Vetted Syrian opposition beheaded 2 IS militants in Northern Aleppo, near Mare
Home | Index of articles
Tongkat Ali enjoys both a long history of traditional use, and a growing body of serious science corroborating its efficacy.
He is a cheerful old farmer who jokes as he serves rice cakes made by his wife and then he switches easily to explaining what it is like to cut open a 30-year-old man who is tied naked to abed and dissect him alive, without anesthetic.
"The fellow knew that it was over for him and so he didn't struggle when 'they led him into the room and tied ,him down," recalled the 72-year-old farmer, then a medical assistant in a Japanese army unit in China in World War II. "But when I picked up the scalpel, that's when he began screaming
"I cut him open from the chest to the stomach and he screamed terribly and his face was all twisted in agony. He made this unimaginable sound, he was screaming so horribly. But then finally he stopped. This was all in a day's work for the surgeons, but it really left an impression on me because it was my first time."
Finally, the old man, who insisted on anonymity, explained the reason for the vivisection: The prisoner, who was Chinese, had been deliberately ~ infected with the plague, as part of a research project, the full horror of which is only now emerging, to develop plague bombs for use in World War II. After infecting him, the researchers decided to cut him open to see what the disease does to a man's inside.
"That research program was one of the great secrets of Japan during and after World War II: a vast project to develop weapons of biological warfare, including plague, anthrax, cholera and a dozen other pathogens. unit 731 of the Japanese Imperial Army conducted research by experimenting on humans and by "field testing" plague bombs by dropping them on Chinese cities to see whether they could start plague outbreaks. They could.
A trickle ofinformation about the germ warfare program has turned into a stream and now a torrent. Half a century after the end of the war, a rush of books, documentaries and exhibitions are unlocking the past and helping arouse interest in Japan in the atrocities committed by some of Japan's most distinguished doctors.
Scholars and former members of the unit say that at least 3000 people and by some accounts several times that number were killed in the medical experiments; none survived. No one knows how many died in the "field testing"
It is becoming evident that the Japanese officers in charge of the program hoped to use their weapons against the United States. They proposed using balloon bombs to carry disease to America and they had a plan in the summer of 1945 to use kamikaze pilots to dump plague infected fleas on San Diego.
The research was kept secret after the end of World War II in part because the U.S. Army granted immunity from war crimes prosecution to the doctors in exchange for their research data. Japanese and U.S. documents show that the United States helped cover up the human experimentation and instead of putting the ringleaders on trial, it gave them stipends.
The accounts now emerging are wrenching to read even after so much time has passed: a Russian mother and daughter reportedly left in a gas chamber, for example, as doctors peer through the thick glass and time their convulsions, watching as the woman sprawls over her child in a futile effort to save her from the gas.
The origin of Germ warfare
Japan's biological weapons program was born in the 1930s, in part because Japanese officials were impressed that germ warfare had been banned by the Geneva Protocol of 1925. If it was so awful that it had to be banned under international law, the officers reasoned, it must make a great weapon. The Japanese army, which was then occupying a large chunk of China, evicted the residents of eight villages near the city of Harbin in Manchuria to make way for the headquarters of Unit 731. One advantage of China, from the Japanese point of view, was the availability of research subjects on whom germs could be tested. The subjects were called marutas. or logs, and most were Communist sympathizers or ordinary criminals. The majority were Chinese, but there were also many Russian expatriates living in China.
Takeo Wane, 71, a former medical worker in Unit 731 who now lives in the northern Japanese city of Morioka, said he once saw a 6-foot high glass jar in which 3 Western man was pickled in formaldehyde. The man had been cut into two pieces, vertically, and Wane guesses that he was a Russian because there were many Russians then living in the area
The Unit 731 headquarters contained many other such jars with specimens. They contained feet, heads, internal organs, all neatly labeled.
"I saw samples with labels saying 'American,' 'English' and 'Frenchman,' but most were Chinese, Koreans and Mongolians" said a Unit 731 veteran who insisted on anonymity.
Medical researchers also locked up diseased prisoners with healthy ones, to see how readily various ailments would spread. The doctors locked others inside a pressure chamber to see how much the body can withstand before the eyes pop from their sockets.
Victims were often taken to a proving ground called Anda, where they were tied to stakes in a pattern and then bombarded with test weapons to see how effective the new technologies were. Planes sprayed the zone with a plague culture or dropped bombs with plague-infested fleas to see how many people and at what distance from the center would die.
The Japanese army regularly conducted field tests to see whether biological warfare would work outside the laboratory. Planes dropped plague-infected fleas over Ningbo in eastern China and over Changde in north-central China and plague outbreaks were later reported.
