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Posted on Feb 3, 2010

Why pork is the new Viagra, tech companies need to stop treating women like girls and what documentarians do when the cameras are off. All this and more on today’s list.

On a regular basis, Truthdig brings you the news items and odds and ends that found their way to Larry Gross, director of the USC Annenberg School for Communication. A specialist in media and culture, art and communication, visual communication and media portrayals of minorities, Gross helped found the field of gay and lesbian studies.

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Why Is It That Companies Think I Want Everything in Pink?
There is one industry that is still talking to grown up women as “poppets”. One industry that still targets women more in terms of their putative colour preferences than by their motivations for buying technology. Diamond encrusted phones, pink fairy princess laptops, pink headphones ... The list goes on.

Irony Alert: Documentary Filmmaker Gathering Limits Press Coverage
Last Monday, a sternly worded memo was sent to media planning to cover the proceedings. The press, it seems, was not welcome at a gathering devoted to people who spend much of their time searching out magical moments of candor, unscripted truth and behind-the scenes drama.

How ‘Cognitive Fluency’ Shapes What We Believe
Imagine that your stockbroker—or the friend who’s always giving you stock tips—called and told you he had come up with a new investment strategy. ... Invest in companies with names that are very easy to pronounce.

The United States Misreads Brazil’s World Policy
When the United States first realized circa 1970 that its hegemonic dominance was being threatened by the growing economic (and hence geopolitical) strength of western Europe and Japan, it changed its posture, seeking to prevent western Europe and Japan from taking too independent a position in world affairs.

Obama to Address Shadowy Christian Group Tied to Uganda’s ‘Kill the Gays’ Bill
The prayer breakfast is a display of power for an underground religious group that often shapes U.S. foreign policy in ways that sometimes conflict with our policy goals.

Argentina’s President Claims Pork Is Better for Sex Than Viagra
Apparently pork is more than just “the other white meat,” and is now a sexual stimulant. At least, according to Argentina’s President Cristina Fernandez.

You Think We’re Rankings-Obsessed?
The obsession with university rankings is arguably stronger worldwide than it is in the United States, more directly affecting government policy and creating a broad array of effects, positive and negative, an Irish researcher asserted last week at the Council for Higher Education Acceditation’s international forum in Washington.

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