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SCIENCE, QUOTES (permalink) 12.13.2013
and i can barely keep a shirt tucked into my pants through a workday
DNA possesses genes, small snippets of biological instructions, that guide everything from how tall you become to how you respond to stress. A lot of genetic material fits inside that yolk-like nucleus. Nearly six feet of the stuff are crammed into a space that is measured in microns. A micron is 1/25,000th of an inch, which means putting DNA into your nucleus is like taking thirty miles of fishing line and stuffing it into a blueberry. The nucleus is a crowded place.

One of the most unexpected findings of recent years is that this DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is not randomly jammed into the nucleus, as one might stuff cotton into a teddy bear. Rather, DNA is folded into the nucleus in a complex and tightly regulated manner. The reason for this molecular origami: cellular career options. Fold the DNA one way and the cell will become a contributing member of your liver. Fold it another way and the cell will become part of your busy bloodstream. Fold it a third way and you get a nerve cell—and the ability to read this sentence.
excerpt from Brain Rules by John Medina

SCIENCE (permalink) 09.09.2011
if you can't sound right, sounding good is a fair fall-back plan.
alex recently told me where hiccups came from. he said, "your diaphragm falls asleep and then the snoring makes the hiccups come out."

the really sad thing is that is a better-sounding answer than i could have come up with in a pinch.

KIDS, SCIENCE (permalink) 09.06.2011
back to business
a year or two back i was in a large bathroom stall of a public toilet with all three of my kids. one of them had just gone to the rest room and i leaned over to flush the toilet. bella put her hand on my arm and said in an alarmed tone:

whoa! what are you doing?

what? i'm flushing the toilet.

you can't do it like that.

like what?

standing like that.

why not?

don't you know that a toilet can shoot spray from the bowl, like, twenty five feet into the air when it is flushed.

TROY (straightening back up)
uh. no. i didn't know that.

uhhh. yeah.

where'd you hear that?

at school.


and just think if there is pee or pooh in there.

some things:
  1. what bella doesn't know is that while i'm surely fearful of pee or pooh being jettisoned at me in the form of a fine mist, clean water from a public bowl disturbs me almost to the same degree.
  2. since that day, i have never flushed a public toilet without thinking of that moment with bella (not to mention using an outstretched foot and turning away as soon as the flush begins).
  3. also since then, i've come to believe that she (and her teachers) are right in that a few times after flushing the toilet in my office, thanks to a bright frosted window in the stall, i can see small droplets flying through the air in volcanic-like antics.
  4. and, by the way, where the hell was that lesson in my sixteen years of schooling?
  5. i will confess that, as a grown man, it sucks to have your eight year old child so effortlessly place more obstacles for your neurotic mind to navigate. she's exerted more energy asking to have the potatoes passed her way.

SCIENCE (permalink) 05.18.2011
imagine if he included balls of holly
walking down the hall, i passed marty getting anthony dressed in one of the bedrooms. she was crouched down helping him with his pants.

what anthony said:
there are two kinds of balls. there are balls in your body and there are balls outside of your body that you can play with.

what marty said to anthony in response:
the balls that are in your body have a long science name called testicles.

what marty said under her breath:
and, depending on the day and your mood, you might find there's a touch of overlap here.

KIDS, SCIENCE (permalink) 05.03.2011
just another piece of the puzzle showing why troy studied english and not math
i received the following from e-love regarding last week's post about aleo turning 8.
as your math dork friend, i should make sure you know something about the way we americans (and most westerners) do age. this past year was actually alex's 8th year (not 7th). most westerners wait until we've completed our year to say how old we are. that's why in your 1st year outside the womb, we call you zero and wait until the end of your 1st year to say you are 1. incidentally, my understanding is that the chinese do it the other way. they exit the womb and are called 1 in the sense that it's their 1st year on earth.
a true teacher is always teaching, especially when they are friends with me.

SCIENCE (permalink) 04.07.2011
an old guy in a lab coat versus a mother of three
the scientific world has long said that the female sex drive resurges after forty and that it is age and hormone related.

marty says the return of the sex drive has less to do with age and hormones and more to do with the fact those women are no longer messin' with small children.

smart money is on the person wranglin' three of them.

HEALTH, SCIENCE (permalink) 07.28.2010
let's get crackin' folks.
yesterday i had a dental cleaning at 9am and my annual physical at 11am. i was for sure poked and prodded enough for two tuesday mornings.

for those wondering if the one-way sign staked by my rectum is still standing, it is. the streak survives, assuredly thanks to an uber-low psa count in my last blood work. although, my doc hinted that i should prepare myself because the sign's days are numbered. he even had the audacity to say the c-word ... colonoscopy ... which definitely makes a gloved pointer finger seem quite innocuous. and once you get into colonoscopy country i think the DO NOT ENTER sign gets replaced with a VISITORS WELCOME sign and tour bus parking lines painted around the entrance.

so ... rectal researchers (e.g. invaders, divers, sightseers, medical enthusiasts) of the world, i implore you to get your collective act together because it looks like you've got two, maybe three years to improve your diagnostic weapons to achieve my dream of you being able to tell me the state of my prostrate and rectal cavity (nice!) from the other side of the room ... and while i still have my pants on. as for the colonoscopy, well they use big drugs for that. they might just need to tackle me at work and start the drip there.

i'd be willing to pay extra for that.

SCIENCE (permalink) 07.09.2008
problem patient
i want you to push down through your heel and squeeze your thigh. then flex your right butt muscle. as you lift the tenseness should begin in your calf, move through your thigh and then to your lower buttock. you want to pinch and hold that muscle for about five seconds, lower down slowly and then do it again.

these are the sort of instructions i get at rehab. at the end of such an outpouring i just stand, staring blankly at the woman. i want to ask her if all her counseling will be in portuguese. first off, i've never before contemplated the laws of my body's motion. historically, i just look where i want to go and my body goes there. easy-cheesy. secondly, i'm entirely unable to ambulate and think of that many things at the same time. the dopa-dopa-doh soundtrack they routinely play inside homer simpson's mind is not a farce. men wrote that. they know. and lastly, even though i have a wonderfully (to some) bulbous and fleshy ass, there doesn't seem to be any functional muscles in there. the woman told my to tighten my right cheek. i tried and couldn't and told her as much. she responded by repeating the instruction this time placing her hand on the upper part of my backside to feel for herself. i tried again and she, like me, felt nothing. she looked at me and told me to try it. i said i just did. she told me to do it again. i did it again. nothing. frustrated and perplexed she tells me i'll have to work on that. as far as i can tell there's nothing to work on. i have no ass muscles, just juicy, delicious rumpmeat that make it impossible for me to wear anything made by levis. i tried explaining that such beauty rarely coincides with functional use. you get one or the other but not both. at this point she turned from me and scribbled something in my chart. i didn't see what it was but i'm thinking it wasn't a notation of her agreement.

but how cool would it be if that is what she wrote down.

SCIENCE, HEALTH (permalink) 05.09.2008
sharing my inner-most being
upon learning that i had photographs of my surgery, a good and dear friend of mine succintly told me that he was boycotting my site until i made them available for viewing. this does seem to be my week for getting slapped about content wise. i've been planning on sharing them but have only recently become mobile enough to work at my desk and reach my scanner. but i am now able and ready to freak you all out. actually, aside from one pic, they're more awe-inspiring than gag-reflex inducing. but, to be kind, i'm hiding them and you have to click to expose each one. additionally, i'm including a gore-meter with each set so you can control your experience, seeing as much or as little of my insides as you'd like. something interesting to note is all of these pictures were taken underwater because that's just how they roll these days. to achieve this they put a turniquit above and below my knee, and then pump it full of water. i guess, this helps them get around a bit easier. it also explains why the images are so crisp.

click on the below headings to display the corresponding image.

i have no idea what this is. it more resembles one of the creatures from jeff smith's graphical novel BONE than anything i'd expect to find in my leg.

if the first shot was of my uterus i think these might be my fallopian tubes. i believe the doc said this was what was left of my original acl.

not sure what's up with the top, left image but the other two are my new acl which was bolted and screwed into my leg bones. they cut this section of ligament from my hamstring which is why it looks all sinewy and raw. in time, it should get nice rounded edges and look more like a piece of corded rope.

while bobbing for apples in my knee the surgeon noticed this gash in the cartilage covering the bone of my upper leg. to fix it he had to go in and cut/chip away at the damaged area in that it was loose, like flaking paint. in doing so, you'll notice he's got some of the most ominous looking scissors ever made. the resultant hole he made is about the size of a quarter.

the saying you have to break some eggs to make an omelete applies here. after the surgery, marty refused to let me see this particular picture. it wasn't until i went back for my post-op visit that the super-doc showed it to me. he was keen to point out that the reason there is no blood in the top, left image is that he had the water pressure turned way up, so the blood would not get in the way of him hammering holes in my bone with an ice pick. after he wreaked his mayhem he reduced the water pressure so the bone could do the last thing i ever thought a bone would do, bleed. i think he may have rubbed some magic salve on there to stimulate the development of scar tissue which is meant to create a layer between my bone and the female reproductive organs that seem reside in my knee.

