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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

SCIENCE and CULTURE/SOCIETY: The 237 Reasons for Sex

This article for the New York Times popped up on my home page and piqued my interest. I present part of it here. - OlderMusicGeek

The Whys of Mating: 237 Reasons and Counting
Published: July 31, 2007

Scholars in antiquity began counting the ways that humans have sex, but they weren’t so diligent in cataloging the reasons humans wanted to get into all those positions. Darwin and his successors offered a few explanations of mating strategies — to find better genes, to gain status and resources — but they neglected to produce a Kama Sutra of sexual motivations.

Perhaps you didn’t lament this omission. Perhaps you thought that the motivations for sex were pretty obvious. Or maybe you never really wanted to know what was going on inside other people’s minds, in which case you should stop reading immediately.

For now, thanks to psychologists at the University of Texas at Austin, we can at last count the whys. After asking nearly 2,000 people why they’d had sex, the researchers have assembled and categorized a total of 237 reasons — everything from “I wanted to feel closer to God” to “I was drunk.” They even found a few people who claimed to have been motivated by the desire to have a child.

The researchers, Cindy M. Meston and David M. Buss, believe their list, published in the August issue of Archives of Sexual Behavior, is the most thorough taxonomy of sexual motivation ever compiled. This seems entirely plausible.

Who knew, for instance, that a headache had any erotic significance except as an excuse for saying no? But some respondents of both sexes explained that they’d had sex “to get rid of a headache.” It’s No. 173 on the list.

Others said they did it to “help me fall asleep,” “make my partner feel powerful,” “burn calories,” “return a favor,” “keep warm,” “hurt an enemy” or “change the topic of conversation.” The lamest may have been, “It seemed like good exercise,” although there is also this: “Someone dared me.”

Dr. Buss has studied mating strategies around the world — he’s the oft-cited author of “The Evolution of Desire” and other books — but even he did not expect to find such varied and Machiavellian reasons for sex. “I was truly astonished,” he said, “by this richness of sexual psychology.”

The best news is that both men and women ranked the same reason most often: “I was attracted to the person.”

The rest of the top 10 for each gender were also almost all the same, including “I wanted to express my love for the person,” “I was sexually aroused and wanted the release” and “It’s fun.”

No matter what the reason, men were more likely to cite it than women, with a couple of notable exceptions. Women were more likely to say they had sex because, “I wanted to express my love for the person” and “I realized I was in love.” This jibes with conventional wisdom about women emphasizing the emotional aspects of sex, although it might also reflect the female respondents’ reluctance to admit to less lofty motives.

The results contradicted another stereotype about women: their supposed tendency to use sex to gain status or resources.

“Our findings suggest that men do these things more than women,” Dr. Buss said, alluding to the respondents who said they’d had sex to get things, like a promotion, a raise or a favor. Men were much more likely than women to say they’d had sex to “boost my social status” or because the partner was famous or “usually ‘out of my league.’ ”

Dr. Buss said, “Although I knew that having sex has consequences for reputation, it surprised me that people, notably men, would be motivated to have sex solely for social status and reputation enhancement.”

But then, men were also more likely than women to say they’d had sex because “I was slumming.” Or simply because “the opportunity presented itself,” or “the person demanded that I have sex.”

If nothing else, the results seem to be a robust confirmation of the hypothesis in the old joke: How can a woman get a man to take off his clothes? Ask him.

The full article for the New York Times

Where people suggest a 238th reason for sex - and where you can nominate a reason too

Thursday, July 26, 2007

SCIENCE: Cat Predicts Death?

Found this on the National Public Radio website. Thought it interesting enough to pass on. - OlderMusicGeek

Oscar the Cat Predicts Patients' Deaths
from The Associated Press

PROVIDENCE, R.I. July 26, 2007, 10:43 a.m. ET · Oscar the cat seems to have an uncanny knack for predicting when nursing home patients are going to die, by curling up next to them during their final hours. His accuracy, observed in 25 cases, has led the staff to call family members once he has chosen someone. It usually means they have less than four hours to live.

"He doesn't make too many mistakes. He seems to understand when patients are about to die," said Dr. David Dosa in an interview. He describes the phenomenon in a poignant essay in Thursday's issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

"Many family members take some solace from it. They appreciate the companionship that the cat provides for their dying loved one," said Dosa, a geriatrician and assistant professor of medicine at Brown University.

The 2-year-old feline was adopted as a kitten and grew up in a third-floor dementia unit at the Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. The facility treats people with Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease and other illnesses.

