Archive for 'Boys Will Be Boys'

Are There Societies Where Lovers Do Not Kiss?

Saturday, August 6th, 2016

v22i4-250wAre There Societies Where Lovers Do Not Kiss? Is any society devoid of osculation?

Those questions are addressed in a study that’s profiled in the special kissing issue of the Annals of Improbable Research.

A fond look back at one of Troy’s many bear-suit adventures

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016

This CTV news report shows Ig Nobel Prize winner Troy Hurtubise, some years ago, testing one of the many increasingly-sophisticated suits of armor he developed to protect himself against grizzly bears. In this report, Troy, wearing the suit, was strapped to the front of an automobile, and the car was then driven head-on into a brick wall. This image is from the news report. Click on it, and be transported to the CTV web site, where you can watch the report, and Troy, unfold:


Troy enjoys a huge following of admirers and prospective imitators. It’s rumored that there could some day be a television series starring Troy, in which Troy would take on all comers in a series of intriguingly dangerous situations (such as being tossed into the Bering Sea to see who could survive the longest). This rare video (below) appears to be a pilot for that TV series.

Troy has already, of course, been the star of a hit documentary film, Project Grizzly:

And Troy authored a hit book, which includes among its many delights hints of Troy’s relationships with members of the British royal family.


Orgasms in 27 Languages: “Behold, I Am Coming Soon!”

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

Linguistics is a sometimes exciting discipline. Behold this newly published study:

Behold, I Am Coming Soon! A Study on the Conceptualization of Sexual Orgasm in 27 Languages,” Anita Yen Chiang and Wen-yu Chiang [pictured here], Metaphor and Symbol, vol. 31, no. 3, July-September 2016, pp. 131-147. The authors, at National Taiwan University, explain:

WenYuChiang“languages tend to conceptualize orgasm as a physiological response in the terms for orgasm; whereas more languages are inclined to conceptualize orgasm as an ideal goal in the announcements for orgasm. Depending on whether the focus is on the physiological, psychological, and ideal aspects during sex, native speakers of their various languages may conceptualize orgasm with the conceptual metaphors ORGASM IS A PEAK, ORGASM IS FIRE, ORGASM IS DEATH, ORGASM IS A DESTINATION, and ORGASM IS THE RELEASE OF FORCE/SUBSTANCE IN A CONTAINER; conceptual metonymies (i.e., EXCITEMENT FOR ORGASM, SWELLING FOR ORGASM, and HEAT FOR ORGASM); and related concepts (i.e., (FEELING OF) SATISFACTION and (FEELING OF) PLEASURE).”

Here’s are two further chunks of details from the study:



(Thanks to Dor Abrahamson for bringing this to our attention.)

BONUS: A performance of the song “Behold, I Am Coming Soon!”:

Sagging pants and the logic of abductive inference

Monday, June 27th, 2016

Saggy-PantsNot all that many academic studies have examined the possibilities of abductive inference with regard to sagging pants [sagging trousers (UK)]. There are exceptions though. Professor Marcia Morgado of the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa has a paper in the journal Critical Studies in Men’s Fashion (Volume 2 Issue 2-3, September 2015) which:

“[…] explores the usefulness of abductive inference as a conceptual scheme and as a model for thinking about thinking.”

It’s entitled: Uncovered butts and recovered rules: Sagging pants and the logic of abductive inference.

“Peirce’s thesis on abductive inference, which addresses the logic of inferential thinking, frames an interpretive study of a text of heated public arguments that surrounded sagging during its rise as a highly transgressive and controversial subculture appearance form. On the assumption that I could do so, I consciously reconstructed the logic of my inferences, framing these on Peirce’s premise that interpretation begins with an observation (the result) and proceeds to a conclusion regarding meaning (the case) by intuiting a relationship (a hypothesized rule) between the observation and what it appears to mean. The abductions reveal that my inferences were constructed on conventional rules derived from common clichés, principles drawn from scholarly works on the social-psychology of dress, and ordinary marketplace wisdom.”

Image: A partial view of Stop The Sag – Raise Your Pants, Raise Your Image’ as provided by The New York State Senate newsroom.

Incomplete info: The case of the donkey-bitten member

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

Some published medical reports give incomplete information, inducing frustration in intellectually curious readers. This newly published study exemplifies the problem:

Total Phallic Reconstruction Using the Radial Artery Based Forearm Free Flap After Traumatic Penile Amputation,” Marco Falcone, MD, Giulio Garaffa, MD, PhD, FRCS(Eng), Amr Raheem, MD, Nim A. Christopher, MPhil, FRCS(Urol), and David J. Ralph, FRCS(Urol), Journal of Sexual Medicine, vol. 13,  2016, pp. 1119-1124. The authors, at University College London Hospitals, UK, the University of Turin, Italy, and the University of Cairo, Egypt, report:

“The causes of penile loss were self-amputation owing to an acute schizophrenic episode (n = 2), road traffic accident (n = 3), blast injury (n = 3), donkey bite (n = 1), and Fournier gangrene (n = 1).”

Here is further detail from the study:

donkey table

The study includes no further information about the donkey.