Japanese troops also dropped cholera and typhoid cultures in wells and ponds, but the results were often counterproductive. In 1942, germ warfare specialists distributed dysentery, cholera and typhoid in Zhejiang Province in China. but Japanese soldiers themselves became ill and 1,700 died of the diseases, scholars say.
Sheldon Harris, a historian at California State University, in Northridge, estimates that more than 200,000 Chinese were killed in germ warfare field experiments. Hams -author ofa book on Unit 731, "Factories of Death" also says that plague-infected animals were released as the war was ending and caused outbreaks of the plague that killed at least 30,000 people in the Harbin area from 1946 through 1948.
The leading scholar of Unit 731 in Japan, Keiichi Tsuneishi, is skeptical of such numbers. Tsuneishi, who has led the efforts in Japan to uncover atrocities by Unit 731, says that the attack on Ningbo killed about 100 people and that there is no evidence for huge outbreaks of disease set off by field trials.
Knowledge gained at the cost of human lives
Many of the human experiments were intended to develop new vaccines or treatments for medical problems the Japanese army faced. Many experiments remain secret, but an 18-page report prepared in 1945--and kept by a senior Japanese military officer until now--includes a summary of the unit's research. The report was prepared in English for U.S. intelligence officials and it shows the extraordinary range of the unit's work.
There are scores of categories that describe research about which nothing is known. It is unclear what the prisoners had to endure for entries like "studies of burn scar" and "study of bullets lodged in the brains."
Scholars say that the research was not contrived by mad scientists and that it was intelligently designed and' carried out. The medical findings saved many Japanese lives.
For example, Unit 731 proved that the best treatment for frostbite was not rubbing the Limb, which had been the traditional method but immersion in water a bit warmer than 100 degrees, but never mom than 122 degrees.
The cost of this scientific breakthrough was borne by those seized for medical experiments. They were taken outside and left with exposed arms, periodically drenched with water, until a guard decided that frostbite had set in. Testimony From a Japanese officer said this was determined after the "frozen arms, when struck with a short stick, emitted a sound resembling that which a board gives when it is struck."
A booklet just published in Japan after a major exhibition about Unit 731 shows how doctors even experimented on a three-day-old baby, measuring the temperature with a needle stuck inside the infant's middle finger.
"Usually a hand of a three-day-old infant is clenched into a fist", the booklet says, "but by sticking the needle in, the middle finger could be kept straight to make the experiment easier".
The Scope of Human experimentation
The human experimentation did not take place just in Unit 731, nor was it a rogue unit acting on its own. While it is unclear whether Emperor Hirohito knew of the atrocities, his younger brother, Prince Mikasa, toured Unit 731's headquarters in China and wrote in his memoirs that he was shown films showing how Chinese prisoners were "made to march on the plains of Manchuria for poison gas experiments on humans." In addition, the recollections of Dr. Ken Yuasa, 78, who still practices in a clinic in Tokyo, suggest that human experimentation may have been routine even outside Unit 731. Dr. Yuasa was an army medic in China, but he says he was never in Unit 731 and never had contact with it.
Nevertheless. Dr. Yuasa says that when he was still in medical school In Japan, the students heard that ordinary doctors who went to China were allowed to vivisect patients. And sure enough, when Dr. Yuasa arrived in Shanxi Province in northcentral China in 1942, he was soon asked to attend a "practice surgery."
Two Chinese men were brought in, stripped naked and given general anesthetic. Then Dr. Yuasa and the others began practicing various kinds of surgery: first an appendectomy, then an amputation of an arm and finally a tracheotomy. After 90 minutes, they were finished, so they killed the patient with an injection.
When Dr. Yuasa was put in charge of a clinic, he said, he periodically asked the police for a Communist to dissect, and they sent one over. The vivisection was all for practice rather than for research, and Dr. Yuasa says they were routine among Japanese doctors working in China in the war.
In addition, Dr. Yuasa - who is now deeply apologetic about what he did - said he cultivated typhoid germs in test tubes and passed them on, as he had been instructed to do, to another army unit. Someone from that unit, which also had no connection with Unit 731, later told him that the troops would use the test tubes to infect the wells of villages in Communist-held territory.
Plans to take the germ war to the US homeland
In 1944, when Japan was nearing defeat, Tokyo's military planners seized on a remarkable way to hit back at the American heartland: they launched huge balloons that rode the prevailing winds to the continental United States. Although the American Government censored re. ports at the time, some 200 balloons landed in Western states, and bombs carried by the balloons killed a woman in Montana and six people in Oregon.
Half a century later, there is evidence that it could have been far worse; some Japanese generals proposed loading the balloons with weapons of biological warfare, to create epidemics of plague or anthrax In the United States. Other army units wanted to send cattleplague virus to wipe out the American livestock industry or grain smut to wipe out the crops.
