community Service means Business!
30 December 2009
29 December 2009
In the book Strong Women, Deep Closets: Lesbians and Homophobia in Sports, Pat Griffin discusses the pressure on female athletes to constantly prove they, and their sport, are acceptably feminine, for fear of being labeled lesbians. Women who engaged in, and openly enjoyed, sports have often been viewed with suspicion or concern, ranging from beliefs that physical exertion might make them infertile to a fear that women’s sports teams serve as recruiting sites for lesbians. Some college coaches even try to get young women to play on their teams by hinting to their parents that other schools their daughter is considering are known for having a lot of lesbians and it might not be the “type of environment” where they want their sweet little girl to go.
Female athletes, and women’s sports teams, thus often feel a lot of pressure to prove their heterosexuality to quell homophobic fears and to make women’s sports appealing to a broad audience. One way to do so is to dissociate themselves from lesbians. Another is to emphasize the femininity of female athletes, signaling that they are, despite their athletic abilities, still physically attractive to, and interested in, men.
Stephen A. sent us a link to Florida State University’s women’s basketball website that made me think of Griffin’s work. The Meet the Team segment of the website includes images of the women dressed in formal dresses, with make-up and hair done, posing in or on limos:
Similarly, Texas A&M put out this promotional media guide, which features an image of the male coach surrounded by the team in sexy clothing:
While these types of materials have traditionally been for the media, they’re increasingly used as recruiting tools for players as well. Those who produce them argue that they’re just trying to put out something distinctive that will set them apart. And as Jayda Evans at the Seattle Times says, it’s not like men’s sports teams are never photographed off the court.
But as many researchers have pointed out, and as Evans herself discusses, female athletes are often photographed and discussed in ways that largely erase their athletic abilities. When men’s teams are dressed up for publicity materials, it’s usually for one or two images that are outnumbered by ones that highlight their sports participation. For female athletes, images that exclude any connection to sports often become nearly the entire story. And despite the fact that the creators often stress their interest in doing something unique and distinctive to set themselves apart, there is a very common set of elements in promotional materials for women’s sports: clothing, make-up, hair, and poses that sexualize the players and implicitly include a reassurance to parents, potential players, and fans that the women are pretty, charming, and feminine, regardless of what they do on the court or the field.That is, they are blending masculinity and femininity by being athletic and pretty, not giving up their femininity altogether.
Of course, part of an acceptable performance of femininity is showing that you want male attention, and that you actively try to make yourself appealing to men. So while these materials might do many other things, they also carry a particular message: these girls like to pretty themselves up, and that should reassure you that it’s not a team full of lesbians.
The effect of all this is that female athletes may feel pressured to keep their hair long, wear make-up even on the court, and emphasize any relationships they have with men or children to “prove” they are straight, and a lesbian who likes makeup and sexy clothing may face less suspicion and stigma than a straight woman who doesn’t.
Also see our posts on Serena Williams’s ESPN cover, Candace Parker “is pretty, which helps,” groundbreaking female sailor is also pretty, sexualizing female Olympic athletes, diets of champions, media portrayals of female athletes, and valuing dads in the WNBA.
The Dunmore town council shot down a Methadone Clinic because of zoning, parking and pedestrian issues. But that is not the real reason according to Not Cease and NEPartisan. It's a classic case of NIMBY (not in my back yard). We went through this argument in Plains Township a few years ago and the NIMBY crowd was led by the then Mayor of Wilkes-Barre Tom McGroarity. In the end the place they put it was zoned for a medical treatment facility with a Dialysis Clinic next door so the Plains Twp fathers/mothers and interlopers from other towns couldn't block it.As far as I know there has not been one police call to the Plains Twp Methadone Clinic since it opened.
People make stupid decisions in their lives. Does that mean you just turn your back on them when they want to make it right? I'd rather have someone hooked on methadone than heroin living on my street. And believe me, they live on YOUR street.
28 December 2009
27 December 2009
CCAC to put workers on career fast track
By Mike Cronin, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Welders and EMTs, please apply.
Wastewater operators and information technology-support specialists, too.
"The jobs are on the state's high-priority list," said Judy Savolskis, interim vice president for work force development at Community College of Allegheny County. "If you're trained in one of these areas, you will probably find a job."
Beginning next month, CCAC will offer accelerated-certificate, diploma and other types of programs in 18 career areas, including those, said Mary Frances Archey, CCAC's vice president for learning and student development.
"When we started to see the economic conditions in the area, we knew individuals wanted to get back to work much faster than a traditional community-college student who takes semester-long classes," Archey said.
Students can acquire skills, or "retool" existing ones, in three to six months, Savolskis said.
That's a lot faster than many students perhaps thought they could obtain necessary training, said David Hoovler, CCAC's spokesman.
The compressed programs ensure that working people, and people looking for work, aren't "sidelined longer than is really necessary," Hoovler said.
"This program could change people's minds," he said. "It shows them what they can do."
Two programs are almost booked, Archey said: Phlebotomy, the practice of drawing blood, and welding.
Welding is so popular that CCAC offers a class that begins around midnight and continues until roughly 3 a.m., Savolskis said. Students can take welding during mornings, afternoons and evenings five days a week -- and several hours on Saturdays, she said.
"The thing about welding is that it is used in all types of occupations, from working on bridges to the automotive industry," Savolskis said.
Other areas, such as IT, offer people the opportunity to update abilities to current standards, she said.
"That's important for the employer and the employee."
CCAC officials plan to assess the effectiveness and popularity of the condensed schedule and the classes offered, and then decide whether to continue it, Archey said.
"It's possible we'll keep a certain portion of this format all the time. We're already talking about what we're going to do in the summer and next fall."
