Joycelyn Elders – Surgeon General forced to resign by Republican backwardness, Democrat cowardice
Conduct an Internet search for “masturbation,” and you will find hundreds, if not thousands, of slang phrases for the act. This proliferation of slang phrases suggests people want to talk about masturbation, but are uncomfortable about doing so directly. Using comedic terms provides a more socially acceptable way to express themselves.
So before we talk any more about it, let’s normalise it a bit. Masturbation, or touching one’s own genitals for pleasure, is something that babies do from the time they are in the womb. It’s a natural and normal part of healthy sexual development.
According to a nationally representative US sample, 94% of men admit to masturbating, as do 85% of women. But societal perspectives of masturbation still vary greatly, and there’s even some stigma around engaging in the act. Related to this stigma are the many myths about masturbation, myths so ridiculous it’s a wonder anyone believes them.
They include: masturbation causes blindness and insanity; masturbation can make sexual organs fall off; and masturbation causes infertility.
In actual fact, masturbation has many health benefits…And there are plenty of additional benefits from orgasms generally, including reduced stress, reduced blood pressure, increased self-esteem, and reduced pain…
Talking about masturbation also has benefits. Promoting sex-positive views in our own homes and in society, including around masturbation, allows us to teach young people healthy behaviours and attitudes without stigma and shame.
Parents and guardians who feel embarrassed or need extra guidance to do this should seek out sex-positive sources of information, like ones from respected universities.
Or you could be truly stupid and talk to a priest or listen to some politician who worries about offending 14th Century sexual mores a heckuva lot more than supporting educated reason.
A Michigan man allegedly decided to drop acid and take a trip down to a local pizza place while only wearing a towel. Staff members at Happy’s Pizza in Muskegon Township were not too pleased to see Phillip Andrew Engle show up because he allegedly had a gun and three children with him when he arrived.
The 27-year-old began banging on the glass at the front of the pizzeria and his gun went off. He may have been angry about not being able to eat at the business, although it was open at the time and two employees were working.
No one was injured and Engle walked home after the gun discharged. Police found him sitting on his porch with his 40 caliber semi-automatic in hand. Officers asked him to drop the weapon and he complied.
According to Muskegon Township Police Chief Ken Sanford, Engle admitted to taking four hits of acid before the incident…
After the officer defused the “potentially very dangerous situation,” Engle was arrested and brought to a local hospital to be evaluated.
Who says life in small town America is never interesting?
Like any politician skewered by Colbert, Pearce has now passed beyond the deer-in-the-headlights stage and has his minions running hither and yon – trying to soften the effect of Colbert and his army of fans who laugh at what passes for a conservative in 21st Century America.
Thanks to Steve Terrell
A Pacu caught in Michigan — WTF?
A Florida fisherman is thankful that he is still in one piece after an encounter with a member of the piranha family that purportedly has a penchant for poaching men’s private parts.
Tom Rigby was fishing in Sarasota when his line started jerking like crazy. After a battle with the fish, Rigby hauled it aboard his boat. When he examined the animal, Rigby realized he didn’t recognize the fish.
He took a photo of the unknown specimen, released it back into the water and then sent the picture to Mote Marine.
They quickly informed Rigby that he had caught a pacu, a member of the piranha family.
“I’m looking at all of the teeth, saying this thing can do some serious damage to another fish or something…”…Rigby was right to be nervous about the potential damage the pacu’s mouth could cause…”I found out it has a reputation for going after men’s testicles. I was just worried about it biting my finger,” he said.
More than nine out of 10 U.S. voters support background checks for gun buyers and almost as many say the mentally ill should be barred from buying guns.
A Quinnipiac poll released Thursday found that gun owners are almost as likely as the general public to support background checks. And 89 percent of Republicans agree on the issue, only 3 percentage points lower than Democrats.
But only 50 percent said the country needs stricter laws to regulate guns, while 47 percent said they oppose such laws.
Which is a non sequitur.
“Americans are all in on stricter background checks on gun buyers and on keeping weapons out of the hands of the mentally ill,” said Tim Malloy, the Quinnipiac University Poll’s assistant director. “But when it comes to ‘stricter gun control,’ three words which prompt a negative reflex, almost half of those surveyed say ‘hands off.'”
After Adam Lanza killed his mother and 20 students and six teachers at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., and then took his own life, there were calls for stricter gun regulations. But the National Rifle Association and other gun-rights groups have lobbied successfully against new laws.
Lobbying – to describe what the NRA does – is a farce. The word is “threaten”. Money changes hands to cajole what faint conscience may exist in Congress. But, when the only question is “How high should I jump, boss?” – we’re only discussing athletic ability as a measure of cowardice.
Like civil rights and other questions requiring backbone, it will take a mighty grassroots movement to nudge most of our elected officials into an upright position.
BTW, the Quinnipiac poll is battling the Rasmussen poll for the position as cheapskate Republican poll – when they can’t afford Gallup. The tell on that is clear enough if you wander back to their numbers for Romney. So what? Even when conservative polls support sensible regulation of access to guns, the nutball fringe and their industry pimps in the NRA still scare Congress enough to stonewall action.
Pharrell Williams made his song “Happy” freely available to use and encouraged people all over the world to make their own videos for the song. Hundreds of groups have taken him up on the offer, but most are lip-dubs or dancing to the original recording.
This one is a full cover version in Swahili, liberally sprinkled with French, from the city of Goma, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The performers, from KivuYouth Entertainment, are awesome.
