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A disturbing guide to Newcastle and its women has been posted on the website of controversial ‘pick-up artist’ Roosh V.
The American blogger, who has argued that rape should be legal on private property, has urged like-minded men to meet on Tyneside this weekend.
And as anger grows about the planned rally, we can reveal some of the worrying views expressed by those who support him.
A user of Roosh V’s online forum, claiming to be from Latin America, has produced what he believes to be a comprehensive guide to Newcastle - and in particular it’s girls - while staying in the city.
And in it the man, who calls himself El Conquistador, tells how:
Newcastle girls are “completely inebriated” on Friday and Saturday nights
Girls on the Bigg Market have “loose morals” And Newcastle is one of the “easier locations” in western Europe
But its main purpose appears to be to offer advice on where and how to pull women on Tyneside.
El Conquistador says of Newcastle girls: “There are three basic categories of girls here in Newcastle. Locals, students and out-of-town ‘weekend warriors’. “Locals will be easier than students but students still won’t be difficult.
“Because of the TV show Geordie Shore , girls do make a big effort here with make up, heels etc. Friendly to approach and much friendlier compared to London. “Low inhibitions all round and you will find some diamonds in the rough. Students will be a younger and classier bunch but you might need to work yourself into their social circle.
“All three groups will be completely inebriated on Friday and Saturday nights.”
The poster also assesses the competition men might have from local lads.
“Most guys will prowl in drunken gangs that intimidate the girls,” he writes. “They are no competition it terms of game but if you are well dressed and talking to lots of girls then they will get in your face.
“In some of the places I’ll mention you will find lots of guys who are huge, ripped, well dressed and seem to know everybody. They’ll have the best girls around them so the best policy I’ve found is to befriend them.”
El Conquistador lists the best places to live in Newcastle as the city centre, the Quayside and Jesmond.
He describes Jesmond as: “The leafy, upper-middle class area of the city. Rich girls and college-aged girls galore. If you want to find groups of hot 21-year-olds drinking Starbucks on a Tuesday afternoon with a Louis Vuitton bag in the crook of their elbow then this is the neighbourhood.”
Similarly he rates all the city’s nightspots.
Of The Gate he says: “I usually start my night here to warm up. You don’t even need to go inside the clubs because you’ll catch plenty of foot traffic outside and you’ll still be dry and warm. If you want to go in a bar I’ve found Players to be fruitful.”
But he describes Collingwood Street as the ideal hunting ground.
“The Diamond Strip is basically a 500-yard long road in Newcastle city centre lined on both sides with bars and clubs,” he said. “Many of these bars are next door to each other so you can approach all the girls in one place, strike out then move next door and try a fresh crowd.”
And he recommends the Bigg Market if you are looking for a crowd with looser “morals”.
“Think the type of busted British girls that guys talk about on this forum. Tattoo-sporting, kebab-eating people with questionable dental hygiene will be found here.
“I wouldn’t discount the Bigg Market entirely though because the loose morals here will make it fairly easy.”
El Conquistador also advocates hanging round the Metro Centre , Eldon Square and the two universities during the day to pick up women.
And he summarises Newcastle by saying: “In terms of level of difficulty to get your flag, it is one of the easier locations in western Europe but we’re not talking Thailand or Peru easy. You will need to be ripped and have solid game.
“In short, a compact city, friendly people and a great training ground to hone your night game skills.”
Newcastle has been included in a list of hundreds of city’s around the world where Roosh V has planned an International ‘meet-up’ on Saturday night.
Roosh, whose real name is Daryush Valizadeh, preaches extreme misogyny claiming feminism has made men weak, and he has also advocated making rape legal on private property.
Get real, man! First dump your European wife or girlfriend. Then travel to the border of China with North Korea. You can buy yourself a beautiful North Korean wife of about 20 years of age for about 500 US dollars, even if you are 60. She will stay with you all life, whatever you are. Guaranteed no feminism, only femininity. And more beautiful than Western spoiled brats.
Few thing we have written, gathered as many responses as: In Japan, Teenage Girls Folding Paper Cranes Has Taken on a Whole New Meaning. The article is a companion piece to the VICE Documentary, “Schoolgirls For Sale” which examines Japan’s weird and creepy industry that makes money off the backs of high school girls and boys.
