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Cricket, Gwynneth and sexism

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  • Darren
    Denizen of Moo Uria
    • Mar 2004
    • 131

    Cricket, Gwynneth and sexism

    :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops:

    Funny thing: Greece has won Euro 2004 and just I've been watching Greek and Portugese learning zone tourist language modules on BBC2 back to back. Did they know or is that sleek Public Service marketing designed to tie-in with the footie?


    PS This thread has nothing to do with Cricket, Gwynneth Paltrow or sexism but I thought it would get your attention.

    Is mr M. back or has he lost the will to live having read some of the posts and the barrel-scraping level that their discourse has become reduced to in his absence.

    While the Mouse is away the Cats will play...


    To make this post vaguely interesting here are some funny headlines:

    UK , US and Australia join forces against spam

    The US Federal Trade Commission announced on Friday that it is joining forces and sharing resources with the UK's Information Commissioner and other agencies in the UK and Australia in the battle against illegal spam.

    Pictures from Titan have scientists puzzled

    As the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft zooms away from Saturn on its first sweeping, orbital loop, it has left a wake of questions that has scientists buzzing about the craft's first pass by the moon Titan.

    You've Got Mail (and Courts Say Others Can Read It)

    When everything is working right, an e-mail message appears to zip instantaneously from the sender to the recipient's inbox. But in reality, most messages make several momentary stops as they are processed by various computers en route to their destination.

    Those short stops may make no difference to the users, but they make an enormous difference to the privacy that e-mail is accorded under federal law.

    Last week a federal appeals court in Boston ruled that federal wiretap laws do not apply to e-mail messages if they are stored, even for a millisecond, on the computers of the Internet providers that process them - meaning that it can be legal for the government or others to read such messages without a court order.

    The ruling was a surprise to many people, because in 1986 Congress specifically amended the wiretap laws to incorporate new technologies like e-mail. Some argue that the ruling's implications could affect emerging applications like Internet-based phone calls and Gmail, Google's new e-mail service, which shows advertising based on the content of a subscriber's e-mail messages.

    "The court has eviscerated the protections that Congress established back in the 1980's," said Marc Rotenberg, the executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a civil liberties group.

    But other experts argue that the Boston case will have little practical effect. The outcry, said Stuart Baker, a privacy lawyer with Steptoe & Johnson in Washington, is "much ado about nothing."

    Mr. Baker pointed out that even under the broadest interpretation of the law, Congress made it easier for prosecutors and lawyers in civil cases to read other people's e-mail messages than to listen to their phone calls. The wiretap law - which requires prosecutors to prove their need for a wiretap and forbids civil litigants from ever using them - applies to e-mail messages only when they are in transit.

    But in a 1986 law, Congress created a second category, called stored communication, for messages that had been delivered to recipients' inboxes but not yet read. That law, the Stored Communications Act, grants significant protection to e-mail messages, but does not go as far as the wiretap law: it lets prosecutors have access to stored messages with a search warrant, while imposing stricter requirements on parties in civil suits.

    Interestingly, messages that have been read but remain on the Internet provider's computer system have very little protection. Prosecutors can typically gain access to an opened e-mail message with a simple subpoena rather than a search warrant. Similarly, lawyers in civil cases, including divorces, can subpoena opened e-mail messages.

    The case in Boston involved an online bookseller, now called Alibris. In 1998, the company offered e-mail accounts to book dealers and, hoping to gain market advantage, secretly copied messages they received from In 1999, Alibris and one employee pleaded guilty to criminal wiretapping charges.

    But a supervisor, Bradford C. Councilman, fought the charges, saying he did not know about the scheme. He also moved to have the case dismissed on the ground that the wiretapping law did not apply. He argued that because the messages had been on the hard drive of Alibris's computer while they were being processed for delivery, they counted as stored communication. The wiretap law bans a company from monitoring the communications of its customers, except in a few cases. But it does not ban a company from reading customers' stored communications.

    "Congress recognized that any time you store communication, there is an inherent loss of privacy," said Mr. Councilman's lawyer, Andrew Good of Good & Cormier in Boston.

