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Friday, February 7, 2014

Fallen behind in your Walking Dead watching? Here's all 4 seasons in 4 minutes

The second half of The Walking Dead Season 4 returns on Sunday, February 9th.

via What’s Trending.

Dems not campaigning with Obama reminded me of the best break-up song ever

An article by Andrew Johnson (not the president) at NRO today: Obama Concedes Some Dems Don’t Want to Campaign with Him.

The song isn't completely applicable to the not-campaigning-with-Obama situation, but parts of the lyrics (see below) are, and it's marvelous anyway. Besides, it's stuck in my head and may as well be stuck in yours.

Weird Al Yankovic singing One More Minute:

"One More Minute"

[constant "doo wop"s in the background throughout the song]


Well I heard that you're leavin' (leavin')
Gonna leave me far behind (so far behind)
'Cause you found a brand new lover
You decided that I'm not your kind (aahh..)

So I pulled (I pulled) your name out (name out) of my Rolodex (oohh..)
And I tore all your pictures in two
And I burned down the malt shop where we used to go
Just because it reminds me of you (dippity dippity doo)

That's right (that's right) you ain't gonna see me cryin'
I'm glad (I'm glad) that you found somebody new
'Cause I'd rather spend eternity eating shards of broken glass
Than spend one more minute with you

I guess I might seem kinda bitter
You got me feeling down in the dumps
'Cause I'm stranded all alone in the gas station of love
And I have to use the self-service pumps

Oh, so honey, let me help you with that suitcase
You ain't (you ain't) gonna break my heart in two
'Cause I'd rather get a hundred thousand paper cuts on my face
Than spend one more minute with you

I'd rather rip out my intestines with a fork
Than watch you going out with other men
I'd rather slam my fingers in a door (yah)
Again and again and again and again and again

Oh, can't you see what I'm tryin' to say, Darlin...

I'd rather have my blood sucked out by leeches (leeches)
Shove an icepick under a toenail or two
I'd rather clean all the bathroom in Grand Central Station with my tongue
Than spend one more minute with you

Yes, I'd rather jump naked on a huge pile of thumbtacks
Or stick my nostrils together with crazy glue
I'd rather dive into a swimming pool filled with double-edged razor blades
Than spend one more minute with you

I'd rather rip my heart out of my ribcage with my bare hands
and then throw it on the floor and stomp on it 'till I die
Than spend one more minute with you

Friday links

Is there any way to fire a gun so that the bullet flies through the air and can then be safely caught by hand?

Beer and wine pairings for Girl Scout cookies.

Tractor Square Dancing.

Galleries: Wet Cats and Hamster Butts.

Advice from 1849: Start a fight with your wife using these 3 simple tricks.  And because, you know, make-up sex and no birth control, here's How to Give Birth 100 Years Ago.

Witness The Comical Farting Scrolls of Japan.

ICYMI, Links from Wednesday, including self-mummification and terrible Russian wedding photos are here.

Advice from 1849: Start a fight with your wife using these 3 simple tricks

From Yankee Notions (Google Books). For those of you who aren't capable of pissing off your wife without instruction, and wish to do so:

How to sneeze in 10 different languages

More links for today here.

Apparently I sneeze in Turkish, by the way.  Who knew?

I kind of like the way the artist didn't bother matching the cartoon person to the ethnicity (see Korean and Polish, for example).
From 22Words, via Neatorama.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

6 yo boy "exluded" from school for 4 days after bag of Mini Cheddars discovered in his lunch

Is "excluded" Brit for suspended?

A six-year-old boy has been excluded from his primary school for four days amid a stand-off between his parents and the school authorities over its healthy eating policy.

Riley Pearson's parents were called to a meeting at Colnbrook Church of England primary school after a bag of Mini Cheddars, an oven-baked snack, was discovered in his packed lunch following the introduction of the new policy which stipulated that packed lunches should be a "healthy and balanced meal".

The child's parents, Nicola Mardle and Tom Pearson, were told in a letter that he was being excluded for four days, while a permanent exclusion was considered. It said that a continued lack of parental support for school policy had "led to Riley being put in a situation where he is continuously breaking school rules regarding healthy eating".

However, his parents were angry at the stance of the school, in Colnbrook, near Slough, Berks. Mardle said: "We just do not see how they have the right to tell us what we can feed our son.

"If anything, Riley is underweight and could do with putting on a few pounds.

"Having a balanced diet also includes eating some carbohydrates, sugars and fats.