The response from readers to both the English article and the Japanese translation of the article was tremendous. We are not saying that if you’re an AKB48 fan that you’re a pedophile. We are using the band as a means of discussing the endemic and exploitive nature of the JK Business. Maybe if you really are fans of these girls, you should lean on the management to pay them better and ensure they have a decent life after their youth is misspent. Two trolls in particular have jumped all over the article—the two trolls seem to be a team. I usually ignore them but since they seem intent on defaming my co-worker I’ll address them briefly. I know you’re not supposed to feed the trolls, but sometimes I feel like stuffing their mouths with information until they choke on it. (Trolls: please confine your spiteful attacks to me in the future. Thank you)
In the journalist community we know them as Creepy Johnson and Creepec for their habit of harassing other journalists, especially women. Creepy Johnson began harassing me in 2011 after I failed to respond to his demand that I clear his name. (He had been denied entry into Japan). He writes to every publication I work for hassling my editors; he harasses and stalks anyone who he thinks might be my friend, especially if they’re female.
I gave him the benefit of the doubt, by not naming in him the first time I dealt with him, because it’s standard journalism policy in Japan to shield the names of the possibly mentally ill, but he outed himself anyway. I’m not giving these two the attention they crave by using their real names or twitter handles. If you want to find them, you can.
Creepy Johnson, the top half of the duo, is infamous for getting fired from Japan’s Public Broadcaster NHK, after threatening to sexually molest the children (boy and girl) of another reporter there. He left a recording on the answering machine—a not very brilliant move. Here’s an excerpt:
By all means, do go and tell your side of the story to them, motherfucker.
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, I heard that your daughter gives really good head… and so does your son. Hey, I wanted to hear if your children are getting a good sleep because… when you get fired, and I get fired, you’re going to have to put your kids out of international school and into Japanese school and I’ll be waiting for them. (2007)
So Creepec, who apparently approves of his idol’s behavior sent me a list of questions demanding answers, for an “article” he’s writing. The letter is very much like one Creepy Johnson sent me years ago. I bring up the association between these two because I feel like it’s important to understand the motives of the trolls. And wow, these guys are persistent. The questions themselves are nasty and unpleasant and belittle the efforts of a friend and co-writer. This really makes me angry. But okay, here are my brief answers. Q & A with a troll.
1). Did VICE fact check your work in any way? Yes.*
*Journalism 101. If you ask a “yes/no” question, you will get a “yes/no” answer more often than not.
2. What was Angela Kubo’s contribution to this piece? Does she have any significant journalistic experience? Is she a 23 year old full-time employee of an accounting firm who you hired when she was working at a bar in Roppongi
Angela Kubo was an assistant editor at the Diplomat when I hired her to work for me and she was paid a good salary in a time when many interns work for free. She had graduated from college. She writes for The Japan Times and is a very talented young bilingual writer. This means she can read Japanese, something you don’t seem able to do. Her former boss Jeff Quigley certainly vouched for her work (see his full comments below) and also, as I do, finds your insinuations cheap and low. He is angry with your underhanded smears. Unless you’re a rich kid, you have to work to pay your way through college. She did not work at “a bar in Roppongi.” She worked at an event space that serves food and drinks. I won’t name the restaurant because you’ll simply harass them. “Roppongi bar-girl”– you seem to be making some sly allusion that she was doing something shady. That’s mean-spirited. She is just starting her career but has been writing for two years. She writes ten times better than Creepy Johnson did at the peak of his self-destructive career.
For the article, she read books and numerous articles on AKB48, in Japanese, did research on the group in Japanese, proof-read for grammatical mistakes, and reached out for comments. Angela Kubo is also a Japanese-American woman who understands both cultures and went to high school in Japan. She is uniquely qualified to comment on the JK Business and how it generates problems for all women in Japan.
Where she works now is not something I feel would be acceptable to divulge to someone who I believe is a cyber stalker. Nice fishing attempt. Also: creepy question.
3. Do you feel it is fair to label the manager of AKB48 as having yakuza connections based on only rumor. Would you, for example, accuse Katy Perry’s manager of being tied to the mob if you heard such a story and were writing for an American publication? When weekly magazine Shukan Shincho reported on AKB48 management past ties to the yakuza, no one was surprised. The JK Business is a seedy con game and who knows how to run one better than former criminal associates & loan sharks?
