The extinct "little people" (about 3 feet tall) from the island of Flores (see my earlier entry) have had their smaller brains analyzed against their skills — and the result has upset a central concept — that brain size equals intelligence. It turns out they were pretty damn smart, and though their brains were 1/3 the size of ours they seemed to have an awful lot figured out.
The scientist claims that their brains may have been "wired" differently, and that using different pathways and connection they could cover most of what we think of as intelligence. It's all about the connections, the network, and not about how much gray matter or anything else there is.
Seems this probably is a metaphor that be applied elsewhere.
The U.S. has tried to block — by demanding a new added amendment — a declaration of women's rights due to be released on the eve of the International Day of Women's Rights (next week.) (So much for all that freedom rhetoric.) The declaration is 10 years in the making, being left over from the Beijing conference of women's rights way back then.
The United States proposed adding wording noting that the declaration created neither supports "any new international human rights" nor "the right to abortion."
The American effort produced objections from every regional group at the conference, which had argued for the statement's approval without amendments. After days of lobbying, the Bush administration was virtually alone in pressing the issue, and the many advocacy groups in attendance accused the United States of injecting national political views into an international forum.
On a closely related subject, here is Mukhtar Mai:
A woman who was gang raped at the ORDERS of the local village council in Pakistan. It was a revenge/justice rape... but I think not against her, but against her husband. Her eye for an eye, sort of thing. The revenge motive turned out to be partly in error.
This happened some years ago, she's been founding schools and suffering death threats.