Am I hot or not? Who cares?

Mar 24 2009 Published by under Activism

As you may have seen in a recent post, Scienceblogs bid a fond farewell to the Intersection. When the Intersection made its big debut on Discover, they were welcomed by their bloggers. And the commenters were also welcoming. Sort of.

I'll be the first to say that Sheril is quite fetching.

And

Having not read any of their material, I am supremely unqualified to comment on any of their writings.
But, as a living breathing male of the species, I look forward to any article with Sherils picture attached.

Oh wait, it gets better.

Okay, does anyone else think that Sheril resembles Danica McKellar (formerly of The Wonder Years, occasional correspondent on BRINK)?
mmmmmmmm........... wo-man

Now, Sci doesn't normally blog on such topics as women in science and feminism in general. I usually leave it to those who do it much better than I. But this, is got me mad (I'm not the only one). And it butts right up against one of the reasons why Sci wishes to remain anonymous.

Exhibit A: My friend and fellow science blogger Sheril, and her co-blogger Chris. For those unable to visually judge gender, Sheril is the one on the left.
Some of you may say "well, yeah, Sheril IS hot!". To you I say, SO WHAT?! Why, on a professional science blog where some amazingly witty and well-informed people discuss the intersection between science and policy, does it MATTER whether one of the bloggers is "hot"? Does it, in any way, change what she has to say? Does it make her, or her co-blogger, any more or less informative? Absolutely not.
I remember very well the first day I met Sheril. It was my very first meetup as an official Scienceblogger (Sbling), and I was very excited, and VERY nervous. But I came away from it feeling welcomed, and with an amazing amount of gratitude. Gratitude, because I was now with a group of people who are honestly downright brilliant. And I get to talk with them. I get to work with them! And one of the best was Sheril. Talking to her for a good while, her ideas flew thick and fast, her arguments were well-informed and very well conveyed, she was passionate, and often, she was very funny. I knew I wanted this person for my friend and fellow blogger, because of the way she expressed herself. Did it have anything to do with the way she looked? Not. A. Thing.
This is where Sci comes up again and again against the issues of sexism that still remain in society, as well as in the scientific world itself. In science, you'd think that it wouldn't matter what you looked like, that academic merit, what you DO, would be the more important factor. And, in the best cases, what you do really is what defines you (though there are, unfortunately, still many exceptions). But where science communicates with the public, it seems that women in science run up against a wall. A wall made up entirely of people's perceptions on what we look like.
Not considered conventionally good looking? Well, it's obvious why YOU went into science! Considered good looking? Woo hoo! Who cares what science she does, she's HOTT!
Sci finds this disgusting. Does anyone look at these guys, or this guy, this guy, or even this guy, and say "My, that guy is very fetching"? Do people read any of these blogs because their writers are hot? Of course not. They read them for the content. These men are science bloggers, they blog about science, religion, medicine. It doesn't matter what they look like.
But then this excellent writer popped on to Scienceblogs, and one of the first comments I saw was a comment on how pretty she was. In my little bit of time here, I've seen a number of male science bloggers join up as well. Never once have I seen a comment based on their appearance.
When male science bloggers say something controversial, no one ever hesitates to blast them with criticism on their ideas, their parentage, or their sexual preferences. But no one will ever question whether they are a scientist, whether they deserve to be where they are, based on their sex. But when a female science blogger says something controversial (and often, when she doesn't), you see things like this:

Suck it up, SW. Save your whining for your husband or use it as an apology to your neglected kid

Isis, you can laugh all you want, though you know that you are full of shit whining non-stop about bias against women in science

Sheril Kirshenbaum has a nice smile.
Her bio listed here makes me uncomfortable. I don't think she is a marine biologist. She lacks a doctorate and her publications are weak with respect to marine science, from interviewing divers on the aesthetics of reefs to silliness about kissing. Sheril might be a lovely person but she strikes me more as an opportunist than someone serious about science.