When weekly magazine Shukan Shincho reported on AKB48 management past ties to the yakuza, no one was surprised. The JK Business is a seedy con game and who knows how to run one better than former criminal associates & loan sharks?
I’m not a Katy Perry expert. It’s not based on rumour. See a portion of the article on this page in Japanese. There are photos. There is HUMINT from the police force. I have a list of 800 former members of the Goto-gumi and spent months nagging at them until I found some that confirmed the photos and explained to me what they knew of the AKB48 management’s past relation to organized crime. I did the same with police sources. The management has never sued the magazine or other publications for making these allegations.There are several other sources related to this. If I have time, I may put a list of them here. They are not all on-line. Some of them only exist as books and printed materials. Yep.
I have written about AKB48’s unsavoury ties in ???? in Japanese and haven’t been sued yet. What else would you like? A signed confession from the management?
4. I don’t see any evidence that you actually interviewed a girl from the sex trade or a cop. Why would you expect me to believe you? Jason Blair fabricated stories. How is this piece diffeemet from one of his that got him fired.
In journalism, we don’t reveal our sources, especially if they are police officers. Or if they are victims of certain crimes which still carry a social stigma, such as rape or sexual assault. This is why VICE blurred out the faces of the women they interviewed. It is not difficult to interview women who have been in the JK business. It’s done all the time. We do it at Lighthouse, a non-profit organization in Japan.
I don’t really get your Jason Blair question but let’s take your logic and ask you a question. Your friend threatens to sexually molest children and stalks women. Since you have never publicly disavowed him, why should I believe you are any different and not a sexually perverse, potentially harmful individual? What proof do you have that you are not?
Also, you misspelled “different”.
5. Many claim that you were mainly used for fluff pieces at the Yomiuri but you claim you were on the crime beat. What is your response.
Who is many? You and Creepy Johnson? I was at the Yomiuri Shimbun from 1993 to 2005. I was in the ???????? for nearly two years. Go to G-Search and look for articles written under my name. Most reporters don’t get by-lines but I wrote several feature pieces where I was credited. I have contributed to books on crime in Japan written while I was at the newspaper.
Try doing some research. You may have to take time and money to do it and translate it but be my guest. I have a real job. I’m not going to do your work for you. I have no idea what the hell you do for a living or why you have such a man-crush on me and why you seem to be a sexist creeper who is overly sensitive to being made fun of. ?!
PS. “Japan has one of the worst levels of gender equality in the developed world, below that of Tajikistan and Indonesia, coming in 104th out of 142 assessed countries in 2014, according to a study released Tuesday by the World Economic Forum.” That’s from a Japan Times article. You can find the original study if you like. It’s very hard for women here to break into any profession. So when white self-entitled elitists like yourself ridicule young women here trying to make it as journalists because 1) they didn’t go to journalism school 2) they worked at an event space (that served drinks) to pay their college tuition and 3) imply they must be using their looks to get work—and ignore their efforts, the articles they have written, and their past experience just for the sake of trolling–you discourage other young women from entering our profession. And that’s unfortunate.
It’s condescending and sexist attitudes like yours that encourage women and girls to go into the JK Business in the first place, because they are made to believe that they will never be taken seriously or valued for their intellect and ability. Shame on you. ????.
95 percent of the victims of violence are men. Because women feel flattered when men fight each other and kill each other to prove that they are real men.
Lawmakers from nations in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization are warning that global warming will lead to mass migration and conflict in the Middle East and Africa, another reason President Donald Trump should stay in the Paris climate deal.
Climate change will lead to “dire” food and water shortages in the region, according to a draft report presented Monday to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.
Acting as the “ultimate threat multiplier” after decades of resource mismanagement in the region, extreme weather and rising seas would likely lead to volatile food prices and increased competition, according to the report by Osman Askin, a member of the Turkish Parliament.
His country is host to more than 3 million refugees and asylum seekers, according to the report, and the surge in migration in Europe in recent years was a key reason for the U.K. voting to leave the European Union. Migration was an important plank of Trump’s presidential campaign last year, and he pledged to build a wall along the 1,900-mile (3,050-kilometer) U.S.-Mexico border.
The report, to be discussed this week in the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, urges all 146 countries that have ratified the Paris Agreement to “live up to their pledges,” including providing climate finance for developing countries.
