Probably the tidiest summary of the topic I've seen. Wild fennel a go-go.
Okay, we can't say the rain forests are regrowing, nor that they aren't being destroyed, but they are being destroyed less quickly than before! Still 17,000 square kilometers per year. Good thing we don't need that forest to stop global warming. Oh, we do?
Rio, city of sex? Perhaps if this City of Sex is built on the Copacabana. Sex pods, artwork, swinger clubs, the Roman Catholic Church. Yup it's all in there.
Business week has a whole batch of odd iPod accessories. Actually, some aren't terribly odd in my opinion.
This priest in Mexico killed and cut up his long term lover. They had been together since he met her at the age of 13. She was murdered after an argument following his Easter Mass. Their 18 month old daughter was not injured.
In Mexico cajeta might mean nougat and be a reasonable name for a candy bar, but in the rest of the Spanish-speaking world it's a common slang term in line with its literal meaning, "little box."
This is a cute little bit from Europe with the first SUV (or any vehicle) to get a zero crash test rating. Chinese SUVs might take a bit to get into the US market I think. Like be sold as Wal-Mart brand trucks with some sort of Congressional Republican "get-away-with-something-stupid" law as cover.
Click through to see the text passages. Wow! Yet another award to dream of...
How wedding rings produce impotence. Ah yes, how the mighty Pravda has fallen.
Appears to be 100% effective, but is already getting tied into conservative identity politics. Might be quite a fight in the states to get this as a normal childhood vaccine. Though I don't know much about the Hep-B vaccination politics, was that contentious? Vaccinating small children against a STD.
There is a three-way wedding. Unfortunately, this is going to be mainly looked at in terms of same-sex marriage in the states. Offer an opinion? Me? The three of them appear to be adults, they should be able to what they want as long as they don't hurt others. Now, on the hurting others front, we'll have to think a bit about the consequences. Insurance and all.
"Masculine overcompensation is the idea that men who are insecure about their masculinity will behave in an extremely masculine way as compensation. I wanted to test this idea and also explore whether overcompensation could help explain some attitudes like support for war and animosity to homosexuals," Willer said. [...] Masculinity-threatened participants also showed more interest in buying an SUV. "There were no increases for other types of cars," Willer said.
Google moon is now available. It's a pretty impressive use of mapping software and a web front-end and a nice tribute to the 20th anniversary of the landing. Also check out this site which also allows you to explore the landing sites. Watch for the lunar rover trails... And don't forget Earth Google as well.
Also on a science subject...there's an attempt at a new version of the periodic table of the elements which looks cool, but isn't obviously useful for anything. Then, thinking about the elements, we also have the amazing flash animation of Tom Lehrer's The Elements and the periodic table of sexual positions.
Three items from the New York Times:
What a surprise. Medieval theocrats.
And the Vatican is angling to return Italy to the dark ages again. What's next, shilling for Hitler, Franco, and Mussolini? Ooops, wrong decade!
Here in the Twin Cities, we've had various Peanuts characters on display around St. Paul. Snoppy, Charlie Brown, Lucy, and did I miss one?
Anyhow, Zurich was going to do the same with a kinda generic bear (unless the bear is deep symbol for numbered bank accounts) with various paint jobs. But, one of the bears was a bit too much. Best part, the "first class service" label on it.
Did Linus have a year of statues as well? Darn it, my memory is fading.
Sending vibrators to Iraq. "For humanitarian purposes." The purple ones, I hear, are especially popular.
Supposedly a craze sweeping England, hook-ups via active bluetooth devices. You'd walk around and your cell/PDA would connect to others. Then you'd decide to have anonymous (well, except for the bluetooth ID codes) sex with them. You may have bought a bluetooth device just to get in on the action as reported in Wired, Reuters, or the BBC. Well, it was a hoax.
On the other hand, flying to Chile last month, my powerbook found two phones and another laptop open via bluetooth during the flight. I was in 1st class though...
Wow! Somehow missed it when it won the Ig Nobel Prize in 2003, but read all about it in the education section of the Guardian.