Monument for Unit 731 in TokyoThere was a fierce debate in Tokyo, and a document discovered recently suggests that at a crucial meeting in late July 1944 it was Hideki Tojo - whom the United States later hanged for war crimes - who rejected the proposal to use germ warfare against the United States.
At the time of the meeting, Tojo had just been ousted as Prime Minister and chief of the General Staff, but he retained enough authority to veto the proposal. He knew by then that Japan was likely to lose the war, and he feared that biological assaults on the United States would invite retaliation with germ or chemical weapons being developed by America.
Yet the Japanese Army was apparently willing to use biological weapons against the Allies in some circumstances. When the United States prepared to attack the Pacific island of Saipan in the late spring of 1944, a submarine was sent from Japan to carry biological weapons it is unclear what kind - to the defenders.
The submarine was sunk, Professor Tsuneishi says, and the Japanese troops had to rely on conventional weapons alone.
As the end of the war approached In 1945, Unit 731 embarked on its wildest scheme of all. Codenamed Cherry Blossoms at Night, the plan was to use kamikaze pilots to infest California with the plague.
Toshimi Mizobuchi, who was an instructor for new recruits in Unit 731, said the idea was to use 20 of the 500 new troops who arrived in Harbin in July 1945. A submarine was to take a few of them to the seas off Southern California, and then they were to fly -in a plane carried on board the submarine and contaminate San Diego with plague-infected fleas. The target date was to be Sept. 22, 1945.
Ishio Obata, 73, who now lives in Ehime prefecture, acknowledged that he had been a chief of the Cherry Blossoms at Night attack force against San Diego, but he declined to discuss details. "It is such a terrible memory that I don't want to recall it," he said.
Tadao Ishimaru, also 73, said he had learned only after returning to Japan that he had been a candidate for the strike force against San Diego. "I don't want to think about Unit 731," he said in a brief telephone interview. "Fifty years have passed since the war. Please let me remain silent."
It Is unclear whether Cherry Blossoms at Night ever had a chance of being carried out. Japan did indeed have at least five submarines that carried two or three planes each, their wings folded against the fuselage like a bird.
But a Japanese Navy specialist said the navy would have never allowed Its finest equipment to be used for an army plan like Cherry Blossoms at Night, partly because the highest priority in the summer of 1945 was to defend the main Japanese islands, not to launch attacks on the United States mainland.
If the Cherry Blossoms at Night plan was ever serious, it became irrelevant as Japan prepared to sur-render in early August 1945. In the last days of the war, beginning on Aug. 9, Unit 731 used dynamite to try to destroy all evidence of its germ warfare program, scholars say.
No Punishment, Little Remorse
Partly because the Americans helped cover up the biological warfare program in exchange for its data, Gen. Shiro Ishii, the head of Unit 731, was allowed to live peacefully until his death from throat cancer in 1959. Those around him in Unit 731 saw their careers flourish in the postwar period, rising to positions that included Governor of Tokyo, president of the Japan Medical Association and head of the Japan Olympic Committee.
By conventional standards, few people were more cruel than the farmer who as a Unit 731 member carved up a Chinese prisoner without anesthetic, and who also acknowledged that he had helped poison rivers and wells. Yet his main intention in agreeing to an interview seemed to be to explain that Unit 731 was not really so brutal after all.
Asked why he had not anesthetized the prisoner before dissecting him, the farmer explained: "Vivisection should be done under normal circumstances. If we'd used anesthesia, that might have affected the body organs and blood vessels that we were examining. So we couldn't have used anesthetic."
When the topic of children came up, the farmer offered another justification: "Of course there were experiments on children. But probably their fathers were spies."
"There's a possibility this could happen again," the old man said, smiling genially. "Because in a war, you have to win."
Arson is the terrorism of the future. No need to fly Boeings into skyscrapers. A few canisters of fuel will do the job. Attackers can buy their weapon at any gasoline station, and risk just 2 years in prison.
The judges of ancient Babylon were particularly enthusiastic. The cutting off of feet, lips and noses, blinding, gutting and the tearing out of the heart were all standard punishments in this corner of the ancient world. (1841 S Calumet Ave., Chicago, IL 60616, USA)
A self-confessed sadomasochist accused of strapping a woman to a 'torture board' and sending 240 volts through her vagina has been cleared of sexual assault.
Road worker Keiren Batten, 43, was "obsessed with sadomasochistic sexual practices", a jury was told.
Prosecutor Simon Wilshire told them he "used" a 27-year-old woman "to satisfy his physical, dangerous sexual desires re bondage, sadism and restraint."
