Archive for 'Boys Will Be Boys'

Biblical Bone Euphemism, Perhaps

Sunday, December 27th, 2015

Biblical study and biology combine in this treatise:

gilbertCongenital human baculum deficiency: The generative bone of Genesis,” Scott F. Gilbert [pictured here] and Ziony Zevit, American Journal of Medical Genetics, vol. 101, no. 3, 2001, pp. 284-285. The authors explain:

“Whereas most mammals (including common species such as dogs and mice) and most other primates (excepting spider monkeys) have a penile bone, human males lack this bone and must rely on fluid hydraulics to maintain erections. This is not an insignificant bone…. One of the creation stories in Genesis may be an explanatory myth wherein the Bible attempts to find a cause for why human males lack this particular bone. Our opinion is that Adam did not lose a rib in the creation of Eve. Any ancient Israelite (or for that matter, any American child) would be expected to know that there is an equal (and even) number of ribs in both men and women. Moreover, ribs lack any intrinsic generative capacity. We think it is far more probable that it was Adam’s baculum that was removed in order to make Eve. That would explain why human males, of all the primates and most other mammals, did not have one.”

(Thanks to investigator Ann Starr for bringing this to our attention.)

Enter, pursued by a bear

Friday, December 25th, 2015

Do you share the Christmas tradition of watching “Project Grizzly“, the documentary film about Ig Nobel Prize winner Troy Hurtubise? Here’s the film:

Troy was awarded the 1998 Ig Nobel Prize for safety engineering, for Troy Hurtubise, of North Bay, Ontario, for developing, and personally testing a suit of armor that is impervious to grizzly bears.

BONUS: Farewell, Treadwell. Praised Be Troy. (About, among other things, the movie “Grizzly Man“, with a cameo of sorts by Leonardo DiCaprio.)

BONUS: Troy’s book about his research into bear-proof suits

Kelsey Dobson and Stephen Lindeman review a urination duration lecture

Saturday, December 19th, 2015

Kelsey Dobson and Stephen Lindeman attended a lecture by David Hu, who was awarded an Ig Nobel Prize this year for his research on urination duration in mammals. Dobson and Lindeman each then reviewed what they had seen and hears:

The disgusting (to some people) secrets of smelly (to most people) feet

Saturday, December 12th, 2015

The smelly feet / Limburger cheese / malaria mosquito research that earned an Ig Nobel Prize (in 2006) has provoked a deeper look at smelly foot smells. David Robson reports, for BBC Future:feet

The disgusting secrets of smelly feet

Renate Smallegange is something of a connoisseur of smelly feet – and she goes to surprising lengths to study their odours. Sometimes she’ll collect worn nylon socks that have become imbued with the fragrance. If that’s not good enough, she asks people to rub their feet on glass beads and wipe their sweaty skin on the surface. When she’s being really picky, she’ll trap the feet in a plastic bag, allowing her to draw up the aroma in gusts of air. Of all the jobs in the world, it’s certainly not the most pleasant, but Smallegange is mostly unperturbed by the occasional whiff of cheese. “It’s not a big deal,” she tells me. “Of course some people do smell nicer than others – from my personal point of view.” …

In some situations, foot odour is much more serious than slight embarrassment, however – it might be a matter of life or death. Dutch scientist Bart Knols was one of the first to notice that certain species of malaria-carrying mosquitoes are attracted to the smells wafting from our feet. His work has since inspired many of Smallegange’s latest studies at Wageningen University in the Netherlands….

Here’s an interview in 2010, with Lisa Mullins on The World, in which Renate Smallegange discusses how “socks may keep mosquitoes at bay“.

Here’s video of Bart Knols explaining and demonstrating the basics of smelly foot research:

As with many things, Bill Gates is peripherally involved in the smelly foot research efforts, says a report headlined “Bill and Melinda Gates to fight malaria in Africa using smelly socks.”


Discourse analysis of men’s online groin shaving talk (new study)

Thursday, December 10th, 2015

It could be said that not all that much academic attention has been afforded to discourse analysis of men’s online groin shaving talk. One, perhaps the only, published exception is a new paper in the journal Sexualities, December 2015, vol. 18 no. 8 997-1017 ‘When there’s no underbrush the tree looks taller’: A discourse analysis of men’s online groin shaving talk.

Author Dr Matthew Hall who is a Research Associate at the Department: Health Research of Lancaster University, UK, provides a full copy of the paper here [s.f.w.]

Note: The paper cites a link to this page hosted by razor manufacturer Gillette, where the video above can be found.

Bonus:  ‘Bring out the 007 in You’ (according to Gillette)