This is one very good reason why Sci's not posting pictures of herself round the blog. I hope our readers come here for our science and for our opinions, not to see whether or not Sci is hot (and I get the feeling they DO come here for the science, and that's why I love my readers). It is the INFORMATION that matters, not the face presenting it. It's the information, the conversation, and the brains behind the blog, not the smile. Every single one of these bloggers puts out work that is incredible, some on policy, some on science, some on teaching, some on life as women in science. And that work has nothing to do with what they look like. Read us for our information, not for our smiles. Be impressed with our work, not with our cleavage.
But, you may say, a compliment is a compliment, right?

I'm sure both of them, like any rational human being, would appreciate a compliment. Calm down. The problem is not that Electro and I compliment Sheril's appearance. The problem is that people like you take issue with it, as if somehow that compliment is "lesser" than a compliment on someone's intelligence. Remove stick from rear end, move on. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Not at all. These comments on appearance had NOTHING to do with the announcement of a new blogger. They did not add anything to the conversation. They certainly did not discuss Sheril's skills, and her skills are the reason she is at Discover. I think this reply best sums it up:

The "compliment" is one of context. This is not a Miss America pageant, this is a scientific blogging community. I'd like to see you go to the seminar of an attractive and well-versed female scientist and tell HER during the question and answer session that you think she's purty. Appropriate? Or completely out of place and disrespectful?

And the author of the blog agrees:

The comments about Sheril's appearance are in fact out of place here. She is here on Discover as a journalist, a scientist, a writer, and someone whose intelligence and talents are what counts. In fact, women in science have been struggling mightily against sexism for, well, ever, and casual sexism not only doesn't help but actually contributes to a difficult atmosphere.

Rock on, Candid Engineer, and Bad Astronomy.
Sure, you can tell a lady she's good looking. But to do it when she's standing up giving a scientific seminar, or when she's writing a blog post on science policy? It's not just out of context, it's rude and sexist. And when we're here, blogging to you about science, respect us (or not) for what we say. Not what we look like. You'd extend any man the same courtesy.

47 responses so far

  • Hear, hear! And your experience of Sheril's outstanding intellectual and personal qualities matches mine in every respect.

  • ScienceWoman says:

    Fabulous post, Sci. You've said it better than anyone else. (and I'll be amending my post to reflect that).

  • Chemgirl says:

    THANK YOU. I'm amazed at how much trouble I've had with this already--and I'm not even out of high school yet. Who made the rule that science is a "boy subject"?

  • leigh says:

    rock on, sci. and sheril. and all the other ass kicking, science blogging ladies.

  • I'm sure I'm not the first one to notice that Chris is HOT.

  • The comments at Bad Astronomy added *something* to the conversation -- the stink of unexamined male privilege.
    I suspect I am not the only female reader who read those comments and thought worse of the Discover blogs commentariat.

  • Melanie says:

    . I usually leave it to those who do it much better than I

    Gotta disagree with you about Zuska doing feminist blogging in any kind of productive way. I'll take the confident feminism of Isis and ERV anyday. But Zuska comes across as an extremely bitter and unpleasant person. Nothing personal, but I'd bet hers is one of the lowest-traffic blogs at Scienceblogs.

  • Excellent work, Sci! I think you've hit every issue right on the head!

  • Scicurious says:

    Melanie: I've really got to disagree with you there. Zuska may come across as being bitter, but she is not at all that way. And if she DOES come across as being bitter, she has a lot to be bitter about. In her training and career as an engineer, she has encountered a great deal more sexism and misogyny than those of us in slightly more friendly fields, and she has had to learn how to handle it.
    I think it's excellent that she's sharing her experiences, especially when they are negative, because they highlight a problem that continues today and, by keeping it constantly in mind, prod us to solve it. Furthermore, she comes to science blogging with an excellent knowledge of the feminist movement, which can educate many of us who don't know as much about feminism as probably should (myself included). I think she is extremely productive and thought-provoking.
    And Chemgirl: Science is a PEOPLE subject. Every sex and gender allowed. Show them all what you can do!

