Archive for: November, 2010

Rock Stars Vs Cheerleaders

Nov 20 2010 Published by under Academia, Activism

Sci doesn't generally like expressing her opinion on things in the blogsphere. It usually gets her yelled at, and Sci is a very conflict-averse little soul. But every once in a while. I see something that gets me thinking. And so I must comment. And at least half the internet will probably declare war on me forever more. So it goes. I'll don my protective headgear, and get on with it.

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79 responses so far

OH YES! YES!! YES!!! The Carnal Carnival is HERE!!

Nov 19 2010 Published by under Blog Carnivals, Friday Weird Science

Hello and welcome to this month's CARNAL CARNIVAL! The carnival full of the things you are REALLY curious about. This month's topic? The ORGASM of course!

As you might imagine, orgasm has never been an unpopular subject. And as you'll see from the links below, it inspires people to some REALLY HYSTERICAL turns of phrase.

Are you ready? You know you wanna...

Something in the way she moves
. FuturePundit tells us about the infamous study where scientists (presumably male) attempted to predict a woman's orgasmic abilities through her walk, and concluded "This could reflect the free, unblocked energetic flow from the legs through the pelvis to the spine," All about the energy flow, clearly.

(Any guesses?)

Greg Laden has a post on whether emotional intelligence correlates with number of orgasms. Christie notes, however, that in this case, correlation does not equal causation.

Do you really want to SEE an orgasm? OF COURSE YOU DO! First there was a PET study, then there was an MRI study, and now, apparently there is an MRI VIDEO, newly presented at SfN. Sadly, I didn't see anyone BLOG the experience! Come on kids, throw Sci a bone! I wanna see some brainy fireworks!

(Not sexy. Not sexy at all...)

But what is orgasm about? Bora makes an argument for the importance of TIMING. And a little side note on some sexy dreams. "the Discussion starts with the lament that most of the scientific literature is concerned with 'why' we dream and not with 'what' we dream". Wanna know what people dream? And how they feel about it when they wake up? Other than, possibly, um...damp.

It seems that many (presumably male) scientists find woman a mystery. Particularly our orgasms. There are far more posts on the topic of female orgasm than there are on male (don't worry, it's not understudied, there are LOTS of articles out there). Bora has expounded at great depth on the subject of female orgasm, and Jeremy of Denim and Tweed asks the important question...what, exactly, is the point?

because when evolutionary biologists consider humans, their conclusions get personal.

Well, while the evolutionary "point" of (female) orgasm may be up in the air, it's nice to know that orgasms can do more than just propagate the species. They can even clear out your sinuses! Christie and I both had fun with this paper in the illustrious journal of "Medical Hypotheses". And I even took some later data...can masturbation help YOU with your sinus problems?

So I'm sure you've all been congested as some point. Usually we reach for the Sudafed (if we can get some, in the States it's like pulling teeth), or the Dayquil, or perhaps just put our heads over a cup of steaming tea. But how many of us think "man, if only I could get off right now..."

Though probably when you are really congested, getting off is not really something that's much on your mind. And if it is, my but you have a very odd fetish.

And Pal reports on the sexual satisfaction experienced in men with or without circumcision. They will paint ANYTHING on those ancient Egyptian tombs, I tell you.

From one end to the other..."For most people in the world, a really satisfactory bowel movement feels...good. The relief, the relaxation, we've all been there. But apparently, for the patient in this case study, defecation felt more than good, it felt GREAT.

But is it possible for a crap to feel TOO great?" Check out my post on a man who complained of his daily orgasms. Very tiring.

And of course, why limit it all to the HUMAN species?!?

Cause that's why Birds do it...

with their 20cm penises...
(Funny, the line about the 20cm penis isn't in there...)

And finally, least but DEFINITELY not thought 20cm was bad. Hectocotyli asks us to LOOK AT THE SQUID. The squid that died...and left the world a little something before he went. "And, then, presumably, he died smiling."

And that's it for this month's Carnival Carnival!

Was it as good for you as it was for me?

Of course it was!!!

And don't forget to submit your posts for NEXT MONTH'S Carnal Carnival, where EcoPhysioMichelle will be taking us through the best...and bloodiest, that science has to offer. NEXT MONTH: BLOOD.

4 responses so far


Nov 18 2010 Published by under Activism

Thanks so much to everyone who donated to Sci's Donor's Choose!!! We raised a lot of money and I am completely thrilled that students will be able to get things like owl pellets and skeletons and, heck, pencils.


Sci took all the names of the people who donated (sadly, I could not include anonymous people because I did not have access to information to tell who was who, obviously...), and stuck them into



Greg Gbur and Martha Han!!!


You two get SCICURIOUS MERCH!!!!

Just drop Sci a line with where to send it, and a brand new awesome Scicurious Travel Mug will be coming your way!!!

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Rock Stars of Science Is BACK.

Nov 17 2010 Published by under Activism

Some of you might remember last year, for the first time, the Rock Stars of SCIENCE!

The idea was to make science more cool and accessible by showing that scientists are not just scientists, they are people. And people who are kind of awesome. So they took a bunch of very big scientists and paired them with rock stars. I'm not really sure how well it did, esp since the scientists are all in suits (not so cool, that), but I do think it sends important messages: that not all rock stars and celebrities are anti-science woo-wagons, and that scientists are human too (some even like Sheryl Crow).

And this year they are doing it again, and they have gone a lot better (in my personal opinion) by adding some WOMEN!!!

