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Friday, April 29, 2016

Are OSU basketball player's gaydar signals real or just a sign of the times?

OSU basketball player and his mother feature in student newspaper for Mom's weekend Barometer, Apr. 29, 3016, p. 1, 3-4

PHOTO: (click on photo to enlarge) A star Oregon State University basketball player, Tres Tinkle, is shown with his mother and says he is not ashamed to call himself "a momma's boy," as quoted in a student newspaper article by Josh Worden, "2016 Mom's Weekend -- A family affair: Basketball star Tre Tinkle and his relationship with his mom. The tight-knit Tinkles, Tres Shares a close relationship with his mother, Lisa Tinkle," Barometer, Apr. 29, 3016, p. 1, 7. This article was part of a special issue printed for distribution to the parents of OSU students attending the annual OSU tradition, which dates back to 1924, of having the mothers of OSU students visit campus during a special weekend, which is described in the lead story by Lauren Sluss, "Welcoming Moms and Family. OSU Mom's and family weekend kicks off Friday, runs through Sunday," Barometer, Apr. 29, 3016, p. 1, 3-4 posted online as "Moms & Family Weekend at OSU starts today".

The popularly used word "gaydar" (see Google definitions) is a portmanteau of gay and radar referring to the intuitive ability of a person to assess others' sexual orientations as gay, bisexual or heterosexual (See Gaydar article on

Before gay rights activists came out publically after the Stonewall riot in 1969, most people stereotyped gay men as being effeminate queens and gay women as being masculine butch dykes. The gay rights movement for equality strived to break down these stereotypes by providing examples of masculine men who were gay, such as the Hollywood movie star Rock Hudson and the femme TV star Ellen DeGeneres. This strategy helped to open minds, but it also unintentionally pressured effeminate gay men to act "more straight" and butch lesbians to "act more girlish."

I don't know if it is just a sign of the times, or if actual gaydar signals were being sent out by the star Oregon State University basketball player, Tres Tinkle, when he freely admitted to being a "a momma's boy," in the student newspaper article by Josh Worden, "2016 Mom's Weekend -- A family affair: Basketball star Tre Tinkle and his relationship with his mom. The tight-knit Tinkles, Tres Shares a close relationship with his mother, Lisa Tinkle," Barometer, Apr. 29, 3016, p. 1, 7.

Only a half century ago, Freudian psychiatrists blamed mothers for making their sons gay by being too close to them, while the boy's father was absent either emotionally or physically. Tres Tinkle's story fits these old textbook cases of an overbearing mother being emotionally close to her gay son, while the father is away working elsewhere, and therefore, most people back then would have read Tres' story as him admitting to being gay.

The reason I ask if these gaydar signals are real, or if they are just a sign of the times, is because in my experience most young men today are less encumbered by the old stereotypes of the past (e.g. the idea that only a gay boy can be close to his mother) because they have been raised in a world where both feminists and gay activists have opened up people's minds to the differences between sexual orientation and gender identity in order to help break down the misogynistic stereotypes surrounding women.

In any case, Tres Tinkle provides a good role model for young men by showing that they can show their softer sides without having to worry about being labeled as gay.

Below are some quotes from the article:

Tres Tinkle may be playing for his father Wayne (Tinkle basketball coach) at OSU, but he's also got a close relationship with his mother, Lisa . . . It was Tres and Lisa, after all, who lived together during Tres' senior season of high school basketball in Missoula, Mont., while Wayne was busy building a program in Corvallis . . . it was just mother and son. . . . Both Tres and Lisa valued their time together in Missoula, but it wasn't as if they weren't close already. Though Wayne never coached Tres until college, Tres' third grade YMCA team coached by Lisa won the league championship. Lisa was home more often throughout Tres' childhood, and Tres could tell she would be the more emotional parent of the two if he chose to attend college far away. . . Tres, who is not ashamed to call himself "a momma's boy," is still able to enjoy the fruits of being a son while at OSU. While most of his teammates at OSU don't have the privilege of seeing their family often, Tres doesn't take for granted how close his parents still are: even during the season he would drop by his parents' house for dinner as much as twice a week. . . Lisa is still completely capable to spoil Tres: since she still has a copy of Tres' car key, she surprises him by leaving some desserts in his car on the occasional weekday morning. . . She scored 1,470 points and grabbed 830 rebounds while playing at Montana. As much basketball success and experience as Lisa has, though, she lets Wayne do most of the coaching. . . "Wayne's a tough coach. He'll yell and scream, and it's tough to get used to that," Lisa said. "Hearing that from his dad, (Tres) needed someone to vent to, and that someone would be me. But that's really all I can do. I have trust in what Wayne does with his freshmen. You have to break them down before you build them up and start good habits. I just said, 'you have to trust the process and trust your father. Everything will be alright.'"
(Quoted from Josh Worden, "2016 Mom's Weekend -- A family affair: Basketball star Tre Tinkle and his relationship with his mon. The tight-knit Tinkles, Tres Shares a close relationship with his mother, Lisa Tinkle," Barometer, Apr. 29, 3016, p. 1, 7)

