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Big_Ass_Spork Re:Good point. (3 comments)

Here in Wyoming, meth is a huge problem. I see it everywhere, in my wife's family, walking down the street, even the waitress my family had last night. Everywhere people are spun retarded on the shit. If our cops weren't getting a cut, maybe there'd be busts. Oh well, fuck it...

more than 9 years ago


Big_Ass_Spork hasn't submitted any stories.



mmmmmmmm donuts...

Big_Ass_Spork Big_Ass_Spork writes  |  more than 11 years ago

Hello, /. community types, disidents, trolls, my fellow americans. It has been a long time no write. In the time since I was last active a lot of shit has happened to me. I left my wife of 4 years. I made new friends, got my own place. Got 4 piercings and a large new tattoo (my 12th). Still write code for the same company. Still have my cat and my hand to fuck (I meant to say I still have my cat and I can always fuck my hand, n/e hoo...).

This is the state of the Big Ass Spork. Living the single life, getting used to being alone...


I am retiring this account

Big_Ass_Spork Big_Ass_Spork writes  |  more than 12 years ago

I have 666 comments as BAS and would like it to stay that way. So I am going to stop using this account. It has been a nice ride, thanks for all the support these last few years. I Do It Wrong, ASCII GoatSe (not originally mine, but I posted it a bunch...), Random cut and paste crapfloodz, the spectacular (while it lasted) UAG crapfloods made possible by on by, a true hacker, and all the other depressing shit I have posted. Its been real.


I must either leave /. or change tactics...

Big_Ass_Spork Big_Ass_Spork writes  |  more than 12 years ago

First this: Karma: Bad (mostly affected by moderation done to your comments)

Then this:

Slashdot only allows a user with your karma to post 2 times per day. You've already shared your thoughts with us that many times. Take a breather, and come back and see us in 24 hours or so.

If you think this is unfair, please email jamie@mccarthy.vg with your username "Big_Ass_Spork".

Surely it has been seen by others in the community. I have written the follow email to Mr. McCarthy in response:

Dear sir,
    I do not understand this new restriction that has been levied against me. I already post replies to articles at -1, removing my input from the view of the general public, now I can not post more than *2ce* a day? I believe this harms more than it helps. I for one will be making disposable account after disposable account. This just fills your user table with a bunch of junk! Let's save VA Software some harddrive space and relax! I have a long list of anonymous proxies, plus I can give myself countless email addies for reg'ing new accounts. What has this accomplished? I have used my BAS account for a long time, now with my CF'ing crippled, I will become the biggest karma whoring SOB there is. When I can post with a +1 bonus, we shall see what kind of posting gets done.

Thank you for your time in this matter,
The Poster Formerly Known As Big_Ass_Spork


Bucha' Concerts!!!

Big_Ass_Spork Big_Ass_Spork writes  |  more than 12 years ago

Here in El Paso, Texas, there are a shitload of concerts all piled on top of each other! Last night (6/3/2002) I saw the Eagles. I was skeptical at first, not considering myself a big fan. But, it was the best show I've ever been to, and I have seen a lot of bands! Tonight (6/4/2002) I am going to go see Danzig at El Paso's Far West Rodeo. Been a fan since high school (circa 1991), gonna kick copious amounts of ass! My wife and I are still in the air as far as seeing Kid Rock tomorrow, considering the Eagles cost us over $250 after tickets ($85 each), a $50 shirt, beer was $5.50, etc... All in all worth it! We are planning on seeing the Rolling Stones next year, gonna make a trip of it. Love the live rock! /.'ers: What shows are coming through your town? Are you going? Do ticket prices affect your choices?

Kid Rock cancelled the El Paso date... Guess that decision was made for me ;)


Rejected Story: QPOSE. UPDATED.

Big_Ass_Spork Big_Ass_Spork writes  |  more than 12 years ago I thought it was interesting anyway...

Here are your recent submissions to Slashdot, and their status within the system:

  • 2002-05-23 18:08:30 POSE Ported To Zaurus (articles,pilot) (rejected)


  • rejected (1)

The story:

PalmInfoCenter is reporting that POSE (the Palm OS Emulator) has been ported to the Sharp Zaurus. For more info see the QPose homepage.


This story was stolen from me and attributed to AC see it here.


Code Snippets

Big_Ass_Spork Big_Ass_Spork writes  |  about 13 years ago The "Bitchslap" script:

#!/usr/bin/perl -w
# This code is a part of Slash, and is released under the GPL.
# Copyright 1997-2002 by Open Source Development Network. See README
# and COPYING for more information, or see http://slashcode.com/.
# $Id: bitchslap,v 1.3 2002/01/08 17:22:09 pudge Exp $

use strict;
use File::Basename;
use FindBin '$Bin';
use Getopt::Std;
use Slash::Utility;
use Slash::DB;

(my $VERSION) = ' $Revision: 1.3 $ ' =~ /\$Revision:\s+([^\s]+)/;
my $PROGNAME = basename($0);
(my $PREFIX = $Bin) =~ s|/[^/]+/?$||;

my %opts;
# Remember to doublecheck these match usage()!
usage('Options used incorrectly') unless getopts('hvu:', \%opts);
usage() if ($opts{'h'} || !keys %opts);
usage('Please specify a list of User IDs') if (! scalar @ARGV);
version() if $opts{'v'};
$opts{'u'} ||= 'slash';

# We turn off warnings here because it's distracting.
$^W = 0; createEnvironment($opts{'u'}); $^W = 1;

my $slashdb = getCurrentDB();
my $constants = getCurrentStatic();

# main program logic (in braces to offset nicely)

    for (@ARGV) {
        my $user = $slashdb->getUser($_);
        if (! $user) {
            print "User ID#$_ is invalid.\n";

        unless ($opts{'f'}) {
            die <<ERR if $user->{karma} > 10;
User $_ has a karma of $user->{karma}. Slap aborted. Use -f to forcibly slap.


        print "Bitch Slapping #$_...\n";
        print "Karma Reduced\n";
        print "Default Score Reduced\n";
        $slashdb->setUser($_, {
            -karma        => $constants->{badkarma},
            -defaultpoints    => -1,

        print "ALL live comments moderated down\n\n";
        $slashdb->sqlDo("UPDATE comments SET points=-1,reason=1 WHERE uid=$_");

sub usage {
    print "*** $_[0]\n" if $_[0];
    # Remember to doublecheck these match getopts()!
    print <<EOT;



Main options:
    -h    Help (this message)
    -v    Version
    -u    Virtual user (default is "slash")
    -f     Force slap.

    [UIDs]    Space separated list of IDs to slap.

sub version {
    print <<EOT;


This code is a part of Slash, and is released under the GPL.
Copyright 1997-2002 by Open Source Development Network. See README
and COPYING for more information, or see http://slashcode.com/.



The "ModSlap" script:

#!/usr/bin/perl -w
# This code is a part of Slash, and is released under the GPL.
# Copyright 1997-2002 by Open Source Development Network. See README
# and COPYING for more information, or see http://slashcode.com/.
# $Id: modslap,v 1.3 2002/01/08 17:22:09 pudge Exp $

use strict;
use File::Basename;
use FindBin '$Bin';
use Getopt::Std;
use Slash::Utility;
use Slash::DB;

(my $VERSION) = ' $Revision: 1.3 $ ' =~ /\$Revision:\s+([^\s]+)/;
my $PROGNAME = basename($0);
(my $PREFIX = $Bin) =~ s|/[^/]+/?$||;

my %opts;
# Remember to doublecheck these match usage()!
usage('Options used incorrectly') unless getopts('hvu:', \%opts);
usage() if ($opts{'h'} || !keys %opts);
usage('Please specify a list of User IDs') if (! scalar @ARGV);
version() if $opts{'v'};
$opts{'u'} ||= 'slash';

# We turn off warnings here because it's distracting.
$^W = 0; createEnvironment($opts{'u'}); $^W = 1;

my $slashdb = getCurrentDB();
my $constants = getCurrentStatic();

# main program logic (in braces to offset nicely)

        for (@ARGV) {
                my $user = $slashdb->getUser($_);
                if (! $user) {
                        print "User ID#$_ is invalid.\n";

                print "Mod Slapping #$_...\n";
                $slashdb->setUser($_, {
                        -karma        => $constants->{badkarma},
                        -points        => 0,
                        rtbl        => 1,

sub usage {
        print "*** $_[0]\n" if $_[0];
        # Remember to doublecheck these match getopts()!
        print <<EOT;



Main options:
        -h        Help (this message)
        -v        Version
        -u        Virtual user (default is "slash")

        [UIDs]        Space separated list of IDs to slap.

sub version {
        print <<EOT;


This code is a part of Slash, and is released under the GPL.
Copyright 1997-2002 by Open Source Development Network. See README
and COPYING for more information, or see http://slashcode.com/.




