How to deal with catcallers, Wednesday Addams style

February 16th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

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Older Dads Pass on More Mutations to Their Kids

August 31st, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Men have always enjoyed being able to put off the decision to have kids without having to worry about too much about biological age limits. They might be too old and too tired to play with their kids but they don’t have to worry about needing hormone therapy if they wait too long. If the results of this study can be independently reproduced then perhaps it will give some pause to men that want to put off the big decision.

It turns out that men transmit more mutations than women, and on average, for each increasing year of age, a father passed two additional mutations on to his offspring. By the time a man reached the age of 40, his offspring had on average 65 random mutations that traced back to the paternal genetic material—that’s 260% more mutations than a 20-year-old dad would, on average, give to his children. Earlier research has shown that older men are more likely to father children with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and autism.

The article goes on to point out that the growing number of older dads may be a contributing factor in the increased rates of autism diagnoses. Obviously we need to be careful about the distinction between causation and correlation. Just because two trends happen at the same time, correlation, that doesn’t mean that one caused the other. The book Freakenomics tried to say that legalizing abortion in the 70’s caused crime rates to go down in certain states. An interesting theory but very hard to prove scientifically. You know what else happened in the 70’s? Lead was removed from gasoline, and subsequently from the air1, and there is scientific evidence that exposure to lead can lead to more violence. I’m looking at you Antivaxxers.

  1. keep in mind that exhaust fumes, and therefore lead, tend to collect in urban areas []
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Sex & Flossing

February 9th, 2011 § 1 comment § permalink

Don't forget to floss

Don't forget to floss

Disclaimer: My wife came up with this theory and analogy so all credit belongs to her.

Flossing is easy. It only takes a couple minutes and the benefits can be seen in the short run (better breath) and the long term (keeping teeth, hooray!). Yet we are almost universally resistant to it. I’m tired. I just want to go to bed. I’ll do it tomorrow. I have a headache1. All it takes to overcome these excuses is a couple days where you force yourself to ignore your inner procrastinator and establish a daily routine. Once you do, flossing becomes easy and dare I say enjoyable.

For many women (and some men) in a long term relationship, sex can take on many of the same characteristics. The resistance has many excuses. I’m tired. I just want to go to bed. We’ll do it tomorrow. I have a headache. Yet the benefits are many and can be seen both in the short run (it feels good) and the long term (healthy sex life results in more happiness and lower divorce rate, hooray!). And lets face it, it usually only takes a couple minutes2.

Being the not so closeted feminist that I am I have always chalked this up to the man’s inability to satisfy his partner but I don’t think is as large a factor as I previously believed. My wife did a quick survey of her friends and most of them admitted that momentum (or lack thereof) was more of a hindrance than a lack of pleasure. For the most part her friends also admitted that the floss analogy was painfully accurate.

“If I give in tonight then he is going to want it every night!”

I’m sure that in the moment that seems like a perfectly reasonable argument until you try to answer the question: what is so bad about sex every night? Granted, making anything a daily routine can quickly drain all pleasure from the best of activities and I’m not arguing that some sort of daily sex policy needs to be established. One not need look far to find a couple that had a hard time getting pregnant and subsequently turned sex into something even men found distasteful. All I’m saying is that next time you find yourself being resistant look at your motivations. Are you being resistant for the sake of resistance? Why not acquiesce, have some fun, and save the no’s for when you really do have a headache.

  1. shameless foreshadowing []
  2. present company excluded of course []
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