Archive for January 23rd, 2012
Very interesting interview of Hanne Blank by Thomas Rogers in Salon.com:
If you met Hanne Blank and her partner on the street, you might have a lot of trouble classifying them. While Blank looks like a feminine woman, her partner is extremely androgynous, with little to no facial hair and a fine smooth complexion. Hanne’s partner is neither fully male, nor fully female; he was born with an unconventional set of chromosomes, XXY, that provide him with both male genitalia and feminine characteristics. As a result, Blank’s partner has been mistaken for a gay woman, a straight man, a transman — and their relationship has been classified as gay, straight and everything in between.
Blank mentions her personal story at the beginning of her provocative new history of heterosexuality, Straight, as a way of illustrating just how artificial our notions of “straightness” really are. In her book, Blank, a writer and historian who has written extensively about sexuality and culture, looks at the ways in which social trends and the rise of psychiatry conspired to create this new category in the late 19th and early 20th century. Along the way, she examines the changing definition of marriage, which evolved from a businesslike agreement into a romantic union centered around love, and how social Darwinist ideas shaped the divisions between gay and straight. With her eye-opening book, Blank tactfully deconstructs a facet of modern sexuality that most of us take for granted.
Salon spoke to Blank over the phone about the origins of heterosexuality, the evolution of marriage and why the rise of the “bromance” is a very good thing.
Men and woman have been having sex for as long as there have been humans. So how can we talk about there being a “history” of heterosexuality? . . .
The guys at Wicked_Edge have been having some fun with the new Schick Hydro® 5 Power Select™’s “easy-to-read LED screen [that] communicates visually to clearly distinguish which vibration level is in use” (full specifications).
tommij points out this:
You know you’re getting rather deep into shaving when you start enjoying shaving comedy. 🙂
Apparently he may serve 3 months in the brig for a single count of dereliction of duty, which I imagine will be little solace to the surviving family members (if any) from the massacre. While a three-month sentence is certainly not a medal, it does seem inconsistent with killing 24 people (including 3 women and 7 children). Next time you’re in the supermarket, count the people around you to see what 24 people look like and amount to, including 7 children if you can.
The US has come a long way indeed.
Here’s the story. Not clear if time served will count toward sentence fulfillment—i.e., whether he will be released in a significantly shorter time. But in any event 24 civilians are dead and he will be out before the end of April.
In other news the US continues to imprison indefinitely men who are merely suspects, subjecting them on occasion to torture and even murdering some. No punishment for those at all.
Take a look at these gloves, a Cool Tool.
Scientists have long known that coffee drinkers have a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, but researchers out of China may have figured out why.
Researchers Ling Zheng, of Wuhan University, and Kun Huang, of Huazhong University of Science and Technology, have found that compounds in coffee inhibit hIAPP (human islet amyloid polypeptide), a substance linked to diabetes. Their study appeared in a recent issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
Prior global epidemiological studies have shown that those who drink four or more cups of coffee a day have a 50 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, the most prevalent type of diabetes accounting for 95 percent of all cases. Every additional cup reduces the risk by an additional 7 percent.
Scientists looking for ways to prevent diabetes have been investigating ways to block hIAPP, which is present in high levels in the pancreases of those with the disease. Zheng and Huang decided to study whether coffee was doing that.
They analyzed the effects of the major active compounds in coffee, including caffeic acid and caffeine, on hIAPP, and found it inhibited hIAPP significantly. “These findings suggest that the beneficial effects of coffee consumption on type 2 diabetes may be partly due to the ability of major coffee components to inhibit the toxic aggression of hIAPP,” the authors concluded.
“A beneficial effect may thus be expected in regular coffee drinkers,” they said.
Veleiro pre-shave exfoliating soap and Valeiro aftershave splash, with Mühle Sea Buckthorn shaving cream in between.
The pre-shave soap is particularly shiny in the photo because it has a thin plastic peel-off sticker on the front that I did not at first notice. It’s not bad soap, but on this first use showed no special “pre-shave” properties (unlike, say MR GLO/Ach. Brito, available from that same site). Still, it lathers well and smells fine.
I got the other Vie-Long small-handled horsehair shaving brush, so I have one in dark brown as well as the one pictured. Works like a charm, just like the other.
Sea Buckthorn seems to arouse skin reactions in some, to the point where they have to pass on soaps and shaving creams that use it, but fortunately it has no effect on my skin. Mühle and Edwin Jagger seemed to be in close cooperation, and this same shaving cream (and the allied soap) are sold by both companies, each under it own branding.
Fine lather, and I truly enjoyed shaving with the Slant—my beard seems to have achieved more length than usual over the two-day recess. By the second pass, though, I was practically smooth shaven, so the ATG was mere polishing.
A splash of Veleiro, and I’m good to go.
My article on the directions of safety-razor innovation is now up on Sharpologist, and comments are invited.