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Giorgione's Sleeping Venus

Giorgione's Sleeping Venus

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Androgenic activity of the Thai traditional male potency herb, Butea superba Roxb., in female rats

Abstract

Aim of the study

Butea superba Roxb. (Leguminosae) is a well-known Thai male potency herb with androgenic and anti-estrogenic activities. We evaluated whether oral administration of Butea superba has an androgenic or anti-estrogenic activity in female rats.

Materials and methods

Normal and ovariectomized adult female rats were each subdivided into five groups, DW, BS-10, BS-50, BS-250 and TP, and gavaged with 0, 10, 50 and 250 mg/kg BW/day of the crude of Butea superba and subcutaneously injected with 6 mg/kg BW/day of testosterone propionate (TP), respectively, during the treatment period.

Results

In intact rats, only BS-250 increased the uterine thickness and the number of uterine glands, and could induce a prolonged diestrous phase. In ovariectomized rats, treatment with BS-50 as well as BS-250 increased the uterine thickness and the number of uterine glands. However, serum luteinizing hormone (LH) levels were also increased. TP reduced serum follicle stimulating hormone and LH levels with the appearance of anestrous cycle, and could significantly increase the relative uterine weight and thickness and the number of uterine glands in both intact and ovariectomized rats.

Conclusions

Orally administered Butea superba tubers have an androgenic effect on the reproductive organs of intact and ovariectomized rats, and exhibit anti-estrogenic activity on LH secretion in ovariectomized rats.

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The Thai miracle sex herbal butea superba has strong antiviral properties. It is now investigated as a cure for AIDS.

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The Crimes of the Killer Couple Karla Homolka and Paul Bernardo

One of Canada's most infamous female serial killers, Karla Homolka, was released from prison after serving a short 12-year sentence for her involvement in drugging, raping, torturing and killing young girls. The dead teens included her young sister Tammy, whose innocence was offered by Homolka to her boyfriend, Paul Bernardo, as a gift.

CHILDHOOD YEARS

Karla Homolka was born on May 4, 1970, to Dorothy and Karel Homolka in Port Credit, Ontario.

She was the oldest child of three, well adjusted, pretty, smart, popular, and received ample love and attention by friends and family. Karla developed a passion for animals and after high school, she went to work at a veterinary clinic. On outside appearances, everything about Karla seemed normal. No one suspected that she was hiding deep psychotic desires that had yet to be unleashed.

HOMOLKA AND BERNARDO MEET

At age 17 Homolka attended a pet convention in Toronto and met 23-year-old, Paul Bernardo. Bernardo was an attractive blonde, appeared to be smart and charmingly persuasive. The two had sex on the day that they first met. They quickly discovered that they shared the same sadomasochistic desires, with Paul moving quickly into the position of master, and Homolka willingly taking the role as the slave, obsessed with fulfilling Bernardo's every fantasy.

SCARBOROUGH RAPIST

Over the next few years, the relationship between Homolka and Bernardo intensified and they shared and encouraged each other's psychotic behavior.

It was during this time that Bernardo was involved in raping women with the approval of Homolka. The uncaught Bernardo was dubbed as the Scarborough Rapist by the police and the media. His specialty was to attack women getting off of busses, making them endure violent anal rape and different levels of humiliation.

A SURROGATE VIRGIN

One of Bernardo's constant complaints with Homolka was that she was not a virgin when they met. Homolka, devoted to pleasing Bernardo every way possible, knew of his attraction to her 15-year-old sister, Tammy, whose virginity was intact. The two decided that they would force Tammy into being a surrogate virgin for her older sister. To help accomplish this, Homolka stole the animal anesthetic, Halothane from the vet clinic where she worked.

On December 23, 1990, at a Christmas party at the Homolka family home, Bernardo and Homolka served Tammy alcoholic drinks spiked with halcyon. After family members retired, the two took Tammy to the basement and Homolka held a cloth soaked in Halothane to Tammy's mouth. Once Tammy was unconscious the couple raped her. During the rape, Tammy began choking on her own vomit and ultimately died. The drugs in Tammy's system went undetected and her death was ruled an accident.

ANOTHER PRESENT FOR BERNARDO

Homolka and Bernardo, unscathed by the death of Tammy, moved in together. Bernardo blamed Homolka for Tammy's death and complained that she was no longer around for Bernardo to enjoy sexually. Homolka decided a teenager named Jane would make a good replacement.

She was young and virginal and seemed to idolize the attractive and older Homolka. Homolka invited the unsuspecting teen out to dinner, and like with Tammy, she spiked the girl's drinks then invited the intoxicated teen to her home.