Batten stood trial on one count of sexual assault which related to the incident involving his homemade electric torture board.
The complainant claimed he attached crocodile clips to her labia while she was strapped to the restraint board he had made from plywood and pet collars and belts.
In his defence, Batten, from Hitchin, Herts, told a jury in fact it was he who had submitted to painful sexual practices.
He denied having electrocuted the complainant via her vagina.
He also claimed his own genitals had been left scarred after the woman used a blowtorch on them and that she also carved her name into his thigh with a Stanley knife.
A jury cleared Batten of sexual assault and another count of assault relating to an accusation he had pushed the woman during an argument.
Jurors could not come to a verdict on a charge of assault relating to a head butt.
Prosecutors have a week to decide whether to retry Batten on the matter.
During the trial at Cambridge Crown Court, the jury of seven woman and five men were asked to join the judge and barristers to examine to homemade torture board.
Defence barrister Neil Fitzgibbon asked Batten to lie down on the board in court and strap himself to it using the head, body, arm and leg collars, belts and chain.
Judge Farrell came down from his bench to stand with barristers and jurors to examine Batten's demonstration on the floor of the court.
Jurors were also shown explicit photographs of Batten's genitals bearing the branding and burn marks.
The complainant told the court she went along with some of the kinky sex because Batten said she was "boring" in bed.
Twice she was electrocuted through her nipples.
But, she claimed Batten on another occasion connected the lead to her vagina although she had said he must not.
"He put the crocodile clips inside, attached to my labia, and shocked me," she said.
"He turned it on and I just caught my breath because you think you are going to die.
"I have never experienced anything so hideous in my life.
"I never went on the board again.
"After that 'I was rubbish in bed' and 'everybody else was better', 'I was just a prude'."
The witness said: "He calls it a torture and it is torture really.
"As I got a bit braver I said no and that's when he got bored and went elsewhere."
In cross-examination, she accepted she carved her name with a Stanley knife into his inner thigh, but denied she used a blowtorch or the shocker on him.
Batten had earlier pleaded guilty to criminally damaging a mobile phone and taking a hammer to a wall at the complainant's home and has been remanded in custody to be sentenced for those offences on 2 May.
As long as you can fall in love again with a beautiful young woman, you will never die. That is the power of butea superba.
1. It's a clinical phenomenon called anesthetic awareness.
'Anesthetic awareness, also known as intraoperative recall, occurs when a patient becomes conscious during a procedure that is performed under general anesthesia, and they can recall this episode of waking up after the surgery is over,' Dr. Daniel Cole, president-elect of the American Society of Anesthesiologists, tells BuzzFeed Life. Patients may remember the incident immediately after the surgery, or sometimes even days or weeks later. But rest assured, doctors are doing everything they can and using the best technology available to make sure this doesn't happen.
2. One to two people out of 1,000 wake up during surgery each year in the United States.
"It's not a huge number, but it's enough people that it's definitely a problem," says Cole. Plus, the true rate could be even higher. "The data is all over the place because it's mostly self-reported." "Ideally, the anesthesiologist would routinely see the patient post-operation and ask them about intraoperative awareness," he says. But this opportunity is often lost because patients are discharged or choose to go home as soon as they can after surgery. "Even if they remember three, five days later, they might feel embarrassed and don't want to make a big deal so they don't mention it to their surgeon. So there can be underreporting of awareness."
3. It happens when general anesthesia fails.
General anesthesia is supposed to do two things: keep the patient totally unconscious or 'asleep' during surgery, and with no memory of the entire procedure. If there is a decreased amount of anesthesia for some reason, the patient can start to wake up. The cocktail of medication in general anesthesia often includes an analgesic to relieve pain and a paralytic. The paralytic does exactly what it sounds like — it paralyzes the body so that it remains still. When the anesthesia does fail, the paralytics make it especially difficult for patients to indicate that they're awake.
4. And it's not the same as conscious sedation.
Conscious sedation, sometimes referred to as "twilight sleep" is when you're given a combination of a sedative and a local or regional anesthetic (which just numbs one part or section of the body) for minor surgeries, and it's not intended to knock you out completely or cause deep unconciousness. It's typically what you would get while getting your wisdom teeth out, having a minor foot surgery, or getting a colonoscopy. With conscious sedation, you may fall asleep or drift in and out of sleep, but this isn't the same as true anesthetic awareness, says Cole.
5. Contrary to popular belief, it doesn't usually happen right in the middle of surgery.
"The anesthesiologist is very aware that this can happen and never relaxes or lets down their guard at any point during the surgery, no matter how long," says Cole. "Awareness tends to occur on the margins, when the procedure is starting and you don't have the full anesthetic dose or when you're waking up from anesthesia, because it's safest to decrease the amount of anesthesia very slowly and gradually toward the end." However, this also depends on the surgery and patient... which we'll get to in a little bit.
