Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Sarah DiMuro, and other sluts

Ok, sometimes, you think to yourself, this world is in really bad shape and then you realize, you are really out of touch -- it is much worse.

Ok, the classic guide to manners in Europe (because the have and use them over then, at least officially) Debrett's, is updating its book to include such things as adultery, toplessness and how to properly conduct a one night stand.

On one night stands, "Avoid dark-alley gropery and unladylike fumbling in the back of a cab," and "Discuss the necessaries to avoid planting any love children or disease, and you're away."

But that is not all in the world of news, there is Sarah DiMuro.

Sarah is a not unattractive girl, who has had a hard time getting dates. Partly the problem is that she has attended a number of all-girl educational institutions. She is thus far a virgin, but she has decided it is long enough. She is about to turn 30, and is advertising in Jane Magazine for a one-night so she be leave the ranks of the virgins. It is a publicity stunt by Jane's to be sure. But to see the general attitude in the world that virginity is a terrible thing and not mere to be treated light, but to be despised.

So she is currently scouting for someone to lose it with and publishing it to the national media. A virgin prostitute, how rare is that?

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Even more strange than fiction

ok, it looks like things have changed since I started this over a year ago. There is now a site called Stranger than Fiction : I can't tell you yet if it is any good.

But there is a interesting movie by the same title that is due out soon. Official site and the always highly esteemed, IMDB. Boring guy is having his life written by a famous author. Problem - she is writting a murder novel. I am not a big fan of Will Farrell, but this looks like a part he was made for. But then, I never enjoyed the actor who plays Donkey in Shrek, until I saw Shrek. Hopefully, it won't be too full of sex and obscentiy.


I have rather suspected for a long time, that a persons personality had a lot to do with the kind of dreams they have. For instance, my daughters occasionally have nightmares, but I never have. Well, this study is all the more interesting because it give highly policitally polarized ways to insult each other. Which of course, is all they need.

It kind of makes we want to be a liberal.

From the Ottawa Citizen:

Chris Lackner, The Ottawa Citizen

Published: Wednesday, September 27, 2006

If you've recently dreamed about sex with a stranger, flying or the dead coming back to life, chances are you're probably a liberal instead of a conservative.

A dream researcher from John F. Kennedy University in California has discovered fundamental differences between the dream worlds of people on the ideological left and the ideological right.

Among his findings, Kelly Bulkeley discovered that liberals are more restless sleepers and have a higher number of bizarre, surreal dreams -- including fantasy settings and a wide variety of sexual encounters. Conservatives' dreams were, on average, far more mundane and focused on realistic people, situations and settings.

"Conservatives seem to have more of a focus on the here and now and the material world whereas liberals, in contrast, seem to have a much wider sphere of imaginative activity," he said.

"They don't just dream about what is, but what could be or what they wish could be," Mr. Bulkeley said.

His research is being published in an upcoming issue of Dreams, a journal published by the American Psychological Association.

Out of the 134 liberals who participated in the study, 91 per cent said they recently dreamed about sex; only 76 per cent of 100 conservative subjects admitted the same.

But Mr. Bulkeley said the two political stripes showed very different tastes in dream partners.

Liberals were far more likely to have sexual dreams about strangers and a variety of partners, while liberal women showed a greater tendency towards same-sex fantasies than their conservative counterparts (24 versus four per cent).

"Especially for liberal women, there was a far greater variety in sexual partners and incidents of homosexuality," Mr. Bulkeley said. "Liberals tended to show a greater willingness to experiment with different things."

Conservatives, by comparison, were far more likely to report having sexual dreams about their spouse or current partner.

While left-wingers might be more adventurous in the subconscious bedroom, they're also more likely to wake up in a cold sweat.

Liberals showed slightly higher levels of nightmares than conservatives -- a statistic at odds with a similar dream study Mr. Bulkeley conducted in the late 1990s.

He said the ideology of the United States' governing party may affect the dream patterns of Republicans and Democrats.

While conservatives deplored former president Bill Clinton's reign in the 1990s, liberals are currently both furious and fearful of the Bush administration, he said.

