Unless you were a total shut in this weekend, then you probably caught a glimpse of the lovely supermoon on last night. Scientists call it the supermoon when a full moon coincides with when the moon is closest to Earth, resulting in the it appearing bigger than its usual size. I was waiting to turn into a werewolf or at the very least end up in a straight jacket, as full moon myths predict, but alas I passed out early. I know … lame. I don’t even have a crazy dream to boast about. Did anything weird happen to you Saturday night? Let me live vicariously through you.
File this one under “Things I Had To Check Weren’t A Clickhole Post First”: hospitals in China have machines to extract sperm. The hands-free gizmos are used by urology departments to manually pump out semen through a “massage pipe” when extracting it the, ummm, normal way doesn’t work anymore. Apparently it is used for sperm donation? I dunno, the sperm extractor looks unappealingly antiseptic and clinical to me (video is SFW), although I guess it’s not much different than a Fleshlight. Pity the poor urological nurse in charge of clean up! [IFL Science]
I would naively assume that the main reason a person would have sex would be simply because they wanted to. As it turns out, there are a whole slew of complicated reasons why people have sex.
The University of Texas conducted a study to find out exactly what motivates people to get busy and the results were much more nuanced than I’d have thought. Researchers first asked over 400 survey participants to reveal reasons people have sex; then, they asked about 1,500 undergraduate students about their experiences and attitudes. What they found was over 237 reasons for having sex. Keep reading »
There are a lot of places women don’t get taken seriously as seriously as men — workplaces, sci-fi conventions, the military, politics — but a new study just proved that our culture’s tendency to think of women as weak and inconsequential actually has a measurable death toll, in a surprising form: hurricanes. Weather researchers noticed that hurricanes with female names usually result in more deaths. When they charted the numbers, they saw how dramatic the difference really is: in the past 50 years, the most damaging female-named hurricanes averaged 45 deaths each, while the most damaging male-named hurricanes averaged 23. That’s nearly double the loss of life. And the results were even more jarring when they compared storms with strong masculine names to storms with strong feminine names. According to the study, “The model suggests that changing a severe hurricane’s name from Charley … to Eloise … could nearly triple its death toll.” Keep reading »
There are some people who seem to be physically incapable of sitting still, whose idea of a great Saturday morning is waking up early, running 10 miles, and pumping some iron. There are other people who seem to be physically incapable of leaving the couch, whose idea of a great Saturday is sleeping in til noon and ordering brunch delivery. It’s always seemed like there was a fundamental difference between these people, hasn’t it? And now science has an intriguing explanation, which comes to life in this charming animated video. Don’t worry, if you’re a member of the latter group, you don’t have to leave the couch to watch it. Just push play. [YouTube via Laughing Squid]
Morgan Freeman, in addition to being a very talented actor, is arguably the world’s greatest narrator. It’s his soothing baritone and not Tim Robbins that makes it impossible for me to shut off “The Shawshank Redemption” whenever it’s on TV. So who better to demonstrate just what happens when you suck on a balloon full of helium than this voiceover icon? This is a clip from the Science Channel series “Through the Wormhole,” which Freeman hosts, only the segment isn’t even particularly relevant to helium or whatever. He’s just, like, doing it for shits and giggles I guess? Love. [Entertainment Weekly]