TIME/CNN make the point:

There may be too much to say about the piece below, but it’s going to percolate through some of our culture. So let’s consider the floor open for questions and comments.

And I’ll start. I’m pretty sure she’s wrong to say mass murder is a young man’s crime. I saw something – probably in the NYTimes – that shows this false. Secondly, the idea that initiation ceremonies are ways to deal with young men’s supposedly violent tendencies is a fairly questionable interpretation, I would have thought.

The silence around the gendering of violence is as inexplicable as it is indefensible. Sex differences in other medical and social conditions — such as anorexia nervosa, lupus, migraines, depression and learning disabilities — are routinely analyzed along these lines….

For millennia, human society has struggled with what to do with young men’s violent tendencies. Many cultures stage elaborate initiation ceremonies, presided over by older men, which help channel youthful aggression into productive social roles. But in contemporary society, we have trouble talking about the obvious: The transition from boy to man is a risky endeavor, and there can be a lot of collateral damage…

Our refusal to talk about violence as a public health problem with known (or knowable) risk factors keeps us from helping the young men who are at most risk and, of course, their potential victims. When we view terrible events as random, we lose the ability to identify and treat potential problems, for example by finding better ways to intervene with young men during their vulnerable years. There is so much more we need to learn about how to prevent violence, but we could start with the sex difference that is staring us in the face.

Zombies everywhere

Even Zombie nouns, which are nominalizations.  According to the author Helen Sword,

Nouns formed from other parts of speech are called nominalizations. Academics love them; so do lawyers, bureaucrats and business writers. I call them “zombie nouns” because they cannibalize active verbs, suck the lifeblood from adjectives and substitute abstract entities for human beings…

She also has a web page that will analyze the fitness of your writing.  And a book, Stylish Academic Writing (name in the States, might the The Writer’s Diet elsewhere), which is described thus:

Stylish Academic Writing

NEW from Harvard University Press

Elegant data and ideas deserve elegant expression, argues Helen Sword in this lively guide to academic writing. For scholars frustrated with disciplinary conventions, and for specialists who want to write for a larger audience but are unsure where to begin, here are imaginative, practical, witty pointers that show how to make articles and books a pleasure to read — and to write.

I can’t vouch for the accuracy of what she says.  Perhaps once I figure out what is a apparently an excessive love I have for prepositions, and how I do anything about that, I can say more.  In the meantime, the test is fun, in that narcissistic way such things are.

Sally Ride, 1951-2012

Prof. Sally Ride was the first woman chosen by the U.S. Space Program to fly in outer space.

NASA mourns her passing, a colleague from UCSD remembers her here, especially her impact on her students, and a space history curator remarks on her legacy here.  She is survived by her partner of 27 years, Dr. Tam O’Shaughnessy.

She was a physics professor for most of her life; her description of her research interests is very interesting, and found here.

She was an inspiration to many.