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06/03/2014

Hurricanes With Female Names Cause More Fatalities, But Not Really

Hurricane Katrina

You may have seen a pop science news article floating around the past few days outlining how hurricanes with female names are more deadly. The higher average death count is thought to be not because the storms themselves coincidentally happen to be more dangerous, but rather subtle social conditioning towards gender roles mean that people view the "feminine" storms as weaker and thus take fewer safety precautions.

It's an interesting theory that gets completely dismantled when Slate points out a major flaw in the study's methodology:

But [National Center for Atmospheric Research social scientist Jeff] Lazo thinks that neither the archival analysis nor the psychological experiments support the team’s conclusions. For a start, they analysed hurricane data from 1950, but hurricanes all had female names at first. They only started getting male names on alternate years in 1979. This matters because hurricanes have also, on average, been getting less deadly over time. “It could be that more people die in female-named hurricanes, simply because more people died in hurricanes on average before they started getting male names,” says Lazo.

30 years of female-only names and higher overall fatalities are going to pretty heavily skew the data. To prove this point, the Slate author uses the research's own data from '79 through the present, removes the dramatic outlier of Hurricane Sandy, and shows that the deaths are actually slightly higher for the male-named hurricanes, but not to any notable degree.

Posted Jun. 3,2014 at 9:30 PM EST by in Hurricanes, News, Science, weather | Permalink | Comments (6)


Actor Fired For Ejecting Homophobic Heckler During 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof' Performance

John Lacy as Big Daddy

Repertory East Playhouse in Santa Clara, CA was in the midst of their production of Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof when one attendee began heckling the cast with homophobic slurs, evidently utterly ignorant of the fact that the main character Brick's latent homosexuality and relationship with his football buddy Skipper is one of the major driving plot elements. Actor John Lacy, who was playing the role of Big Daddy, couldn't take the heckler's slurs and got off the stage and physically removed him from the theater. He was immediately fired from the show.

Co-worker Anton Troy resigned in solidarity, saying on his Facebook account:

I will not support homophobia or an establishment that doesn't support its talent. Hate in any form is not something I choose to subscribe to. John is a seasoned professional and an honorable man. It should never escalate to a point where the talent has to handle an unruly drunk in the audience themselves regardless of the outcome. Producers dropped the ball, the fish stinks from the head on down.

Cast members Missy Kaye and Emily Low had a decidedly different opinion. Said Kaye,

By you jumping off the stage and putting your hands on this guy put the whole theatre in jeopardy, cast and audience, and to me that is unforgivable. What if this guy had a weapon? Did that cross your mind?

And Low, who didn't think Lacy should have been fired and soundly condemned the bigoted patron, said,

Sometimes you're gonna have those people in the crowd who don't understand that his is a high piece of art, or people who come into the show and don't even realize that it's a story about a person who's struggling with being gay. I disagreed with things being dealt with violently, that's all that it is.

One has to wonder what the fallout and opinions would have been had the patron been hurling racial slurs or anti-Semitic epithets. 

Posted Jun. 3,2014 at 8:50 PM EST by in California, Theatre | Permalink | Comments (45)


Two Frenchmen Jailed for Brutal Assault on Gay Man

Debruijn

This photo of Wilfred de Bruijn's bloodied face made international headlines in 2013 after he was assaulted while walking arm-in-arm with his boyfriend in Paris.

The two men who attacked him were finally jailed, Dutch News reports:

Two Frenchmen were sentenced to 2.5 years in jail, with 12 and 18 months suspended, in Paris on Tuesday for beating up a gay Dutch man.

Wilfred de Bruijn, who lives in the French capital city, was walking home with his friend one evening in April last year when the two Frenchmen jumped him. During the attack, which made international headlines, De Bruijn was kicked in the face, suffering a broken tooth and cracks in his jaw and skull.

A man who witnessed the attack but did not help the Dutchman was given a six-month suspended jail sentence.