QUOTES, SCIENCE (permalink) 05.01.2008
one of the best bits of banter i've run across
The Coolidge Effect is a phenomenon whereby males exhibit high sexual performance given the introduction of new willing females.

It earned its name many years ago when President Coolidge and his wife were touring a farm. While the President was elsewhere, the farmer proudly showed Mrs. Coolidge a rooster that "could copulate with hens all day long, day after day." Mrs. Coolidge coyly suggested that the farmer tell that to Mr. Coolidge, which he did.

The President thought for a moment and then inquired, "With the same hen?"

"No, sir," replied the farmer.

"Tell that to Mrs. Coolidge," retorted the President.

via kottke ... via defective yeti ... via reuniting

HEALTH, SCIENCE (permalink) 03.05.2008
i can't imagine where the mood swings are coming from
my doctor wants to stick his finger in my butt. i used to think he just wanted to a little. now i think he wants to a lot because he's taken to calling my house and telling me i really need to come in because he hasn't seen me since 2006. what he's forgetting is it was that 2006 appointment that he first suggested taking our relationship to the next level. i told him we'd do it the next time and he agreed. he just didn't totally understand what he was agreeing to. truth is, my spleen would have to be spilling out my bellybutton for me to even consider another visit.

it's kind of unfortunate that they had to come calling on this day because this day was beautiful. starting at 9am the sky opened up and vomited seven inches of fluffy, swirling snow on the city. it was a spectacular scene, observed from my fourth story office window at least. and when it was time to leave, i leisurely walked through the 150 year-old, freshly blanketed campus with amelie softly serenading me. and had it not been for the returning notion of my bunghole-inbounds appointment, the walk home may have been perfect. but it wasn't because in time it made me think of another mind-soiling moment i had in the last twenty-four hours. the day before the snow came i found a tattered strip of stationary blowing around my yard.

in case the hand-writing's giving you fits, it reads in full:
burning left thigh
sore right ankle/foot
dec - saw podiatrist
viagra rx or other
diarrhea - abdominal pains
backache - old brace
mood swing
i blurt out stuff
I aggravates

did i mention that the stationary was personalized. tragic that. i'll never be able to look at, or stand within ten feet of, this neighbor again. fact of the matter is, i'm considering moving. some people would think this laundry list of game-ending afflictions would center me, giving me the strength to go forward with my own routine maintenance. those people would be right. it does make me want to see my doctor. hell, that list makes me want to get a pap smear to boot. but i still ain't going. i'm holding out until they can see whatever it is they want to see while standing on the other side of the room or while i'm totally knocked out. sticking something up my ass is, in the least, an out-patient procedure requiring table straps and a licensed anesthesiologist. perhaps my doctor should hook up with my knee surgeon and they can kill two birds with one drop of a narcotic-loaded plunger.

SCIENCE, FAMILY (permalink) 02.21.2008
proof that men menstruate
last night i was on the tail end of reading books to alex and bella when marty rushed into the room. she went to the back window, peering out of it. after a moment she called us over to see the lunar eclipse in progress. the kids quickly scrambled out of bed joining her. marty began explaining what was occurring. bella and alex stood on the windowsill taking in the scene while marty and i looked on from behind. three-fourths of the moon was already dim.

while we waited marty and alex began a guessing-game about the people traveling on the walkway behind our house. he would call out when he saw someone approaching and we would first try to guess their gender and then their name. my guesses of cornelius and pumpernickel were met with chastising looks from bella. between pedestrians, i got some paper and sketched out for the kids what makes an eclipse an eclipse. intrigued bella started asking questions about what direction things were moving in and what other things were possible out of this (i.e. solar eclipse). marty interrupted my lesson to point out a man dancing in his third-story bedroom across the way. we all silently watched this older man gyrate and swivel to music we couldn't hear. while no one announced it, i'm sure all four of us were squintingly trying to see if he was naked. in time he paused, walked to the window, seemed to peer at us peering at him. his arm came up and he twisted his venetian blinds closed. we returned to the moon and watched the last slivers of brightness fade. when it was done it seemed anti-climactic. slowly, people drifted back to their routine spots resuming their routine acts.

for as uneventful as this unique diversion proved, i have a sense that the twenty minutes the four of us gathered around a window in a dark room to watch the earth roll between the moon and sun will hang in a framed picture in my head for much longer than one would think such a mild-mannered event should or would.

SCIENCE (permalink) 02.15.2008
when my mom worked for the CDC in colorado, she worked with doctors who flew all over the world treating epidemic illnesses. in their journeys they met all sorts of folks practicing all sorts of medicine. one technique a doctor brought back was a cure for hiccups. the fix went like this. for someone experiencing persistent hiccups you would pinch them on the arm or leg. the pinch would be firm so the person knew they were being pinched but not so hard it would hurt them. while pinching them you'd ask a series of questions. like the pinch, these were to be hard enough to make them think but not too hard that they couldn't answer them. the other night while putting alex down, he started hiccuping. i asked him if he wanted me to make them go away. he did. so i explained what i was going to do, pinched his arm and began my questions.

alex, whose house did we eat dinner at last night?


no, not sebastians.


you don't remember where we went last night? we went there to watch a game. and you played with their little girl.

uhhmm. i don't know.

ok. different question. what friends came over to play this weekend?


no. not sebastian. it was a brother and a sister.

sebastian and sophia?

no. these friends have red hair. and their mom does too.


the girls name sounds like heaven.

i don't know.

ok. new question. when we get up in the morning and get dressed, where are we going to go?


no. not sebastians. school! we are going to go to school!


not only was this the first time this has never worked, ten minutes after leaving the room, i found i had the hiccups.

PERSONAL, SCIENCE (permalink) 02.01.2008
sleep hard!
i fell asleep last night at 8:53pm (with if not slightly before alex) and just now woke up at 7:35am and only then because marty came and tussled my hair.

i once read a book that claimed one day a week you should just go to bed. they say that on this selected evening you should not plan or attempt to do anything. you just go to bed. if you're not tired, read or do something else you find to be sleep-inducing.

if there is a down-side to this recommendation it is that your back can protest eleven hours of downtime, as mine is doing as i type this quick note. this negative is compensated by the state of your mind which is in a state between frenetic fluttering and stumbling drunkenness, just like back in high school, the only other time we routinely slept in 11-hour blocks.

SCIENCE, HEALTH (permalink) 01.18.2008
your leg shouldn't do this when i do this
when i was a senior in high school i blew my right knee out while playing flag football in gym. when it happened i had a sense for what occurred but my gym coach told me i simply twisted my knee and to walk it off. that's just what i did, finishing out the school day and then working a night shift schlepping yogurt on CSU's Campus West. when i woke in the morning i was unable to move my leg at all and the knee joint was the size of a grapefruit. at the time i was living alone in my parents house, my folks having already relocated to saint louis. using the cord, i pulled the phone to my bed and called the neighbor lady who was charged with helping me in the event of trouble. she was a nurse. she was attractive. and i was naked. but she came over, let herself in and with averted eyes helped get me to the hospital.

my dad flew in for the surgery which was deemed a success but my knee never worked the same again. in the fifteen years since i've had a number of minor traumas to it and have seen many doctors many times. they all did the same thing, flex my leg this way and that and tell me some rehab and muscle work would fix my woes. being the one experiencing the failing joint, i've long known this could not be the case. this last summer the debilitation reached new heights and for every hour of tennis i would play, my knee required three days of rest. so i did some research into sports medicine orthopedist in the area and found one who does work for the saint louis rams and blues. i had my appointment yesterday.

first they took several x-rays of my knee. next, two resident interns came into the room for a preliminary examination. the lead guy asked me a few questions before putting me through the paces every internist before him had. in the end he clapped his chart shut and said he was confident some rehab would do the trick. they excused themselves saying the doctor would be in momentarily. i sat up dour. my mind churned frustrated thoughts.

the door opened again. a large, handsome man walked in giving me a firm handshake, the two toadies trailing him. he asked me about ten minutes worth of questions then had me lay back. he had a bunch of extra motion-tricks in his bag and after a few minutes said, "i think i know why your having so many problems, you have a torn ACL." i looked at the resident in time to see the blood rush from his face. the doctor seeing this, turned to him and jovially asked, "you saw this right? i mean look at this thing." the pale-faced youth managed a choked, "well yeah ... i mean no ... i mean he didn't say all that stuff about the buckling." dude, why the hell do you think i'm at an orthopedic surgeon!?!? and please note the bonus eight minutes your elder took to ask the guy he's never met about a fifteen year problem. trying to put his miss on me ... arrogant prick. the doctor turned the dropped ball into a teaching moment, showing them what a failed ACL looks like. the three of them took turns manipulating my two legs. the doc was smiling. i was smiling. and why wouldn't i be, this was my first group action ever. i could have kissed that tall, nordic god square on the mouth.

to the cutting board i go, delirious with joy!

