List of San Francisco long-term brothels, 1937

Hank sez, "The San Francisco Examiner reported in March 1937 that private investigator Edwin Atherton, hired by the city to investigate police graft, delivered a list of 135 long-term brothels, called 'resorts,' to the Grand Jury investigation police corruption, finding bordellos in neighborhoods from South of Market to North Beach."

San Francisco Examiner lists 135 long-established house of prostitution (Thanks, Hank!) Read the rest

Forget love, biological sex is a battlefield

Gender isn’t a simple thing. A person can be male, female, both, neither, and more—and that identity doesn’t have to have anything to do with the particular genital plumbing they were born with.

But the plumbing itself—the biological sex, rather than gender or socio-cultural sex—is also a lot more complicated (and interesting) than we often give it credit for. Don’t believe me? Then check out “DMRT1 prevents female reprogramming in the postnatal mammalian testis,” a research letter published in September in the journal Nature.

That title is full of typical peer-reviewed paper jargon, but let me break it down for you: There’s a genetic factor, present in male mammals, that is vital to making sure those mammals develop male sex characteristics. But it’s not only important during embryonic development. Oh, no. Turns out, this factor must be active in order for a male’s gonads to stay 100% male. Turn it off, even in an adult male, and the cells in his testes will start to take on more feminine characteristics. Read the rest

TSA goes through woman's luggage, finds sex toy, leaves pervy note

"Just unpacked my suitcase and found this note from TSA," tweets writer and attorney Jill Filipovic of Feministe. "Guess they discovered a 'personal item' in my bag. Wow."

It was a standard-issue we got all up in your baggagebusiness Transportation Security Administration Notice of Inspection (NOI), but with these handwritten words in pen, overlaid: "GET YOUR FREAK ON GIRL."

"Total violation of privacy, wildly inappropriate and clearly not ok," Filipovic writes in a post titled Your Tax Dollars at Work, "but I also just died laughing in my hotel room."

The "personal item" in question, Ms. Filipovic tells Boing Boing, was this $15 "Silver Bullet" vibrator from Babeland. I suppose a case could be made that an airport screener would have a legitimate reason to probe more deeply see what I did there you guys if this sort-of-ammo-shaped sex toy popped up on an imaging display. But the creepy note? Yeah, that definitely didn't have to happen. And TSA agents behaving badly with female travelers' intimate stuff? Not uncommon. Nor are women the only recipients of inappropriate notes from screeners.

So was it still there when she retrieved her luggage, I asked Filipovic?

"Yes, the vibe was still there. No theft, but I'm unsure if they handled it. Given that uncertainty, it's definitely being retired."

Read the rest

Nookie kit for campers

The "Backcountry Intimacy Kit" is a waterproof bag with everything you need to push-push whilst in the bush: "3 lubricated condoms, 2 packets of lubrication, 4 wet wipes, 4 compressed towels, and one disposal bag."

(Thanks, Fipi Lele!) Read the rest

Hostess life: "What I learned by being a migrant sex worker in Japan"

Bloomberg News has published a two-part, first-person investigative piece by Rhacel Salazar Parreñas, a professor of sociology at the University of Southern California, on the lives of Filipina sex workers in Tokyo, Japan. To study the living and working conditions of these "hostess bar" migrant laborers, Parrenas became one.

The Bloomberg pieces are excerpts from her new book “Illicit Flirtations: Labor, Migration, and Sex Trafficking in Tokyo,” released this week by Stanford University Press.

Here is part 1. And here is part 2.

The Bloomberg excerpts are fascinating, as is the book, for providing an unusual glimpse inside a world most of us will never witness first-hand.

Read the rest

Great Moments in Pedantry: Analyzing blackboards from school-themed porn

There is now an entire blog dedicated to looking at what is written on the blackboard in the background of naughty schoolgirl porn films, and evaluating it for accuracy and grade level of information. God, I love the Internet.

