Category:
Education

Weird Shorts - Boys and Girls

love
It’s an old excuse, whenever a man is caught eyeing-up another woman by his partner we’ll often claim that it’s not our fault, it’s just the way we’re wired. Well not according to neuroscientists at Gwinnett College in Georgia. Researchers there monitored the brain activity of 14 men while showing them pictures of women’s behinds taken before and after surgery designed to give them Beyonce like curves. The scans showed ‘reward areas’ of the men’s brains more commonly associated with drugs or alcohol lit up more in response to the redesigned rumps. In other words, we do it because we like it (Orange).

But if what most attracts men is a great set of lady bumps, what would top women’s list of desirable traits in their perfect man? That’s what online matchmakers UKDating wanted to know, so they analysed the responses of 83,000 lovelorn women to find the top ten most wanted male characteristics. And number one was… a salary over £50k ($75k). Bizarrely, being good looking came in at number 9, just above being 5’11” tall and five places below owning an Audi TT. But do girls really only like cars and money, or does this finding perhaps explain why these particular girls had to resort to a dating service in the first place (News://Lite)?

The economics of relationships also features in the new book from Karyn Langhorne Folan. In Don’t Bring Home A White Boy, Folan describes today’s black women as being stuck in “market failure”, with college educated black women outnumbering their male counterparts by 3 to 1. This severely restricts the women’s options unless they look outside their own race. “In this case, we are the commodity and the new market is men of other races,” states Foley, who is herself a Harvard-educated lawyer, “it’s Econ 101 for the single, educated black woman” (STL Today).

Mind you, women aren’t always a commodity, sometimes they’re the consumer. At least that’s what Cuban cigar maker Habanos is hoping. In an effort to boost sales in a market hit hard by anti-smoking legislation the world-over, Habanos have produced what they’re billing as the first Cuban cigar specifically for female smokers. Their new Julieta brand is smaller and milder in hopes of being more appealing to women, but still manages to keep that phallic edge to its image (Sky News).



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Posted By: Dumbfounded - Mon Mar 01, 2010 - Comments (5)
Category: Business, Education, Ethnic Groupings, Inebriation and Intoxicants, Sexuality, Stupid Criminals, Goofs and Screw-ups

A Ban on Valentine’s Day?

When I was in the first, second and third grade, Valentine's Day was a big deal. We brought old shoe boxes to school and decorated them with red construction paper and pink and white hearts. Then we went around the room and stuffed cheaply made, store bought Valentines featuring silly cartoon characters into all the boxes. We had to bring enough for every child in the class so that no one would feel left out. Then we'd have a party, with cupcakes and punch, and got to read all our Valentines. That was over twenty years ago and I remember those days with fondness. But apparently those days are over for future generations, at least in Somerset, England. Peter Turner, the headmaster at Ashcombe Primary School (students aged four to eleven), has banned Valentine's exchanges on campus and any cards found in school will be taken away. Why? As Mr. Turner explains, "We believe that such ideas should wait until children are mature enough emotionally and socially to understand the commitment involved in having or being a boyfriend or girlfriend." Of course opinions from the parents differ, from approval, to outrage. You can read more about the ban here.

Posted By: Nethie - Thu Feb 11, 2010 - Comments (8)
Category: Education, Holidays

Another Helping of Food Related Weirdness - 5

2009 marks the 20th anniversary of the first Wallace and Gromit film, A grand Day Out, which introduced the cheese-loving inventor and his more practical pooch to the world. So popular have these characters become that they are credited with saving the British cheese industry (Sky News), and perhaps even the whole UK economy (Telegraph). So the timing was probably a bit inopportune for the voice of Wallis, Peter Sallis, to admit that he never touches the stuff (Telegraph).

This year also marks the 20th anniversary of the coming down of the Berlin Wall, so what better way to celebrate than by building a new one, out of chocolate. Patrick Roger, a chocolatier from Paris France, decided to commemorate the historic reunification of East and West Germany by building a 15m long replica of the wall out of 900 kg of chocolate, complete with uncanny reproductions of the spray painted graffiti made with coloured cocoa butter. The chocolate wall was later "torn down" and broken up on November 9th, exactly 20 years after the original (ChocoParis).

And this isn’t the only feat of chocolate engineering in recent weeks. The “New World Whakatane” Bakery, from Australia's "baby brother" New Zealand, set a Guinness World Record this month for baking the world’s largest chocolate log. At over 35 metres in length and weighing in at nearly 78 kilos, the confectionary monster smashed the previous record of a measly 10 metres, but fell short of the 50 metres they had hoped for. Once the new record had been verified, the log was cut into slices and sold to raise money for a teenage cancer charity (TVNZ).

Still more gargantuan grub now as hundreds of students from the University of California at Berkeley became sushi chefs for a day by helping to roll a 330 foot “California roll” to celebrate the 50th anniversary of UoC’s Center for Japanese Studies. The sushi roll broke the previous record of 300 feet, and contained 200 lbs of rice and 180 lbs of fish, the last 15 feet was made with tofu for the benefit of attending vegetarians (Boston Herald).