HEALTH, SCIENCE (permalink) 09.11.2007
rest assured
for the past ten years i've been reading of scientific studies contradicting long-standing health beliefs. after analyzing the breadth of data, i've concluded that by taking all my past and present vices (i.e. fast food, drinking, smoking, masturbation) and weighing them against my positive practices (i.e. dietary moderation, sobriety, cardio-vascular exercise, masturbation) i should live to be as old as if i had never done any bad or good things in the first place.

PERSONAL, SCIENCE (permalink) 01.24.2007
dispensing inordinate quantities of unused advice
at a housewarming party last weekend, a fellow adoptee pulled me to the side to talk about an opportunity he was presented with to find his biological parents, the mother at least. he asked what i felt about the practice of adopted children finding their birth parents.

i told him about a guy i met through work several years earlier. this fellow was about my age, well educated and impressively accomplished in his field. i liked him quite a bit and would lunch with him when he was in town. on one of these outings he told me about his search for his birth mother. after revealing the mechanics of the quest, he went quiet and stared off for a long moment. i asked him if he ever found her and he said he had. i asked him if he got to meet her and he said he had. i asked him what it was like and while still looking away he sedately said 'you can never take it back'.

here's the deal, in youth adopted children assimilate what it means to be adopted (obviously, i'm talking about children who know they're adopted). part of this process inevitably has them create some mental representation of a biological parent. in my fanciful vision, my birth mother was young, empathetic, kind and the victim of dumb luck. my introspective lunch date had far more grandiose notions regarding his lineage. he had a quick mind, athletic physique, winsome charm, basically a lot of positive and innate qualities were handed to him and he, quite logically, transferred larger versions of these inherited traits onto his mind's version of his parents. when he finally came to meet his birth mother he learned she was a truck stop waitress, living in a broken-down trailer, dealing with numerous health issues and had him after a short-term, abusive fling with a guy who didn't shower a lot. many decorative vases lining glass shelves in his mind toppled on this day. and as he continues to reflect on what he has come to learn and compares it to what he long believed, as he appeared to be doing even while simply talking to me about it, these fancy pieces of brain-crystal continue to unsteadily wobble.

after telling this story to the house-warming guy, i watched him as he considered my friend's journey. during these seconds, i recalled that this same house-warming guy came to me years earlier about wether or not he should circumcise the son he was about to have. let's just say i think a certain head-hunter is about to be asked to name and locate the uterus my contemplative friend once slid out of. oh well, this is just another reason it's fortunate i like the sound of my own voice.

SCIENCE, HEALTH (permalink) 01.09.2007
no one needs an industrial-grade fan for moist feet
marty told me of a news report she heard discussing open-flatulence policies. as we know in america, public and especially audible dispersal of one's bowel-air is collectively frowned upon. but, china, marty tells me, is a country that believes holding one's gas in is an unhealthy practice and they have, as a society, agreed that any pent up air is to be loosed on the room without reservation.

first off, i agree it is unhealthy for one to sit on a giant ball of methane for a workday, but can one not argue that it is also unhealthy for others to breath what was just in someone else's colon? i reckon the studies have not been done, but i gotta think too much second-hand ass has some real down-sides. why is something so unfit for your rectum so ok for my nasal passages and lungs. a part of this logic is escaping me. furthermore, i'd like to say it is clear that none of these folks in china have ever worked with some of the system administrators i have because i know a couple of fellas who could single-sphincterly change a nation's politics and do so in short order.

lastly, let me share a friendly life-lesson i've picked up in my travels; if you meet a guy with an oscillating fan beneath his desk, pointing outward, get the hell out of there because trouble is a brewing. this warning goes double after lunch.

SCIENCE, WIFE (permalink) 11.08.2006
the nature aisle is calling
i once read that mcdonalds restaurants were designed to make a person want to leave after twenty minutes. something about the molded chairs, brilliant colors, plastic art and the like. i never gave this theory much credit until i saw a target store's effect on my wife. within seven minutes of entering a target marty will need to defecate. and i'm not talking about a subtle sensation that needs answered in the next half hour or so. i'm talking about an urge so swift she grabs waify high school employees by the arm and commands them to direct her to the nearest restroom. i think their new store designs, which place the bathrooms up front by the checkouts, are in direct response to marty and others like her.

i on occasion get the feeling that having a website may have run its course, then i get to post some cherry life detail (about someone who is not me), like how target's color scheme makes my wife's sphincter go limp and i wonder what i'd do without such a viable and diverse platform.

SCIENCE, SPORTS (permalink) 10.18.2006
there is a difference
i don't exercise to look and feel good, but rather so i don't look and feel bad.

SOCIETY, SCIENCE (permalink) 03.16.2006
i'm a magnet for information of import
the following subject was discussed during one of the more recent work pow-wows at my desk. the guy talking is one of the youngest coders in our group and he's also probably in the best shape of anyone in the office, but as always is the case in our industry, his physique is beginning to slide which is starting to plague his thoughts.

you know how when you're just wearing underwear and you bend over the elastic on your underwear waistband folds in half? now, when i stand up my gut is causing it to stay doubled over and it's freaking me out.

i assured him that if he stays in technology just a few more years, the problem will iron itself out because he will no longer be able to bend over in the first place. i didn't smile or laugh when i said it and he studied me seriously for a moment before waving me off laughing. i then gave him a reassuring, yet pitying, smile. in my tenure, i've watched many young men go through this body image revelation. no two really accept it the same so it's always a treat to watch.

in a related aside, many years ago bookguy said something to me that stuck firm since. we were on the elevator going to lunch and he told me he could tell if someone was overweight by seeing nothing but their shoes. curious i tested him and he was repeatedly spot on. when i asked how he was doing it he said the laced knots on their shoes were not centered on the tongue but more towards the inside of their body and this was because they pull their foot up onto their knee to tie it, versus leaning over and tying them straight on.

can't wait to send the kid at work into a further tailspin by applying this observation to him.

and i know your first impulse is to be jealous of the insightful and meaningful conversations that seem to routinely gravitate towards me every day. to that i say, you should be jealous. but you should also be chagrined that you don't get to hear all the juicier ones to blue for the net.

SCIENCE (permalink) 02.21.2006
can i have some toilet water with that please?
marty told me of a story where a twelve year old science-fair participant did a study on five of the restaurants in her home town. she analyzed their ice cubes and toilet water, and she found that the toilet water was cleaner.

can somebody older than twelve and with a little juice call foul here and take some corrective action?

and while i support this youngster's obvious giftedness, i don't think i want to follow her success because at twelve she's already given me the perpetual shakes. there's no doubt that this girl's future thoughts and studies will work to fully incapacitate me.

SCIENCE (permalink) 02.14.2006
drivers wanted
i was sent the following article on circumcision by someone who said they wanted to be the first to bring it to my attention, hoping to beat the droves of others who would certainly be directing the link my way. she's right on one point, i for sure get tons of email alerting me to penis related literature. she's wrong though in thinking it's all circumcision related.

i'm not sure what to think of this. i'm suspect of a 'study' done where the author repeatedly qualifies the efficacy of their methods. the angle has certainly been done before; if you want to know if life is better clipped or unclipped, ask sexually mature folks who have seen both sides of the mountaintop. i agree there is merit in such an approach but i think more needs to be uniformly understood about the subjects to better qualify their responses. as for what sorts of additional things, all sorts of things; their background, their experiences, their teachings, their expectations, their medical state, etc, etc, etc.

in defense, i was kind of hoping to get through this online/web/blog experience without sharing one of my most simple analogies, but i can see that's no longer in the cards ...

your penis is your race car. it's the shiniest, fastest, coolest car you'll ever have the privilege to operate. as for the preservation of this fine automobile you've got two choices; you can keep it housed in a finished, heated and attached garage or you can park it under that sugar-gum tree in front of your home where kids will bounce balls off it, rain, snow and sleet will pelt it and birds will evacuate their bowels on its windshield and paint. when it comes time to drive your sleek mobile down the interstate at 90 or even leisurely trek to your local park, would you rather roll out of the garage in the pristine and protected model or pull away from the curb in the dinged and pollen-covered one?

i did mention that birds are taking dumps on one of them, right? and, if you need help with my analogy, please ask someone you know to explain it to you (i'm not certain they will be able to help but would love being responsible for the expression on their face knowing you asked them to translate the above paragraph for you).

thanks lisa. you were the first.

and i wish all of you and all of your sports cars a happy valentines day.

