Storytelling Can Help End Street Harassment
Although not every act of street harassment ends in murder — some certainly do — the people experiencing it have no assurance of their safety.
In January 2016, Janese Talton-Jackson was murdered in Pittsburgh by a man when she did not agree to a date with him. In October 2014, 27 year old Mary Spears was shot to death after refusing to give her phone number to a man in Detroit. Every act of street harassment does not end in murder, but the people experiencing it have no assurance of their safety. One of the most common feelings after being harassed is fear, especially when alone.
Street harassment is a common experience all over the world that disproportionately affects women, LGBT+ people, people of color, and differently-abled people. Names like “catcalling” and “Eve-teasing” make it easy to dismiss street harassment as a playful, funny, or harmless event when it is not happening to you. It is widely believed that women should be accustomed to this behavior, and it has no effect on them aside from mild annoyance. Studies have proven this wrong, showing that girls under the age 13 experience street harassment, and the effects are broad in range.
While street harassment - sexual harassment in public space - can differ in look and sound depending on location, the impact is the same across the board. In an international 2014 study conducted by Cornell University, Hollaback! found that most women first start to experience street harassment during puberty. In the cross-cultural study of 42 cities all over the world, over 50% of women reported being fondled or groped, and 71% reported being followed. Fear, anxiety, and anger were among the emotions identified by over 16,000 survey participants.
This epidemic exists all over the world, but is often thought to be cultural. The practice is not tied to the culture of any country, but it does perpetuate rape culture - the normalization of sexual violence and the idea that women are at fault for acts of sexual violence against them. Street harassment is on the spectrum of gender-based violence, and can quickly escalate from verbal to physical.
In April of every year, Stop Street Harassment spearheads International Anti-Street Harassment Week which includes rallies, chalk walks, wheatpasting, Twitter chats, story-sharing sessions, and many other events and initiatives led by organizations and individuals all over the world. Hollaback! – a global movement to end street harassment with sites in 80 cities all over the world – promotes its story sharing tools as a way for people for hollaback at harassers. Their blog and mobile app allow users to share as little or as much of their stories as they choose, and create a map of their harassment experience. At any time, a user can pull up a map of their city, see all the pink pins noting places they were harassed, and share it with their networks. The payoff is two fold: people can take control of their narratives and refuse to be silenced, and they can become advocates to end street harassment by showing their loved ones how often it happens to them, and how it makes them feel.
In recent street harassment awareness videos, women are shown with men in their lives - usually father and partners - as they watch footage of them being harassed. While this can be effective in reaching people’s loved ones, it perpetuates the idea that women are only valued based on their relationships to men. It has to be recognized, however, that social movements often have to meet people where they are. If they continue to see people experiencing street harassment as strangers, or view it as isolated incidents, it can be effective to show them the cumulative effect it has on a loved one.
Statistics don’t do the trick on their own, and neither do stories from people we don’t know. What makes the difference is being able to put a face – often a familiar one – to the numbers in the reports we read. When an issue, like street harassment, is trivialized, it becomes necessary to make personal connections. The stories that come from people who matter to us have the power to shift our perspective, and help us to see how issues – however far-removed or impersonal – matter to us to, and prompt us to take action. The power to end street harassment is not just in harassers, but also in the people experiencing it, witnessing it, and hearing the stories from the people most affected.
It's just the current cycle that involves opiates, but methamphetamine, cocaine, and others have caused the trajectory of overdoses to head the same direction
- It appears that overdoses are increasing exponentially, no matter the drug itself
- If the study bears out, it means that even reducing opiates will not slow the trajectory.
- The causes of these trends remain obscure, but near the end of the write-up about the study, a hint might be apparent
Through computationally intensive computer simulations, researchers have discovered that "nuclear pasta," found in the crusts of neutron stars, is the strongest material in the universe.
- The strongest material in the universe may be the whimsically named "nuclear pasta."
- You can find this substance in the crust of neutron stars.
- This amazing material is super-dense, and is 10 billion times harder to break than steel.
Superman is known as the "Man of Steel" for his strength and indestructibility. But the discovery of a new material that's 10 billion times harder to break than steel begs the question—is it time for a new superhero known as "Nuclear Pasta"? That's the name of the substance that a team of researchers thinks is the strongest known material in the universe.
Unlike humans, when stars reach a certain age, they do not just wither and die, but they explode, collapsing into a mass of neurons. The resulting space entity, known as a neutron star, is incredibly dense. So much so that previous research showed that the surface of a such a star would feature amazingly strong material. The new research, which involved the largest-ever computer simulations of a neutron star's crust, proposes that "nuclear pasta," the material just under the surface, is actually stronger.
