Individual state grades range from A+ to F-, and the country’s overall score is a C-, which is embarrassing, sad, disgusting… the pejorative descriptions are many. There are far too many Fs (for failure). A country that prides itself on democracy scores below average in taking care of more than 50 per cent of its citizens – women!! Published by the Population Institute, the report is available state-by-state as well as in full.
Forget Barbie! She doesn’t look like an au natural woman of any nationality. Step up Nigerian entrepreneur Taofick Okoya. Having failed in his search for a doll for his niece (ie, unable to find any that resembled her), he set up his own company to produce Queens of Africa and Naija Princess dolls. He manages assembly of the dolls locally, after manufacture in China, and then dresses them in traditional Nigerian costume. While he is to be congratulated on his vision, his experience regarding the size of the dolls is a sad comment on what seems like unavoidable female body facism. However, he has already identified a potential solution. Okoya says his early templates were larger bodied, and the kids did not like them.
“For now, we have to hide behind the ‘normal’ doll. Once we’ve built the brand, we can make dolls with bigger bodies.”
Bayan Mahmoud Al-Zahran, the first Saudi woman lawyer who was issued with a license to practice law in the Kingdom, opened her firm “for the benefit of Saudi women” in early January 2014. To an outside observer, it seemed inevitable that someone would “remind” Saudi women about some of the many restrictions they live under. And someone did. The (male) vice president of Jeddah Chamber of Commerce included in his congratulatory remarks a reminder about following the law of hijab in every aspect of life (and court). Is this a case of two steps forward, one step back? Whatever the answer, congratulations to Al-Zahran and her firm of four women lawyers.
This is a pretty scary scenario – the return of some diseases that have mostly been eradicated, along with new and stronger diseases that have adapted to the currently available antibiotics and have become immune. What is now routine surgery would then become life-threatening. Professor Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust, said “We’re watching evolution happening.
“The viruses, the parasites have a pressure put on them from the drugs. They want to respond to that by surviving and not being killed by these antibiotics so therefore they evolve in ways that make them resistant.”
What could help prevent the worst-case scenario from developing? He recommends global investment in, pressure on and incentives for pharmaceutical companies to expand their research, as well as making antibiotics more difficult to come by.
The ages of man. With a few “mamils” (middle-aged men in lycra) thrown into the mix.
gaga – lager – Saga – Aga – gaga
… books change your life. And your mind. Something science has recently been examining. How do books affect us biologically? Researchers at Emory University’s Center for Neuropolicy examined the “lingering neural effects of reading a narrative.” They found that even days after reading the story, participants’ brain scans showed heightened activity in several areas, suggesting the potential for longer-lasting changes.
“The fact that we’re detecting th[ose changes] over a few days for a randomly assigned novel suggests that your favorite novels could certainly have a bigger and longer-lasting effect on the biology of your brain.”