2014's fast food atrocities
Burger King's black cheeseburger: Made with squid ink and bamboo charcoal, arguably a symbol of meat's destructive effect on the planet. Only available in Japan.
Comments about men and women’s innate ability to do math and science may have helped topple a Harvard president. Now comes a report out of England that shows the sexes differ in what kind of science they prefer to study. The Independent reported yesterday that a survey of 1,200 British 15-year-olds revealed that boys preferred learning about what biological and chemical weapons do to the human body and how meteors cause disasters while girls wanted to know about the meaning of dreams, treating cancer or physical fitness. Both sexes, however, agreed on what they least wanted to study — modern farming methods and “famous scientists and their lives.”
According to the report from the Center for Studies in Science and Mathematics Education at the University of Leeds, “the responses of the boys reflect strong interest in destructive technologies and events.” (Other winners were how the atom bomb functions and “brutal, threatening and dangerous animals.”) But boys also showed a more genteel side by being curious about how it feels to be weightless in space and how computers work.
Girls, on the other hand, wanted to learn about their own bodies, such as the effects of alcohol and eating disorders, how to protect oneself from sexually transmitted diseases and the “biological and human aspects of abortion.”
The study aimed to identify ways to make science more popular in response to declining interest in the subject. So now the researchers, who called the “persistence of gender differentials” in what students want to study “disappointing,” are nonetheless calling for curriculum planners to draft separate syllabuses for girls and boys.
One can’t help wondering whether the answers really reflect students’ interests or whether they felt social pressure to answer a certain way. I can just imagine a bunch of 15-year-old boys guffawing Beavis-and-Butt-Head style (albeit with a British accent) about how cool it would be to learn about blowing stuff up. And any girl who admitted she was really curious about what lightning does to the human body might be labeled as freaky.
Men and women — hell, everyone — differ in their interests. But should we overhaul curricula — and risk giving one side an inferior education — just to pander to them? In high school, I for one would rather have taken classes that allowed me to write angst-ridden poetry or discuss pop psychology. But I’m glad someone made me go to chemistry, where strangely enough, I did enjoy blowing things up. And no girl should be denied that opportunity.
Sarah Elizabeth Richards is a journalist based in New York. She can be reached at email@example.com.More Sarah Elizabeth Richards.
Domino's Specialty Chicken: It's like regular pizza, except instead of a crust, there's fried chicken. The company's marketing officer calls it "one of the most creative, innovative menu items we have ever had” -- brain power put to good use.
KFC'S ZINGER DOUBLE DOWN KING: A sandwich made by adding a burger patty to the infamous chicken-instead-of-buns creation can only be described using all caps. NO BUN ALL MEAT. Only available in South Korea.
Taco Bell's Waffle Taco: It took two years for Taco Bell to develop this waffle folded in the shape of a taco, the stand-out star of its new breakfast menu.
Krispy Kreme Triple Cheeseburger: Only attendees at the San Diego County Fair were given the opportunity to taste the official version of this donut-hamburger-heart attack combo. The rest of America has reasonable odds of not dropping dead tomorrow.
Taco Bell's Quesarito: A burrito wrapped in a quesadilla inside an enigma. Quarantined to one store in Oklahoma City.