Archive for March, 2016
A photo of Boston firefighter James Plourde carrying McGrath, with her leg cut and bloody, from the site of the bombing turned her into a moving symbol of hope from the tragedy.
“It’s been said that I helped to save her life, but the truth is Victoria saved my life after the marathon as her love, support and friendship helped myself and my family deal with the acts of 4/5/13,” Plourde wrote in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the McGrath and Perez Torres families as they deal with this unimaginable tragedy.”
The Weston, Conn., native spent weeks recovering at Tufts Medical Center with nerve damage in her left leg.
“She made a lasting impact on those who knew her,” Tufts Medical Center said in a statement.
“The caregivers at Tufts are heartbroken,” Tufts spokesperson Brook Hynes told ABC News on Monday.
Hynes said McGrath “touched our lives and whom we cared for.”
“She was definitely a bright light,” Hynes said. “And her family was wonderful, and we all got to know each other during a really tragic time.”
Boston Marathon bombing survivor Victoria McGrath was killed in a Dubai car crash, officials said Monday.
Researchers at the University of California San Francisco found the drug etomixir, developed to treat heart failure, to stop the growth of triple-negative breast cancer implanted in mice, suggesting a more effective method for battling the disease.
A drug that disrupts the ability of certain breast tumors to use fat as an energy source was found in a new study to successfully treat cancer in mice.
Amyloid plaques build up on one side of the brain, responsible for language and communication, in patients with primary progressive aphasia, or PPA, a finding researchers said will help in diagnosing and treating the condition. Researchers at Northwestern University found the plaques build up primarily on the left side of the brain using a new type of positron emission topography, or PET, scans that detect amyloids. ADVERTISING A combination of computed tomography, or CT, scans and cognitive memory or language tests have typically been used to diagnose Alzheimer’s and other dementia-type conditions. The method has been somewhat effective in diagnosing patients, though the only way to confirm the disease is examination of the brain after death.
Young people who are physically unfit have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life, regardless of their body weight, the results of a large registry study indicate. New data on over 1.5 million male conscripts in Sweden reveals that 18-year-olds with low aerobic capacity and low muscle strength are more than three times likelier to develop type 2 diabetes over the following decades than their fitter counterparts, even after taking into account body mass index (BMI).
A diet heavy on white bread and other high-glycemic index (GI) foods may increase an individual’s risk of lung cancer, according to a new study.
Study compared Finnish adults with and without multiple sclerosis, but more research is needed
The prohibition of MDMA and hallucinogenic mushrooms restricts “cognitive liberty,” according to some activists.
By the time drug-policy lawyer Charlotte Walsh took to the stage on the final day of the recent Horizons Psychedelic Conference, we had already heard several persuasive talks on the benefits of psychedelic substances. Rick Doblin had spoken about the successful treatment of PTSD with MDMA, Draulio Barros de Araujo described his work combatting depression with ayahuasca, and Stephen Ross discussed his study administering psilocybin to cancer patients.
I had met Ross two years prior, while covering his psychedelic research. The psychiatrist had spent years and a small fortune obtaining the government’s permission to run an extremely limited study. The stakes were high. Without exemptions from the DEA and other agencies, Ross and his NYU team could have faced punishments as severe as life imprisonment. But the risk was worth it: The researchers were able to critically reduce end-of-life anxiety in the vast majority of their patients with targeted therapy aided by a single dose of psilocybin.
These clinical gains run counter to increasingly prohibitive trends exemplified by Holland’s 2008 ban on hallucinogenic mushrooms and the U.K.’s Psychoactive Substances Act of 2016. This recent law automatically renders illegal all substances capable of altering emotions or mental functioning unless specifically exempted.
According to Charlotte Walsh of the anti-prohibitionist Ayahuasca Defense Fund, that kind of blanket drug prohibition is a violation of international human-rights law. Walsh sees parallels between the drug war and the legal battles for racial equality, as well as gay and reproductive rights. She and her colleagues across Europe and North America hope to use the U.S. Bill of Rights and the European Charter on Human Rights to build a cognitive-liberty-based case against drug prohibition.
I spoke with Walsh recently about her current efforts and the prospects for success at home and abroad.
Morin: What would a human-rights-based drug defense look like?
Walsh: Generally, when people are prosecuted for psychedelic use, the defense focuses on technicalities rather than challenging the prohibitive framework itself. On the rare occasions when they do challenge prohibition, they tend to employ a rights-based framework—namely, arguing that their client’s human rights have been infringed by psychedelic drug prohibition. Rights-based defenses have historically been either pleas for therapeutic or religious exemptions from prohibition.
Morin: What is the legal basis for drug prohibition?
Walsh: Within the parameters of the U.K. Misuse of Drugs Act [equivalent to the U.S. Controlled Substances Act] the issue is ostensibly based around the idea of harm. We have an Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, which is a group of scientists in different realms that the government consults when a drug is going to be scheduled or reclassified. The council then carries out a wholesale review of the substance and makes a recommendation for or against prohibition or reclassification. There has been a trend though where the government will ask the Advisory Council to carry out such a review and then just completely ignore their results and do what they want to do. As a stark example, when MDMA was being reevaluated for reclassification, before the results were even in, they issued a public statement saying, effectively, “Don’t worry, whatever they find, we’re not going to change anything.”
An alcohol user can alter their consciousness freely despite the proven risks while a psychedelic user faces heavy punishment.
Morin: What results have they been ignoring?
Walsh: There was an extensive U.K. government study carried out in 2010 by a team under David Nutt that measured various substances in terms of harms to society and the individual. That study showed that alcohol is the overall forerunner in terms of harm, and tobacco comes close after that. A lot of the Class A drugs [equivalent to Schedule I in the US] and psychedelic drugs in particular were at the opposite end of that scale showing very low risk of harm.
Morin: Did the government refute the study or did they ignore it?
Walsh: They basically ignored it. In relation to the alcohol and tobacco findings, obviously nobody has called for their prohibition. An alcohol user can alter their consciousness freely despite the proven risks while a psychedelic user faces heavy punishment. It’s arbitrary discrimination. The government’s response to the Nutt study has been that drug policy isn’t based solely on science, it’s also based on cultural and historical precedent.
Morin: Is that an admission that the harm-based justification for prohibition no longer applies?
Walsh: It’s certainly evidence that it’s applied inconsistently and arbitrarily. From a human-rights-based perspective, everybody’s rights should be protected equally unless there’s a good reason why you’re treating a group differently. I don’t think that saying “culturally and historically this is what we’ve always done” is legitimate. You can’t say that about racial discrimination, for instance.
Morin: So, the current argument is that illegal drugs are bad because they’re illegal?
Walsh: Basically, and it goes beyond that. We have a recently elected Conservative government in the U.K., and they’ve produced something called the Psychoactive Substances Act. It’s a piece of legislation that renders it unlawful to trade in any substance capable of producing a psychoactive effect of any kind regardless of harm or benefit. If you read the text of the Act, it’s extraordinary, most notably its lack of any reference to the concept of harm.
Morin: How do they define “psychoactive” exactly?
Walsh: Any substance that alters your emotional state or mental functioning. It openly states that we [the government] think we have the right to stop you from altering your psychological state. It’s strange that’s something they believe they should have the power to do.
Morin: I assume there are exemptions for alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine.
Walsh: Yes, for culturally accepted substances. This legislation is potentially so broad that prior to its enactment the government felt compelled to write to bishops to reassure them that the incense used in church services would not become illegal, despite its being mildly psychoactive.
Morin: What does that kind of blanket ban indicate to you in terms of legislative intent?
Walsh: The tradition in English law was always to intervene as little as possible. That concept has been dying in more recent years. This reverses that presumption, replacing it with an assumption that you can’t do something unless the government explicitly says you can. This violates classic liberalism, where you have the concept of limitations of power, as most famously espoused by legal theorist John Stuart Mill. How much power can the state legitimately hold over the individual? Mill laid down the principle as prevention of harm to others. So, from that perspective, the kind of paternalism we’re seeing, both in the operation of the Misuse of Drugs Act and the fundamental aims of this new piece of legislation is illegitimate.
Even if you could make a case for that kind of paternalism, how can imprisonment possibly be for our own good?
Morin: Paternalism in terms of protecting people from themselves?
Walsh: Exactly. It’s inherently infantilizing. Even if you could make a case for that kind of paternalism, how can imprisonment possibly be for our own good? In the majority of cases, the primary and often only harm being suffered by the individual is due to the punishment imposed rather than from the substance use itself.
Morin: How do you intend to build a human-rights case against drug prohibition?
Walsh: There are different ways in which you can approach it. Article 8 [in the European Convention on Human Rights] guarantees the right to privacy. In Mexico, there was a Supreme Court ruling that for individuals to grow and use cannabis was a human right connected to the right to privacy. Here in the U.K. recently, there was an all-party parliamentary group looking at drug-policy reform, and one of the things that they said is that drug-possession laws are potentially a breach of our Article 8 right to privacy. That’s the first time I’ve ever seen an official source using that kind of human rights-based argument. I think that is a really promising development.
Morin: The suggestion is that drug use should be a private choice?
Walsh: It should be a private choice as long as it doesn’t harm others. The vast majority of police stops and searches in our streets are for drugs rather than anything else, which is an obvious violation of privacy. Read more broadly, the right to privacy equates with our ability to become who we want to be. Mill, again, was a strong proponent of experiments in living as an important means for self-discovery. The question is, should we be entrusting the government to determine what’s valuable to us? It’s through our own choices, including whether or not to ingest substances, that we engage in a process of self-creation.
Morin: It seems like there are stronger laws in place to prevent a patient from being medicated against their will than there are permitting self-medication. How similar are those two concepts?
Walsh: It’s based on the same argument—the freedom to control your own consciousness and the mechanisms of your thinking. With psychedelics, it’s one of those areas where people who have experienced profound alterations of consciousness will often see merit in these arguments, and people who haven’t are often not very open to them. I think you have to be very careful about how you construct your argument. It’s about liberty. It’s about an abuse of state powers. You want to get people on board who are aren’t necessarily interested in altering their consciousness, but who are interested in curbing what the state can and can’t do.
Morin: Medical arguments have broadly relaxed prohibition of marijuana in this country. Do you see that extending further?
Walsh: I do, but I also think that the medical model is problematic in its own right. I think we need more of a holistic definition of health. Right now, we’re talking about simply the absence of illness—whether it’s physical or mental. We should be talking about allowing individuals to flourish, to develop beyond basic well-being.
Morin: Besides the right to privacy, what other rights do you see influencing the legitimacy of prohibition?
Walsh: Article 9 guarantees religious freedom, so, basically, if you consider the drug you use to be a sacrament, then banning it is a form of religious persecution. In the States, you have a more doctrinal approach to what constitutes a religion. There’s a test. Is there a holy book and a central belief system? There’s a list of things you can work through. In Europe, we don’t have that. We have this loose interpretation of what religious belief is. It can even cover atheism, for example. Indeed, any belief system of significance to you can potentially be covered. The court tends to accept that, but then they say that your ability to manifest that religious belief—for example by drinking ayahuasca—has to be balanced against the public interest in you not doing it. And so, in cases involving ayahuasca, they’ve said that its illegality is proof of its danger, which in and of itself proves that the public interest in your not taking it outweighs your interest in taking it. It’s a circular argument that renders the whole process absolutely meaningless.
Morin: Taking your example, can you talk about why someone would want to use ayahuasca?
Walsh: There have been a lot of studies, and the overall conclusion seem to be that the long-term psychological well-being of people who use it is actually higher than control groups who have never used it. It has thousands of years of cultural history behind it. Then, of course you have the anecdotal evidence of many individuals saying that using ayahuasca has been a very beneficial and transformative experience.
Morin: A lot of people seem to think that the religious argument has the best chance of succeeding here in the U.S.
Walsh: Right. It has already been successful in the U.S. Courts have allowed exemptions in certain cases with ayahuasca, and with the Native American Church and peyote. There have been similar rulings in other countries—Holland and Chile, for example, but nothing like that here in the U.K. Interestingly, in the U.K., judges rejecting human-rights arguments have argued that they are bound by the international system of drug prohibition and therefore can’t make exemptions. In U.S. courts though, that sort of argument has been discarded with barely a second glance. The prosecution has raised the fact that exemptions are against international law and the judiciary has said that it doesn’t trump religious freedom.
Morin: If religious freedom is weaker in the U.K., is there a freedom of speech argument that could be made instead?
Walsh: More broadly under Article 9 is the right to freedom of thought, which is closely linked to freedom of speech, given that our thoughts precede our speech. From that perspective, the idea is that we should be allowed to think what we want—and it’s not just the actual contents of thinking that are important here, but also the processes of thinking. If psychedelics and other drugs can allow you to access different mind states, by preventing access, we’re interfering with true freedom of thought. These substances, as precursors, allow you to think in entirely different ways—which can be beneficial. The idea that psychedelics can actually improve an individual’s life is rarely taken into account, and taking them because they give pleasure is not even considered—as if pleasure were something to be ashamed of. The individual shouldn’t be required to prove that these substances are risk-free, because few things in life are—rather it should be up to the state to prove, with scientific evidence, that the risks justify the damage to our civil liberties. In the absence of that, it is impossible that say that this is truly a free society.
American Academy of Pediatrics : “we might have caused this increase [in allergies] by telling people not to eat these things,”
Before we go any further, I need to make it uncomfortably clear that NONE of the fellatio tips I’m sharing with you are gleaned from any personal experience with having penises in my mouth. These observations are STRICTLY the result of having women stick my penis in their mouths and sometimes sharing their “tricks of the trade” with me during the tenderly playful “afterglow” phase. In a world that honors respectfulness, this sort of thing shouldn’t need explaining, but our world is rapidly filling up with Smart Alecs and know-it-alls who think I won’t hunt them down and bop them in the nose for making a few off-color remarks about my sexual orientation. I’m as heterosexual as a T-bone steak, and the blind red rage with which I react toward any aspersions cast upon my well-adjusted maleness should, by itself, stand as proof that I am not, under any circumstances, nor any reasonable definition of the term, a homosexual.
You want to keep your man, don’t you? Keeping a man is a woman’s fundamental project in life. No self-respecting lady wants to grow old alone, a crabby, unwanted spinster cursing the fact that love and beauty have passed over her like the Angel of Death sailing straight over a blood-splattered doorway.
In today’s fast-paced workaday world, with women expected to perform increasingly extreme sexual acts merely to keep their man from wandering, it becomes difficult to master the latest methods of pleasing your man even while frantically employing every hole that God gave you.
Above all else, you don’t want to be alone, and that’s where your mouth can help. The mouth that God gave you was never solely intended for whistling Dixie and nibbling on Lean Cuisine microwave dinners. That mouth is a wet, warm, wondrously supple instrument designed to bring you and your man closer together under the giant floppy umbrella of intimacy.
Intimacy means sharing, and sharing means caring, and caring means sex, and sex means really good blowjobs on demand. And nothing—not a tight vagina, not a pretty face, not a multi-million-dollar trust fund, and definitely not “conversational skills” or a “good personality”—will keep your man better than really good blowjobs on demand. With his dick in your mouth, it’s not like he’s going anywhere.
If you master the attitudes and techniques I’m about to share, you can sleep soundly at night without worrying whether he’s out getting a “beej” from some slut he met on the public transit system. I must warn you that the learning curve will not be easy. There will be casualties, just as there always are in wartime. But, just as in war, there will be glory—great, noble glory. Your mouth will become his Disneyland—the happiest place on Earth—and his penis would be a fool to vacation anywhere else.
1. Respect Your Man—Put it in Your Mouth
Of all the known methods which human beings use to express love and respect for one another, there exists no better way to show your man you care about him than to put his penis in your mouth. When you get down on your knees and fill your piehole with his manliness, you are saying, “I honor you. I am taking a very special part of your body into my mouth. I am taking your body into my body in a way that is far more intimate and deliberate than the base, rote ministrations of barnyard sexual intercourse. Even mosquitoes, those nasty jungle pests, routinely indulge in sexual intercourse, but a mosquito has not yet been born which can perform fellatio. And even chimpanzees will occasionally lick another chimp’s monkey vagina, but only Homo sapiens is known to perform fellatio. Because fellatio, even though it sounds like the name of a two-bit Italian opera clown, is a gift only shared among the highest known vertebrates. This is more than a physical act—it is a spiritual celebration. It’s a celebration of the body—your body, exemplified in your penis.” Believe it or not, you are actually saying all of this when you put his penis in your mouth, but he probably can’t hear you because, you know, you have his penis in your mouth.
2. Don’t Be so Hung-Up on “Cleanliness”
It’s hard to believe that in this so-called “enlightened” day and age, there exists a certain type of female throwback who finds the noble act of lovingly slurping her man’s sexual organ to be “dirty” or “disgusting.” Granted, there are some men who have hygiene problems and have yet to discover the glories of gel-based body soap, but they are a tiny minority. You need to remember that if you are rejecting the taste or stench of a man’s private region, you are rejecting his core, his soul, his vaporous essence. Teach yourself to love, embrace, and ultimately savor his various tastes and smells. It must also be noted that every sexual act is a potentially biohazardous disaster. Sucking a man’s penis, combined with the de rigueur act of ingesting his semen, is “risky business” in this day and age of HIV, crab lice, and genital leprosy. So put your mind at ease—ask your man whether he has any STDs, and trust his answer unquestioningly.
3. Do Not Blow on It
It’s not a flute—it’s a dick. Etymologists are unsure why it’s called a “blowjob” when it’s actually a “suckjob,” but they all agree that blowing on his penis makes you seem a wee bit retarded. Suck, don’t blow. He’s not a blow-up doll, he’s a man with feelings, and if you try blowing air into his urethra, you put him at danger of embolisms, “the bends,” and other serious medical consequences. What’s worse, your sloppy technique will put you at risk of losing him to a more skilled fellatrix.
4. Don’t Bite it, Either
It’s not a kielbasa—it’s a dick. You’re not a lady beaver lazily gnawing on a wood stump—you’re a female human being offering oral homage to his Scepter of Life. It is part of your womanly duty to master the technique of wrapping your lips over your choppers to protect his beautiful sausage skin from any nicks, cuts, or scrapes that your careless teeth might inflict.
How warm, confident, and complete you feel with it in your mouth. It is an adult woman’s pacifier. And how sad it makes you when your hungry maw lacks its comforting girth. How empty and alone your mouth feels without his penis inside. It is nearly impossible to overstress the importance of hovering near his penis, looking up at him innocently, and pouting about the fact that you don’t get to suck it as much as you’d like. Pouting is perhaps the most important part of fellatio.
6. Do More Than Just Suck It
Lick it. Kiss it. Nuzzle it. Talk to it. Run your lips up and down the shaft like you’re prying meat from a stubborn spare rib. Flick your tongue on his oft-neglected corona, meatus, and frenulum. Engage in mild scrotal worship. Orally stimulate his perineum and anus in ways that don’t force him to question his sexuality.
Imagine how hurt, offended, and dejected you’d feel if your man, while paying oral attention to your nasty bits, was to suddenly go “P-tooey!” and spit out your so-called “precious” vaginal fluids in disgust. You wouldn’t like it, would you? You’d cry, wouldn’t you? Of course you would—you cry about everything. Yet there are still women who act as if they have a choice in whether to spit or swallow. It’s très simple—to spit is to reject him. To swallow his thick, creamy New England Clam Chowder is to accept him. It is the ultimate sign of love and respect for a man when you allow him to spray his man-sauce in you and on you however he pleases. Besides, his semen is low in calories while plumb burstin’ with vitamins, minerals, and protein. So don’t be hollow—swallow. Don’t be shallow—swallow.
8. Tell Him How Much You Enjoyed Doing It
It’s a verified medical fact that all women find fellatio intensely pleasurable. There is not a woman alive who can control her vagina from vigorously lubricating while she has a man’s penis inside her mouth. Some women are even able to achieve orgasm while blowing her beloved. Any woman who claims she doesn’t enjoy doing it is simply one who has a deep-seated hatred of men and is desperately fearful of commitment and allowing herself to be swooningly swept up in her man’s overpowering biceps. She enjoys fellatio, all right—she simply doesn’t enjoy what enjoying it implies. But you are not like these shrieking she-beasts, are you? No—you are a normal woman who is secure enough to admit to herself that there is nothing on God’s Green Earth more fun that bobbing up and down on Big Daddy’s knob. But don’t be selfish, honey—share that information with him. He needs to know it, lest he go a-roamin’. He might go a-roamin’ anyway, but at least you did your best.
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Fellatio Fun Facts
Weird, Wacky, and Wild Cases of Cocksucking Throughout History and Across the Globe
• Fellatio has been depicted in ancient artwork dating back to prehistoric cave paintings.
• According to Egyptian myth, the goddess Iris “blew” life into a clay penis by sucking on it.
• Cleopatra was once said to have blown dozens of soldiers in a single night. Other famous noblewomen allegedly adept at fellatio were Russia’s Catherine the Great and America’s own Nancy Reagan.
• Ancient Greeks referred to fellatio as “playing the flute.”
• The Kama Sutra (circa 100 A.D.) features an entire chapter of fellatio techniques, including “The Butterfly Lick” and “Sucking the Mango Fruit.”
• Declaring fellatio to be “the worst of all evils,” Theodore the Archibishop of Canterbury in 670 A.D. prescribed a lengthier punishment for sucking a cock than for murdering someone.
• A Japanese woman named Kaho claims that she’s able to tell a man’s fortune by sucking his penis. “It depends, I suppose, on what the member feels like when I first put it in my mouth, what shape it takes when it gets hard, the color and what it tastes like when (the client’s) finished,” says Kaho, who claims to have “told” over 1,000 such “fortunes” in a single year. “I take all these things into account, then read the fortune.”
• Fellatio is nearly unheard of in Eskimo culture. Fuck, they don’t even use their mouths to kiss.
• According to one estimate, fellatio is still illegal in more tha
Jim Goad’s Personal Website. Publisher of ANSWER Me!, author of The Redneck Manifesto, Shit Magnet, and My Muscular Ass.
Source: JIM GOAD
According to Peter Lawford and others (not just Kitty Kelley), Nancy worked her way through Hollywood by giving the best blow job in town, and was rumored to have sucked off Frank Sinatra in the Oval Office. It said that Nancy had invited Sinatra to the White House for lengthy luncheons and instructed staff not to disturb them.
Her moralizing was bad enough, but it was compounded by the hypocrisy of the woman. They say that when Nancy was in her prime, during her starlet days, she could suck the chrome off a trailer hitch.
Ronald Reagan’s attitude towards gays was, “Fuck ’em, they’re faggots.” I was there. I remember. Like Bush, Reagan had no time or money for “faggots,” so he refused to fund research into AIDS. And unqualified Nancy (with her “psychic”) was running the White House, while Ronnie zoned out on drugs for pre-Alzheimer’s.
A famous Hollywood Mogul introduced Ronald Reagan to Nancy when he needed someone to give Ron a blow job to settle his nervousness before shooting a movie scene. Beauty wasn’t required
Bill Clinton is the first president caught in a scandal apparently because of a predilection for oral sex (although an earlier president was brought down by a Deep Throat). Clinton is probably not, however, the first president who enjoyed it.
According to Kitty Kelley’s biography, Nancy Reagan “was renowned in Hollywood for performing oral sex.” Just-say-yes Nancy–in the days when she was Nancy Davis–was known to give the best blowjob in town, “not only in the evening but in offices. [T]hat was one of the reasons that she was very popular on the MGM lot.” It must have made her very popular with Ronnie as well.
Nor would Clinton be the first national politician tempted to invoke the hair-splitting distinction that oral sex does not constitute adultery (legally speaking, this is correct). When Virginia senator Chuck Robb was caught in various compromising positions with a number of women, he issued a statement saying that he hadn’t “done anything that I regard as unfaithful to my wife,” even though he’d engaged in oral sex.
If you believe Newt Gingrich’s former mistress Anne Manning, the Speaker has for decades relied on the blowjob as the sex act with built-in plausible deniability. Referring to her first date in 1977 with Gingrich, Manning told Vanity Fair in 1995: “We had oral sex. He prefers that modus operandi because then he can say, ‘I never slept with her.”‘
And for those who wonder how a scandal-plagued Clinton didn’t think twice about a few quickies in the White House, consider the case of two-time Washington, D.C., mayor Marion Barry Jr. Here is a politician who was filmed smoking crack, ousted from office, and forced to serve a six-month sentence for cocaine possession at the federal prison in Petersburg, Virginia.
Yet on December 29, 1991, Barry still had enough hubris to receive a blowjob from an unidentified female visitor, in the middle of a visiting room, surrounded by other prisoners, their visitors, and a prison guard. Although Barry later claimed that The Washington Post concocted this story, he was quickly transferred to a medium-security facility in Altoona to complete his sentence.
So what is it with these oral fixations? It’s fair to say that politicians are not the only American men who fetishize fellatio. It occupies a peculiar but vital place in the popular imagination: part taboo, part mystical ecstasy. Those who perfect their technique are considered to have a power lock on men, despite–or because of?–the act’s association with homosexuality. As the authors of Sex Tips for Straight Women From a Gay Man put it, “If you can make the most of your mouth motion, you can have just about anything, whether it’s straight A’s in grad school or the Hope diamond.”
Fellatio has been imagined–and probably practiced–almost as far back as Adam’s first stiffie. According to G. Legman’s sweeping history Ora-Genitalism, ancient Greek and Peruvian vases, and at least one ancient Egyptian papyrus, depict various positions of fellatio. The 4th century A.D. Indian Kama Sutra features an entire chapter on “oral congress,” noting that it is primarily practiced by homosexuals, masseurs, and “unchaste and immoral women, quite free from any inhibitions.”
The American history of fellatio is less documented. It does not appear to have been a widespread technique practiced by American opposite-sex partners until the 1920s. (It remains illegal in more than a dozen states and the District of Columbia.) In the early part of the century, oral sex was considered something of a specialty, an act that wives and proper girlfriends were presumed to know little about and not want to do.
That has changed: pop culture today is filled with female fellatial braggadocio–Liz Phair promises on Exile in Guyville to be an unnamed man’s “blowjob queen,” a possible role model for Monica Lewinsky, who allegedly joked about being appointed “special assistant to the president for blowjobs.”
As demonstrated by the semi-intentional confusion over whether fellatio constitutes adultery, however, the emergence of oral sex as an above-board sexual activity is fraught with uncertainty, even contradictions. For one thing, most Americans appear to practice oral sex far less frequently than other sexual activities. Three-quarters of men and women report lifetime experience of oral sex, according to The Social Organization of Sexuality: Sexual Practices in the United States. But “the proportion for whom oral sex is a current activity (as measured by its occurrence in the last sexual event)” is dramatically lower, around 25 per cent. Thus, conclude the authors, oral sex “has in no sense become a defining feature of sex between women and men (as vaginal intercourse or, perhaps, kissing is).”
Oral sex becomes more common as one climbs the education ladder. Only 41 per cent of women with less than a high school education report having performed fellatio on a partner, and 49 per cent have received cunnilingus; by contrast, about 80 per cent of women with at least some college education have experienced one or the other. (The difference between less-and more-educated men is lower, but still striking.)
There are also significant differences among races; a far higher number of whites practice oral sex than blacks or other races (the reluctance of some black men to perform cunnilingus is a staple of both stand-up comedy and hardcore rap).
As with almost any sexual act imaginable, there are strong elements of power and domination caught up with fellatio. Think of the stereotypical setup: the donor is on his or her knees, invoking a position of worship. Madonna picked up on this ambiguity–“Down on my knees/I want to take you there”–in “Like A Prayer.”
Perhaps it is this detachment from intimacy, the presumed one-sidedness of the blowjob, that makes fellatio the power-tripper’s sex act of choice. Certainly there is a pervasive sense that oral sex isn’t quite sex. In a broad-based survey of teenage virgins by the RAND institute issued in November 1996, nine per cent reported engaging in fellatio with ejaculation, and 10 per cent in cunnilingus. (That is approximately one-third the percentage who report engaging in masturbatory activity with a partner.)
One Maryland child psychiatrist has said: “I’ve heard from teenagers, but not adults, stuff like, ‘I only [performed oral sex on] him,’ like that really wasn’t having sex.”
Legal analysts have focused on whether or not Clinton could be nailed for lying about having sex with Lewinsky. It has been widely suggested that if, in his mind, Clinton believed that oral sex did not constitute adultery or “an improper relationship,” then he did not legally perjure himself.
At that point, however, the important question is less about attitudes concerning oral sex, and more about rationalization. Dr. Anna Salter, a Madison, Wisconsin–based psychologist, specializes in identifying the evasions given by sex offenders. “These people have a lot of cognitive distortions,” Salter says. “You have to be very careful with language, because they will say ‘I never did anything to hurt her,’ even though they abused someone. I am not saying that Clinton is a sex offender. But I don’t think the principles [of evasion] change at all between the two behaviors.”
Research: Harold Schechter, Kaelen Wilson-Goldie
Miles Davis turned to Nancy Reagan and said…
In 1987, he was invited to a White House dinner by Ronald Reagan. Few of the guests appeared to know who he was. During dinner, Nancy Reagan turned to him and asked what he’d done with his life to merit an invitation. Straight-faced, Davis replied: “Well, I’ve changed the course of music five or six times. What have you done except fuck the president?”
Scientists at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Moores Cancer Center, with colleagues in Spain and Germany, have discovered how elevated levels of particular proteins in cancer cells trigger hyperactivity in other proteins, fueling the growth and spread of a variety of cancers. Their study (“Prognostic Impact of Modulators of G Proteins in Circulating Tumor Cells from Patients with Metastatic Colorectal Cancer”) is published in Scientific Reports.
Specifically, the international team, led by senior author Pradipta Ghosh, M.D., associate professor at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, found that increased levels of expression of some members of a protein family called guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) triggered unsuspected hyperactivation of G proteins and subsequent progression or metastasis of cancer.
The discovery suggests GEFs offer a new and more precise indicator of disease state and prognosis. “We found that elevated expression of each GEF is associated with a shorter, progression-free survival in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer,” said Dr. Ghosh. “The GEFs fared better as prognostic markers than two well-known markers of cancer progression, and the clustering of all GEFs together improved the predictive accuracy of each individual family member.”
In recent years, circulating tumor cells (CTCs), which are shed from primary tumors into the bloodstream and act as seeds for new tumors taking root in other parts of the body, have become a prognostic and predictive biomarker. The presence of CTCs is used to monitor the efficacy of therapies and detect early signs of metastasis.
But counting CTCs in the bloodstream has limited utility, said Dr. Ghosh. “Enumeration alone does not capture the particular characteristics of CTCs that are actually tumorigenic and most likely to cause additional malignancies.”
Numerous efforts are underway to improve the value and precision of CTC analysis. According to Dr. Ghosh the new findings are a step in that direction. First, GEFs activate trimeric G proteins, and second, G protein signaling is involved in CTCs. G proteins are ubiquitous and essential molecular switches involved in transmitting external signals from stimuli into cells’ interiors. They have been a subject of heightened scientific interest for many years.
Dr. Ghosh and colleagues found that elevated expression of nonreceptor GEFs activates Gαi proteins, fueling CTCs and ultimately impacting the disease course and survival of cancer patients.
“Our work shows the prognostic impact of elevated expression of individual and clustered GEFs on survival and the benefit of transcriptome analysis of G protein regulatory proteins in cancer biology,” said Dr. Ghosh. “The next step will be to carry this technology into the clinic where it can be applied directly to deciphering a patient’s state of cancer and how best to treat.”
Elevated levels of GEF proteins in cancer cells fuel growth and spread of a variety of cancers.
THE END IS NEAR! Utilities Cautioned About Potential for a Cyberattack After Ukraine’s – The New York TimesAuthor: SupremePundit
Working remotely, attackers conducted “extensive reconnaissance” of the Ukraine power system’s networks, stole the credentials of operators and learned how to switch off the breakers, plunging more than 225,000 Ukrainians into darkness.
You’re unlikely to catch Ebola from a survivor — unless you have sex with them – The Washington PostAuthor: SupremePundit
Scientists still aren’t sure why the virus remains in semen for months.
When it comes to Ebola, new research suggests that the risk of catching the virus from a survivor is very low.
The recent Ebola outbreak happened at an unprecedented scale. Previously only seen in comparatively small clusters of cases, the virus erupted last year in a significant fashion, affecting thousands and easily launching the largest Ebola epidemic on record. Until now, the limited data regarding the disease had restricted the number of questions scientists could hope to answer about the infection. Simply put, cases of Ebola were so rare that we really hadn’t gotten the chance to learn a whole lot about it.
But 2014 changed that.
With the enormous influx of cases that occurred during the West African outbreak, scientists have started mining the resulting data for answers to questions critical to public health safety now and in the future. And, without reservation, one of the most important questions to be addressed is this: How likely is it for an Ebola survivor to spread the virus in the long-term, specifically, the period of time after the person is no longer actively sick with Ebola?
A new study published Monday in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases examined the presence and persistence of Ebola virus in various bodily fluids of survivors. Researchers from the University of East Anglia’s Norwich Medical School compiled patient data from nearly 6,000 articles, papers and case reports from the outbreak. They pulled test results relating to the presence of Ebola virus in various bodily fluids, such as blood, sweat, urine, breast milk, semen, vaginal secretions, feces and vomit.
And what they found is fairly good news: It appears that the risk of catching Ebola from survivor bodily fluids is very rare, with the exception of sexual transmission via semen. (There was not enough data regarding the infectivity of breast milk to make a definitive conclusion.)
The results of the study are promising, though the data was difficult to compile. Testing methods for the presence of the virus varied due to discrepancies in technological capabilities among treatment centers, which spanned everything from bare-bones field hospitals to state-of-the-art medical facilities.
As expected, infected blood appears to be the most infectious body fluid for Ebola, virtually teeming with the virus while the patient is in the throes of the disease. However, 95 percent of the patients included in the study who survived had cleared the virus from their blood by day 16 — though personal-protection measures for handling potentially contaminated blood might still be recommended.
A majority of other fluids tested appear to pose low infectious risk, with one glaring exception: semen. In fact, 70 percent of semen samples from survivors tested positive for the virus in the first seven months after the illness.
This may have had serious implications during the latter days of the epidemic, when areas thought to be clear of the virus saw new cases of the disease cropping up.
“It’s certainly plausible that some of the cases that occurred after the outbreak was over were the result of sexual contact,” said Paul Hunter, professor of health protection at the Norwich School of Medicine and lead author on the paper.
The current WHO recommendation is that survivors use barrier protection for sexual activity for a year post infection, up from the previous recommendation that condoms be used for the first six months.
These findings raise another interesting question: Why is the Ebola virus persisting in semen, especially when it seems quick to leave other fluids?
Hunter shared his purely speculative take on the matter, stressing that this was his personal theory based on pattern recognition, rather than an expansive expertise in physiology. He explained that semen (along with some of the other bodily fluids that Ebola is found in during the illness, such as breast milk, saliva and vaginal secretions) is known as an exocrine fluid. These are fluids excreted by the body and are each the result of a kind of modified sweat gland. Perhaps, then, Ebola is “going to ground in the modified sweat glands,” he explained over the phone, commenting on the pattern of distribution of Ebola in the body.
Hunter added that he didn’t know why Ebola would be camping out in these areas, but that it was interesting that these were the fluids most affected.
Scientists still aren’t sure why the virus remains in semen for months.
Google has prided itself on the fact that its self-driving car fleet has never been responsible for any of its crashes — they’ve always been caused by another (decidedly more human) force — but that may have just changed. According to a California DMV filing first reported by writer Mark Harris, one of Google’s self-driving Lexus SUVs drove into the side of a bus at low speed.
Here’s the full description of the incident from the report:
A Google Lexus-model autonomous vehicle (“Google AV”) was traveling in autonomous mode eastbound on El Camino Real in Mountain View in the far right-hand lane approaching the Castro St. intersection. As the Google AV approached the intersection, it signaled its intent to make a right turn on red onto Castro St. The Google AV then moved to the right-hand side of the lane to pass traffic in the same lane that was stopped at the intersection and proceeding straight. However, the Google AV had to come to a stop and go around sandbags positioned around a storm drain that were blocking its path. When the light turned green, traffic in the lane continued past the Google AV. After a few cars had passed, the Google AV began to proceed back into the center of the lane to pass the sand bags. A public transit bus was approaching from behind. The Google AV test driver saw the bus approaching in the left side mirror but believed the bus would stop or slow to allow the Google AV to continue. Approximately three seconds later, as the Google AV was reentering the center of the lane it made contact with the side of the bus. The Google AV was operating in autonomous mode and traveling at less than 2 mph, and the bus was travelling at about 15 mph at the time of contact.
The Google AV sustained body damage to the left front fender, the left front wheel and one of its driver’s -side sensors. There were no injuries reported at the scene.
The Verge has obtained an excerpt from Google’s next monthly self-driving report, which is due to be released tomorrow. In it, Google says the car assumed that the bus would yield when it attempted to merge back into traffic:
Our self-driving cars spend a lot of time on El Camino Real, a wide boulevard of three lanes in each direction that runs through Google’s hometown of Mountain View and up the peninsula along San Francisco Bay. With hundreds of sets of traffic lights and hundreds more intersections, this busy and historic artery has helped us learn a lot over the years. And on Valentine’s Day we ran into a tricky set of circumstances on El Camino that’s helped us improve an important skill for navigating similar roads.
El Camino has quite a few right-hand lanes wide enough to allow two lines of traffic. Most of the time it makes sense to drive in the middle of a lane. But when you’re teeing up a right-hand turn in a lane wide enough to handle two streams of traffic, annoyed traffic stacks up behind you. So several weeks ago we began giving the self-driving car the capabilities it needs to do what human drivers do: hug the rightmost side of the lane. This is the social norm because a turning vehicle often has to pause and wait for pedestrians; hugging the curb allows other drivers to continue on their way by passing on the left. It’s vital for us to develop advanced skills that respect not just the letter of the traffic code but the spirit of the road.
On February 14, our vehicle was driving autonomously and had pulled toward the right-hand curb to prepare for a right turn. It then detected sandbags near a storm drain blocking its path, so it needed to come to a stop. After waiting for some other vehicles to pass, our vehicle, still in autonomous mode, began angling back toward the center of the lane at around 2 mph – and made contact with the side of a passing bus traveling at 15 mph. Our car had detected the approaching bus, but predicted that it would yield to us because we were ahead of it. (You can read the details below in the report we submitted to the CA DMV.)
Our test driver, who had been watching the bus in the mirror, also expected the bus to slow or stop. And we can imagine the bus driver assumed we were going to stay put. Unfortunately, all these assumptions led us to the same spot in the lane at the same time. This type of misunderstanding happens between human drivers on the road every day.
This is a classic example of the negotiation that’s a normal part of driving – we’re all trying to predict each other’s movements. In this case, we clearly bear some responsibility, because if our car hadn’t moved there wouldn’t have been a collision. That said, our test driver believed the bus was going to slow or stop to allow us to merge into the traffic, and that there would be sufficient space to do that.
We’ve now reviewed this incident (and thousands of variations on it) in our simulator in detail and made refinements to our software. From now on, our cars will more deeply understand that buses (and other large vehicles) are less likely to yield to us than other types of vehicles, and we hope to handle situations like this more gracefully in the future.
And in fairness, unless every single car on the road is autonomous, Google is right: there is some degree of negotiation involved, and false assumptions in those negotiations are where the crashes can happen. We’re many, many years away from a road free of human drivers, and until then, self-driving cars are occasionally going to hit things. It just so happens that this is the first time the crash was directly attributable to the car, not another driver on the road, and it all comes back to a bit of (surprisingly human) bad judgment.