April 22nd, 2014

In a cave in Brazil, an insect has been discovered that has completely swapped genitals. The new genus has been dubbed Neotrogla, and the insects themselves are about 3 mm long and kind of look like flies. Not only does this female have such a relatively large piece (called a gynosome) but she knows how to use it. The results of this discovery have been published in the journal Current Biology.

When it is time to mate, the female mounts the male, inserts her gynosome into his vagina-like genitalia, and they begin a copulation session that is about 40-70 HOURS long. After it has been inserted, the gynosome curves inside of the male, locking the two together. This connection is so strong that a researcher who tried to pull the two apart during the deed actually ripped the male’s body in half, but didn’t separate their genitals.

When the male transfers ejaculate over to the female, it is believed to come with loads of nutrients to help the female with the eggs. In caves where food isn’t always plentiful, that can be a huge prize to be won for the female, and is very taxing for the male. As a result this has caused Neotrogla females to compete for males to get those precious resources.

(Source: flourish-thrive)

So much for being superior.

(This Bonobo chimp roasts marshmallows with the same greed as my niece! hahaha)

Fascist Dictator Benito Mussolini.

Fascist Dictator Benito Mussolini.

U.S. No Longer A Democracy!

"The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence." 

This is not a new trend, according to the researchers: As the data, stretching back to the 1980’s, suggests, this is a long-term trend, and is, therefore, harder for Americans to perceive, let alone reverse.
Here’s the study (pdf), to be published in the Fall 2014 issue of Perspectives on Politics.

U.S. No Longer A Democracy!

"The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence." 

This is not a new trend, according to the researchers: As the data, stretching back to the 1980’s, suggests, this is a long-term trend, and is, therefore, harder for Americans to perceive, let alone reverse.

Here’s the study (pdf), to be published in the Fall 2014 issue of Perspectives on Politics.

Japan Continues to Win The “WTF Food Olympics” by Creating Vegetable Ice Cream

These could actually be good: Carrot-Orange, and Tomato-Cherry ice creams.

Japan Continues to Win The “WTF Food Olympics” by Creating Vegetable Ice Cream

These could actually be good: Carrot-Orange, and Tomato-Cherry ice creams.

Because Carl Sagan, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and all of those atheist astronomers and cosmologists are wrong!

Birthday Surprise!

A very funny and clever Thai public service advertisement that encourages gay men to be tested for HIV.

A dozen states still have anti-sodomy laws on the books more than ten years after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the laws are unconstitutional. The Supreme Court ruled in Lawrence v. Texas in 2003 that it is unconstitutional to bar consensual sex between adults, calling it a violation of the 14th Amendment. “Sodomy” is sexual intercourse involving anal or oral copulation, whether with someone of another gender or of the same gender. It’s not about homosexual intercourse, though it’s enforced as a ban on gay sex. The laws have their roots in Christian notions of what’s appropriate sexually — if sex is not for reproduction, it’s “against God’s law.”

In Louisiana, where police have used anti-sodomy laws to target gay men, state lawmakers sided with religious and conservative groups in refusing to repeal the anti-sodomy laws just last week. Of 15 states that had anti-sodomy laws still on the books, only Missouri (2006) Montana (2013) and Virginia (2014) have repealed theirs since the Supreme Court ruling. In addition to Louisiana, anti-sodomy laws remain on the books in Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah.

To put this in perspective, it wasn’t until 2001 that Alabama finally removed their anti-interracial sex, cohabitation, and marriage law, ruled unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court 34 years before (1967)!

The BSA leaders care more about being “assholes” than they care about children. Nice example for the kids.

"I hate the word homophobia. It’s not a phobia. You are not scared. You are just an asshole."

Impact of Childhood Bullying Still Evident after 40 Years
The negative social, physical and mental health effects of childhood bullying* are still evident nearly 40 years later, according to new research. The study is the first to look at the effects of bullying beyond early adulthood. Individuals who were bullied in childhood were more likely to have poorer physical and psychological health and cognitive functioning at age 50. Individuals who were frequently bullied in childhood were at an increased risk of depression, anxiety disorders, and suicidal thoughts. The harmful effect of bullying remained even when other factors including childhood IQ, emotional and behavioural problems, parents’ socioeconomic status and low parental involvement, were taken into account.
Here’s the study (pdf).
*Bullying is characterized by repeated hurtful actions by children of a similar age, where the victim finds it difficult to defend themselves.

Impact of Childhood Bullying Still Evident after 40 Years

The negative social, physical and mental health effects of childhood bullying* are still evident nearly 40 years later, according to new research. The study is the first to look at the effects of bullying beyond early adulthood. Individuals who were bullied in childhood were more likely to have poorer physical and psychological health and cognitive functioning at age 50. Individuals who were frequently bullied in childhood were at an increased risk of depression, anxiety disorders, and suicidal thoughts. The harmful effect of bullying remained even when other factors including childhood IQ, emotional and behavioural problems, parents’ socioeconomic status and low parental involvement, were taken into account.

Here’s the study (pdf).

*Bullying is characterized by repeated hurtful actions by children of a similar age, where the victim finds it difficult to defend themselves.

"I know where the apostrophe goes!"

"I know where the apostrophe goes!"

(Source: fckh8-tees)

At present we lack a fully satisfactory explanation for the origins of agriculture. Any explanation must account for the curious fact that, after 200,000 years or more during which all humans lived as foragers, agricultural lifeways appeared within just a few thousand years in parts of the world that had no significant contact with each other. The realization that agriculture arose quite independently in different parts of the world has undermined the once-fashionable view that agriculture was a brilliant invention that diffused from a single center as soon as people understood its benefits. That view was also undermined after researchers realized that foragers who know about agriculture have often preferred to remain foragers. Perhaps foragers resisted change because the health and nutritional levels of the first farmers were often lower than those of neighboring foragers, whereas their stress levels were often higher. If agriculture depressed living standards, then an explanation of the origins of agriculture must rely more on ‘push’ than on ‘pull’ factors. Rather than taking up agriculture willingly, we must assume that many early agriculturalists were forced to take it up.
The Oldest Living Things in the World: A Decade-Long Photographic Masterpiece at the Intersection of Art, Science, and Philosophy — 18 Photos and 2 Videos

For nearly a decade, Brooklyn-based artist, photographer, and Guggenheim Fellow Rachel Sussman has been traveling the globe to discover and document its oldest organisms — living things over 2,000 years of age. 

Her breathtaking photographs and illuminating essays are now collected in The Oldest Living Things in the World — beautiful and powerful work at the intersection of fine art, science, and philosophy, spanning seven continents and exploring issues of deep time, permanence and impermanence, and the interconnectedness of life.

The Oldest Living Things in the World: A Decade-Long Photographic Masterpiece at the Intersection of Art, Science, and Philosophy — 18 Photos and 2 Videos

For nearly a decade, Brooklyn-based artist, photographer, and Guggenheim Fellow Rachel Sussman has been traveling the globe to discover and document its oldest organisms — living things over 2,000 years of age.

Her breathtaking photographs and illuminating essays are now collected in The Oldest Living Things in the World — beautiful and powerful work at the intersection of fine art, science, and philosophy, spanning seven continents and exploring issues of deep time, permanence and impermanence, and the interconnectedness of life.

Funny? Weird? Girls Asking Girls on a Date

(h/t Towleroad)