After about six months, the staff noticed Oscar would make his own rounds, just like the doctors and nurses. He'd sniff and observe patients, then sit beside people who would wind up dying in a few hours.

Dosa said Oscar seems to take his work seriously and is generally aloof. "This is not a cat that's friendly to people," he said.

Oscar is better at predicting death than the people who work there, said Dr. Joan Teno of Brown University, who treats patients at the nursing home and is an expert on care for the terminally ill

She was convinced of Oscar's talent when he made his 13th correct call. While observing one patient, Teno said she noticed the woman wasn't eating, was breathing with difficulty and that her legs had a bluish tinge, signs that often mean death is near.

Oscar wouldn't stay inside the room though, so Teno thought his streak was broken. Instead, it turned out the doctor's prediction was roughly 10 hours too early. Sure enough, during the patient's final two hours, nurses told Teno that Oscar joined the woman at her bedside.

Doctors say most of the people who get a visit from the sweet-faced, gray-and-white cat are so ill they probably don't know he's there, so patients aren't aware he's a harbinger of death. Most families are grateful for the advanced warning, although one wanted Oscar out of the room while a family member died. When Oscar is put outside, he paces and meows his displeasure.

No one's certain if Oscar's behavior is scientifically significant or points to a cause. Teno wonders if the cat notices telltale scents or reads something into the behavior of the nurses who raised him.

Nicholas Dodman, who directs an animal behavioral clinic at the Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine and has read Dosa's article, said the only way to know is to carefully document how Oscar divides his time between the living and dying.

If Oscar really is a furry grim reaper, it's also possible his behavior could be driven by self-centered pleasures like a heated blanket placed on a dying person, Dodman said.

Nursing home staffers aren't concerned with explaining Oscar, so long as he gives families a better chance at saying goodbye to the dying.

Oscar recently received a wall plaque publicly commending his "compassionate hospice care."


Science writer Alicia Chang in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

New England Journal of Medicine article

CULTURE/SOCIETY: A Questionnaire I Got at Work

This is a questionnaire I got at work to fill out so our new big boss (my boss's boss) could get to know us better. I figured I'd put it up here in case anyone was really interested. - OlderMusicGeek

1) What is your spouses or significant other's name? Mrs. Nobody
2) What is your child(s) name? (I don't put that on the internet, but I put a substitute name to show my answer) Jen - or if angry JE-E-E-E-EN
3) What is your pets(s) name? (name deleted), but i usually call her "cat"
4) Do you collect anything? If yes, what do you collect? music - all kinds, but mostly alternative
5) What are your hobbies? listening to music, watching movies
6) Where do you like to go for fun or what do you like to do for fun? when I can find the time or afford it, go see a live band (sense a pattern here?) or see a movie
7) Where is your favorite place to eat? mexican restaurants
8) What would you buy yourself or where would you go if you had a "few" extra dollars? since i just bought a 30 gig mp3 player(yes, music again!), I guess a new car would be nice - even a new used one!
9) Is there any additional information that you would like to share? I am a reincarnation of a bouncer from a brothel in dodge city

Saturday, July 21, 2007

HUMOR and CULTURE/SOCIETY: You Know You're Living in 2007 when...

Another piece my friend, , sent me. - OlderMusicGeek. (If you're wondering what's up with all these blogs, I'm cleaning out my emails!)


1. You accidentally enter your password on the microwave.

2. You haven't played solitaire with real cards in years.

3. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of 3.

4. You e-mail the person who works at the desk next to you.

5. Your reason for not staying in touch with friends and family is that they don't have e-mail addresses.

6. You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home to help you carry in the groceries.

7 Every commercial on television has a web site at the bottom of the screen.

8. Leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn't have the first 20 or 30 (or 60) years of your life, is now a cause for panic and you turn around to go and get it.

10. You get up in the morning and go on line before getting your coffee.

11. You start tilting your head sideways to smile.
: )

12 You're reading this and nodding and laughing.

13. Even worse, you know exactly to whom you are going to forward this message.

14. You are too busy to notice there was no #9 on this list.

15. You actually scrolled back up to check that there wasn't a #9 on this list

Friday, July 20, 2007


My longest friend, , sent me. Thought I'd pass it on. - OlderMusicGeek

Microsoft Windows 98's secret:

Recently one of my friends, a computer wizard, paid me a visit. As we were talking I mentioned having recently installed Windows 98 on my PC and that I am very happy with this operating system. I also showed him the Windows 98 CD, and to my surprise he threw it into my microwave oven and turned on the oven. Instantly I got very upset, because the CD had become precious to me, but he said: 'Do not worry, it is

After a few minutes he took the CD out, gave it to me and said: 'Take a close look at it.' To my surprise the CD was quite cold to hold and it seemed to be heavier than before. At first I could not see anything, but then on the inner edge of the central hole I saw an inscription; an inscription finer than anything I have ever seen before. The inscription shone piercingly bright, and yet remote, as
if out of a great depth:


'I cannot understand the fiery letters,' I said.