  • becca says:

    I would say that the discover commenter is willfully unaware of the oppressive effects of his comment (and should have known it was inappropriate given societal context). If this had happened in a seminar or something, it would have been astonishingly unprofessional.
    That said, I want to agree with you, but I'm not sure we get to take the moral high ground and try to generalize the issue to "looks don't matter".
    For one thing, I think Chris is way hot- it's hard not to notice. And Jonah Lehrer's appearance definitely contributed to me wanting to watch his Colbert interview. So I can't say that appreciation for a blogger should never be tainted with knowledge of what they look like.
    However, my own unscientific weaknesses aside, I don't think we as a community are being consistent. If looks don't matter, then why don't we call Dr. Isis out on her claims of hottness (it's not like there haven't been plenty of opportunities)?

  • Ian says:

    To be honest, my first reaction to Sheril's picture is to be struck my how good looking she is. And my second reaction. I wouldn't post a comment about her looks. But that doesn't mean I wouldn't be struck by the way she looks.
    I don't think of myself as a sexist. I don't think women are any less able than men. I get upset about pay disparity for women, I get upset about the way that women are treated in the workplace. I get upset about the way that women are treated by society at large. I have no problem having a woman as a superior in the workplace. I have no problem treating female students the same as I treat male students. But on a fundamental level, I still react different to women than to men.
    Sure, it's a huge improvement if men would just pretend not to be sexist. But that's not a very satisfying solution. I'm not satisfied by someone who pretends not to be racist. But being male, I am going to react differently to women. Even if Chris were as good looking as Sheril (and I think he is good looking, though I'm not a good judge of men), I would still react differently to Sheril because she's female. I can choose how I am going to treat people. But I have less control over how I react to people.

  • Scott says:

    Agreed. While there is indeed a biological imperative at work, it's entirely a question of appropriateness and timing. There's nothing wrong with natural, normal human attraction. These, however, aren't dating or even personal blogs where someone's fetch-worthiness may or may not hold relevance.
    This is a community dedicated to those who think and dream, and such a remark in this type of setting has the effect of an ad hominem attack, intentional or otherwise, even though its apparent nature in a more traditional setting may or may not be complimentary. It is directing attention toward the author rather than the ideas, implying the ideas are of lesser importance. If the ideas are deemed of lesser importance, it undermines the author's qualifications and sabotages the entire effort, as well as questions the judgment and reputation of the community which claimed otherwise.
    Whether such a remark is complimentary or not in a more casual setting is irrelevant. The remark itself misrepresents the community and reduces the perceived value of the ideas presented herein.
    Nice post, thanks for bringing this to the attention of the community. Maybe I'm over-reacting in my response. I just can't abide such subversive comments.

  • sbh says:

    Okay, when Sheril Rose Kirshenbaum joined The Intersection my first reaction on seeing her picture was probably something much like these guys'--I don't actually remember, but I've always been struck by the way she looks. It's even possible that her appearance got me interested in reading what she had to say. I've sampled blogs for more idiotic reasons. But it's not what makes her hot. It's not why I feel excited when I see she has a new entry out, any more than it is when I see that Abbie Smith (ERV) or Kevin Beck (Joan's Chimpanzee Refuge) or Chris Rodda (Talk2action) or Fred Kaplan (Slate) has written something new. Sheril Kirshenbaum is a very effective communicator; she has the gift of interesting me in subjects that I ordinarily might not bother with. She writes simply about complex subjects without turning them into a caricature--without dumbing down, as it were--and that is not something that is easy to do. I've seen some crazy stuff about her in recent pieces--is she really a scientist? Is she "serious" enough? I don't even know what this crap means. She is an effective science writer. As John Lennon said about one of his former associates: "A pretty face may last a year or two / but pretty soon they'll see what you can do." We've seen what she can do, and it's impressive. And it doesn't matter in the least whether her picture is attached to it or not.

