The dashing and talented Seth Mnookin—author of the upcoming smash hit The Panic Virus—is holding a contest surrounding my new book!
Sheril Kirshenenbaum’s The Science of Kissing — a great book with arguably the cover/title of the year — was published today. For anyone who has ever made snap judgments based on the books people are reading on the train/subway/bus/plane — well, think of all the possibilities if someone saw you reading this:
In addition to being a great book, The Science of Kissing is also the first book published this year by a ScienceOnline 2011 author. (I believe the second one is coming out in a week. I’ll give you a hint as to what it is: the author’s last name begins with the 13th, 14th, and 15th letters of the alphabet.) You don’t need to take my word for it — you can check out Greg Laden’s ScienceBlogs review, which contains this awesome line:
“The Science of Kissing: What Our Lips Are Telling Us, a new book by Sheril Kirshenbaum has a bunch more about kissing, and is a must read for anyone who wants to try out kissing (you may like it) and keep it scientific.”
In honor of Sheril’s achievement, I’m going to offer a free book by any single one of the SciO11 authors to the person who gives the best one paragraph explanation for why they liked The Science of Kissing. You don’t even need to select The Panic Virus! (A list of authors is here — and there are lots of good ones to choose from.)
Here are the rules: You need to actually buy TSoK — this part works on the honor system. You need to explain why you liked it in the comments (here). You need to do all of this by next Thursday, January 13th, which is the start of the conference.
The earliest literary evidence we have for kissing dates back to India’s Vedic Sanskrit texts composed around 3,500 years ago. However, given there are so many kissing-like behaviors across the animal kingdom (particularly among our closest primate relatives) it’s likely that our own species has been locking lips–on and off–for a much longer period of time.
This amazing image (also in the book) is by Belgian artist Wim Delvoye. Tumblr questions are piling in and readers are welcome to submit your own in comments below…
The Science of Kissing finally arrived on my doorstep last week. After years of research and writing, to hold the finished book in my hand is a very surreal experience.
Even though the official publication date is January 5th, I’ve just learned that Amazon is already shipping copies… early enough to arrive by Christmas and New Years Eve! Here’s a glimpse at Chapter titles:
Part One: The Hunt For Kissing’s Origins
1. First Contact
2. Jungle Fever
3. Kiss My Past
4. Cultural Exchange
Part Two: Kissing in the Body
5. The Anatomy of a Kiss
6. Women Are from Venus, Men Are Easy
7. Scent of a Man
8. Close Encounters
9. There Are Such Things as Cooties
Part Three: Great Expectations
10. This Is Your Brain on Kissing
11. The Open Lab
12: The Future of Kissing
13: The Right Chemistry
Annknee asked: What does kissing tell you about being compatible?
Quite simply: A LOT! When we kiss another person, we employ all of our senses. During a passionate kiss, our bodies use this information to evaluate compatibility and determine whether to take things further. Some occurs at the conscious level such as interpreting signals like taste and breath. Other information is processed subconciously. In fact, there’s science to suggest that a kiss reveals information about a partner’s very DNA, so you instinctively sense whether you may be a good genetic match.
More on that in the book…
Tumblr questions are piling in and readers are welcome to submit your own in comments below…
I’ve got a piece in the Jan/Feb issue of Discover about the science behind osculation (the scientific term for kissing). A favorite example:
7. Being close enough to kiss helps our noses assess compatibility. In a landmark study, evolutionary biologist Claus Wedekind of the University of Lausanne in Switzerland reported that women prefer the scents of men whose immunity-coding genes are different from their own. Mixing genes that way may produce offspring with stronger immune systems.
Win my new book! The awesome tumblr blog fuckyeahkissing will be giving away one copy for the best photo! Here are the details:
Hey! We’re holding our first contest on fuckyeahkissing ever! Super cool right? Yeah.
ONE winner will win this:
The Science of Kissing: What Our Lips Are Telling Us by Sheril Kirshenbaum
This contest will run for 1 month, (ending December 27th).
The rules are simple: submit a picture of their best academic~ related kiss. (This means science, math, history, english, anything educational!) The winner will be selected strictly on originality, quality, and how well they followed the theme. The picture must be taken by you, or you must have permission from the owner (like if your parents took it) to use in this contest.
Submit pictures here. Please add a way to contact you (e-mail is preferred) if you win. Questions emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
As The Science of Kissing Gallery grew, my inbox became what you might call “a basket of kisses” (H/T Mad Men’s Peggy Olson). I’ve not kept up with posting them nearly as quickly as they’ve come in and have also received your input that the gallery style isn’t easy to navigate. Today that changes…
Introducing The Science of Kissing Gallery on tumblr! Several readers have suggested this would be a better way to display and share photos and artwork and I agree. To view what I’ve uploaded so far on one page, just click on the archive tab on the left.
This will be the new landing place for all of your submitted kisses from across time, space, and species. Please be patient as I learn how to use tumblr and over the coming weeks I’ll continue moving everything there. In the mean time, enjoy the newest addition by Colin M.L. Burnett and don’t forget to submit your original photo or artwork for consideration.
Photographed in Alaska in Denali Park at Wonder Lake by Hugh Rose Photography
[Note: The Science of Kissing Gallery has now moved to tumblr!]