Archive for July, 2011

“Hey good looking, come work for us!”: Aesthetic labor and discrimination law

July 29, 2011

Keeping up appearances: Aesthetic labor and discrimination law

From Journal of Industrial Relation

There is growing evidence of corporate demand for employees who have aesthetic qualities that can be deployed in marketing and branding strategies. The practice has invariably been described as ‘lookism’ or ‘appearance-based discrimination’ in the United States and ‘Aesthetic labor’ in the United Kingdom. This article considers the practice of discrimination on the basis of physical appearance in the workplace. Examining in detail the recent Australian discrimination case of Hopper & Others v. Virgin Blue Airlines Pty Ltd [2005] it draws attention to aesthetic labor issues and reveals some of the inadequacies of existing discrimination law.  It is argued that the facts of this case and the reasoning in the judgment indicate a need for wider recognition of discrimination on the basis of physical attributes in Australian law to provide adequate remedies for those discriminated against for not possessing the ‘right look’.

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When self-esteem is threatened people reach for the credit card

July 28, 2011

The plastic trap: Self-threat drives credit usage and status consumption

From Social Psychological and Personality Science 

This article reveals that when a person’s ego is threatened they sometimes repair their self-worth by purchasing luxury goods and they are more likely to make those expensive purchases on credit. The researchers had people work on an ambiguous computer test, and then told half of them in a scientific-sounding way they are not very smart, they told the other half that they had displayed a perfectly fine performance. When asked how they might pay for “a consumer product that you have been considering purchasing,” people who’d had their ego threatened were substantially more likely to say they were planning on paying on credit. In a follow-up study, researchers asked 150 college students to think about buying a pair of jeans. Half were told to consider a pair of exclusive, high status designer jeans, while the rest were told to think about normal, everyday jeans. The students then went through the same computer test, and were told they had done poorly or well. The self-esteem threat made people willing to pay almost 30% more for the luxury jeans, and were more than 60% more likely to intend to purchase the jeans with a credit card. The research concludes that seeking luxury after threat, is a normal response. These studies are part of a psychological account of how relaxed lending policies—for example high interest mortgage offers aimed at consumers of low socioeconomic status—can have disastrous consequences.

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Exploring the links between media and the changing memories of the 2005 London bombings

July 26, 2011

Special Issue: Remembering the 2005 London bombings: Media, memory, commemoration

From Memory Studies

This month marks the sixth anniversary of the ‘7/7’ bombings. The attack was unprecedented and was the deadliest act of terrorism the UK has suffered since the Lockerbie attack in 1988. By investigating the 2005 London bombings through the dual lenses of mediation and com­memoration, this special issue offers insights into the very practices through which past catastro­phes are remembered in both personal and collective contexts. As media technologies continue to evolve and to pervade our daily lives at an astonishing rate, the profound interconnections between media and memory are becoming ever more entwined.

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Seeing and experiencing violence makes aggression “normal” for children

July 22, 2011

Monkey see, monkey do, monkey hurt: Longitudinal effects of exposure to violence on children’s aggressive behavior

From Social Psychological and Personality Science

This study reveals that the more children are exposed to violence, the more they think it’s normal. Unfortunately, the more they think violence is normal, the more likely they are to engage in aggression against others. Researchers asked nearly 800 children, from 8 to 12 years old about their experience of violence at school, in their neighborhood, at home, or on TV. Six months later, they surveyed the children again, asking the same questions. This allowed them to test whether witnessing violence—or being a victim of it—led to higher levels of aggression half a year later. It found that the school children who had witnessed violence were more aggressive. Witnessing violence also had a delayed effect—observing violence at the first phase of the study predicted more aggression six months later, over and above how aggressive the children were in the beginning.

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Are coalitions the inevitable future for UK governments?

