vanitashaze: Girl on a dark beach. (Default)
And yet I am quickly becoming addicted to Radiolab, a wonderful little radio show on WYNC 93.9 that's somewhere between geekdom and synesthesia. Every episode, they choose a topic - life after death, for instance, or numbers, or why we blink - and from that topic focus on a few elements in-depth, usually about three of these, and then leave it to the listeners to draw conclusions and connections between them. It's supposedly a scientific show, and they definitely have a scientific bend - most of the elements are approached from a scientific basis - but it also touches on psychology, philosophy, anthropology, spirituality, music, literature, art... the list goes on and on. (And, [ profile] ticketsonmyself, they had They Might Be Giants on for a guest spot!) I'm not particularly scientific, and I always preferred a more humanistic / metaphysical / subjective explanation for things, but that has not deterred me at all, because this isn't a typical radio science show that only scientists can enjoy (or, you know, a high-school science class). This is how science should be taught - with humor, depth, care, debate, and above all, an endless good-natured curiosity about the way the world works and what our place in it is. (All the hosts are super easy on the ears, too.)

It is, needless to say, great. I want to move to New York just so I can listen to this on the radio every day. However, if - like me - you're unlucky enough to live out of radio reception, you can download the podcasts of the shows for free off their website, and listen to them whenever. They have the longer hour-shows - which I totally recommend, especially "Beyond Time" and the one on race - but they also have twenty-minute "shorts", which are great if you don't have the time to commit to listening to the former all the way through. (Word to the wise, though: Don't try to listen to either of them while doing something that requires motor concentration. They're fascinating, and you will get totally wrapped up in them and forget what you're doing. I almost got flattened by a mid-size compact this morning, doing just this.)
vanitashaze: Girl on a dark beach. (Default)
"[The steely feel of a true erection is] not exactly an exaggeration. The collagen fibers surrounding the corpus cavernosum of an erect penis are as stiff, by weight, a steel. I learned this in 1999, while interviewing Diane Kelly, then at Cornell University, the planet's lone expert on the biomechanics of the mammalian penis. The fibers are arranged in two layers, one perpendicular to the other, which keeps erections from bending or ballooning out of shape when they're squeezed. If you use enough force, however, a penis will buckle. "Penile fracture" is the preferred term. It refers to a ruptured corpus cavernosum rather than a broken bone. Humans don't have penis bones. Dogs do, and chipmunks and muskrat and various other mammals, all of them represented in the fabulous Smithsonian Institution penis bone collection that languishes, tragically, in an off-site storage facility. THe largest penis bone is that of a walrus. The Inuit call it an oosik and used it as a war club."

This brought to you by Mary Roach's Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Sex and Science, highly recommended to those who wish to spout curious facts about the history of cock rings, whether or not the clitoris is a subcutaneous penis, or the truth about tilting, which is, in fact, that it is perfectly normal[1].


[1] "A comforting word about the crooked penis. Dr Hsu [surgeon specializing in, basically, ED] says it is rare to see one that stands perfectly straight. Actually, what he said was: "Most men are communists! Lean to the left! Second most common: bow down, like Japanese gentleman! Number three, to the right. Four, up! Like elephant!"

[2] Footnotes.


vanitashaze: Girl on a dark beach. (Default)

April 2012

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