SCIENCE, SOCIETY (permalink) 10.11.2005
printers, doorknobs and that shared copy of teen beat
if someone chooses to not use their sick days and comes to work ill, jettisoning their poisoned dna throughout the office, other presently healthy employees should have the right to use the diseased individual's sick-days (since they seem disinclined to). i mean why shouldn't the un-sick folks get to stay that way, un-sick? as for who should get first dibs on these confiscated privileges, a neurosis-based pecking order seems to make sense. what's one more bulleted list to corporate america?

granted, such an intelligent selection process would more than guarantee myself first rights to any neglected sick day. and don't think i'd only take honors in my current office because i'd win this lottery in your office, your partner's office, the office of every person you've ever known or done business with. you're reading the words of a man who can see germs as easily as i can see if you flushed the toilet in my home. and i'm not talking about detecting your day-after-the-super-bowl bowel movement, but your near-clear, post-bally's workout urine. hell, on a good day i could tell you the score without even walking into the john.

and, if i hear one more person tell me they're beyond the point of contagion i'm going to hack a spittle-laden sneeze on their keyboard and say "yeah, me too."

WEB, SCIENCE (permalink) 09.30.2005
so i was scratching my self-esteem the other day
when i laid down in bed a few nights back marty said that while she was looking for something on my computer she saw an email message from a girl saying she saw my profile online and wondered if i wanted to chat or get together. it is one of my more prevalent pieces of spam mail that i haven't filtered for yet. i laughed it off saying that i get those all the time. after about thirty seconds marty said, 'so where do you have an online profile?'.

the better question is, where don't i have an online profile.

and speaking of spam, my most cherished piece of unsolicited correspondence of recent time follows. for the sake of this presentation i've replaced every reference to a phallus with the phrase 'self-esteem', every reference to a stimulated phallus with the word 'confidence' and every reference to the fleshy skin towards the top of the phallus with the word 'ego' (mostly b/c not all of the semantics used in this message were exactly professional and/or scientific, and no one is ever going to accuse me of not conducting myself with the utmost of decorum. i mean really, if you can't bring yourself to use the proper term for an erection, engorged manroot, then perhaps you ought not be talking about the subject.)


I have always worried about the size of my self-esteem. When I have sex, even though she says that the sex is good, I know that what she really wants is an extra inch of my self-esteem!

I saw the advertising for More-Size on TV and was really impressed by the customers reports. The pills work by enhancing the hormone that instructs your body to fill your self-esteem with blood. More and more blood gets pumped into the two large chambers on top of your self-esteem, making said self-esteem harder than ever before. Your self-esteem is very very flexible, and adapts well to the increased pressure, getting longer and harder.

The best thing is that once the hormones have been enhanced, they get used to it and you keep your enhanced size for many months after you stop taking the medication

This is the only method that is said to work other than mechanical stretching! Pumps and creams do NOT have the same long-lasting effects.

I could tell that my self-esteem was getting longer and heavier, but I thought that when I stopped taking them that my confidence would shrink back to its original size. I was really surprised!

I have been 4.5" long since adolescence. Since I have been using this formula my self-esteem has been 6.5" long, and my confidence is nearly twice the size. Just be careful not to take too much to begin with as the skin needs time to adapt to your new improved self-esteem!

The lengthening is permanent!

I could not believe the results of this prescription. I am back to taking them again and my self-esteem is still getting larger! My girlfriend says it is the best product I've ever bought, and she ALWAYS reminds me to take them if I should forget!

Take a peek... We know they work. There's a total guarantee with them, too. If you are not completely satisfied with your length gain and comfort you get your money back. Every penny. No-one sends them back!

Please be aware that if your ego is already tight or if your confidence is already too hard and causes discomfort, you should consult the advice of your doctor before taking these pills, as the extra size could cause added discomfort

and lastly, one of the more genuine parts of this message is that its sender was a female.

KIDS, SCIENCE (permalink) 09.23.2005
a powerful argument for home schooling
the teachers at bella's pre-school send a note home in her backpack every school day. these notes typically share what was done that day or plans for the next day.

earlier this week the note home read ...

recently a child in the school was found to have head lice. lice are passed from head to head, through direct or indirect (hats, towels, car seats, etc.) contact. lice have nothing to do with cleanliness, just exposure. please check you child for the presence of nits. if you think he or she is infected, please treat immediately and let us know so we can track the spread. Please let me know if you have any questions.

if you think anyone in our home was checked before me, you'd be horrifically mistaken. fact of the matter is marty had to pick through my hair while the letter laid at my feet with me repeatedly saying "do you see any? are there any? what is a nit? what do they look like? what do they do? oh my gawd, have you found any!!!!!?"

during my tremble-voiced questions bella stood in front of me, innocently looking up, saying ...

dad, they're just like white ants and if we find some then we look for the mother or father and try to get them first so they stop making more babies in your hair.

white ants! babies! bella please stop talking while mommy checks daddy. and this is different than how mommy checks daddy on saturday mornings but all the same you got to give us a minute. marty are they really like white ants? please tell me they aren't really white ants! marty! have you found anything?

just a little bit of dandruff. but i think you're lice-free.

dandruff! oh great. so instead of live ants i just got a bunch of dead debris living on my head. this is great. i'm going to go take a shower. and no more notes from school! i don't want to know!

what's dandruff?

SCIENCE (permalink) 09.20.2005
open wide and say DUH.
do you know how to tell if you are dehydrated? i didn't and expressed the concern to someone at a rest stop on last week's MS150 bike ride. the following series of questions ensued.

do you have a headache?
now that you asked that question i do.

does your body ache?
i've biked 97 miles in the last two days. yes my body aches.

do you have stomach cramps?
because you aren't familiar with my diet, i'll forgive the fact that you don't already know my stomach is in a perpetual state of turmoil. it is what makes me so empathetic towards menstruating women.

when was the last time you urinated?
two and a half days ago.

the only question i had for her was why she didn't ask the fourth question first given it's apparent slam-dunk nature, you know, a diagnostic money shot of sorts.

QUOTES, SCIENCE (permalink) 09.01.2005
yes, as a matter of fact, i am taking a poll
i met a new girl recently and asked her the question i ask all new girls i meet; has she ever seen an uncircumcised penis? her response:
oh no ... i don't think so ... well maybe once ... in college ... but i was drunk ... and trying not to look ... or trying not to notice at least.
i feel as though if i could have gotten her to continue for seven more seconds she would have told me that she, herself, had an uncircumcised penis.

and god knows what i would have gotten with fifteen more seconds, the opportunity to see it for myself perhaps?

SCIENCE, FRIENDS, STORYTIME (permalink) 08.26.2005
one hit i won't be taking for the team
anyone who tells me they've had a vasectomy can be assured of my undivided attention for as long as they will answer my questions. i'm entirely unable to explain my quenchless need to know more about this topic, i just know to call it anything short of insatiable would be a mistaken way to describe my mood. last night i received my best account yet from a man who i will call, for the sake of this telling, the beef-eater.

first, and this i did not know, there is a pre-screening. the extent of this pre-flight check seems mostly concerned with making sure you don't have three testicles and that the two you do have are sitting in the appropriate left-right configuration. although, i imagine they would be truly interested in any number above two. and as for non-left/right options you have the very rare front/back or even more rare top/bottom alignments, either of which would certainly earn a note in the metal binder. and, there is little doubt that any of these unique scenarios would generate extra fees (esp bonus gonads) so this reality check works to prepare the subject for any special handling fees that may arise. the day the beef-eater had his pre-screening was coincidentally bring your kid to work day which means he got to answer these questions with a backpack-wearing eight year old staring up at him.

the big day has you laid out on an exam table naked from the waist down. they drape a towel over your groin area only there is a big whole cut out framing the part of you the towel is usually there to conceal (nobody better look at the naked side of my hip while my johnson is laying there lifeless, bloodless and frankly scared quite shitless). the nurse then partially knocks you out so you're awake but mostly unable to put up much of a fight or think too straight. it was at this point in the procedure that the super-attractive lady who lived two doors down from the beef-eater and was a nurse in this office, unbeknownst to him, entered the room. the best he could muster was to raise a hand and mumble the single word 'foul'. the doctor came in moments later and began. after the incisions were made he took a tool that resembled a crochet needle and pulled one of the vas deferens out of the hole, exposing it to be severed. i'm told that having your gamete superhighway lifted from its tracks in this manner produces an extremely unnatural sensation. i theorize this is the anti-erection part of the procedure, just in case all the random fumblings elicited any sort of positive feedback. it is now that they snip, burn and return the helpless tube back to its home. my mind envisions the ends whipping around like a dropped firehose or more appropriately, a writhing and injured worm.

they then sent him home telling him to lay on the couch with frozen corn on his affected part(s) for the next 24 hours. these were the last words of our conversation:

wow. is it hard to clean up all of that corn when you get up.

you leave it in the bag, idiot!

oh. but, when you were done do you put the bag back in the freezer or throw it away?

i don't know what other people do, but i threw mine away.

hmmm. i don't think marty would let me throw it out, groin-ridden or not.

and i can now check another fixation from my list. i found the account of this man's journey to be quite satisfying. thanks beef-eater for doing successfully what many before you could not.