'No,' he said 'but I can. The letters are Hex, of an ancient mode, but the language is that of Microsoft, which I shall not utter here. But in common English this is what it says:

One OS to rule them all, One OS to find them,
One OS to bring them all and in the darkness bind them

"Those who used the Ninety-Eight became mighty in their day, kings, sorcerers, and warriors of old. They obtained glory and great wealth, yet it turned to their undoing. They had, as it seemed, unending life, yet life became unendurable to them. They could walk, if they would, unseen by all eyes in this world beneath the sun, and they could see things in worlds invisible to mortal men; but too often they beheld only the phantoms and delusions of Bill Gates. And one by one, sooner or later, according to their native strength and to the good or evil of their wills in the beginning, they fell under the thralldom of the OS that they bore and of the domination of the One which was Bill's. And they became forever invisible save to him that wore the Ruling Ring, and they entered into the realm of shadows. The Shills were they, the beguiled, the Enemy's most terrible servants; darkness went with them, and they cried with the voices of death"

CULTURE/SOCIETY: What Americans Considered Necessities

This was in a work newsletter the other day. I found it kind of interesting. - OlderMusicGeek

More things considered necessities
Posted by Patricia Wallace
Fifty-one percent of American adults now consider a home computer a necessity, not a luxury, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey. And the list of what we consider necessary is growing, the survey found.
􀁺 In 1996, 32 percent of American adults considered a microwave oven a necessity. In 2006, 68 percent did.
􀁺 In 1996, 51 percent believed air conditioning was a necessity. In 2006, 70 percent did.
􀁺 In 1996, 62 percent felt a clothes dryer was a necessity. In 2006, 83 percent did.

From the Pew survey, below are other common items and the percentage of Americans who considered them necessities in 2006.
􀁺 Car, 91 percent
􀁺 Clothes washer, 90 percent
􀁺 Television, 64 percent
􀁺 Car air conditioning, 59 percent
􀁺 Cell phone, 49 percent
􀁺 Dishwasher, 35 percent
􀁺 Cable or satellite TV, 33 percent
􀁺 High-speed Internet, 29 percent
􀁺 Flat-screen TV, 5 percent
􀁺 iPod, 3 percent

I have to admit I found some of this pretty funny and humorous after living in Africa in the late 80s and early 90s. Things have changed some since then, but you still have to be pretty wealthy there to own a car or have a tv. And you really have it made if you have plumbing and electricity! (The joys of a toilet, I cannot sing enough!) A computer and a microwave - much less cable or satellite tv or high-speed internet - are far off dreams for most of them! - OlderMusicGeek

ENTERTAINMENT: Internet Radio Still Needs Your Help

From SaveNetRadio - OlderMusicGeek

Congress and SoundExchange have heard loud and clear the amazing outpouring of support for Internet radio from webcasters, listeners and the thousands of artists they support. A commitment has been made to negotiate reasonable royalties, recognizing the industry’s long-term value and its still-developing revenue potential.

During negotiations SoundExchange committed temporarily not to enforce the new royalty rates so webcasters can stay online as new rates are agreed upon.

This development is due in great part to the millions of people who have let their Congressional representatives know about their support of Internet radio. Over 125 representatives have cosponsored the bill to this point.

We urge listeners to continue calling their Senators and Representative to ask them to co-sponsor the Internet Radio Equality Act. Thank you.


HUMOR and CULTURE/SOCIETY: When Not to Hyphenate Your Name

The Sassy Witch sent me this. Warning - this post is a little more PG-13 than most of my posting. - OlderMusicGeek

Monday, July 02, 2007

HUMOR: Seventy-Two Virgins

I saw this piece by Steve Martin in old New Yorker left at work. Thought people might enjoy it. - OlderMusicGeek

