Physics Is Sexxxxxist!

The College Fix has a report up headlined Feds paid $300,000 to study why white, male physicists don’t fight racism, sexism in STEM. (H/T, Instapundit).

White, cis, male physicists with “good intentions” aren’t doing enough to fight the racism and sexism from which they benefit, argued two education researchers in a recently published article in the International Journal of STEM Education.

According to their article, the primary means by which these white male physicists illustrate their inaction include: asserting that inequity is something physically distant from them, blaming inequity on larger societal or cultural factors over which they have no control such as the K-12 education system or women choosing motherhood over physics careers, and appealing to their own discomfort with or inadequacy in directly addressing racism and sexism.

“Ending racism requires white people to change. Ending sexism requires men to change,” the authors wrote. “The progressive white men we interviewed are essential to change.”


What about fields where men are discriminated against because of their sex?

Let’s look at some real world facts.

Men as a whole and women as a whole have the same average intelligence. If we take 1,000 randomly selected men and 1,000 random selected women out of the general population, the average of their IQ scores will be the same. However, the men’s scores will vary over a greater range than the women’s. This means that we will find more men at the low end of the scores. Roughly 2.7 % of the men will score below 70, but only about 1.9 % of the women will have scores that low.

The effect on the very high end of the scale is even more pronounced.

The GRE is essentially an IQ test for a group of people (college students, mostly) who have above average IQs. Recent data for the GRE shows that Physics and Astronomy majors have the highest scores. Their standard score compared to all GRE takers was 139. If the tighter range of variability of intelligence for women applies to GRE takers, then only one in 52 women would score that high, but one in 38 men would. About 88 % of the Physics and Astronomy major who take the GRE are male; that’s a M/F ratio greater than 7:1. If the selection were based on IQ alone, the ratio should be less than 2:1.

At the other end of the GRE, Early Childhood Education majors have a standard score of 68. Again, if the tighter range of variability of intelligence for women applies to GRE takers, then only one in 51 women would score that low, but one in 37 men would. 97 % of Early Childhood Eduction majors who take the GRE are female; that’s a F/M ratio over 30:1. If the selection were based on IQ alone, the ratio should be less than 2:1.

Now, it may be that men are being actively discriminated against in Early Childhood Education programs and women discriminated against in Physics and Astronomy. Or it may be that men and women who are free to choose tend to choose careers related to the sex-based roles that have maximized the survival of our species. Or there may be multiple other reasons things are as they are.

The social policy of Scandinavian countries has tended to promote the ability of men and women to freely choose careers, and in those countries men and women are even more likely to seek careers that the authors of the paper referenced above would deem to be sexually stereotyped. In the Nordic countries the M/F ratio for engineers and F/M ratio for nurse are both higher than the average for the rest of the developed world.

The Real World experiment on sexxxxxism and career choice has already been run. We appear to have wasted $ 300,000 of taxpayer money.

I will note one other fact. While the standard score for all GRE takers is (by definition) 100, the standard score for Sociology majors is 88.


The NY Post has an article headlined Researchers condemn rise of ‘fascist ideologues’ after students send mocking responses to LGBTQ survey.

Academic researchers condemned students’ irreverent and offensive responses to an LGBTQ survey, claiming the pushback indicates “fascist ideologues” are “living ‘inside the house’ of engineering and computer science.”

In an article for the Bulletin of Applied Transgender Studies, academics from Oregon State University wrote about their shock at receiving sarcasm and mockery in response to their research into undergraduate LGBTQ students studying in STEM fields.

The researchers were bothered by the responses on 50 out of 349 questionnaires.

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. While math can be a theoretical exercise, the other three are grounded in the Real World. If the Real World results of an experiment fail, the Scientific Method sends you back to refine your hypothesis, and engineers and technologists can’t use wishful thinking to force a design to work in spite of the limits imposed by Nature. As Scotty observed, “Ye cannae change the Laws of Physics.”

Transgenderism clearly rejects the biological basis of sex. It is anti-scientific, so I’m not surprised that many of the STEM students responding to the survey were derisive.

The research team declared that the mockery they received “had a profound impact on morale and mental health,” particularly for one transgender researcher who was “already in therapy for anxiety and depression regarding online anti-trans rhetoric.”

Profound impact on mental health? Really? On a transgender person who denies the objective reality of his or her DNA?

The scholars concluded the “malicious responses” indicate that fascism has become a common ideology in engineering and computer science academia.

So it’s now fascism to believe the Real World limits biology places on our lives.

The Truth is out there, but I doubt that it can be found in the Bulletin of Applied Transgender Studies.

Math Is Hard

CNN is correct that it would be theoretically possible to convert modern cargo ships to sailing vessels, but would it be practical.Let’s do some math.

