Tuesday, January 24, 2006

I mentioned issues with the ages of reason and informed consent yesterday. Many people told me I'd feel differently as an adult/when I was over 21. But I still believe that letting younger folk make their own decisions with a reasonable degree of supervision is the best way to learn. This book review on the prevalence of oral sex among teens reminds me of this. This is not a morality issue. This is not an age issue, either--they know what they're doing. Don't condescend. This *is* a public health issue where it's actually going on (as opposed to virally spreading, the newest suburban legend), and teens need to be interacted with--their guardians and mentors and friends need to make sure they know that you can get some pretty wicked-horrible stuff this way unless you use protection and are absolutely certain of the sexual histories of your partners. This is true for 40somethings, too, but most of the older folk who engage in serial or multiple-partner or "swinging" sexual activity know all this well and take every possible precaution including regular testing. Spirit, whose daughter is soon to enter teenagedom, may disagree strongly with me that it's OK at all for teens to have any sort of sexual relations or contact, but to me, it's human nature, and it's a little hypocritical for thinking adults who don't believe sex is inherently sinful (because that's a whole other can of worms), who even believe sex is something potentially spiritual, can also believe that it should be denied others because of simple numbers (I am NOT saying 12-year-olds should go out and experiment with sex, drugs, and alcohol--just saying that our bodies and minds grow at their own rates that have nothing to do with the government's or society's arbitrary definitions of "old enough") or because they're our offspring and we cannot bear the idea of them growing into certain activities--my dad's still in denial that I've had sex and I've made him a grandfather that way.

You know that parasite in cat litter that makes it a bad idea for pregnant women to change the kitty litter? Apparently it has some other effects (though humans had been thought largely unaffected by it).

These are sort of fun. I was redirected there from "Mensa-test" dot com. I still have an SAT score (pre-1993--I took the test in 7th and 9th grades before they changed the test, though the ones that counted for me were post-recenter) high enough to join MENSA without testing, but I know my own IQ is phenomenal, and I just don't feel like the hassle or paying a membership fee for what would amount to self-congratulatory showing off. Hell, I can do that for free. I've sat and stared at the backs of my checks and done my bag entirely in my head as people go "What are you DOING?" and the other week I did another girl's bag standing at a table since she wouldn't come in the office and my boss said she had to be there (he was at the same table)... I just stood there and did it in my head and she got all paranoid like "What are you doing, looking at my tips?" Boss says, "No." I just kept doing it and she tries to hand me a calculator and boss says, "She doesn't need that." I counted her cash and said, OK, hon, you're all set, go clean, and retreated back into my office. That's showing off in a way that's subtle and elegant.

This is really cool.

Iceland goes gas-free. Too bad we don't all live over underground hot springs.

Gorgeous as well as useful to understanding EM theory.

Yeah. We're fat and we're happy. Get the hell over it already.

Making a black hole "fireball" in a particle accelerator

Gangs with machetes. What does this change in the gun control debate?

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