Posted Jun. 3,2014 at 8:19 PM EST by in France, News, The Netherlands | Permalink | Comments (16)


Show Your Pride With Miss Coco Peru: VIDEO

Show Me Your Pride Miss Coco Peru

Taking a break from the splendid world of video games, Miss Coco Peru put together a new music video for the world to enjoy titled "Show Me Your Pride." It's auto-tuned to hell and back, but in an obvious, charming, sequined, Eiffel 65 sort of way. She calls out for everyone to show their pride, saying,

"[Those queens from the past] taught me that we create the life we want to live. A life lived free of shame, a life lived out loud, proud, and just a little bit ridiculous."

You can watch the techno-sparkle spectacular AFTER THE JUMP...

Posted Jun. 3,2014 at 7:15 PM EST by in Coco Peru, Music Video, Video | Permalink | Comments (9)


Florida Judge Denies Anti-Gay Groups' Motion to Intervene in Marriage Lawsuit

Circuit Court Judge Sarah Zabel denied a motion by three anti-gay groups to intervente in the lawsuit challenging Florida's ban on gay marriage, Equality Florida reports:

FloridaThe groups include Florida Family Action, Inc. (FFAI), Florida Democratic League Inc. (FDL) and People United to Lead the Struggle for Equality, Inc. (PULSE)—groups that support the discriminatory marriage laws at issue in the case.

Denying their request to be parties in the case, Judge Zabel found that these groups did not have a concrete legal interest in the case because they “will not be directly and immediately affected if others enter into a same-sex marriage, or are prevented from entering into a same-sex marriage.”

The court also noted that the “validity of their own marriages will not be affected,” adding that if these groups could enter the case as parties simply because they have strong beliefs about the issues in the case, “so would anyone who has a strongly held belief regarding the constitutionality of the Amendment and statutes at issue in this suit.”

“Today Judge Zabel reached the proper conclusion in denying extremists seeking a platform for their anti-gay rhetoric the right to intervene in this case,” said Nadine Smith, CEO of Equality Florida Institute, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. “This lawsuit is about fundamental, constitutionally protected rights that are violated by a measure that does real harm to our families. We look forward to the day when Florida joins the 19 other states and the District of Columbia, where judges have come to the conclusion that such a ban is indefensible.”

You can read the judge's order here.

Posted Jun. 3,2014 at 6:45 PM EST by in Florida, Gay Marriage, News | Permalink | Comments (9)


Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Ron Perlman Join Cast of Roland Emmerich's 'Stonewall'

Shooting on Stonewall, Roland Emmerich's feature film about a young man caught up in the 1969 Stonewall riots in NYC, has begun in Montreal, and the producers have added Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Ron Perlman to its cast, Deadline reports:

MeyersJonny Beauchamp and Caleb Landry Jones co-star, and newbies Karl Glusman, Vlademir Alexis and Alexandre Nachi also have come aboard. The film is being produced by Michael Fossat, Marc Frydman and Emmerich, with Kirstin Winkler and Adam Press executive producing.

Jeremy Irvine is playing the lead, a homeless man who goes to NYC after being disowned by his family and befriends a group of LGBT youth.

Deadline adds:

There he meets the suave Danny (Meyers) but catches the eye of the Stonewall’s repulsive manager (Perlman), who colludes with corrupt police, exploits homeless youth for financial gain and is even suspected to have had a hand in some of their “disappearances.” King will play Winters’ sister.

Why Montreal?

The Montreal Gazette reported, in late May:

Emmerich filmed big-budget movies like 2004’s The Day After Tomorrow and last year’s White House Down in Montreal. The German director is back in Montreal because he loves filming movies here.

“I like the facilities in Montreal, but mostly I like the city’s great film crews,” Emmerich told POP TART this week. “As a filmmaker, the most important thing you learn is the [quality of the] crew you have. A lot of big movies have been shot here, so they have a lot of experience.”

Stonewall is budgeted around $14 million.

Posted Jun. 3,2014 at 6:08 PM EST by in Film, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, News, Roland Emmerich, Stonewall | Permalink | Comments (15)



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