Science & Society

It's a bad day for ghost research, though you can be sure Discovery or History Channel will fill in the gap when they run out of Shroud of Turin articles.

The Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR) program at Princeton University, which attempted to discover if there was any way the mind could influence physical reality, closing its physical facilities at the end of February.   Well, they can just ESP the research, they don't need physical facilities.

The longest-running search for radio signals from alien civilizations is getting a burst of new data from an upgraded Arecibo telescope, which means the SETI@home project needs more desktop computers to help crunch the data.

Since SETI@home launched eight years ago, the project based at the University of California, Berkeley's Space Sciences Laboratory has signed up more than 5 million interested volunteers and boasts the largest community of dedicated users of any Internet computing project: 170,000 devotees on 320,000 computers.

Yet, new and more sensitive receivers on the world's largest radio telescope in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, and better frequency coverage are generating 500 times more data for the project than before.

We haven't come that far, baby. In the 1970's male cartoon characters outnumbered female cartoon characters by a ratio of almost four to one. Research presented at the American Psychological Association's (APA) 105th Annual Convention in Chicago reveals that male cartoon characters still outnumber female cartoon characters almost four to one. Male characters are also still portrayed as dominate, powerful and aggressive. Female characters don't have any "character" at all.

Despite TV watchdogging, Cynthia Spicher, B.A., and psychologist Mary Hudak, Ph.D., from Allegheny College have found little change in the gender stereotypes that America's young minds are spending two to four hours a day viewing.

To see what progress has been made in portraying gender stereotypes in cartoon characters, Dr. Spicher and Dr. Hudak videotaped and categorized 118 cartoon characters from a single episode of each of the following Saturday morning cartoons: The Bugs Bunny/Tweety Show, Aladdin, Ninja Turtles, The Mask, Eek!stravaganza, Spiderman, Tick and Life with Louie. Characters were rated on sex, prominence, gender stereotyping, aggressive behaviors and occupational roles.