FAITH, KIDS, SCIENCE (permalink) 07.05.2005
from the 'saying it doesn't make it so' stack
somehow, google listed my site as a resource to someone searching for information about masturbating children. i've never really considered myself an authority on masturbation but after four seconds of consideration i realized that, for reasons i'd rather not iterate through, i'm quite qualified to speak on the topic. and for an even greater number of reasons i'd especially rather not iterate through, i very well may be one of the foremost available authorities on the subject.

with this new mandate on my plate, i thought i'd spin around the web a bit and see what the competition was up to. it took less than eight mouse clicks to stumble upon this little morsel issued by our friends at the mormon church, steps in overcoming masturbation.

do i need to bother saying more is coming in regard to this document or is it as obvious as an erection in math class.

for the slow-witted or those using all their brain's resources trying not to touch their naughty parts, there WILL BE MORE COMING in regard to this document.

SCIENCE, KIDS (permalink) 06.29.2005
do you got a snooze button on you?
not long ago i did some research into best practices for sleep. one point all the researchers agreed upon was that alarm clocks are the devil's work. your body knows when it's sufficiently rested and will wake you naturally. i've been doing this for over a year now and will say there is a great amount of truth to that finding.

but to clarify, by waking naturally i mean (1) after having gotten the requisite amount of sleep my body wakes, without any kind of assistance or (2) getting pushed in the shoulder and being told by a hands-on-hip four year old, "father, i said you need to change my pull-up, so get up!"

SCIENCE (permalink) 05.11.2005
you could damn-near suck a marble through the thing
statement of fact:
mcdonalds coke tastes better than anyone else's coke.

statement of fact:
the reason for this is the fat straw.

go ahead and sick the myth-busters on it. i'm right.

SCIENCE (permalink) 02.03.2005
flatulence can also be contagious
smart john once told me that a leading theory about yawning is that we yawn when our bodies aren't getting enough oxygen. you do this a lot when you're tired because your body is getting lazy and not drawing in enough oxygen.

smart john went on to say that yawning is contagious autonomically; a biological survival deal. if you see the guy sitting next to you yawning, your body vibes that there isn't enough oxygen in the room/cave/space and thinks it also needs to yawn so you can get a big ole mouthful of air as well.

i have no idea if this is true but i liked it when i heard it. it's become a rubik's cube of sorts sitting on the coffee table in my brain. a curiosity picked up a few times a year and spun aimlessly, knowing i have no prayer of making sense of the riddle but oddly compelled to study it for a few yawn-free moments every now and again.

SOCIETY, SCIENCE (permalink) 09.15.2004
so that's what all these people are talking about
i just met my second person who used to have a scanner that could pick up cell phone conversations. as i understand it, due to changes in cellular protocols, these devices can no longer receive the signals. too bad about that really, cuz there are about seven traits of my personality that would have made that activity and me real good friends.

interestingly each of these fellows had similar findings. they said that the dominant thread of conversation they heard dealt with infidelity. one of them went as far to put it at 70% of the conversations he listened to took place between affair goers.

the second most common discussion they spied; couples fighting.

now there's some math even i can add up.

QUOTES, BOOKS, SCIENCE (permalink) 08.03.2004
one of the most enticing book openings i've EVER read
Welcome. And congratulations. I am delighted that you could make it. Getting here wasn't easy, I know. In fact, I suspect it was a little tougher than you realize.

To begin with, for you to be here now trillions of drifting atoms had somehow to assemble in an intricate and intriguingly obliging manner to create you. It's an arrangement so specialized and particular that it has never been tried before and will only exist this once. For the next many years (we hope) these tiny particles will uncomplainingly engage in all the billions of deft, cooperative efforts necessary to keep you intact and let you experience the supremely agreeable but generally under appreciated state known as existence.

Why atoms take this trouble is a bit of a puzzle. Being you is not a gratifying experience at the atomic level. For all their devoted attention, your atoms don't actually care about you - indeed, don't even know that you are there. They don't even know that they are there. They are mindless particles, after all, and not even themselves alive. (It is a slightly arresting notion that if you were to pick yourself apart with tweezers, one atom at a time, you would produce a mound of fine atomic dust, none of which had ever been alive but all of which had once been you.) Yet somehow for the period of your existence they will answer to a single overarching impulse; to keep you you.


Consider the fact that for 3.8 billion years, a period of time older than the Earth's mountains and rivers and oceans, every one of your forebears on both sides has been attractive enough to find a mate, healthy enough to reproduce, and sufficiently blessed by fate and circumstances to live long enough to do so. Not one of your pertinent ancestors was squashed, devoured, drowned, starved, stranded, stuck fast, untimely wounded, or otherwise deflected from its life's quest of delivering a tiny charge of genetic material to the right partner at the right moment in order to perpetuate the only possible sequence of hereditary combinations that could result - eventually, astoundingly, and all too briefly - in you.
excerpt from the introduction of bill bryson's, A Short History of Nearly Everything. detail here

SCIENCE, HYGIENE (permalink) 07.01.2004
i think you will find my rates quite reasonable.
i am starting a business. i'm going to be a Nula. to answer your next question, a Nula is a naked doula. and, if you don't know what a doula is, it is someone who helps a woman have a baby.

why does the doula have to be naked? well, simply because the woman having the baby is naked, or should be naked at least. and why should this naked woman have to be surrounded by a bunch of folks who are dressed. i strongly believe everyone in a delivery room should be naked and this is my contribution to this missive. i will show up at anyone's delivery, undress in the bathroom, walk out and say "now let's have us a baby" while rubbing my hands together excitedly. this is the service i will provide.

and lucky for me i have two friends days from having a baby. guess that do-it-yourself brazilian waxing kit isn't going to go to waste after all. only question is will jenn or tracy get to see the goods first.

SCIENCE, HYGIENE (permalink) 06.29.2004
all i want for christmas
i recently heard a commercial advertising a new product, the totally silent tampon wrapper or as they put it 'you would need bionic hearing to know this tampon was being opened.'

3 seconds after hearing this i thought ...
'oh lord, you've got to be kidding me. what next?'

42 seconds after hearing this i thought ...
'but wait a minute. is this akin to plopping in the toilet. i know some people can't drop their payload if others are in earshot and do things like hold it to the point of discomfiture or padding the water with a few squares in attempt to absorb the sound (and we all know that's only about a 50-50). is announcing to others in the room that your endometrial lining has begun sloughing from your uterine walls equally embarrassing? i can see wanting to avoid advertising that.'

2 minutes after hearing this i thought ...
'i just don't know. in some respects it seems like it would be a far more embarrassing admission but i've never gone through with it so cannot say. must begin asking women if menstruation is embarassing.'

2 hours after hearing this ...
'i wish i had something that required a totally silent thing that someone needed bionic hearing to hear me using.'

1 day after.
'i never get any cool stuff.'

scientific footnote: i have always likened the sloughing of the endometrial lining to large shards of an iceberg sliding into the water even though i know that the female version must be a much more gelatinous affair but i just can't come up with a better comparison. and, don't get me wrong, i'm thankful each and every day for not having a better something to visualize this against.

STORYTIME, SCIENCE, HYGIENE (permalink) 06.04.2004
just another bonding moment from the norman rockwell collection
while playing outside at the neighbors house, bella ran up to me and said she had to go pee. "so go pee" i told her. she promptly whipped down her pants, squatted and proceeded to urinate in the grass pretty much right where she was standing when she asked the question.

some of you may think that the odd part of this story is that i not only encourage but actually instruct my child to drop trow and whiz in someone else's lawn, but it is not. nor is it in the detail that one of the boys playing with us, a four year old, ran up behind bella, laid down on the ground desperately trying to see the pee come out. i'm watching this little guy watching my daughter and thought, man this kid is a freakshow.

ten minutes later freakshow-boy announces his own need to urinate. his mom, like me, told him to go ahead and go. so he pulled the bottom of his shirt up to his neck, pinching it under his chin. he then pushed his pants and underwear down to his ankles and jutted his groin out in front of him as if he were trying to form the letter C for some seseme street skit. now for those of you out there certain this nearly naked pose is the weird part of my story, slow down. the weird part is not his body's pose, but what he did with his hands during the stance ... using both hands, he made a diamond shape around his penis/genitals, framing them while he peed. as i'm taking this whole vision in, i spied bella squatting a few feet from him studying the heck out of this dude's urination technique. i considered yelling at her to leave the freak alone while he peed but was myself too transfixed for such petty administration. so we both, father and daughter, watched the 4 year old from next door empty his bladder into the front yard of his home.

in closing, i can't even tell you how much i'm looking forward to my next work day where i can casually stroll to the bathroom, cram my polo shirt up under my chin, lower my pants and boxers to my ankles, jut my doughy paunch forward, letter-C-style, and aim for the urinal which will be an impressive four feet away. the only real question left will be if others in the bathroom will lay on the ground (ala freakshow) or simply squat (ala bella) to observe, what i'm sure they will all agree is, a mesmerizing vision to behold.