July 21, 2011

From Political Science

Two heads are better than one? Assessing the implications of the Conservative–Liberal Democrat coalition for UK politics

The UK’s political system has been recognized as a model delivering a stable one party government, but 2010 has proved the exception rather than the rule with the result of a hung parliament and the formation of the first peacetime coalition for more than 70 years. This coalition has been agreed between Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, two parties with seemingly little in common. This paper recognizes how the UK’s shifting political landscape and changes in personnel at the top of both parties has facilitated the coalition. It considers and assesses the impact of the coalition on the political parties involved and asks whether coalitions might become a more regular feature of Westminster government.
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Tinted specs offer real migraine relief

July 14, 2011

fMRI evidence that precision ophthalmic tints reduce cortical hyperactivation in migraine 

From Cephalalgia

Precision tinted lenses have been used widely to reduce visual perceptual distortions in poor readers, and are increasingly used for migraine sufferers. This study reveals for the first time the science behind these effects. This research uses MRI techniques to identify a neurological basis for these visual remedies. It shows how coloured glasses work by normalizing unusual brain activity detected when migraine sufferers see intense patterns.

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Murdoch and News of the World – as foretold in the British Journalism Review

July 12, 2011

Editorial: Apocalypse Soon?

From British Journalism Review

The Murdoch News of the World debacle in the UK has been untamed and ferocious in its developments. The scandal has been described as a tipping point for journalism and media regulation, but aren’t the same old issues at play since information on the scandal broke: power, accountability and responsibility? See this editorial from the March issue, which could just as well have been written yesterday.

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Recognizing cutting edge robotics research

July 11, 2011

From The International Journal of Robotics Research

During a visit to Carnegie Mellon University’s National Robotics Engineering Center, Obama launched the New Robotics Initiative which seeks to advance the “next generation of robotics”. The National Robotics Initiative involves the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, NASA, and the Department of Agriculture, which combined will make available up to $70 million per year to fund new robotics projects. Just as Obama stated during his speech, “You might not know this, but one of my responsibilities as commander-in-chief is to keep an eye on robots,” researchers in robotics will need to ‘keep an eye’ on what is happening at the cutting edge of robotics research.

To celebrate the recognition of this important area of research and the commitment provided to future initiatives, SAGE has freed access to four relevant articles from one of its key Robotics titles – The International Journal of Robotics Research (now ranked #1 in the 2010 Thomson Reuters Journal Citation Reports, Robotics category).

Read these articles for free

Flagellated magnetotactic bacteria as controlled mri-trackable propulsion and steering systems for medical nanorobots operating in the human microvasculature

Nanorobot for brain aneurysm

Driver inattention detection based on eye gaze—road event correlation

Design and control of a bio-inspired human-friendly robot

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US healthcare system can’t cope with the increasing amount of bone fractures suffered by the growing number of elderly

July 7, 2011

A Guide to Improving the Care of Patients with Fragility Fractures

From Geriatric Orthopaedic Surgery and Rehabilitation

The post World War II Baby Boom generation will reach 65 years old this year. The Baby Boomers encompass an estimated 78 million Americans and are expected to live longer and healthier than preceding generations, due to their advancing age, they will likely experience fragility fractures. It is accepted that the current UShealthcare system is not prepared to provide the necessary care. The editors have produced this guide for physicians, nurses, therapists, hospital administrators, and students, it offers an evidence-based approach to better quality – but still cost-effective – care of patients dealing with fragility fractures.

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Privacy and the press: An impressive collection of articles plus a recording of the notable Index privacy debate

July 6, 2011

In a piece recently featured on SAGE Insight, we highlight again this timely Index on Censorship issue on privacy, and in addition we draw your attention to the recent  impressive debate organized by Index; you can now  listen to the recording.

Index privacy debate: Replay
Max Mosley, Hugh Tomlinson QC, Suzanne Moore and David Price QC debated privacy, free speech and a feral press at Index on Censorship’s event at the London School of Economics held on 30 Jun 2011 chaired by Index editor Jo Glanville. The event was sponsored by SAGE.
Click here If you missed it or want to listen again.

Open access to article
Privacy is dead: Time to name and shame professional privacy invaders
From Index on Censorship

There is confusion at the heart of British debates about privacy. We tend to speak of journalists, of their role, their rights, their responsibilities and very often their lack of restraint and how it should be addressed. This article highlights how this is misleading, we need to recognize two different groups. One group is the actual journalists, as traditionally understood, and the other is those people whose principal professional activity is invading other people’s privacy for the purpose of publication. Journalism is demonstrably valuable to society, invading people’s privacy for the purpose of publication does not do good, though it may make money. In that industry, deception and payment for information are routine, not exceptional.

Full issue
This article is from the June 2011 issue of Index on Censorship that explores ‘privacy’ and offers an impressive collection of articles and interviews,
Click here to view the full table of contents

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