  • Laelaps says:

    Well said, Sci. These commentors at Discover think they are giving Sheril compliments when they're really just leering over the internet.

  • Lucifer says:

    Has anyone ever noticed that Jonah Lehrer is a regulation hottie?

  • But Zuska comes across as an extremely bitter and unpleasant person.

    Those of us who know Zuska personally know that she is as far from bitter or unpleasant as it possible to be. What she is is angry, and rightfully so, at the abominable way that women have been, and continue to be, treated in science and engineering.
    If you are too fucking socially and emotionally stunted to detect the difference between bitter/unpleasant and angry, then maybe you should take it up with your therapist or other personal counselor. Although it might feel good in the short term to lash out like this, in the long run, it's highly unlikely to be doing you any good.

    Nothing personal, but I'd bet hers is one of the lowest-traffic blogs at Scienceblogs.

    And the relevance of her traffic to anything we're discussing here is, what, exactly, and what the fuck would you know about it anyway, dumbfuck? Like I said, lashing out like this might give you a moment's respite from your demons, but really this is not the place for you to work out your personal issues.

  • Hannah says:

    What really concerns me is that when I had to read through the comments at Discover more than once to see the offending comments. Casual sexism is apparently so ingrained in me that I just expect on the anonymous internet that comments like those will come up. Obviously I need to become more aware that sexism is still alive and well and stop living in my happy bubble of delusion.

  • Christie says:

    To be fair, those boys who you linked to ARE quite fetching!
    As a girl, I think I've gotten used to being leered at, over the internet or otherwise. It just doesn't phase me anymore. I don't get offended every time a construction worker whistles at me across a street, and I couldn't care less when people make comments about my looks. Like Hannah, it took me a few look-overs to even see the comments. I automatically skimmed over them.
    Here's my question: While I agree these people (men and women alike) should be valued as writers for their intellect and experience, does it really matter much that some people care more about their looks (or any other trait)? Are we policing why people come to our sites? Do they all have to understand and appreciate our intelligence and ability over all else or they're not welcome?
    It's a free internet - people will be attracted to different sites for all sorts of reasons, offensive or not. Is it any different for someone to read a post because the writer is hot than for someone to frequent a blog because they think its totally wrong or terrible? I mean, how many people read PZ's blog because they want to preach against his posts? Would you be bothered if every religious nut who posts at Pharyngula instead told Dr. Myers that he's super sexy and belittled his brains for his body?
    I guess, what I mean is, who cares if some pigs are leering over the internet? That's what some guys do, and they're always going to do. As women we just stand up, write well, and attract more people with our brains to overwhelm the few who are attracted by our looks alone. If the comments are inappropriate, just delete them or ignore them. Simply don't let the pigs drag us down into the mud with them.

  • John says:

    becca: I'm glad someone brought up the seeming double standard. For a day now I've been trying to decide why its different and couldn't really come up with a good reason. I figured it was just me being me and not really a valid concern but seeing at least one other person say it is comforting. Could still just as easily just be my own shortcomings I guess. And I'm sure some other commenters will have no issue telling me so.
    cpp: Did lashing out like that give you respite from your demons? 😛

  • PalMD says:

    Sing it, Sci!
    As to Zuska, here's my take. I know most of these people personally, and sure, ERV's content is very, very good and presented in a cute way. Isis's method of presentation is somewhat more subtly angry (but it's there if you're a good reader). Zuska, who is a very fine and pleasant person, uses a different writing style which, while making many of the same points as other writers, dispenses with the pleasantries as perhaps being unnecessary or distracting.