SCIENCE (permalink) 03.31.2004
you can't have a help group for it until you have a name for it
i'm looking to create a word to describe the excess flesh riding above an ill-fitting bra. i'm not sure what this bursting mound of mammary should be called, but know that there is a term out there floating in the air above our heads which aptly defines it. suggestions?

FRIENDS, SCIENCE (permalink) 03.18.2004
we are bound to repeat history
i'm not sure who started it. since i'm writing the tale, we'll let the benefit of the doubt go to the historian which means bookguy began this mess.

the first time it happened we didn't think much of it. the second time, we eyed one another suspiciously. by the seventh time we knew there was a greater force guiding events. it began when i came into work with a zit, bookguy promptly and expectedly said something along the lines of 'nice zit'. two days later he had a festering carbuncle on the tip of his nose four times the size and three shades darker than my own.

as i alluded to, this trend oddly continued, meaning anytime one of us would harangue the other over something we knew they would be insecure about, mother wrath would deliver a much worse malady upon the offender. we termed this phenomenon as juju, bad juju specifically. the juju proved so reliable we actually reached a point of maturity, if even maturity through fear of consequence (is there really any other kind?). if you had a blemish you could see the other staring at it, the rolodex of insults spinning in their brain but knowing they wouldn't pluck a card out lest they suffer a retort from the juju god.

bookguy now lives in another state and we've missed many opportunities and facial imperfections. i think this distance gave me a false sense of security because i recently acted foolishly. he posted a picture of himself on his web site wearing a new pair of glasses. knowing him well enough to know that he'd be uncertain of his ability to pull off such a contemporary style (surely picked out by his wife) i sent him an email regarding a boondoggle we'd soon be taking; 'you're not planning on wearing your new spectacles on our trip, are you?'

i woke up wednesday morning to discover someone had relocated mount krakatoa from whatever continent it resided on to just below my right eye. this is classic juju at work. and it will not be lost on my travel mate.

fricken juju.

SCIENCE (permalink) 03.02.2004
how's about dialing it down a notch doc?
when i was being put together my ears came from a plywood box marked REFURBISHED. this would usually be cool had the worker responsible for testing my previously opened ears not been both hung-over and suffering from ADD. resultantly, i on occasion have funky things go on in my aural cavities. as for what kinds of things, i'm talking of things that would send most falling back from their bathroom sink in abject disgust and horror. but for someone accustomed to the host of things that have fallen, poured or been otherwise extracted from my ears, i view it as another day moments before leaving for the office.

last monday was one such day. a jet white q-tip went in and a sludgy black cudgel came out. studying it momentarily i took stock of how i felt, how my ear felt. all felt well so i moved on. by thursday my ear had swollen shut. if you've never seen an ear swollen shut, ask marty who sought proof of my ailment before letting me spend the night on the couch. if you've never experienced how an ear this swollen feels, ask ligaya who reports it to be worse than labor (and she experienced that twice).

off to the doctor i went. he, like many before him, quickly grabbed a pad wrote a name and address on it and said 'go here'. off to the ear-nose and throat guy i went. you haven't lived until you've seen the host of cool gadgets these fellas have. if these gurus would open weekend spas where they cleaned out your ears and other crannies with their cool-ass mini-vaccums and micro-water-picks i'd be the first in line.

the first such ENT guy i went to was so nice. he asked about the problems i've had with my ears and sat through my numerous accounts, jotting notes here and there. he said things like "well, let's take a look", "yeah, i think we can get that cleaned up for you" and even stuff like "now you let us know if that gives you anymore problems" not to mention "hello", "goodbye" and "have a nice day". below recounts what the guy i saw today said to me:

what ear is it?
you're going to feel some discomfort here.
hold still.
now you're going to have to hold still.
i'm changing your prescription.

those aren't the highlights. that's it! this guy makes endo look like dick van dyke in the music man. what a fricken neanderthal! and, sadly, his technique was about as honed as his gift for gab (thank god he wasn't my first). now to the troll's credit, he straightened my ear out. the fact that i was floppin' in the chair like nemo in the sink should not be overlooked though.

and just so all of your private ridicule isn't spent on me today, bookguy cleans his navel with a q-tip.

SCIENCE, WEB, SOCIETY (permalink) 02.11.2004
1 member strong (think about it)
just as my campaign against circumcision was ebbing, i learned that i had my first admitted/documented conversion. and by this i mean when these new parents were having the discussion about to chop or to not chop my name came up, and in a positive way, a convincing way.

now some of you may be thinking that for all the raving i do, it is amazing that this is my first conversion. i know that's what i thought when my jehovah's witness friend told me that after knocking on doors every week for ten years he had yet to convert someone. i thought what conviction, what perseverance, what a lunatic. in fact, his dedication proved sturdier than mine because i was ready to give up the foreskin fight after just three years of rejection. but, the most disheartening fact about it all was not the futility but the near-believers. the people who nodded in agreement. the people who saw the logic before them. the people who could see the flaws in the process and still decided, in the end, to take the knife to their infant boys.

for those who want the converts' names, whether your intention be congratulatory or inflammatory (for rekindling my faith) forget about it. all of my client information is kept in the strictest of confidence, especially the clients i like.

PERSONAL, SCIENCE (permalink) 02.05.2004
anatomically correct pollock
when we asked bella to draw pictures of her great grandparents to be mailed to them, she said no problem. later, when she handed her sketches to us we were pleasantly surprised at her eye for detail and said as much. she then instructed us to turn the pictures over. when we asked what was on the backside she explained and we were pleasantly appalled (see exhibits 2 & 4 below).

after bella returned to the breakfast room to draw more, marty and i had a brief discussion about who was to blame bella's overly thorough renditions. marty's firm belief in the scientific facts hurt her. my conviction to the pedestrian nature of our bodily functions didn't do me any favors. in the end we agreed to consider the other at fault realizing we were equally unswayable.

sorry grandma and grandpa but i'm not one to interfere with another's artistic expression or its public display no matter how personal ... to people who are not me.

exhib 1. great grandma | front

exhib 2. great grandma | back

exhib 3. great grandpa | front

exhib 4. great grandpa | back

SCIENCE, FRIENDS (permalink) 01.30.2004
i mean truck stops sell them for goodness sake
e-love and dr. j are expecting their first child. congratulations e-love and dr. j.

with that out of the way, let us now move to the interesting part of the news.

e-love describes the vaginal sonogram instrument as highly phallic. i'm not sure what he or i expected from such a tool but we agree it seems like they'd try to do something to make it, well, less obviously phallic. we surmise they feel they're dealing with childbearing age adults and should be free to let such a detail slip by. e-love and i further surmise, they assume wrong.

now in the application of the sonogram, at least they use protection. i mean of course they use protection. this is america, you know, the styrofoam country. but the question is ... if you were a medical professional working with reproductive systems and had to sheath an item that was the shape, of say, a banana, what do you think you might use?

and before you answer, let me assert that these folks are on the baby birthing side of the fence and not tooting the prevention horn as much but i gotta think they're hip to the fact that a condom just might fit this tubular rod like a glove.

can we agree on this?

well, we may, but they do not. instead of getting something to fit the instrument like a glove, they instead use A GLOVE. and when does a glove not fit something like a glove you ask? when that something is shaped like a penis.

and for those who are as inquisitive as me, they use the pinky finger of the glove. and like me, that poor vaginal sonogram device just can't catch a damn break.

SCIENCE (permalink) 01.16.2004
all that birth control for nothing
there have been points in my life where i feared a man's sperm supply was finite. i mean, i know everyone says this is not the case, but i also knew if there was a bottom to the bucket, i might be on a pace to get to it. i can even tell you how the imagined conversations played out in my adolescent brain between myself and an as of yet unidentified future wife.

the scene always starts moments after the doctor informed us that i had somehow used all my guys up, even though it has never been proven to be a scientific possibility. the doctor would then explain to my wife how it's really quite impressive that i found the energy, compunction and alone time necessary to entirely deplete my stock. my wife would not be moved or wowed by the doctor's opinions on the matter or that i'm, by his estimation, a medical marvel of sorts. she would instead be totally absorbed on how she was going to explain to her friends, family and as of yet unidentified second husband that the man she initially chose to spend her life with squandered all of his gametes before he was ever handed a high school diploma.

thankfully i was wrong (see exhibits one & two).

although now that i think about it, both of these children were conceived while vacationing with e-love.

SCIENCE (permalink) 12.31.2003
there, i just saved you 50 bucks!
as some of you prepare to enter the self-improvement routine in this new year, know this; franklin covey, the time management / self improvement gurus, made a multimillion dollar business by preaching two basic tenets:

1. if you need to do something, write it down.
2. if you have written something down, do it!

practice those two rules and i assure you, life will improve. and you don't even need one of those fancy leather-bound franklin planners for it to work.

