Saturday, January 10, 2009

Fullest Moon of the Year Tonight

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,

Well, not much to update on other than still no phone...but I should have one next week. It gets really lonely when you live by yourself and don't even have a phone to say hi to the family or send text messages with obscure movie references or inside jokes or anything like that. Oh well, I'll deal with it for a few more days. I've got a lot of cleaning and stuff to do anyway. That'll keep me occupied...and maybe I'll go have me a drink at a bar tonight, see what's out there. Anyway, here's some news that might interest you.

Sexbot Update - An Australian man broke into three adult shops, had sex with blow up dolls named "Jungle Jane" and then dumped his plastic conquests in a nearby alley, local media reported Wednesday. The owner of one of the adult sex shops, who only gave the name Vogue, told the Cairns Post newspaper, "It's totally bizarre. It's a real concern that someone like that is out on the street. He has been taking the dolls out the back and blowing them up and using the dolls and leaving them in the alley." Police also told the Cairns Post that scientific officers had taken DNA samples, fingerprints and pictures of the crime scene. How is this a Sexbot Update? It shows the dangers of society being completely reduced to sex-crazed men & women committing unlawful acts like breaking & entering…and entering…and dumping. These poor degenerates need to find a hobby…or at least a more socially acceptable way to release their urges like this good doctor…and help is on the way.

Geeks Learn to Flirt - Even the most quirky of computer nerds can learn to flirt with finesse thanks to a new "flirting course" being offered to budding IT engineers at Potsdam University south of Berlin. The 440 students enrolled in the master's degree course will learn how to write flirtatious text messages and emails, impress people at parties and cope with rejection (it's inevitable…believe me). Philip von Senftleben, an author and radio presenter who will teach the course, summed up his job as teaching how to "get someone else's heart beating fast while yours stays calm." The course, which starts next Monday, is part of the social skills section of the IT course and is designed to ease entry into the world of work (ugh…are sexual harassment laws different in Germany?). Students also learn body language, public-speaking, stress management and presentation skills. "We want to prepare our students with the social skills needed to succeed both in their private life and their work life," said Hans-Joachim Allgaier, a spokesman for the institute. I like it. You know that Germans have to be some of the best at flirting and persuasion. I mean…have you SEEN some of the things that they convince girls to eat and do on those internet videos? That's borderline Jedi mind trick stuff. Ah, I vaguely remember trying to flirt in German back in high school. It's really hard to make it sound sexy though. Too many hard K sounds and incidental spitting. Not like Spanish. You could read the menu at Taco Bell in a deep voice and roll your R's and it'll come out golden. Believe me, I've impressed a few ladies with a singing Julio Iglesias impersonation and I had no idea what I was saying…but it sounded good. Anyway, yeah, flirting classes. That may help us former engineering students out too…but then again...

Smart Men Have More Swimmers - Women tend to like smart men because they're usually more successful and better providers…but there's another reason: Their sperm is better, a new study says anyway. Researchers at King's College London, the University of Delaware and the University of New Mexico recently compared results from five intelligence tests given to 425 Vietnam War vets in 1985 as part of the U.S. Centers For Disease Control and Prevention's Vietnam Experience Study. These vets, aged 31 to 44, also provided sperm samples, so the researchers analyzed the sperm per milliliter of semen, plus how many of the sperm swam normally, and other measures of sperm health. The smarter the men were, the more sperm they produced and the better their wee ones swam - and it didn't matter how old the men were or whether they smoked, drank or were obese. Why might these two seemingly unrelated traits be linked? Why would calculus aces or business consultants make better sperm? Turns out that intelligent people are generally healthier than their less-clever peers. Studies have shown that brainiacs are, for instance, less likely to suffer from heart disease and Alzheimer's. Scientists have suggested that smart people may score less stressful jobs in safer places and that they may make better lifestyle choices, for instance by exercising more and eating better. In other words, maybe bright people actually listen to the Surgeon General…but these newest findings, to be published in an upcoming issue of the journal Intelligence, found that negative habits had little effect on sperm quality, so they don't support that theory. The researchers instead speculate that intelligence might be passed down as part of a larger package of good attributes. One gene can influence multiple traits, so the genes involved in smarts may somehow improve sperm quality - and perhaps other characteristics as well. This could help explain, then, why intelligence can be so sexy: It could simply be an indicator that a person has a lot of good genes and traits, says study co-author Geoffrey Miller, a psychologist at the University of New Mexico. Can't wait to hear about the results of the taste test. What? There's no such thing? What kind of study is this? Ah-ha, maybe I found another niche to get my grant money from the government.

Smelling Intentions - It's not hard to tell when a guy is "happy to see you." The twinkle in his eye, his swagger, that sexy smile - all are clear signs he's in the mood. And, at least subconsciously, a woman can also tell by the scent of his sweat, according to new research. Scientists have long debated whether humans, like animals, use chemical signals called pheromones to communicate sexual interest to potential mates. Problem is, the effects of pheromones are thought to be subconscious - meaning that if we do communicate using them, we sure don't know it. It's also hard to know what these pheromones might be and how we sense them, so researchers understand little about them. But if human pheromones are going to be anywhere, they're going to be in sweat, right? Denise Chen, a psychologist at Rice University in Houston, and her colleagues devised an experiment to compare how women respond to different forms of male sweat - sweat produced in everyday situations versus that produced when a man is turned on. The researchers speculated that if humans do produce and respond to sweat pheromones, then a woman should respond to a guy's sexual sweat differently than she does to his normal sweat.