  • Scicurious says:

    Becca, Ian, etc: I'm not going to deny biology. I know people have a predictable reaction to attractive people. My issue is that this was NOT the context to be giving wolf-whistles. If you met her in a bar, you could probably say what you like (though you might get slapped). But Discover blogs prides itself on being a professional forum for scientific discourse, and to leer at the bloggers there brings down the level of conversation. It is the online equivalent of Sheril giving a lecture. That is not the forum to stand up and start talking loudly about how you didn't hear a word she said, but DAMN, she was hot.
    I don't think it matters if you think she's hot. But I think it matters that people don't know when it's appropriate to say so. To make such comments in a professional context creates a VERY unwelcoming atmosphere, an atmosphere in which Sheril may not feel she is able to speak her mind freely and be respected for her ideas.
    Ian, your last point is a good one. You can't choose how you react on an instinctive level. But you CAN choose what you say and when. These guys who are leering clearly are not capable of realizing when their choice is inappropriate.
    And ladies, I realize that if guys can dish it out, they should be able to take it, but loudly proclaiming male bloggers attractive really only stoops to the level of the people already leering. Let's rise above the leering, and dish out the hot scientific discourse.

  • Mrs Whatsit says:

    I agree with Sci and others who said that it is not so much that men think Sheril is hot but that they COMMENTED that she is hot. Just because you think something doesn't mean you have to say it.

  • Spartan says:

    And when we're here, blogging to you about science, respect us (or not) for what we say. Not what we look like.

    Well put post Sci. The main beef I have with this kerfluffle is that there are many complaints that read a ton into the offending comments; commenting on her looks says absolutely nothing about what that commenter thinks about her intellectually or professionally, yet people are erecting these strawmen that therefore these juvenile commenters must not respect her scientific contributions. No, they just think she's attractive, and they're leaving irrelevant and somewhat crude comments about it. Worse, based on this apparent telepathy, 'misogyny' and 'sexist' get thrown around inaccurately.
    I'm aware of and sympathetic to the difficulties and stereotypes that women, in many fields, face, but it doesn't help to cry 'misogyny' when it's more appropriate to just cry 'stupidity'.

  • Well Sci, what can I say? I adore you and this is a terrific post! Thank you--and everyone who's contributed here--for your support and kind words. Anyone who follows The Intersection knows I feel this is an extremely important discussion and I've finally responded as well. Come visit...

  • Erin says:

    Loves it loves it loves it

  • becca says:

    "If you are too fucking socially and emotionally stunted to detect the difference between bitter/unpleasant and angry," In fairness, I think Zuska's writing style is harsher than her speaking style.
    Once you've heard her "real" (audio) voice, then it comes through in her writing, and you can't help but seeing it all as integrated and cohesive. But when I met her in person, I was really surprised- not by anything in particular, but I mostly noticed how enjoyable it was to be around her. She really is "pleasant", but I don't know that I'd go so far to call someone "fucking socially and emotionally stunted" for not seeing that as a defining characteristic of her written personality. I don't know that it serves her purposes to be pleasant in writing. Puking on shoes is a tough job...
    I'm sure you're just an adorable fucking CareBare in meatspace, right CPP?
    "Would you be bothered if every religious nut who posts at Pharyngula instead told Dr. Myers that he's super sexy and belittled his brains for his body?" I for one would not be bothered by this. I would be freakin highly entertained by this!
    But yeah. Sexualization does not occur in a vacuum, and we live in an evil world so it can be threatening- and it's silly to pretend that component would affect Sheril and PZ equally.
    John- my point is, I love the ideal of not caring how people look, but I don't think it's the world we live in. There is something intrinsically more aggressive about talking about someone else than talking about yourself (plus the gender factor- see remarks about societal context)- so there is a meaningful distinction. I'm just not sure it's different on the shallowness/superficial metric. But then, I can be pretty shallow/superficial so maybe I have a vested interest in presenting that as 'normal'.
    "And ladies, I realize that if guys can dish it out, they should be able to take it, but loudly proclaiming male bloggers attractive really only stoops to the level of the people already leering."
    Le sigh. But I am le tired of taking le moral high ground.