As a first approximation, let’s assume that the amount of force necessary to move the ship roughly varies in proportion to its displacement, the mass of water it pushes aside as it moves. The Cutty Sark clipper ship displaced about 900 tonnes when loaded and underway and carried just over 2,900 square metres of sails supported by over 17 km of rigging rope. The typical medium-sized oil tanker displaces 1,200,000 tonnes unloaded. That’s over 130 times greater displacement. Thus, we might expect that an unloaded tanker would need at least 380,00 square metres of sail area to achieve the performance of a sailing ship that was obsolescent in the mid-19th-century. Thousands of cargo ships are this large or larger. [Opps, see Update 3.]

BTW, 380,000 square metres is about 94 acres. It will take a lot of cotton (or, more likely, dead dinosaurs to make the kevlar) to make the sails for one ship. Thousands of sets of sails would be necessary to keep world commerce alive.

UPDATE—Where would the energy to run the motors needed to control such sails come from? They would be too heavy to be operated by human muscle power.

Also, how would such a ship maneuver in the confines of a harbor?


UPDATE 3—Math is hard indeed. I slipped a digit. The mass ratio is 1,300:1 rather than 130:1, so the sail area required is 10X larger—940 acres!

Thanks to @WitCoHE_Bak for catching my error.


I live on the fringe of the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area and work just outside the Washington Beltway. The weather around here has been smoky and hazy this week. The smog has been caused by smoke from wildfires in Quebec.

The usual suspects such as Politico have tried to spin their reporting to follow The Narrative.

On the Hill: Lawmakers certainly took notice as a thick layer of smoke penetrated Washington and the Capitol.

Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso, the top Republican on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, called the plague of smoke “a sobering reminder that we must manage our forests to make them more resilient to catastrophic fires.” But he stopped short of making the connection between fires and fossil fuels.

Meanwhile, Republicans are still opposing multiple federal and state-led efforts to tackle climate change.

The senator didn’t talk about a connection between forest fires and fossil fuels because there isn’t any. Forest fires burn trees which haven’t been through the process of being buried and converted to coal or natural gas.

(I’m so old, I remember when heating with a wood stove was considered environmentally friendly because trees are a renewable resource. But that was before the EPA cracked down on the soot and other pollution caused by wood stoves.)

The underlying cause of the fires in Canada is the same as the fire problem in California—shoddy forest management caused by leftist environmental priorities.

Time Wasting Bureaucracy

I grew up with electric stoves. My mother thought they were a great improvement on the coal stoves she had learned to cook with. The first place I rented when I got out on my own had a gas stove, and it didn’t take long for me to appreciate its superior speed and control of the heat delivered and the time saved cooking on an electric stove. Mrs. Hoge and I remodeled the kitchen here at Stately Hoge Manor soon after we moved in, and we replaced the electric stove with a 4-burner plus griddle 36-in Viking stove plus a small electric wall oven for small baking tasks. We also replaced the toaster coil electric heat with a gas furnace.

The Biden administration is proposing stove “efficiency regulations” that could force cooks to waste almost a full day a year by increasing the time they will have to wait for water to boil. The Washington Free Beacon reports—

The “efficiency” regulations unveiled by President Joe Biden’s Energy Department in January would limit high-heat stove burners used for cooking tasks such as boiling water and searing meats, according to the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers. Without those burners, the association found in an analysis on the impact of the stove regulations, U.S. consumers would spend an extra seven minutes trying to boil more than one pot of water. As a result, those Americans would spend “about 23 additional hours per year waiting for water to boil” under the regulations, the association found.

Tar. Feathers.

I’m So Old …

… I remember when we only had a few years to save ourselves from the next Ice Age.

Meanwhile, the UN has a new report out reminding us we have a few years (less than a decade this time, I think) to keep the world from—checks report—”catastrophic climate change.” That apparently still means global warming.

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

Back in the ’70s, Brett Kimberlin ran a health food store as money laundry for his wholesale drug dealing. There is some evidence that he actually believes in dietary quackery, and that my explain why he set up the citizensagainstgmo dot com website. This post about Brett Kimberlin and Vitamin A Deficiency from nine years ago today to a look at that site.

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One of the most promising genetically engineered crops that has become available over the past decade or so is golden rice. It has been modified to produce beta-carotene, a precursor of vitamin A. This is an important innovation for the third world where where vitamin A deficiency kills upwards of 600,000 children under 5 each year.

It is also a major bête noire of the anti-GMO food crowd.

Take a look at this:citizensagainstgmoThis is a page from the website citizensagainstgmo dot com. It lists golden rice as number 5 among the top 10 GMO food products.

This site is hosted on the same server as the sites for Justice Through Music Project, Velvet Revolution US, Breitbart Unmasked, NRAWatch, Pussy Riot Defense Fund, and other Kimberlin-related sites.


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The site’s DONATE button must not have generated enough revenue to keep the site viable. It’s among the dozens of failed web domains Kimberlin has allowed to expire.

Titanium, Oxygen, and Raaaaacism

Maureen Mullarkey has a post over at The Federalist about research into the racism associated with white paint. Norway, which for the moment is covered with vast swaths of white ice and snow, has granted about $1.2 million to the University of Bergen for an investigation into “How Norway Made the World Whiter (NorWhite).” The most common safe white dye is titanium dioxide which was developed in 1910 by a pair of Norwegian chemists.