Seventy-Two Virgins
by Steve Martin

Virgin No. 1: Yuck.
Virgin No. 2: Ick.
Virgin No. 3: Ew.
Virgin No. 4: Ow.
Virgin No. 5: Do you like cats? I have fourteen!
Virgin No. 6: I’m Becky. I’ll be legal in two years.
Virgin No. 7: Here, I’ll just pull down your zipper. Oh, sorry!
Virgin No. 8: Can we cuddle first?
Virgin No. 9: It was a garlic-and-onion pizza. Why?
Virgin No. 10: … so I see Heath, and he goes, “Like, what are you doing here?,” and I go, “I’m hangin’ out,” so he goes, “Like, what?” …
Virgin No. 11: First you’re going to have to show me an up-to-date health certificate.
Virgin No. 12: Hurry! My parents are due home!
Virgin No. 13: Do you want the regular or the special?
Virgin No. 14: I’m eighty-four. So what?
Virgin No. 15: Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!
Virgin No. 16: Even I know that’s tiny.
Virgin No. 17: “Do it”? Meaning what?
Virgin No. 18: I’m saving myself for Jesus.
Virgin No. 19: Somewhere on my body I have hidden a buffalo nickel.
Virgin No. 20: Don’t touch my hair!
Virgin No. 21: I hope you’re not going to sleep with me and then go sleep with seventy-one others.
Virgin No. 22: Do you mind if we listen to Mannheim Steamroller?
Virgin No. 23: Are you O.K. with the dog on the bed?
Virgin No. 24: Would you mind saying, “Could I see you in my office, Miss Witherspoon?”?
Virgin No. 25: Ride me! Ride me, Lucky Buck!
Virgin No. 26: You like your vanilla hot?
Virgin No. 27: Does Ookums like Snookums?
Virgin No. 28: It’s so romantic here, dead.
Virgin No. 29: Well, I’m a virgin, but my hand isn’t.
Virgin No. 30: You are in?
Virgin No. 31: Hi, cowboy. I just rode down from Brokeback Mountain.
Virgin No. 32: I’m a virgin because I’m so ugly.
Virgin No. 33: You like-ee?
Virgin No. 34: I’ll betcha you can’t get an erection. Go on, impress me. C’mon, show me. Show me, big shot.
Virgin No. 35: By the way, here in Heaven “virgin” has a slightly different meaning. It means “chatty.”
Virgin No. 36: Sure, I like you, but as a friend.
Virgin No. 37: No kissing. I save that for my boyfriend.
Virgin No. 38: I’m Zania, from the planet Xeron. My vagina is on my foot.
Virgin No. 39: It’s a lesion, and, no, I don’t know what kind.
Virgin No. 40: I’m Jewish. Why do you ask?
Virgin No. 41: Hi, I’m Becky. Oh, whoops—you again.
Virgin No. 42: I just love camping! Camping is so great! Can we go camping sometime?
Virgin No. 43: In the spirit of full disclosure, I’m a single mom.
Virgin No. 44: You like my breasts? They were my graduation gift.
Virgin No. 45: When you’re done, you should really check out how cool this ceiling is.
Virgin No. 46: I’m almost there. Just another couple of hours.
Virgin No. 47: Get your own beer, you nitwit.
Virgin No. 48: No, you’ve got it wrong. We’re in the Paradise Casino.
Virgin No. 49: I really enjoyed that. Thank you very much. Gee, it’s late.
Virgin No. 50: You make me feel like a real woman. And after this is over I’m going to find one.
Virgin No. 51: What do you mean, “move a little”?
Virgin No. 52: Not now, I’m on my BlackBerry.
Virgin No. 53: I love it when you put on your pants and leave.
Virgin No. 54: We’ve been together twenty-four hours now, and, you know, sometimes it’s O.K. to say something mildly humorous.
Virgin No. 55: That was terrible. I should have listened to the other virgins.
Virgin No. 56: I think I found it. Is that it? Oh. Is this it? Oh, this must be it. No?
Virgin No. 57: It must be hot in here, because I know it’s not me.
Virgin No. 58: Those are my testicles.
Virgin No. 59: Did you know that “virgin” is an anagram of Irving?
Virgin No. 60: First “Spamalot,” then sex.
Virgin No. 61: Great! I was hoping for circumcised.
Virgin No. 62: Was that it?
Virgin No. 63: Dang. George Clooney was being reckless on a motorcycle, but instead I got you.
Virgin No. 64: Tonight, I become a woman. But until then you can call me Bob.
Virgin No. 65: They’re called “adult diapers.” Why?
Virgin No. 66: We could do it here for free, or on a stage in Düsseldorf for money.
Virgin No. 67: I’m just Virgin No. 67 to you, right?
Virgin No. 68: Pee-yoo. Are you wearing Aramis?
Virgin No. 69: Condom, please.
Virgin No. 70: My name is Mother Teresa.
Virgin No. 71: I’m not very good at this, but let’s start with the Reverse Lotus Blossom.
Virgin No. 72: It was paradise, until you showed up.

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