I have an abiding love for Afro-French rock. My favorite of the genre being Wock. And special thanks to Ursarodinia for finding this and passing it along.
The US Drug Enforcement Administration is intimidating physicians in Massachusetts to get them to give up jobs at medical marijuana dispensaries, The Boston Globe reports.
The DEA allegedly went to physicians’ homes and offices and offered them a choice: either they stop helping medical marijuana dispensaries, or the DEA will take away federal licenses that are necessary to prescribe certain medications. Since doctors’ livelihoods can depend on their ability to prescribe drugs, the threats forced some of them to resign from their medical marijuana jobs…
The DEA, in a statement to Vox, confirmed the policies are part of the agency’s protocol, but it refused to comment on the specific allegations in Massachusetts.
Although marijuana is voter-approved and legal for medical purposes in Massachusetts, it remains illegal under federal laws and regulations. The DEA classifies marijuana as a schedule 1 substance, which puts the drug in a stricter classification than cocaine and meth.
The contradiction between federal and state laws speaks to why so many supporters of marijuana legalization want clearer rules on the books. Just two weeks ago, the US House of Representatives voted to protect medical marijuana patients from federal interference. A few weeks before the House vote, the DEA decided to increase how much marijuana it makes available for medical research.
At this point, the two-steps-forward-one-step-backward approach has become all too familiar for supporters of recreational and medical marijuana legalization. As public opinion shifts in favor of marijuana legalization, it’s taking the federal government — and agencies that rely on strict drug laws to stay afloat — a bit more time to catch up…
Several states have already legalized medical marijuana, although the drug remains illegal for all purposes at the federal level. Maryland in 2014 became the 21st state to legalize medical marijuana, and New York and Florida may follow soon.
Every level of our government is not only characterized by hypocrisy; but, the deliberate rejection of either modern inquiry or policies based on sound science. Marijuana is almost impossible to research – good, bad or indifferent – because of laws that were absurd in the first place.
Though citizens and individual states are miles ahead of the morality-crockpot legislators and law enforcers in Washington, DC – that only seems to supercharge bureaucrats who fear diminished budgets more than the good news that their services are no longer needed.
The South Dakota Supreme Court is allowing a $1.2 billion defamation lawsuit to proceed against television network ABC over its coverage of a meat product that critics derided as “pink slime.”
The decision on Thursday allows the plaintiffs to potentially depose news anchor Diane Sawyer, two of the networks correspondents and other defendants.
Dakota Dunes-based Beef Products Inc. sued the network in 2012 for its coverage of the meat product the industry calls “lean, finely textured beef.” BPI alleges that the coverage led to plant closures and layoffs because it misled consumers into believing the product was unsafe.
Attorneys for ABC in court filings say the network in each of its broadcasts stated the FDA deemed the product safe to eat.
It just looks disgusting until you kill the beast and thoroughly cook it.
Then, consider the quality of politicians who think this crap is a taste treat.
In an effort to find life-habitable worlds outside our Solar System, stars similar to our Sun are being monitored for slight light decreases that indicate eclipsing planets. Many previously-unknown planets are being found, including over 700 worlds recently uncovered by NASA’s Kepler satellite.
Depicted above in artist’s illustrations are twelve extrasolar planets that orbit in the habitable zones of their parent stars. These exoplanets have the right temperature for water to be a liquid on their surfaces, and so water-based life on Earth might be able to survive on them. Although technology cannot yet detect resident life, finding habitable exoplanets is a step that helps humanity to better understand its place in the cosmos.
If you’re thinking about leaving town, escaping whichever nutso nation you find yourself encapsulated within – consider a truly long-range journey.
I have no idea how to get there.
Desktop nanofabrication with massively multiplexed beam pen lithography
Cross-pollination of ideas among scientific disciplines is key to creative solutions, a U.S. nanotechnology pioneer says.
Building networks of outstanding scientists, engineers and clinicians will promote development of creative solutions to complex societal needs in an age of specialization, Northwestern University Professor Chad Mirkin says.
Mirkin is the founding director of the International Institute for Nanotechnology, an institute that brings together more than 190 faculty researchers from 25 different disciplines.
Mirkin discussed the IIN from inception to realization in a presentation titled “University Convergence Institutes” at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting in Chicago.
“The IIN provides the essential framework to overcome traditional divisions between university departments and schools,” Mirkin said…
The IIN is an umbrella organization for interdisciplinary research into transformative nanotechnologies including nanomedicine, nanomaterials and devices, nanotechnology for energy, the environment, security and defense, and nanotechnology solutions for food and water.
“It has enabled us to attract researchers with deep expertise in their fields, support and enable creative synergy, enhance translational capabilities and build one of the largest and most productive nanotechnology institutes in the world,” Mirkin said.
I’m not lurching off into a whole dissertation. I’d just like to mention some of the most advanced systems of alternative fuel development have come about in this manner. I’ve posted articles in recent years from scientists at Purdue – and at Cornell – where investigators in chemistry happened into collaboration with botanists almost by accident. Though the universities where they worked were supportive of this kind of interaction.
The best example in the tech world was, of course, the original style at Hewlett-Packard. Messrs Hewlett and Packard had a rule that any project an engineer or scientist was working on had to be kept out in the open on their desk. That way anyone who happened by could see what someone else had thought of – and participate or start a spinoff on their own. They called it management by wandering around.
I’m not certain; but, I have the feeling the practice still hasn’t caught on here in the States. I hope I’m wrong.