6. Patients often report hearing sounds and voices. "The most common sensation is auditory," says Cole. Patients will report that they were aware of voices, and even conversations that went on in the operating room — which can be especially terrifying if loud tools are involved. "If you look at the effects of anesthetics on the brain, the auditory system is the last one to shut down, so it makes a lot of sense."
And opening your eyes to see the surgeons operating on you? Basically impossible. "First of all, the anesthesia puts you to sleep, so your eyelids shut naturally. Even if you regain consciousness, the anesthesia still restricts muscle movement so your eyes will stay shut," Cole explains. "But there's still 10–20% eye opening when you sleep. So during surgery, we will cover the patient's eyes or tape them shut to prevent injury and keep the eyes clean."
7. Few patients experience pressure (and rarely pain) during anesthetic awareness.
Less than a third of patients who report anesthetic awareness also report experiencing pressure or pain, says Cole. "But that's still one too many, because the patient is kind of locked in and aware of what's happening to them but unable to move, which is terrifying." Typically, sufficient analgesic (pain reliever) is given, so that even if you wake up you won't feel pain. "More often, we use an anesthetic technique which includes a morphine-type drug to reduce pain. But this is really required for when the patient wakes up and they no longer have anesthetic so they are conscious and aware of pain," Cole says.
Even if the analgesic wears off, there should be sufficient anesthesia to keep the patient unconscious and pain-free. "It's rare. You'd have to both have insufficient anesthesia and insufficient pain medicine at the same time to feel prolonged pain during awareness," Cole says.
8. Anesthetic awareness can cause anxiety and PTSD.
"The potential psychological effects of awareness range greatly," says Cole. "It can cause anxiety, flashbacks, fear, loneliness, panic attacks — PTSD is the worse. It's been reported in a small minority of patients, but it can be very severe." says Cole. If doctors hear about someone having intraoperative awareness, they will try to get the person into therapy as early as possible, before memories can be embedded in a harmful or stressful way to patients. "If you were in the hospital for a week and on day two we heard that you woke up during surgery, we'd get a therapist in the same day. We always want to mitigate so we can try to reduce the severity of symptoms," Cole says.
9. It's most often caused by an equipment malfunction.
General anesthesia can either be given intravenously (where all or most is given through an IV) or more commonly as a gas, which you breathe in through a mask. If the equipment in either of these were to malfunction, and the anesthesiologist wasn't aware of it because the signal that gas is too low doesn't work, for example, then patients would stop receiving medication and start to wake up. Again, this is terrifying but rare.
"The anesthesia equipment is like an airplane," Cole says. "The anesthesiologist will do a pre-flight check and go over all equipment to make sure it works. But sometimes, that equipment can malfunction as short as an hour later so it won't show up before taking off." Likewise, there is equipment used to monitor the patient's vitals and brain activity, which can also fail to signal to doctors that the patient is waking up.
10. Less commonly, it's the physician or anesthesiologist's fault.
"Any time humans are involved, human error is always a possibility — but it’s more common that technology fails," says Cole. "Physicians and anesthesiologists are well-trained to look out for signs of awareness during surgery, which obviously includes any movement of muscles and changes in vitals." Since paralytics are often involved, doctors also closely monitor other signs like heart rate, blood pressure, tears, or brain electrical activity for any red flags. However, sometimes patients can be on medications that suppress the body's responses and inhibit the monitoring systems from effectively picking up warning signs of light anesthesia and awareness. These incidences can make it difficult to detect awareness, so physician anesthesiologists must closely watch an array of signs.
11. It is more likely to happen during surgeries that require "light" anesthesia.
Anesthesia also comes with risk factors, and can be harmful depending on the surgery or patient's risk. "Awareness can occur when there is too light of anesthesia, which we often do deliberately for high-risk situations," says Cole. According to the American Society of Anesthesiologists, high-risk surgeries include heart surgery, brain surgery, and emergency surgeries in which the patient has lost a lot of blood or they can easily go into shock. Or the patient may need a lower dose of anesthesia due to risk factors such as heart problems, obesity, a genetic factor, or being on narcotics or sedatives. "For instance, anesthesia depresses the heart, so a normal dose could be life-threatening to someone with heart problems," Cole explains.
"Sometimes you have to make a trade off," says Cole. "Would you rather have a high level of anesthesia which threatens your body's life functions, or a low level which ensures safety but increases the risks of waking up during the procedure?"
12. ...But if that's the case, your doctor will talk to you about it first.