Chen and her colleagues asked 20 heterosexual guys to stop wearing deodorant and scented products for a few days ("Well, if it's in the name of science…"). Then they told the men to put small pads in their armpits as they watched pornographic videos ("Well, if it's in the name of science…") and became aroused (the researchers confirmed, using electrodes, that the images did the job). Later, the guys were asked to exchange those pads for fresh pads to collect the sweat they produced when they weren't aroused. Then the researchers recruited 19 brave women to smell the men's pads while undergoing brain scans. The investigators used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), a technique that reveals the brain regions a person is using at any given time - even if their brain activity is subconscious. Sure enough, the women's brains responded very differently depending on which sweat they sniffed. (And no, none of them passed out.) The sexual sweat, but not the normal sweat, activated the right orbitofrontal cortex and the right fusiform cortex, brain areas that help us recognize emotions and perceive things, respectively. Both regions are in the right hemisphere, which is generally involved in smell, social response, and emotion. The findings bolster the idea that humans do communicate via subconscious chemical signals, notes Chen in her study, which was published in the December 31 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience. Our sexual intentions, in other words, may be a lot clearer than we ever intended them to be. That crush you have on your co-worker? She may already know - at least subconsciously. Keep that in mind. Interesting...because when I'm at the gym, you can probably guess what I'm thinking about when I'm on the treadmill. No, not the Journey music on the speakers or whatever's on that little TV screen, it's usually either a hottie on a treadmill nearby (using perepherals when necessary) or just motivating myself with images of bow chicka bow wow. Don't knock it. It's a great motivator...and apparently it's sending those pheremones we'll see how that works. Anyway, I found it interesting...and it's my blog.

Love Hormone - The "Love" hormone linked to feelings of sexual pleasure, bonding and maternal care also appears to help us recognize familiar faces, Swiss researchers said on Tuesday. Men given oxytocin (not oxycotin) -- involved in nursing and childbirth -- more accurately recalled images of familiar faces but the hormone did not help them recognize inanimate objects. Their findings published in The Journal of Neuroscience suggest the hormone somehow strengthens the brain's neural networks involved in social memory and may have implications for conditions such as autism, researchers said. "The study highlights the parallels in social information processing in mice and man, and adds further support to the notion oxytocin plays a critical role," Larry Young, an expert on oxytocin at Emory University in Atlanta, who was not involved in the study, said in a statement. "This has important implications for disorders such as autism, where social information processing is clearly impaired." Oxytocin was known for years to be involved in labor and it is the hormone that stimulates the production of milk for breastfeeding. Animal studies suggest it can help in bonding between mother and child and between mates. Only in recent decades has it been found to have a function in men -- in sexual arousal and function. Klaver and colleagues showed 44 men pictures of faces and inanimate objects that included sculptures, houses and other images. Half the volunteers received an oxytocin nasal spray and the rest got a placebo. The researchers found that men who used the oxytocin spray more accurately recognized the faces they had seen before than did those in the placebo group. The hormone made no difference for the other pictures, Klaver said. Further analysis also showed the hormone made it less likely for people to mistakenly characterize unfamiliar faces as familiar. "It is important to understand that social recognition can be improved by such hormones," Klaver said in a telephone interview. Then I got to wondering…there's a Love hormone? So I googled the hell out of it…and basically it's all speculative research with little definition…but it's been shown to do things like cause spontaneous erections in rats when injected into their cerebrospinal fluid, show signs of forming a monogamous bond in females with their sexual partners (again in rats), possible cure of autism, and significant increases in feelings of trust, generosity, maternal instincts and that one hard-to-describe or explain feelings popularly called Love. Anyway, I found it kind of interesting…and I'm still trying to figure out how to make up a good pheromone cologne to use when I'm out on the prowl. I'll call it Oxymone…so the patent people think it's some kind of alcoholic-smelling acne treatment…but I pronounce it something Frenchy like "ah-si-moh" when the ladies ask "Mmm, what cologne is that you're wearing?" Aaaaah yeah, now I just need to get that chemistry degree…and maybe a lady...

Biggest Full Moon of the Year Tonight - If skies are clear Saturday, go out at sunset and look for the giant moon rising in the east. It will be the biggest and brightest one of 2009, sure to wow even seasoned observers. Earth, the moon and the sun are all bound together by gravity, which keeps us going around the sun and keeps the moon going around us as it goes through phases. The moon makes a trip around Earth every 29.5 days. But the orbit is not a perfect circle. One portion is about 31,000 miles (50,000 km) closer to our planet than the farthest part, so the moon's apparent size in the sky changes. Tonight, the moon will be at perigee, the closest point to us on this orbit. It will appear about 14 percent bigger in our sky and 30 percent brighter than some other full moons during 2009, according to NASA. So please…take someone special outside with you…or stare at it together outside your 34th floor apartment window (ladies…) and don't let this one go to waste. Have a great night everybody!!!


Pirate Monkey said...

I read this post last night and as soon as I finished I turned off the computer, put on my jacket and took the dog and telescope into the yard...the moon was SPECTACULAR! I hope you got to see it too! It totally made my night! :)

$teve said...

I did. I actually tried to take some pictures of it from my window and such...but it didn't work out too well. Only 3x zoom on that thing. :) Beautiful though. Really didn't bring out the loneliness at all. (Sigh...)

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