Science

Skepchick Quickies 5.20

I call this Quickies: The Sex and Death Edition.

  • The neurological roots of sexual pleasure– In a really interesting but still “duh” sort of way, Scientific American explains that in order to orgasm, parts of the brain related to critical thinking have to shut down.
  • Handing it to the bird, in the bush– “Researchers in the School of Animal Biology at The University of Western Australia (UWA) have achieved a world-first by developing animal and human-friendly methods for semen collection and artificial insemination in ostriches.”
  • The penis museum-  I’m booking my flight to Iceland RIGHT NOW.
  • Once again, dead bodies do not cause disease epidemics– “The idea that dead bodies have to be buried quickly or doused in disinfectant comes from a primal fear that seems almost impossible to eradicate.”
  • New ideas in mortuary science: dissolving bodies in lye-  More eco-friendly than cremation, supposedly.  It’d be hard to maintain dignity as a mortician then, though.  How could you not say, “I’m melting, I’m melting!” every time you dissolved a body?

Amanda

Amanda is a science grad student in Boston whose favorite pastimes are having friendly debates and running amok.

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12 Comments

  1. Just got back from Myanmar, and while bodies may not cause disease, sweet zeus’ beard, do they smell.

    No, that’s not a bad joke, I went there to help clean up, as per my job.

    Still, I do want to add that people who die from disease are often infectious. Corpses also attract wild animals, not a huge problem in europe, but Myanmar has animals that do eat people.
    I’m constantly thankfull I’m just telling the bulldozers where to go and such, and massive respect to the Identification teams.

    Now, back to lighter matter.

  2. Doesn’t it depend on what the person died of? I mean, if they died of a horrible communicable disease, shouldn’t the body be disposed of as quickly as possible? Or is that just some idea I picked up from a movie?

  3. Well, if we’re talking flesh-eating bacteria, yes, it’s probably a good idea to dispose of a body quickly.

    Otherwise, most viruses and the bacteria that would make a living human sick can’t survive that long in a dead body. I’ve handled human remains before and was told as long as I had my Hep B and tetanus vaccs then I didn’t have to worry. And the tetanus was mostly because we handled some really grimy stuff and you never knew when you’d come upon a surprise sharp bit.

    Also, lutepeople? You guys are sick. I love it.

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