The Turd Report Now a Foe

Big_Ass_Spork Big_Ass_Spork writes  |  about 13 years ago Rigged election results in BAS being reported as tied with AC for gayest /. poster. Libelist bastard. Just because I post certain links and certain pictures:

* g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x *

g g

o / \ \ / \ o

a \ a

t `. : t

s` \ s

e \ / / \\\ -- \\ : e

x \ \/ --~~ ~-- \ x

* \ \-~ ~-\ *

g \ \ .--------.___\ g

o \ \// ((> \ o

a \ . C ) ((> / a

t /\ C )/ \ (> / t

s / /\ C) (> / \ s

e ( C__)\___/ // _/ / \ e

x \ \\// (/ x

* \ \) `---- --' *

g \ \ / / g

o / \ o

a / \ \ a

t / / \ t

s / / \/\/ s

e / e

x x

* g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x *

Does not make me the gayest. I am not even gay. I have straight sex with a woman for Christ's sake. Goddamn it!


January 3rd Fund

Big_Ass_Spork Big_Ass_Spork writes  |  about 13 years ago

WSecond Post! - Props to Egg Troll (Score:-1, Offtopic)
by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 03, @10:32AM (#2778621)
Congrats to THe Turd Report, WIPO Troll & Clerk

[ Reply to This | Parent ]

Re:WSecond Post! - Props to Egg Troll (Score:-1)
by Big_Ass_Spork on Thursday January 03, @10:45AM (#2778686)
(User #446856 Info | http://srd.yahoo.com...epages/Big_Ass_Spork | Last Journal: Tuesday January 01, @08:56PM)
WTF... Am I chopped liver?

By the way, its Klerck.

Rosie O'Donnel is a fat piece of ham, as is Wil W. [slashdot.org]
[ Reply to This | Parent ]

by Retarded_One on Thursday January 03, @10:47AM (#2778693)
(User #518093 Info)
So I will donate some BOLD TEXT, in the interests of Troll peace!!!

[ Reply to This | Parent ]

by Big_Ass_Spork on Thursday January 03, @10:53AM (#2778729)
(User #446856 Info | http://srd.yahoo.com...epages/Big_Ass_Spork | Last Journal: Tuesday January 01, @08:56PM)
Dear Sir,
Thank you for you generous donation of BOLD TEXT. It will be instrumental in helping the troll cause, any surplus BOLD TEXT is being regifted to help retarded midget masturbaters kick the habit. Pray for our success.


Rosie O'Donnel is a fat piece of ham, as is Wil W. [slashdot.org]
[ Reply to This | Parent ]

by Tasty Beef Jerky (`moc.oohay' `ta' `ykrejfeebytsat') on Thursday January 03, @11:04AM (#2778785)
(User #543576 Info | http://www.deliciousbeefproducts.com/)
Excuse me gentlemen,
I was wondering if perchance you needed any ITALIC TEXT as well. I picked some up the other day in preparation for the snow, and it turns out we're not supposed to get any, so I have a large surplus of ITALIC TEXT. If I dig around enough, I might even be able to find some BOLD ITALIC TEXT for you guys.
If any of this will help your cause, let me know. I fully support your efforts.

I'm the tasty treat nobody can resist!

[ Reply to This | Parent ]

by Retarded_One on Thursday January 03, @11:21AM (#2778858)
(User #518093 Info)
Thank you for your kind donation of ITALIC TEXT! Given the harsh economic climate we are in, we can definitely put it to good use!

I was unaware that any surplus BOLD ITALIC TEXT was available, but Ralph 'Jew hater' Nader is really the expert on that, and may be able to tell us where we can find some!

I do know, however, that we have a chronic shortage of


Please, if you have ANY, send it to the January 3rd Fund, C/O CmdrTaco.

[ Reply to This | Parent ]

Donation to the January 3rd Fund, C/O CmdrTaco (Score:-1)
by Tasty Beef Jerky (`moc.oohay' `ta' `ykrejfeebytsat') on Thursday January 03, @11:36AM (#2778920)
(User #543576 Info | http://www.deliciousbeefproducts.com/)
I will gladly donate all the ITALIC TEXT I have available towards the January 3rd fund. I feel what you are doing will greatly benefit the Slashdot community, and I will gladly offer up my formatting for such a worthy cause.

Unfortunately I too have a shortage of


but while I was searching for my hidden stash, I accidently ran across some


If this can be of any use, please take any of it included below.


I'm the tasty treat nobody can resist!

[ Reply to This | Parent ]

Re:Donation to the January 3rd Fund, C/O CmdrTaco (Score:-1)
by Big_Ass_Spork on Thursday January 03, @01:06PM (#2779477)
(User #446856 Info | http://srd.yahoo.com...epages/Big_Ass_Spork | Last Journal: Tuesday January 01, @08:56PM)
Thanks to your efforts so far, three little people have stopped their insessant stroking. Barnaby, Peeps, and Rebbe have ceased the self fouling practice.

Donate generously and often to the January 3rd fund. Lets help retarded midgets to stop defiling themselves!


Rosie O'Donnel is a fat piece of ham, as is Wil W. [slashdot.org]
[ Reply to This | Parent ]



Big_Ass_Spork Big_Ass_Spork writes  |  about 13 years ago Fucking hell!!!

YeT AnOtHeR PeNiS PoSt...

Malda is *still* a fag.

        dI  Ib
       9 iiii P
      C        )
      I   C    I
      I   o    I
      I   C    I
      I   k    I
      I   S    I
      I   a    I
      I   Y    I
      I   !    I
      P        )
       9      P
       I      I
       I      I
       I      I
      d        b
....som        eti
...mesI        supr

COCKSAY -- Because being gay is about more than using Linux.


Tofu Sex Aids

Big_Ass_Spork Big_Ass_Spork writes  |  more than 12 years ago

Tofu Sex Aids

Discover the Wonders of Vegetarian Self Stimulation
Tofu has an organic quality resembling human flesh. I have heard girlfriends divulge its texture as that of the male member when cooked/warmed.

I envision a marketing push by blue chip Tofu Mulitnationals to promote their product in a range of edible sex aids - both for men and women.

The strap - on Tofunator with vibrating multispeed tip would be a hit with lesbian vegetarian extremists who despise 'meat' of both kinds.

Feral type men who often have trouble with penetration due to over-pierced willies can safely 'deforest the untouched valleys' of the silken Tofu vagina.

Also in this range is the 'Falafel-Fist' for the earth-conscious fetish environmentalist, the natural spray on pheromone for shy hippies - 'Chick-Pea Magnet' and of course the 'Lentilly Lace' vegan underwear range - gauranteed to show off those politically hursuit thighs.


Eating Out: Etiquette Do's and Don'ts

Big_Ass_Spork Big_Ass_Spork writes  |  more than 12 years ago

Eating Out: Etiquette Do's and Don'ts
  Q I have been invited to several holiday parties, many of them work-related and involving a sit-down meal. This may sound silly, but I'm a bit nervous since I don't really know the "proper" way to dine -- which fork to use first, where to put my napkin when I get up from the table. I don't want to embarrass myself. -dianer

  A Dear dianer: I don't blame you for being slightly concerned; there is an unspoken prejudice against those who don't handle themselves well at the table. And with the holidays almost here, all of us will probably be doing more partying and dining than ever. So I've put together a table manners how-to list to help everyone make it through the holidays in the most mannerly manner. Consider it my pre-holiday gift.

