Image via Despair.com.
Archive for the ‘Science’ Category
Among the 2007 winners of the Right Livelihood Award, presented annually on December 9 to honor those “working on practical and exemplary solutions to the most urgent challenges facing the world today,” are Percy and Louise Schmeiser, two farmers from Saskatchewan.
In 1998 the Schmeisers were successfully sued by Monsanto for patent infringement for growing Monsanto’s genetically modified “Roundup Ready” canola plants without purchasing the annual licensing fee of $15 Canadian per acre.
See also: King Corn.
Image from percyschmeiser.com.
From my new column at Blowfish:
In the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers from the University of Chicago National Social Life, Health and Aging Project published the results of a study described as the first comprehensive national survey to chart sexual behavior among adults aged 57 to 85.
According to the University’s website, this survey overturns stereotypical notions about aging and sex (namely, that old people don’t like it). Edward Laumann, one of the report’s authors, told BBC News: “There are a lot of people who feel that age is very tightly correlated with sexual activity or interest . . . But it turns out that healthy people are sexually active if they have a partner, and that this is an important part of the quality of life.”
In addition to “sex,” the study asked about oral sex and masturbation; half of the people surveyed “up to age 75″ said they had oral sex, and half of the men and a quarter of the women reported masturbating, with no apparent correlation between masturbation and having or not having a sexual partner.
From my Blowfish column:
I vividly remember my first kiss. I was in the clutches of a vastly more experienced girl my age, quite willingly I should add. It had been made pretty clear for at least a few days that we were going to “make out” the next time she got me alone. I was so nervous I was shaking.
When she kissed me, it wasn’t at all what I expected. I remember thinking “whoa, that’s her tongue,” which I expected in the abstract — but in real life it felt all wet, weird, and wriggly. Her mouth tasted ever so slightly sour, not like the oft-described “salty” kisses I’d read about.
To use a popular BDSM term, it kinda squicked me, as surely as if my partner had stuck a bunch of needles through her body and suspended herself by fleshhooks right there in her bedroom (which certainly would have been a novel first date, and far from unlikely for me in the years since then).
This amazing image courtesy of NASA.gov and the crew of STS-68:
Today, the Sun crosses the celestial equator heading south at 0951 UT. Known as the equinox, the astronomical event marks the first day of autumn in the northern hemisphere and spring in the south. Equinox means equal night and with the Sun on the celestial equator, Earth dwellers will experience nearly 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness. Of course, for those in the south, the days will grow longer with the Sun marching higher in the sky as summer approaches. A few weeks after the September Equinox of 1994, the Crew of the shuttle orbiter Endeavour recorded this image of the Sun poised above the Earth’s limb. Glare illuminates Endeavour’s vertical tail (pointing toward the Earth) along with radar equipment in the payload bay.
One of my favorite science publications, New Scientist, drops the ball in a big way in this article on Wikipedia. I say that because NS gives us an uncharacteristically credulous account of the online user-edited encyclopedia’s attempts to be taken seriously. It opens with a paragraph that reeks of the worst pseudoscientific dramababble:
Wikipedia’s entry on Albert Einstein looks good. Covering each phase of the physicist’s life, from childhood to death, it tells readers about his politics, religion and science. Honours named after him and books and plays about his life are listed. But there is one snag: there is no way to tell whether the information is true.
I can almost smell the Chupacabra’s spoor. In fact, I am so horrified by a so-called science journal asserting that there is “no way” to tell whether information of this sort is true that I just might want to add some spoor of my own, right on top of the latest issue of New Scientist.
The implicit assumption, here and in all discussions of Wikipedia…
Image via Wikipedia.