July 21, 2009

Inside the museums, Infinity goes up on trial
Voices echo this is what salvation must be like after a while



Polly Townsend, Summit, 2009

* Masturbation in the animal kingdom. excerpt:

"Our fellow apes are among the most ardent and industrious masturbators: Female orangutans have been observed to fashion primitive dildos from sticks or pieces of liana, while males stimulate themselves with pieces of fruit, leaves, or other objects. Although it's sometimes said that only mammals masturbate, we have clear examples of autoeroticism among birds, which rub their cloacae on whatever's handy. Turtles have also been observed in the act.

"Despite this bestiary of autoeroticism, scientists have spent relatively little time on the question of why animals might have evolved to masturbate. At first glance, the behavior would seem to be maladaptive. First, there's all the energy that's wasted on the production of spilled seed—macaques, for example, are thought to devote between 1 percent and 6 percent of their daily metabolism to the production of ejaculate. Second, it distracts the animal from the more important work of finding food and evading predators, let alone mating. According to the literature on horses, a masturbating stallion sometimes takes on "a trance-like, glazed-eye appearance." What could be more inviting to a hungry bear?

"The recent finding that masturbation improves the quality of human sperm supports the notion that it's an evolved trait and not merely a byproduct of our physiology. According to a branch of evolutionary theory called "sperm competition" that developed in the late-1960s, natural selection can produce just such a change in reproductive behavior. The theory focuses on polyandrous species—i.e., those in which a single female takes multiple partners and the sperm from several potential fathers might end up competing to fertilize the same egg. Under those conditions, the relative quality of male ejaculate very clearly determines whose genes are passed on to the next generation."

* The Chill Room compares various versions of Visions of Johanna in a very interesting podcast. The site contains numerous other interesting podcasts, including one on R. Stevie Moore, Edie Sedgwick and William Burroughs.

* Salon: Why We Say Yes to Drugs.

* "Trying to define yourself is like trying to bite your own teeth." -- Alan Watts

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Definitions. Sigh. Sherwood Anderson

11:09 AM  

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