Trump, who will attend his first meeting with leaders of the Group of Seven Countries this week, has threatened to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Accord, end climate financing and is reviewing the Clean Power Plan -- a key policy for cutting pollution introduced by his predecessor Barack Obama. He’s postponed a decision and it’s now expected by the end of May.
The report adds to pressure from Trump’s daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner, along with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who have been urging the president to remain in the Paris deal. Several of Trump’s top advisers are pushing for an exit, including chief strategist Stephen Bannon and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt.
Of all emotions, those negative are the most real. If you hate, you know that you are healthy. Your hormones are in balance if you can still imagine how you would inflict a slow, painful death on your enemies. Love isn't an emotion really but rather a mixed bag of feelings, with selfish desire a prominent component. Of any positive expression of the human mind, sympathy is probably the most genuine, though it may come with rage towards those whose victim is the target of our sympathy.
“Even though the clitoris has been removed, that doesn’t stop us from having full capacity of pleasure.”
Three days after Sarian Karim Kamara was cut, she was permitted to remove the cloth that covered her aching genitals. When she looked down, she saw her inner labia and “bits” of her clitoris remained. The then-11-year-old had struggled so much during the procedure that the witch doctor stopped the traditional practice midway.
That same day, women in the community dragged the little girl back to the bondo bush, the area designated for female circumcision, and held her down once more. This time, the cutter made sure to finish the job.
“It was hell,” Kamara, 39, told The Huffington Post.
FGM includes procedures that intentionally injure the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. In addition to disfigurement, the procedure comes with a host of risks, including childbirth complications, urinary tract infections and death, among others, according to the World Health Organization.
Part of the reason why Kamara’s community in Sierra Leone, and others like it, support female genital mutilation is to keep girls from experiencing sexual pleasure. The goal is to prevent them from having pre-martial sex so they’ll remain “pure” for their wedding day.
In Kamara’s case, the cutters failed to a certain degree.
Kamara told HuffPost that she remains haunted by the experience, and can still recall the sharp pain that seared through her. But, she has now also grown to love her body, enjoy sex and achieve orgasms.
“Even though the clitoris has been removed, that doesn’t stop us from having full capacity of pleasure during sex,” Kamara told HuffPost at the Women Deliver conference in Copenhagen last month. “It’s just difficult because you have to engage both physically and mentally.”
Kamara has been sexually active since she was 18. It took her four years to experience her first orgasm. But she only learned how to truly enjoy intercourse once she met her now-husband at 28 in London, where Kamara lives. Her husband, who is also from Sierra Leone, was the first man who was patient with her and worked to understand the trauma that she had endured.
“What I’ve learned, with his help, is how to understand my body,” she said. “He knows my spots, knows what turns me on, and how to engage with me sexually. That really, really helped me.”
Before she met her husband, sex was an excruciating and detached process. She said her ex-husband, and her other partners, never considered her wants or needs, which is characteristic of her community, Kamara said.
“Sexual intercourse was really, really difficult,” Kamara said of her past experiences. “When he demands sex, you don’t have to be ready. You just lie down and they have their way.” Though Kamara was eager to escape the oppressive traditions of her community when she relocated to England in 1999, she moved to, and continues to live in, an area that’s heavily populated by Sierra Leoneans.
But after uncovering that sex can actually be pleasurable, Kamara was inspired to start counseling other FGM survivors from her area.
More than 200 million women alive today have undergone FGM, according to the World Health Organization’s estimates. Due to migration, the practice is on the rise in a number of areas around the world, including in the U.S. In the U.K., an FGM case is reported every 109 minutes, the Independent reported in February.
FGM is spreading despite a 2012 U.N. resolution, which called on countries to ban the practice.
Such increased risks have prompted advocates to ramp up their efforts. They’re working to create programs to help curb the practice and offer more supportive services for women and girls who have been cut.
Kamara, who earned a degree in community development from London Metropolitan University, is uniquely positioned to reach some of the least accessible FGM survivors.
In Sierra Leone, 90 percent of women and girls have been cut, according to UNICEF.
Unlike survivors from other regions, where FGM is just as widely practiced, those from Sierra Leone are often less likely to talk about it and seek help, according to Kamara.
After they’re circumcised, girls and women are told that they should never mention it, and that doing so can bring on a curse and humiliate the family, Kamara said.