Once there, Homolka administered the Halothane, and presented her present, the young pretty Jane, to Bernardo. The couple then engaged in brutal sexual attacks of the unconscious teen, capturing the events on videotape. The next day when the teenager awoke, she was sick and sore but had no idea of the violation her body had endured. Jane, unlike others, was one victim that managed to survive the encounter with the couple.

LESLIE MAHAFFY

The thirst for Bernardo to share his rapist activities with his lover Homolka increased. On June 15, 1991, Bernardo kidnapped Leslie Mahaffy and brought her to the couple's home.

Bernardo and Homolka repeatedly raped Mahaffy over a course of several days, videotaping many of the assaults. They eventually killed Mahaffy and cut her body into pieces, encased the pieces in cement, and threw the cement in a lake. On June 29 Mahaffy's remains were found by a couple canoeing on the lake.

BERNARDO AND HOMOLKA MARRY

June 29 was also the day that Bernardo and Homolka were married in an elaborate wedding held at the Niagara-on-the-Lake church. Bernardo had been in control of the wedding plans which included the two riding in a white horse-drawn carriage with the bride dressed in an expensive white gown. The wedding guests were served a lavish sit-down meal after the couple exchanged their vows which included, at Bernardo's insistence Homolka vowing to "love, honor, and obey' her new husband.

KRISTEN FRENCH

On April 16, 1992, the couple kidnapped 15-year-old Kristen French from a church parking lot after Homolka lured her to their car, pretending to need directions. The couple brought French to their home and for several days videotaped their acts of humiliating, torturing and sexually abusing the teen. French tried hard to survive the attack but right before the couple left for Easter Sunday dinner with Homolka's family, they killed her. Her body was found on April 30 in a ditch in Burlington.

HOMOLKA LEAVES BERNARDO

In January 1993, Homolka separated from Bernardo because of the constant physical abuse that he subjected her to for several months. His attacks had become increasingly ferocious, resulting in Homolka being hospitalized. She left him and moved in with her sister's friend who was a police officer.

CLOSING IN ON THE SCARBOROUGH RAPIST

Evidence in helping police identify the Scarborough Rapist was building. A composite drawing of the suspect was released, and a work associate of Bernardo's contacted the police and reported that Bernardo looks matched the sketch. The police interviewed Bernardo and obtained a saliva swab from him which later tested positive, but it was not until 1993 that an exact forensic match was made proving Bernardo was the Scarborough Rapist.

THE ONTARIO GREEN RIBBON TASK FORCE

The Ontario Green Ribbon Task Force assigned to solving the murders of the girls was closing in on Bernardo and Homolka. Homolka was fingerprinted and questioned. Of particular interest to the detectives was regarding a Mickey Mouse watch that Homolka had that looked like one that Kristen French had on the night she disappeared. Homolka learned during the questioning that Bernardo was identified as the Scarborough rapist. She also knew the rest of their crimes would soon be uncovered.

Homolka, realizing the pair was going to be caught, confessed to her uncle that Bernardo was a serial rapist and murderer. She also obtained a lawyer and began negotiations into a plea bargain in exchange for her testimony against Bernardo. In mid-February, Bernardo was arrested and charged with the Scarborough rapes and the murders of Mahaffy and French. During the search of the couple's home, a diary of Bernardo's with written descriptions of each crime was discovered.

THE WORST PLEA BARGAIN IN CANADA'S HISTORY

A plea bargain was discussed for Homolka which she would get a twelve-year sentence for her participation in the crimes in exchange for her testimony. The government agreed to her being eligible for parole after serving three years with good behavior. Homolka quickly agreed to all terms and the deal was set. Later, after all of the evidence was in, the plea bargain became known as being one of the worst in the history of Canada, with the government accused of making a deal with the Devil.

A DEAL IS A DEAL - EVEN WITH THE DEVIL

Homolka always portrayed herself as an abused wife forced into participating in Bernardo's criminal activity. It was not until the several videotapes that Homolka and Bernardo made were turned into police by an ex-lawyer of Bernardo's, that it became clear that Homolka enjoyed herself with their victims and the truth to Homolka's involvement in the crimes came to light. Regardless of her obvious guilt, a deal was a deal, and she could not be retried for her crimes.

DENIED PAROLE

Bernardo ended up being convicted on all counts of rape and murder and he received a life sentence on September 1, 1995. Homolka went before the parole board in March 2001, but the National Parole Board denied her application for parole, stating "The board believes that, if released, you are likely to commit an offense causing the death of or serious harm to another person before the expiration of the sentence you are now serving."