Is that Rear Admiral Dr. Susan Blumenthal I see there, second from the right, known for her excellent public health work in women's health, and for US Assistant Surgeon General?

THAT is what I am talking ABOUT!

WOOHOO!! That is (second from the right) Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn, the first Australian female Nobel Laureate and the researched who discovered telomerase. Awesome doesn't even begin to describe this woman.

They also included this year two African Americans, including Dr. Bernard Harris, the first African American to spacewalk.

So Check it out when it comes out, the feature will appear in GQ Magazine as before. And I am personally thrilled that they have made an effort to include more women and minorities in this years spread, and that they got some leather jackets in the mix. Here's hoping it will do some good!

4 responses so far

Cure your Aging Synapses with this New Diet and Exercise Regimen!

The title for this one comes from those stupid "1 tip for a flat belly!" and "The thing moms know about whitening teeth!" ads that keep popping up for me. You know the ones. Well, now, screw that. WHAT'S more important than getting a flat belly or whitening your teeth?! CURING YOUR AGING NEUROMUSCULAR JUNCTIONS!!!

Scientists have been searching for the fountain of youth for ages. Not an actual fountain, or a cure for aging, but the REASON behind the declines and changing that come along with age. A few years ago, scientists found that exercise and a low calorie diet (VERY low calorie, not something that is maintained easily), can reduce the effects of aging and dramatically extend lifespan in rodents. The question is, though, HOW this happens. Valdez, et al. "Attenuation of age-related changes in mouse neuromuscular synapses by caloric restriction and exercise" PNAS, 2010.

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6 responses so far

Question for Educators/Lay Public

Nov 16 2010 Published by under Synaptic Misfires

Hey Y'all,

So Sci is helping to moderate a session at the upcoming Science Online 2011 (woot!!), on blogging science for the lay public ("lay" meaning, like, not a scientist by trade, I suppose).

And I was what ways do you think I succeed in blogging science for teh peoples? In what ways do I fail? Any ideas on how to improve?

What do you think? I was going to try a survey, but the free plans only take 100 responses and that sucks. 🙂 So I was wondering if people would be willing to answer any of the questions below:

1) If you are an educator (please say), do you use my blog in your teaching? Why or why not?

2) Do you find my writing easy to understand, and if so, why?

3) What parts of my writing do you find helpful, and what parts unhelpful?

4) Do you have any ideas on what I can do to improve how I talk about science to people who don't know much about it?

Let me know! Sci is curious! And it will help our Sci Online session!! Do it for teh peoples.

16 responses so far

Money CAN buy happiness...well, sort of.

Nov 15 2010 Published by under Behavioral Neuro, Uncategorized

Who'd have thought we'd have gotten all this way in science and never studied whether money can buy happiness? Well, in fact, this HAS been studied, but the results have almost always been inconclusive. This probably has a lot to do with how it's being studied, what ranges of monetary income you're talking about, and most importantly, HOW you define 'happiness'.

And, of course, how you define 'rich'. Kahneman and Deaton. "High income improves evaluation of life but not emotional well-being" PNAS, 2010.

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4 responses so far

Get ready to get your rocks off! The Carnal Carnival Is Coming!

Nov 14 2010 Published by under Blog Carnivals

Heh. Heh. That's two euphemisms, one post title. Yep.

Sci is the proud (?) host of the Carnal Carnival this month, coming up this FRIDAY, November 19th!!! And the subject?

It's Sci, isn't it?! ORGASM!


So submit to Sci your posts on Orgasm! Can be old, can be new. Keep them coming! (You see what I did there).

You have until November 18th!!!

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Scicurious Stuff! If you buy it, Flaunt it!

Nov 13 2010 Published by under Synaptic Misfires

So by now you have hopefully seen my truly awesome new Scicurious Store of Awesome and Win! And you know that I'll be giving away fun merchandise to people who donate to Donor's Choose!!!

But I also wanted to mention: if you got it, FLAUNT IT! Send Sci a picture of yourself (or your pet! Or your laptop!) with your Scicurious Stuff, and Sci will post it here and make lots of flattering remarks about how awesome you are. Well, ok, provided that the posts you send are Safe for Work (no thong pics, please! I don't think we need to know each other that well).

For instance, check out Lousy Canuck! Doesn't he look HANDSOME?!?!

So get Sci Stuff! And Flaunt Sci Stuff! And make Sci PROUD!

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Friday Weird Science: fMRI and Female Orgasm, that's SO been done.

Nov 12 2010 Published by under Friday Weird Science, Uncategorized

So apparently, everyone is getting all hot n bothered over the fact that, at SfN, they are going to do a video of women stimulating themselves to an fMRI. Of their BRAINS, obviously. Please, this conference is not NSFW! 🙂

Sci is very excited to see the videos (heh, heh...) but moreso to see the results, because from the press release (which is all I've got to go on right now), it looks like they are looking at the possible effects of combating pain. Well, ok, maybe. Really, the press release doesn't give me a lot to go on.

But anyway, everyone's going all nuts because there's going to be video. But it turns out that the people in charge of this study (main author is Komisaruk) have DONE THIS BEFORE! Just without video. And what better way to herald the approach of their new study (and the subject of this month's Carnal Carnival!) than to cover his previous work!

LET'S GET IT ON. Komisaruk et al. "Brain activation during vaginocervical self-stimulation and orgasm in women with complete spinal cord injury: fMRI evidence of mediation by the vagus nerves". Brain Research, 2004.

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8 responses so far

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