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Skepticism about City diesel fuel environmentalism

In response to the following newspaper story:

"The city of Corvallis is switching its 55-vehicle vehicle diesel fleet to renewable fuels . . . the city will convert to R-99, which is 1 percent petroleum and 99 percent renewable. The renewable diesel is a mixture of vegetable oils and animal fats. . . Earlier, the city had experimented with biodiesel but found that it contributed to more wear and tear on vehicle systems. The conversion to renewable diesel is expected to lead to an annual savings of 1,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, said Scott Dybvad, city sustainability program specialist. . . "
(Quoted from James Day, "City's diesel fleet switching to renewable fuel," posted Apr. 25, 2016)

I submitted the following letter to the editor in response to the above news story:

The diesel fleet run by the city of Corvallis is switching to R-99 fuel, which consists of a mixture of vegetable oils and animal fats, to reduce its "carbon footprint."

This is probably why the passengers in buses and automobiles, who get stuck behind a City diesel vehicle in traffic, are sickened by the smell of burnt, stale French fries, or even worse.

While I applaud the City's environmentalism, I am skeptical about the benefits of renewable diesel fuels because anything smelling that bad can't be good.

(Quoted from Thomas Kraemer, "Letter: Sustainable, but bad-smelling," Gazette-Times, Apr. 28, 2016, p. A7, posted online Apr. 27, 2016)

I must point out that my letter did not distinguish between biodiesel and "renewable diesel" fuels because I do not know if one fuel smells better or worse, but my point is still valid because in either case a diesel engine will smell bad. Also, the recent story of Volkswagen falsifying its environmental tests on their diesel engines is only loosely unrelated, but Volkswagen's vast experience with diesel engines only feeds my skepticism about the cleanliness of diesel engines, both environmentally and in terms of them making humans sick breathing the fumes.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

OSU renters guide missing any mention of antidiscrimination in housing laws

The Daily Barometer Renters Guide 2016 Apr. 15, 2016

PHOTO: The Daily Barometer "Renters Guide 2016" Apr. 15, 2016 -- this is the annual, special 24-page issue of the Oregon State University student newspaper that features advertisements for many of the rental properties in Corvallis, Oregon, along with a few articles by students giving their opinions of how to survive finding housing in a town with a very low vacancy rate during the school year. Perhaps I overlooked it due to my low vision blindness, but I was surprised that this year there was no mention of Oregon's antidiscrimination in housing laws, or any references to housing for gay students in the dorms. Hopefully, some student will write on this topic next year. The typical student apartment costs about $500 to $600 per bedroom per month, or about $5,000 per 9-month school year, not including any food. Most students view this as much cheaper than the dorm costs mentioned on p. 5 and 19. A dorm room and meals for the nine-month school year will cost, for example, $11,103 next year, compared with $1500 in 1975 for the best room on campus. Clearly, this increase has outpaced inflation.

See previous posts:

One issue with student housing is the party nuisance problem: See the following recent coverage of how this is being handled at Oregon State University:

Finally, on a totally unrelated note, see the articles by Bennett Hall, "Norovirus cases waning at OSU, not spreading off campus," posted Apr. 15, 2016 and Cheyenne Lever, "Norovirus cases on the decline at OSU," Barometer, Apr. 18, 2016, p. 3 -- I was out only once and I got infected and suffered for a week!