And discussing sex is deemed particularly reprehensible.
“They have this fear that something bad will happen to them if they talk about it,” Kamara added. “We’re very hard to reach.”
The campaigner said that when she attends forums on the topic, she’ll often meet survivors from the Gambia, Libya, Somalia and other African countries. But she’s usually the sole representative from Sierra Leone.
Yet, despite the survivors’ reluctance to come forward, Kamara said once she connects with them, she finds that they’re eager to open up.
“At the end of the day, they really want to talk,” Kamara said. “They just need a safe platform.”
Kamara has cultivated such a space in London where she runs bi-monthly workshops. Participants often echo Kamara’s sentiments when it comes to sex.
Some women can’t engage sexually at all. Because any time someone touches their vagina, whether it’s an intimate partner or even a physician, they’ll get a horrific flashback.
“They’ve lost interest. They can’t have pleasure,” Kamara noted. “I try to make them understand that they have to be ready. Their body has to be ready. Their partners have to understand that.”
Kamara sets strict rules for each session and is careful about the wording she uses when she addresses the topic.
For example, she never says “mutilation.” Rather, when she discusses FGM, she refers to it as “bonda,” which is the traditional term. Kamara also encourages the women to bring their partners so they can start having a more open dialogue about sex and what does and doesn’t work for them.
Kamara is working on launching a nonprofit called “Keep the Drums. Lose the Knives.” The name is derived from the ceremonial aspects surrounding the FGM tradition.
When girls are cut, all they’re made aware of in advance is that they’ll receive gifts and revel in traditional music. They know nothing of getting circumcised.
“I was so excited,” Kamara said of how she felt at the time. “I was dancing with the women.”
When a girl gets circumcised, the drummers beat their instruments harder to drown out the screams.
Kamara hopes to teach her community how to engage in such celebrations without the abuse.
While Kamara said she’s at peace with her body, she still occasionally finds herself wondering what her life would be like if she hadn’t been cut.
“When I’m really engaged in sexual activity, the pleasure I have ... I can only imagine if I had my clitoris, what it would be like,” she said.
Still, while she thinks reconstructive surgery may benefit some survivors, it’s not something she’s interested in.
“I’ve managed to find myself. I’ve found my safe spot,” she said. “There’s no guarantee it would work. Something could go wrong that could ruin what I already have.”
In peace, women are feminists. In wars, they are cowards, trading sexual signals for sympathy and protection.
Last Sunday, history was made in Saudi Arabia when the recently sworn-in Shura Council, the country’s consultative assembly, held its first session with 30 women appointees participating for the first time.
Thanks to a Royal Decree issued by King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz earlier this year, room has now been permanently made for women to take part in advising the government on issues that matter.
As such, Saudi Arabia’s Shura Council will never again be a “men-only” club.
While most Saudis rejoiced this historic accomplishment; the implementation of the decision was received with the contempt of some who resorted to micro-blogging site Twitter to publicly insult the recently-appointed women Shura members.
Derogatory terms such as “prostitutes” and “the filth of society” were used to describe Saudi Arabia’s finest female academics and technocrats.
These terms are already deemed foul and derogatory when coming from the man on the street. But those behind the appalling statements were Islamic teachers and Sheikhs; a slash of irony unleashed from the men who should otherwise be preaching tolerance, respect and compassion.
‘The Filth of Society’
Whilst one doesn’t expect all members society to behave in a similar manner, nor to necessarily respect the achievements of Saudi women; the idea here is that this shouldn’t legitimize the public defamation and insults we have witnessed.
Among the “tweeps” who resorted to insults was member of the Islamic Ministry for Da’wah, Guidance and Endowments, Ahmed al-Abdelqader.
“They thought they can mock the mufti by giving these ‘prostitutes’ legitimacy to be in power,” tweeted al-Abdelqader.
Following angry reactions by Twitter users whom objected the cleric’s foul language, Al-Abdelqader said: “We have heard and read many insults against (God) as well as mockery against the prophet, prayer be upon him, and none of those defending (these female) members was angered.”
Earlier last week, another controversial Saudi cleric also attacked the decision to appoint female members to the Council.
“Corrupt beginnings lead to corrupt results,” tweeted Sheikh Nasser al-Omar warning more of what he described as “Westernization.”
