Let’s Talk About Sex Attitudes, Baby

July 1, 2014

So let’s get all Salt-n-Pepa and talk about sex, baby. Better yet, let’s talk about sex throughout human history. After all, Iwan Bloch, considered by many to be the first sexologist, believed that “historical knowledge offered an important key to understanding contemporary problems of sexuality”. History can also provide valuable perspective on how attitudes about sex and sexual mores have changed over the centuries, and how religion has shaped some ideas we might have about sex today. Here are eight things you never knew about sex in different cultures and eras and were afraid to ask.

Sex Attitudes Roman Orgy

Ancient Roman artwork often depicts scenes of orgiastic debauchery. Source: Blogspot

Sex Attitudes: Rome And Orgies

Let’s start in ancient Rome, which has the reputation for being permissive when it came to all things sexual. Its anything-goes rep might be somewhat warranted. In ancient Roman culture prostitution was legal; what might be considered “pornographic” art was collected in upper-class households; it was not uncommon for Roman men to be attracted to teenagers of both sexes; and pederasty—the homosexual relationship between a male adult and an adolescent male—was commonplace and acceptable so long as the younger partner was not a freeborn Roman. Though effeminacy was frowned upon in men, there was no distinction in Roman society between homosexuality and heterosexuality. In fact, the language did not even contain words for the concepts.

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11 Of History’s Strangest Inventions

June 30, 2014

Swimming Aids

Invented in 1925 by Italian M. Goventosa de Udine, these swimming aids were made from bike tires and allowed the wearer to move at speeds of up to 93 mph. And while they’re a far cry from being fashionable—or even remotely comfortable—at least you could move faster than a running cheetah. Right?

Ice Age-Resistant Boats

Irrationally afraid of an impending ice age? Live in Holland in the year 1600? Fear no more. This boat, which was designed in Holland, had (as the inventors believed) the capacity to transport goods over frozen rivers and lakes.

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The Terribly Inaccurate And Bad Science In 6 Of Your Favorite Films

June 30, 2014

When it comes to scientific accuracy in sci-fi movies, it’s no secret that most filmmakers play it fast and loose, with audience entertainment being the ultimate goal. Luckily, a lot of moviegoers are quite adept at suspending their disbelief for the sake of preserving their fantasy, (and getting their money’s worth out of movie ticket prices) but when you add up all the scientific faux pas -even in films we consider to be groundbreaking – you start to realize why it’s named science “fiction”.

Bad Science: Jurassic Park

Bad Science Jurassic Park Kitchen

Source: Drafthouse

Jurassic Park is a lovable piece of cinema that has a place in the hearts of sci-fi lovers everywhere, but it is ripe with implausibility, as the fact stands that extinction is permanent. Take that out of the equation, and we’d still be fighting to find the dinosaurs’ DNA INTACT. If that fairy tale did indeed come to light, then we’d be taking on the severe improbability of successfully extracting, sequencing, assembling genomes into chromosomes, and finally- the cherry on top of this inconceivable sundae- injecting these chromosomes into a compatible, LIVING egg. So unless someone has an unhatched dinosaur egg lying around, forget it, guys. Also, the species of mosquito shown here in the amber (Toxorhynchites rutilusis) is the only kind in its species that doesn’t actually suck blood. Oops.

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6 Of The Most Absurd Performance Artists In The World

June 29, 2014

Performance art is a deliberate attempt to interrupt the monotony of daily life and catapult its viewers into a heightened state of awareness. Without further ado, here are some of the world’s most prolific – and absurd – performance artists.

Marina Abramović

Serbia-born and NYC-based Marina Abramović is without a question the most famous performance artist in the world. She began her career in the early 1970s, fascinated by questioning the limits of the body, the possibilities of the mind and the relationship between performer and audience.

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History’s Biggest Psychos

June 28, 2014

Everyone is well aware of the atrocities committed by Adolf Hitler. And many will be familiar that under Joseph Stalin’s stern leadership, the number of those killed from starvation and murder ranges from 10 to 60 million. Unfortunately, they aren’t the only ones who have taken history and left a nasty stain in its pages. Here is a list of eight lesser known psychos in history.

Leopold II

Biggest Psychos Leopold Portrait

Source: Ancestry.com

King of Belgium from 1865 to 1909, Leopold II is best known for creating the Congo Free State project, which led to the demise of at least three million Congolese people. Funded by the government, the project was instituted to extract rubber and ivory from the Congo region of central Africa. Unfortunately, this endeavor required forced labor on the part of the Congolese, with Leopold calling the shots via his own army, the Force Publique.

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Why The Human Species Laughs

June 27, 2014

Dr. Robert Provine delves into the elusive phenomenon of laughter and explains it through social and neurological lenses. His conclusions are quite surprising.