“Maybe it’s coincidence, maybe it’s television’s fondness for a
marketable trend, but networks are pushing the gender gap hard next
season, airing nearly as many new male or female-focused series as
there are shows with a supernatural edge (no link between the two, for
now),” writes Lynn Elber. “Whether the general theme is more ‘Viva la difference!’ or battle of the sexes or post-feminist gender-blindness remains to be seen as the
season and the shows unfold.”

Anna Quindlen’s column in the Aug. 6 issue of Newsweek has been getting lots of attention online: “Buried among prairie dogs and amateur animation shorts on YouTube is a curious little mini-documentary
shot in front of an abortion clinic in Libertyville, Ill. The man behind the camera is asking demonstrators who want abortion criminalized what the penalty should be for a woman who has one nonetheless. You have rarely seen people look more gobsmacked. It’s as though the guy has asked them to solve quadratic equations.”

“A federal judge has ruled that female drug sales workers for Novartis Pharmaceuticals may proceed with a class-action gender discrimination lawsuit against the company,” reports The New York Times. “A statistical analysis the plaintiffs submitted to Judge Lynch concluded that women had been paid about $75 less a month than men in similar jobs, a figure that they say does not include pay disparities owing to promotions.”

Women dominate a new writing awards shortlist, reports The Guardian.
“It is a really exciting shortlist,” says Chris Gribble, chief
executive of the New Writing Partnership, which, along with Booktrust,
co-sponsors The New Writing Ventures awards. “We have a Pakistani poet
who is over 50, a young Muslim playwright, novelists from North
Yorkshire and west London … It’s a really interesting mixture and
they all have strong stories behind what they are doing in addition to
the high quality of their

Barbara Morgan, 55, is scheduled for her first spaceflight
on Tuesday. Morgan, a teacher, was a back-up to Christa McAuliffe, who
was killed when the space shuttle Challenger exploded in 1986. Morgan
became a full-time astronaut in 1998.

In a story about how facial expressions can convey or mask
our true feelings, this line stood out: “‘True smiles involve the
muscles around the eyes, so they tend to push up the cheeks and create
little crow’s-feet,’ helping us to distinguish between fake and genuine
grins, Dr. Etcoff said. If crow’s-feet linger, they can suggest a smile
long after it is gone.”


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