Investigators examining tapped cellphone conversations between a Moroccan drug dealer and 51-year-old Father Riccardo Seppia (shown at left, in the red robe) found evidence of arranged sexual encounters with young boys, some of whom were paid for sex with cocaine.
"I do not want 16-year-old boys but younger," Seppia is accused of having said on the tapes. "Fourteen-year-olds are O.K. Look for needy boys who have family issues."
Seppia is a priest in a the archdiocese of one of the top advisers working with Pope Benedict XVI "on reforms to respond to prior scandals of pedophile priests." He is said to have boasted in the recorded cellphone conversations that local shopping malls were the best place to pick up boys for sex.
Investigators are also examining three confiscated computers: the priest allegedly looked for partners via chat as well.
More in TIME magazine.
(via New Civil Rights Movement, via Christopher Hayes) Read the rest
Among the items Navy SEALs reportedly retrieved from Osama's Abbottabad compound: a porn stash presumed to have been viewed and used for pleasurable purposes by the world's most wanted terrorist. That visual I just stuck in your head? You're welcome.
Reuters reports that the adult material found "consists of modern, electronically recorded video and is fairly extensive." Snip:
The officials said they were not yet sure precisely where in the compound the pornography was discovered or who had been viewing it. Specifically, the officials said they did not know if bin Laden himself had acquired or viewed the materials.
Reports from Abbottabad have said that bin Laden's compound was cut off from the Internet or other hard-wired communications networks. It is unclear how compound residents would have acquired the pornography.
As fun as it is to make LOLs, it's worth noting that Reuters is the only organization to have reported this claim, based on anonymously quoted "officials." Previous details about the OBL operation have been mis-reported by the administration, and it's possible that this, too, is bogus.
[via Wired News] Read the rest
Northwestern University has canceled the rest of Prof. John Michael Bailey's popular Human Sexuality course and placed the teacher under investigation following a scandal over an after-class, optional sex toy demonstration in February. The toy involved was an "adult power tool" called a Fucksaw
) and was demonstrated with a live naked lady and her boyfriend, neither of whom were students at the college.
Bailey's course will not be offered during the next academic year, said Northwestern U spokesman Al Cubbage on Monday. Bailey has also apologized.
From Fox Chicago:
According to guest lecturer Ken Melvoin-Berg, after the students were told that a couple would take part in a demonstration involving a sex toy, the students were warned about a half dozen times that "what was about to happen would be graphic."
With that, Jim Marcus and his fiancee Faith Kroll climbed on the stage in front of about 100 students and demonstrated the use of the motorized device with a phallic object attached to it, as students heard about issues such as safety and consent, Melvin-Berg said.
"It is probably something I will remember the rest of my life," said senior Justin Smith, 21, one of the students who stuck around voluntarily after class when students were told about what they were about to see. "I can't say that about my Econ 202 class and the material that I learned there," Smith told The Chicago Tribune.
Ken Melvoin-Berg narrated what was happening for the class. He operates the "Weird Chicago Red Light District Sex Tour."
The Daily Northwestern quoted Bailey as saying,"Sticks and stones may break your bones, but watching naked people on stage doing pleasurable things will never hurt you."
More: Daily Northwestern
, Chicago Sun-Times
, Fox Chicago
, Chicago Tribune
. Read the rest
The Wall Street Journal
reports that naturist getaways, feeling the hit from America's ongoing economic downturn, are aggressively marketing to younger newbie nudists.
Tactics include "music festivals like Nudepalooza and Nudestock." (via Dr. Ruth) Read the rest
The LA Weekly
reports that AIM Healthcare, the "porn valley" clinic that tests sex performers for sexually transmitted diseases, has shut down and filed for bankruptcy
. "We were told a privacy lawsuit challenging AIM's handling of patient records was the last straw for the clinic that was taken private and reopened in February following a December shutdown at the hands of state and county health officials." Read the rest
AP reports that PrimeTel Communications has, for the last 13 years, been buying up every desirable 800 number on the market. They behave not unlike domain name prospectors who do the same with web addresses, only they convert many of these numbers into phone sex lines.
The company now controls 1.7 million toll-free numbers, which represent about 25% of all 800 numbers in the U.S. and Canada. Among them: 1-800-Metallica, 1-800-Cadillac, 1-800-Minolta, 1-800-Cameras, 1-800-Worship and 1-800-Whirlpool.
AP reports that the connection between the speculation activity and the phone-porn activity is this: A-1 Advertising, an actual phone sex business, shares a building, owners, and executives, with the company doing the 800 number buying. More:
Critics of the company say it isn't the sex that bothers them, but the acquisition of so many numbers. Bill Quimby, whose company, TollFreeNumbers.com, specializes in helping businesses obtain easy-to-remember digits to connect with customers, said it can be a challenge to find a good match because PrimeTel has gobbled up such an outsized share of the supply.
Read the rest
"They started by getting numbers for phone sex, then getting good numbers in general, then they started taking all phone numbers," he said.
A spokesman for the FCC, David Fiske, would not comment on whether the agency had ever examined PrimeTel's activities but said the commission is actively enforcing rules on number hoarding. PrimeTel appears to have benefited by grabbing numbers associated with famous names, like 1-800-Beatles, or numbers that have recently been canceled but are still advertised widely.
Richard Metzger of Dangerous Minds (you may know him as founder of Disinformation, or as a BB guestblogger, or as the counterculture "Charlie Rose"), writes in with the odd story of a Facebook photo ban, and the media misinfo frenzy that followed.