    In 2003, a federal district court in Boston agreed with Mr. Councilman's interpretation of the wiretap law and dismissed the case. Last week, the First Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 2-to-1 decision, affirmed that decision.

    Because most major Internet providers have explicit policies against reading their customers' e-mail messages, the ruling would seem to have little effect on most people.
    \'You know my destiny?\' said Elric eagerly. \'Tell me what it is, Niun Who Knew All.\'
    Niun opened his mouth as if to speak but then firmly shut it again. \'No,\' he said. \'I have forgotten.\'
  • Darren
    Denizen of Moo Uria
    • Mar 2004
    • 131

    Not Gwynneth, again

    Paltrow tries a spot of ancient cup medicine
    By Catriona Davies
    (Filed: 09/07/2004)

    Polka-dot dresses were once all the rage, but Gwyneth Paltrow could soon be starting a trend for polka-dot shoulders.

    The marks on the actress's back, which were caused by an ancient form of alternative medicine called cupping, were on show as she arrived for a film screening in New York.

    Cupping, a form of acupuncture, involves heated glass jars being placed on the skin to create a vacuum.

    The skin being drawn into the vacuum causes a mark which can last for several days.

    The aim of cupping, which originated in China, is to improve circulation and the practice is perfectly safe, according to members of the British Acupuncture Society.

    Miss Paltrow, who is married to the British singer Chris Martin and had her first baby, Apple, in May, is known to be a fan of alternative therapies.

    The couple live in Belgravia, west London, but are currently staying at their flat in New York.

    Miss Paltrow, 31, has taken a break from acting to look after their daughter.

    She once said that having acupuncture had guided her to a "new level" in life, helping her to find love with Martin and giving her the strength to cope with the death of her father last year.

    She has also taken up yoga and gave birth at a hospital known for its holistic and natural birthing techniques.

    Miss Paltrow showed off her dotted back while attending the premiere of the film Anchorman at the Museum of Television and Radio in New York.

    Her publicist confirmed that Miss Paltrow had visited a cupping practitioner.

    Natwest Cricket Finale Set For Tomorrow

    LORDS, England, Fri. July 9: West Indies and New Zealand will hopefully get a chance to clash in the finals of the Natwest Triangular series tomorrow at Lords.

    The match is set for 10:45 – 18:30 London time (which is five hours ahead of U.S. time.) The West Indies are in the second spot with 18 points while New Zealand is at the top of the table with 23.

    Yesterday’s game was abandoned because of rain but 3 points were awarded to each team. It is the third match in the series, between the two sides, that has been interrupted by Mother Nature.

    The Windies squad for tomorrow’s match-up will be chosen from: Brian Lara, captain; Ramnaresh Sarwan, vice captain; Ravi Rampaul, Chris Gayle, Shiv Chanderpaul, Ridley Jacobs, Dwayne Smith, Dwayne Bravo, Tino Best, Carlton Baugh, Devon Smith, Ricardo Powell, Jermaine Lawson, Ian Bradshaw and Darren Sammy.

    Sammy, a St. Lucian by birth, was scheduled to make his international debut yesterday, but that was squashed by the rains. It is unclear whether he will make up the final 11 today. –

    Exposed: the rampant sexism that defines the world of Formula One
    By Beverley Turner, who worked as a trackside TV reporter for three years
    08 July 2004

    Nestled in the wooded area between the Gold and Silver entrances to the Hungarian Grand Prix were 20 whitewashed booths beneath a banner proclaiming "Erotik Camping". Each contained a red carpet, a grey-blanketed bed and a neat stack of toilet rolls. Formula One had come to town, and an open-air brothel had been specially erected for the occasion.

    F1 was perceived as a prime market for prostitution. It is hard to imagine any other sport engendering such an obvious association, but then no other sport has such an outdated relationship to women.

    During my three seasons as an F1 TV reporter, I witnessed the world of elite motor racing defining itself as "cutting edge", but promoting ideologies from the Dark Ages.