  • This saddens me because I know Sheril was initially reluctant to post her picture when she first joined The Intersection -- because she didn't want the way she looks to be a factor. It's too bad so many of the boys in the blogosphere can't behave more like grown-ups, but surely this comes as no SURPRISE to anyone.... the Internet is the home to all those "sexiest geek" contests, after all, and invariably more men vote than women (at least double, in fact).
    As for whether or not to post a photo: it's up to the individual woman. I post my pic, Sheril decided to post hers, because we decided putting a face to the blogger for readers was worth the inevitable tradeoff (in the form of asinine comments re: one's appearance from certain unevolved males). Sci has opted NOT to do so -- an equally valid choice. But perhaps one day we will achieve the Utopian ideal where a woman who chooses to write publicly on a blog is not immediately subject to those who take this as an invitation for unwelcome commentary about her personal appearance...
    Hey, I can dream... 🙂

  • anon says:

    Comrade Physioprof says: "And the relevance of her traffic to anything we're discussing here is, what, exactly, and what the fuck would you know about it anyway, dumbfuck? Like I said, lashing out like this might give you a moment's respite from your demons, but really this is not the place for you to work out your personal issues."
    Irony alert. Big time. Kettle? Pot? Hello?

  • JLK says:

    *cowers*
    I'm guilty of telling Sci that she has hot legs. But for the record, I also think Sci is brilliant and I think that's far more important.
    And Sci, you said:
    "Sci finds this disgusting. Does anyone look at these guys, or this guy, this guy, or even this guy, and say "My, that guy is very fetching"?"
    I confess, I definitely think PalMD is fetching. 🙂
    BUT, for the record, I completely and totally agree with everything you said. Look for a post on this from me very soon, from the social psych perspective, of course. 😉

  • arvind says:

    Am I hot or not? Who cares?

    But...but...your readers are scicurious! 🙂
    I don't have anything to add to the topic itself other than what I said at Physioprof's place, but just wanted to say this is a great post!! Keep it up. Please do wade into such topics every once in a while. Looks like you do a great job of it when you do, and every voice counts!

  • InkRose says:

    At the risk of taking the topic in all the wrong directions, I'll remind our gracious host that she's been prominently displaying her most hottestest body parts / organs on her blog this winter. Or has everyone forgotten the supreme hotness of Sci's brain scans, and accompanying detailed description of all her glories, a couple months back? 😉
    In all honesty, though, I must confess that the way this Nordic male ape chanced upon Sci's wonderful writing was through the hotness of her shoes, via The Domestic and Laboratory Goddess's temple.

  • Skloot says:

    Go Sci. Great post! I get that crap on my blog too, but more so I get it when I speak publicly ... After giving talks at conferences, I have TWICE in the last year had men come up to me, lean close and look at my face, then say a version of this: "Oh good. You've got a few wrinkles. The whole time you were talking I just kept thinking you were too young and pretty to be saying all that stuff." Wow. Just, wow.

  • Chris Rowan says:

    Worse, based on this apparent telepathy, 'misogyny' and 'sexist' get thrown around inaccurately.
    How is fixating on a woman's appearance in a completely irrelevant context - and moreover, sharing it loudly with the entire world - not sexist?
    Anyway, awesome post SciC. I'm just compelled to add that the one thing you get out of meeting Zuska is "Wow. The people who pissed her off must have tried really, really hard." Then you take a long, hard, and not so flattering look at your bone-headed attitudes about certain issues, and resolve to do better.

  • Blake Stacey says:

    But, as a living breathing male of the species, I look forward to any article with Sherils picture attached.

    Does anyone else think that, in addition to being slimily sexist, this remark manages en passant to marginalize, you know, men who don't lust for women?