"With the change from the Clinton to the Bush administrations, there are waking world reasons for liberals to be more concerned and stressed, and conservatives to be less concerned," Mr. Bulkeley said.

"Dreams are like political cartoons of the mind -- mental op-ed columns. Sometimes dreams reflect internal commentaries on the state of things."

The study includes some of the dreams recounted by liberals, such as the following nightmare: "I was at a presidential rally where George W. Bush was speaking. There was so much red, white and blue. Bush speaks: 'There are those who say that we are giving up our civil liberties. But I say, we should be proud to sacrifice our freedoms for America!' The crowd went wild, clapping, cheering and waving flags. I awoke in a cold sweat."

Not surprisingly, Republicans had much more benign dreams about their commander-in-chief: "I was friends with George W. Bush and we were working together on his ranch. I was happy to be there."

Mr. Bulkeley said that the most surprising result in his study is that conservatives showed a higher tendency for lucid dreaming -- being aware they were asleep. Conservatives largely reported using their "dream awareness" to wake themselves up from uncomfortable situations and nightmares, he said.

Overall, conservative males appear to sleep the most soundly and remember the fewest dreams, while liberal women are the most restless sleepers and fantastical dreamers.

"While some of my colleagues think my research reinforces the stereotype of repressed, uptight conservatives, it also shows that many liberals may he hanging on the edge of mental well-being," Mr. Bulkeley said. "There may be a lot of hidden distress and unpleasantness in the liberal mind."

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Demanding rights for great apes

This is sad - really sad. Sad in the pathetic, lame sense of the word. Do we really need this? And do we need to create protections for animals that (with all due respect), we do not extend to unborn children? This is just a bit freaky.

Demanding rights for great apes - Yahoo! News: "MADRID (Reuters) - Spain's parliament is to declare support for rights to life and freedom for great apes on Wednesday, apparently the first time any national legislature will have recognized such rights for non-humans.

Parliament is to ask the government to adhere to the Great Ape Project, which would mean recognizing that our closest genetic relatives should be part of a 'community of equals' with humans, supporters of the resolution said.

The move in a country better known for bull-fighting would follow a string of social reforms which have converted Spain from one of Europe's most conservative nations into a liberal trailblazer.

Backers of the resolution expect support from the Socialist Party of Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, whose government has legalized gay marriage and reduced the influence of the Catholic Church in education.

'With this, Spain will make itself a world leader in protection of the great apes,' said Pedro Pozas, general secretary of the Great Ape Project's Spanish branch.

The resolution, presented by a Green Party parliamentarian, prompted criticism and some ridicule at first.

Spanish media quoted the Catholic Archbishop of Pamplona as saying it was ludicrous to grant apes rights not enjoyed by unborn children, in a reference to Spanish abortion laws.

But a spokesman for Archbishop Fernando Sebastian said he had been taken out of context and now supported the resolution.

"We are in favor of defending animals, but people come first," Father Santos Villanueva told Reuters.

Philosophers Peter Singer and Paola Cavalieri founded the Great Ape Project in 1993, arguing apes were so close to humans they deserved rights to life, freedom and not to be tortured.

"When a loved one dies, they grieve for a long time. They can solve complex puzzles that stump most two-year-old humans," said Singer.

The Spanish move could set a precedent for greater legal protection for other animals, including elephants, whales and dolphins, said Paul Waldau, director of the Center for Animals and Public Policy at Tufts University.

"We were born into a society where humans alone are the sole focus, and we begin to expand to the non-human great apes. It isn't easy for us to see how far that expansion will go, but it's very clear we need to expand beyond humans," Waldau said.

There are only a few hundred apes in Spain, mainly chimpanzees. But the resolution would also push the government to help endangered populations in Africa and Asia, said Pozas, speaking to Reuters at a sanctuary outside Madrid sheltering half a dozen chimpanzees rescued from abuse.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

New Scientist News - Kyoto promises are nothing but hot air

New Scientist News - Kyoto promises are nothing but hot air: "Under Kyoto, each government calculates how much carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide its country emits by adding together estimated emissions from individual sources. These so-called 'bottom-up' estimates have long been accepted by atmospheric scientists, even though they have never been independently audited.