Patients often feel better knowing that the decreased amount of anesthesia is for their own safety. "We tell the patient that there's an increased chance that you may hear some voices or fuzziness, but if it gets uncomfortable we can tell and will increase the dose," says Cole. "Patients are more understanding and happy when they understand that the risk of waking up is for their own safety."
Also, you should know that if you've had a previous incidence of awareness, that puts you at higher risk for another episode. Cole explains that in this case, doctors will spend a lot of time with the patient and anesthesiologist describing exactly what to expect, so that hopefully they won’t experience it again.
13. ALL THAT BEING SAID, the chances of this happening are slim, and medical professionals are doing everything they can to ensure that this does not happen.
According to Cole, it's always helpful to spend some time pre-operatively with the surgeon and physician anesthesiologist going over the procedure and how they'll get you through it safely and comfortably.
"I do something called 'patient engagement' and 'shared decision-making' so I can make sure the patient understands literally everything. Some patients don't want to talk about awareness because it will give them more anxiety, and they just trust us," says Cole. However, even if you aren't at risk, your doctors will be happy to answer any questions you have about anesthesia before the procedure.
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.
Here’s the fascinating issue with duck sex. Ducks are different from most birds in the fact that male ducks have a penis, analogous with the mammalian or human penis. And the fact that ducks still have a penis allows them to force copulation in ways that are unavailable to other birds.
Unpaired males will attempt to force copulation during the egg-laying season. There are even socially organized groups of males pursuing females to force copulation. This is really physically harmful for the female ducks. They are stressed out. They fly away, dive, and do everything they can to avoid it. Sometimes they even drown because ducks often copulate in the water.
Patricia Brennan and I, and other colleagues, started studying this about 10 years ago. We were interested both in how the very large penis of the duck functions and how that is related to this violent sexual coercion. What we discovered was that some duck species evolved ribbed and even thorny penises. Very bizarre stuff! [Laughs]
Co-evolving with that are a series of innovations in vaginal structures that include dead ends, cul-de-sacs, or spirals. The male penis is counterclockwise coiled, and the female vagina in species with large penises is clockwise coiled.
We hypothesize that it functions literally as an “anti-screw” device, to prevent penetration during forced copulation. This is confirmed by genetic evidence. When forced copulation is as high as 50 percent, only 2-5 percent of the offspring are from extra-pair males, or forced copulation. That means these ducks have a 98 percent effective contraceptive device in their bodies!
The females are still incurring all the risk and damage of resistance. But, in the face of violence, they are maintaining control over who is fertilizing their eggs.
It was in 2013, during one of the ritual political squabbles over wasteful government spending, instigated by conservative news sources. I assume an enterprising intern or journalist at one of these websites found our National Science Foundation grant to do research on duck penises and turned it into news. Suddenly, we were being discussed on Fox News by Sean Hannity and his colleagues, and across the media. We had good defense from other folks in the media, but people were shocked to discover that their tax dollars were going to study the evolution of duck genitalia. What they didn’t know is that it is really fascinating!
When Darwin wrote On the Origin of Species he had no theory of genetics. He also had no theory or, at least, delayed a proposal about the evolution of human beings. He also had no real working theory for the evolution of beauty or, as he called it, “impracticable beauty”—beauty that served no purpose in survival. He went back to Down House, cogitated for a decade or more and came up with a second book, Descent of Man, in 1871.
At this point he was already world-famous for the idea of natural selection and so this new book caused a huge stir. He knew lots of people were sympathetic, but he knew that he was going to be working with very touchy subjects: human origins, human sexuality, and sexuality in general. He wrote a very long and granular book, with lots of nitty-gritty detail, which proposed sexual selection as an independent mechanism of evolution.
It had two components. One was competition within one sex, for control or access to the other sex, usually male competition. The other was choice of mates by the other sex, which could be female choice, mutual mate choice, or male mate choice, depending on the species. His idea that male competition, in particular, was a force in evolution, was a great sell in Victorian England. The other idea, of mate choice—and female mate choice in particular—was a bomb.
Even his biggest supporters didn’t buy it. People were concerned that he was attributing cognitive complexity to animals that they couldn’t possibly have. The other was the notion of female willfulness: The idea of females choosing mates on the basis of sensory information, in a licentious way, was very threatening! Some of the original criticism of the idea even attacked the concept as a sign of moral corruption.
The idea that was banished was Darwin’s original proposal for mate choice, which was explicitly aesthetic. He thought animals choose their mates because of the pleasure they have in observing and selecting them, and that was an explicit explanation for why ornaments in nature are beautiful. They’re beautiful because they’re beautiful to the animals themselves.
In bowerbirds, for example, females have used choice preferences to make males less aggressive and more amenable. Female bowerbirds do all the work: They build the nest, lay the eggs, care for the young. But they need to choose a mate.