Top 10 Dining Mistakes Corrected:

Misuse of silverware: Gripping your fork like a cello and your knife like a dagger are both major dining faux pas. You should also avoid resting silverware partly on the table and partly on the edge of the plate -- one slip and you have a mess. Instead, make sure that once you pick up a piece of silverware, it rests on your plate from that point on and never makes contact with the table again. Another thing to watch out for, when setting the table and while eating: The knife blade should always face in, never out. Lastly, refrain from making any gestures while holding your cutlery; no one wants their dining companion waving pointy objects around.

Misuse of your napkin: The napkin should be used to carefully dab the corners of your mouth. It is not a blotter or a flag. The napkin should be open and spread across your lap during the meal and not put back on the table until the meal is concluded, when you should place it next to your plate. If you leave the table temporarily, place your napkin on your chair, then push your chair back under the table while you're gone.

Leaving lipstick stains: It's bad form, especially at a business meal, to leave lipstick on a glass or cup. To prevent this, try powdering your lips before applying lipstick and (discreetly) blot your lips before drinking. If you don't have a tissue with you, make a quick detour to the powder room for one or use a cocktail napkin from the bar.

Not breaking bread: Buttering an entire slice of bread then cutting it with your knife is a breach of basic table manners. Instead, tear bread into bite-sized pieces and butter each piece right before you plan to eat it.

Seasoning food before tasting it: This sends the message that you don't trust the chef and may be taken as an insult by your boss or whoever chose the restaurant.

Poor posture: Food doesn't go down well when you sit slumped over. And, frankly, you're not as attractive to your dining partner when you do this, either. So sit straight up -- you'll actually feel more comfortable.

Eating too quickly: Whether you're at McDonald's or a fancy restaurant, it's bad for your digestion -- not to mention unattractive -- to gulp food. Since dining with others is a shared experience, dining partners should generally have the same number of courses and start and finish each at about the same pace.

Picking your teeth: If you must remove something trapped between your teeth, excuse yourself and visit the rest room to do so.

Talking with your mouth full: The corollary is chewing with your mouth open. If your mouth has food in it, keep it closed until you swallow. Take small bites, finish chewing, smile ... and then carry on your part of the conversation.

Putting accessories on the table: Simply stated, don't do it. This rule includes purses, briefcases, keys, gloves, hats, cell phones (which should be turned OFF) and anything else that is not part of the meal. Why? It's unsightly and unsanitary.

There are other dining mistakes you can make, of course. Just remember that good manners and courtesy can get you through most meals. One further note about dining: Sitting in a smoking section doesn't give a diner the license to light up between courses. Smoke affects your dining companions' taste buds and sense of aesthetics. If you do smoke, save the cigarettes for after the entire meal, and please, a plate is not an ashtray.



Big_Ass_Spork Big_Ass_Spork writes  |  more than 13 years ago


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Bonobo Sex and Society

Big_Ass_Spork Big_Ass_Spork writes  |  more than 13 years ago

Bonobo Sex and Society

The behavior of a close relative challenges assumptions about male supremacy in human evolution


Frans B. M. de Waal

(Originally published in the March 1995 issue of SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, pp. 82-88)

At a juncture in history during which women are seeking equality with men, science arrives with a belated gift to the feminist movement.Male-biased evolutionary scenarios-- Man the Hunter, Man the Toolmaker and so on--are being challenged by the discovery that females play a central, perhaps even dominant, role in the social life of one of our nearest relatives. In the past few years many strands of knowledge have come together concerning a relatively unknown ape with an unorthodox repertoire of behavior: the bonobo.

The bonobo is one of the last large mammals to be found by science. The creature was discovered in 1929 in a Belgian colonial museum, far from its lush African habitat. A German anatomist, Ernst Schwarz, was scrutinizing a skull that had been ascribed to a juvenile chimpanzee because of its small size, when he realized that it belonged to an adult. Schwarz declared that he had stumbled on a new subspecies of chimpanzee. But soon the animal was assigned the status of an entirely distinct species within the same genus as the chimpanzee, Pan.

The bonobo was officially classified as Pan paniscus, or the diminutive Pan. But I believe a different label might have been selected had the discoverers known then what we know now. The old taxonomic name of the chimpanzee, P. satyrus-- which refers to the myth of apes as lustful satyrs--would have been perfect for the bonobo.

The species is best characterized as female-centered and egalitarian and as one that substitutes sex for aggression. Whereas in most other species sexual behavior is a fairly distinct category, in the bonobo it is part and parcel of social relations--and not just between males and females. Bonobos engage in sex in virtually every partner combination (although such contact among close family members may be suppressed). And sexual interactions occur more often among bonobos than among other primates. Despite the frequency of sex, the bonobo's rate of reproduction in the wild is about the same as that of the chimpanzee. A female gives birth to a single infant at intervals of between five and six years. So bonobos share at least one very important characteristic with our own species, namely, a partial separation between sex and reproduction.

A Near Relative

This finding commands attention because the bonobo shares more than 98 percent of our genetic profile, making it as close to a human as, say, a fox is to a dog. The split between the human line of ancestry and the line of the chimpanzee and the bonobo is believed to have occurred a mere eight million years ago. The subsequent divergence of the chimpanzee and the bonobo lines came much later, perhaps prompted by the chimpanzee's need to adapt to relatively open, dry habitats [see "East Side Story: The Origin of Humankind," by Yves Coppens; SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, May 1994].

In contrast, bonobos probably never left the protection of the trees. Their present range lies in humid forests south of the Zaire River, where perhaps fewer than 10,000 bonobos survive. (Given the species' slow rate of reproduction, the rapid destruction of its tropical habitat and the political instability of central Africa, there is reason for much concern about its future.)

If this evolutionary scenario of ecological continuity is true, the bonobo may have undergone less transformation than either humans or chimpanzees. It could most closely resemble the common ancestor of all three modern species. Indeed, in the 1930s Harold J. Coolidge--the American anatomist who gave the bonobo its eventual taxonomic status--suggested that the animal might be most similar to the primogenitor, since its anatomy is less specialized than is the chimpanzee's. Bonobo body proportions have been compared with those of the australopithecines, a form of prehuman. When the apes stand or walk upright, they look as if they stepped straight out of an artist's impression of early hominids.

Not too long ago the savanna baboon was regarded as the best living model of the human ancestor. That primate is adapted to the kinds of ecological conditions that prehumans may have faced after descending from the trees. But in the late 1970s, chimpanzees, which are much more closely related to humans, became the model of choice. Traits that are observed in chimpanzees--including cooperative hunting, food sharing, tool use, power politics and primitive warfare--were absent or not as developed in baboons. In the laboratory the apes have been able to learn sign language and to recognize themselves in a mirror, a sign of self-awareness not yet demonstrated in monkeys.

Although selecting the chimpanzee as the touchstone of hominid evolution represented a great improvement, at least one aspect of the former model did not need to be revised: male superiority remained the natural state of affairs. In both baboons and chimpanzees, males are conspicuously dominant over females; they reign supremely and often brutally. It is highly unusual for a fully grown male chimpanzee to be dominated by any female.

Enter the bonobo. Despite their common name--the pygmy chimpanzee--bonobos cannot be distinguished from the chimpanzee by size. Adult males of the smallest subspecies of chimpanzee weigh some 43 kilograms (95 pounds) and females 33 kilograms (73 pounds), about the same as bonobos. Although female bonobos are much smaller than the males, they seem to rule.

Graceful Apes

In physique, a bonobo is as different from a chimpanzee as a Concorde is from a Boeing 747. I do not wish to offend any chimpanzees, but bonobos have more style. The bonobo, with its long legs and small head atop narrow shoulders, has a more gracile build than does a chimpanzee. Bonobo lips are reddish in a black face, the ears small and the nostrils almost as wide as a gorilla's. These primates also have a flatter, more open face with a higher forehead than the chimpanzee's and--to top it all off--an attractive coiffure with long, fine, black hair neatly parted in the middle.