PARTY PRISON

Rumors of Homolka's incarceration being too lenient surfaced after pictures of her sunbathing and partying with other prisoners was published in Canadian newspapers. Tabloids reported that she was in a lesbian relationship with Christina Sherry, who was a convicted child-rapist. It was later determined that her lesbian lover was not Sherry, but Lynda Verrouneau, who was convicted of participating in a bank robbery.

HOMOLKA'S RELEASE

On July 4, 2005, Homolka was released from Ste-Anne-des-Plaines prison. Court-ordered restrictions were placed on Homolka as a condition of her release:

Provide police with her home address, work address and with whom she lives.

Notify police of any change to the above information.

Required to notify police of any change to her name.

Required to give 72 hours' notice if she planned to be away from home for more than 48 hours.

Forbidden to contact Paul Bernardo, the families of Leslie Mahaffy and Kristen French or that of the woman known as Jane Doe (see above), or any violent criminals.

Forbidden to be with people under the age of 16.

Forbidden from taking drugs other than prescription medicine.

Required to continue therapy and counseling.

Required to provide police with a DNA sample.

Homoka's lawyers said she was in a "state of terror" of being released.

"She is paralyzed with fear, completely panicked," one of her attorneys, Christian Lachance, said. "When I saw her she was in a state of terror, almost in a trance. She cannot conceive of what her life will be like outside."

Bernardo is serving a life sentence.

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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.

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Everything you wanted to know about bird sex

Courtship is preferred, but optional when it comes to producing mallard chicks.

A courtship display by a pair of common mergansers. Her head flat against the water is signaling her desire to mate. The maleís erect tail indicates his agreement.

It looked like rough sex. It turns out it was just standard procedure for mallards.

We have a pair of mallards nesting in the swamp behind our house. Iíve been reading about mallards because of behavior Iíve watched.

The vigorous mating, for instance.

Our mallards arrived as a pair. They would have bonded last winter, perhaps locally, since so many spend the winter here.

The drake of this pair stays close to his mate. He stands guard, upright and alert, when she feeds on shore. Iíve always thought he was watching for predators. Then I read a research report on mallards. It said, ďmales guard paternity Ö Ē

Heís ensuring that all the ducklings, if and when they hatch, carry his genes. His hen mating with another drake could compromise that.

An unpaired drake flew in to our pond, eventually grabbing the hen by her neck and subduing her. The culmination of that frantic minute looked like copulation. That male also was acting on behalf of his genes.

The literature describes three types of mallard copulation. Pair copulation is solicited by both birds, the result of their bonding and desire to nest. (Even with willing partners this can look rough.)

Forced extra-pair copulation is what I saw. The male of the mated pair might then also force copulation. He would be trying to cover a rivalís sperm with his own.

Paired males also will seek to forcefully mate with other hens. It is the maleís way of ensuring that he will breed successfully one way or another. Because of this, any drakeís chance of all ducklings being his are about nine in 10.

Female mallards prefer a mate with bright bill color and plumage. Journal articles reported that females laid larger eggs when they mated with their preferred male. Larger eggs produce heavier ducklings with a better chance of survival.

I could find no explanation of the biological function that produces smaller eggs from unwanted sperm.

Females value energetic courtship activity when making their mate choice. Such behavior by the drake probably signals that he is strong and healthy.

Courtship involves a set of signals by both birds. Watch for bills jabbing, heads bobbing, nodding or shaking. Watch for the female swimming with her head low to the water.

As in so many relationships, male courtship skills are important. And they improve with age.

Wood ducks nest on our pond, too. Iíve watched our hen perform that swimming display. Always close to the male, she swam with bill flat on the pond surface. A few moments later, the wood duck drake bobbed his head four or five times, then mounted her.

Sex is strictly utilitarian for birds. The wood duck drake was atop his hen for a second.

Ducks are among the 3 percent of bird species that have a penis. This is a topic for another day. Most birds mate by simply turning tails aside and bringing together their cloaca, the birdsí all-purpose vent (for waste, sperm, egg).

The mallard penis, incidentally, can be inches in length, and has a corkscrew shape. It is an interesting story, but again, for another day.

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Chinese men smoke cigarettes, have bad teeth, and a small dick; African men have pimples, diabetes, and a soft dick; but we are most civilized and have a big dick.