Now two teams that have monitored concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere say they have convincing evidence that the figures reported by many countries are wrong, especially for methane. Among the worst offenders are the UK, which may be emitting 92 per cent more methane than it declares under the Kyoto protocol, and France, which may be emitting 47 per cent more."

Worth noting, especially as methane is 100 times more powerful greenhouse gas than CO2. The whole thing looks like politics and business as usual - but not what the environmental think or wish it was.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The Weaker Sex

It is gratifying to see balanced sexism, instead of the white-man guilt trip that is so prevalent.

From the New York Times, Op-Ed Contributor

The Weaker Sex

Published: June 17, 2006

WHEN I say I study gender-specific medicine, most people assume I mean women's health. Patients ask me, "Do you take care of men too?"

I may be partly to blame for the confusion: in the years since the revolutionary 1985 report on women's health from the United States Public Health Service, I — along with many of my colleagues — have tried to atone for the fact that for so long the majority of diseases that afflicted both genders were studied exclusively in men.

Over the past two decades, we've radically revised how we conduct medical research and take care of our female patients. And we've made valuable discoveries about how gender helps determine vulnerability to illness and, ultimately, the timing and causes of death. But I now believe that we doctors and researchers may have focused too much on women.

What emerges when one studies male biology in a truly evenhanded way is the realization that from the moment of conception on, men are less likely to survive than women. It's not just that men take on greater risks and pursue more hazardous vocations than women. There are poorly understood — and underappreciated — vulnerabilities inherent in men's genetic and hormonal makeup. This Father's Day, we need to rededicate ourselves to deepening our knowledge of male physiology.

Men's troubles begin during the earliest days in the womb. Even though there are more male than female embryos, there are more miscarriages of male fetuses. Industrial countries are also witnessing a decline in male to female birth ratios, and we don't know why.

Some scientists have argued that the probability of a male child declines as parents (especially fathers) age. Still others have cited the prevalence of pesticides, which produce more birth defects in male children.

Even when a boy manages to be born, he's still behind the survival eight ball: he is three to four times more likely than girls to have developmental disorders like autism and dyslexia; girls learn language earlier, develop richer vocabularies and even hear better than boys. Girls demonstrate insight and judgment earlier in adolescence than boys, who are more impulsive and take more risks than their sisters. Teenage boys are more likely to commit suicide than girls and are more likely to die violent deaths before adulthood.

As adults, too, men die earlier than women. Twice as many men as women die of coronary artery disease, which manifests itself a decade earlier in men than women; when it comes to cancer, the news for men is almost as bad. Women also have more vigorous immune systems than men: of the 10 most common infections, men are more likely to have serious encounters with seven of them.

While depression is said to be twice as frequent in women as in men, I'm convinced that the diagnosis is just made more frequently in women, who show a greater willingness to discuss their symptoms and to ask for help when in distress. Once, at a dinner party, I asked a group of men whether they believed men were depressed as often as women, but were simply conditioned to be silent in the face of discomfort, sadness or fear. "Of course!" replied one man. "Why do you think we die sooner?"

Considering the relative fragility of men, it's clearly counterintuitive for us to urge them, from boyhood on, to cope bravely with adversity, to ignore discomfort, to persevere in spite of pain and to accept without question the most dangerous jobs and tasks we have to offer. Perhaps the reason many societies offer boys nutritional, educational and vocational advantages over girls is not because of chauvinism — it's because we're trying to ensure their survival.

It's possible, too, that we've simply been sexist. We've complained bitterly that until recently women's health was restricted to keeping breasts and reproductive organs optimally functional, reflecting the view that what made women valuable was their ability to conceive and bear children. But aren't we doing the same thing with men? Read the questions posed on the cover of men's magazines: how robust is your sexuality? How well-developed are your abs? The only malignancy I hear discussed with men is prostate cancer.

It's time to focus on the unique problems of men just the way we have learned to do with women. In 2004, the National Institutes of Health spent twice as much on studies done only on women as only on men. We are not devoting nearly enough money to men's health; worse yet, we may be spending those insufficient funds to answer exactly the wrong questions.