For his part, Dr. Saleh al-Sugair, a former teaching assistant at King Saud University slammed the assignment of female members at the council and tweeted: “The insolent (women) wearing make-up at the Shura Council represent the society? God, no. They are the filth of society.”
This wasn’t the first controversial statement by al-Sugair, who is not a cleric but a medical doctor known for extreme religious views.
Last year, he called for a complete separation in medical colleges between male students and female students.
Sharia is against defamation
Last summer, two courageous young female athletes by the names of Wojdan Shaherkani and Sarah Attar agreed to become Saudi Arabia’s first ever female participants at the Olympics.
The decision, which was reached at the eleventh hour, saved Saudi Arabia from being excluded completely from the London 2012 Olympics.
At the time, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) had insisted that all participating countries needed to have female representation; and even though Sarah and Wojdan knew they lacked the experience to win on the international level, they still agreed to take part and respond to the call of duty.
Instead of praise, the two young athletes received their share of derogatory terms, in a very similar manner to what the ladies of Shura Council had to endure last week.
Wojdan’s father (and her Judo instructor) had pledged to take those who have questioned the morality of his 16-year old daughter and insulted her to court.
As a professional and aspiring Judo player, Wojdan is likely to fight many battles for the rest of her life; however, of all those battles, this legal one has to be the most important, and it must be won.
Of course, the battle will be tough as it will require a much clearer and much stricter implementation of defamation and libel laws, probably under a specialized committee.
Whilst one doesn’t expect all members society to behave in a similar manner, nor to necessarily respect the achievements of Saudi women; the idea here is that this shouldn’t legitimize the public defamation and insults we have witnessed.
Women at the Shura Council should study this matter and make appropriate suggestions to the government to criminalize and penalize such libel acts.
What will definitely help such a move is that Shariah law is renowned for prohibiting defamation; and it doesn’t make exceptions if the perpetrator is a cleric or not.
You probably have to look at imagery of death and dying regularly to stay focused on what really counts in life: great sex before you are gone anyway.
Medical Daily Apr 13, 2015
Penis size has been the root of men’s anxiety throughout history, and the need to enlarge penises to improve self-esteem still exists today. A man in Germany who received silicone injections for a penis enlargement proves bigger isn’t always better. Micha Stunz, a 45-year-old from Berlin, shared with Vice the heavy price he must pay for his 7-pound, 9-inch-long, and 3-inch-wide penis, which is nothing short of amusing.
“After you reach a certain size, you can't do certain things anymore. At least not with everyone and not without some foreplay. But there are other things you can do with it,” Stunz told Vice. “You just have to free yourself from established roles and hardened ideas about sex and be ready to play.”
Stunz's desire to get a penis enlargement started 20 years ago when he used a penis pump. He found when he went out pumped up, “it was a good feeling. It felt great. ... I had the feeling that I wasn't trapped in the body I was born with, but that I had the possibility to shape it myself to change it."
This inspired him to try enlarging himself with saline injections, but he did not like that they would only temporarily change his groin area. So, Stunz turned to silicone injections as a permanent solution for enlarging his penis and scrotum. However, these injections could lead to an infection and leave Stunz mutilated.
In a 2012 report published in the journal Urology Annals, researchers described five cases where patients who got penis enhancements via liquid silicone injections suffered debilitating effects. A case study with a 44-year-old contractor found a silicone injection by a traditional medicine practitioner for erectile dysfunction left swelling over the injected site. The patient experienced recurrent episodes of ulceration and serious discharge from the site.
Stunz, who has had silicone injected into both his penis and scrotum, currently has four procedures behind him. It’s not clear whether he will seek more in the future, but he recalled the sensations being more pleasant than painful. “At first, the silicone feels foreign, but over time it feels more and more like part of your body,” he said.
Aside from urinating sitting down on a toilet, struggling to buy a new pair of pants, or have sex, he leads a normal life, he says, buying groceries, going to bars, clubs, the movies, and attending bondage festivals.
The Bangkok Yanhee Hospital has been offering penis enlargement surgery for some time. The latest craze, however, are Botox injections into the penis. Prices are about 300 USD. Effects last half year.
Fox News and other conservative sites miss the point of basic science.