  • Scicurious says:

    Inkrose: I DO have a weakness for showing off my hottest parts. 🙂
    Blake: A very good point. For this guy, it's probably just part of the whole disgusting, rude, nasty package.

  • Blake Stacey says:

    Thank you!
    Generally, whenever the blogo-conversation turns to gender relations (or national politics, or a few other topics) I find other people have managed to pre-emptively plagiarize whatever I have to say. So, it was a little weird to have a reaction which somebody else hadn't already commented about, as far as I noticed. Naturally, I wondered if I was completely off-base, or just wanting to steal a little indignation for myself. . . .

  • KristinMH says:

    I confess, I definitely think PalMD is fetching

    Me too! He's adorable. But I've never posted a comment about it (until now, I guess).

  • Azkyroth says:

    Gotta disagree with you about Zuska doing feminist blogging in any kind of productive way. I'll take the confident feminism of Isis and ERV anyday. But Zuska comes across as an extremely bitter and unpleasant person. Nothing personal, but I'd bet hers is one of the lowest-traffic blogs at Scienceblogs.

    My personal experience is that Zuska's blog posts themselves are informative, witty, often thought-provoking, and generally worth reading. I've tended to find her comment thread contributions best avoided, for reasons I'm happy to elaborate on but won't clutter the thread with unprompted.

  • Azkyroth says:

    If you are too fucking socially and emotionally stunted to detect the difference between bitter/unpleasant and angry, then maybe you should take it up with your therapist or other personal counselor.

    You know, hypothetically, supposing that the person this bit of venom was addressed to actually had an autism spectrum disorder or some similar condition that interfered with this kind of differentiation and processing, that sort of smarmy derisive comment might turn out to be a bit awkward.
    Then again, I have yet to read a single comment from you, PhysioProf, that reflects an awareness that the categories of "those you disagree with" and "persons" have any overlap.
    (Incidentally, I'm on these tangents mainly because I agree with SciCurious and hate reading comments that don't say anything other than "I agree with the person in charge here.")

  • Marc Abian says:

    Don't worry, I went right over there and left a comment telling her she was ugly.
    Why are you looking at me like that?
    On a serious note I largely agree with Spartan, the comments didn't say "you're attractive therefore you can't do science".

  • mpatter says:

    A similar row kicked off in the UK media recently, after a classics PhD student called Gail Trimble became the most successful contestant ever on University Challenge (a prestigious, highbrow TV quiz show for students). She got some praise and some scorn - mostly from bloggers - but perhaps the most noteworthy thing was how many comments focused on her looks as opposed to her freakishly sharp general knowledge.
    Sadly her team was disqualified on a technicality. 🙁 Cue conspiracy!

  • Scienginerd says:

    On a similar note, was anybody else disappointed that Larissa(sp?) lost on Jeopardy?? I thought for sure she was going to be the next Ken Jennings.

  • Scienginerd says:

    On a similar note, was anybody else disappointed that Larissa(sp?) lost on Jeopardy?? I thought for sure she was going to be the next Ken Jennings.

  • Larry Ayers says:

    As Leigh said, rock on, Sci! I love your posts and, although I'm a guy, I haven't had the least bit of curiosity as to what you look like.
    Seeing Sheril's posted photo caused this reaction in me: "She's a pretty young woman, but it would be totally inappropriate for me to comment on that fact!"

  • Azkyroth says:

    Rereading my comment, I believe I owe PhysioProf an apology. I realized in retrospect that it could be read as implying that his venomous commentary was preferentially directed towards people who substantially disagreed with him. This is, of course, false, and I did not intend to make such an insinuation.

  • Amandajm says:

    Comments regarding the supposed "hotness" of any particular science blogger are only indicative that the comment leaver likely thinks said science blogger is "hot".
    Anything else has to be interpreted in through whatever cultural lens you prefer.

  • zet says:

    Posting a photo invites comments about it. This is all there is to it. Your reaction can be read as envy.

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