Archive for the ‘Categorization and Labeling’ Category

Mammoths and flowers

February 8, 2014

Passed on to me by Sim Aberson, this NPR story of February 6th, “Woolly Mammoths’ Taste For Flowers May Have Been Their Undoing” by Geoff Brumfiel, beginning:

They were some of the largest, hairiest animals ever to walk the Earth, but new research shows a big part of the woolly mammoth’s diet was made up of tiny flowers.

The work is based on DNA analysis of frozen arctic soil and mammoth poop. It suggests that these early vegans depended on the flowers as a vital source of protein. And when the flowers disappeared after the last ice age, so too did the mammoths that ate them.



Saturday morning showoff

September 14, 2013

The cover of the August/September 2013 Instinct magazine, with (as usual) male eye candy:


Given the sexy photo, I expected the Putignano piece to be about so-called “sex addiction”, but in fact it’s about drug addiction.


Benedictine and its kin

July 26, 2013

No, not Benedictine the liqueur, Benedictine the dip / spread. From NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday on 7/13/13, “A Summery Spread That’s As Cool As A Cucumber” by Erica Peterson:

Cream cheese, cucumber juice and a touch of onion. That may sound like an unlikely combination, but Benedictine is a Kentucky favorite, and Gwynne Potts, a self-proclaimed aficionado, says it’s delicious.

“The best thing to eat Benedictine on is just white bread,” Potts says. “No special bread; it only takes away from the Benedictine.”

Potts, who grew up in Louisville, Ky., has been enjoying the creamy combo for six decades.


Three sex workers

July 14, 2013

(Warning: very plain talk about man-man sex; no X-rated images, but several right on the line.)

The immediate impulse for this posting is the death of three very popular, hunky pornstars in the last year (each with his own sad story), which has led me to think about the term sex worker (as applied to men) and its penumbra of reference to men who make a living from their bodies. And about the challenges of a life in porn.


Stimulating and desensitizing

June 25, 2013

(Sexually explicit language to follow.)

An ad for MovieMountain and GameLink (sources of porn movies) today features a variety of products classified as lubes. Some are simple sexual lubricants, but others are designed to provide stimulation or its opposite, desensitization (depending on what the users want). Some of them are far from lubricants, but there seems to be no label for the category that includes lubricants, stimulating products, and desensitizing creams. (On the larger category of ADJUNCTS to sex, see this posting on gay sex toys.)


More gay greens

June 24, 2013

In the previous installment, “Gay greens: the big two”, I looked at arugula (UK rocket) and radicchio, with an excursion into chicories — especially (curly) endive and Belgian endive — and an appendix on cruciferous vegetables. Now on to a wider set of greens.



June 21, 2013

From the NYT on the 18th, in Kathryn Shattuck’s “For Ranchers, an Uncommon Quest for Grass-Fed Beef” (on-line head: “Where Corn Is King, a New Regard for Grass-Fed Beef”):

[Prescott Frost] put down roots on 7,000 acres in what he calls the Napa Valley of ranchland [the Sandhills of Nebraska], home to more than 700 species of native grasses and forbs: bluestem, buffalo, reed canary, brome — the salad bar on which grass-fed beef is raised.

Native grasses wouldn’t puzzle readers, but forbs is a technical term from botany that will be unfamiliar to many. What’s it doing in this story?


Poppies, lilacs, and lilies

June 20, 2013

Spring and early summer are the blooming seasons for the California poppy, Eschscholzia californica, which blankets fields and hillsides (and open spaces on the Stanford campus) in yellow and orange:



The compound California poppy is subsective: a California poppy is a poppy — as the word poppy is used in ordinary English, and in fact as it is used by botanists speaking informally. So California poppy contrasts maximally with California lilac, which is not a lilac in the eyes of ordinary speakers or botanists; California lilac is a resembloid compound rather than a subsective one. Daylily presents an intermediate case: it’s not subsective for botanists or for many ordinary speakers — for these people, a daylily is not a lily — but it is for some ordinary speakers.


-licious sex

June 11, 2013

It began with the porn flick Twinkalicious (a 5-hour compilation of scenes featuring twink sex, that is, sex between twinks). The front cover of the DVD (showing a twink sucking cock) and the back cover (a montage of twinks in heat) can be viewed in the posting “Twinkalicious porn” on AZBlogX (where such images are allowed). The word twinkalicious has two parts, the twink part (with a piece of sexuality slang) and the -licious part (related in some way to delicious). I’ll comment on both parts. But first, some other combinations of these two parts.



May 27, 2013

Today’s Scenes From a Multiverse:


In everyday dealings, we tend to judge the stages of life by physical and behavioral signs, and the categorization is somewhat fuzzy, but for legal and administrative purposes, crisp categorizations are necessary, and chronological age provides the basis for them — however irrational it might seem to label someone as a child one day and an adult the next.

In this case, Jon Rosenberg is remarking not only on that irrationality, but also (as his comments on the strip make clear) on the bizarreness of treating gay adults (however adult is defined) as unsafe or untrustworthy in a way that gay kids are not. (I note further that the onset of puberty comes well before the age of 18.)



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