Weird Universe

March 30, 2009

The Westermarck Effect

The Westermarck Effect is a psychological phenomena named after Finnish anthropologist Edvard Westermarck. The effect is that (according to
Wikipedia): "when two people live in close domestic proximity during the first few years in the life of either one, both are desensitized to later close sexual attraction." Which is why most people don't get the hots for their sibling.

However, if siblings don't grow up together and only meet for the first time later in life, they may be intensely sexually attracted to each other. This is known as genetic sexual attraction, or GSA. Again, from Wikipedia:

Several factors may contribute to GSA. People commonly rank faces similar to their own as more attractive, trustworthy, etc. than average... Shared interests and personality traits are commonly considered desirable in a mate... In cases of parent-child attraction, the parent may recognize traits of their sometime mate in the child. Such reunions typically produce complex emotions in all involved.

Finally, there is the phenomena known as the Westermarck Trap, which occurs when two people who have grown up together (and thus are sexually desensitized to each other) are expected to marry each other, because of an arranged marriage. According to one theory, this is what the novel Frankenstein depicts:

Students of the Westermarck effect may be interested to know that this trap is depicted in the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, in which Victor Frankenstein is expected to marry a cousin reared with him. Instead, he creates a monster that persecutes him and murders his prospective bride before the marriage can be consummated. It is suggested that the plot owes something to Mary Shelley's own experience of the Westermarck effect, following a childhood in which she was reared with a stepbrother. Her own personal solution was not to create a monster but to elope with a married man (Percy Bysshe Shelley) at the age of 16.
Posted By: Alex | Date: Mon Mar 30, 2009 | Comments (8)
Category: Literature, Books, Sexuality, Psychology

The Talented Amy Gordon

On her resume, cabaret comedienne Amy Gordon lists her Special Skills as: Rollerskate dancing (disco, tap), Ukulele, Swing Dance, Tango, Stilts, Slackwire, Rolling Globe, Yoga, Prat/Stairfalls, Hat-tricks, Juggling (pass clubs, knives, fire), rubber face/body, dialects, Dutch/French languages, Pyrotechnic Shooter.

Her acts include doing a Flamenco dance on rollerskates, singing "Taint No Sin" accompanied in harmony by skulls she wears as a bra, as well as playing "America the Beautiful" in three part harmony on kazoos from three different orifices. The latter act you can see below.

Posted By: Alex | Date: Mon Mar 30, 2009 | Comments (12)
Category: Human Marvels, Music, Patriotism, Theater and Stage, Performance Art

March 29, 2009

The Leader of the Laundromat

Posted By: Paul | Date: Sun Mar 29, 2009 | Comments (3)
Category: Music, 1960's, Parody

Premium Flying Disc

I've created a new category for Overpriced Merchandise, since it's been a recurring theme at WU for a while.

What we have here is not just a frisbee, it's a "premium leather flying disc" that has felt lining for "finger comfort." Plus, it comes in an "array of hues." It's yours for only $305.
Posted By: Alex | Date: Sun Mar 29, 2009 | Comments (5)
Category: Overpriced Merchandise, Sports

March 28, 2009

The Chipettes

How did I never know till now that Alvin & the Chipmunks had female analogues in The Chipettes? Here, they sing one of my favorite songs--and I don't half mind their rendition!

Posted By: Paul | Date: Sat Mar 28, 2009 | Comments (9)
Category: Animals, Music, Cartoons, 1980's

The School For Vampyres

Apparently Vampyres have to go to school, just like everybody else. (I don't know if Vampyres are different than Vampires, or if it's just a more pretentious spelling of the same.) I think a degree from this school would be a great addition to my resume:

It is our desire that our School for Vampyres address the Vampyre at all levels, and that our teachings have a practical application in the world. Hence, all of these are steps towards the formation of a more compleat Setian, a more compleat Vampyre...
There will be those who first learn more about the Arkte Element here, who then Become Warriors. There will be others who first learn of the MetaMind Element here, and who will then specialize in it...
Applicants will be considered for admission to the Order by an existing Master of the Order (preferably), or by a III ° + member of the Order at large, or by one of the Grand Masters themselves. In most cases, if a Master of the Order deems a Setian is appropriate for the Order, that Setian's membership will almost always be guaranteed. In all cases, however, the decision to admit a Setian will be at the sole discretion of one or both Co-Grand Masters.
Posted By: Alex | Date: Sat Mar 28, 2009 | Comments (18)
Category: Paranormal, School

March 27, 2009

[News] Even More Things to Worry About Today

It had to happen sooner or later so might as well have been in Heilbronn, Germany: Police there have a 15-year open case on a female serial killer whose DNA has been found at 40 crime scenes in southern Germany and Austria, but are just now learning that maybe the matching DNA came from the cotton buds used to swab the crime scenes, inadvertently contaminated at the factory by a single female packager. BBC News

