Skepchick Quickies 8.12

  • Menstrual cramps may alter brain structure – “Lower abdominal pain starts with the onset of menstrual flow and this ongoing pain stimulus can cause alterations throughout the nervous system. In a new study, researchers report abnormal changes in the structure of the brain in PDM patients, whether or not they are in fact experiencing pain.” From Ubermoogle.
  • We are science probes – From William: “Found a wonderful animated movie called “we are science probes”.  About sentient robot probes that land on a destroyed earth and discover pseudoscience.”
  • How salmonella helps kill cancer cells – “Scientists already knew that diarrhea-causing Salmonella typhimurium helps the immune system recognize melanoma, but a paper in the Aug. 11 Science Translational Medicine shows how. The finding may point to a new human vaccine for melanoma and possibly other kinds of cancer.”
  • iPhone owners have the most sex partners – Elyse found this and she does have an iPhone. I just got one myself, so bring on the nerd orgies!


Amanda works in healthcare, is a loudmouthed feminist, and proud supporter of the Oxford comma.

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  1. Oh my poor brain. I wish researchers would stop finding new ways to insult it. It is doing the best it can inside this chemistry experiment/female body of mine.

  2. I’ve seen these geeks whipping themselves into a frenzy over the newest piece of iCrap, so I could see it leading to orgies.

    A self-congratulatory, ultra hipster, PBR fueled orgy.
    Like watching snakes mate.

  3. @Zapski

    No, I can’t afford a smart phone, and if I could, wouldn’t be against getting and iPhone, iPad, iPod, iMac, iDildo, etc. if I went for form over function.

    Let me put it this way. Apple makes beautiful, overpriced, under-engineered products that first adopters will kill to own but will be knocked off and improved on, if in a less elegant way, by somebody else.

    They are the Audi of electronics.

  4. @FlameTest

    Oh my poor brain. I wish researchers would stop finding new ways to insult it. It is doing the best it can inside this chemistry experiment/female body of mine.

    The brain doesn’t fair much better slathered in testosterone. ;)

  5. That animation was sweet.

    And for my own benefit I’ll just go ahead and assume that low-end Samsung phone users were having so much sex that they didn’t have time to fill out that survey.

  6. @mrmisconception: Blah blah blah, I can’t hear you over the moans. ;)

    Actually, I strongly disagree with nearly everything you said, and if was bored enough to go find all the links that refute that old and disproved line of arguments I would. But like I said, the “overpriced, under-engineered” line is tired and crusty and easily refuted and has been debated and documented by far better people than me.

    I will provide you with one link that jumps off to several others, just for brand loyalty.

    In any event I find the Mac/PC argument stupid anyway. Buy what you want, for whatever reasons you want. I buy Macs, and other Apple products, and I make my living providing IT and service to Apple products exclusively, so admittedly I’m a biased source. But I’m also very bored with the majority of attacks that are levied against Apple, mostly because they come from outdated information (usually by at least 10 years or so) and really accomplish nothing.

  7. @mrmisconception: My Apologies, I agree with much of what you said, except the “overpriced, under-engineered” part. I also don’t see many “improvements” in the later copies of Apple products, but that’s a less objective view and entirely based on individual perception.

    In any event, I don’t mean to be confrontational – I really am just bored with the usual tirades against Apple, and I try not to get into arguments about them.

    Again, my apologies.

  8. @Zapski: I wasn’t suggesting it was Apple who issued the press release, I was suggesting it was the dating website. The link you posted is the blog of said dating website and queries are to be addressed to their media department!

    The study (and I’m not sure it even deserves that title – was it done from a sample that is representative of the population as a whole?) has seemingly been done by the dating website for the sole purpose of getting themselves in the press. Sadly, it’s worked.

  9. Well, I have an Android phone, and I have way more sex partners than the iPhone carrying Macnerds I know. So there!

    I’ll follow up that bit of anecdata with a strong opinion. I don’t think that “iPhone owners have more sex partners” is a fair conclusion to draw from the data. I read the OKCupid post the other day, and there are a few things I want to point out.

    1. Obviously, this is a sample of OKCupid users, which is very large, but not representative of the general population. Keep that in mind whenever you read the OKCupid blog (which has some really fascinating stuff).

    2. If you read the blog post, it was about cameras. They took thousands of user pictures, determined what kind of cameras the photos were taken with, and determined how attractive the photos were, I believe based on user ratings. So, from that photo data, they found that people who take photos with an iPhone tend to have more sex partners than those who take photos with other phones. They didn’t really collect data phone ownership.

    3. It’s a really interesting blog post and I’m disappointed that everyone is jumping on the “iPhone owners are sluttier!” thing because that’s probably the least interesting bit of data in there.

    Now, you can all go back to having sex, you slutty iPhone users.

  10. @Zapski

    I wasn’t saying that Apple was inferior just that some Apple loyalists have a superior hipster attitude.

    Apples products are more expensive (though less than they used to be) and are under-engineered (though no more than any other consumer electronic).

    The link you included is interesting, it is a pro-Mac site that links to another pro-Mac site and back to itself. I have no idea if what is being asserted there is true because the data is so circular. It kind of reminds me of some alt-med sites that reference other alt-mad sites and the makers of whatever woo is being peddled, but far less dangerous. I don’t think anyone has died of Apple smugness. Not directly anyway. ;)

    I was inspired to wrote a blog post on brand loyalty that you may finf interesting.