Like chimpanzees, female bonobos nurse and carry around their young for up to five years. By the age of seven the offspring reach adolescence. Wild females give birth for the first time at 13 or 14 years of age, becoming full grown by about 15. A bonobo's longevity is unknown, but judging by the chimpanzee it may be older than 40 in the wild and close to 60 in captivity.

Fruit is central to the diets of both wild bonobos and chimpanzees. The former supplement with more pith from herbaceous plants, and the latter add meat. Although bonobos do eat invertebrates and occasionally capture and eat small vertebrates, including mammals, their diet seems to contain relatively little animal protein. Unlike chimpanzees, they have not been observed to hunt monkeys.

Whereas chimpanzees use a rich array of strategies to obtain foods--from cracking nuts with stone tools to fishing for ants and termites with sticks--tool use in wild bonobos seems undeveloped. (Captive bonobos use tools skillfully.) Apparently as intelligent as chimpanzees, bonobos have, however, a far more sensitive temperament. During World War II bombing of Hellabrun, Germany, the bonobos in a nearby zoo all died of fright from the noise; the chimpanzees were unaffected.

Bonobos are also imaginative in play. I have watched captive bonobos engage in "blindman's buff." A bonobo covers her eyes with a banana leaf or an arm or by sticking two fingers in her eyes. Thus handicapped, she stumbles around on a climbing frame, bumping into others or almost falling. She seems to be imposing a rule on herself: "I cannot look until I lose my balance." Other apes and monkeys also indulge in this game, but I have never seen it performed with such dedication and concentration as by bonobos.

Juvenile bonobos are incurably playful and like to make funny faces, sometimes in long solitary pantomimes and at other times while tickling one another. Bonobos are, however, more controlled in expressing their emotions-- whether it be joy, sorrow, excitement or anger--than are the extroverted chimpanzees. Male chimpanzees often engage in spectacular charging displays in which they show off their strength: throwing rocks, breaking branches and uprooting small trees in the process. They keep up these noisy performances for many minutes, during which most other members of the group wisely stay out of their way. Male bonobos, on the other hand, usually limit displays to a brief run while dragging a few branches behind them.

Both primates signal emotions and intentions through facial expressions and hand gestures, many of which are also present in the nonverbal communication of humans. For example, bonobos will beg by stretching out an open hand (or, sometimes, a foot) to a possessor of food and will pout their lips and make whimpering sounds if the effort is unsuccessful. But bonobos make different sounds than chimpanzees do. The renowned low-pitched, extended "huuu- huuu" pant-hooting of the latter contrasts with the rather sharp, high-pitched barking sounds of the bonobo.

Love, Not War

My own interest in bonobos came not from an inherent fascination with their charms but from research on aggressive behavior in primates. I was particularly intrigued with the aftermath of conflict. After two chimpanzees have fought, for instance, they may come together for a hug and mouth-to-mouth kiss. Assuming that such reunions serve to restore peace and harmony, I labeled them reconciliations.

Any species that combines close bonds with a potential for conflict needs such conciliatory mechanisms. Thinking how much faster marriages would break up if people had no way of compensating for hurting each other, I set out to investigate such mechanisms in several primates, including bonobos. Although I expected to see peacemaking in these apes, too, I was little prepared for the form it would take.

For my study, which began in 1983, I chose the San Diego Zoo. At the time, it housed the world's largest captive bonobo colony--10 members divided into three groups. I spent entire days in front of the enclosure with a video camera, which was switched on at feeding time. As soon as a caretaker approached the enclosure with food, the males would develop erections. Even before the food was thrown into the area, the bonobos would be inviting each other for sex: males would invite females, and females would invite males and other females.

Sex, it turned out, is the key to the social life of the bonobo. The first suggestion that the sexual behavior of bonobos is different had come from observations at European zoos. Wrapping their findings in Latin, primatologists Eduard Tratz and Heinz Heck reported in 1954 that the chimpanzees at Hellabrun mated more canum (like dogs) and bonobos more hominum (like people). In those days, face-to- face copulation was considered uniquely human, a cultural innovation that needed to be taught to preliterate people (hence the term "missionary position"). These early studies, written in German, were ignored by the international scientific establishment. The bonobo's humanlike sexuality needed to be rediscovered in the 1970s before it became accepted as characteristic of the species.

Bonobos become sexually aroused remarkably easily, and they express this excitement in a variety of mounting positions and genital contacts. Although chimpanzees virtually never adopt face-to-face positions, bonobos do so in one out of three copulations in the wild. Furthermore, the frontal orientation of the bonobo vulva and clitoris strongly suggest that the female genitalia are adapted for this position.

Another similarity with humans is increased female sexual receptivity. The tumescent phase of the female's genitals, resulting in a pink swelling that signals willingness to mate, covers a much longer part of estrus in bonobos than in chimpanzees. Instead of a few days out of her cycle, the female bonobo is almost continuously sexually attractive and active.

Perhaps the bonobo's most typical sexual pattern, undocumented in any other primate, is genito-genital rubbing (or GG rubbing) between adult females. One female facing another clings with arms and legs to a partner that, standing on both hands and feet, lifts her off the ground. The two females then rub their genital swellings laterally together, emitting grins and squeals that probably reflect orgasmic experiences. (Laboratory experiments on stump- tailed macaques have demonstrated that women are not the only female primates capable of physiological orgasm.)

Male bonobos, too, may engage in pseudocopulation but generally perform a variation. Standing back to back, one male briefly rubs his scrotum against the buttocks of another. They also practice so-called penis-fencing, in which two males hang face to face from a branch while rubbing their erect penises together.

The diversity of erotic contacts in bonobos includes sporadic oral sex, massage of another individual's genitals and intense tongue-kissing. Lest this leave the impression of a pathologically oversexed species, I must add, based on hundreds of hours of watching bonobos, that their sexual activity is rather casual and relaxed. It appears to be a completely natural part of their group life. Like people, bonobos engage in sex only occasionally, not continuously. Furthermore, with the average copulation lasting 13 seconds, sexual contact in bonobos is rather quick by human standards.

That sex is connected to feeding, and even appears to make food sharing possible, has been observed not only in zoos but also in the wild. Nancy Thompson-Handler, then at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, saw bonobos in Zaire's Lomako Forest engage in sex after they had entered trees loaded with ripe figs or when one among them had captured a prey animal, such as a small forest duiker. The flurry of sexual contacts would last for five to 10 minutes, after which the apes would settle down to consume the food.

One explanation for the sexual activity at feeding time could be that excitement over food translates into sexual arousal. This idea may be partly true. Yet another motivation is probably the real cause: competition. There are two reasons to believe sexual activity is the bonobo's answer to avoiding conflict.

First, anything, not just food, that arouses the interest of more than one bonobo at a time tends to result in sexual contact. If two bonobos approach a cardboard box thrown into their enclosure, they will briefly mount each other before playing with the box. Such situations lead to squabbles in most other species. But bonobos are quite tolerant, perhaps because they use sex to divert attention and to diffuse tension.

Second, bonobo sex often occurs in aggressive contexts totally unrelated to food. A jealous male might chase another away from a female, after which the two males reunite and engage in scrotal rubbing. Or after a female hits a juvenile, the latter's mother may lunge at the aggressor, an action that is immediately followed by genital rubbing between the two adults.

I once observed a young male, Kako, inadvertently blocking an older, female juvenile, Leslie, from moving along a branch. First, Leslie pushed him; Kako, who was not very confident in trees, tightened his grip, grinning nervously. Next Leslie gnawed on one of his hands, presumably to loosen his grasp. Kako uttered a sharp peep and stayed put. Then Leslie rubbed her vulva against his shoulder. This gesture calmed Kako, and he moved along the branch. It seemed that Leslie had been very close to using force but instead had reassured both herself and Kako with sexual contact.

