Learning! Roundup: Some background on the hijab, music and men, oyster herpes, and more!

Hijabs, Explained

Sometimes I am suddenly struck with the fact that I don't know very much at all about some particular aspect of a major religion. It's kind of embarrassing. Just in case someone else out there is in my boat, here is a video wherein Muslim women discuss hijabs.

Music Makes Men Attractive

You know how, if there is a guitar present in a room with a social gathering, there is always some dude who will grab it and start playing mournfully deep folk music? Well, it turns out he is actually making himself more attractive. A new study shows that heterosexual women find men more attractive when exposed to music.

Oysters STI's

Oysters are filters for the sea. The nasty side effect from that is that they can pick up some illnesses, including herpes. Yep. Oysters are getting herpes, and it's deadly.

Women in STEM

If you're the type that likes to read actual scientific papers, here's a good one for you. An in-depth look at why women opt-in to study STEM fields less often then men. It looks at socialization, access to computers, and perceived ability, among other things, and offers some programs to help correct the imbalance. It seems like an older study, based on the data used, so some things would have changes (there is likely less of a gender gap in households that have computers, as these days every home that can afford it probably has at least one), but what's interesting about that is that it's the people who were young at the time the paper was written, and influenced by these factors, that are now either pursuing careers in STEM or not. Also, the problem has only gotten worse.

More on Women in STEM

I realize this is old news by the internet's standard now, but here is a really really thorough, scientific debunking of that annoying Google manifesto. It's long and heavily-cited and very good.

Quote: "I am offended as a biologist and a scientist precisely because Mr. Damore’s arguments are bad logic and bad science."

Blind Brains

Our brains are brilliant and don't like to waste space, so what happens when a person is missing a sense that normally occupies a significant area of the brain? Turns out the the brains of blind people repurpose the areas usually used for visual information into verbal processing.

Old Dads

As a women, I've been raised to think that my reproductive options are narrowing and dying, basically from the age of 18-on, and that if I deign to try to have a baby when I'm older, I am probably giving it a host of mutation. Well. Turns out that older fathers give more genetic mutations to their babies than older mothers. So, there's that.

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