Female spiders like males who can dance, sing better

From Science Friday, perhaps the most purely enjoyable science story of the year to date, about the Dance of the Peacock Spider.   Seems we've been seeing many examples of species showing traits we think of as human lately. Using tools, like crows, or mourning the dead, like elephants, or having local dialects in languages, likeContinue reading “Female spiders like males who can dance, sing better”

The wisdom of Carl Jung on Eros and love (not)

In my medical experience as well as in my own life I have again and again been faced with the mystery of love, and have never been able to explain what it is. Like Job, I have had to “lay my hand on my mouth. I have spoken once, and I will not answer.”

–Carl Jung

Men Explain It All: Hannah Gold returns the favor

The best book review of the year, hands down, by Hannah Gold in The Baffler, begins this way: "I have just sat down to dinner with my female friend and her two male friends she brought along, neither of whom I’ve met before. They are both programmers, and when my friend goes to the bathroomContinue reading “Men Explain It All: Hannah Gold returns the favor”

Hyperactivity linked to moms taking Tylenol-type painkilers

On the front page of the Los Angeles Times, Melissa Healy tells a story of a huge study in Scandanavia that shows that the active ingredient in Tylenol and Excedrine and many other over-the-counter medicines is an endocrine disruptor plausibly linked to hyperactivity and other developmental disorders.  Healy makes a strong case simply by quoting theContinue reading “Hyperactivity linked to moms taking Tylenol-type painkilers”

International Read Naked Day: A communion in Chicago

In Chicago, Valya Vupescu sounds enthralled by a reading and award show by the Naked Girls: "The ladies on the stage disrobed at the start of each of the three reading sessions of the night. They did it gracefully, naturally, comfortably, at home in their skin and on the stage. Then they breathed the storiesContinue reading “International Read Naked Day: A communion in Chicago”

Love as a force of nature: Jeanette Winterson

From an untitled post at Soaked in Soul: "I used to be a hopeless romantic. I am still a hopeless romantic. I used to believe that love was the highest value. I still believe that love is the highest value. I don’t expect to be happy. I don’t imagine that I will find love, whatever that means,Continue reading “Love as a force of nature: Jeanette Winterson”

Whispering in the ear of nature’s secrets: Harriet Monroe

In Nature's Altars, Susan Schrepfer looks at how much it meant to women of the turn of (the 20th) century to go to the mountains. She writes: "High altitudes…released [women], they said, from the requirement of being a consumer, from "clothes and vanities," from the corsseted, perfumed, and coiffured dictates of polite society. Of aContinue reading “Whispering in the ear of nature’s secrets: Harriet Monroe”

The Sierra Club High Trips and why women liked them

In the High Trips, for about thirty years at the start of the 20th century, the Sierra Club as a mountaineering club peaked, surely. On those brilliantly organized journeys, as many as 200 people at time went into the High Sierras, having committed to a walk of a minimum of two hundred miles, over several weeks of hiking. Though theContinue reading “The Sierra Club High Trips and why women liked them”

50 Shades of love and sex/Valentine’s Day 2013

From my cover story in this week's Ventura County Reporter:      Since the genetic basis of our species, Homo Sapiens, stabilized approximately 100,000 years ago, the reproductive nature of the human body has not substantially changed. But in the last few years, human sexual experience has substantially changed, especially among the adventurous. For Valentine’s Day, andContinue reading “50 Shades of love and sex/Valentine’s Day 2013”