Monthly Archives: November 2011

Muscovy ducks get super-fast erections and have twisty vaginas — for rape and counter-rape

Female Muscovy ducks have spirally, squiggly vaginas that keep out undesired penises. For desired penises, they simply relax their muscles to allow entry. They have evolved this capacity while male Muscovy ducks have evolved 8-inch penises that get fully-erect in a third of a second.

Friends, duck sex is a high-stakes world.

From Wired, via OMG Facts.

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Walking through a doorway makes you less likely to remember what happened in that room

You store your memories episodically. How does your brain mark the beginnings and ends of episodes? Perhaps by context? Perhaps by location? A new study suggests that walking through a doorway signals your brain to mark a new episode and that people are less likely to recall details after leaving a room.

Via The Dish.

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Texas’ House of Representatives once unanimously passed a bill commending the Boston Strangler

To demonstrate how careless he thought the legislative process in Texas was, on April Fool’s Day 1971, Tom Moore Jr. introduced a resolution to commend Albert de Salvo.

This compassionate gentleman’s dedication and devotion to his work has enabled the weak and the lonely throughout the nation to achieve and maintain a new degree of concern for their future. He has been officially recognized by the state of Massachusetts for his noted activities and unconventional techniques involving population control and applied psychology.

Moore retracted the resolution after it passed unanimously. Albert de Salvo was the Boston Strangler.

Via OMG Facts.

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We demand a vapid, condescending, meaningless, politically safe response to this petition

We the People is a web page that the White House created to let people create petitions that get official responses when enough people sign. Unsurprisingly, the official responses are disappointing and wishy-washy, like this one about the phrase “under God”, which was added to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954.

Nevertheless, someone seems to have come up with a petition guaranteed to receive the consideration it demands:

Since these petitions are ignored apart from an occasional patronizing and inane political statement amounting to nothing more than a condescending pat on the head, we the signers would enjoy having the illusion of success. Since no other outcome to this process seems possible, we demand that the White House immediately assign a junior staffer to compose a tame and vapid response to this petition, and never attempt to take any meaningful action on this or any other issue. We would also like a cookie.

Sign the petition. Via Weigel.

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Look, a penguin who’s rocking out

53a6c24d7c453f8142ea2bb62803a8eb7fa5b146 m Look, a penguin whos rocking out

Via Ffffound.

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It is hard to know how tall Jake Gyllenhaal is

David Rees becomes discouraged as he investigates Jake Gyllenhaal’s height. Incidentally, there is a website completely devoted to figuring out the heights of celebrities.

The discussion of Jake Gyllenhaal goes quiet for weeks at a time. Then someone posts an account of a recent sighting, or a photo of Gyllenhaal standing beside a celebrity of quantifiable tallness (like Xzibit), and then someone else counters that Gyllenhaal’s height is hard to calculate because “his body is like a peruvian guy (large oblong head, short neck),” adding “I should see him shaven” (?!?), and the whole thing flares up again. Any new piece of data, in the hands of the right maniac, can help a fact of the matter remain perpetually contested. This debate has been going strong for almost two years; is it any wonder that issues of slightly graver import—climate change, the theory of evolution, President Obama’s citizenship—are usually 5,000 percent overdebated?

Via The Morning News.

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