(no subject)

In love we often doubt what we most believe.
Francois de La Rochefoucauld

Intuition sends red flags. Paths keep leading me to question. Motives...Actions...
What is done in the shadows of silence. The lascivious snippets of the past still lingering.
Insecurity or realization that more is going than meets the eye?
Conversations, images, shrouded within encryption. Leaving me terribly curious as
to their purpose. What is the end result? Where is this going? Where will it leave me?
It is time to be selfish again. To burrow into detachment, lest illusions overtake
reason and logical consequence. To let go was a noble gesture. A lesson learned.

Equifax Says It's Un-American For People To Know What Equifax Knows About Them

Contributed by Mike on Wednesday, June 29th, 2005 @ 11:24AM
from the it's-just-darn-un-american dept.
It's tough to figure out where to start on the various comments from Equifax boss Thomas Chapman, who claims that the new law requiring the big credit companies to let people see what data has been collected on them for free at least once a year "unconstitutional and un-American." His argument is that it "cuts into the profits" of his company. First of all, cutting into someone's profits isn't unconstitutional or un-American by itself. Second, they're not asking him to "give away" some random product, but to let anyone check the info that his company has collected on that person to make sure it's accurate. Considering just how much depends on these companies reporting data accurately, that seems like the least they should be required to do. In fact, they should want to encourage that as it means they would have more accurate data. Besides, part of the problem is really that many people don't realize just how much data these companies have on them, and how much of it is just wrong. Besides, given the various sneaky upsells, it certainly looks like the big credit companies are actually increasing their profits by convincing people that they actually do have to pay for these "free" reports.........


War of the fire ants

Jessica Ebert
Males pit their genes against females by chucking DNA out of eggs.

Do females fire ants belong to a different species than the males?
In a bizarre war of the sexes, little fire ants have evolved a novel way to fight for their gender's genes, according to new research.
The sperm of the male ant appears to be able to destroy the female DNA within a fertilized egg, giving birth to a male that is a clone of its father. Meanwhile the female queens make clones of themselves to carry on the royal female line.
The result is that both the males and females have their own, independent gene pools, leading some to speculate whether each gender ought to be technically classified as its own species. "We could think of the males as a separate, parasitic species that uses host eggs for its own reproduction," says Denis Fournier of the Université Libre in Brussels, Belgium, who led the work.
Many insects, including most bees, wasps and ants, sexually reproduce in order to create both queens and sterile female workers. Males are created when a female egg goes unfertilized. Unlike humans, whose males require genetic input from a father, these male insects simply have less genetic material than the females.
But when Fournier and his team were studying little fire ants (Wasmannia auropunctata) in French Guiana, they found something quite different.
"It is by chance that we discovered this extraordinary genetic system," says Fournier. The team had set out to investigate how colonies in human-disturbed areas, such as plantations or quarries, differ from those in undisturbed rain forests. But after collecting 34 nests and analyzing the genomes of the queens and workers, and the sperm of the males, an unusual pattern emerged. Although the sterile workers carried one maternal and one paternal set of chromosomes as expected, the queens carried only maternal genes and the males carried only paternal genes.

What social scientists and economists can tell us about our cinematic preferences.

By Michael Agger
Posted Thursday, June 16, 2005, at 12:29 PM PT

"The more you go to the movies, the more you realize you know nothing about how they work. Two summers ago, I was in a theater on the Upper West Side that was packed with teenagers. Pretzel bits and nachos in hand, we awaited one of the preview screenings of Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life. Granted, it was a raucous crowd, but I was still surprised when the first bounce of Angelina Jolie's breasts met with a rousing ovation. A kid in front of me shouted, "They're the best part of the movie!" and gave his friend a high-five. "Oh," I thought, "I guess this will be a hit."

My discovery that teenage boys admire Angelina Jolie's knockers is a bit like discovering that New Mexico is part of the United States. Yet if you asked a Paramount executive how much Jolie's presence meant to that movie's bottom line, he or she couldn't tell you. According to a recent academic paper, the effectiveness of "star power" is one of many "puzzles" that haunt the movie business, an industry where executives "rely heavily on tradition, conventional wisdom, and simple rules of thumb." Despite extensive market research dating back to the '20s, Hollywood is the King Lear of the entertainment world: It has always but slenderly known itself......"


