Editor’s note: We don’t publish many anonymous pieces on Forbes.com, but this compelling first-person account of sexism in the startup world merits an exception. I met the author several months ago and was floored by the stories she had to tell about her dealings with mostly male investors. Like many men (as she writes), I knew women in tech faced a certain degree of chauvinism and harassment, but I’d had no idea it was so barefaced and routine, in an industry that thinks of itself as egalitarian and forward-looking. After much persuading, she agreed to write about her experiences but asked that I omit her name, for several reasons. First (again, as she writes), the startup community is a small one, and founders rely heavily on social capital and goodwill to navigate it. Speaking up carries big risks. But fear of retribution wasn’t her only concern. While putting an individual human face on an issue, it can also be a way for critics to short circuit the discussion by engaging in ad hominem attacks. ”I don’t want it to be about me, but about the issue at hand,” the author says. “When we get into a witch hunt around particular personalities, we lose sight of the problem we should be tackling.”
Silicon Valley has become one of the most ageist places in America. Tech luminaries who otherwise pride themselves on their dedication to meritocracy don’t think twice about deriding the not-actually-old. “Young people are just smarter,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told an audience at Stanford back in 2007. As I write, the website of ServiceNow, a large Santa Clara–based I.T. services company, features the following advisory in large letters atop its “careers” page: “We Want People Who Have Their Best Work Ahead of Them, Not Behind Them.” And that’s just what gets said in public. An engineer in his forties recently told me about meeting a tech CEO who was trying to acquire his company. “You must be the token graybeard,” said the CEO, who was in his late twenties or early thirties. “I looked at him and said, ‘No, I’m the token grown-up.’ ”
A natural occurence of the rare and mysterious weather phenomenon known as ball lightning has been captured on video by researchers in China. [more inside]
Did you know that there's an art museum on the moon? A tiny, tiny one. The Moon Museum features works by Forrest "Frosty" Myers (the instigator), Robert Rauschenberg, Claes Oldenburg, Andy Warhol, David Novros, and John Chamberlain, inscribed on a little chip of silicon and surreptitiously transported to the moon's surface on the Apollo 12 mission. But of course there's a mystery, in this big of a secret: who is John F., the engineer at least partially responsible for smuggling the chip onboard the lunar lander? Related: other stuff people have left on the Moon (!)
Is Silicon Valley a systemic risk? Treasury decides to treat venture capitalists like hedge funds The Obama administration wants to regulate venture capital firms to prevent systemic risks. Silicon Valley residents are scratching their heads and asking: What risks? The rest of us should ask why Washington is targeting a jewel of the American economy that had nothing to do with the housing bubble.
Any idiot can tattoo a busty woman on his flesh. It takes committment to give your tattoo silicon implants.
Make Me Heal is an online community serving the needs of America's vast cosmetic surgery audience, with tips & tricks on what works best to heal scarring, etc, including an encyclopedia of terms. To promote their vision of "Celebrating Natural Beauty With Enhancement" they're hosting the first ever Plastic Surgery Beauty Enhancement Awards, with categories like Best Breast Augmentation (NSFW) and Best Male Liposuction." Contestants must submit before, during & after shots of the procedure, and site visitors can vote on their favorites.
Butt implants For the woman who asks "do these jeans make my ass look skinny?" As disconcerting as retouching in silicon can be, retouching with silicone is moreso. Or if you're nostalgic for old-fashioned airbrushing, but want something more direct, you can just airbrush yourself.
Buffalo chips and so much more! Welcome to the Silicon Zoo, a place where cheetahs run alongside guitar-strumming T. Rexes, while The Simpson's Milhouse looks on with a grin. Brought to you courtesy of those wacky scientific folk at Florida State University. [More]
Perdue to become the next Intel? According to today's Washington Post, researches at the University of Delaware have filed a patent to improve microchip performance by replacing silicon with a compound made from chicken feathers. Test show that chicken feather chips are twice as fast as silicon chips. If this works, be on the lookout for chicken farm IPOs.