I don’t know how this happened, but the Republicans think I’m one of them. I’ve received a few “push” surveys from them since Obama became president, and I thought I’d share one. I know that I get this sort of thing from other parties and causes, but it was funnier coming from the other side.
Last week’s Peace Prize explained. Now can we just get behind him and quit acting like petulant children ?
I’m not someone who gives penises much thought, but I know others do, so I wanted to pass on “Secrets of the Phallus” by Dr. Jesse Bering. Please don’t be afraid to read a Scientific American article. I know some of them are only barely comprehensible if you can get by with reading the captions on the illustrations, but this one isn’t like that.
If one were to examine the penis objectively—please don’t do this in a public place or without the other person’s permission—and compare the shape of this organ to the same organ in other species, they’d notice the following uniquely human characteristics. First, despite variation in size between individuals, the erect human penis is especially large compared to that of other primates, measuring on average between five and six inches in length and averaging about five inches in circumference. (Often in this column I’ll relate the science at hand to my own experiences, but perhaps this particular piece is best written without my normally generous use of anecdotes.) Even the most well-endowed chimpanzee, the species that is our closest living relative, doesn’t come anywhere near this. Rather, even after correcting for overall mass and body size, their penises are about half the size of human penises in both length and circumference. I’m afraid that I’m a more reliable source on this than most. Having spent the first five years of my academic life studying great ape social cognition, I’ve seen more simian penises than I care to mention. I once spent a summer with a 450-pound silverback gorilla that was hung like a wasp (great guy, though) and baby-sat a lascivious young orangutan that liked to insert his penis in just about anything with a hole, which unfortunately one day included my ear.
The article describes a research project showing that the human male penis is long in the shaft and fat on the end because it is designed to “aid and abet the displacement of semen left by other males as a means of maximizing the likelihood of paternity.”
(The comments on this story are excellent as well.)
When I read a long article about the penis, naturally I wonder about the clitoris. How do we explain the clitoris and its deep and complex structures?
And also, is there an evolutionary explanation that for many women, deep thrusting is not what they favor, and not what gives orgasm? I know, some women orgasm that way, but not all of them, and even those women orgasm from what most women favor, which is stimulation of the clitoris, either from the outside or the inside. If evolution favored long, fat male penises that sucked out the ejaculate of the men who had come before them, why did natural selection favor women who are rewarded with activity at the entrance of the vagina? Maybe women who experienced pleasure in sex reproduced as successfully as the men with longer and fatter penises? Competing strategies?
And anyway, how did an organ which has no purpose but pleasure evolve? I know Stephen Jay Gould wrote that it’s just a penile analogue without cost, like tits on a man, but I’d love to find a paper about the evolution of the clitoris.
I’ve heard versions of this speech from many gay inspirational speechmakers, but none is as funny as this one.
Take a look at the picture below, then walk across the room and look at it again. To learn what is going on, read Wired
(Wouldn’t it be cool to learn to paint images like this?)
God, there is so much in the news about financial crises, I wish that Brittany were getting married again. I recently listened to two radio programs, and read one article in Harpers and now I understand everything. The article in Harpers isn’t on-line except to subscribers, but lucky for us, Jay Leno’s producers obviously read the article too. When Obama appeared on The Tonight Show this week, the key points of the Harpers article are the obvious framework for Leno’s comments. That’s Entertainment!
In the April Harpers (on newstands now!), illustrated by very nice collages, you can find, “Infinite Debt: How unlimited interest rates destroyed the economy, by Thomas Geoghegan. Yes, sorry, you have to subscribe to read it. I think it is worth the entire subscription price just for this one article, but about once a year since 1978 I feel that way and that’s why I still pay for it.
They call this extreme sheepherding, but it looks like an example of how groups with competency and vision create beauty that could not be by anyone alone. Good technology is essential too.
A friend of mine has a cold, and I suggested that she go out and buy a vaporizer. I have cured many colds by staying in bed under a mountain of blankets, hanging over the side with a towel funneling the hot steam into my sinuses for hours. I know you’re not supposed to do it that way, but that’s just the risk management lawyers talking.
I thought I’d email her a photograph of these cold-curing appliances, so I googled “vaporizer” and came up with nothing but devices for smoking pot. So I tried adding negative search terms: -marijuana… -smoke … -cannabis… -volcano -herbal… -pyramid…. but I still couldn’t find one photo on the internet of a vaporizer like the kind you allow a child to sit in front of. And this is how language changes.
In related news, Tom Ammiano introduced a marijuana decriminalization bill to the Assembly today. In addition for all the usual arguments for decriminalization, he wants to legalize it so that we can tax it. $1 billion more tax dollars for California. Maybe this will work this time. Fresno Bee editorial writer Dan Walters, who I remember as being a pretty conservative guy, supports the bill. The Chron and Merc haven’t published any stories on it yet.
And to think what it would do for tourism! The Santa Cruz chamber should really jump on this. If we could get gay marriage, and taxed, legal pot in California, maybe we could fund education like we did when we taxed property.