"It is not about excluding some foods it is about getting the mix right," she added.

Headteacher Jeremy Meek said the school had one family who "do not agree with the policy."

"We have had a wonderful response and the parents and children are on board and pleased with the way the policy has been impacted on our pupils.

"We cannot talk about individual circumstances but there is one family who are not prepared to support the policy.

"We are in discussions with them about how we move it forward. We have excluded (the pupil) for four days due to lack of support for the policy.

"It is to avoid putting the children in a difficult situation. If the policy is not being abided by then that potentially harms that pupil."

Hilarious Gallery of Wet Cats

This one is my personal favorite:

See the whole set at Bored Panda.

Jonah Goldberg on Power Inequality: Americans feel the system is rigged

Pretty much everyone feels a powerlessness as decisions about how we should live are being made without our input or consent. 

For practical purposes, people don’t live in the United States of America. They live in their neighborhoods, towns, and communities. Yes, these are American communities, but your neighbors live in your neighborhood, not seven states over. Your kids don’t go to “U.S. schools”; they go to the school down the road.

Yet most of our money goes to the government in Washington, and so does most of the power. Why not flip that around? Want to see the rich, poor, and middle-class interact more? Give them a reason to show up to a city-council or school-board meeting. Sure, money has power at the local level, too, but so do votes.

Moreover, when rich people get their way at the local level, people usually know who they are and why they are doing things. And you can bend their ear at the supermarket or at soccer practice.

But when all the decisions are made in Washington or New York, most Americans are simply out of the loop.

And they resent it.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Wednesday links

The history of Coca Cola.

How to Mummify Yourself.  It's less painful to fossilize yourself but takes a really long time.

Good bones, though: Derelict Houses on the Billionaires Row.

Russian Wedding Photos That Will Make Your Eyes Bleed.

Geek Alert: Supercut of Every Single Robot Transformation in the Transformers Film Trilogy.

Mosquito sperm have a sense of smell.  Here's everything you need to know about how that evolved and how it affects their reproduction.

ICYMI, Monday's links, including the excellent (and safe for work) Married Kama Sutra are here.

Geek Alert: Supercut of Every Single Robot Transformation in the ‘Transformers’ Film Trilogy

For Transformers fans:

via Laughing Squid.

Can couples really get stuck together during sex?

A couple of historical reports of this phenomenon:
"When I was a student at Leyden there was a young Bridegroom in that Town that being overwanton with his Bride had so hamper'd himself in her Privities, that he could not draw his Yard forth, till Delmehorst the Physician unty'd the knot by casting cold Water on the Part."
In 1372, Geoffrey de La Tour-Landry related how a voluptuary named Pers Lenard "delt fleshely with a woman" on top of an altar of a church, and God "tyed hem faste togedre dat night". The following day the whole town saw the couple still entwined "fast like a dogge and biche togedre". Finally prayers were spoken and the couple's prolonged intercourse came to an end (although they were obliged to return to the church on three Sundays, strip naked and beat themselves in front of the congregation)
Dr Aristomenis Exadaktylos, author of a study of 11 years of admissions to his hospital in Bern, Switzerland, was asked on the BBC's Health Check radio programm if he had come across a case of the woman's vagina clamping on to the man's penis, he said "No" - and added that the idea was probably an urban myth.

Two listeners, however, wrote in to dispute this.

Homer described how Mars and Venus were caught
together to the "inextinguishable laughter" of the Gods
(Joachim Anthonisz, J. Paul Getty Museum collection)
"I must tell you it is no myth," wrote one woman who asked to remain anonymous. "It happened to my late husband and myself one night. He literally could not withdraw i.e. was 'stuck'. I attributed it to the intensity of the vaginal muscle response during orgasm."

Another correspondent, who asked to be referred to simply as John, grew up near an airport in southern England. "I remember hearing a story when I was 14 or 15 about an American airman who got stuck inside a lady and they had to get an ambulance and get them to a hospital to get them parted," he says. John eventually joined the merchant navy and started an on-off relationship with a woman in Japan.

On one occasion he and his partner were having "very enjoyable sex" when he suddenly found that he couldn't withdraw. "Proceedings came to a halt and we decided that we'd better separate," he recalls. It took two or three minutes of fumbling and laughing - the experience wasn't painful for either of them.

John, who is now 75, has never before spoken about the incident and it was never repeated.