There’s another grant of around $228,000 going the the Oslo National Academy of the Arts for a sister project “The Materiality of White (MoW).” This study is designed to “highlight TiO2’s materiality and ubiquity, and to contribute to critical thinking on the color white and its mineral origin”—all of that in search of an answer to the question, “Do we need our world to be more white?”

I remember enough high school physics and biology to know that the origin of the color white has nothing to do with minerals per se. Our sensation of the color white occurs when a broad spectrum of light excites all three types of receptors in our eyes. We see other colors when part or parts of the spectrum are missing. A white pigment such as TiO2 reflects a balanced spectrum of the light striking it.

I also remember enough high school chemistry to answer the question about the ubiquity of TiO2 in dyes. It’s vastly safer than the white lead dye it has replaced, especially in paints. Poisonings related to white paint dropped significantly during the first half of the last century as titanium white replaced lead white. BTW, white dye in a component of almost all colors other than black. It is added to moderate the strength of other pigments. The world would be much more boring without white dye.

As to whether melanin-deficient Norwegians need their world to be more white, I suggest they wait until after the spring thaw before making any rash judgments.

But Isn’t Stove Gas Methane?

Space News reports:

The fully stacked Starship vehicle, consisting of a Super Heavy booster designated Booster 7 and a Starship upper stage named Ship 24, was filled with liquid oxygen and methane propellants during the test at SpaceX’s Starbase test site in Boca Chica, Texas.

Emphasis added. How did this ever pass environmental review?

<science>It passed because methane is a cleaner burning fuel than the RP-1 kerosene used in most other rockets, including the SpaceX Falcon series.</science>

<engineering>While liquid methane is very cold, its temperature is much warmer than the liquid hydrogen used in NASA’s SLS. It’s in the same range as liquid oxygen, so the thermal stress in the rocket’s plumbing is less severe.</engineering>

Safe Cooking

According to a report published on the National Institutes of Health website, there is an association of cooking over an open flame and asthma, but the effect depends upon which fuel is used. The report’s abstract states:

Background: Indoor air pollution from a range of household cooking fuels has been implicated in the development and exacerbation of respiratory diseases. In both rich and poor countries, the effects of cooking fuels on asthma and allergies in childhood are unclear. We investigated the association between asthma and the use of a range of cooking fuels around the world.

Methods: For phase three of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC), written questionnaires were self-completed at school by secondary school students aged 13-14 years, 244,734 (78%) of whom were then shown a video questionnaire on wheezing symptoms. Parents of children aged 6-7 years completed the written questionnaire at home. We investigated the association between types of cooking fuels and symptoms of asthma using logistic regression. Adjustments were made for sex, region of the world, language, gross national income, maternal education, parental smoking, and six other subject-specific covariates. The ISAAC study is now closed, but researchers can continue to use the instruments for further research.

Findings: Data were collected between 1999 and 2004. 512,707 primary and secondary school children from 108 centres in 47 countries were included in the analysis. The use of an open fire for cooking was associated with an increased risk of symptoms of asthma and reported asthma in both children aged 6-7 years (odds ratio [OR] for wheeze in the past year, 1·78, 95% CI 1·51-2·10) and those aged 13-14 years (OR 1·20, 95% CI 1·06-1·37). In the final multivariate analyses, ORs for wheeze in the past year and the use of solely an open fire for cooking were 2·17 (95% CI 1·64-2·87) for children aged 6-7 years and 1·35 (1·11-1·64) for children aged 13-14 years. Odds ratios for wheeze in the past year and the use of open fire in combination with other fuels for cooking were 1·51 (1·25-1·81 for children aged 6-7 years and 1·35 (1·15-1·58) for those aged 13-14 years. In both age groups, we detected no evidence of an association between the use of gas as a cooking fuel and either asthma symptoms or asthma diagnosis.

Interpretation: The use of open fires for cooking is associated with an increased risk of symptoms of asthma and of asthma diagnosis in children. Because a large percentage of the world population uses open fires for cooking, this method of cooking might be an important modifiable risk factor if the association is proven to be causal.

Funding: BUPA Foundation, the Auckland Medical Research Foundation, the Health Research Council of New Zealand, the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation of New Zealand, the Child Health Research Foundation, the Hawke’s Bay Medical Research Foundation, the Waikato Medical Research Foundation, Glaxo Wellcome New Zealand, the NZ Lottery Board, Astra Zeneca New Zealand, Hong Kong Research Grant Council, Glaxo Wellcome International Medical Affairs.

Note the finding of no evidence of an association between the use of gas as a cooking fuel and either asthma symptoms or asthma diagnosis.

The report was originally published in Lancet Respir Med in 2013.

But It’s OK When They Do It

Joe Biden is in the US Virgin Islands for a year end vacation, so the omnibus funding bill is being flown from DC to St. Croix so he can sign it. Several tonnes of carbon will be emitted because of his vacation schedule.I’ll worry about the carbon footprint of my VW diesel as soon as … oh, never mind.