Monday, April 18, 2016

New anti-gay legislation would allow discrimination by student groups based on religion

The American Civil Liberties Union is keeping track of anti-gay legislation in America and says,

"There are bills in state legislature across the country and in Congress that could allow religion to be used to discriminate against gay and transgender people in virtually all aspects of their lives. Whether a gay person wants to join a college student group, a transgender person seeks counseling services, or a lesbian couple tries to obtain a marriage license from a government employee or access basic medical care at some point in their lives, these bills would open the door to unequal treatment."
(Quoted from "American Civil Liberties Union, "Anti-LGBT Religious Exemption Legislation Across the Country," (updated every Wed.) accessed Apr. 18, 2016)

A good summary of the ACLU's defense against the blizzard of anti-gay legislation is provided in a piece by Michelangelo Signorile, who says in part,

"These bills are popping up all over the place. Ironically, Democrats used to champion this legislation. The federal RFRA of 1993, co-written by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), came about after two members of the Native American Church in Oregon were fired from their positions as drug counselors for using peyote during a religious ritual. The law outlines how, and when, the government can and cannot infringe on people's religious practices. The law was meant "as a shield, not a sword," as Nadler likes to say. But it's been perverted in recent years. Conservatives are putting forward state-level RFRAs to let people claim religious liberty as a justification for denying services to LGBT people. . . ."

Two states have bills (AB 1212 in California; SB 210 in South Carolina) that require public universities to provide funds for student organizations, regardless of whether the organization discriminates against LGBT people based on religious beliefs. . . ."

(Quoted from Michelangelo Signorile, "Everything You Need To Know About The Wave Of 100+ Anti-LGBT Bills Pending In States," posted Apr. 18, 2016)

When the Oregon State University gay student group was first formed, it asked for funding from the student government and part of the argument against this funding was that it would discriminate against straight students, which of course was a false assertion. In fact, friends and allies of LGBT students have joined gay student groups at OSU over the years for various reasons and most universities, including OSU, require student groups not to discriminate against students who are different. Of course the theocratic student organizations claim this policy of nondiscrimination is "political correctness" and it makes them a victim, when the university denies them the same privileges as other student groups, because their religious beliefs demand that they discriminate against LGBT students.

In another loosely related piece, Michelangelo Signorile also said,

"Some of those arguments against marriage equality were informed by a similarly debunked myth that gay men are likely to be sexual predators, the lie perpetuated by anti-LGBT hate mongers for decades, using junk science to exploit and further rampant homophobia in society in same the way the "super-predator" myth used it to exploit and further racism. Meanwhile, the true example of a "super-predator" appears to have been former GOP House Speaker Dennis Hastert, a man who prosecutors now say molested at least 4 boys, including a 14-year-old and one who years later took his own life. . . Worse yet, through the years, as he covered up the sexual assaults he committed as a wrestling coach back in Yorkville, Illinois, Hastert pushed policies and positions as a House member and as the Speaker of a far-right GOP majority from 1999 to 2007 that demonized gays in part by portraying gay men as sexual predators. . . "
(Quoted from Michelangelo Signorile, "How Dennis Hastert Demonized Gays as Predators While He Was the True 'Super-Predator,'" posted Apr. 13, 2016)

It seems like the mainstream press has taken up the "bathroom issue," although many commentators have pointed out the illogic of demanding that a MTF, who looks like a woman, be forced to go into the men's restroom. Clearly, this type of legislation exploits the natural human desire for privacy from being looked at sexually without your consent. In my experience, many men have a homophobic fear of being looked at sexually by a gay man, perhaps because they thinks it suggests that they are also gay. Women have a similar fear of a "sexual predator" or sexual pervert getting sexually excited while looking at them, perhaps because in their experience this can lead to sexual assault and violence.

When I was young, I was always denied the opportunity to go to the YMCA gym because my parents said I might be assaulted, without telling me what they meant. In fact, I learned later that the YMCA was a hotbed of homosexual liaisons, but never was it a place that a "sexual predator" could assault anybody. The so-called assaults were when a boy would be caught having sex and not want to admit that he was curious and initiated it -- of course, this doesn't justify the older man's behavior and as a result, most men were very wary of what they called "jail bait" -- young men who wanted sex with them, but might have second thoughts and charge the man with a sex crime.