Computer and Business Programs
• Basic Computer-aided Drafting -- South campus (West Mifflin)
• Information Technology Support -- North campus (McCandless)
• Project Management Boot Camp -- West Hills center (Oakdale)
• Property & Casualty Insurance Career Preparation -- South campus
Health Care and Child Care
• Child Care -- Allegheny campus (North Shore)
• Emergency Medical Technician -- Allegheny campus
• Home Health Attendant -- Downtown center (Stanwix Street)
• Medical Office Manager -- Allegheny campus
• Nurse Aide Training -- Downtown center or Boyce campus (Monroeville)
• Phlebotomy -- Boyce campus
• Drinking Water Operator -- West Hills center (Oakdale)
• Wastewater Operator Certificate Program -- West Hills center
Manufacturing and Technical Programs
• Advanced Manufacturing/Integrated Systems Technology "Mechatronics" -- West Hills center (Oakdale)
• Electrical Motor Repair -- West Hills center
• Electrical Systems -- West Hills center
• Mechanical Systems -- West Hills center
• Programmable Electrical Controls -- West Hills center
• Welding -- West Hills center
26 December 2009
25 December 2009
When Lionel Wigram decided to make a movie about Sherlock Holmes, he wanted to make sure the studios understood his pulpy vision. So he partnered with comics artist John Watkiss to create comic book-flavored concept art. Possible spoilers inside.
Wigram had Watkiss, who has provided artwork for Deadman, Sandman, and Conan, to bring his action comics style to Sherlock Holmes. Wigram wanted to create a visual pamphlet so that studio execs understood the sort of story he wanted to tell. Although some outlets have erroneously reported that Wigram and Watkiss collaborated on a comic, Wigram did have Watkiss illustrate the story, sans text. This series of illustrations then served as a key component of Watkiss' pitch.
The illustrations are currently on display and available fore sale at Nucleus Studios in Alhambra, California.
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24 December 2009
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23 December 2009
In January, Israel will become the first country in the world to give people who sign their organ donor cards points pushing them up the transplant list should they one day need a transplant. Points will also be given to transplant candidates whose first-degree relatives have signed their organ donor cars or whose first-degree relatives were organ donors.
In the case of kidneys, for example, two points (on a 0-18 point scale) will be given if the candidate had three or more years previous to being listed signed their organ card. One point will be given if a first-degree relative had signed and 3.5 points if a first-degree relative had previously donated.
In Entrepreneurial Economics I argued for a point allocation system like this--which I called a "no give, no take" system--as a way to increase the incentive to sign one's organ donor card. One advantage of a no-give, no take system over paying for organs is that most people find this type of system to be fair and just--those who are willing to give are the first to receive should they one day be in in need.
The new policy will be widely advertised in Israel and will be transitioned into place beginning in January. I think this new policy is very important. If organ donation rates increase in Israel, I expect that other countries will quickly follow suit.
By the way, is it peculiar that the two countries in the world with the best organ donor systems are now Israel and Iran?
Hat tip to Dave Undis whose Lifesharers group (I am an advisor) is working on implementing a similar system in the United States.
Pittsburgh Public Schools seniors and their families can get information about completing a Pittsburgh Promise application at one of the District’s Financial Aid Nights. Families will also learn about filling out the Free Application for Financial Aid (FAFSA), which is one of the steps required to receive a Promise scholarship.
In the East End, representatives from the Pittsburgh Public Schools, Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA), Negro Educational Emergency Drive (NEED), and colleges will be on hand at Pittsburgh Peabody, 515 N. Highland Ave., on January 20 and February 17 at 5:30 p.m. to speak about The Promise and the various types of financial aid available to students, including grants, loans, and work-study.
Currently, graduates of the Pittsburgh Public Schools who are eligible have the opportunity to receive a scholarship from The Promise that would pay up to $5,000 each year for up to four years of tuition. Even students who already have scholarships to cover the full cost of tuition may be eligible for a minimum award of up to $1,000 through The Promise.
For more information, visit The Pittsburgh Promise website or call 412- 281-7605.
Kin marriage and the rise of the bourgeoisie. Laurie Taylor explores the frequency of marriages between close family relatives in the 19th century. Cousin marriage was a way of consolidating their political, economic and intellectual dominance. Professors Adam Kuper and Catherine Hall, and biographer Henrietta Garnett discuss.
DISENFRANCHISEMENT NEWS: 2009 IN REVIEW
Disenfranchisement reform received a great deal of attention throughout 2009, spurred in part by the excitement behind a historic presidential race at the close of 2008.
Advocacy campaigns and media coverage gave light to the many individuals throughout the nation who were able to vote for the first time after having their rights restored.
More than a decade after The Sentencing Project began to campaign on this issue, disenfranchisement reform has won editorial support in the media, gained legislative momentum from policymakers, and has been highlighted as a key area of research in the academic community...MORE
Black Leaders Urge US Census to Change How it Counts Inmates
By Carol Morello
Washington Post Staff Writer
A coalition of African American leaders concerned about minorities being undercounted in the 2010 Census called Wednesday for inmates at federal and state prisons to be tallied in their home communities instead of the towns where they are incarcerated…MORE
1000 PA Prisoners being sent to MI keep Prison Open for up to Four Years
Dec. 22, 2009
Deal saves jobs at Muskegon prison
1,000 Pa. inmates to transfer to facility
BY DAWSON BELL
DETROIT FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER
Mel Grieshaber, executive director of the Michigan Corrections Organization employee union, said “it was disappointing that Pennsylvania isn't sending more prisoners and saving more jobs”.
The inmates also are to be selected from among those who receive few visitors, have no special medical or mental health care needs and have at least three years remaining on their sentences, she said.
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