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!)
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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!
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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
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
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
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
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
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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
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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
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
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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.
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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:
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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.
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)
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A couple watch their baby inside a waiting hall at the Nanjing railway station, capital of Jiangsu province. [Reuters/2006]
In nature, the balance of males and females is maintained by natural selection acting on parents. As Sir Ronald Fisher brilliantly pointed out in 1930, a surplus of one sex will be redressed by selection in favour of rearing the other sex, up to the point where it is no longer the minority. It isn't quite as simple as that. You have to take into account the relative economic costs of rearing one sex rather than the other. If, say, it costs twice as much to rear a son to maturity as a daughter (e.g. because males are bigger than females), the true choice facing a parent is not "Shall I rear a son or a daughter?" but "Shall I rear a son or two daughters?"
So, Fisher concluded, what is equlibrated by natural selection is not the total numbers of sons and daughters born in the population, but the total parental expenditure on sons versus daughters. In practice, this usually amounts to an approximately equal ratio of males to females in the population at the end of the period of parental expenditure.
Note that the word 'decision' doesn't mean conscious decision: we employ the usual 'selfish gene' metaphorical reasoning, in which natural selection favours genes that produce behaviour 'as if' decisions are being made.
Interestingly, Fisher's reasoning remains intact, even in harem-based societies such as those of elephant seals, where a minority of males monopolise the females and the majority of males hang about as disconsolate bachelors. Read the rest
Male contraception is like the nuclear fusion of safer sex—perpetually about 10 years away from commercialization. Sure, there's condoms and vasectomies. But if you want something a little less intrusive or a little less permanent, you're out of luck. Scientific American examines the possibilities that exist in the research pipeline
, and why no male contraceptive has yet shown up in your local pharmacy. Read the rest
Remember the (fictitious, funny) Onion article "Planned Parenthood Opens $8 Billion Abortionplex"? Now the famed Abortionplex is on Yelp. Free nachos and mojitos after your partial birth abortion, with a Yelp discount code! As noted in a previous Boing Boing post, many people believe the Abortionplex (and other Onion coverage) is real. I can't wait for the credulous Fox News coverage to kick in.
Here's one recent review:
Everyone loves Abortionplex, but true fans know that the real magic is found in the secret menu. A 2x3 lets you sandwich in movie screenings at the theater before, between and after ridding yourself of potential twins. An 8x8? Spend your day easily breezing from Octomom to Oscars noms. Hold the butter on that popcorn though - you're not eating for 9 anymore!
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Tell your doc you want The Flying Dutchman if you want to squeeze your abortion appointment in between two pieces of meat, if you know what I mean, and let's face it, you always know what I mean.
But real pros know that nothing satisfies your hunger for an empty uterus quite as much as well as Animal Style. In this iteration of the classic abortion, after the doctor perfectly vacuums the contents of your uterus, she then fills it with a secret sauce filled with tiny unicorns which will trot around poking holes in your uterine lining and preventing zygotes from taking hold for at least 6 months. But let's face it, even if you're already filled to the brim with tiny unicorns and think you won't be abortion-hungry again for a while, you know you'll be poking around Abortionplex tomorrow on your lunch break.
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