Here's what Blackboards in Porn had to say about the photo above.

AFTER SCHOOL:

- math

1 + 1 = 2

1*

Mathematics - university/nursery school level.

This is clearly an extremely advanced level mathematical course, focusing on the Peano axioms for the natural numbers which formalised mathematics in the late 19th century. This course would culminate with Gödel's second incompleteness theorem which shows that the consitency of the Peano axioms cannot be formalised within Peano arithmetic itself.

Alternatively, it could be that the pupil, even at her advanced age, hasn't grasped that 1 + 1 = 2, and that all the after school one-to-one lessons in the world aren't going to work. Indeed, she probably won't even understand what 'one-to-one' means.

8/10 - loses two marks for 'math'.

Disclaimer: The blog is safe for work, in so much as there is no nudity. However, it is somewhat astounding how easy it is to look at a photo of a room full of fully clothed people and know, immediately, that said photo is a still from a porn. Make of that what you will.

Via Wired. Thanks to Joel!

Great Moments in Pedantry: Octopuses, octopi, octopodesGreat Moments in Pedantry: Pie charts aren't so bad, after allGreat Moments in Pedantry: Parsing the language of pornGreat Moments in Pedantry: How "Jurassic Park" got Velociraptors wrongReal scientists of the Planet of the ApesPedantry of the Day: A "parsec" is a unit of distance, not time Read the rest

UK press has mass-credulity moment on national porn filter

A media theory moment: UK media outlets are reporting on the government/ISP deal to "block child pornography", and are universally regurgitating the press release's language, saying this will "block adult content at the point of subscription." I've yet to see any of them adopt a more rigorous, neutral phrasing, like "Some pornography, and things that an unaccountable group classifies as porn, will be blocked." Instead, to a one, they imply (or state) that all porn will be blocked, and nothing but porn will be blocked. Parents who rely on this service to block porn are in for a surprise when they discover all their favorite stuff has been misclassified as porn and when their kids discover all the unblocked porn. Read the rest

Mouthy ceramic sculptures

Sculptor Ronit Baranga's ceramic pieces sport sensual mouths and walking fingers, something between Clive Barker and Giger, and beautiful.

(via Street Anatomy) Read the rest

Happy 13th birthday, Google!

Gaylord Stinchcomb's B3ta illustration celebrating Google's 13th birthday is everything I love about B3ta in one little bitmap. Read the rest

Hunky librarian catalog to benefit It Gets Better Project

"Men of the Stacks" is a beefcake calendar featuring hunky librarians, with proceeds to the It Gets Better project.

(Thanks, Fipi Lele!) Read the rest

Mickey Mouse milk ad is a relic of olde worlde naiveté (or it's just rude)

This undated old Grad Rapids Milk ad features a bit of dialogue from Minnie and Mickey Mouse that either contains a rude double-entendre or is a relic of an era of unbelievable naiveté. Either way: snigger snigger snigger.

(Thanks, Fipi Lele!) Read the rest

Dance-battle between pole-dancing champs

Oona Kivela, winner of the I Pole World Cup, and Grazzy Brugner, organizer of Miss Pole Dance Brazil, held an impromptu dance-battle at Rio's Up Dance Studio, performing crazy, acrobatic routines that stagger the imagination and inflame the senses. It may be NSFW, but it's pretty wild acrobatics.

(Thanks, Fipi Lele!) Read the rest

World's Smallest Hotel dates from a homeownership requirement for marriage licenses

Eh'häusl ("Little Wedding House") is the "world's smallest hotel," located in Amberg, north of Munich. It dates to an 18th century ordinance that required couples to own a house before they got married, so some clever fellow slapped a roof and walls up to enclose a narrow alleyway between two other buildings. It wasn't intended to be livable, but rather to satisfy the formal requirement of "home ownership" for a marriage license. The house was passed from non-owning couple to non-owning couple for generations, and thus marriages continued in Amberg.