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Childhood and sexuality

Abstract:

Any statement about children and sex is almost guaranteed to be controversial. In modern Western societies, children are set apart from the rest of the population, regarded as a special population with special needs. Many rules and conventions exist to define sex as the preserve of adults: age of consent laws, selective censorship practices, and the labeling of books as erotic literature. These are the outward signs of the taboo surrounding children and sex. This book considers 1) whether we learn how to be sexual or whether sexuality is in-born, 2) whether childhood is a natural or a social state, 3) how and why adults conceal sex from children and what its consequences are, 4) if children are sexual beings and, if so, in what sense, and 5) whether it is possible or desirable to make changes in the way we deal with children and sex. This book is an attempt to break the silence that surrounds the subject of children and sex, to explore hidden fears and anxieties, to expose unspoken assumptions. Parents, teachers, and all those involved in caring for children may find it useful.

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This is the latest deal offered by the Islamic State. You want to die the best possible death, then you have to blow up your brain. It's the only death that is instant and painless. We tie a bomb around your body and send you into a populated area. You don't have to die alone, and you don't have to pull a trigger. We do that by remote control.

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West Africa: Ghana & Togo Partner to Eliminate Female Genital Mutilation

An Excisors Reconversion Seminar on the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) has taken place at at Pusiga in the Upper East Region.

FGM, also known as female genital cutting and female circumcision, is the ritual of cutting or removal of some or all of the external female genitalia. The practice is found in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

The three-day seminar, therefore, sought to eliminate FGM by helping excisors who have practiced FGM to get them to sincerely confess, give up the practice and get converted.

The seminar also sought to support excisors to become ambassadors to their fellow women practicing FGM to put an end to the act.

More than seventy (70) participants, comprising three different categories, former FGM excisors, assistants and mothers of FGM victims from Ghana and Togo attended the seminar.

It was organized by Belim Wusa Development Agency (BEWDA-Ghana) in partnership with Kpaal n' paal (Togo), Organisation Regionale pour le Promotion Sociale et Agricole (OREPSA-Togo) and Groupe d' Action pour Development Durable (GA2D-Togo).

In an address to open the seminar, Mr Abdul Razak Yakah, Pusiga District Co-ordinating Director, who spoke on the theme "Why conserving this heinous and dehumanizing tradition?", commended BEWDA-Ghana and its development partners for organizing the seminar which, he said, would serve as a platform to advocate against the practice and elimination of the dehumanizing tradition of FGM.

Mr Yakah disclosed that more than three million young girls and women underwent the barbaric act in Africa, with research indicating that the victims had suffered an associated series of short to long-term risks to their physical, mental and sexual health. He, therefore, called on all stakeholders to help combat the practice.

In a statement, Mr Benson Azure, Pusiga District Health Services Director, disclosed that victims of FGM could contract Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) and urinary tract infections, have difficulty during child birth, suffer from anemia (loss of blood) and infertility, adding that FGM posed increased risk to new born deaths.

Mr Azure, therefore, lauded the partnership between Ghana and Togo in the fight against FGM in their respective countries and appealed to the participants to desist from the practice of FGM which, he said, was a heinous and dehumanizing act on young girls and women. He pledged the support of his office to the worthy cause of eliminating FGM.

On his part, Papa Toussaint, Coordinator, INTACT Africa, Benin, appealed to participants to abandon the practice of FGM or face the full rigours of the laws forbidding FGM.

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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.

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7 dark secrets about the real Peter Pan include suicide and pedophilia

Um, yeah, so we're going to go ahead and file Peter Pan author and playwright, J.M. Barrie, under "total creeper."

Barrie may have been portrayed by Johnny Depp as a kind and caring soul who befriended a family in need in 2004's Finding Neverland, but his life story in reality is much, much darker. According to some accounts, Barrie left a trail of death and destruction in his wake ó and might have actually preyed on young children, as opposed to caring for them.

1. J.M. Barrie stole his own "lost boys" According to Piers Dudgeon, the author of Captivated: J.M. Barrie, the Du Mauriers & the Dark Side of Neverland, Barrie manipulated his way into the lives of Sylvia and Arthur Llewelyn Davies, the parents of three boys, George, Jack and baby Peter. Barrie apparently lavished gifts on the family and spent hours with the boys having adventures in the park and making up stories.

When Arthur and Sylvia both died of cancer within three years of each other, Barrie assumed guardianship of the boys. In case any blood relatives protested, he had Sylvia's will forged, giving him custody. Strangely, the family never objected to a non-relative raising the children.

Years later, Peter said this about Barrie taking custody of him and his brothers, "The whole business, as I look back on it, was almost unbelievably queer and pathetic and ludicrous and even macabre in a kind of way."

