“Disgust is a complex phenomenon that pervades a number of social situations. To date, disgust has primarily been understood as an individually experienced emotion or as a way of defining boundaries between people or objects; the detailed social practices through which disgust is choreographed, however, have yet to be fully explored. The social implications of disgust are particularly apparent when food and eating are involved, as it is in such settings that individuals, objects, and social boundaries coincide. In this paper, I argue that the enactment of disgust is an inherently social event, and that we can evidence it as such through the way in which it is produced and oriented to in everyday interaction. The setting for this paper is family mealtimes, as a situation in which children and parents explore the boundaries of what is, and what is not, disgusting. Read More
Archaeoentomology is a strange little corner of archaeology. Its practitioners search for signs of ancient bug life—fossilized eggs, old fly pupae, the like—in dig sites to tell, for instance, whether a body lay exposed before burial. One area they’d really like to know more about is what moves into coffins with bodies once they’ve, ah, started to go to earth. The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out, the worms play pinochle on your snout, to be sure, but which worms?
“Even after they have taken all reasonable measures to decrease the probability that their spouses cheat on them, men still face paternal uncertainty. Such uncertainty can lead to paternal disinvestment, which reduces the children’s probability to survive and reproduce, and thus the reproductive success of the fathers themselves. A theoretical model shows that, other things being equal, men who feel confident that they have fathered their spouses’ offspring tend to enjoy greater fitness (i.e., leave a larger number of surviving progeny) than men who do not. Read More
“Males of sexually cannibalistic spiders commonly mutilate parts of their paired genitals (palps) during copulation, which may result in complete emasculation or the ‘eunuch phenomenon’. In an orb-web nephilid spider, Nephilengys malabarensis, about 75 per cent of males fall victim to sexual cannibalism, and the surviving males become half-eunuchs (one palp emasculated) or full-eunuchs (both palps emasculated). While it has been shown that surviving eunuchs are better fighters compared with intact males when guarding the females with which they have mated, mechanisms behind eunuchs’ superior fighting abilities are unknown. Read More
“Police officers frequently use the presence or absence of an alcohol breath odor for decisions on proceeding further into sobriety testing. Epidemiological studies report many false negative errors. The current study employed 20 experienced officers as observers to detect an alcohol odor from 14 subjects who were at blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) ranging from zero to 0.130 g/dl. Over a 4 h period, each officer had 24 opportunities to place his nose at the terminal end of a 6 in. tube through which subjects blew. Read More
Phallostethus cuulong was swimming quietly in Vietnam’s Mekong River, minding its own business, when humans discovered the fish in 2009. And now that researchers have described P. cuulong [pdf], we can’t help violating its privacy by gazing unabashed at its most interesting feature. That feature sits on the throat in the form of a priapium, an organ with as many parts as a Swiss Army knife, most of which contribute to a single function: making as many babies as possible.
“In this work we study the dynamical features of editorial wars in Wikipedia (WP). Based on our previously established algorithm, we build up samples of controversial and peaceful articles and analyze the temporal characteristics of the activity in these samples. Read More
“Despite consensus in published studies that larger-breasted patients who undergo radiation therapy tend to suffer from more severe acute skin reactions and a more adverse cosmetic outcome, there appears to be no consensus on the definition of a ‘large breast’. This paper describes an analysis of breast size that was undertaken on 50 patients and compares this data with other published studies. Read More
Doctors tested the recovered pen by writing “HELLO”
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Long, long ago—well, in the 1980s—a middle-aged British woman noticed a spot on her tonsil. To get a better look, she grabbed a mirror, opened wide, and started poking around with a plastic felt-tipped pen—which is where she ran into trouble. The woman claimed that she slipped and fell, swallowing the pen in the process. But between the implausibility of consuming a pen and the fact that X-ray scans failed to reveal the writing implement, everyone assumed she had made up the story…
“Surgical face masks prevent the dispersal of bacteria from the upper airway to surfaces immediately in front of and below the face during talking. However, mask wiggling has been reported to increase dermabrasion and bacterial contamination of surfaces immediately below the face. Facial hair and recent shaving may alter the quantity of particles shed by dermabrasion when the mask is wiggled. Read More