In the past few days, the Internet has been filled with commentary on whether the National Science Foundation should have paid for my study on duck genitalia, and 88.7 percent of respondents to a Fox news online poll agreed that studying duck genitalia is wasteful government spending. The commentary supporting and decrying the study continues to grow. As the lead investigator in this research, I would like to weigh in on the controversy and offer some insights into the process of research funding by the NSF.
My research on bird genitalia was originally funded in 2005, during the Bush administration. Thus federal support for this research cannot be connected exclusively to sequestration or the Obama presidency, as many of the conservative websites have claimed.
Since Sen. William Proxmire's Golden Fleece awards in the 1970s and 1980s, basic science projects are periodically singled out by people with political agendas to highlight how government “wastes” taxpayer money on seemingly foolish research. These arguments misrepresent the distinction between and the roles of basic and applied science. Basic science is not aimed at solving an immediate practical problem. Basic science is an integral part of scientific progress, but individual projects may sound meaningless when taken out of context. Basic science often ends up solving problems anyway, but it is just not designed for this purpose. Applied science builds upon basic science, so they are inextricably linked. As an example, Geckskin™ is a new adhesive product with myriad applications developed by my colleagues at the University of Massachusetts. Their work is based on several decades of basic research on gecko locomotion.
Whether the government should fund basic research in times of economic crisis is a valid question that deserves well-informed discourse comparing all governmental expenses. As a scientist, my view is that supporting basic and applied research is essential to keep the United States ahead in the global economy. The government cannot afford not to make that investment. In fact, I argue that research spending should increase dramatically for the United States to continue to lead the world in scientific discovery. Investment in the NSF is just over $20 per year per person, while it takes upward of $2,000 per year per person to fund the military. Basic research has to be funded by the government rather than private investors because there are no immediate profits to be derived from it.
Because the NSF budget is so small, and because we have so many well-qualified scientists in need of funds, competition to obtain grants is fierce, and funding rates at the time this research was funded had fallen well below 10 percent. Congress decides the total amount of money that the NSF gets from the budget, but it does not decide which individual projects are funded—and neither does the president or his administration. Funding decisions are made by panels of scientists who are experts in the field and based on peer review by outsiders, often the competitors of the scientists who submitted the proposal. The review panel ranks proposals on their intellectual merits and impacts to society before making a recommendation. This recommendation is then acted upon by program officers and other administrators, who are also scientists, at the NSF.
This brings us back to the ducks. Male ducks force copulations on females, and males and females are engaged in a genital arms race with surprising consequences. Male ducks have elaborate corkscrew-shaped penises, the length of which correlates with the degree of forced copulation males impose on female ducks. Females are often unable to escape male coercion, but they have evolved vaginal morphology that makes it difficult for males to inseminate females close to the sites of fertilization and sperm storage. Males have counterclockwise spiraling penises, while females have clockwise spiraling vaginas and blind pockets that prevent full eversion of the male penis.
Our latest study examined how the presence of other males influences genital morphology. My colleagues and I found that it does so to an amazing degree, demonstrating that male competition is a driving force behind these male traits that can be harmful to females. The fact that this grant was funded, after the careful scrutiny of many scientists and NSF administrators, reflects the fact that this research is grounded in solid theory and that the project was viewed as having the potential to move science forward (and it has), as well as fascinate and engage the public. The research has been reported on positively by hundreds of news sites in recent years, even Fox news. Most of the grant money was spent on salaries, putting money back into the economy.
The commentary and headlines in some of the recent articles reflect outrage that the study was about duck genitals, as if there is something inherently wrong or perverse with this line of research. Imagine if medical research drew the line at the belt! Genitalia, dear readers, are where the rubber meets the road, evolutionarily. To fully understand why some individuals are more successful than others during reproduction, there may be no better place to look. The importance of evolutionary research on other species’ genitalia to the medical field has been recently highlighted in the Journal of Sexual Medicine. Generating new knowledge of what factors affect genital morphology in ducks, one of the few vertebrate species other than humans that form pair bonds and exhibit violent sexual coercion, may have significant applied uses in the future, but we must conduct the basic research first. In the meantime, while we engage in productive and respectful discussion of how we envision the future of our nation, why not marvel at how evolution has resulted in such counterintuitive morphology and bizarre animal behavior.
With free speech, it's like that: You can make any offending remarks about white men, and the mainstream media and mainstream opinion will applaud you. You can't say anything negative about feminism. Feminism is sacrosanct. Fuck it.
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