Unfortunately, because the topic of intergenerational sex is so taboo, it is nearly impossible to have a rational discussion, which is how homosexual men were denied rights for decades before Stonewall, and today the anti-gay forces are still using these canards and fears to chip away at equal rights for LGBT people.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

ABC TV sitcom gay son character by Dan Savage compared to 1970's TV shows that sparked protests

Gay boy bedroom scene ABC 'The Real O'Neals' 3/22/16

PHOTO: The famous Seattle newspaper sex columnist Dan Savage is an "Executive Producer" and the creative inspiration for the new ABC sitcom, "The Real O'Neal's," based on his childhood experiences of growing up in a typical Catholic family and coming out to them as being gay. The above still frame is from a new episode (aired Mar. 22, 2016 ABC TV) that depicts the innocence of a gay teen (right) talking to his straight brother in a stereotypically wholesome, middleclass bedroom located in a typical middle American City. Although the show appears to have been cleaned of overt sexual references to meet broadcast network TV censorship standards, the show's writers have successfully slipped in some gay sex double entendre, such as in a later episode where the boy's strict Catholic grandmother comes to visit and gives a gift of her homemade "pickles, while bragging they are hard, firm and juicy," to which grandson says, "Grandma, you know I love your pickles." Likewise, the above still frame parodies a common gay porno scene enjoyed by gay guys who get turned on by teenaged boy's bare feet. (See post by Michelangelo Signorile, "Martha Plimpton On Playing A Mom Struggling With Her Son's Sexuality, The star's "Real O'Neal's" role is based on Dan Savage's mother." posted March 10, 2016 and David Bauder, "Meet Noah Galvin, The Openly Gay Star Of 'The Real O'Neals' The series is loosely based on the life of Dan Savage," posted Jan. 11, 2016

ABC 'The Real O'Neals' 3/22/16

PHOTO: When the innocent gay teen (Mar. 22, 2016 episode of ABC TV sitcom, "The Real O'Neal's") started to look for love on the internet and to help him pick the "type" he is looking for, he learns about the above gay male stereotypes, "labeled" as being "bears," "otters." and "twinks," etc., which he is told is because "gay's like labels."

Although I appreciated and chuckled during the first few episodes of ABC's new sitcom, "The Real O'Neal's," it has not been good enough for me to continue watching regularly, but I am sure the shows will be very useful to and cherished by many young gay teens.

This show is significant because it represents an amazing, decades-long evolution of how gays are depicted on TV. A famous example, which led to protests, by gay activists, of the ABC TV Network, was when a dramatic TV doctor show depicted the star medical doctor equating pedophilia with homosexuality, which was common misconception at that time. (See "The Outrage (Marcus Welby)," accessed Mar. 24, 2016 - "a 1974 episode of Marcus Welby, M.D., . . . tells the story of a teenage boy who is sexually assaulted by his male teacher. The episode, which originally aired October 8, 1974 . . .") Back then, many also incorrectly believed being molested would make you gay and that gays recruited new members this way.

For some reason, I feel like saying the old Virginia Slims cigarette TV ad slogan that was targeted to appeal to women seeking equality with men, "We've come a long way baby!"

Speaking of gay TV, this year's gay cast member in Season 31, of the MTV "The Real World", is Chris Hall, who brags, with a smile on his face, that his "relationship status" is "single and [unintelligible or censored word that is maybe him saying he is "fuck-able"]." Chris says he is "incredibility curious, not just curious about men or women," and notes how "being pansexual" he was ready for anything. (For this season, see "Real World: Go Big or Go Home," Mar. 17, 2016

According to the MTV website, cast member "Christopher is a Salt Lake City bred Mormon boy turned liberal New York City hipster. His disassociation from the Mormon Church and recent acceptance of his 'pansexuality' have fueled his fight against religious discrimination, made him an advocate for LGBTQ rights, and put him at odds with his conservative family. Chris is on a journey to find his true self and enter a new chapter of life where he refuses to say "no" to anything." (See "Real World: Go Big or Go Home," accessed Mar. 19, 2016 -- Cast member Chris and his casting tape of Chris by MTV Real World producers, plus casting tape: Chris - Video Clip from Real World: Go Big or Go Home Season 31.)