2. Barrie's unusually close relationship with Michael and George Barrie enjoyed taking photographs of the boys, sometimes in homemade costumes and often wearing no clothes at all. Today, that would seem highly suspicious, but Barrie presented an innocent front to the adults around him, despite writing about the joy of undressing and sleeping next to a young boy. Barrie's book, The Little White Bird, published in 1902, was a thinly veiled account of his relationship with George. While the book was incredibly popular when it was published, the following passage just feels obsessive.

"I lay thinking of this little boy, who, in the midst of his play while I undressed him, had suddenly buried his head on my knees... Of David's dripping little form in the bath, and how I essayed to catch him as he slipped from my arms like a trout. Of how I had stood at the open door listening to his sweet breathing, had stood so long I forgot his name."

3. Letter with creepy candle reference In June 1908, Barrie wrote this note to Michael for his eighth birthday, "I wish I could be with you and your candles. You can look on me as one of your candles, the one that burns badly ó the greasy one that is bent in the middle. But still, hurray, I am Michael's candle. Dear Michael, I am very fond of you, but don't tell anybody."

The lines "the greasy one that is bent in the middle" and "don't tell anybody" give us chills.

4. Barrie not good with the ladies Barrie biographer Piers Dudgeon suggests the author and playwright was impotent and most likely never consummated his marriage to actress Mary Ansell, who wrote this about her husband, "Love in its fullest sense could never be felt by him or experienced." She eventually had an affair with one of Barrie's friends, which led to their divorce.

5. George dies on the battlefield Both George and Peter volunteered to serve in World War I. Some historians think this was a way for the young men to get away from Barrie. Sadly, George died in Belgium from a gunshot to the head. He was only 21.

6. Michael's possible suicide pact with gay lover When he was also just 21 years old, Michael drowned along with another young man, known to be his lover, in what many biographers think was a suicide pact. The drowning occurred in a section of the Thames River called Sandford Lock that was notorious for its dangerous currents.

7. Peter's suicide In 1960, at the age of 63, Peter Llewelyn Davies threw himself under a train. This was after he destroyed almost all the letters from Barrie to the Davies boys, saying they were simply "too much."

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Feminism is the enemy of successful men. Let millions of Arabs migrate to Europe. That will give feminists second thoughts.

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Al Qaeda manual had its own description of torture techniques

A report released on Tuesday outlined a lengthy review of Central Intelligence Agency interrogation techniques used on detainees after 9/11. It described several methods, including abdominal slaps, cramped confinement, and dietary manipulation, that were employed to gain information from people being held.

Since the Senate Intelligence Committee's report came out, CBS News has obtained further documentation on torture techniques, but this time from an al Qaeda handbook that described what types of interrogation methods its members might encounter if they are captured.

Al Qaeda chapter describing alleged torture techniques

The handbook, which was seized in 2000 in the Manchester, England home of Anas al Liby, a student at the time. It was a translation from its "Declaration of Jihad" and is broken down into two dimensions, physical and psychological torture.

It purports to know the methods of torture that are used by secret agents in order to glean information from captured detainees. Although several situations are described under which torture could be experienced, it is not necessarily specific to the United States. However, it does mention nations where the U.S. has military installations.

Listed under physical, al Qaeda's leaders told members they may experience blindfolding, hanging by the hands or feet, forcing individuals to stand naked for long periods; pouring cold water over one's head; pulling out nails and hair; forcing consumption of watery foods, then constricting the genitals; and drugging.

Psychological tortures included social isolation; threatening to find and rape female relatives, or even the detainee himself; threatening permanent physical injury; controlling all of the individual's singular actions; and removal of individual identity to the point of forbidding calling one by name.

The writer of the handbook emphasizes that the methods described comes from actual accounts of experiences of al Qaeda members imprisoned throughout the Middle East.

"Let no one think that the aforementioned techniques are fabrications of our imagination, or that we copied them from spy stories," the manual says. "On the contrary, these are factual incidents in the prisons of Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and all other Arab countries."

It goes on to describe the degradation of veiled women, the rape of family members of an al Qaeda operative, and security personnel causing the wife of another to have a miscarriage.

It is unclear if the findings of the Senate Intelligence Committee completely match or corroborates what was found in the al Qaeda manual, but they do not seem to include waterboarding, the most controversial technique outlined by the committee.

CIA officials serving in the agency during the post-9/11 period have criticized the report, saying it is "deeply flawed" and denying that any detainees were tortured.

"It's inaccurate. It's a report that tends to apparently deal with salacious aspects of our interrogation program," said Charles Allen, former intelligence chief with the Department of Homeland Security and the CIA.

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That armies are mad up of men is something that has to end. Draft women into combat troops. Expose women to the same kind of dangers that men have faced throughout history. Hard labour for female convicts!

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