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Slut shaming

  • Article feature date: 2 April 2015
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02 April 2015

Protest against slut-shaming

Slut shaming is the basis of modern society — the pillar on which decent people plop their weight — the great turtle on which morality stands in order to reach the top shelf. But it is equally important as an amusement, the amount of which is limited only by the number of:

  1. Definitions of the term "slut,"
  2. Available shaming techniques, and
  3. Participants on hand.

The term "slut" signifies a woman whose fortress is not well-guarded. The concept is relative, not only because the figurative winners write the history of war, but because the proverbial pen is mightier than the sword. Thus, every human being unfortunate enough to be born female is a potential slut, and many live up to their potential.

Sigmund Freud stated that sexual desire motivates human actions. Nevertheless, slut shaming is not always sexual. The alleged slut can be a teenager who bares a fraction of her body (any fraction) for a fraction of a second in front of a fraction of a camera; or equally likely an elderly Cambridge lady, researching into the role of slut shaming.

So it is not that a woman defends her fortress but that she burrows under the fortress of social control — such as when she criticises slut shaming itself. A key defense that society uses is the "slut factor," as a woman is not only a slut when she acts sluttily, but especially when she resists acting sluttily. To further show the term's marvelous adaptability, a woman acting maximally slutty is never called a "slut" by her co-actor, at least for the entire time they are in bed together. (more...)


  • Article feature date: 7 April 2015
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07 April 2015

Logger eggs 01

Turtle are lizards in the half-shell. A turtle can retreat inside the shell for warmth, safety, and to catch the soaps. Subspecies of turtle include common turtles, snapping turtles, sea turtles, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Turtles are one of Earth's oldest species, essentially fossils without the unpleasant chore of dying. Their shells kept them from being overhunted into extinction by dinosaurs, and even today, keep them from being mistaken for porcupines. The shell is the reason why some tortoises are over 65 million years of age.

The word turtle is derived from the Old English word turdyl, meaning "little turd". This is because the people of the Middle Ages believed turtles actually originated from sewage dumped into the Thames; feces floated on top of the water, where Medieval scientists thought the upper part dried out and hardened into a crust from exposure to the atmosphere, then through the miracle of spontaneous generation, a head and limbs would pop out the sides.

It was not until the early 1700s that biologists first reclassified turtles as a type of amphibian, bringing them one step closer to their modern classification as lizards in 1985. However, the name stuck, albeit with updated spelling.

Turtles first evolved when a cowardly lizard took refuge underneath a rock, and carried it around on its back. However, the rock was heavy, which made the lizard's movements slow. Future generations took to instead eating rocks and growing a mineralized shell; this new, lighter shell might have enabled faster movement had the turtles not also gotten fatter to fit inside their new mobile homes. (more...)

Glory hole

  • Article feature date: 11 April 2015
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11 April 2015

Glory Hole

A glory hole is a type of architectural adornment that first became fashionable in the Italian Renaissance period. Glory holes in this time were often covered in gold leaf, and had either bas-relief or, in sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini's case, sculptural details that came out of the frame too much to be considered as such, and were generally imagery from both Biblical creatures and Classical creatures, most notably angels and cherubs, for it was convention that the creatures be able to fly because of the large scale on which these glory holes were often constructed.

But the form of the glory hole has changed a lot over the years. As a seminal piece of the YBA movement that pervaded during 1992, artist Tracey Emin installed Glory Hole at the Tate Modern in London: two walls of a toilet cubicle, one of which with a small hole in around the middle of the door with a few strips of duct tape so that, as Emin put it, "the viewer [could] more comfortably slide his/her eyes in and out through the hole." This changed the public's perception of the glory hole dramatically.

In the Italian Renaissance, glory holes served two purposes for the rich clergymen who were the usual clientele for the architects and sculptors who built them: (1) as a statement of how well-endowed the people who commissioned and displayed them were when entertaining guests, and (2) so that owners could perform various parts of their daily routines, often accompanied by their wives, such as praying, for these tremendous objects usually portrayed religious iconography, and were seen as a way of getting closer to God. On the left here is one of many glory holes in St. Peter's Cathedral, Rome/Vatican City. Although traditionally used by popes after Pope Paul Borghese V, the founder of St. Peter's, this one is now used mainly for display purposes, though is still used for some ceremonies and special occasions. (more...)


  • Article feature date: 16 April 2015
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16 April 2015

Quintus Horatius Flaccus

Quintus Horatius Flaccus (65 BC – 8 BC) was a prominent Roman poet. He is known in the English-speaking world as Horace (/ˈhɔrɪsˌ/). In the Latin-speaking world, he is not known as anything, because Latin is dead, and so is Horace. In the dodgier neighborhoods of Rome in those days, he was known as Flaccid Quint.

It being over 2,020 years since those days, it is surprising that he is known as anything at all, but the reason is that the most frequent subject of the poetry of Horace was Horace. Horace was an officer in the Republican Army at the time it bombed at Philippi, which was around the time that Rome bombed at being a republic. When Octavian (or Augustus) became emperor, Horace stuck around as an official spokesperson. His poetry did a historic balancing act between toeing the party line and being of interest to normal people.

R. Barrow writes that Horace "tells us far more about himself than any other great poet in antiquity," R. Barrow evidently being one of the few who finds this interesting. By comparison, Rock And Roll Fred tells this writer far more about himself than does anyone else at the bar, and it is not.

Anyway. Horace was born on 8 December 65 BC — no one seems to know what day of the week that was — in Venusia in southern Italy. His home was on a trade route between Apulia and Bucania, and his appreciation of language may have been enhanced by those using that route, assuming that truckstops were not much different then from now. His mother must often have washed his mouth out with soap (in Latin, lava). It is possible that soldiers were relocated to his region from Rome for their role in the Social War, which proved that they "do not get along with others," and this could have been a source of even more crude language. His father was at one time a slave but gained his freedom and became an auctioneer, yet another basis of Horace's off-color writings. Horace has some very nice things to say about his father, but nothing at all to say about his mother. Mothers often complain that "You never write me."

Horace's mother invites our speculation, except that this entire section has been guesswork. Nevertheless, spending decades doing the same supports large departments at many modern universities. (more...)

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