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March 16, 2010

Porn is good for you

Pornography: Beneficial or Detrimental? | Psychology Today And another article looks at statistics of porn use by sex offenders and finds that rapists used porn *less* often than non-rapists. Additionally they find "What does correlate highly with sex offense is a strict, repressive religious upbringing. Richard Green too has reported that both rapists and child molesters use less pornography than a control group of “normal” males."
"Indeed, the data reported and reviewed suggests that the thesis is myth and, if anything, there is an inverse causal relationship between an increase in pornography and sex crimes. Further, considering the findings of studies of community standards and wide spread usage of SEM [sexually explicit material], it is obvious that in local communities as nationally and internationally, porn is available, widely used and felt appropriate for voluntary adult consumption. If there is a consensus against pornography it is in regard to any SEM that involves children or minors in its production or consumption. Lastly we see that objections to erotic materials are often made on the basis of supposed actual, social or moral harm to women. No such cause and effect has been demonstrated with any negative consequence." . . . In their survey of 688 young Danish adults (men = 316; women = 372), Hald and Malamuth found that respondents construed the viewing of hardcore pornography as beneficial to their sex lives, their attitudes towards sex, their perceptions and attitudes towards members of the opposite sex, toward life in general, and over all. The obtained beneficial effects were statistically significant for all but one measure across both sexes. Now here is the kicker: A positive correlation was obtained between the amount of hardcore pornography that was viewed and the impact of the benefits reaped. This positive correlation was found for both sexes. In other words, the more that one watched porn, the stronger the benefits (for both sexes)! There you have it.

We have almost eradicated the creepiest parasite ever

Parasite lost: Exterminating Africa's horror worms - health - 16 March 2010 - New Scientist I'm choosing *not* to share pictures on this one, as they are horrible and nightmare-inducing. You're welcome.
IT STARTS with a painful blister - a very painful blister. It feels, people say, like being stabbed with a red-hot needle. When the blister bursts, the head of a worm pops out, thin, white and very much alive. The rest of the worm, about a metre long, remains inside your body. It can take up to two months to pull it out, inch by agonising inch, during which time it may be impossible to walk. In extreme cases, you may host up to sixty of them, anywhere on your body. The worms can cause paralysis or lethal bacterial infections, and even if you survive mostly unscathed, next year it can happen all over again. The guinea worm (Dracunculus, or little dragon) is probably the closest living equivalent to the monsters in the Alien movies - except we're beating this enemy. Guinea worm was once widespread in Africa, the Middle East and many parts of Asia. In 1986, there were nearly 4 million cases a year in 20 countries across south Asia and Africa. Last year, there were just 3142 in four countries in Africa. The worm could be extinct by 2012, making dracunculiasis the second human disease ever to be eradicated - the first being smallpox. Guinea worms start out as minuscule larvae living inside water fleas of the genus Cyclops. These millimetre-long crustaceans live in stagnant water, and people can swallow them when they drink from ponds, ditches or shallow wells. Stomach acids dissolve the water fleas but can leave the larvae untouched. The free larvae then burrow out of the intestine and cross to the chest or abdominal wall, where the male and female worms mature and mate. The males eventually die, but the growing females tunnel imperceptibly to, and then under, the skin. . . .

March 11, 2010

Relativity is real

space.com | Einstein Was Right: General Relativity Confirmed
Score one more for Einstein. A new study has confirmed his theory of general relativity works on extremely large scales. The study was one of the first rigorous tests of this theory of gravity beyond our solar system. The research found that even over vast scales of galaxies and clusters of galaxies, the equations of general relativity predict the way that mass pulls on other mass in the universe. The new work also helps rule out a competing theory of gravity that seeks to do away with the need for bizarre concepts like dark matter and dark energy that have irked some scientists. This research indicates those pesky ideas may be here to stay.