A Momentary Flow

Updating Worldviews one World at a time

Elephants are sensitive and very social, but there is no evidence they cry
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An elephant that supposedly cried tears when it was being rescued from an abusive home where it had been captive for 50 years created much excitment on social media. The experience of being cut loose from the vicious-looking spikes and heavy chains that we see in the short video clip was one of intense emotion for Raju, the elephant in the video. This is not the first time that a story of a weeping elephant has done the rounds on the internet. Animals that seem to be behaving in human-like ways certainly generate great interest.
Humans usually cry for emotional reasons: pain, fear, sadness, or loneliness. So perhaps it is natural to interpret animal tears as having an emotional reason, too. However, scientists studying the underlying cognitive processes of animal behaviour have found no evidence to suggest that elephants, or any other species for that matter, have an emotional reason for producing tears.

There is no doubt at all that animals experience pain and suffering, and many show visible signs of distress in their behaviour. Another elephant – this one a new-born elephant calf called Zhuangzhuang certainly would have felt pain from its injuries, and intense distress at being attacked and separated from its mother. But there is no evidence for a connection between any emotions it may have been feeling and its streaming eyes. (via Elephants are sensitive and very social, but there is no evidence they cry)

Ask the Sexpert: The 90-year-old sex guru 
Sex education is a controversial issue in India, but one man has done more than anyone to promote discussion of the subject. Dr Mahinder Watsa’s unusually frank and funny daily newspaper column has become a cult hit. But why does the country that gave the world the Kama Sutra need a straight-talking 90-year-old to teach it about sex?
"Sex is a joyful thing," says Watsa, "but a number of writers tend to become rather medical and serious." Rather than taking the scientific or moral high ground, he prefers to put the reader at ease with a witty one-liner. As a columnist for the past 50 years, Watsa has been privy to the deepest, darkest sexual fears of his countrymen and women. His replies are short, sharp and to the point - occasionally bruising, often hilarious. But whether he chastises or reassures, with every shared reply he educates his readers. "I’m talking their language, they accept it better," he says. "The man talking to you is one of you."
Q: Two days ago, I had unprotected sex with my girlfriend. To prevent pregnancy, we bought an i-Pill. [emergency contraceptive] But in the heat of the moment I popped it instead of her. Can it cause any complications for me?
A: Next time round please use a condom and make sure you don’t swallow that too.
Q: I have heard that any kind of acidic substance can prevent pregnancy. Can I pour some drops of lemon or orange juice in my girlfriend’s vagina after the intercourse? Will it harm her? 
A: Are you a bhel puri [snack] vendor? Where did you get this weird idea from? There are many other safe and easy methods of birth control. You can consider using a condom.
Q: After having sex four times a day, I feel weak the next day. For about five minutes, my vision goes blank and I can’t see anything properly. Please help. 
A: What do you expect? Shouts of hurray and I am a champion all over town?
He gets about 60 letters and emails a day and responds to them all. “People who got married and are unable to consummate, or women writing they are no longer in love,” he says. “I try to help them.” Over the years he reckons he has answered more than 35,000 queries - long enough to spot the fake ones. “One knows when someone is trying to pull your leg or whether they are really genuinely in trouble,” he says.
Q: What First Aid will we require after having sex for the first time? My fiancée and I have had oral sex many times. How safe is that?

A: You need not join the Red Cross; just visit a sexpert for some pre-marriage counselling. Oral sex is safe and healthy, and she will not conceive through it.
absolutely brilliant! go read..
 (via BBC News - Ask the Sexpert: The 90-year-old sex guru)

Ask the Sexpert: The 90-year-old sex guru 

Sex education is a controversial issue in India, but one man has done more than anyone to promote discussion of the subject. Dr Mahinder Watsa’s unusually frank and funny daily newspaper column has become a cult hit. But why does the country that gave the world the Kama Sutra need a straight-talking 90-year-old to teach it about sex?

"Sex is a joyful thing," says Watsa, "but a number of writers tend to become rather medical and serious." Rather than taking the scientific or moral high ground, he prefers to put the reader at ease with a witty one-liner. As a columnist for the past 50 years, Watsa has been privy to the deepest, darkest sexual fears of his countrymen and women. His replies are short, sharp and to the point - occasionally bruising, often hilarious. But whether he chastises or reassures, with every shared reply he educates his readers. "I’m talking their language, they accept it better," he says. "The man talking to you is one of you."

Q: Two days ago, I had unprotected sex with my girlfriend. To prevent pregnancy, we bought an i-Pill. [emergency contraceptive] But in the heat of the moment I popped it instead of her. Can it cause any complications for me?

A: Next time round please use a condom and make sure you don’t swallow that too.

Q: I have heard that any kind of acidic substance can prevent pregnancy. Can I pour some drops of lemon or orange juice in my girlfriend’s vagina after the intercourse? Will it harm her?

A: Are you a bhel puri [snack] vendor? Where did you get this weird idea from? There are many other safe and easy methods of birth control. You can consider using a condom.

Q: After having sex four times a day, I feel weak the next day. For about five minutes, my vision goes blank and I can’t see anything properly. Please help.

A: What do you expect? Shouts of hurray and I am a champion all over town?

He gets about 60 letters and emails a day and responds to them all. “People who got married and are unable to consummate, or women writing they are no longer in love,” he says. “I try to help them.” Over the years he reckons he has answered more than 35,000 queries - long enough to spot the fake ones. “One knows when someone is trying to pull your leg or whether they are really genuinely in trouble,” he says.

Q: What First Aid will we require after having sex for the first time? My fiancée and I have had oral sex many times. How safe is that?

A: You need not join the Red Cross; just visit a sexpert for some pre-marriage counselling. Oral sex is safe and healthy, and she will not conceive through it.

absolutely brilliant! go read..

 (via BBC News - Ask the Sexpert: The 90-year-old sex guru)

Source BBC

A North Korean Architect’s Crazy Visions of the Future
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It’s difficult for anyone to imagine the future. But what if you were largely unfamiliar with the present? That’s the fascination at the heart of “Commissions for Utopia,” a series of futuristic scenes of North Korea dreamed up by one of the country’s promising young architects. The illustrations, currently on view at the Venice Architecture Biennale in Italy, show the buildings of tomorrow as envisioned by someone with little exposure to the architecture of today. In the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, “architect” is a government job. There are no private projects, and young North Korean architects come out of school with only a faint understanding of the field as it exists outside their deeply isolated country. Recently, however, one young architect was given a rare chance at an outside commission by a client named Nick Bonner. Bonner holds the unusual distinction of operating the most popular tourist agency to the least-visited country in the world. Born in Britain and trained as a landscape architect, he founded Koryo Tours in Beijing in 1993. Today, the company takes over two thousand tourists into North Korea a year—more than half of all the foreigners who visit. (via A North Korean Architect’s Crazy Visions of the Future | Design | WIRED)

There are two great mysteries that overshadow all other mysteries in science. One is the origin of the universe. That’s my day job. However, there is also the other great mystery of inner space. And that is what sits on your shoulders, which believe it or not, is the most complex object in the known universe. But the brain only uses 20 watts of power. It would require a nuclear power plant to energise a computer the size of a city block to mimic your brain, and your brain does it with just 20 watts. So if someone calls you a dim bulb, that’s a compliment.

Michio Kaku (via mindblowingscience)

(via alxndrasplace)

Source beta.cosmosmagazine.com

Reblogged from Science Junkie