The National Institutes of Health should therefore convene a consensus conference to identify the most important threats to men's well-being and longevity and issue a request for research proposals to address them. Would an estrogen-like molecule postpone the onset of coronary artery disease in susceptible males? Are there ways to strengthen the male immune system?

Thinking about how we might correct the comparative vulnerability of men instead of concentrating on how we have historically neglected women's biology will doubtless uncover new ways to improve men's health — and ultimately, every human's ability to survive.

Marianne J. Legato, the director of the Partnership for Women's Health at Columbia, is the author of "Why Men Never Remember and Women Never Forget."

Friday, May 19, 2006

Thursday, May 11, 2006

"H-Prize" Announced

I could not bear to let this comment go unpublished. I noticed this on Slashdot by a user named Tx, and it summed up many of my own thoughts about the insuficiencies of public transportation. I rather suspect most people advocating a major emphasis on public transportation are those who already live in cities.

"H-Prize" Announced: "I have to disagree about public transport. Here in the UK, we already have massive taxation on fuel. Tony Blair's government came in with grand plans to channel funds into the public transport infrastructure, and vastly increase the number of people using it. The plan was an utter failure, and was abandoned after a several years. (OK, so we're not talking *free* public transport, but affordable, and as far as free goes, I think you need to do some math on that).

Why did it fail? There are areas where public transport is convenient - intra-urban commuters primarily - but in most such cases the public transport system is already there and utilized almost as heavily as it can be. Meanwhile for everyone else - those commuting between suburbs/outlying areas and cities - in many cases there is just no way public transport can be made attractive. For example at my previous job, I had an easy 30 minute commute by car. Public transport took 90 minutes, and cost three times as much. You couldn't really improve that much, you can only have so many stations, and you can only run your busses and trains so often. Even if you made it free, the extra hour makes it unviable. Not to talk of losing the ability to stop of at a shopping center on the way home, or run errands in my lunch break.

Since the USA has more of a car culture than the UK, I'm sure there are improvements to be made, but it is fantasy to believe that public transport is the transportation panacea that some make it out to be. Public transport has it's place, but the convenience and freedom that comes with personal transportation is not something many people want to part with, and nor should they in my opinion." emphasis added

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Taking Evolution... Seriously

I have been on a kick to understand the Creation lately, and so I have been studying Evolution quite a bit. Hitherto, I had avoided it. Not because of heavy theological leanings mostly, but because biology was one of those branches of science I just did not care for. Too many darned exceptions. Well, as I studied it, I came to the conclusion it must have happened.

That in itself, is quite unremarkable for most people, and unworthy of even my blog-space. But the idea that came after it is much more interesting. Ok, a few facts to get us started.

First, evolution tends to happen in great bursts, especially after massive extinctions. This is what is called a punctured equilibrium. It is in many ways, not unlike the huge number of internet startups in the beginning of the internet revolution. In the end, relatively few survived. Those that survived, did so because they were the best adapted to the new environment. This included such beheamoths as Yahoo, Google, Ebay, and Amazon.

Now, I am no biologist, but I think we have a good theory here that we are not experimenting with sufficiently. Yes, I am proposing experimental evolution. We need to figure out how to artificially "puncture the equilibrium" and see what new biodiversity arises.

There are examples of this happening actually, to a very limited degree. But I think we need to seriously make an effort to make this an experimental science, and not just theoretical.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Mark of the Beasts

It seems that those interested in red tape and control have set up the agriculture version of what I can only call, "the mark of the beast", or National Animal Identification System (NAIS). Everything must be reported within 24 hours, every birth, death, movement, etc. This will cost producers a lot of money and time, but the powers that be continue to push it. However, this has nothing to do with livestock safety and everything to do with international treaties. Agweekly has some articles on it, such as this one, however I could not find the one about it drawing opposition, online.

Whatever you think of this needless redtape, you have to admit it would not take much for it to be made into a mark for man.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Ok, I am back from the dead, but probably only for this. And what a this it is.

It appears we may have an honest-to-goodness detection of a gravito-electric feild. And the fact that this comes from the ESA, gives it a lot of credibility in my opinion.