressing” after he started taking Requip.

According to his attorney, Jambart tried to commit suicide three times after losing his family’s life savings online gambling.

GlaxoSmithKline added the following warning label to Requip in 2006, a year after Jambart started taking it:

Tell your doctor if you have ever had an urge to gamble that was difficult to control and if you have or have ever had unexpected daytime sleepiness or a sleep disorder other than restless legs syndrome; high or low blood pressure; a psychotic disorder (mental illness that causes abnormal thinking or perceptions); or heart, liver, or kidney disease.

You should know that some people who took medications such as ropinirole developed gambling problems or other intense urges or behaviors that were compulsive or unusual for them, such as increased sexual urges or behaviors. There is not enough information to tell whether the people developed these problems because they took the medication or for other reasons. Call your doctor if you have an urge to gamble that is difficult to control, you have intense urges, or you are unable to control your behavior.

Jambart is seeking $160,000 in damanges.

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South Dakota: “Screw People without Insurance. Buy a Gun Instead!”

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Some legislators (we’ll use that term loosely today) in South Dakota introduced a bill requiring every citizen over age 21 to own a firearm.

Naturally, the legislation isn’t intended to force South Dakotans to arm up; it’s just meant to piss off people about government mandates.

State Rep. Hal Wick, one of the bill’s cosponsors, put it best: “Do I or the other cosponsors believe that the State of South Dakota can require citizens to buy firearms? Of course not. But at the same time, we do not believe the federal government can order every citizen to buy health insurance.”

Because what will really make people like government more is legislators introducing bills that they don’t even think (or hope) are constitutional, just to stick it to another group of legislators.

Huzzah, South Dakota! You win Democracy!

Via Consumerist.

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CNN Really Excites Subscribers, Issues Correction, Bums Us Out

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At 11:44 a.m., CNN sent the following message to its “Breaking News Alert” subscribers:

– Members of leadership of Egypt‘s ruling party, including President Hosni Mubarak, submit resignations, state TV reports.


This was awesome! I bounded into the room, asking my boyfriend, “Can you believe Mubarak resigned?” Egypt was to have a peaceful change of power after all!

At 1:37 p.m., I received the following email from CNN:

– Clarification: Key members resign their posts in Egypt’s ruling party. Hosni Mubarak remains head of party and president.



Anyone else get alternately excited and bummed out by CNN’s breaking news?

(Yeah, I dunno about that, newser.)

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Ted Haggard: “If I Were 21, I Would Identify as a Bisexual”

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You might remember Ted Haggard as the closeted evangelical Christian pastor outed by his prostitute-slash-meth-dealer. Mr. Haggard insists that everyone has it all wrong.

Mr. Haggard, featured in this month’s GQ, clears up the misconceptions about what he was doing with his prostitute. “We never had sex sex,” he insists.  Oh, okay, because if you just had sex without italics, it doesn’t count.

“I bought drugs and a massage from him, and he masturbated me at the end of it. That’s it.” But then he adds, “I think that probably, if I were 21 in this society, I would identify as a bisexual.”

This is a big step forward for Mr. Haggard, whose staff told The Denver Post after the scandal broke that he was “completely heterosexual.”

As for the meth…“Sometimes I’d throw it away,” he says. “Other times, I’d go someplace and masturbate and use it. But it was for masturbation. And that’s one of the reasons why I haven’t been real clear. I don’t want to stand up publicly and say, ‘Hey, I’m a masturbation guy!’”


So, hey, in the interest of fairness, let’s give the new Pastor Haggard a shot. He’s founded a new church (after getting kicked out of his old one), and he seems to be on the right track: “I don’t judge people anymore.”

Awesome lesson. I’m glad to hear Mr. Haggard’s not judgy anymore. In fact, this post started out all kinds of judgy until I realized there’s a good lesson here: Let’s all just be a bit nicer to each other, okay?

I probably don’t agree with anything he’s ever said, but I hope he’s off the meth, off the adultery, off the hypocrisy, and doing well. I hope his flock come around to him again and learn that the scary non-straight people are not so scary after all.

Via Wonkette.

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Florida Judge Rules Health Care Law Unconstitutional

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Monday, a second federal judge ruled that it is unconstitutional for Congress to enact a health care law requiring Americans to obtain health insurance. It is now likely heading to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, one of the most conservative Circuits in the country.

Although this is the second federal court to rule the health care law unconstitutional, it is important to remember that two other federal courts have already ruled the health care scheme constitutional. It is also important to note that the Virginia judge who struck down the health care law in December found that only the mandatory insurance coverage requirement was unconstitutional.

Stephanie Cutter, an assistant to the President, noted on the White House blog that the new ruling strikes down the entire law, but called it “a plain case of judicial overreaching.”

The Florida judge declined to suspend the law pending appeals.

The Department of Justice is exploring options to address the uncertainty. Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) said he would convene a Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday to examine the law’s constitutionality.

“This is not the last word by any means,” a senior administration official said.

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Filed under Health, Law, Politics

Color-Coded Terror Warning System Gone

Homeland Security Advisory System scale.

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The Obama administration has announced that it is finally phasing out the ridiculous color-coded system letting us all know how likely we are to die by terrorist attack. It’s a sad day because the system was is being sent out to pasture without anyone ever once thinking it was a good idea to have a terrorist alert system based on the rainbow. What, are all the terrorists gay or something?

Via Wonkette.

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