In today's assortment, we have a wide variety of links for your edification and viewing pleasure.
Ready? Here we go!
Society & Politics
New Scientist: Conservatives are biggest consumers of porn
Not that it's really a surprise to anyone. I've long suspected that many social conservatives fall into one of two broad camps: closeted self-loathers, and people who are really only concerned with the appearance of propriety rather than with actual propriety.
Business Week: Portland, Oregon is America's unhappiest city
Uh-oh. And I'm planning to move there shortly!
Lesbian Nation: Chronicles of the Lesbian Separatist Movement
In the seventies, a movement arose among lesbians who believed that the key to sexual and social freedom lay in withdrawing entirely from American society--including, in many cases, refusing to interact with or even speak to men. Battle too long, and you become the thing you're fighting against.
Will You Perceive the Event that Kills You?
My favorite link on the list. Will you even be aware of the thing that ends your life? The human sensory apparatus and nervious system are so slow that we are constantly living in the past--about 300-500 milliseconds in the past, to be exact. Many of the things that can kill you do so in less time than that. Interesting stuff, including a rundown of the sequence of events in a car crash, and how far behind your awareness of those events will lag.
Researchers solve mystery of deep-sea fish
Meet the barreleye--a fish with nostrils that look like eyes, a transparent head, and tubular eyes that swivel up and down entirely inside its head. Man, there is some seriously weird stuff in the deep ocean.
Natural selection: Darwin's God-killer
Two centuries after Origin of Species and people STILL don't actually know what evolution is. (Hint: If you're thinking "survival of the fittest," you ain't really got it.) Is this idea really a "god-killer"? Of course not. But it does demolish one very specific notion of god--the idea that the world was created in six literal 24-hour days exactly six thousand, four hundred and some odd years ago.
Junkfood Science: Why we think overeating causes obesity
There are many things we all know are true that actually aren't. Turns out that the notion that people are overweight simply because they eat too much is one of them. The history of a fascinating study on food and food deprivation, which probably would not be possible today 'cause it would violate ethical guidelines on human research.
Globe and Mail: Canadian researchers turn skin cells into stem cells
The new technique is easier and safer than previous techniques to coax mature cells back into becoming stem cells.
Mermaid Dream Comes True Thanks to Weta
Weta Digital, the company that did the special effects for the Lord of the Rings movies, has a lot of experience with advanced prosthetic effects. So when a girl with no legs approached them with the idea of making her a functional mermaid prosthetic, they said "Sure!"
2009: Shaping up to be a bad year for anti-vaccinationists
Everything under the sun has its conspiracy theorists. Terrorism has its 9/11 "truthers." The space program has its moon hoax conspiracy nutters. Geologists have the flat-earthers and the young-earthers to contend with. And the medical community has, among others, the anti-vaccination nutters. Difference is, the moon hoaxers and flat-earthers don't put other people's lives at risk. 2009 looks to be a bad year for this particular breed of nutter.
Sex and Relationships
The Single Best Working Assumption for Drama-Free Relationships
Sometimes it's the simple things that are most effective.
Control Tower: The Hot Bi Babe
Yes, I know it's an old article, but Mistress Matisse lays it on the line about why those zillions of married poly-in-theory couples will not likely find that hot bisexual woman they're looking for.
And finally, here's an old video circulating YouTube about the evils of pornography, though it has an interesting historical footnote:
The footnote? The person who made this video is none other than Charles Keating.
Keating, for those who don't remember him, was an anti-sex, anti-porn moral crusader for many years, and joined President Reagan's Meese Commission on Pornography in an attempt to lobby for tough anti-porn laws.
He later went on to embezzle about $1.2 billion from Lincoln Savings and Loan, singlehandedly triggering the collapse of the entire S&L industry. To Keating, you see, porn = immoral, stealing the life savings from working families = perfectly moral.