Dr John Dean, a senior UK-based sexual physician, says that both accounts are credible examples of a rare phenomenon that doctors sometimes call "penis captivus" (captive penis).

"When the penis is in the vagina it becomes increasingly engorged," he says, giving his hypothesis of what causes the problem.

"The muscles of the woman's pelvic floor contract rhythmically at orgasm. While those muscles contract the penis becomes stuck and further engorged."

Finally the vaginal muscles relax, the blood flows out of the penis and the man can withdraw.

Many dog-owners will have seen their pets getting stuck during copulation, which breeders refer to as a "tie". However, there are distinct anatomical reasons for this, according to Peggy Root, an expert in animal reproduction at the University of Minnesota. A dog's penis has a compartment which fills with blood after intercourse has begun, effectively locking the male in place.

Two reviews of the history of penis captivus, published in 1935 and 1979, highlight the public's longstanding fascination with it.

In 1372, Geoffrey de La Tour-Landry related how a voluptuary named Pers Lenard "delt fleshely with a woman" on top of an altar of a church, and God "tyed hem faste togedre dat night". The following day the whole town saw the couple still entwined "fast like a dogge and biche togedre". Finally prayers were spoken and the couple's prolonged intercourse came to an end (although they were obliged to return to the church on three Sundays, strip naked and beat themselves in front of the congregation).

Mars and Venus depicted by 16th Century
 artist Raphael Regius
Captivus features in several other medieval myths and stories, which F Kraupl Taylor, the author of the 1979 review, believes may bear "only a tenuous connection with the actual facts".

In a 1933 manual of gynaecology, the author Walter Stoeckel speculated that penis captivus only affected couples engaged in illicit sex, the fear of detection presumably contributing to the force of the woman's muscular spasm.

This opinion is no longer held by experts, but the narrative of a clandestine meeting followed by public humiliation continues. Recent media reports of penis captivus - in Kenya, Malawi, Zimbabwe and the Philippines - all concern adulterous couples.

The Kenyan incident in 2012 supposedly occurred after the cuckolded husband paid a visit to a witch doctor. It was reported that the couple regained their liberty after prayers - and after the cheating man promised to pay the husband 20,000 Kenyan shillings (£140). He was filmed going to an ATM to withdraw the money.

The Zimbabwean media reported last year that a woman was bringing a law case against her long-term boyfriend for putting "runyoka" on her - a fidelity spell that caused her to get stuck on her lover. As one report put it, she was demanding compensation from the jealous boyfriend "for humiliating her and trying to control how she should use her private part".

But there are several accounts of penis captivus taking place within a marriage, including two unsensational case studies from 19th Century German gynaecologists.

Perhaps the best verified example of the phenomenon also occurred during marriage. After the Kraupl Taylor review was published, the British Medical Journal received a letter from Dr Brendan Musgrave, recalling an incident in 1947, from his days as a house doctor at the Royal Isle of Wight County Hospital. "I can distinctly remember the ambulance drawing up and two young people, a honeymoon couple I believe, being carried on a single stretcher into the casualty department," he wrote. This account was corroborated by another doctor who had been on duty at the time.

Dr John Dean says that he can't explain this "very unusual" story, since people experiencing captivus generally have trouble disengaging for only a few seconds.

But he adds: "If you're in that position, that probably feels like an eternity."

Related: Is it true men can suffer penile fracture? The faux pas de coit

via BBC.

Is it true men can suffer penile fracture? The faux pas de coit

I am reminded of this "classic" column at Straight Dope (I highly recommend this site, and his books, which are among the best bathroom books ever) on occasion - today it was the BBC article on couples getting stuck together during sex - a year or so back it was when the girlfriend of MMA fighter Ray Elbe got a little overexcited during sex and misjudged her landing.

Dear Cecil:

I was told my local hospital was home to one of the nation's leading experts in, catch this, penile fractures. This has me worried, Cecil. How might it happen that I would, you know, break it? Is this a hazard of everyday life? Are there any preventive measures I might take?

— M. Toulouse-Lautrec, Chicago

Cecil replies:

Cecil has heard about some stupid injuries in his day, but penile fracture takes the cake. Offhand you'd think the penis would be immune to fracture, since it contains no bones. It does get rigid, however, and things that get rigid can break. At risk are the corpora cavernosa, the two tubelike masses of tissue that run through the center of the penis. They become engorged with blood during sexual arousal and cause the penis to become erect. Each corpus cavernosum is covered with a fibrous sheath, which during erection gets stretched pretty thin. A sudden jolt in the wrong place and you could pop like a balloon. In severe cases, the urethra (through which urine passes) and the outer sheath of the penis can also be damaged.

