Archive for July, 2012

NCBI ROFL: How is a giant sperm ejaculated?

By ncbi rofl | July 20, 2012 7:00 pm

How is a giant sperm ejaculated? Anatomy and function of the sperm pump, or “Zenker organ,” in Pseudocandona marchica (Crustacea, Ostracoda, Candonidae).

“‘Giant sperm’, in terms of exceptionally long spermatozoa, occur in a variety of taxa in the animal kingdom, predominantly in arthropod groups, but also in flatworms, mollusks, and others. In some freshwater ostracods (Cypridoidea), filamentous sperm cells reach up to ten times the animal’s body length; nonetheless, during a single copulation several dozen sperm cells can be transferred to the female’s seminal receptacle. Read More

NCBI ROFL: Bobcats eating cadavers. Now THAT's science.

By ncbi rofl | July 19, 2012 7:00 pm

Scavenging behavior of Lynx rufus on human remains during the winter months of Southeast Texas.

“Animal-scavenging alterations on human remains can be mistaken as human criminal activity. A 32-day study, documenting animal scavenging on a human cadaver, was conducted at the Southeast Texas Applied Forensic Science facility, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas. A Stealth Cam Rogue IR was positioned near the cadaver to capture scavenging activity. An atypical scavenger, the bobcat, Lynx rufus, was recorded feeding on the cadaver. Read More

Burn Your Corsets? Women Wore Bras 600 Years Ago

By Sophie Bushwick | July 19, 2012 11:32 am

medieval bra
This 15th century brassiere (right) looked remarkably similar
to a long-line bra from the 1950s

Until the modern invention of the brassiere with cups, women had to bolster their busts with either unsupportive bands of cloth or constricting corsets—so the common knowledge went. But hidden away in an Austrian castle, long lost to the sands of time, a few scraps of linen waited for their chance to rewrite undergarment history. Excavations at Lengberg Castle in 2008 revealed a vault that architects had crammed with filler during a 15th-century renovation. Among the twigs and straw, the scrap material also contained the remains of discarded shoes and clothing. The more than 2,700 textile fragments included linen shirt scraps, underwear—and what looked like modern bras, complete with distinct cups and decorative lace.

At first, archaeologists were skeptical because there was no other proof that bras with cups existed before the 1800s. However, the undergarments were discovered amongst typical medieval clothing, and eventually, carbon dating confirmed that the brassieres dated back 600 years.

medieval underwear
A pair of underwear also discovered at Lengberg Castle

So did medieval ladies really wear lacy bras and underwear like this skimpy pair? Well, that’s only half right: the sexy panties belonged to a man. The bras, on the other hand, prove that even during the medieval era, women did not have to rely solely on breast-bands. In the words of Meister Reuauß, a satirical 15th century poem, “Many a woman makes two bags for the breasts with / it she roams the streets.” The full poem, and more details about medieval lingerie, are available at the page dedicated to this finding at the University of Innsbruck website.

[via io9]

Images and translation courtesy of Beatrix Nutz / University of Innsbruck

NCBI ROFL: Effects of heavy drinking by maritime academy cadets on hangover, perceived sleep, and next-day ship power plant operation.

By ncbi rofl | July 18, 2012 7:00 pm

“OBJECTIVE: The effects of an evening of heavy drinking on next-day occupational performance are mixed across studies and have not been investigated for ship-handling performance. Furthermore, it is not known whether the residual effects of alcohol on next-day performance are due to its effects on sleep. METHOD: Merchant marine cadets (N=61) who had been trained on a diesel power plant simulator and who drank heavily at least episodically were given placebo beer one evening and were randomized on a second evening to placebo or real beer that resulted in a mean breath alcohol concentration (BrAC) of .115 g%. After an 8-hour sleep period, a meal, and a return to < or = .02 g% BrAC, cadets were assessed with self-report measures and the power plant simulator. Read More


NCBI ROFL: Why watching the Food Network could sabotage your diet.

By ncbi rofl | July 17, 2012 7:00 pm

Watching food-related television increases caloric intake in restrained eaters.

“While watching 30-min television (TV) programs that contained either food-related content or non-food-related content, participants were asked to eat two types of candy by explicitly being told that we were interested in how the TV program influenced their taste and therefore they needed to consume some of those candies. Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: duh, eat me, NCBI ROFL, told you so

DARPA's New Machine for Blowing Out Fires—With Sound Waves

By Sophie Bushwick | July 17, 2012 12:03 pm

Music may have charms to soothe the savage breast—but it can also do a number on flames. In the above video, a blast of sound easily conquers fire. When researchers from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA’s, placed two speakers on either side of the burning liquid fuel, the sound waves increased the air velocity and thinned the fire. As for the fuel itself, the higher velocity led to more fuel vaporization for a wider and cooler flame. Both effects made the blaze easy to snuff out.

Read More

NCBI ROFL: Where do you score on the Facebook Addiction Scale?

By ncbi rofl | July 16, 2012 7:00 pm

“The Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale (BFAS), initially a pool of 18 items, three reflecting each of the six core elements of addiction (salience, mood modification, tolerance, withdrawal, conflict, and relapse), was constructed and administered to 423 students together with several other standardized self-report scales (Addictive Tendencies Scale, Online Sociability Scale, Facebook Attitude Scale, NEO-FFI, BIS/BAS scales, and Sleep questions). Read More


A Mind-Reading Helmet to Catch Criminals and Enemies! Or Not

By Sophie Bushwick | July 14, 2012 9:07 am

tin foil hat
Someone’s prepared for an interrogation

Can someone peer into your head to see what you’re thinking? Veritas Scientific wants to. But don’t start making a tin foil hat quite yet—the electroencephalogram (EEG) helmet that Veritas is developing won’t actually read your mind. It only detects the brain signals that indicate recognition. The instrument , as large as a motorcycle helmet, blocks out distractions as images flash on the inside of the visor. Meanwhile, metal brushes map the scalp’s electrical activity to detect the subject’s reaction to each one of those images. In particular, a characteristic response called P300 occurs when the brain recognizes an object. This could come in handy for lie detection: If police are interrogating a suspect who claims to know nothing, but he recognizes images of an accomplice, victim, or even crime scene, the helmet would catch his lie. Veritas even suggests that the right slideshow images and questions could help identify an enemy combatant pretending to be an innocent.

Read More

NCBI ROFL: Did Michelangelo secretly slip extra penises into the Sistine Chapel?

By ncbi rofl | July 13, 2012 7:00 pm

The interpretation of the figure of the prophet Jonah by Michelangelo on the ceiling of the sistine chapel: anatomical urological vision.

“Purpose: A detailed analysis in the iconography and pictorial appearance of the scene of the ″Prophet Jonah″ painted by the artist Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564) on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel between the years 1508 and 1512. Materials and Methods: Literature review on the Italian Renaissance period and the life of Michelangelo Buonarroti and analysis of historical aspects of the evolution of studies of human anatomy in this period and the works of the artist. Results: A comparative analysis of the representation of the figure of the fish on the left thigh of ″Jonah ″ with a cross section of penis shows a curious similarity. Read More

NCBI ROFL: How a scientist eats a Reese's peanut butter cup.

By ncbi rofl | July 12, 2012 7:00 pm

Oil migration in chocolate-peanut butter paste confectionery as a function of chocolate formulation.

“Migration of oil from high oil content filling to the chocolate coating can result in undesirable quality changes in filled chocolate confectionery products. The objective of this study was to monitor and model peanut oil migration in a 2-layer chocolate-peanut butter paste model confectionery. Read More


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