    The driver Eddie Irvine turned his charms on me at the Brazilian Grand Prix when the conversation turned to a mutual friend, a German F1 presenter whose contract had been unexpectedly cancelled.

    "Oh that's a shame," he said from behind mirrored sunglasses. "It was good watching her arse walk down the paddock."

    I assumed he was being sarcastic. "Hmm..." I said. "I'll miss her conversation too."

    "No, I won't miss that," he said, quite seriously. "She just looked good - she was just here to be looked at. That's all any of you are here for, just to be looked at."

    There were eight other men sitting listening. Nobody said a word, except for Niki Lauda. He looked at me from beneath his baseball cap and shrugged. "It's a man's world," he said.

    In F1 "men do" and "women adorn". Being attractive is a prerequisite to gaining acceptance and the yardstick by which all women are judged.

    While filming an item about "Women behind the scenes in Formula One", I was unnerved by the disparity between what the interviewees would say on camera and what they confessed to me afterwards.

    "There is so much sexism," said one woman who eventually left her job in PR, "but it's very subtle. It's not just about leggy blondes everywhere: it's much more hidden than that."

    One female IT engineer claimed - on and off camera - that her gender had never caused her any problems. But afterwards I chatted to one of her male colleagues, saying that it was great to show a woman working in the technological field. "Yeah," he agreed, "But just think what we could do with her if she wasn't such a dog."

    F1 stands alone in its use of women to promote the sport. No dedicated website is complete without an invitation to vote for your favourite "Pit Babe". Of course, some American sports still have cheerleaders, but at least these girls actually do something. F1 sits its models on car bonnets and drapes them over drivers.

    The marketing concept of the "Fosters Girls" was invented for F1. This troop of young women appears at Grands Prix wearing blue micro-minis and cropped Lycra tops. They are led around the circuit in a line, stopping from time to time to have their picture taken.

    On one memorable occasion they walked between tables at the Silverstone Ball, looking miserable as several male guests attempted to grope their bottoms. I turned to my dinner companion and said: "I can't believe a global sport still has women like this on display."

    "I know," he said, "they're pigs. You'd think they could find some attractive ones."

    Such attitudes are so endemic in F1 that it is difficult for women to be taken seriously in any capacity. Increasing numbers are employed in motor racing but their roles are largely confined to PR, catering and sponsor liaison.

    Last season, F1 Racing magazine ran a feature on the "Fifty most powerful people in Formula One", and not one was a woman, after 50 years of the sport.

    Women have, however, been involved in motor racing from its inception. The romantic novelist Barbara Cartland was the force behind some of the earliest female drivers at the Brooklands track in the 1920s. Five women competed in F1 between 1958 and the early Nineties but they all drove incomparably bad cars.

    Bernie Ecclestone explains why we may never see another: "No one will take them seriously or sponsor them financially, therefore they're never ever going to get into a competitive car."

    In sport, the perception exists that any event in which men and women can compete equally cannot be very hard.

    F1's manufactured image is based on testosterone, aggression and the fighting instincts of the modern-day gladiators, the drivers. Put a woman alongside Michael Schumacher in the grid and that veneer of machismo would slip.

    Experts in physiology and psychology now widely accept that the strengths needed to drive an F1 car are certainly attainable by women.

    Michael Schumacher admits that physical difference is not the issue. "The reasons are cultural," he said recently. "There are too few women coming up the ranks." To a certain extent he is right, but that argument is becoming an easy excuse. There is a specific challenge that only female drivers must overcome. I once asked an influential character at McLaren-Mercedes whether a female F1 driver was a likely scenario.

    "Ach, ja!" came the enthusiastic response. "Sure, they are very good, very talented. The problem is" - he paused, searching for the right phrase - "they are just not very pretty. They look like men, really."

    I tried to explain that the male drivers were hardly Armani models but he replied: "It is different. Women must be more beautiful, more feminine. That's how it is."