Since just last Friday, the above photo, a publicity still from the
popular BBC soap opera "EastEnders" has become the emblem of an
utterly unnecessary Facebook scandal. One that's already gone
international and one that I, personally, I am tangentially involved
in. I say unnecessary because it never should have happened in the first
place, but let me state this at the beginning of this for those of
you--you know who you are-- who'll just read the first two paragraphs
before zipping off to write something snarky in the comments:
I do not personally believe that the Facebook corporation is in any way
homophobic. Not even in the slightest. Okay?
Read the rest
Now that I've got that out of the way, here is what happened and why
some people might think that they are:
On Friday afternoon, one of my fellow bloggers at Dangerous
Minds, Niall O'Conghaile did a quickie cut-n-paste blog post about a "kiss-in" protest scheduled for that night in
London at a pub where two young men had been asked to leave
earlier in the week because they were kissing. You can read Niall's
post here. He decided to use the above photo because he
felt that it was inoffensive (Some outlets have reported that this
photo came from the London "kiss-in" page on Facebook, but this is not true,
it was Niall's choice and he found it on Google Images).
Health officials in Los Angeles used blogs, Twitter and Facebook to track down the source of a legionella bacteria infection
that sickened more than a hundred Playboy Mansion visitors. The verdict: "a whirlpool spa" at the iconic mansion
. I think they mean the famed grotto (I've been there on a reporting mission once, fully clothed!), but the article doesn't specify. (LA Times) Read the rest
Mike Ananny, a postdoctoral scholar at Microsoft Research and fellow at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society, writes in the Atlantic about a strange Android app discovery:
As I was installing Grindr on my Android phone yesterday, I scrolled down to take a look at the list of "related" and "relevant" applications. My jaw dropped. There, first on the list, was "Sex Offender Search," a free application created by Life360 that lets you "find sex offenders near you and protect your child ... so you can keep your family safe."
I was flabbergasted. How and why was this association being made? What could one application have to do with other? How many potential Grindr users were dissuaded from downloading the application because they saw this listed as a related application? In essence: Who did this linking, how does it work, and what harm is it doing?
(via danah boyd) Read the rest
ICANN's Board of Directors today gave the organization's CEO permission to execute a proposed registry agreement for the .xxx sponsored top-level-domain
with ICM Registry. Now, more than ever, the internet is for porn. (Domain Name Wire) Read the rest
The Skeptically Speaking podcast has a fascinating episode all about the science of semen.
It includes a long interview with blogger Scicurious, covering some of the sex-related stories from her Friday Weird Science
series. From post-sex selection of semen by females, to everything you ever wanted to know about testicles (42% of men hang lower on the left), this podcast has got it all. Read the rest
So. That's the sound a koala makes. Huh.
It's not really very cute, is it?
But it does get the job done. Specifically, this is the call of the horny male koala—and this sound is such an effective mating technique that simply hearing it can cause female koalas to go into heat. (Insert your own Koala Justin Bieber joke here.) Scienceline explains the importance of koala "bellowing":
The timbre of a koala's bellow seems to have something to do with its size, age and androgen (a sex hormone) concentration. Older males bellow more, bigger males bellow longer, and those with more androgen have deeper bellows. One study found that when the male koala is 2-4 years older than the female, the mating is more likely to be successful, leading some to suggest that females use male calls to gage their relative sexiness.
Via Bora Zivkovik
Image courtesy Wikipedia user Quartl, via CC Read the rest
Pictured: A sexy beast. Photo courtesy EvaK via CC
You know. It.
Sexual practices don't really leave much of an imprint in the fossil record. And dinosaurs, themselves, are not, shall we say, the most nubile-looking creatures. According to paleo-blogger Brian Switek, you aren't alone in your confusion. He says scientists have been pondering dino-sex for more than 100 years. (Like you do.) In fact, until recently, paleontologists weren't even totally clear which dinosaurs were girls and which were boys.
And, once that mystery was solved, there were still a lot of other obvious questions. Such as: How did pointy, heavily-armored Stegosaurs get amorous?
Read the rest
Soft-tissue preservation is very rare, and no one has yet discovered an exquisitely preserved dinosaur with its reproductive organs intact. In terms of basic mechanics, the best way to study dinosaur sex is to look at the animals' closest living relatives. Dinosaurs shared a common ancestor with alligators and crocodiles more than 250 million years ago, and modern birds are the living descendants of dinosaurs akin to Velociraptor. Therefore we can surmise that anatomical structures present in both birds and crocodylians were present in dinosaurs, too. The reproductive organs of both groups are generally similar. Males and females have a single opening--called the cloaca--that is a dual-use organ for sex and excretion. Male birds and crocodylians have a penis that emerges from the cloaca to deliver sperm. Dinosaur sex must have followed the "Insert Tab A into Slot B" game plan carried on by their modern-day descendants and cousins.
NSFW: clip contains nude-idity. Mikl-Em at Laughing Squid
has an excellent post
today about how San Francisco became the epicenter of the professionalization of America's pornography industry. Sex and early adoption of technology are always closely intertwined, and many new technologies become widely adopted because they improve the means of production and/or distribution of pornography. San Francisco's mix of hippies, recently discharged Vietnam veterans, burlesque halls, and shuttered film houses created a perfect storm of opportunity in 1969 for amateur stag films to evolve into a nascent film industry. I can't wait to see the full-up version of this documentary.
Documentary On When San Francisco Was Smut Capital of the USA (via laughing squid) Read the rest
Photo: Brendan McDermid
Apple's Tim Cook has become a role model: brilliant, hard-working, and now running the world's sexiest consumer electronics company.
Tech writers, however, avoid talk of Mr. Cook's sexuality. When they do discuss it, it's often to declare how unworthy of discussion it is, and how doing so is discriminatory, sensationalist, or invasive. But Joe Clark isn't buying the idea that this is just about protecting Mr Cook's privacy. Read the rest