There is no reliable record of how long the practice continued, but the building survived, and in 2008 it received a complete refurbishment, transforming it into a luxury hotel. Total size? 56 square meters. Maximum number of guests at any one time? Two. [Google street view] But there's more! According to an old legend told by the locals, couples who spend their wedding night at the tiny hotel are guaranteed* to live happily ever after and never get divorced!

(Image: Rode/Summer) Read the rest

Indiscriminate squid sperm distribution is not "bisexual"

PZ Myers explains why the discovery that the male of a species of squid reproduces by showering other squids with sperm regardless of their sex doesn't make the squid "bisexual." Not that there's anything wrong with that.
This is a beautiful illustration of the flaw in applying human sexual conventions to non-human organisms. researchers studying deep-sea squid found that all of the squid, male and female alike, were speckled with sperm packets — the males just flick these things out at any passing squid, on the chance that it's a female. It's silly to call this bisexuality or same-sex mating, though — it's pretty darned common in invertebrates. Many species of sea urchins, for instance, indulge in synchronized ejaculatory orgies: on one or a few days a year, all of the individuals in a colony simultaneously spew eggs and sperm into the water, to the degree that they can turn the ocean milky white with semen and ova. Do we call that homosexuality? Is it even right to refer to it as an "orgy"? It's just indiscriminate fertilization.
No, no, no — this is not bisexuality or homosexuality Read the rest

Bisexual squid, lurking in the deep

For obvious reasons, there's not a lot of observational data concerning the behavior of deep-sea-dwelling squid. But a new study has found indirect evidence that one species of squid—the 5-inch long Octopoteuthis deletron—mates both bisexually, and promiscuously.

How do you get indirect evidence of sex? If you've ever watched CSI, you can guess. It's all about looking for sperm.

Or, in this case, spermatophores. Squid mate differently from humans. Instead of depositing sperm-filled semen directly into a female, heterosexual squid mating involves a sperm-filled biological container, of sorts. The male attaches this spermatophore to the female, and over time the sperm get absorbed into her skin. (Which is, frankly, weird. Even for spermatophore-based sex.) So, when researchers wanted to see how much sex the squid were having, they just started looking at video of squid and counting the attached spermatophores. From the BBC:

"Going through hours of video, we found that both males and females carry sperm packages. As the locations of sperm packages were similar in both sexes, we concluded that males mate with males and females."

The finding surprised the team, said Dr Hoving.

The researchers found equal numbers of female and male squid that had had sperm packages deposited on them, indicating that same-sex mating was as frequent as encounters between squid of the opposite sex.

The number of sperm packages that had been deposited also suggested that these animals were promiscuous, the researchers said.

How you interpret those findings gets a lot more speculative, though. Read the rest

Humans and Neanderthals: An introduction

Confused about what we do and don't know about the relationship between humans and Neanderthals? This video by Lynn Fellman will get you up-to-date on the basics—including some of the questions that haven't been answered yet. It doesn't cover everything, but it is a nice primer on recent research and how that research was done.

EDIT: Bad news: Autoplay continues to be the devil. The good news: If you go to Lynn Fellman's website to view the video there, it doesn't autoplay. So follow the link and enjoy.

Image: Neanderthal Silhouette, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from erix's photostream

Neanderthals ate their veggies, too: all-meat diet a myth Finding the Neanderthal within ourselves Humans and neanderthals: Getting it on, after all? What Became of Neanderthals? We Ate ‘em, Made ‘em into Jewelry, Says Scientist Cloning Neanderthals Hot human-on-neanderthal action: A scientific update More on the sex lives of ancient humans We didn’t kill our grandfather Read the rest

Facehugger-inspired leather mask

From Ukrainian steampunk/fetish mask maker Bob Baset, the Hugger Head mask, "Slightly reinterpreted Giger monster. It now manages the object. Or maybe it’s a happy symbiosis?"

Hugger head Leather Mask Read the rest

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