And the Award Goes To: Congratulations are in order for Frances E. Allen, the first woman to win one of the most prestigious prizes in computing, the $100,000 Turing Award. Allen, 74, was honored for her work at IBM on programs that translate computer languages. The 40-year-old Turing award is named for British mathematician Alan M. Turing and is considered by some to be the Nobel Prize in computing.

“Allen joined IBM in 1957 after completing a master’s degree in mathematics at the University of Michigan. At the time, IBM recruited women by circulating a brochure on campuses that was titled ‘My Fair Ladies,'” reports the AP. “Her work led her into varied assignments, including writing intelligence analysis software for the National Security Agency. More recently she helped design software for IBM’s Blue Gene supercomputer. She retired in 2002 but has stayed active in programs that encourage girls and women to study computer science.”

Silver Foxes in Print: A few weeks ago we mentioned that the Cincinnati Enquirer was playing off the “Year of the Silver Foxes” at the Academy Awards (three of the five Best Actress nominees are over age 50) and asking for readers to write in with stories about women over 50 who shine at what they do. The Enquirer has now printed some of its 60-plus submissions, along with a related piece on going silver — literally — after years of coloring up the gray.

Don’t forget: The 79th annual Academy Awards airs Sunday at 8 p.m. (EST) on ABC.

For Better: Lynn Johnston, the first — and one of only two — women to win the Cartoonist of the Year from the National Cartoonists Society, has opted to keep her popular cartoon strip, “For Better or For Worse,” going past its expected its expected 2007 end date with a mix of old and new material. Besides being the first comic strip about family life created by a woman, “For Better or For Worse” also featured one of the first openly gay characters to appear in a nationally syndicated comic strip. Johnston turns 60 this year. (For more info about female cartoonists, here’s some history from Women’s eNews.)

Moms Rising: The New York Times reports on the mothers movement underway around issues like equal pay and work-family balance. The resentment against working mothers in the comments section on this story is stunning. For more information, visit

HPV Vaccine is a Health Issue: While there are a number of questions for state legislators and health advocates to sort out surrounding the neccessity of making the new HPV vaccine mandatory (not to mention the political intrigue), the bottom line is that the issue is one of public health, not morality, and those attempting to link the vaccine to sexual promiscuity do a great disservice to women’s health.

The Five Stages of Grief: The first large-scale study on the five stages of grief not only confirms that the stages are accurate, but it also indicated that yearning, or missing a loved one, is a more dominant emotion than depression. “It’s important both for clinicians and the average layperson to understand that yearning and not sadness is what bereavement is really all about,” said study author Holly Prigerson, associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and director of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s Center for Psycho-Oncology and Palliative Care Research.

Chocolate May Be Fuel for Thought: Let’s note upfront that this study was partly funded by the Mars Inc. candy company. Got that? Good. Now let’s consider this sweet news

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