Sexy names a barrier to work
In 1984, grad student Deborah Linville asked students at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to rate the perceived sexiness of 250 female names. Sexiest (on a scale of 1 to 7) were Christine (5.08), Candace (4.92), Cheryl (4.91), Melanie (4.91), Dawn (4.83), Heather (4.83), Jennifer (4.83), Marilyn (4.83), Michelle (4.83), and Susan (4.83). Least sexy were Ethel (1.00), Alma (1.08), Zelda (1.16), Florence (1.5), Mildred (1.5), Myrtle (1.5), Silvana (1.5), Edna (1.66), Eurolinda (1.66), and Elvira (1.69).
Then Linville asked another group of students to play boss and rate the job applications of eight equally qualified women — submitted under particularly sexy and unsexy names. Men hired and promoted non-sexy applicants much more frequently than women did. Linville concluded that "there is a prejudice toward women applicants based on the degree of sexiness of their names", perhaps because men particularly expect female managers to possess strengths, such as motivation and decisiveness, that they don't associate with sexy-sounding names.
Tortoise has seen alot
The year 2006, which doesn't feel THAT long ago, saw the death of two colossally old tortoises. The first, Harriet, was reportedly collected by Charles Darwin when he visited the Galapagos on the HMS Beagle. She belonged to Steve Irwin at the time of her death. Charles Darwin and Steve Irwin shared a "pet". Estimated to have lived 176 years. The second, Adwaita, was born before the United States declared its independence from England. Think of it: just 14 years ago, there was a land creature alive that was older than the USA. Just incredible.
Word in your ear…
1. When our eldest was small he kept asking over and over to return to what he called the Hankleman Shoe. We had no idea what he meant for many months until one day he suddenly got very excited and started yelling it out. We had just arrived at the Hamilton Zoo.
2. I have an American grandaughter who thinks that the perfect name for hand sanitiser should be hanitiser so now that is what the family call it.
3. When my boys were growing up (now in their 40s), pikelets were called piglets. I am still making piglets today.