Sometimes the headlines just write themselves: "Premier Inn guest hurled racist abuse with fire extinguisher hose up his bottom" being a case in point. The sordid tale involves Joseph Small of Sheffield, who checked into a Premier Inn in London while in town to buy a used car. A clerk saw him naked in a hotel corridor on the CCTV camera; when he went to investigate, he found Small holding a fire-extinguisher, whose hose Small then stuck up his bum, while fondling himself and shouting "This country has been taken over by al-Qaeda – go back to Pakistan" at the clerk. The clerk is of Bangladeshi origin. Mr Small later urinated on the lobby carpet while shouting "I'm from Sheffield!"
In a long and moving account of an annus horribilis to rival the worst of them, Charlotte Laws explains how she waged war on Hunter Moore, the founder of the defunct "revenge-porn" site Is Anyone Up? Laws became involved when her daughter's email was hacked and a photo that revealed her breast ended up on Moore's site. Laws is at pains to explain that a very large slice of "revenge porn" does not originate with bitter ex-boyfriends. A large proportion of the material is "frankensteined" porn in which a woman's face is shooped onto the naked body of a porn star, and another slice comes from hacked personal accounts, like Laws's daughter's.
Laws braved brutal harassment and death threats as she painstakingly built a network of Moore's victims, who attacked him online -- watching for him to resurface on Facebook, where he'd been banned, waiting until he'd built a thousand followers, then getting him kicked off; complaining to his service providers, and aiding victims in using takedown notices to get their photos removed -- and offline. Laws chased law enforcement agencies at the local and national level, doggedly continuing until she spurred an FBI investigation that ultimately brought the site down (Moore's prosecution is pending).
Why do human beings experience jealousy, what is its function, and what are the warning signs that signal this powerful emotion may lead to violence?
Once reserved for the contemplation of poets and playwrights, jealousy is now the subject of intense scientific scrutiny. "Mate poachers abound," explains this week's guest, psychologist David Buss, who says that his research supports his hypothesis that human jealousy is an adaptation forged by evolutionary forces to deal with the problems of infidelity. Moderate jealousy, he says, is healthy and signals commitment, but there is a dark and corrosive side as well that follows a clear, predictable pattern before it destroys lives.
Here's Toronto Mayor Rob "Laughable Bumblefuck" Ford responding to yesterday's release of the partially redacted police file. After stating his intent to take legal action against a host of current and former staffers, wait staff at a restaurant, and many others, he addresses the allegation that he "wanted to eat [Olivia Gondek's] pussy."
The mayor stated, for the record: "I would never do that. I'm happily married. I've got more than enough to eat at home."
Toronto police have released a "less censored" version of their report on Mayor Rob "Laughable Bumblefuck" Ford, and Toronto Star reporter (@jpags) has been tweeting the highlights of the (unproven) police allegations as she goes. I've embedded some of the most significant ones below. A lot of material deals with the mayor's public intoxication and his appearances at work-related events (and at City Hall) where he was too intoxicated to function. On one occasion, he is accused of bringing two prostitutes to city hall. He is said to have been high on oxycontin on another occasion.
Another major theme is the mayor's abuse of his employees: getting them to buy booze for him, driving them at high speeds while intoxicated (one staffer saw him drink an entire pint of vodka before getting behind the wheel), verbally abusing them, getting them to run personal errands for him, calling them in tears, drunk and distraught. He made one staffer write a letter of support for bagman Andrew Lisi, charged with uttering death threats, which the mayor submitted.
Then there's the shadowy, underworldy-type things. His bagman, Sandro Lisi (charged with uttering death threats, selling drugs, and extortion) is said to have offered drugs to unknown persons for the return of the mayor's stolen phone. And when the mayor allegedly snorted cocaine with an unknown woman at the Biermarkt restaurant, a staffer demanded that the waitress give her name and told her "Don't tell anyone about what you saw here tonight."