Most men recognize their vulnerability and take appropriate precautions, but a few meatballs evidently don't. As of 1985, about 180 cases of penile fracture had been reported. In about a third, fracture occurred as a result of what is called — and leave it to the French to have an expression for this — a faux pas de coit. Here are some typical cases:
  • A 31-year-old man was having sexual relations approximately 1-1/2 hours before admission to the hospital. He "missed the introitus [and] hit the perineum [the area behind his partner's genitals]," causing his penis to fracture (my emphasis).
  • A 67-year-old minister, obviously taking the parable of the good seed to heart, was having intercourse when his "penis rammed [the] mattress." He began to bleed profusely and experienced pain and swelling.
  • A 26-year-old male … experienced sudden acute pain and prompt detumescence during vigorous coital activity. The episode was associated with an audible cracking sound [and] his penis became grossly swollen."
Now, far be it from me to add insult to injury, but how could you be so klutzy that you "missed the introitus"? Admittedly the target is small and the visibility isn't the best, but we're talking point-blank range here.

The other cases are just as goofy. Frequently the victim suffers the injury while kneading his member in order to reduce an erection, a technique that in my experience usually has the opposite effect. One moron "awoke during the night with a desire to urinate," whereupon he "hit his erect penis with his hand in order to alleviate this desire." Other reported causes: rolling over in bed, hitting the bedpost, getting caught in your pajamas, falling out of a tree, being thrown against the knob of a motorcycle saddle, and so on.

Fracture always occurs during erection, making you wonder what some of the victims were up to. Consider one case involving a 38-year-old ranch hand. "The [medical] history was vague and difficult to obtain," the reporting physician writes. "The injury had occurred in the corral. It was impossible to get the exact details … His family was of the opinion that he had been kicked by one of the horses." Tell it to Catherine the Great, buddy.

In the old days treatment consisted of splinting, ice packs, insertion of a catheter (sometimes), and rest, augmented by drugs to suppress erection while the injury healed. However, such treatment sometimes resulted in permanent deformation and inhibited sexual performance. Accordingly, many doctors today recommend repairing the damage surgically — not a pleasant thing to watch, judging from the pictures. The operation is fairly straightforward, but there's obviously not much room for error. One thing's for sure: if this ever happens to you, make sure you get a surgeon who's more coordinated than you are.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Optimus Prime is riding a Dinosaur in new Transformers 4 trailer

For you Transformers fans:

Transformers 'Age Of Extinction' Super Bowl Teaser from Michael Bay Dot Com on Vimeo.

My friend's sister died because of O'care. Ann Coulter has more

This was in the Washington Times: Ann Coulter claims friend’s sister died due to Obamacare:
Conservative pundit Ann Coulter said during a weekend appearance on “Fox & Friends” that her friend’s sister died due to Obamacare — because she was booted off her long-held insurance plan and subsequently delayed seeking emergency medical attention.
Ms. Coulter said her friend’s sister had been covered by Blue Shield of California, Mediaite reported. But after Obamacare went into effect, the insurer pulled out off the state, leaving the woman without medical coverage. 
The woman then contracted a fever, but delayed going to the emergency room because she hadn’t yet obtained new coverage, Ms. Coutler said. She went into septic shock on Thursday and died over the weekend, Ms. Coulter said on the “Fox & Friends” segment. 
“This does have real-world consequences,” Ms. Coulter said of Obamacare, on “Fox & Friends.” When host Tucker Carlson commented that the story was “shocking,” Ms. Coulter said: “But it isn’t.” 
She went on, Mediaite reported: “It’s expected. We knew this would happen. It’s a horrible story and people need to know about these stories. I emailed her and asked her if I could tweet this, and she said, ‘Julie would be very happy for you to tweet this.’ “
and Breitbart has posted the Video of Ann's interview here. That post has over 1,100 comments already, many of which have to do with either 1. the unsubstantiated nature of the information and the lack of detail and/or 2. the fact that she should have either done a better job of replacing her cancelled insurance or gone to the ER anyway.

