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

Women's sex-strike ends civil war (sex vs violence)

Women in Mindanao, Philippines ended a violent, armed, intervillage fight by going on a "sex-strike" until their husbands stopped killing each other, as confirmed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Women's 'sex strike' ends fighting in Mindanao villages - UNHCR Read the rest

When leopard slugs make love

In journalism school, one of the things we learn to never do is start a story by asking readers a question that they could answer with a firm, "No." There's just no point in risking disengaging your readers before they even have a chance to become engaged. On the other hand, if you follow this rule strictly, then you never get a chance to write a sentence like this one, from Koen De Paus on Google+:

"Have you ever wondered how slugs get it on?"

What I like about BoingBoing's readers is that I KNOW the majority of you are at least tentatively answering, "Yeeeesss? Maybe?" If so, De Paus says, this video is for you.

Fact: The mating of the leopard slug is surprisingly tender and sensual. It is also, however, exactly as slimy as you might expect.

Video Link Read the rest

Syphilis and gonorreah from posters the early days of antibiotics

From How to Be a Retronaut, a fine gallery of scanned syphilis/gonorreah posters from the last days of each disease's reign of terror, before widespread use of antibiotics. If you're ever in Philadelphia and want to get a sense of how scary syphilis must have been in its day, head on over to the Mutter Museum, an exhibit of pathological curiosities, and have a gander at the cases of syphilitic skulls. I still get nightmares. Syphilis Posters, 1940s Read the rest

Renault: the car for men who don't worry about their penises

This 1970 Renault ad attempts to entice customers who don't worry if their car makes them feel inadequate in the penis department. I'm inordinately fond of the phrase "fancy-price fantasy wagon," I must say.

Renault (1970) Read the rest

Antibiotic resistant gonorrhea and the future of oral sex

If you haven't previously used condoms and dental dams for oral sex, it might be time to start seriously thinking about that as a safer sex option. Gonorrhea, like other bacteria, has, over the years, developed resistance to the antibiotics used to treat it. Now, it's looking like the last line of cheap and easy defense is crumbling. In particular, this news could change the outlook for certain oral gonorrhea infections. Brian Alexander at MSNBC offers a particularly clear and cogent explanation of what's changed:

For several years, public health officials have been concerned that gonorrhea, one of the most prevalent STDs in the world, might become resistant to the last widely available antibiotics used to treat it, a class of drugs called cephalosporins.

Now, it has.

The percentage of U.S. gonorrhea cases that are resistant to the two cephalosporins used to treat it, cefixime, taken orally, and ceftriaxone, injected, is on the rise, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's latest Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

The Gonococcal Isolate Surveillance Project, a lookout program designed to spot resistance, found that 1.4 percent of patient samples showed growing ability to defeat cefixime in 2010 compared to just .2 percent in 2000. Resistance to ceftiaxone grew from .1 percent to .3 percent during the same period.

Then Sunday, a Japanese-European team presenting data at the International Society for Sexually Transmitted Disease Research meeting in Quebec City, Canada, publicly announced the discovery of a new strain of gonorrhea, H041, that displays a strong resistance to ceftriaxone.

Read the rest

Naked Bike Ride Day around the world: extra-large photo gallery

Cyclists ride during the World Naked Bike Ride in Mexico City. More photos from around the world, below. Probably "NSFW," depending on where you "W." (REUTERS/Jorge Lopez)

Read the rest

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