During reconciliations, bonobos use the same sexual repertoire as they do during feeding time. Based on an analysis of many such incidents, my study yielded the first solid evidence for sexual behavior as a mechanism to overcome aggression. Not that this function is absent in other animals--or in humans, for that matter--but the art of sexual reconciliation may well have reached its evolutionary peak in the bonobo. For these animals, sexual behavior is indistinguishable from social behavior. Given its peacemaking and appeasement functions, it is not surprising that sex among bonobos occurs in so many different partner combinations, including between juveniles and adults. The need for peaceful coexistence is obviously not restricted to adult heterosexual pairs.

Female Alliance

Apart from maintaining harmony, sex is also involved in creating the singular social structure of the bonobo. This use of sex becomes clear when studying bonobos in the wild. Field research on bonobos started only in the mid-1970s, more than a decade after the most important studies on wild chimpanzees had been initiated. In terms of continuity and invested (wo)manpower, the chimpanzee projects of Jane Goodall and Toshisada Nishida, both in Tanzania, are unparalleled. But bonobo research by Takayoshi Kano and others of Kyoto University is now two decades under way at Wamba in Zaire and is beginning to show the same payoffs.

Both bonobos and chimpanzees live in so-called fission- fusion societies. The apes move alone or in small parties of a few individuals at a time, the composition of which changes constantly. Several bonobos traveling together in the morning might meet another group in the forest, whereupon one individual from the first group wanders off with others from the second group, while those left behind forage together. All associations, except the one between mother and dependent offspring, are of a temporary character.

Initially this flexibility baffled investigators, making them wonder if these apes formed any social groups with stable membership. After years of documenting the travels of chimpanzees in the Mahale Mountains, Nishida first reported that they form large communities: all members of one community mix freely in ever changing parties, but members of different communities never gather. Later, Goodall added territoriality to this picture. That is, not only do communities not mix, but males of different chimpanzee communities engage in lethal battles.

In both bonobos and chimpanzees, males stay in their natal group, whereas females tend to migrate during adolescence. As a result, the senior males of a chimpanzee or bonobo group have known all junior males since birth, and all junior males have grown up together. Females, on the other hand, transfer to an unfamiliar and often hostile group where they may know no one. A chief difference between chimpanzee and bonobo societies is the way in which young females integrate into their new community.

On arrival in another community, young bonobo females at Wamba single out one or two senior resident females for special attention, using frequent GG rubbing and grooming to establish a relation. If the residents reciprocate, close associations are set up, and the younger female gradually becomes accepted into the group. After producing her first offspring, the young female's position becomes more stable and central. Eventually the cycle repeats with younger immigrants, in turn, seeking a good relation with the now established female. Sex thus smooths the migrant's entrance into the community of females, which is much more close-knit in the bonobo than in the chimpanzee.

Bonobo males remain attached to their mothers all their lives, following them through the forest and being dependent on them for protection in aggressive encounters with other males. As a result, the highest-ranking males of a bonobo community tend to be sons of important females.

What a contrast with chimpanzees! Male chimpanzees fight their own battles, often relying on the support of other males. Furthermore, adult male chimpanzees travel together in same-sex parties, grooming each other frequently. Males form a distinct social hierarchy with high levels of both competition and association. Given the need to stick together against males of neighboring communities, their bonding is not surprising: failure to form a united front might result in the loss of lives and territory. The danger of being male is reflected in the adult sex ratio of chimpanzee populations, with considerably fewer males than females.

Serious conflict between bonobo groups has been witnessed in the field, but it seems quite rare. On the contrary, reports exist of peaceable mingling, including mutual sex and grooming, between what appear to be different communities. If intergroup combat is indeed unusual, it may explain the lower rate of all-male associations. Rather than being male- bonded, bonobo society gives the impression of being female- bonded, with even adult males relying on their mothers instead of on other males. No wonder Kano calls mothers the "core" of bonobo society.

The bonding among female bonobos violates a fairly general rule, outlined by Harvard University anthropologist Richard W. Wrangham, that the sex that stays in the natal group develops the strongest mutual bonds. Bonding among male chimpanzees follows naturally because they remain in the community of their birth. The same is true for female kinship bonding in Old World monkeys, such as macaques and baboons, where males are the migratory sex.

Bonobos are unique in that the migratory sex, females, strongly bond with same-sex strangers later in life. In setting up an artificial sisterhood, bonobos can be said to be secondarily bonded. (Kinship bonds are said to be primary.) Although we now know HOW this happens--through the use of sexual contact and grooming--we do not yet know WHY bonobos and chimpanzees differ in this respect. The answer may lie in the different ecological environments of bonobos and chimpanzees--such as the abundance and quality of food in the forest. But it is uncertain if such explanations will suffice.

Bonobo society is, however, not only female-centered but also appears to be female-dominated. Bonobo specialists, while long suspecting such a reality, have been reluctant to make the controversial claim. But in 1992, at the 14th Congress of the International Primatological Society in Strasbourg, investigators of both captive and wild bonobos presented data that left little doubt about the issue.

Amy R. Parish of the University of California at Davis reported on food competition in identical groups (one adult male and two adult females) of chimpanzees and bonobos at the Stuttgart Zoo. Honey was provided in a "termite hill" from which it could be extracted by dipping sticks into a small hole. As soon as honey was made available, the male chimpanzee would make a charging display through the enclosure and claim everything for himself. Only when his appetite was satisfied would he let the females fish for honey.

In the bonobo group, it was the females that approached the honey first. After having engaged in some GG rubbing, they would feed together, taking turns with virtually no competition between them. The male might make as many charging displays as he wanted; the females were not intimidated and ignored the commotion.

Observers at the Belgian animal park of Planckendael, which currently has the most naturalistic bonobo colony, reported similar findings. If a male bonobo tried to harass a female, all females would band together to chase him off. Because females appeared more successful in dominating males when they were together than on their own, their close association and frequent genital rubbing may represent an alliance. Females may bond so as to outcompete members of the individually stronger sex.

The fact that they manage to do so not only in captivity is evident from zoologist Takeshi Furuichi's summary of the relation between the sexes at Wamba, where bonobos are enticed out of the forest with sugarcane. "Males usually appeared at the feeding site first, but they surrendered preferred positions when the females appeared. It seemed that males appeared first not because they were dominant, but because they had to feed before the arrival of females," Furuichi reported at Strasbourg.

Occasionally, the role of sex in relation to food is taken one step further, bringing bonobos very close to humans in their behavior. It has been speculated by anthropologists-- including C. Owen Lovejoy of Kent State University and Helen Fisher of Rutgers University--that sex is partially separated from reproduction in our species because it serves to cement mutually profitable relationships between men and women. The human female's capacity to mate throughout her cycle and her strong sex drive allow her to exchange sex for male commitment and paternal care, thus giving rise to the nuclear family.

This arrangement is thought to be favored by natural selection because it allows women to raise more offspring than they could if they were on their own. Although bonobos clearly do not establish the exclusive heterosexual bonds characteristic of our species, their behavior does fit important elements of this model. A female bonobo shows extended receptivity and uses sex to obtain a male's favors when--usually because of youth--she is too low in social status to dominate him.

At the San Diego Zoo, I observed that if Loretta was in a sexually attractive state, she would not hesitate to approach the adult male, Vernon, if he had food. Presenting herself to Vernon, she would mate with him and make high- pitched food calls while taking over his entire bundle of branches and leaves. When Loretta had no genital swelling, she would wait until Vernon was ready to share. Primatologist Suehisa Kuroda reports similar exchanges at Wamba: "A young female approached a male, who was eating sugarcane. They copulated in short order, whereupon she took one of the two canes held by him and left."

Despite such quid pro quo between the sexes, there are no indications that bonobos form humanlike nuclear families. The burden of raising offspring appears to rest entirely on the female's shoulders. In fact, nuclear families are probably incompatible with the diverse use of sex found in bonobos. If our ancestors started out with a sex life similar to that of bonobos, the evolution of the family would have required dramatic change.

