22 January 2006

Women, Men, and Puppets

Here comes another random selection of science articles.

First up, there is evidence that ancient humans were hunted by large birds. I find this particularly interesting in light of a recent theory about why so many cultures have a dragon-like creature. The theory (off of a History Channel program, and I can't remember any associated names) suggests that dragons combine all of ancient humanity's greatest threats. Dragons are snakelike, representing the dangers of venomous snakes. Dragons often have catlike mouths, with huge teeth, harkening to felines who grew large enough to pose a threat. And most dragons can fly, and have talons like predatory birds. [For the record, I think there was more to the catlike comparison, but I can't remember what it was]

Also, researchers have finally found evidence that the rise of agriculture DID coincide with a large population boom.

Coming to more modern times, men seem to enjoy watching enemies suffer more than women do. At least, their brains express satisfaction while watching it, while women were more likely to be empathetic. However, this does not tell us whether the reactions would be the same if the punishment actually fit the offensive acts. In this case, the actors played the role of money-scammers. I would feel immense satisfaction at seeing them forced to repay the ill-gotten money, with a bit extra thrown in for deterrence factor.

Then there's something called "raunch culture," and females like me who look at it and say, "Huh?" Essentially, raunch culture has decided that since men are pigs, women might as well be pigs too: dress like strippers; sleep around; pretend they're having fun. Anyone opposing this so-called "funfest" is deemed a "prude." Sorry, gals, but I'd rather be a prude than a joyless idiot trying to out-stereotype men.

And just for fun, parasites may be controlling our brains! Or at least having an affect on them. If this parasite is responsible for some forms of shizophrenia, there may finally be a way to cure it, rather than treat symptoms.

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