I think we're about ready to call the "motorist stuck on railroad tracks" predominately a senior-citizen problem. This Newark, Del., woman's age is not given, but inference is easy on the brain, and it takes a special person to mistake "the tracks" for the street you're supposed to turn onto. WPVI-TV (Philadelphia)

D'Oh! When a Hemphill, Pa., gas station customer complained about the price of cigarettes, it ticked off the clerk, who reached in his pocket and slapped down $60 to bet the guy he couldn't find a lower price anywhere . . whereupon the customer grabbed the cash and fled. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

And a little good news to ease you into the weekend: No virgins for the suicide bomber in Helmand in southern Afghanistan, who was saying good-bye to his colleagues as he set out on his mission, and his vest accidentally exploded, killing him and six other jihadis. Reuters

Your Daily Jury Duty
["In America, a person is presumed innocent until the mug shot is released"]
R. Lavern Davison, 40, Kelseyville, Calif., charged with convincing a 13-yr-old girl in Centerville, Utah, to hop on a bus and come see him. (She assumed he was a World of Warcraft pal; he wanted you-know-what.) The crime's ugly, but we must be fair and observe Davison on the perp walk before we judge him. KUTV (Salt Lake City)

Today's Newsrangers: Warren Brown, Kathryn Wood, Pete Randall, Karl Olson, Emory Kimbrough, Jerry Whittle
Posted By: Chuck | Date: Fri Mar 27, 2009 | Comments (14)

Why Tinfoil Hats Don’t Work

You might have seen the newspaper reports last fall about this experiment. Here's how it was done.

MIT tinfoil hat experiment
Posted By: Paul | Date: Fri Mar 27, 2009 | Comments (6)
Category: Eccentrics, Science, Experiments, Psychology, Technology

[News[ Things to Worry About Today

A judge in Edwardsville, Ill., ruled that Charles Douglas was using his right to free (though creepy) speech when he asked parents in a city park if he could go tickle their little urchins (because he is a "Tickle Monster"). Associated Press via WBBM-TV (Chicago)

The headmaster of the anciently prestigious Boston Latin High School felt it necessary to issue a public denial . . no vampires in the school, no one has been bitten. WCVB-TV (Boston)

Parallel Universe: Apparently you've had your choice the last few days in Oakland, Calif. You could attend the memorial services honoring the four cops gunned down Saturday by Lovelle Mixon, or you could attend the memorial service honoring Lovelle Mixon. Associated Press via KOVR-TV (Sacramento)

Update: District of Columbia Councilman Marion Barry's phobia about filing tax returns has put him at least $277k behind to the federal gov't, plus unspecified amounts to the D.C. gov't, and the U.S. Attorney wants to send Barry and his brand-new kidney to prison because he's twice violated his probation by failing to file. Washington Post

Your Daily Loser
Catch me once on camera stealing stuff out of a police bait car: shame on me. Let me go and then catch me again on camera stealing stuff out of another police bait car: well, shame, shame, double shame, everybody knows my name: Dean Hancock, 29, Bristol, England Daily Telegraph [LINK CORRECTED]

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
You wouldn't expect to find Elvis Crespo in this space, but the 37-yr-old Grammy-winning Puerto Rican singer was the subject of an airline passenger complaint that he was openly diddling himself on a flight into Miami yesterday. Associated Press via Houston Chronicle

Posted By: Chuck | Date: Fri Mar 27, 2009 | Comments (7)

March 26, 2009

[News] The Trolls of Biscayne Bay

Like dozens of hyperventilating jurisdictions nationwide, Florida's Miami-Dade County has restrictions on where its convicted sex offenders can live—even the ones who have long finished their sentences. And it happens that the F State's most populous county officially has only one spot that is far enough away from places where our little buttercups play: the run-up to the Interstate 195 bridge from Miami to Miami Beach (the Julia Tuttle Causeway). Literally. Judges routinely give released sex offenders the choice: hit the road out of the county, or make a tent. In fact, there's a fella named Juan Carlos Martin who's been there so long that he showed a reporter his Florida driver's license with his address as "Julia Tuttle Causeway Bridge." This week, though, the more-or-less population of 52 men welcomed its first sex-offendress, the 43-yr-old Voncel Johnson, and so far, her campmates are protecting her, rather than harassing her. Miami Herald

Your Daily Loser
Craig Aylesworth, 51, Bithlo, Fla. (east of Orlando), feuding with his neighbor in a mobile home park, tossed a Molotov cocktail at his trailer but is now homeless, for failing to focus on the concept of "wind." Central Florida News 13

Today's Newsrangers: Gil Nelson, Mark Neunder, Scott Langill, Steve Miller, Stephen Taylor
Posted By: Chuck | Date: Thu Mar 26, 2009 | Comments (13)
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All original content in posts is Copyright © 2008 by the author of the post, either Alex Boese ("Alex"), Paul Di Filippo ("Paul"), or Chuck Shepherd ("Chuck"). All rights reserved. The banner illustration at the top of this page is Copyright © 2008 by Rick Altergott.