Make a silly law, and someone will figure out a silly way around it. Still, the novelty of making a strip club into an art class is quite profound. Or something like it.
Taken from a blog, so I'd exercise caution... Ah, heck, it's just funny.
See also his Weird Tokyo Guide. The esperanto shop, noise cds, punk venues, 20000Volts... Man, I miss Tokyo sometimes!
Taken from plastic.com:
Ladies, are you frustrated by your failure to land a man? According to a popular text used in federally funded "abstinence" training programs, the problem might be that you're too uppity:
One book in the "Choosing the Best" series presents a story about a knight who saves a princess from a dragon. The next time the dragon arrives, the princess advises the knight to kill the dragon with a noose, and the following time with poison, both of which work but leave the knight feeling "ashamed." The knight eventually decides to marry a village maiden, but did so "only after making sure she knew nothing about nooses or poison." The curriculum concludes: "Moral of the story: Occasional suggestions and assistance may be alright, [sic] but too much of it will lessen a man's confidence or even turn him away from his princess."
This, and more totally false and unhelpful information, is detailed in a new report (26-page PDF) prepared by Rep. Henry Waxman's office on exactly what US$170 million of federal abstinence education money is paying for. Waxman's staff reviewed the 13 most commonly used curricula in federally funded abstinence programs, and found that all but two contained outright falsehoods, or presented subjective opinions as objective fact. To wit: HIV can be spread via sweat and tears; Half the gay male teenagers in the United States have tested positive for HIV; A 43-day-old fetus is a "thinking person"; Women who have an abortion "are more prone to suicide" and as many as 10 percent of them become sterile; Touching another person's genitals can result in pregnancy. Joe. S. McIlhaney Jr., who runs one of the groups producing these materials, admits a few mistakes but defends the rest. Alma Golden, deputy assistant secretary fin the Department of Health and Human Services, said that Waxman's report does a "disservice to our children."
Every dream turns into something on a T-shirt. - Shriekback
An undated handout photograph shows the Massa Marittima mural in the Italian town Massa Marittima. At first glance the mural looks fairly similar to dozens of other medieval frescoes dotted across Tuscany, but a closer look at the spidery tree which dominates the centre of the painting shows its branches are covered in penises. Until now, it was assumed the phallus tree was a fertility symbol but according to a British-based expert, it is a actually a unique piece of political propaganda, commissioned by one Tuscan faction to sully the reputation of another.
Undressing a woman is risky business according to a British study. Men have such a poor understanding of the mechanics of feminine undergarments that many risk injuring themselves while trying to remove a brassiere, says a new study. The British Journal of Plastic Surgery cites the case of a 27 year-old man who, "at the culmination of a convivial and alcoholic evening with an attractive female companion," twisted his left middle finger in a bra strap. So severe was the injury that the man went to the emergency room, where it was discovered that he had sustained a fractured finger and ligament damage. "This is the type of thing more commonly associated with sport, particularly rock climbing," plastic surgeon Andrew Fleming of London's St. George's Hospital reports. Suverys show that 40 percent of men in their 30s and 40s are equally uncoordinated when grappling with clasps and hooks, and risk similar injiries. Researchers recommend that men take lingerie-removing lessons to prevent accidents.
Sticking with the Brits, two women were killed in London when a bolt of lightning hit the metal underwiring in their bras. (The article didn't note whether that was the same bolt of lightning or not.) On a serious note, there is a link between bra-wearing and breast cancer. A study in 1991 showed that women who never wore a bra had half the risk of breast cancer compared to those who did.
The false consequences of sex: A congressional report criticizes "abstinence-only" programs, finding that most are giving children inaccurate information.
By Gary Younge
Dec. 3, 2004 | The Bush administration is funding sexual health projects that teach children that HIV can be contracted through sweat and tears, that touching genitals can result in pregnancy and that a 43-day-old fetus is a thinking person.
A congressional analysis of more than a dozen federally funded "abstinence-only programs" unveiled a litany of "false, misleading and distorted information" in teaching materials after reviewing curriculums designed to prevent teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
There are more than 100 abstinence programs, involving several million children ages 9 to 18, and running in 25 states since 1999. They are funded by the federal government to the tune of $170 million, twice the amount being spent when George W. Bush first came to power.