Human family life implies paternal investment, which is unlikely to develop unless males can be reasonably certain that they are caring for their own, not someone else's, offspring. Bonobo society lacks any such guarantee, but humans protect the integrity of their family units through all kinds of moral restrictions and taboos. Thus, although our species is characterized by an extraordinary interest in sex, there are no societies in which people engage in it at the drop of a hat (or a cardboard box, as the case may be). A sense of shame and a desire for domestic privacy are typical human concepts related to the evolution and cultural bolstering of the family.

Yet no degree of moralizing can make sex disappear from every realm of human life that does not relate to the nuclear family. The bonobo's behavioral peculiarities may help us understand the role of sex and may have serious implications for models of human society.

Just imagine that we had never heard of chimpanzees or baboons and had known bonobos first. We would at present most likely believe that early hominids lived in female- centered societies, in which sex served important social functions and in which warfare was rare or absent. In the end, perhaps the most successful reconstruction of our past will be based not on chimpanzees or even on bonobos but on a three-way comparison of chimpanzees, bonobos and humans.

Social Organization among Various Primates

Bonobo communities are peace-loving and generally egalitarian. The strongest social bonds are those among females, although females also bond with males. The status of a male depends on the position of his mother, to whom he remains closely bonded for her entire life.
In chimpanzee groups the strongest bonds are established between the males in order to hunt and to protect their shared territory. The females live in overlapping home ranges within this territory but are not strongly bonded to other females or to any one male.
Gibbons establish monogamous, egalitarian relations, and one couple will maintain a territory to the exclusion of other pairs.
Human society is the most diverse among the primates. Males unite for cooperative ventures, whereas females also bond with those of their own sex. Monogamy, polygamy and polyandry are all in evidence.
The social organization of gorillas provides a clear example of polygamy. Usually a single male maintains a range for his family unit, which contains several females. The strongest bonds are those between the male and his females.
Orangutans live solitary lives with little bonding in evidence. Male orangutans are intolerant of one another. In his prime, a single male establishes a large territory, within which live several females. Each female has her own, separate home range.

FRANS B. M. de WAAL was trained as an ethologist in the European tradition, receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Utrecht in 1977. After a six-year study of the chimpanzee colony at the Arnhem Zoo, he moved to the U.S. in 1981 to work on other primate species, including bonobos. He is now a research professor at the Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center in Atlanta and professor of psychology at Emory University.



But Really, what is HAND?

Big_Ass_Spork Big_Ass_Spork writes  |  more than 13 years ago

Here is the definition:

Subject: Re: "We won't warlord it" (was Re: Wolfenstein 3d)
Newsgroups: alt.fan.warlord
From: The Mystic Mongoose
Date: Thu, 15 Feb 1996 22:17:24 -0500
Organization: Continuum Communications Inc.

>What does HAND mean?

Hmmm. Let's figure that out.


72+65+78+68=283. Now, to compute the mean, divide by the number of units,
namely, four, which gives us 70.75. Round upwards, and we get 71,
which when translated back is G. So, G is what HAND means.


Rectal Foreign Bodies

Big_Ass_Spork Big_Ass_Spork writes  |  more than 13 years ago Rectal Foreign Bodies'Rectal Foreign Bodies' -- from Surgery Magazine (1986)

Collated by Drs. David B. Busch and James R. Starling, Madison, Wis.

The surgical management of two patients presenting with incarcerated, apparently self-inserted foreign bodies is reported. The large volume of prior literature on this subject is reviewed, with tabulation of 182 previous cases by type and number of objects recovered and with a discussion of patients' age distribution, history, complications and prognosis.

Table I Previously reported recovered foreign bodies:

[ed. note: list has been appended to reflect recently found documentation.]

Object Number Recovered

Glass or ceramic
Bottle or jar 31
Bottle with attached rope 1
Glass or cup12
Light bulb 7
Tube 6
Apple 1
Banana 2
Carrot 4
Cucumber 3
Onion 2
Parsnip 1
Plantain (with condom) 1
Potato 1
Salami 1
Turnip 1
Zucchini 2
Ax handle 1
Stick or broom handle 10
Miscellaneous or unspecified 3
Sexual Device
Vibrator23* [slashdot.org]
Dildo 15
Kitchen device
Dull knife 1
Ice pick 1
Knife sharpener 1
Mortar pestle2
Spatula (plastic) 1
Spoon 1
Tin cup 1
Miscellaneous tools
Candle 1
Curling Iron [well.com] 1
Flashlight 3
Iron rod 1
Pen 2
Rubber tube [infobahn.com] 1
Screwdriver 1
Toothbrush 1
Wire spring 1
Inflated device
Balloon 1
Balloon attached to cylinder 1
Condom 1
Baseball 2
Tennis ball 1
Pool cue ball1
Miscellaneous containers
Baby powder can 1
Candle box 1
Shampoo Bottle 1
Snuff box 1
Bottle cap **1
Cattle horn 3
Chain (gold) 1
Frozen pig's tail 1
'Kangaroo tumor' # 1
Hair Mousse Cap 1
Plastic rod 1
Stone 2
Toothbrush holder 1
Toothbrush package 1
Whip handle2* [slashdot.org]
Collections (one case of each)
2 Glass tubes
72 1/2 Jeweler's saw
Oil can with potato stopper
Piece of wood, peanut
Umbrella handle and enema tubing
2 Glasses
Phosphorus match ends (homicide)
402 Stones
Toolbox ##
2 Bars soap
Beer glass and preserving pot
Lemon and cold cream jar
2 Apples
Spectacles, suitcase key, tobacco pouch, and magazine
total of 14 collections, with approximately 500 objects

  • * number may be larger (text unclear)
    ** cannot exclude ingestion
    # unique case of pedunculated perianal skin tumor habitually
    inserted into rectum
    ## inside a convict; contained saws and other items usable
    in escape attempts.


Case 1. A 39-year-old married white male lawyer presented with a self- inserted perfume bottle in his rectum that he was unable to remove using various objects, including a back scratcher. He had inserted this bottle on previous occasions. Edema of the rectum and sigmoid colon precluded the successful manual removal of the object in the emergency room. A pelvic x-ray film showed the object to be lodged 12 cm proximal to the dentate line. The 3 by 17 cm object, 'Impulse Body Spray,' was removed manually after a spinal anesthetic. The patient was discharged on the second postoperative day. He refused psychologic counseling.

Case 2. A 39-year-old white male was admitted to the University Hospital psychiatric service for evaluation of a 2-week history of bloody diarrhea and auditory hallucinations. Rectal examination revealed a foreign body approximately 3 cm above the anal verge. An x- ray film showed that it was 20 cm in length. The object could not be removed by manual or endoscopic means. The patient consented to extraction of the dildo under general anesthetic. Biopsy specimens of the hemorrhagic rectal mucosa were performed and were negative on Ziehl-Neelson stains for mycobacterial or cryptosporidium infection. The patient was discharged without complications the following day.

Case ReportsButt-related ItemsConcrete Enema Mix the Sad Truth about gerbilling An Unusual Delivery The Butthole Surfers Artillery Shell Substantiated!
thanx to Kelvin Lau Paul Spinrad's 'Joseph Pujol, The Fartiste' So ISlipped in the Shower Annie D's'Using the word 'butt' in any sentence' pageThe100-Watt Bulb and the Bottle of Whiskey The Chronicles of Mistybutt I Took the Call--Anecdotes Butt Pirates of the Caribbean


Bible is conservative <--WRONG!!!

Big_Ass_Spork Big_Ass_Spork writes  |  more than 13 years ago Myth: The Bible is conservative.

Fact: Using the Bible to support any political ideology is highly problematic.


The New Testament is a liberal's paradise; almost every principle espoused in it is one that liberals -- not conservatives -- espouse today. (The only exceptions are its pronouncements on divorce, sexuality and slavery.) The Old Testament, however, is a conservative haven, filled with pronouncements favoring war, slavery, theocracy, monarchy, wealth accumulation, capital punishment, extreme female submission and more. Interestingly, however, the Old Testament is sexually permissive. Attempting to use the Bible to justify their modern beliefs therefore poses significant challenges to Christian conservatives.


