Archive for April, 2010

Getting Compliments About Your Body

Is it okay for people you don’t know to compliment you about your body? And how should you react?

Another blogger, Morgan, shared her experience. She was walking home from the gym, wearing shorts, and a stranger complimented her legs. She wrote:

I kept walking quickly by and looked towards the ground. I was sort of embarrassed and I remember nervously laughing to myself, “Yeah right buddy!”

Most of us have probably had some experiences like that. It can be a little uncomfortable to realize that someone you don’t know is evaluating your body.

It feels weird even if he doesn’t plan to do anything. It might be a nice, innocent compliment, or it might be some nutty stalker looking for his next victim.

As far as I can tell, there’s no rule for handling those situations. You just try to get a sense of the person and what he means.

Depending on the situation, I might do the same thing as Morgan: just look down, keep walking, and hope that the guy doesn’t follow me.

If the guy really seems okay, and the situation feels safe, I might just smile and say “thank you.” But you have to be careful about that, because the guy might think it means you’re interested, and he might not be as okay as you thought he was.

Anyway, whether they say anything or not, you know when guys are looking and what they’re looking at. As long as the situation doesn’t seem dangerous, I just try to take it as a compliment. I suppose that the day I should really start to worry is if they stop looking.

With me, unlike Morgan, it’s usually not my legs that get their attention. Think higher up. That’s okay. I don’t expect guys to give me eye contact for the first couple of seconds. 🙂

Copyright 2010 by Rinth de Shadley.


Missed the Boobquake

No, I’m not dead and I wasn’t one of the students who was hospitalized with alcohol poisoning after last weekend’s UMass festivities.

I’d like to pretend that I’m wild and dangerous enough even to be a candidate for alcohol poisoning, but I’m not. I’m a total study nerd, and have learned to live with it. 🙂

My absence from blogging has been because I’m totally slammed with papers, homework, and preparing for exams next month.

I’m so busy that I even forgot about today’s scheduled “Boobquake,” an event in which I had planned to participate.

I didn’t make up the idea, but I love it. An Iranian religious leader said that earthquakes are caused by women dressing like sluts, so a student at Purdue University came up with the idea of a “Boobquake Day.”

On Boobquake Day, which was today — like I said, sorry I forgot about it — all women who felt comfortable with the idea were supposed to wear revealing tops to show as much cleavage as possible. I’m comfortable with the idea, and have plenty to reveal, even though it would make less of an impression at my school than it would at UMass or Amherst.

Now, you might think it was just silly, but it was a kind of scientific experiment. The idea was to get thousands of women to wear revealing clothes and see if there was an increase in earthquakes. If an increase occurred, it would not only verify the Iranian cleric’s theory about slutty apparel’s effect on plate tectonics, but it would put all of us in line for a Nobel prize.

And with that, I have to get back to studying so maybe someday I’ll win a real Nobel prize. 🙂

I hope that you have a great week! Ttfn …

Copyright 2010 by Rinth de Shadley.

Categories: feminism, Life, School Tags: , , ,

Educated Women Are Worth More Cows

Southern Sudan

Just how many cows is an educated woman worth?

In today’s New York Times, columnist Nicholas Kristof explains “A Novel Argument for Girls’ Education” that he encountered in Southern Sudan.

When a young man gets married in that country, his parents pay a “bride price” to the family of the woman he marries. The most common price is 100 cows for a woman. But educated women are worth more:

What people here really notice is the market effect of educating a girl. If a girl has a high school education, she may bring her parents 200 cows. That’s a huge financial return.

I don’t know whether I should be outraged that women are sold in exchange for cattle, or happy that at least it gets them an education.

Well, if having a high school education makes you worth 200 cows, then my Shadley education should get my parents at least 500 cows. Cows now sell for about $1,000 each, so 500 cows would be worth $500,000. That would give them about a 150 percent profit on their investment in my four years of college. Not bad at all.

Of course, that’s only if I don’t spoil everything by going to medical school instead of becoming a slave in some patriarchal country. I can be silly that way. 🙂

Copyright 2010 by Rinth de Shadley.

Exercise, Estrogen, and Energy

Dr. Angela Belcher, who led a team at M.I.T. to genetically engineer a virus that could split water molecules for energy.

Are those the three ‘E’s? Not really, but they’re in the news and I’m in an alliterative mood.

Mostly meaning I’ve consumed copious cups of coffee culminating in a conspicuously caffeinated cortex. All my studying is done for the night, so here are some fun news stories I saw.

Exercise is useless for losing weight

Pretty much what we already knew, but today’s New York Times confirms it in this article:

“In general, exercise by itself is pretty useless for weight loss” says Eric Ravussin, a professor at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La., and an expert on weight loss.