By Pascal Fletcher

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez blamed President Bush on Sunday for Bolivia's crisis and said Bush's "poisoned medicine" of free-market democracy was being rejected by Latin America. The left-wing Venezuelan leader said the protests that shook the Andean nation this week were triggered by popular opposition to capitalist free-trade policies advocated by Bush.

Chavez condemned as "poisoned medicine" a speech given by Bush to the Organization of American States last week in which he recommended a mix of representative democracy, integration of world markets and individual freedoms.

Female Orgasm?
A Critic Takes On the Logic of Female Orgasm
Published: May 17, 2005
Evolutionary scientists have never had difficulty explaining the male orgasm, closely tied as it is to reproduction.
But the Darwinian logic behind the female orgasm has remained elusive. Women can have sexual intercourse and even become pregnant - doing their part for the perpetuation of the species - without experiencing orgasm. So what is its evolutionary purpose?
Over the last four decades, scientists have come up with a variety of theories, arguing, for example, that orgasm encourages women to have sex and, therefore, reproduce or that it leads women to favor stronger and healthier men, maximizing their offspring's chances of survival.
But in a new book, Dr. Elisabeth A. Lloyd, a philosopher of science and professor of biology at Indiana University, takes on 20 leading theories and finds them wanting. The female orgasm, she argues in the book, "The Case of the Female Orgasm: Bias in the Science of Evolution," has no evolutionary function at all.
Rather, Dr. Lloyd says the most convincing theory is one put forward in 1979 by Dr. Donald Symons, an anthropologist.
That theory holds that female orgasms are simply artifacts - a byproduct of the parallel development of male and female embryos in the first eight or nine weeks of life.
In that early period, the nerve and tissue pathways are laid down for various reflexes, including the orgasm, Dr. Lloyd said. As development progresses, male hormones saturate the embryo, and sexuality is defined.
In boys, the penis develops, along with the potential to have orgasms and ejaculate, while "females get the nerve pathways for orgasm by initially having the same body plan."
Nipples in men are similarly vestigial, Dr. Lloyd pointed out.
While nipples in woman serve a purpose, male nipples appear to be simply left over from the initial stage of embryonic development.
The female orgasm, she said, "is for fun."



By Kelly Hearn, AlterNet.

Brazil has rejected $40 million in U.S. funds for fighting AIDS because of demands that it condemn prostitution, a key participant in its flagship AIDS program. The move is seen by some observers as a rejection of Washington's head-in-the-sand linkage of neo-con morality and foreign aid. ''Biblical principles [are] their guide, not science," Pedro Chequer, director of Brazil's AIDS program told media outlets on Wednesday. "This premise is inadequate because it hurts our autonomous national policy."

talk about setting unrealistic expectations..heheh...

This was my horoscope for today...I never fail to be amused by these things...

"Your fantasies could come true at this time, especially when it comes to relationships, Andrea. This could be the moment that you have always dreamed about, so get ready. The attractive, romantic person in the corner has been keeping an eye on you all night. Your blood is pumping faster than ever. Remind yourself that all dreams can come true on a day like today."

...should I be all starry eyed and dreamy?

Marvin Harris's Cultural Materialism

Lacking commitment to any single theory, many social scientists today spin out seemingly endless explanations and mini theories that contribute little understanding to what is going on. This site is old-fashioned in the sense that it is openly committed to a theoretical scheme. Cultural materialism is an ecological- evolutionary systems theory that attempts to account for the origin, maintenance and change of sociocultural systems.

The foundation of Harris' theory of Cultural Materialism is that a society's mode of production (technology and work patterns, especially in regard to food) and mode of reproduction (population level and growth) in interaction with the natural environment has profound effects on sociocultural stability and change. Societies are systems, Harris asserts, and widespread social practices and beliefs must be compatible with the infrastructures of society (the modes of production and reproduction and their interaction with the environment). The infrastructure represents the ways in which a society regulates both the type and amount of resources needed to sustain the society.

(no subject)

Why am I always so impatient, even when I know my intervention will end badly? I mean, I wish I could just let things go and not think about them, but sometimes...situations or people get under my skin and I feel absolutely compelled to share my indignation/frustration. Last night is a case in point. I could have left things alone, but I had to call and make an ass out of myself....argh!! Thankfully it ended alright and the person was understanding, but I wonder if enough of these little episodes, and I won't end up driving away people I would really rather have in my life. Lesson: learn to have self control....that can be my birthday resolution.