Inevitable Nipple Analogy

A genetic theory of homosexuality.

The article reports on recent work (pdf) addressing the ‘if homosexuality is genetic, why hasn’t it died out?’ debate, which suggests that the ‘gene for male homosexuality persists because it promotes—and is passed down through—high rates of procreation among gay men’s mothers, sisters, and aunts‘.

In other words, gayness in men can be as natural and as the male nipple, even if both are initially puzzling when thought of in evolutionary terms. OK I’m stretching things slightly, but I can’t help but wonder whether the nipple analogy might be a good basis for informal arguments for a bit more tolerance:

Let He Who is Without Nipples Cast the First Stone?

Or maybe not.

More on the Great Nipple Question from; a moment of science; and the evolution-101 blog.


I can’t explain how weird this is to read, and only really because my name is obscure enough that I don’t run into other Dan Brickleys very often:

Chimes in Dan Brickley, of TLC’s A Makeover Story: “Although Hillary’s made some major fashion faux pas in the past (anyone remember a certain wedding dress?), we wouldn’t see her in a pair of pegged acid washed jeans, peddling a bicycle built for two with Bill…

“Yet, as far as fashion’s concerned, Obama’s putting function before fashion,” Brickley adds. “Unfortunately, we’ll all have to wait and see if Barack’s helmet can stand up against Cindy McCain’s hair helmet this November — Now that’s not a headpiece to mess with!”

That said, I’m “friends” with two other DBs on Facebook. Maybe it’s time to start a group and agree some basics for not bringing our name into disrepute…

The stuff people are made of

Brain and spinal cord with attached spinal nerve roots and dorsal root ganglia. Functional Neuroanatomy of Man, ie. Neurology section from Gray's Anatomy, 35th edition. p807
Just saturday-morning-stumbled upon Channel 4’s Anatomy for beginners site, via Dead Interesting, via Flickr. I missed the TV series (as well as the Body Worlds touring exhibition), but the Web site has plenty. There are sections on the anatomy of movement, circulation, digestion, and reproduction. The image used here isn’t from that site, but taken from an old Neuroanatomy textbook. While we’re used to seeing disembodied images of the brain in popular media, it is still fairly unusual (and hence unsettling, like Channel 4’s Anatomy website) to see it partially embodied, ie. with a spine attached. I often wonder whether people would think about the relationship between brains and minds differently if they were more accustomed to seeing such images…

Nearby: Anatomy in Wikipedia

Empathy, Art or Science?

head of a  papier-mâché model from Dr. Auzoux collection, Smithsonian.From xForums, “the last bastion of intelligent discussion”, via Daily Kos:

That sucks and the guy deserves money but it’s really not the guards fault his spine is made out of paper mache.

If America were Iraq what would it be?, Juan Cole (Informed Comment, 22 September 2004).

What if, from time to time, the US Army besieged Virginia Beach, killing hundreds of armed members of the Christian Soldiers? What if entire platoons of the Christian Soldiers militia holed up in Arlington National Cemetery, and were bombarded by US Air Force warplanes daily, destroying thousands of graves and even pulverizing the Vietnam Memorial over on the Mall? What if the National Council of Churches had to call for a popular march of thousands of believers to converge on the National Cathedral to stop the US Army from demolishing it to get at a rogue band of the Timothy McVeigh Memorial Brigades?

Papier Mâchè spine xrayImagine having a papier mâchè spine…