30th September 2015 Written by Hannah G Film & Photography

Streets of Sydney AKA The Trigger for My Existential Crisis

I think it might be time to re-evaluate my life choices… the deeper I dive into More Chillis take on Sydney’s suburban stereotypes in Streets of Sydney, the more I fear that I fit the mould of a ‘fart sniffing, lactose intolerant inner city blogger’. Fuck, now I’m definitely reconsidering buying into Yeezy Season 2

Streets of Sydney is a brand new ‘mockumentary’ web series dedicated to those most magical creatures… Sydneysiders. The eight part web series, launching today, takes you on a journey across this special city to meet all the locals; from Chase Burns a Fast & Furious loving ‘rev-head’ from the Western suburbs to Prudence Wright-Way, the supremely wealthy North Shore matriarch. More Chillis hits the nail on the head… and cuts a little close to the bone. You’d be hard pressed not to see a little of yourself in their disturbingly accurate satire.

I can’t stop cringing, I think I might give up my morning ‘decaf soy latte with half soy milk half boiling water’ just to save face. Ugh.

You can learn more about Streets of Sydney here or give them a little like right here.

30th June 2014 Written by Jasmine S. Education

Proving Stereotypes Right: Why Asians Are So Good at Math

It’s a stereotype that Asians are bad drivers, submissive, and extremely smart. There has been no scientific evidence to support the first two but lo and behold, the latter stereotype has been proven correct. It’s simply a matter of understanding linguistic differences. 

Read this number aloud to yourself: 4,8,5,3,9,7,6. Look away for twenty seconds, repeat that sequence in your head and then say them aloud again. For English-speakers, you would have a 50% chance of getting them right, but those who speak Mandarin would get it right almost every time. Why? Because a string of numbers only register in your mind for 2 seconds, and by counting in Mandarin, it allows those numbers to fit into that 2-second span. In English, numbers like four or seven require more effort and time to say than the Mandarin equivalent of si and qi

Number-naming systems also differ greatly between English and many Asian languages. Instead of using one-teen, two-teen, three-teen, English uses eleven, twelve, thirteen; putting the decade last. However, after twenty, English uses the decades first, such twenty-one, twenty-two. It’s quite inconsistent. However in China, Korea, and Japan and several other Asian countries, the structure is much simpler. For instance, in China, eleven is ten one, twelve is ten two, twenty-one is two-ten-one, thirty-five is three-ten-five and so on. Due to the ease of counting in Mandarin, the average four year-old Chinese would be able to count to 40, while the average English-speaking child at that age could only count up to 15. 

Now try simple addition. To ask a child what is thirty-seven plus twenty-two, they would have to first convert the words into numbers and only then would they be able to do the math. Ask an Asian child to calculate three-ten-seven and two-ten-two and the equation is ready for them to solve. 

“I think that it makes the whole attitude toward math different. Instead of being a rote learning thing, there’s a pattern I can figure out. There is an expectation that I can do this. There is an expectation that it’s sensible. For fractions, we say three fifths. The Chinese is literally, ‘out of five parts, take three.’ That’s telling you conceptually what a fraction is. It’s differentiating the denominator and the numerator,” says Karen Fuson, a Northwestern University psychologist. 

So it’s not that Asians are all good at math, it’s just that their language gives them an advantage. Perhaps if my school taught math classes in Mandarin, I wouldn’t have nearly failed pre-calculus. 

12th March 2014 Written by Yael Brender Dangerous Ideas

Do You Know Your Pornstars?

Funnily enough, porn stars don’t really want to be used for research, but they are the subject of hot debate. Blogger Jon Millward spent six months analysing the demographics of ten thousand porn stars to debunk some of the most popular myths. His research, unsurprisingly, went viral.

Millward’s motivation was to compare the stereotypes to the average – with some surprising results. The female porn star stereotype is blonde with a huge bust, but the average porn star is actually a brunette B-cup. Less than thirty-two per cent of porn stars have blonde hair. 

Other stereotypes have also been proven false; porn stars are no more likely to report being sexually abused than the national average. They are also no more likely to take drugs. They are however more likely to be bisexual. It is unclear if their bisexuality preceded their career or if it’s a result of it.

However, there are unanswered questions. Rates of sexually transmitted disease has not be ascertained - poignant because of a law passed recently in Los Angeles requiring all adult male performers to wear condoms.

Furthermore, subsidy is not readily available. James Griffith, one of few psychologists who have attempted to delve into the subject, did so without the benefit of funding.

Griffith and Millward are both interested in the mental and physical health of performers, but agree that more research is needed. The biggest barrier to research is access.

The research has not been peer reviewed, so scientists are approaching it with caution. However, because academic research in pornography is lacking, Millward is planning make his research methods publicly accessible. 

See more of Millward’s surprising findings here