Julie, the woman who died, was one of 7 children - she had 4 sisters and 2 brothers. One of her other sisters (not the one who spoke with Ann) is a close friend of mine, and the facts as reported above are accurate. She had signed up for new insurance but it wouldn't take effect until Feb 2 so she was putting off going to the doctor. I understand the skepticism regarding vaguely sourced reports such as this, and generally I am just as skeptical; in this particular case, there is no mistake involved.  I'm not giving out her name because her family has not chosen, at this point, to do so.

For the record, she has four kids - one has grown up and moved out, but the three left at home are ages 13 - 19.

The decision not to seek emergency treatment that you have to pay for out of pocket is one made over and over again by millions of people and is, generally, a financially responsible one.  She chose not to accrue thousands of dollars worth of debt because she assumed that she would either get through it on her own or see a doctor when her insurance kicked in. She was wrong this time, but the vast majority of the time when someone makes such a decision the results aren't fatal.  The may not be good in terms of long-term health, but if you don't have the money and aren't willing to stiff the hospital your choices are limited.

I don't think that those who don't have to worry about their bills or who have secure jobs and, therefore, employer-provided insurance, can appreciate the kinds of choices that need to be made if you don't have those resources.  

Sound like a commercial for government health care?  It's not.  People like Julie would have a lot more resources of their own if those resources weren't being sucked out of them by excessive taxation.  They would be much more likely to be able to thrive financially if the regulatory climate didn't make it so difficult to start a business (Julie was a photographer).  Healthcare would be much cheaper if meaningful tort reform (malpractice policy) was passed over the objections of the trial lawyers who contribute millions to Democratic candidates.  Access to commonly needed pharmaceuticals such as antibiotics on the open market and without the current regulatory barriers would help.*

By the way, it's mostly irrelevant to the discussion, but Julie's father was rather well-known - he was General Daniel Graham, known, along with President Reagan, for the development and subsequent support of Missile Defense, generally known as the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI or "Star Wars"). 

*I personally have, for years, kept a stock of antibiotics (generally Amoxicillin) ordered from overseas pharmacies.

A day late, but still interesting: 14 fun facts about Broncos and Seahawks from Smithsonian

Monday links

Gallery: Houses of the Hobbit Diaspora.

Married Kama Sutra: The World’s Least Erotic Sex Manual (OK for work).

17 Tiny Things With Mind-Blowing Global Consequences.

15 Epic Movie Scenes Recreated With LEGOs And Baking Soda.

Gorgeous Colorized X-Ray Photographs of Plants and Animals.

No performer necessary: Automated Musical Instruments.

ICYMI, Friday's links are here.

Advice from 1563: How to Improve Your Memory

Edward Topsell, The History of Four-Footed Beasts, 1607
"To make one have a good memorie. Take a Tooth or the lefte legge of a Badgre... and binde it aboute youre riggt arme nexte unto the flesh. Take also the gall of a Partrich, and rubbe your temples with it that it maie soke into the skin and fleshe, ones in a moneth, and it will make you have a good memorie."
The Second Part of the Secretes of Maister Alexis of Piemont (1563)

Via Ask the Past, where they comment: This is a bit of a Faustian bargain, isn't it? Your improved memory comes at the cost of having to adorn yourself with badger parts and partridge goo. Well, at least others will definitely remember you.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

J.K. Rowling says Hermione should have married Harry, not Ron

HP fans: In an interview with Emma Watson, J.K. Rowling has admitted that she regrets pairing Hermione with Ron instead of Harry, chalking the Hermione/Ron marriage up to "a form of wish fulfillment."

The interview is slated to appear in a forthcoming issue of Wonderland magazine, for which Watson served as guest-editor. Rowling's comments were obtained by The Sunday Times,which tweeted a preview of tomorrow's front page just hours ago. Here's the image -  note the headline on the left), but here's the gist:
[Rowling] said: "I wrote the Hermione/Ron relationship as a form of wish fulfillment. That's how it was conceived, really. For reasons that have very little to do with literature and far more to do with me clinging to the plot as I first imagined it, Hermione ended up with Ron."
She added: "I know, I'm sorry, I can hear the rage and fury it might cause some fans, but if I'm absolutely honest, distance has given me perspective on that. It was a choice I made for very personal reasons, not for reasons of credibility. Am I breaking people's hearts by saying this? I hope not."
Watson, for her part, seemed to agree with Rowling, commenting that she thinks "there are fans out there who know that too and who wonder whether Ron would have really been able to make her happy." The comments obtained by The Sunday Times also seem to indicate that Rowling thinks Ron and Hermione "would have ended up needing relationship counseling." 

via io9