Archive for: February, 2013

Friday Weird Science: When pubic hair gets public

Feb 08 2013 Published by under Friday Weird Science, Uncategorized

It is more than coincidence. It is FATE that brought us today's Friday Weird Science. First, Mr. S alerted me to the reviews for this hair removal product. Warning: do not read the reviews unless you have the space and time to laugh til you cry. As a brief excerpt:

I didn't have long to wait. At first there was a gentle warmth which in a matter of seconds was replaced by an intense burning and a feeling I can only describe as like being given a barbed wire wedgie by two people intent on hitting the ceiling with my head. Religion hadn't featured much in my life until that night but I suddenly became willing to convert to any religion to stop the violent burning around the turd tunnel and what seemed like the destruction of the meat and two veg.

It gets better. Read them all. There's even one in verse!

So my mind was already on the subject of grooming in the nether regions when I received a tweet from Bug_Girl:

The tweet linked to the following study, and today's weird science was born.

Because let's be honest: we've all thought about the hair down there. Is there too much? Too little? How much is enough? How much should you even care? Even if you decided you don't care at all, you still put in the time to contemplate the grooming of your nether regions. And if you HAVE groomed below, there's probably been more than one...close shave. After all, it's tough to see and there are shapes and folds and I don't know what all.

And so it may not surprise you much to know that some people do indeed take it a bit too far. So far, in fact, they end up in the ER.

Glass et al. "Pubic Hair Grooming Injuries Presenting
to U.S. Emergency Departments" Urology, 2012.

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(There is no safe for work image I can use here. Instead, I present this partially shaved poodle. As a metaphor. Source)

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#scio13 Wrapup Number 2: On Identity

Feb 06 2013 Published by under Academia, Activism

Sci is at SciAm Blogs today, wrapping up my second session from Science Online 2013, a session on Identity. We had a really productive discussion, and we'd like to build on it! Is there a way that you use your identity in your writing? Is there a way you could use one of your identities differently? What are they? We'd like to hear from you, and see your submissions to the Diversity in Science Carnival! Head over, check it out, and we'd love to see your submissions!

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Scio13 Wrapup ONE: Blogging for the Long Haul!

Feb 04 2013 Published by under Academia, Activism

Sci is back from Science Online 2013. It was so lovely to hang out with wonderful old internet friends and to meet so many new ones! It's one of my favorite conferences, full of deep (and often highly silly) conversations about science communication. It always leaves me re-energized, and even more eager to do it again next year!! Over at SciAm Blogs, I've got the first wrap up of the science online session: blogging for the long haul. For those of us who want to, or who need to, continue to blog, what keeps us motivated? How do you keep going when you're feeling uninspired? I've got a storify and my own advice up over at SciAm, but I'd love to hear yours! What keeps you going? Why do you want to keep blogging? Let me know, and I'll be glad to add ideas to the post!

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Friday Weird Science: Sperm trading

Feb 01 2013 Published by under Friday Weird Science, Uncategorized

"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a hermaphroditic flatworm in possession of its own sperm, rarely runs short of sperm, and thus must be in want of another hermaphrodite of suitable quality to inseminate."
-Jane Austen, if she had studied flatworms

What are the economics of donating sperm? In many species where you have two sexes, male and female, the principle is pretty simple: donate sperm ALL THE TIME. Or at least as much as possible. Females tend to be more choosy about mating opportunities (due to higher eventual cost to themselves), and thus it behooves a male to get his sperm in whenever a female so much as crosses his path.

But what if both the parties involved are hermaphrodites? Well then you face something a bit different.

Vreys and Michiels. "Sperm trading by volume in a hermaphroditic flatworm with mutual penis intromission" Animal Behavior, 1998.

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