Friday, December 29, 2006


Eccentricity is not, as dull people would have us believe, a form of madness. It is often a kind of innocent pride, and the man of genius and the aristocrat are frequently regarded as eccentrics because genius and aristocrat are entirely unafraid of and uninfluenced by the opinions and vagaries of the crowd.
- Edith Sitwell

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

I was recently seduced to the Electronic Dark Side and bought an iPod.
Now I have a direct circuit into my brain feeding me not only music
but podcasts (and podbooks, ohmygodno!). I still want a flash drive
for my brain......

I listened to a weekly update from SEED on the train this morning
which included the excerpt below. I know this topic has surfaced
before, so here's the 'latest':

Go In With a Bang
Athletes need energy. They need fire. They need power. They need, um,
spunk. And plenty of athletes hope to build their supply by abstaining
from sex for days, weeks or months before a big sporting event.
According to scientists, however, a little pre-gaming may not be such
a bad thing. Some studies indicate that sex may raise testosterone
levels and therefore actually help performance on the field.[3]

Italian professor of endocrinology Emmanuele A. Jannini says three
months of abstinence can cause testosterone to drop to children's
levels, which is probably none too helpful in maintaining the
aggression needed for boxing or football. Sexual activity also doesn't
leave participants drained of their vigor: A roll in the hay usually
only costs 25 to 50 calories per person [1], fewer than the calories
in a single Oreo cookie.

In women, sex produces a neuropeptide that can block pain for up to a
day, allowing female athletes to play through muscle pain[2]. So start
your warm-ups early, kids. Science knows best.
(source: National Geographic News)

[1] I disaggree with this assertion (energy expenditure per 'roll in
the hay'). I am devilishly curious about the sample pool from which
these data and statistics were derived. Obviously a pool of
conservative elderly........

[2] This reference to a gender dimorphic response is intriguing.
Parallel with my interest in that topic, I will see if I can track
down this information.

[3] A few recent studies coming out of the psychology field suggests
that not just any type of sex may have the same effects. Two recent
studies suggest that coitus induces a more robust physiological and
psychological response than either oral or masturbation. (one measured
ability to cope with acute environmental stress, the other examined a
few select hormones - which they had analyzed a greater selection)
(for quick summary of the latter: Fun with Brains. )

Recent literature also demonstrated that sex can mediate and moderate situational stress response for up to 24 hours after the sex act. That I don't find newsbreaking. We all know that sex raises endorphins and other 'feel good' hormones and neurotransmitters. It even relaxes muscles.

So women who claim to have headaches to abstain from sex can't use that as an excuse anymore. Sex can actually alleviate or dispel headaches.