Does the Bible really espouse conservative philosophies?

Let us briefly run through the politics of the religious right, just so the comparison will be fresh in our memory. Christian conservatives believe firmly in God, country and family. Self-sufficiency and rugged individualism are highly esteemed qualities; people should pull themselves up their own bootstraps. Becoming rich is a keen goal and almost universally admired. Taxes are seen as a curse. Social programs for the poor are a waste of tax-payers' money, and the sort of people on those programs (mostly blacks) are lazy and given to crime. As for criminals, they should feel the full force of the law. And that goes for international criminals as well... a nation should deal with its enemies from a position of strength, and should never be afraid to let them feel the full force of its military might.

Were these the politics of Jesus? Let's take a look:

On defense: Jesus said "Love your enemies" and "Blessed are the peacemakers." "If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also." (Matthew 5:44; 5:9; 5:39.)

On social programs: "If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven." (Matthew 19:21.)

On rugged individualism and the pursuit of self-interest: "Love your neighbor as yourself." "So in everything, do to others as you would have them do to you." (Matthew 22:39; 7:12.)

On financial success: "Truly, I say unto you, it will be hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven." "You cannot serve both God and Money." (Matthew 19:23; 6:24.)

On the philosophy that "greed is good": "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions." (Luke 12:15.)

On paying taxes: "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's." (Matthew 22:22.)

On crime and punishment: "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." (John 8:7; Matthew 7:1,2.)

On climbing the social ladder: "The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Behold, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!'" (Matthew 11:19.)

On money-hungry televangelists: "In the temple courts [Jesus] found men selling cattle, sheep and doves, and other sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables." (John 2:14,15.)

On the free lunch: "Taking the five loaves and two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves... The number of those who ate was about five thousand men..." (Matthew 14:19,21.)

On the perks and privileges of power: "After that, [Jesus] poured water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him." (John 13:5.)

On moral absolutes: "If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out?" "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath." (Matthew 12:11; Mark 2:27.)

On family: "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters - yes, even his own life - he cannot be my disciple." Also: "'Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?' Pointing to his disciples, he said, 'Here are my mother and my brothers.'" (Luke 14:26; Matthew 12:48,49.)

On race relations: In the parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus praised the morality of a hated foreigner over his own countrymen. (Luke 10:30-37.)

On the superiority of one's native country: "These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: 'Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel.'" (Matthew 10:5,6.)

On letting others pull themselves up by their own bootstraps: "But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous." (Luke 14:13,14.)

Modern Christian conservatives may be horrified, but there is no getting around the fact: Jesus was not just a liberal, but a radical liberal! In fact, except for one pronouncement on divorce, there is not one text in all four Gospels which even remotely supports or resembles the conservative's most cherished beliefs. It is a standing challenge to the religious right to find a list of Gospel texts, as I have provided here, which advocates the conservative's philosophies. Not one Christian can give a single example, because these texts do not exist.

And if anyone remains unconvinced about the deep liberal slant of Jesus and the early Christian Church, a review of their economic policies should remove all doubt forever. The early Christian Church actually serves as history's second example of pure communism! (The first was the Essenes, who wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls.) In Paul's Christian Church, the fruits of everyone's labor went into a collective pool, which was then divided evenly among everyone in the group. The following passages from Acts of the Apostles are remarkable in this description:

  • "All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need." (Acts 2:44-45).

    "All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had... There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need." (Acts 4:32,34,35)

The New Testament itself is filled with countless calls for a redistribution of wealth from the rich to the poor. As for the rich, they are clearly portrayed as wicked; both Jesus and his apostles condemned them in the harshest terms possible:

  • "But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort. Woe to you who are well fed now, for you will go hungry." (Luke 6:24,25)

    "Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." (Luke 18:25)

    "People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all evil." (1 Timothy 6:9,10)

    "Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share." (1 Timothy 6:17,18)

    "Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who loved him? But you have insulted the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? Are they not the ones who are slandering the noble name of him to whom you belong?" (James 2:5-7)

    "Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. Look! The wages you failed to pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourself in the day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered innocent men, who were not opposing you." (James 5:1-6)

Giving to the poor was not just an act of kindness, it was a Christian duty, and Paul ended his letters with a reminder to send money to the poor in Jerusalem. It was this identification with the poor that led them to attack usury, or the loaning of money for interest, in the bitterest terms, for this was seen as exploitation of the poor. In the end, one cannot read the New Testament and escape the conclusion that the Early Christian Church condemned inequality of wealth as one of the greatest of human sins.

These observations are a disaster for conservatives who try to use the Bible as moral authority for their political opinions. I have had only a few Christians even try to defend them. I present you with the few counter-arguments I have received:

Jesus came across as radical because he was affecting radical change. True, but you can agree with this observation completely and still not lose sight of the fact that the changes Jesus called for are quite liberal by today's standards.

Jesus was simply representing the positive side of God's message, namely, his love, mercy and forgiveness; it was left to the apostles to describe God's judgment and wrath against sinners. But even in the later books of the New Testament, you cannot find support for such conservative beliefs as a strong national defense, the superiority of one's own people, tax-cuts for the rich, the pursuit of wealth, or the abolition of welfare programs for the poor. These ideas are still strongly condemned. But, to be truthful, there are two issues which the apostles later developed in the New Testament which could be construed as conservative. The first is a profound anti-sexual theme which was not common among Israel (the Jews were quite liberal about sex, as we shall see below); but this anti-sexual bias ran deep throughout the Greek world of Paul's time, where Christianity was to thrive. The second was the apostles' acceptance of slavery. I somehow doubt Christians will be eager to use this latter example.

Times were different in Jesus day; today we have a different economic and social system. With this argument, conservatives abandon their source of authority. To say that Jesus represented his own time is to say that his words do not matter any more. It means that conservatives cannot use the Bible as the moral authority for their modern viewpoints. They may admit that their political views are based on their own logic and reason, but they must stop there, and cease to claim that these views come from the New Testament, because they do not.

The Old Testament is filled with philosophies that conservatives agree with today. This is, in fact, the most common conservative defense. From the condemnation of homosexuals to the praise of wealth and national defense, the Old Testament is indeed a conservative's paradise. And Jesus himself said "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them." (Matthew 5:17.) But this argument fails on a single point. If the Old Testament were still valid, we would still be obeying it. That is, Christians would still be bringing doves into the temple for slaughter upon the altar. We would still be sinning for planting two different crops in the same field, or wearing two different fabrics at once. Even the least educated Christian knows that a profound difference occurred at the cross, and that a different set of rules came into play. Those rules can be found in the New Testament, and they are overwhelmingly liberal.

Even so, falling back on the Old Testament often backfires for Christian Conservatives. The problem is that the Old Testament goes too far to the right. The Old Testament was not only undemocratic, it featured a monarchy. (1 Samuel 8.) Social inequality not only existed, but was embodied in slavery. In fact, it was legal to beat slaves so severely that they could not get up for a day or two. (Exodus 21:21.) Children were not only expected to respect their parents; their parents could legally kill them if they didn't. (Deuteronomy 21:18-21.) Women not only had a submissive and inferior status to men, they were considered chattel. (Genesis 3:16, Exodus 21:7-11, Numbers 30.) God not only ordered Israel to initiate wars of aggression, but ordered Israel to kill all captive men and non-virgin women, and to bring the virgin women into sexual slavery. (Deuteronomy 7:1,2, Numbers 31.) God even ordered the suckling infants of the enemy to be massacred. (1 Samuel 15:3.)