And though it’s pretty useless for men, it’s almost entirely useless for women because it makes us want to eat more to compensate for the burned calories:

In physiological terms, the results “are consistent with the paradigm that mechanisms to maintain body fat are more effective in women,” Braun and his colleagues wrote.

Life is so unfair. At least we live longer than men. And have more common sense. 🙂

(Okay, I was tired and over-caffeinated when I wrote that. The truth is that neither sex is smarter than the other or has more common sense in every area. We women are generally smarter than men in some ways, and men tend to be smarter than us in other ways. We also have different styles of thinking. I wrote a blog about it: “Are Men Smarter Than Women?“)

On the other hand, estrogen protects brain cells

Of course, apart from exercise, we have our advantages. Estrogen not only protects brain cells but promotes memory and learning. Most people don’t realize that both women and men have estrogen in their bodies, just as both women and men have testosterone.

However, women have more estrogen and men have more testosterone. Low estrogen levels have been linked to obsessive-compulsive disorder and other mental problems in both sexes.

And helped make viruses split water molecules

Okay, maybe that was a stretch. But a team led by Dr. Angela Belcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has discovered how to use viruses to split water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen. The result is a potential energy source because you can, basically, burn the hydrogen in the oxygen to get energy.

It’s pretty exciting. The team genetically engineered a virus to split water molecules. That was impressive enough. But they discovered that over time, the viruses would clump together, making them lose some of their ability to split water molecules. The solution? They embedded the viruses in a microgel matrix to keep them apart and in position. Remember, these are incredibly tiny organisms, only a few molecules thick.

Could Dr. Belcher have done it without the extra intellectual boost she got from estrogen? And more important, how does that affect her ability to lose weight by exercising?

Those are things we will probably never know. 🙂

Copyright 2010 by Rinth de Shadley.

Friday Night and I’m Where … ?

It’s Friday night at 1am, though I guess that’s Saturday morning.

I just finished the homework and studying that I needed to do tonight. I’ve got more later this weekend but am going to relax with my friends, too. There are a couple of bookstore things, Christina Asquith and Shakespeare. Neither will help with my classes but they interest me.

This semester has been tough, I admit. I always work hard, but this semester I’m having to work really, really hard. On the other hand, I’m learning a lot so I guess that’s the important thing.

Things I am thankful for:

  • I have great friends here at school.
  • I have great professors who always encourage me and take a personal interest in their students.
  • Lots of smart and interesting people read my blog. Sometimes they think I’m wrong but they’re always very supportive and have constructive things to say.
  • I’ve lost seven of the 11 pounds I gained last semester.
  • I’m not Lindsay Lohan.
  • My mother drives me crazy sometimes, but my parents would do anything to help me be the best person I can be.
  • The movie “Kick-Ass” just opened at the Tower. I’m kind of interested but it sounds gory. I might wait and hear what other people say about it before I go.
  • “Gossip Girl” has been good this spring, even though I’m so busy that I sometimes don’t get to watch it. I hope that Blair and Chuck get back together. It was stupid for Serena to leave Dorota’s wedding without telling Nate where she was going and why, especially since she was leaving with Carter. Jenny is a b*tch but I’ve never liked her much anyway. The fashions are amazing, but they’re a big part of why we watch the show. I’m actually a little thankful that I don’t look as good as Serena, because I’d probably never get any studying done. 🙂

On the other hand, I think that Serena’s ex, Dan Humphrey, might make a guest appearance in my dreams tonight. That would be fun. In fact, I think that I’ll get working on it right now.

Good night, and have a wonderful weekend! Ttys …

Copyright 2010 by Rinth de Shadley.

Jessica Really Did Cheat on Ed

Ed and Jessica in a happier time

Shari Weiss at has confirmed that rumors are true about a breakup between “Gossip Girl” stars Jessica Szohr and Ed Westwick.

Frankly, I didn’t believe it until I heard it from Shari.

Apparently, Jessica was doing more than just flirting with some of Ed’s friends while Ed was in Europe making a movie. Ed found out, and broke off their relationship.

Shari tells the whole story in an article she wrote for the Gossip Cop news site. On, which is her own news site, Shari put it best:

While Westwick and Szohr’s characters on Gossip Girl aren’t dating, here’s hoping the show is affected minimally by this sad turn of events.

Copyright 2010 by Rinth de Shadley.

Attack of the Homework!

Yes, I know: “Homework = boring!”

Not really, though. My homework is actually very interesting, it’s just that there is SO MUCH of it lately! 🙂

Between now and the middle of May, I’m not sure how often I’ll be able to blog. School has to come first.

But I’ll do my best, both at school and blogging!

Ttfn …

Copyright 2010 by Rinth de Shadley.

Categories: Life, School Tags: , , ,