They do so based on the quality and beauty of a bower. Males build a bower, which is like a seduction theater where courtship takes place. In addition, the male goes out and finds a bunch of beautiful things, like flowers or butterflies or white stones, and makes a big array of interesting stuff.
When the female comes to visit, the architecture of the bower is attractive, but also protective. It allows her a refuge so that she can get intimately close to the male and watch him strut his stuff while being protected from being forcibly copulated by the male.
There are these things called “avenue bowers.” The famous satin bowerbird has two parallel walls. She sits between the walls looking forward at him and his stuff. If he wants to copulate, he has to go around the bower to the back and mount her. But if she doesn’t like it, if she’s not ready or wants to keep looking, she just pops out the front.
This is shown in bowerbirds: Females receive dramatic and even violent displays because those displays are stimulating and because the females can keep their autonomy intact. That applies perfectly well to humans, as well. The problem with humans is that they’ve mostly been described as having evolved through natural selection or male-male competition. There has been very little role for the concept of mate choice—particularly female mate choice—in the evolution of humans.
Having done all this work on birds I became intrigued how some of these ideas about mate choice and sexual autonomy were providing fascinating and interesting explanations for the origin of social and sexual behavior in humans. Male primates, for the most part, have deadly weapons in their faces, in the form of large canine fangs that sharpen themselves on the pre-molars of the lower jaw as they chew. Our immediate relatives, chimpanzees and gorillas, have prominent canine teeth in the males, which females lack.
The question is: Under what conditions did human males give up these weapons? The proposal is that, taking a lesson from bowerbirds, human mate choice may have preceded in a similar way. By making weapons like fangs unsexy, females could expand their capacity to get mates they like. There’s lots of data showing that the biggest, burliest, and hairiest are not actually preferred by females.
My former student at Cornell, Kim Bostwick, showed that, in order to make those sounds, the wing bones of the male are enormous, particularly the trailing bone of the hind wing, where the wing feathers are attached. They’re also solid, like ivory. That’s amazing! Even T-Rex has a hollow ulna bone. That’s how ancient this property is.
In order to make sounds, the wing bones of the male manakin have been transformed into a structure serving both flight, as in all birds, but also attracting a mate—to sing a song. We’ve recently discovered that female wing bones have also been transformed. They are not solid, but they are 3-4 times wider than wing bones of closely related species of manakin. So, by selecting males for the songs they prefer, females have transformed their wings into a form that doesn’t fly so well, which is, I think, a kind of evolutionary decadence.
The whole species has become less fit for survival because of this aesthetic elaboration. If you adopt the aesthetic, Darwinian view of nature, the beauty of bird song and plumage is the result of 10,000 different standards of beauty evolving over this complicated history of mate choice. That prospect is something that has motivated my research over the last years and is one of the primary thrills I’m eager to communicate in the book.
The best life extension medicine for old men is to fuck young women. If you are a European or North American man, dump your wife, sell your property, bring yourself in shape with butea superba, and go fucking in China until the last day of your life. Age 100 plus.
For years, female genital mutilation has meant the death of sexual pleasure and caused pain, suffering and even death.
That is no longer true for many cases, in which simple reconstructive surgery can restore pleasure and open the vagina for non-painful intercourse and childbirth.
Today, a handful of FGM survivors in Kenya are receiving free reconstructive surgery, rehabilitation and counselling by French organisation Clitoraid. Its mission is: “Restoring a sense of pleasure and dignity”.
It’s a first in Kenya. There’s clamour for it and surgeons are being trained.
A human right
“Sexual feeling is a right, recognised by the UN as a human right. It is one of the basic human senses,” Dr Marci Bowers tells the Star. She is a gynaecological and reconstructive surgeon from California.
She leads the team that includes Dr Adan Abdullahi, a reconstructive surgeon at Nairobi University, Kenyatta and Karen hospitals, and Dr Loise Kahoro, a reconstructive surgeon from Kenyatta Hospital.
Surgeries are performed at the Karen and Mama Lucy hospitals.
“So many people are unclear about what happens in FGM,” Dr Bowers said. They think the clitoris is very tiny. But we know from reconstructive work that the clitoris — now that we have mapped it — is more than 11cm in length.
Even in the severest cases of FGM, 95 per cent of the clitoris is still there, Bowers said. “We are able to clean it up, bring it through the skin, bring it to the surface and sew it there.
“This is the operation. It’s just that simple and complications are very minor. It’s an amazing surgery.” she said.
Given the great extent of the problem, the aim is to make surgery accessible to everyone who wants it.