The money goes to religious, civic and medical organizations as grants. To qualify, the programs may talk about types of contraception only in terms of their failure rates, not in terms of how to use them or the possible benefits.
The survey was conducted by the staff of Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., a long-standing Democratic critic of the Republican administration's approach to sex education. His team concentrated on the 13 programs that are most widely used, and found that only two of them were accurate. "It is absolutely vital that the health education provided to America's youth be scientifically and medically accurate," Waxman said. "The abstinence-only programs reviewed in this report fail to meet this standard."
Other "facts" include that abortion can lead to sterility and suicide, that half the gay male teenagers in the U.S. have tested positive for HIV and that condoms fail to prevent transmission of HIV in 31 percent of incidents of heterosexual intercourse. The U.S. government's own figures contradict all of these assertions.
A.C. Green's Game Plan -- a program named after a basketball player who said he would not have sex before marriage -- teaches: "The popular claim that condoms help prevent the spread of STDs is not supported by the data."
Waxman told the Washington Post: "I don't think we ought to lie to our children about science. Something is seriously wrong when federal tax dollars are being used to mislead kids about basic health facts."
But government officials said Waxman's report rehashed old anti-abstinence prejudices for political purposes. Alma Golden, the deputy assistant health and human services secretary for population affairs, said it took statements out of context to present programs in the worst possible light. "These issues have been raised before and discredited," Golden said. "One thing is very clear for our children: Abstaining from sex is the most effective means of preventing the sexual transmission of HIV, STDs, and preventing pregnancy."
Waxman also criticized some programs for reinforcing sexist stereotypes to children. One -- Why Know -- says: "Women gauge their happiness and judge their success by their relationships. Men's happiness and success hinge on their accomplishments." Another program, Wait Training, says: "Just as a woman needs to feel a man's devotion to her, a man has a primary need to feel a woman's admiration. To admire a man is to regard him with wonder, delight, and approval. A man feels admired when his unique characteristics and talents happily amaze her."
Interestingly, this is a subject that isn't well represented on the web. Only a handful of sites are out there with many of them using the phrase as a code-phrase for Victorian, well heck, Puritan, sexual mores. Going tag sale (called garage sales, or yard sales outside of New England) hopping as a child, I remember running into at least a few antique bundling boards and beds that would accept them. Prolly these have all disappeared from tag sales now and can only be found in the antique-stores-for-the-terminally-hip. Anyhow, if you don't know about bundling, and bundling boards, let me enlighten you.
Back in the day (think colonial times through 1900 plus add in certain Pennsylvania and Ohio modern day low-tech religious groups) beds were expensive and guest beds an unlikely indulgence. To keep unmarried folks of the opposite gender from exploring their human natures while sharing a precious resource (the bed, you with your mind in the gutter), a bundling board could be installed between the partners-denied. As an added complication, there was an entire form of courtship in which the man and woman would spend nights (or at least evenings) together, in bed, under the covers, together, but separated by a healthy slab of dimensional lumber. An article on this practice, within the Pennsylvania Dutch, illustrates the many aspects of bundling. And mentions bundling bags as well as boards. Some even think of it as "racy."
Hmmm...the somewhat modern equivalent was in an old movie I remember seeing. I want to say Cary Grant, but I'm not 100% sure. He's traveling around with this woman that he isn't married to. Quelle horror! They share a hotel room each night with a sheet up between them as a divider. In the end, they marry and the sheet comes down. What the heck movie was this? Quick google searches have been unsuccessful...
Appended: "It happened one night" with Clark Gable, not Cary Grant. Oops! According to imdb.com, "While shooting the scene where he undresses, Clark Gable had trouble removing his undershirt while keeping his humorous flow going and took too long. As a result the undershirt was abandoned altogether. It then became cool to not wear an undershirt which resulted in a large drop in undershirt sales around the country. In response, underwear manufacturers tried to sue Columbia."