Archive for 'Boys Will Be Boys'

An Industrial Hygienist Looks at Porn

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

Good health is, to a large extent, a matter of good engineering. This study takes that view:

An Industrial Hygienist Looks at Porn,” Deborah Gold, Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, vol. 12, no. 8, 2015, pp. 184-190. (Thanks to Tom Gill for bringing this to our attention.).


The abstract says:

Deborah Gold, MPH, CIH, is the former Deputy Chief for Health of the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (aka Cal/OSHA) within the California Department of Industrial Relations. During her tenure in that position, and in her previous positions with the agency as a Senior Industrial Hygienist and Senior Safety Engineer she was involved with enforcement actions, and regulatory development concerning the California adult film industry….

Occupational health professionals can contribute to protectingemployees in this industry by recognizing the hazards in this industry as legitimate issues that are within our professional purview to address. Industrial hygienists can advocate for protecting workers against nicotine exposure without taking a position on banning the sale of cigarettes. Similarly, protection for workers in the adult film industry should not depend on individual views on the content of the material produced any more than requiring guards on printing presses should depend on the content of the publication.

Here’s a January 2013 NPR report on one aspect of this, that includes an interview with Deborah Gold: “Porn Industry Turned Off By L.A. Mandate For Condoms On Set“.

Looking at Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015

In her book Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History, Florence Williams looks at breasts, and at how other people look at breasts, in ways that are scholarly, technological, and entertaining. This video lets you look at Williams looking at those things in those ways:

The Great Attempt to Catalog All Fetishes (including the pacemaker fetish)

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015

scorolliOn 28 October 2004 we humans took a giant step towards cataloguing all of our sexual fetishes. An Italian/Swedish research team, led by Claudia Scorolli [pictured here] at the University of Bologna, downloaded data from hundreds of online fetish discussion groups and spent the next three years analysing their haul. Then they published a study in the International Journal of Impotence Research: Relative Prevalence of Different Fetishes….

So begins this month’s Improbable Research column in The Guardian.

* * *

BONUS: Here’s a piece of info that did not appear  (because the column has to fit into a set space in the print edition of The Guardian) in the published version of the column:

Two of the fetish study’s co-authors, Stefano Ghirlanda and Magnus Enquist, had been awarded an Ig Nobel Prize in 2003, for a study called “Chickens Prefer Beautiful Humans“, which was not about fetishes.

Cat dropping, for curiosity’s sake

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

The Skull in the Stars blog writes about the practice, back when, of cat turning:

One thing I’ve learn from studying the history of science is that scientists are human beings. Often incredibly weird, weird human beings. For example: in the mid-to-late-1800s, an exciting era in which the foundations of electromagnetic theory were set and the electromagnetic nature of light was discovered, a number of the greatest minds in physics were also preoccupied with a rather different problem.

Dropping cats….

It is almost impossible to overstate the achievements of James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879), widely regarded as the greatest theoretical physicist of the 19th century.  His greatest achievement was the final unification of electricity and magnetism by the completion of a set of mathematical equations that are now known asMaxwell’s equations, and the brilliant deductive leap that these equations demonstrate that light itself must be an electromagnetic wave.  Maxwell also made major contributions to thermodynamics and the related kinetic theory of gases, and if these were not enough he also made the first demonstration of color photography. Ever.

He also dropped cats.

v4i4The Annals of Improbable Research explored several aspects of cat dropping in the special Animal Behavior issue, in 1998. Especially pertinent: the article “Does a Cat Always Land on Its Feet?

BONUS (possibly unrelated): The study:

Cat Bite Infections of the Hand: Assessment of Morbidity and Predictors of Severe Infection,” Nikola Babovic, BA, Cenk Cayci, MD, Brian T. Carlsen, Journal of Hand Surgery, Volume 39, Issue 2 , Pages 286-290, February 2014.

BONUS (only metaphorically related): The dead cat bounce in the stock market

Bullfighting Injuries: Gore to the groin

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015

Bullfighting injuries to humans tend to cluster in certain places, explains this survey:

dr-lloydMatador Versus Taurus: Bull Gore Injury,” Mark Sheldon Lloyd, Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, vol. 86, 2004, pp. 3–5. (Thanks to James Harkin for bringing this to our attention.) The author [pictured here], at Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead, West Sussex, UK, reports:

“Bull fighting is a reality and the injuries sustained by the matador cause a bizarre pattern of injury that the trauma surgeon must appreciate since they are inflicted in unique circumstances. This article highlights the mechanism of a bull gore injury, the pattern of wounds, and the most appropriate management…. In bull gore injury due to bull fighting, the thigh and lower leg accounts for 50% of all wounds….

“The second commonest site of bull gore injury in the matador is the perineal area. Scrotal avulsion often requires plastic surgical reconstruction.”

Here’s further, penetrating detail from the study: