Political InQueery: Big Talkers

Whatever sense one makes of the midterm elections this year, some people in Congress now claim they have a mandate or at the very least, a bully pulpit from which they can advance their own agendas, no matter their sensibility or lack thereof. As we press into the weekend before our collective,... Read more »

Political InQueery: Covering Women Politicians

According to some political pundits, Barbara Boxer faced the most challenging opponent of her Senate career in Carly Fiorina. Any advantageous position she'd had in previous elections as a female Democrat was at least... Read more »

Political InQueery: Spelling Bees as Elections

In the Republican primary for Alaska's Senate seat last summer, Joe Miller beat Lisa Murkowski by the razor-thin margin of 2,000 votes, or less than 1 percent of the total ballots cast. This would have signaled the end for the vast majority of losing candidates, but when Murkowski was asked, again... Read more »

Political InQueery: Stupak Amendment on Steroids

While the news media focuses on the debate between the two primary political parties on tax cuts and who should receive them, both in the lame duck Congress session and in the next session, organizations like NARAL are preparing for a different fight over tax dollars and tax penalties—those related... Read more »

Political InQueery: Effects at the Polls

During the campaign season we took a look at a few campaigns that actively used race and ethnic stereotypes as part of their strategy on the road to Washington, DC. There were undocumented workers slipping across poorly guarded borders to steal American jobs and infect the country with drug-related... Read more »

Political InQueery: Where Do We Go from Here?

The 2010 midterm elections are over. Well, for the most part. It may be a while before all of the ballots are sorted out in the Alaska Senate race, and there's a recount in North Carolina for a House seat, making nine as yet undecided races in that legislative body. And while Washington, DC may be... Read more »

Political InQueery: Know the Women in Congress, Part I

A record number of women—262, in all—ran campaigns for the House in the 2010 midterm elections. Despite this wave of women, fewer will be in the House once the 112th Congress begins than were in the 111th. 75 women will take their seats in the voting body, many of them for the first time. Here is a... Read more »

A Message to Verizon: Libera el Aire!

Remember those weird Verizon ads that seemed to empower young women with statements like “air does not transmit the opinions of a man faster than those of a woman”? Really, they were co-opting feminism to sell phones from a company that is fighting against... Read more »

Political InQueery: The Blame Game

Much of the rhetoric in the 2010 midterm elections focused on anger, and the GOP candidates who will take control of the next House session spent a lot of campaign messaging time expressing how they felt connected to voters' anger. Which begs the question: were the candidates or the voters the... Read more »

Political InQueery: Crystal Ball Persuasion

Many people who fancy themselves political science pundits have offered their predictions for Election Day on Tuesday, and as one combs through their numbers rackets—I mean, educated guesses as to who will win what—one finds some significant biases—I mean, measurement error—toward their own... Read more »


Mad Science: Deconstructing Bunk Reporting in 5 Easy Steps

British scientists have uncovered the truth behind one of modern culture's greatest mysteries: why little girls play with pink toys. Is it...

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