SCIENCE (permalink) 11.14.2003
i'm just counting sheep, interpretive dance style
marty and i have been married somewhere between 3 and 7 years. in this time i have gone to bed before her exactly 9 times. monday night was one of these times. it was 12:42 when i laid down. i remember thinking what an awesome night sleep i'd be getting making it to bed in this nascent hour. putting it all into perspective, one must know that the three nights previous i went to bed at 4am, 3am and almost 6am (thanks to mr. everyman).

having children changes the whole mood of this nocturnal lifestyle because when you go to bed at six only to be beaten about the head two hours later with an empty gatorade bottle containing seven coins and having the words "big bird, i want to watch big bird NOW daddy!" screamed inches from your ear, you realize there is much in the world that's just not right.

but back to the going to bed first. when this happens, i do this, totally involuntary, meal worm dance as a form of acclimation to the cold sheets. to fully set the scene: i'm face-down. i'm naked. my body/limbs are in full stretch, grind and squirm mode all while rolling from shoulder to shoulder. i've never done this without thinking how cool it would be if i were doing it ten hours earlier, at work, midday, laying on that tight woven carpet, face down, naked, shaking and quaking like this. i imagine a circle of employees standing around me. one might ask, 'who's that?' whereupon another will answer 'that's troy, the web guy'. the first may then ask, 'what's he doing?' and the second would respond 'i have no worldly idea'.

SCIENCE (permalink) 11.05.2003
excuse me, i think your browneye fell over
if someone were attempting to create the party environment i would be least comfortable in, they would have to design a halloween/karaoke combo party. two things to know: i don't dress up and i sure as hell don't sing in public.

upon entering the threshold of this debacle, the very first thing i see would be a six foot sock monkey singing elvis' blue christmas and dancing in circles in the living room like one of those hopping toy penises used in Pump Up the Volume.

do you know how scary a six foot sock monkey is? do you know that sock monkeys have a horizontal anus that looks like a set of lips? do you know that this sideways nether region is disproportionately large in regard to the rest of the creature? in fact, it is a whopping thirteen inches in length on the six foot rendition of this cotton-tubed primate.

but why is it sideways? if it were oriented the way one would expect, it would only be slightly unnerving, but tip the damn thing on it's side like that and were talking about a vision that consumes the last thoughts to enter your mind's eye before slumber for four straight nights.

on the positive side, at the least i had something to mull over while sitting in the corner while the non-introverted types did their thing.

SCIENCE (permalink) 10.30.2003
my spell check had a heyday with this one
sex. let's get into it. how have we not yet? bewildering. what kind of naughty stuff should we talk about? pregnant sex you say. hmmm. little peculiar but why not?

couples predominately seem to be on the same page when it comes to relations during pregnancy but i recently heard of a couple who decided, mutually, to not have intercourse at all during their first pregnancy. i can't help but wonder if they understand that you may ELECT to abstain during the pregnancy but that you WILL abstain after the pregnancy.

regardless of what your mind has previously conjured up or what you have been told, sex during pregnancy, assuming the female is healthy, is all good. i repeat, confidence is high. for quite some time your future tike is smaller than a dry roasted peanut and will not be getting in the way. and when he/she is not a peanut, they're an orange for much of the nine months. please forget your inane jokes about causing brain damage with your steely phallus, cause it ain't happening fabio. also forget about your manseed messing up the kid's house. if your deposit causes that sort of mayhem, you and your kid got way bigger problems to contend with.

now after the birth takes place, consider yourself benched. the physical trauma the female's goods go through will leave you simply amazed they'd ever work again. and consider the mental exercise of seeing a human, a gallon of blood/stuff and a placental flank steak come pouring out of your wife's girl parts. while it's not going to wreck you eternally both because it is your wife, your kid and you've been steeling yourself for this vision for nine months, it is certain to cool your jets for a short while. and obviously, the female is a little bit on the re-configured side after all this and it takes time. be patient. and, here's a totally solid piece of advice. don't be one of those eager hard-ons who asks the wife and/or doctor "uhhmm, so how long till we can ... you know ... do stuff". don't be that guy. be the patient guy. it will happen.

but, maybe the cold-turkey couple has legitimate reasons. if so, awesome. and, when you really think about it, it's so not a thing. i also forget that not everyone experienced the adolescent drought that i did. i could do two years without blinking. i could do one year without even realizing it had been one year because i was fully convinced i would never know a woman. i can be viewed as a sex-camel who could go impressive periods between pit stops. i appreciate that not everyone has been so fortunately prepared.

and i guess it's only fair to speak to when walt and i stopped ... you know ... doing stuff. it was definitely when i could see the little nipper swimming around in there, through marty's stomach. an elbow here raking left to right. a foot there dragging top to bottom, doing the electric slide as we were doing the electric, well, let's just say it was at that exact moment i said i'd wait until the third human in the room could be on the other side of the door.

SCIENCE (permalink) 09.29.2003
honey, where are the diapers, i'm making a bundt cake?
a favorite food item of mine has long been a baked potato liberally doused in colby jack cheese, spring onions and sour cream. on very special occasions i may even spatter some bacon pieces on top to treat my aching palette.

saturday i was doing the dishes. i was possibly thinking about such a decadent spud while doing so. meanwhile an interview with a food photographer came on the radio. he was detailing the rigors of shooting different cuisines and how all of these artificial measures had to be taken to make the food look fresh out of the oven, frozen stiff or whatever the case may be. he revealed how to perfectly simulate an oven-fresh, piping hot potato, one simply had to take a totally water-condensed tampon, heated and shove it down into the fluffy white manna to simulate those hot spirals of steam one gets when first piercing the brown pod. works every time, he assured the interviewer.

yeah, well you know what else works every time? planting imagery in my head of my favorite food being immersed or otherwise wrapped around doctored feminine hygiene products. show some respect for the world around you! you bragging dolt!

SCIENCE (permalink) 09.19.2003
i have two copies of the west side story soundtrack
most people who meet me are hyper curious/anxious to meet marty, and not for the same reason luby was itching to meet her. first they want to see if she's really a she (marty ... marty ... could go either way). and secondly, for the same tired reason of just having to know who elected to put up with me till death makes us part.

well, for your information, the person putting up with me had a very lackadaisical look on her face when we saw two pandas having sex in a tree on the tele and the commentator talked about how the female had two vaginas. after telling marty she was at least 50% deficient she informed me that i was short one bifurcated penis as well and that if i'd work on mine, she'd work on hers.

marty then went onto say that she's often contemplated stopping to check out road-maimed opossums because they, like pandas, have this dual genital thing going on. first question is, how does anyone know this. second question is, how the hell did i end living with a person who knows this. third question is, how the hell is it i'm somehow known as the freaky one living at our address.

and, if you're curious, luby seeks to meet the partners of people he may intend hanging out with just in case the other person totally sucks because he "already has one friend he can only eat lunches with because that's the only time his wife is sure to be working and thus guaranteed to be previously engaged."

SCIENCE (permalink) 09.02.2003
never showing fear since 1984
in a trip to the zoo last week, i found bella hunched over a display and pushing a button on the wall. i peered in through the smallish Plexiglas window and saw a bunch of sand and twigs. my eyes prowled for the prize. i scanned the box until i saw pressed into one of the corners a shiny, blue, three inch scorpion. AAAHHHH! i shrieked. then bella pushed the button and the box went dark. that is everything in the box except the scorpion which now glowed a dull shade of white. BBBAAAARRRRGGGGHHHH! i super shrieked and bella looked up smiling largely and asked if i saw the blue spider-crab.

if you're like me you never conceived that such a creature could exist. want to know where freaky ass glow in the dark blue scorpions come from? while i'm not sure exactly where they got that one i crapped three of them into my shorts when bella hit that friggen' button.

you may or may not believe me, but believe that if i ever saw this thing out of its box, you'd need to know stephen hawking math to precisely count how many of those atrocities shot out of my ass.

SCIENCE (permalink) 04.15.2003
this is bad? i never knew.
so swollen genitalia are a possible side effect of the latter parts of pregnancy. comes with the territory, the cool-doc said.

it's hard to feel poorly for pregnant women because as a male, i've struggled with swollen genitalia syndrome for going on twenty years now.

this has been brought to you from the 'things you possibly didn't know about pregnant women or troy' file.

SCIENCE (permalink) 04.04.2003
open wide and say hallelujah!
nose spray. ever since moving to saint louis some odd decade ago, nasal sprays have been a dear friend of mine. as my nose would clog due to allergies in this humid climate i would without hesitation hit the bottle as it were. as years and use continued my adherence to the dosage directions wandered. wandered to the point that after a rather long binge recently i took a moment to see how far out of bounds i had traveled and discovered that i was taking hits at twice the recommended rate for twice as long as one is supposed to in a continual fashion, without consulting a physician at least.

its juju. did you ever wonder how this delightful mist works? you simply shoot a jet or two or five up your nose and SHABBAM!!! your clogged cavities stretch wide and breath deep, welcoming that demanding oxygen once again. the drug's magic is in a chemical that forces your nasal cavities to recoil like a slug to salt, thus creating the open airways no matter how much congestion stands behind them.

the burn. what i learned through overuse is that your sinuses become reliant on the chemical agents not only to expand but ultimately to even maintain their usual pathways. if carpet-bombed enough your nasal thoroughfares become accustomed to this forced retraction and without it will eventually collapse on themselves causing clogged airways even after your ailment subsides. but don't sweat it too much because in as many days as it took you to create this confusion your sinuses will recover and regain their composure, returning to their original state.

as my brother-in-law says, i take double the recommended dosage so you don't have to.