Matt Simon on the sex lives of anglerfish: "If the deep-sea anglerfish happened to have the cognitive and physical capabilities required to produce its own [teen movies], there’d be decidedly fewer plot twists. Every single movie would go a little something like this: Boy meets girl, boy bites girl, boy’s mouth fuses to girl’s body, boy lives the rest of his life attached to girl sharing her blood and supplying her with sperm. Ah, a tale as old as time." — Rob
What is sex like for synaesthetes? Synaesthesia is a fascinatingly strange neurological condition in which two ore more senses are linked so that someone, for example, might "taste" sounds or "hear" colors. Emotional synaestesia is when pleasurable feelings may trigger the individual to see certain colors or have other sensations. Researchers from Harvard Medical School, Hannover Medical School, and University Bremen studied a group of emotional synaesthetes to gain insight into their sexual experiences. Below is a table from the scientific report revealing the subjects' experiences during different phases of the human sexual response cycle, such as: "In the moment of orgasm the wall bursts… ringlike structures… in bluish-violet tones." Far fucking out!
A couple of weeks ago, I posted a link to a research paper on crocodile genitalia, which included a really helpful diagram showing how the male crocs' penis works as part of an all-purpose mating/elimination hole called a cloaca. Now, with the help of reader Eirik Lande, you can see what those genitals look like in, er, action. The above photo is part of a series of shots Lande took of a 661-pound Nile crocodile named Samson (and an unnamed/weighed female partner) as they did what comes naturally in a tank at Bergen, Norway's, Akvariet zoo.
For clarification, that's the female on top in this shot, but they started out in a different position. In Lande's photos you can see the two crocodiles flip, with the help of a "death roll" style move near the end of their mating. That photo is a bit more explicit, but gives you a fairly clear view of what it looks like when Samson shoves his genitals out of his cloaca.
Spocko sez, "It's nice to know that some companies understand that non-essential federal employees are people too, with needs and wants and not robots that can be shut off with a switch.
Thankfully Vibrators.com understands and is giving away free vibrators to Federal Employees during the government shutdown.
They are giving away 200 a day. Simply enter the coupon code. 'IAmAFederalEmployee'"
Vancouver's Wet Spots perform the funniest, raunchiest cabaret I've heard -- side-splittingly so. Check out the video for "Don't Lick My Toes" above, or get their album Hello Kinky for nine bucks, cheap.
Update: Turns out I had a video of a cover of the song!
Rsreaganwrites, "Hi Cory! I love that you linked to the Wet Spots, who are great and also personal friends of mine. But that video is not a video of them performing. Since their patter, acting, and presentation are such a wonderful part of their work, I think that it would be great to link to an actual performance of theirs: here's the least graphic of the songs posted to their YouTube channel, Texas Annie. They don't have a video of "Toes" up, sadly, but you can hear Cass singing it here.
Can you properly distinguish between a male and female crocodile? This research paper, published in 2007, will help — pointing out the sometimes subtle differences between external genitalia. It's chock full of pictures of erect crocodile penises, so you'll learn what those look like, but what particularly interested me was the diagram above.
Cloacas are sort of multi-purpose orifices found in certain species of birds and reptiles. Instead of having separate biological tools for poop, pee, and sex, these animals manage all three functions with the same hole. Males also have cloacas and will either have a penis or pseudo-penis that comes out of it for mating. I've known this for a long time, but had a lot of trouble picturing how all of that anatomy fits together. This diagram (Figure 4 in the paper) is the first image that made the internal structure of cloacas really make sense to me. The more you know!
This week, the FBI arrested a 19-year-old computer science student named Jared James Abrahams for tricking young women into installing malicious software on their computers, software that let him covertly operate their webcams and microphones, as well as capturing their keystrokes and plundering their hard-drives. Abrahams captured nude photos of his victims, then threatened to release them to the victims' social media accounts unless they performed live, on-camera sex-acts for him. At least one of his victims was a minor. Another of his victims was Miss Teen USA Cassidy Wolf, who turned him into the FBI.
Ars Technica's Nate Anderson has a spellbinding account of Abrahams's crimes, and the way that the FBI tracked him down, and he places Abrahams in the larger context of "RATers" (crooks who operate Remote Access Trojans -- the kind of malware used by Abrahams). This phenomenon is also the subject of one of the chapters in Anderson's excellent book The Internet Police: How Crime Went Online, and the Cops Followed, and few journalists are better qualified to write about the subject.