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Posted By: Dumbfounded - Fri Nov 20, 2009 - Comments (3)
Category: Anniversary, Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests, Education, Food, Nutrition, Inebriation and Intoxicants, Historical Figure

A Little Light Weirdness - Strange Attractors

First up, scientists at the University of Leeds in Great Britain have determined that if you want to meet the right man, the optimum amount of flesh to flash is 40%. Less than that and you might appear too dowdy to catch his eye, any more and you’re more likely to attract a stalker than a soul mate. Psychologist Colin Hendrie had his four female assistants perform demanding “undercover” surveillance in Leeds’ nightclubs, recording how women were dressed and how often they were approached on concealed dictaphones. But it wasn’t just the women who were being judged. Hendie’s results also showed that the most successful approaches came from men who were neither too thin nor too fat and at least a head taller than their target. It also revealed that 30% of clubbers left as couples, though only 20% arrived so (Daily Mail).

Sadly, this research came too late for Geisy Arruda of Sao Paolo in Brazil, who caused a near riot at the city’s Bandeirante University by turning up for lectures in a mini-dress. Despite Brazil’s normally “relaxed” attitude to skimpy clothing, campus dress is often more conservative and Ms Arruda’s short, pink sheath dress attracted more than a few comments and cat-calls. She eventually had to be escorted from lectures, and the campus, by security and was later expelled for breaching the University’s ethical and moral standards and for offending its “academic dignity”. Her ban was promptly reversed however when she became a bit of a cause celebre, and Brazil’s Education Ministry became involved (CNEWS).

And yet more conflict ensued between academia and allure this past month when a number of female students from the prestigious Cambridge University in England posed for “cheesecake” shots for an in-house online magazine. Predictably, some called immediately for the images to be removed as they were demeaning to women saying that as a University, Cambridge should “do better”, an attitude site co-founder Taymoor Atighetchi dismissed as “intellectual snobbery" (Telegraph).

However support of a sort for the (very) fresh-women came from an unexpected quarter this week when Jill Berry, president of the UK “Girls’ Schools Association”, said that wanting to be fashionable did not make girls shallow. Speaking at the GSA annual conference, Mrs Berry said caring about your physical appearance wasn’t a betrayal of feminist ideals, and insisted that girls can have fun while also being taken seriously (Guardian).

But ladies, if you’re still unsure what to wear, then remember that other way to a man’s heart. That’s certainly an option for Jules Clancy, a food scientist from Sydney in Australia, who bagged a table for two at the world’s highest rated restaurant, the “El Bulli” in Spain, only to break up with her partner before the big night. In a moment of inspiration, Ms. Clancy decided to advertise online for a new dinner partner, and has been inundated with offers, though whether it is her charms or the food’s that is the draw is unclear (Orange).

(Picture: "Stupefyin’ JonesMoonbeam McSwine" from Al Capp's Li'l Abner.)

Posted By: Dumbfounded - Thu Nov 19, 2009 - Comments (6)
Category: Body, Education, Fashion, Feminism, Food

Toward Emotional Maturity

Posted By: Paul - Sat Nov 07, 2009 - Comments (3)
Category: Education, Teenagers, Documentaries, 1950s

Cheating





Obviously, Bernie Madoff and too many other prominent figures were never exposed to this video in their youth

Posted By: Paul - Sat Oct 24, 2009 - Comments (3)
Category: Education, Family, Juvenile Delinquency, Teenagers, Lies, Dishonesty and Cheating, Documentaries, 1950s

Banned - School Trips To Saddam’s Grave!

The Iraqi government has banned organised outings to the grave of Saddam Hussein after it learned that local schools were regularly taking groups of pupils on visits. The tomb is still regularly visited by supporters of the former dictator, who was hanged for war crimes in 2006, but now these must only be informal affairs and not arranged or supported by local or ministerial authorities (BBC News).

Two words: "flashmob" and "tapshoes".

Posted By: Dumbfounded - Tue Jul 07, 2009 - Comments (1)
Category: Death, Education, Government, Regulations

Seminary Girls

Did you know that Thomas Edison pioneered the "Girls Gone Wild" theme?

Posted By: Paul - Wed Jul 01, 2009 - Comments (4)
Category: Education, Exercise and Fitness, Nineteenth Century

Inventions of Buckminster Fuller, Part 3: The Dymaxion Map

This one is somewhat simpler than Bucky's other innovations, but no less impressive.
image

More in extended >>

Posted By: fyshstyxx - Wed May 27, 2009 - Comments (2)
Category: Education, Inventions, Science

Annual MIT Piano Drop

The event of this post's title occured a few days ago.



However, because the drop is now an anticipated, regular event, it cannot possibly compare with the excitement of the very first one!

Posted By: Paul - Sun Apr 26, 2009 - Comments (6)
Category: Destruction, Education, 1970s

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Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

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Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

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