SCIENCE (permalink) 04.12.2002
just kill me now
i've not wanted something to be true this much since i heard that the don johnson music video collection was coming out in DVD. please, please, please let it be true!

Students at the LSU Med School were receiving their first anatomy class with a real dead human body. They are all gathered around the surgery table with the body covered with a white sheet. Then the professor started the class by telling them: "In medicine, it is necessary to have 2 important qualities as a doctor: The first is that it is necessary that you not be disgusted." The Professor uncovered the sheet, sunk his finger in the butt of the dead body, withdrew it and sucked it. "Go ahead and do the same thing," he told his students. The students freaked out, hesitated and subsequently taking turns, stuck their finger in the butt of the dead body and sucked it after withdrawing it. When everyone finished, the Professor looked at them and told them: "The second important quality is observation. I stuck my middle finger in and sucked the index finger. Pay attention people.

thanks pegster.

SCIENCE (permalink) 11.30.2001
good thing you got that SUV
i just read where it snowed 20 inches overnight and 4 feet in the last week in vail, colorado. i miss living in a place that has four seasons. hell, i miss living in a place with even three seasons. st louis has two gears, hotter than sin and colder than my dates with erica the monkey girl.

SCIENCE (permalink) 09.11.2001
parental supervision is not always recommended
Someone recently told me that when it comes to matters of sending children to diversely populated schools, meaning there are people in attendance who are not devout Caucasians, it is more of a problem for the parent than it is for the student. I think I agree with this observation. I also think that if I try really, really hard, I could make a parallel to that argument and the one that rages on around the topic of circumcision. Anyone think I can?t? Because, if not I will spare you my insights. But, if there is a single person out there in the world wide web who is saying, ?No Troy, I don?t think you can draw a significant connection between the two? I will not waste your time. Oh wait a minute. Do I see a hand in the very back of the auditorium? Yes ma?am, you, the one who has never met me, never heard of me nor has ever read a single thing I?ve ever written or said, you do not think I could make such a case.

All right, I?ll give it a shot. Where to begin? I guess at the source. The number one reason PARENTS circumcise their children is so they don?t look funny in the locker room. Strong argument. But, if you would take the moment you saved by not considering this decision in the first place, you?d realize that your son, if not circumcised, would not be in the locker room to begin with because he would be unable to participate in sports given his unwieldy and un-aerodynamic foreskin. You don?t think uncircumcised people can run do you? What, did you flunk ninth grade biology or what? Sheesh.

The number two reason PARENTS circumcise their children is out of fear, primarily the fathers, that their son will think it?s peculiar that his penis does not look like his fathers. While very magnanimous on the father?s part, if you are hoping, thinking, desiring your 4-year-old son to gaze at his penis and then yours and exclaim the words, ?Wow, dad, your penis looks just like mine? I?d like to meet you. I?d like to meet you because if this were me and if my son made this same observation towards Yappy in the din of the shower one day I would, after lopping my obviously insignificant root off, forever retreat from society because when the villagers found a 32 year old man sporting a four year olds bald and pointy staff, I?m quite certain they would descend on my like John Merrick in the train station and stone me to death to remove my ill-functioning genes from the stagnating and leaf covered pool.

Get a grip guys. It?s not your dick you?re cutting up. And, for those uncertain of my stance on this matter, please send me a self addressed envelope and a picture of your god-given, doctor mutilated member and I will draw in brown crayon what you would look like had your parents paused to consider the non self-serving ramifications of this measure and return it to you for posterity sake.

SCIENCE (permalink) 06.14.2001
did ya know
The distance from the tip of your index finger to the tip of your thumb is the length of the bridge of your nose. (holding your fingers together in a straight line, not fanned apart)

Two-times the diameter of your wrist is your neck size.

Two-times the diameter of your neck is your waist size.

(while there are exceptions to the above, an art study found this to be a fair commonality)

SCIENCE (permalink) 06.13.2001
pat, i'd like to buy a bowel
Who better to contribute to this week's body theme than doctor stevie. In this latest installment of prolapsed, the doctor of diss pays his respects to the often ignored but highly valuable organs we all regularly take for granted and in some cases didn't even know we had.

SCIENCE (permalink) 06.11.2001
And you thought the penis looked funny
A few people have razzed me recently regarding my sandals and socks look as seen in this month's gallery selection. It is time for us as a people to get past this hangup with socks and sandals. I am doing you a favor by masking from you my least appealing and cleansed body part. And, all this without even touching on the medicinal implications of the foot ? bunions, calluses, lost toenails (which is super-gross if you've ever had the pleasure), foot odor, athlete's foot, etc. So let us dissect our friend to the south at a raw and anatomical level.

Unless you are a part of the wasabi tribe of southern Africa or one of their charter members, your feet are bunged up all the time in a B.O. ridden vacuum you call your socks and shoes.

All male feet at one point or another have come into contact with human urine, and oftentimes it's not our own. Tut, tut, tut ladies, don't wipe that brow just yet, because if you've ever lived with a male, your little piggies have swam in the yellow water as well.

While my feet are exceptional in this next area, most people's feet possess at least one oddity. My claim to fame; my feet are as wide as they are long. Yes, you did the math right, that would make them square.

I have never seen two sets of toes that look the same. This is unnerving. I've also known people whose second toe is longer than my pinky finger. Also unnerving.

Lastly and most importantly, people's grotesque negligence towards the routine and non-optional maintenance of their feet is appalling. You gotta get between the toes, between them.

Given the abuse I have taken over my cloth-covered toe, the obvious need for discussion and the fact that I am right, I am dedicating this entire week to the human body. And, can we get a game of socks versus skins going here?

QUOTES, SCIENCE (permalink) 06.10.2001
before it was AIDS
If I had written this a month ago, I would have used the figure ?40.? If I had written this last week, I would have needed ?80.? Today I must tell you that 120 gay men in the United States ? most of them here in New York ? are suffering from an often lethal form of cancer called Kaposi?s sarcoma, or from a virulent form of pneumonia that may be associated with it. More than 30 have died.

The men who have been stricken don?t appear to have done anything that many New York gay men haven?t done at one time or another. We?re appalled that this is happening to them and terrified that it could happen to us. It?s easy to become frightened that one of the many things we?ve done or taken over the past years may be all that it takes for a cancer to grow from a tiny something-or-other that got in there who knows when from doing who knows what. This is our disease and we must take care of each other and ourselves.
New York Native (nation?s most influential gay newspaper), August 24, 1981
Warning to the gay community from columnist Larry Kramer after the first AIDS cases, yet to be named such, were being reported around the country.

SCIENCE (permalink) 03.09.2001
I need a bucket in here!
Given my newfound pastime of dodging warm torrents of urine while trying to change a diaper, I thought the following Prolapsed article was rather fitting. Dr. Williams has enabled me to enter this secluded form of trench warfare with a light mind. You don?t know how appreciative I am Steven.

SCIENCE, HYGIENE (permalink) 02.10.2001
Please don't touch me
I have always been very particular about both who/what I touch and what/who touches me. I eat pizza and fries with a fork, pour movie popcorn in my mouth and hit hand dryers in the bathroom with my clothed elbow. Now I know why, I'm just protecting one of my most valuable organs. Still not convinced, let Dr. Stevie have a crack in our second installment of his maneater column Prolapsed.

SCIENCE (permalink) 02.02.2001
That there's a black wida
Awhile back I had read somewhere that the most venomous spider known to man was the daddy long legs but were not a threat to humans because their teeth were unable to pierce our skin. The other day I read an article in Natural History (02.01) discussing this very thing. It reported that this was a misreported item by the American media some time ago. Evidently, some scientists published a report about the most poisonous spiders in Australia and one of the listed arachnids was the daddy long legs. Only problem, there long legs is not the same as ours. The American source who spied this story did not make this distinction and reported it as fact. The public at large quickly leapt on the interesting morsel and it soon became the most asked question within the spider kingdom. Sorry for any I duped with the above and I apologize for contributing to urban legend, it was not my intention.

SCIENCE (permalink) 01.31.2001
A Probing Issue
A friend of mine wrote a column for his university paper while in med school a few years back. i remember following his work via the web while he was at it and enjoyed the articles very much. i happened upon them the other day and thought that you all would find his wit as entertaining as i did. therefore, i will be offering them up from time to time for your amusement and edification. the first selected installment, A Probing Issue deals with the digestive tract, something we all use and also take for granted. carry on and happy digesting.

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