Even though MTV's "The Real world is 31 seasons old, the first "reality TV" show that featured a gay man was the 1973 PBS documentary series "An American Family," which showed a real family and their son Lance Loud (1951-2001) who came out to his family as being gay during the course of the series, which created much controversy. It seems like I watched this show yesterday because it meant so much to me! (See "An American Family," posted accessed Mar. 19, 2916)

Wow, I will say it again, we have come a long way baby!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Internet network research at OSU in 1970's vs. social network research needed today

ARPANET geographic map in June, 1975, showing U.S. connections and satellite links to Hawaii and London, is from a book by Leonard Kleinrock 'Queuing Systems, Vol. II: Computer Applications,' 1976, p. 309

Book jacket showing M.C. Escher drawing of endless staircase for Leonard Kleinrock, 'Queuing Systems, Vol. II: Computer Applications,' 1976, p. 309 PHOTO: an ARPANET geographic map from June, 1975 is shown in the textbook by Leonard Kleinrock, "Queuing Systems, Vol. II: Computer Applications," 1976, p. 309. Both volumes I and II of this book were required texts for a graduate level electrical engineering class that I took at OSU back then. The professor teaching the class had worked with Kleinrock and IBM researchers who developed networking technology that formed the basis for the present day Internet. As part of his research, he planned to put a satellite receiver on the roof of the Oregon State University Dearborn Hall and connect to ARPANET via the Hawaii node. (See ARPANET and previous post OSU Internet research 1975 (9/2/06))

A student newspaper opinion columnist wrote the following:

"I love the Internet. Since the first days of looking forward to America Online login periods at school (because this was the ONLY way we knew how to find Cartoon Network on the web), I continue to make new connections, learn new information on fascinating topics (outside of Wikipedia) and unwind with many forms of entertainment. . . . The Internet as we know it first originated through various projects from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to better exchange information through various network packets . . . What concerns me more than anything in regards to the information superhighway is how we continue to share and discuss legitimate and illegitimate information. Take unmarked satire news sources . ." (Quoted from Sean Bassinger, "Stay Web Savvy," OSU Barometer, Par. 31, 2016, p. 7)

Also, in the same issue, probably in time for Spring Term party season, was a student news article by Sarah Weaver, "Party Culture," OSU Barometer, Par. 31, 2016, p. 1 that said, "Parties of all magnitudes in terms of size and levels of sobriety can be found in Corvallis, from kickbacks in the resident halls, themed fraternity parties, to large scale events like OSU's music festival Dam Jam and large tailgates during football season." The article went on to quote Lt. Cord Wood of the Corvallis Police Department and Oregon State Police Station Commander Eric Judah explaining how "OSP often deals with on-campus situations such as parties in the residence halls, while the CPD deals with anything outside of OSP's on-campus jurisdiction."

These two articles motivated me to submit the following letter to the editor of OSU's student newspaper:

Sean Bassinger's Mar. 31st Barometer opinion column, "Stay Web Savvy," correctly credited the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) as the origins of the internet, but he did not mention the 1970's Oregon State University research project that designed a connection to the related Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET) node in Hawaii via a satellite receiver on top of Dearborn Hall.

The OSU electrical engineering Professor leading this research program also taught a graduate seminar using a 1976 textbook written by his former colleague, Leonard Kleinrock, "Queuing Systems, Vol. II," which included on page 309 a nearly complete map of the entire internet in 1975 consisting of approximately 100 computers.

Back then, even the smartest EECS graduate students struggled to understand the significance of how Kleinrock's theoretical equations statistically predicted the behavior of a digital computer network with variable delays and waiting times (i.e. queuing times) unlike the previous mathematically deterministic networks.

The military funded internet research because they desired communication channels that couldn't be taken out with a single bomb, like you can with a traditional centralized telephone switch.

Today, OSU computer researchers need to address the problems caused by computer speeds increasing from tens of computations per second to trillions, while network speeds have not increased by the same orders of magnitude, commonly called "Moore's law."

Likewise, OSU social science researchers need to better understand the significance of the social networking problem, described by Bassinger as "unmarked satire news sources" being spread, as the truth, more broadly and efficiently due to the internet.

In my personal experience, the stereotypical, socially inept and super-analytical engineers who pioneered computer networks would have never anticipated today's social networking research problems.

(Quoted from Thomas Kraemer, "More studies should address social issues among internet users," Barometer, Apr. 6, 2016, p. 7 posted online as "Letter to the editor: In regards to Sean Bassinger's March 31 column")

(See Google search for Moore's Law and "Moore's law"