The competition between forces from protons and neutrons inside a neutron star create super-dense shapes that look like long cylinders or flat planes, referred to as "spaghetti" and "lasagna," respectively. That's also where we get the overall name of nuclear pasta.
Caplan & Horowitz/arXiv
Diagrams illustrating the different types of so-called nuclear pasta.
The researchers' computer simulations needed 2 million hours of processor time before completion, which would be, according to a press release from McGill University, "the equivalent of 250 years on a laptop with a single good GPU." Fortunately, the researchers had access to a supercomputer, although it still took a couple of years. The scientists' simulations consisted of stretching and deforming the nuclear pasta to see how it behaved and what it would take to break it.
While they were able to discover just how strong nuclear pasta seems to be, no one is holding their breath that we'll be sending out missions to mine this substance any time soon. Instead, the discovery has other significant applications.
One of the study's co-authors, Matthew Caplan, a postdoctoral research fellow at McGill University, said the neutron stars would be "a hundred trillion times denser than anything on earth." Understanding what's inside them would be valuable for astronomers because now only the outer layer of such starts can be observed.
"A lot of interesting physics is going on here under extreme conditions and so understanding the physical properties of a neutron star is a way for scientists to test their theories and models," Caplan added. "With this result, many problems need to be revisited. How large a mountain can you build on a neutron star before the crust breaks and it collapses? What will it look like? And most importantly, how can astronomers observe it?"
Another possibility worth studying is that, due to its instability, nuclear pasta might generate gravitational waves. It may be possible to observe them at some point here on Earth by utilizing very sensitive equipment.
The team of scientists also included A. S. Schneider from California Institute of Technology and C. J. Horowitz from Indiana University.
Check out the study "The elasticity of nuclear pasta," published in Physical Review Letters.
Scientists think constructing a miles-long wall along an ice shelf in Antarctica could help protect the world's largest glacier from melting.
- Rising ocean levels are a serious threat to coastal regions around the globe.
- Scientists have proposed large-scale geoengineering projects that would prevent ice shelves from melting.
- The most successful solution proposed would be a miles-long, incredibly tall underwater wall at the edge of the ice shelves.
The world's oceans will rise significantly over the next century if the massive ice shelves connected to Antarctica begin to fail as a result of global warming.
To prevent or hold off such a catastrophe, a team of scientists recently proposed a radical plan: build underwater walls that would either support the ice or protect it from warm waters.
In a paper published in The Cryosphere, Michael Wolovick and John Moore from Princeton and the Beijing Normal University, respectively, outlined several "targeted geoengineering" solutions that could help prevent the melting of western Antarctica's Florida-sized Thwaites Glacier, whose melting waters are projected to be the largest source of sea-level rise in the foreseeable future.
An "unthinkable" engineering project
"If [glacial geoengineering] works there then we would expect it to work on less challenging glaciers as well," the authors wrote in the study.
One approach involves using sand or gravel to build artificial mounds on the seafloor that would help support the glacier and hopefully allow it to regrow. In another strategy, an underwater wall would be built to prevent warm waters from eating away at the glacier's base.
The most effective design, according to the team's computer simulations, would be a miles-long and very tall wall, or "artificial sill," that serves as a "continuous barrier" across the length of the glacier, providing it both physical support and protection from warm waters. Although the study authors suggested this option is currently beyond any engineering feat humans have attempted, it was shown to be the most effective solution in preventing the glacier from collapsing.
Source: Wolovick et al.
An example of the proposed geoengineering project. By blocking off the warm water that would otherwise eat away at the glacier's base, further sea level rise might be preventable.
But other, more feasible options could also be effective. For example, building a smaller wall that blocks about 50% of warm water from reaching the glacier would have about a 70% chance of preventing a runaway collapse, while constructing a series of isolated, 1,000-foot-tall columns on the seafloor as supports had about a 30% chance of success.
Still, the authors note that the frigid waters of the Antarctica present unprecedently challenging conditions for such an ambitious geoengineering project. They were also sure to caution that their encouraging results shouldn't be seen as reasons to neglect other measures that would cut global emissions or otherwise combat climate change.
"There are dishonest elements of society that will try to use our research to argue against the necessity of emissions' reductions. Our research does not in any way support that interpretation," they wrote.
"The more carbon we emit, the less likely it becomes that the ice sheets will survive in the long term at anything close to their present volume."
A 2015 report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine illustrates the potentially devastating effects of ice-shelf melting in western Antarctica.
"As the oceans and atmosphere warm, melting of ice shelves in key areas around the edges of the Antarctic ice sheet could trigger a runaway collapse process known as Marine Ice Sheet Instability. If this were to occur, the collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) could potentially contribute 2 to 4 meters (6.5 to 13 feet) of global sea level rise within just a few centuries."
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