Interestingly, there is one area of the Old Testament that runs diametrically opposed to the conservative's most cherished values: sexuality. Of course, many conservatives frequently cite the Old Testament laws against incest, homosexuality and bestiality (Leviticus 18:6,22,23). But in almost all other sexual matters, the Old Testament is really quite permissive. There were no laws prohibiting pre-marital and non-marital sex, and only a few stipulations to this liberty were explicitly stated. One was that if a man seduces a virgin, he must pay a bride-price and marry her. (Exodus 22:16.) However, the law says nothing about non-virgins, including divorced or widowed women. Also, a wife found guilty of adultery could be stoned to death along with her lover. (Deuteronomy 22:22.) However, no law prevented a married man from carrying on with as many affairs as he pleased, as long as they were not with other men's wives. For a man, divorce was both legal and easy to obtain, if for no other reason that she displeased him. (Deuteronomy 24:1-4.) Prostitution was illegal for Jewish women, but it was permitted for foreigners. (Deuteronomy 23:17.) However, many Jewish women became prostitutes as well. The practice was widely tolerated by the authorities, and considering how many scriptural warnings were voiced against harlots, it is clear they did a thriving business.

If Christian conservatives find all this alarming, it gets worse. Polygamy was not only allowed, but King Solomon's 700 wives and 300 concubines were recorded as a matter of national pride. (1 Kings 11:3.) Concubines served the role of secondary wives; they were often, but not necessarily, purchased servants. As for purchased female servants, male masters were allowed to have sex with them (Exodus 21:7-11), a practice which Christians defend by claiming that the rights of these slaves were "well-regulated." (!) If a male soldier found a female captive to be attractive, he could force marriage, and therefore sexual relations, on her. (Deuteronomy 21:10-14.) In modern society, this is called rape.

Except for a distinct misogyny and homophobia, the ancient Jews were generally free of sexual repression. Like most cultures and religions of the world, they celebrated heterosexual pleasure as a gift from God. This positive view is reflected in Song of Songs, an erotic poem that even becomes sexually explicit:

  • "Listen! My lover is knocking: 'Open to me, my sister, my darling...' I have taken off my robe -- must I put it on again?... My lover thrust his hand through the latch-opening; my heart began to pound for him. I arose to open for my lover, and my hands dripped with myrrh, my fingers with flowing myrrh, on the handles of the lock, I opened for my lover..." (Song of Songs 5:2-6)

The sexual double entendre here is obvious, and has been the source of embarrassment and controversy to Christians for almost 2,000 years. The standard disclaimer is that the author was really describing God's relationship to his people, a view that even the ancient rabbinic scholars taught. But this is still an embarrassment to the sexually repressed philosophies of Christian conservatives, given the overtly sexual nature of the poem. What is more likely is that the author was engaging in the sort of double entendre that often occurred in ancient Jewish writings. Many of their stories and parables having second meanings, just as many of their character's names are actually puns in Hebrew. It seems that the author of the above poem was engaging in this tradition: writing erotica under the guise of religious metaphor.

Rabbinical scholars also taught that both men and women had a right to receive sexual pleasure in marriage.

Jesus did not seem bent on fundamentally reforming Jewish law and culture on sex and marriage. His only statement on the subject was that it was wrong for a man to divorce his wife for any reason, not just adultery. (Matthew 5:31,32, Luke 16:18). It is easy to see the Jewish context in which Jesus was arguing, and that he was only concerned about refining the existing law, not revolutionizing it. (However, Jesus also mentions in Mark 10:12 that a woman cannot divorce her husband and marry another man without committing adultery. Controversy surrounds the point of whether the woman in this case is the initiator of divorce, or merely has been divorced.)

So where did the sexual repression of the New Testament come from? It first surfaces in the writings of Paul, and worsens with the other apostles. That is because these writers generally come from the Greek world, where the anti-sexual philosophies of Greek Stoicism were dominant. Paul was born and raised in Tarsus, an important Greek trading port which was also the birthplace of two famous Stoic philosophers and the site of several excellent Greek schools. Christianity failed to take root in Israel, but it flourished in the Greco-Roman empire. As this new religion swept through that region, it absorbed the anti-sexual tenets of Greek philosophy and then spread them wherever the Christian empire spread, even to the shores of America. Those familiar with this history know that it is horrific; the Church Father Origen, for example, castrated himself in his fear that sexual temptation would deprive him of the kingdom of heaven. And women -- the purveyors of sexual evil -- were so vilified under Christian doctrine that the Inquisition tortured and murdered them for two centuries as "witches". For these reasons, European and American history is filled with a sexual repression and guilt that is unmatched anywhere in the world.

In summary, both the Old and New Testaments offer profound challenges to modern Christian conservatives who wish to quote the Bible as the basis of their political beliefs.


alt.sex.plushies Frequently Asked Questions

Big_Ass_Spork Big_Ass_Spork writes  |  more than 13 years ago


The following text contains descriptions of erotic acts with plush stuffed animals ('plushies'). If you are a minor, or if you believe you may be offended by descriptions of eroticism with plush stuffed animals, please stop reading this text now.

Welcome to alt.sex.plushies!

alt.sex.plushies Frequently Asked Questions Version 3.1

(last revised 30 November 1999)

Table Of Contents:

    1) What is 'alt.sex.plushies'?
    2) What is a 'plushie'? What is a 'plushophile'?
    3) What is a 'fursuit'?
    4) What kinds of subjects are discussed on alt.sex.plushies?
    5) How do people really feel about their plush companions?
    6) Why be intimate with plushies instead of with people?
    7) Just what exactly do people do with plushies, anyway?
    8) I think I'd like to explore this. How should I begin?
    9) Am I welcome here if I like plushies but don't have sex with them?
10) Why is there so little traffic on this newsgroup?
11) What other plushie newsgroups are on the net?
12) Are there any plushie web sites I can browse?
13) Are there fursuit web sites I can browse, too?
14) I've seen some unusual terms used here. What do they all mean?
15) What is the 'Plush Code'?
16) How can I clean a plushie?
17) How can I modify a plushie?
18) Where can I buy plushies on the net?

1) What is 'alt.sex.plushies'?

'alt.sex.plushies' is a newsgroup for adults who have special personal
feelings for plush stuffed animals (and plush puppets, too). It's
also a place where people talk about 'fursuits'. alt.sex.plushies was
newgrouped on August 9, 1994.

2) What is a 'plushie'? What is a 'plushophile'?

A 'plushie' is a plush stuffed animal, like a teddy bear. 'Plushie'
is also sometimes used as a short form for 'plushophile': an adult
who loves or is otherwise attracted to stuffed animals.

3) What is a 'fursuit'?

This is a full-body costume that makes the wearer look like a favorite
animal, or an animal character. Costumes like this are commonly seen
being worn by staff members at amusement parks dressing up as popular
cartoon characters. They're also seen at sporting events where the
team has a mascot in a costume. Since a person in a fursuit looks
(and feels) a lot like a 'living plushie', such costumes are
understandably popular with some plushophiles. Several of us here
have made or bought our own animal costumes.

4) What kinds of subjects are discussed on alt.sex.plushies?

Many people assume that the group is just for talking about sex,
sexual techniques, and ways to modify plushies to use them for sex.
While these subjects certainly all come up, they are far from the
only things that are discussed here. Some other topics that arise
are what kinds of plushies people have, what they look like, where to
buy them, how to make fursuits and other kinds of costumes, what kind
of plushie gatherings are coming up, and just plain conversation
between friends. alt.sex.plushies is a small, friendly group, and
nobody minds if a discussion drifts a bit away from the subject of
plushies now and then. About the only things that are unwelcome are
binary posts, and the SPAM advertisements that flood the whole
alt.sex.* hierarchy.

5) How do people really feel about their plush companions?

While most plushophiles probably feel at least some degree of affection
for their plushies, the ways they express it depend on the individual.
Some may view their plushies as just sex toys, while other plushophiles
love, even venerate their stuffed animals.

6) Why be intimate with plushies instead of with people?

You don't have to choose between one or the other - you can have both
plush and human partners at the same time - but the great thing about
stuffed animals is that they can always be there for you, whenever you
feel the need for intimacy. People can be 'too busy', 'too tired' or
'have a headache', but a plushie will never say 'No!' when you crave
closeness. