I heard a funny story recently of a man and a woman who agreed not to have sex until after they were married. It wasn't for religious reasons, they both had their own reasons, but they never got around to explaining to each other why they were against having sex until their marriage night.
The husband as it turns out had an unusual phobia. Medomalacuphobia,
which is the fear of losing an erection. Apparently he had been so
embarrassed about it at some point that he had long since decided to
avoid having sex until after he was married.
Unfortunately the wife had her own reason for wanting to wait until
after they were married. She was petrified of the idea. She also had a
phobia, Medorthophobia, which is the fear of seeing an erect penis.
So he was afraid of losing his erection and being embarrassed, and she was afraid of seeing erections.
The first coupling was reportedly awkward and there was a lot of explaining that happened.
Fortunately it worked out for both of them. They simply turned the lights off so the wife never saw it, and he was blessed without the embarrassment of her ever seeing it if he did lose his "momentum" in the darkness - and should she ever see it in the un-erect form, well, she was okay with that. Just so long as she didn't see it erect.
They both lived happily ever after.
From the way dogs thump their tails, invade our laps and steal our pillows, it certainly seems like they love us back. But since dogs can't tell us what's really going on inside their furry heads, can we ever be truly certain how they feel about us?
Actually, yes. Thanks to recent developments in brain imaging technology, we're starting to get a better picture of the happenings inside the canine cranium.
Scientists are studying the dog brains and how they react to different stimuli. And what the studies show is welcome news for all dog owners: Not only do dogs seem to love us back, they actually see us as family. It turns out that dogs rely on humans more than they do other dogs for affection, protection and food - and this translates into a very strong emotional bond. They see humans as the alpha leaders of a pack, and thus consider humans to be family.
The most direct dog brain-based evidence showing that they are hopelessly devoted to humans comes from a recent neuro-imaging study about odour processing in the dog brain. Animal cognition scientists at Emory University trained dogs to lie still in an MRI machine and used fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) to measure their neural responses to the smell of people and dogs, both familiar and unknown. Because dogs navigate the world through their noses, the way they process smell offers a lot of potential insight into social behaviour.
These results jibe with other canine neuro-imaging research. In Budapest, researchers at Eotvos Lorand University studied canine brain activity in response to different human and dog sounds, including voices, barks and the meaningful grunts and sighs both species emit. Before this study, we had no idea what happens inside canine brains when humans make noise.
Among other surprising findings, the study revealed marked similarities in the way dog and human brains process emotionally laden vocal sounds. Researchers found that happy sounds in particular light up the auditory cortex in both species. This commonality speaks to the uniquely strong communication system underlying the dog-human bond.
Thus we have learned the following: Dogs don't just seem to pick up on our subtle mood changes - they are actually physically wired to pick up on them. They have evolved to be able to sense human mood changes.
"It's very interesting to understand the tool kit that helps such successful vocal communication between two species," Attila Andics, a neuroscientist and lead author of the study, told Mic. "We didn't need neuro-imaging to see that communication works [between dogs and people], but without it, we didn't understand why it works. Now we're really starting to."
Behaviour research supports the recent neuroscience too. According to Andics, dogs interact with their human caregivers in the same way babies do their parents. When dogs are scared or worried, they run to their owners, just as distressed toddlers make a beeline for their parents. This is in stark contrast to other domesticated animals: Petrified cats, as well as horses, will run away from a threat.
Dogs are also one of the few non-primate animals to look people in the eyes. This is something Andics, along with other researchers, discovered about a decade ago when he studied the domestication of wolves, which he thought would share that trait. They endeavoured to raise wolves like dogs. This is a unique behaviour between dogs and humans — dogs seek out eye contact from people, but not their biological dog parents.
"Bonding with owners is much more important for dogs than other pets," said Andics.
Dog-lovers have committed a few notable gaffes in interpreting dogs' facial expressions, e.g., assuming the often-documented hangdog look signifies guilt, an emotion that, most behaviour experts agree, requires a multifaceted notion of self-awareness that dogs probably don't have.
But, as with family, our instinctive hunches about dog behaviour are often correct.
"Sometimes our intuition about what's going on inside dogs' heads is dead-on," said Laurie Santos, the lead researcher at Yale's Canine Cognition Center. "Like, that dogs are seeking out help from us — and that's true based on studies — which is different from even their closest relatives, wolves."
The precise wish or worry lurking in a dog's doleful look may not always be clear. But we can relish the fact that we know our dogs love us as much as we hoped, maybe even more.
Now if we can just figure out how to herd cats, the world would be a better place.
The image above shows just a tiny fraction of Canada's murdered and missing indigenous women. There are over 1000 unsolved cases of murdered and missing indigenous women and the Canadian government has done nothing to address the problem.
According to Prime Minister Stephen Harper these murdered women are not high on his list of priorities. Apparently his biggest priority right now is racial profiling of Muslim women who like to wear niqabs - which is basically the dumbest election issue I have ever heard of. It would be like persecuting Jews for wearing a Yamaka or a Kippah, and shows that the Conservative Party of Canada is basically just a bunch of racists.
Want to know how racist the Conservatives are? Let me show you an example below...
Wow. Two communities ask for medicine and vaccines and the Conservative government decides to send body bags instead. Read about it below in two articles from 2009:
Clearly this is a civil rights issue when your own government ignores pleas for help.
And ignores the hundreds of unsolved cases of murdered women.
And while we are at it, lets talk about drinking water on Native reserves in Canada... There are locations in Canada which have been boiling their drinking water for 10 years or more before the Conservative government refuses to fix the problem.
And it is not a matter of money. They money is already there. They are simply refusing to fix the problem because they keep using clean drinking water as a bargaining chip when dealing with aboriginal communities.
An effing bargaining chip.
People are dying from water-borne diseases, dying from flu epidemics, getting killed by what apparently must be racist serial killers, and the government is using clean drinking water as an effing bargaining chip.
If I was a Native man or woman, I would be tempted to poison Stephen Harper's drinking water. See how he likes it. But we don't and you know why? Because we Canadians are so polite they would never do it. The concept of a "Canadian assassin" is basically an oxymoron. They do not exist. They are as rare as purple unicorns.
Canadians rather politely refuse to assassinate our leaders. It is the reason why no Canadian PM has ever been assassinated. Ever.
Don't believe me? Look at the wiki page which shows the list of Canadian prime ministers and how they died.
Stroke, heart attack, natural causes, cancer, all pretty normal stuff. Pneumonia and Parkinson's were the most unusual two things on the list.
Americans however apparently cannot go 10 years without assassinating a president or at least an attempted assassination. President Obama has had 5 separate assassination attempts on his life.
Stephen Harper is so worried about Muslim terrorists that he is spouting nonsense about tiplines for "barbaric cultural practices". But what he really should be worried about is Canadians saying "enough is enough" and poisoning his food.
Fun Fact - Shark attacks kill more Canadians than terrorists attacks and there are no sharks in Canada.
If you've never seen the film Grand Torino starring Clint Eastwood, I suggest you do so. The film is great for a variety of different reasons.
One of the reasons is the portrayal of the rude/greedy granddaughter in several scenes, which you can watch in the two video clips below.
What is also fascinating is the comments on the two videos, which for convenience sake I have copy pasted some of comments below... For the full list of comments see the YouTube pages in question to see what you are missing.
If you are offended by any of the comments people made, go ahead and leave your comments on YouTube. Don't leave them here.
List of Comments for 1st Clip
Now what I find interesting is the visceral hatred for the greedy/rude granddaughter, who is a fictional character. Not a real person. And yet she elicits such hatred you would think that she is a real person.
And such violence too.
I mean okay, yes, she is greedy and rude, but that is no reason for people to post comments like "I'd rape her". Wow. That is just sick.
It makes you realize that many of the people leaving those comments are really no better than some of the horrible characters in the film - violent psychopaths.
And if you managed to make that conclusion, what you also realize is that many of the people commenting don't deserve a "gran torino" either. Granddaughters from Gran Torino are apparently not the only ones who are rude and greedy and unworthy.
The Gran Torino is not a prize. It is a metaphor for someone who is pure of heart.
It is a bit like picking up Thor's hammer Mjolnir... "You are all not worthy," says Thor.
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