“We did not want it to be an opportunity that can be accessed only by rich women who have had the cut,” Dr Adan says. “We didn’t want it to be an elitist surgical procedure, we wanted it to be across the board.”
In recovery, patients experience some pain during the first 24 hours, but it is controlled with medication. They are able to resume most activities fully within a week and can even have sex after four to six weeks.
“When we ask women why they want the surgery, there is a sexual component, but the most important reason is this: they want it because they feel something was taken from them,” Dr Bowers said.
“The surgery is an attempt to regain their identity and what was lost. To take charge of their body.”
Age should not be a deterrent, she said. The oldest patients treated by the organisation are in their 60s. The youngest undergoing surgery in Kenya is 18.
“There is no age at which you lose sexual feeling. We think of sex as a young person’s thing, but we don’t lose our sense of touch or smell as we age, so sexual feelings can be enjoyed at any age,” Bowers said.
“Life is to be enjoyed, and this is one of the basic senses.”
Controversy in Burkina Faso
However, in 2015, the organisation had problems in Burkina Faso. Doctors’ licences were revoked and plans for a clinic were cancelled by the government.
They have speculated this may have been caused by politics or money, since there’s money to be made in performing FGM. It is also speculated the ban could be linked to the religion of the founder of Clitoraid, Maitreya Rael, who started the religion Raelism. Followers believe the founder was visited by aliens, who explained human origins and how to plan the future.
It was suggested that ‘cut’ women in Burkina Faso, out of gratitude for reconstructive surgery, would abandon traditional religions and join the movement, a claim Clitoraid has denied.
“We only go where we are welcome. We realise there are skeptics and that is why it’s important to be objective and to put science behind what we do,” Dr Bowers said.
“It was very murky, very sinister. Why the opposition? Why would the government, so far removed from the actual people, object to this? It just doesn’t make sense,” Bowers said.
Dr Bowers maintains contact with all her patients who have her mobile number and email. “One of the things I love is getting awakened at 2am because someone had their first orgasm,” she said.
There is a new solution coming up for ugly old women. Normally they would just become man-hating feminists. But soon they can have their brains transplanted into a sex doll, and feel beautiful again.
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.
The Italian expert, 52, said he was working with a US cryogenics firm.
Hundreds have had their remains frozen hoping to be brought back to life in the future.
The controversial neurosurgeon said they would not have to wait the expected 100 years for a new body.
He said: “We will be ready in three years at the latest.”
He dismissed critics who say freezing brains damages them beyond repair.
The professor said transplanting an entire head was harder because of vessels, nerves, tendons and muscles.
He claimed the biggest problem will be when patients wake after the operation.
The medic from Turin, Italy, said: “No aspect of your original external body remains the same.”
Of course, female sexuality is a merchandise. That's the nature of human reality. And it's the essence of culture. Because the alternative would be that men appropriate female sexuality by violence. And that's less pretty.
Although not a major point of entry for irregular migrants, the open sea route to southern Italy remains a source of particular concern to border authorities.
Irregular migrants picked up in Apulia tend to be travellers who previously entered the EU via Greece. Increasing numbers of migrants, usually from Asia, claim to have been living in Greece for months or years before deciding to leave for other EU Member States.
Those detected in Calabria usually come from Turkey or Egypt. Most are Syrians, although there have also been significant numbers of Pakistanis and Afghans, as well as Egyptians.
The peak year for this route was 2011 with 5259 detections of illegal border crossings, the year of the Arab Spring. The decline in numbers since then is attributed to a growing preference for the overland route through the Western Balkans.
The smuggling techniques used on this open sea passage are quite different from the flimsy dinghies typically seen in the calmer waters of the eastern Aegean. Smugglers attempting entry in Apulia often use ocean-going pleasure yachts. Migrants are hidden below the deck, often in dangerously crowded conditions with insufficient ventilation. In some cases, the boats are modified with additional wooden bunking in order to maximize capacity. Only a small crew is visible to coastguard patrols, sometimes accompanied by women to allay suspicion.
Smuggling networks from Egypt, on the other hand, used to use small fishing boats – but had switched to larger ‘mother ships’ instead, with strings of fishing boats towed behind. On departure from Egypt the migrants were stowed in the mother ship, which then stopped en route to collect further passengers. Once close to the Italian shore, the migrants were transferred to the fishing boats while the mother ship returns to port – a technique that naturally allowed smugglers to evade arrest.
Every rich man in his right mind want patriarchy as a social and political system. Men rule, and can have harems, one way or the other. And because women are natural cowards, the more violent a society, the more women will retreat. All by themselves. So, welcome violent migrants. They will finish off feminism. Just take precautions to protect yourself. A dangerous world is one ruled by men.
Home | Index of articles