Archive for 'Boys Will Be Boys'

Distinguishing Real vs Fake Tiger Penises [law enforcement guide]

Monday, October 2nd, 2017

This eight-page report is a practical guide for law enforcement officials:

Distinguishing Real vs Fake Tiger Penises,” Bonnie C. Yates, Identification Guides for Wildlife Law Enforcement No. 6., 2005, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Fish and Wildlife Forensics Laboratory, Ashland, Oregon. (Thanks to Silvan Urfer for bringing this to our attention.) The author reports:

“Dried genitalia are an important element of traditional medicine in many cultures around the world…. Wildlife law enforcement officers can learn to differentiate the various species sources of these products and detect genuine tiger penises from the abundant fakes currently being sold to unsuspecting tourists and consumers.

“In animal markets, some parts and products are not what they are labeled. One of the most difficult products to identify has been genuine dried tiger penises. The reason for this is the rarity of the real thing and a long tradition of the production of ‘lesser tiger’ or tiger substitute, that is, any other large mammal that can be promoted as a replacement for tiger. When rehydrated and consumed in a soup or tea, this product is believed to serve as an aphrodisiac or restorative tisane. To date, no dried penis from an actual tiger has been seen in the Lab as evidence in a wildlife case.”

The photo above, from the report, comes with this caption: “Fig. 4. Looking at the base of a bull’s penis carved to simulate a tiger’s penis. This is how cattle genitals are made to be used as replacements for genuine tiger parts. Notice the V-shaped cuts in the tissue underneath the lowest barbs (arrow).”

BONUS FACT: The 1992 Ig Nobel Prize for Art was awarded to to Jim Knowlton, for his classic anatomy poster “Penises of the Animal Kingdom,” and to the U.S. National Endowment for the Arts for encouraging Mr. Knowlton to extend his work in the form of a pop-up book.

“Dead Cat Bounce” (an elucidation)

Thursday, September 28th, 2017

If you’re not sure what the phrase “Dead Cat Bounce” might mean, then the online pages of the journal Medical Economics are at hand for assistance. The publication informs, with regard to Dead Cat Bounce :

That term refers to a stock that’s had a rapid, steep decline, followed by a brief rally. Like a dead cat dropped from the roof of a building, it may bounce up a little, but that doesn’t mean it has another life left.”

Also noted are : “Bottom fisher.” “Pump and dump” and “Cats and dogs”

See: The “dead cat bounce” and other financial jargon

The Ziptune® musical zipper (new patent)

Monday, September 25th, 2017

Inventor Stan Divranos, of Chino, California, has just been granted a US patent (Aug 29th 2017) for his Ziptune® musical zipper.

“Various types of zippers are known in the prior art. However, what has been needed is a musical zipper including a zipper having a slider, a continuous C-shaped flap having a pair of outer ends attached to a front surface of the slider, a pull tab engaging the flap, a pair of interlocking teeth having a first interlocking member and a second interlocking member, a speaker disposed on the front surface of the slider, and a sound chip disposed within the slider. What has been further needed is for the slider to be configured to travel from a first end of the zipper to a second end of the zipper to connect the first interlocking member with the second interlocking member and for the slider to be configured to travel from the second end of the zipper to the first end of the zipper to disconnect the first interlocking member from the second interlocking member. Lastly, what has been needed is for the sound chip to be configured to play a musical tune when the sound chip is activated.“

Bonus Assignment [optional] What tune (or tunes) would be most suitable for the Ziptune® to play? [ please comment with your suggestions below ]

BONUS [One answer to that question is the song “Zip-a-dee-doo-dah”:



“What Colour is Penguin Guano?” [research study]

Saturday, September 9th, 2017

A new study reports progress on an old chestnut of a question:

“What Colour is Penguin Guano?” W.G. Rees, J.A. Brown, P.T. Fretwell, and P.N. Trathan, Antarctic Science, vol. 29, no. 5, October 2017 , pp. 417-425. (Thanks to Tom Gill for bringing this to our attention.) The authors, at the University of Cambridge and the British Antarctic Survey explain:

“The identification and quantification of Antarctic Pygoscelis penguin colonies depends increasingly on recognition of the characteristic optical properties of guano deposits, but almost all knowledge of these properties until now has been compromised by resolution and atmospheric propagation effects. Here we present hyperspectral reflectance data in the range 350–2500 nm, collected in situ from fresh guano deposits in Pygoscelis penguin colonies on Signy Island, South Orkney Islands. The period of data collection included the transition from predominantly white guano to the pink coloration characteristic of a krill-rich diet. The main identifiable features in the spectra are a broad absorption feature centred around 550 nm, responsible for the pink coloration and identified with the pigment astaxanthin, as well as several water absorption features…. From these results we propose two spectral indices suitable for use with satellite data, one of which responds to the presence of astaxanthin in the guano and the other to water. Our results do not allow us to differentiate between penguin species from their guano, but do suggest that the breeding phenology of Pygoscelis penguins could be determined from a time series of multispectral imagery.”

Fancy Upgrade Car Wheels and their Evolutionary Significance (study)

Thursday, August 31st, 2017

“Charles Darwin considered costly traits that could not be accounted for by survival advantage, such as peacock tails, problematic to his theory of evolution by natural selection. He later realized that these features conferred reproductive advantage in the acquisition of mating partners.”

Could this peacock tail insight be applied to humans? Specifically male humans? More precisely to male humans who are students? To be exact, to male human students who buy expensive fancy wheels for their cars? So wondered Daniel J. Kruger (School of Public Health, University of Michigan) and Jessica S. Kruger (School of Population Health, University of Toledo) who performed the first experimental study (of its kind) to determine whether visually conspicuous vehicle modifications influence perceptions of male owner’s reproductive strategy and attractiveness.

“Ethnically diverse undergraduates at a large public university in the Midwestern USA (N = 339, 53% female, M age = 19, SD age = 1) completed anonymous on-line surveys at their convenience.”

The results of the survey, which showed the students photos of cars with upgraded wheels, allowed conclusions to be drawn – and published in a Professional Article for EvoS : The Journal of the Evolutionary Studies Consortium 2016, NEEPS Special Issue pp. 1-12 and which can be read in full here : Visually conspicuous vehicle modifications influence perceptions of male owner’s reproductive strategy and attractiveness

Note: The photo shows the r8t12 wheel (gold brush finish) available from Radi8

“Radi8 Wheels was [sic] made for those who stand out of the crowd, for those who want to try something different. We devote passion into designing each wheel with its own unique personality. From the ‘Charming Jerk’ wheel to the ‘Mr Drama Queen’ gives your ride that personal touch.”