  11. I don’t personally have an iAnything, I don’t even have a cell phone (I prefer to live without an electronic leash), but as a 51st century guy I’m totally on board the “nerd orgy” train! Just be prepared for some kinky, TARDIS loving cosplay action!

    No Gods, No Masters

  12. Both the vitriol against Apple that some people have and the overly-defensiveness that a lot of Apple users have is hilarious. It happens in every thread ever about Apple, and this post did not disappoint!

    I had an iPhone, but it decided to go for a swim with me one day, lolz. I sold it for parts, and am currently borrowing a friend’s unlocked HTC ’til I can get a replacement. I like the touch keyboard on it a LOT more than the iPhone’s. AND it has a stylus, which is awesome.

    I liked parts of the iPhone, but I don’t think it was quite for me. I’m not an app user. I want e-mail and text to be simple (I don’t like how iPhone does the weird balloon text thing), I want a good calendar (the iPhone’s isn’t bad), and I want contact groups, which the iPhone does NOT have. That seems to be something huge that a so-called smartphone should have. I was sad about that.

    Now, it was the iPhone 3G so it’s possible the iPhone 4 has the contact groups, but I will still probably not get another iPhone. It was a nice phone but not quite what I was looking for. I’m just not an app user, and that seems to be the biggest selling point for a lot of people. Which is fine. I just want text, e-mail, a calendar and a good contact system. Oh, and a good browser (the iPhone’s browser interface IS pretty awesome).

    However, my deaf friend LOVE LOVE LOVES the new iPhone 4 that has the front-facing camera, and I kind of really would like that too, so he and I can communicate together after he’s moved to Boston. That would be nifty.

  13. @B166ER: “An electronic leash.” Hmm. I don’t see it like that all. I see it as a mobile device that I can turn off or leave behind whenever I want (and I don’t actually use it to *talk* on the phone; mostly it’s just text and e-mail). Some people *can* be overly-attached, but most people just use it as a communications device — and many people don’t have landlines, so it’s their only phone. It’s also good if you’re a person that lives alone and spends a lot of time alone, like me; it makes me feel a bit safer to know I have a way to contact someone or help if I need it. It’s also my only phone.

    I think the “I don’t have a cell phone because I don’t want an electronic leash” is a bit… Idk, kind of obnoxiously pretentious. It’s like when people say, “Well, *I* don’t even own a TV. I don’t need that idiot box!” Ok? Good for you. You don’t have to have a cell phone or a TV, but that doesn’t mean you’re super-special-awesome or anything and it’s a bit insulting to imply that people who have a TV or cell phone are somehow idiots or “attached to a leash”. It’s a mobile communications device, not a leash.

  14. @marilove: I was not implying that I am somehow more “super-special-awesome” then people with cell phones, I can only share how it feels to me. I like being able to get away from people, so I don’t want something connecting me to other people when I don’t want to be. I don’t own a cell phone or a t.v. and I can only state why I wish to live my life this way. If you don’t see it as a leash, then that’s cool, but I kind of do. I was just stating that even though I don’t have an iPhone, I wanted to sign up for the nerd orgy! Sorry that you felt insulted by my comment, just know that no matter our differences, you’re still invited to my TARDIS cosplay party!

    No Gods, No Masters

  15. @B166ER: Oh, it wasn’t really you, just a general comment towards those who always seem to have a self-righteous tone to their, “I don’t own a TV/cell phone/whatever” …. yet these people generally DO have internet. So I find it a bit hypocritical and obnoxious and self-congratulatory.

  16. @marilove: I wouldn’t say that internet access is like t.v. With one you have complete control over what you want to watch, the order in which you watch it, without many commercials and the ability to cheaply share information. The other one gives you no interaction and far fewer choices, plus it’s so overpriced that access to sharing information over it is limited to only rich people.
    I prefer the educational and entertainment choices I get with the internet over the LACK of choices I would get with t.v. But as I said before, that’s my view and other people are different in their views on the subject, which is all good.

    @mrmisconception: I really don’t think it’s you. I liked the joke! Fucking hipsters! XD

    No Gods, No Masters

  17. I heart my Android phone and strongly suspect there’s no causality between the whole phone OS/sex thing even if there’s a dubious correlation.

    I used to be a big Mac fan (and still have a MacBook Pro) but lately, their products have gottent increasingly daft, I think. The new iMacs are sweet except they’ve forgot about making form follow function by placing all the ports in a really inaccessible spot where they won’t mar the clean surfaces. I’m pretty underwhelmed by the iPhone and the iPad. When I need to replace my MBP it will be with an iMac and a cheap laptop PC that I’ll install Linux on. If I could run Adobe CS on a Linux-machine, I don’t think I’d ever buy another Mac.

  18. I wasn’t sure if that article I submitted would get linked here, but I’m pleased that it did!

    I don’t want to get in the middle of the Mac vs. PC vs. iPhone vs. Android vs. Palm vs. Amiga II (best computer ever, btw) debates that always spring up, but I did think it was interesting that a group who self-selected as “sluts” whose pictures were taken with iPhones (possibly not even their OWN iPhones) on an online dating website that just so happens to have it’s own iPhone and Android apps would be taken so seriously!

    Then again, what else is there to do when you’re camped out in front of the Apple Store for the latest iGizmo? Insert obligatory AppleGeek derogatory stereotype comment here.

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