    This pressure is evidenced by the homepages set up by female drivers. Moodily lit shots play up their attractiveness and detail hobbies such as "renovating my home". The website of the American driver Sarah Fisher (who became the youngest person - not just woman - to qualify for the Indy Racing League) reveals that she is "superstitious about painting her toenails before a race weekend".

    The male team principals demand that female drivers not be "like men" and the women have no choice but to oblige. But it is hard to imagine Michael Schumacher respecting a competitor who publicly admits to being superstitious about varnishing her toenails.

    The Budapest brothel lasted just one season after complaints - not from F1, but from the local Catholic community. The taboo of the female F1 driver has proved harder to overturn.

    A woman in a competitive car would revolutionise F1's image, re-energise the competition and attract a new fan base. Her team would be front-page news as the most forward-looking brand on the grid.

    In a sport driven by global marketing ambitions, it is extraordinary that nobody has yet seized this potential. Ecclestone described his ideal female racing driver as "Perhaps a black girl, with super looks, preferably Jewish or Muslim, who speaks Spanish".

    It was a joke, I think, but a revealing one. In Formula One, sexism even defeats the forces of capitalism.

    Beverley Turner's book The Pits: The Real World of Formula One has just been published by Atlantic Books, price آ£14.99.

    \'You know my destiny?\' said Elric eagerly. \'Tell me what it is, Niun Who Knew All.\'
    Niun opened his mouth as if to speak but then firmly shut it again. \'No,\' he said. \'I have forgotten.\'


    • Darren
      Denizen of Moo Uria
      • Mar 2004
      • 131

      Not Gwynneth, again

      Gwyneth Paltrow rejects Madonna's offer to join Kaballah!
      New York | June 15, 2004 3:16:24 PM IST

      Gwyneth Paltrow and Madonna have allegedly had an argument after the actress refused to join the trendy Kabbalah religion.

      According to sources, Madonna called Gwyneth shortly after the latter had given birth to her daughter, Apple, and asked her to adopt Kaballah, which has gained popularity among Hollywood stars.

      But according to Britain's News of the World newspaper, Paltrow and her husband, Chris Martin, refused Madonna's request.

      "Madonna barely congratulated Gwyneth on Apple before she was going on and on about Kabbalah. She said that now Gwyneth was a mom, the time was right for her to join. But Gwyneth just doesn't want to get involved and told her that in no uncertain terms," Teen Hollywood quoted a friend as saying.

      Madonna has also converted Britney Spears, Demi Moore and many other celebrities to the Jewish faith.
      \'You know my destiny?\' said Elric eagerly. \'Tell me what it is, Niun Who Knew All.\'
      Niun opened his mouth as if to speak but then firmly shut it again. \'No,\' he said. \'I have forgotten.\'


      • Darren
        Denizen of Moo Uria
        • Mar 2004
        • 131

        Yep, you guessed it, Gwynneth

        Sour Apple
        Gwyneth joins the bad celebrity baby-name brigade. Plus, Jude cashes out

        by Kat Giantis
        MSN Entertainment
        May 17, 2004

        It's only been a few days since Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin introduced their 9 lb., 11 oz. bouncing baby Apple to the world, and already we're sick of the puns ("Apple of Gwyn's eye," "Pomme in the oven," "Gwynny Smith," and pretty much anything in the "core" or "peel" genre). No word on the significance of the oddball appellation, though theories have ranged from a New York homage to a wacky Beatles tribute to the most expensive Mac product placement ever.

        We wish little Apple the best of luck on the playground (you'll need it, honey), and offer her these words of consolation: It could've been a whole lot worse. Really. We'll never understand why some celebrities, who are capable of giving their children the best of everything, saddle them with monikers that will inevitably lead to teasing, fisticuffs and diminished career prospects
        \'You know my destiny?\' said Elric eagerly. \'Tell me what it is, Niun Who Knew All.\'
        Niun opened his mouth as if to speak but then firmly shut it again. \'No,\' he said. \'I have forgotten.\'


        • Omaru
          Denizen of Moo Uria
          • Dec 2003
          • 185

          Come on, man, I can't help it... :oops: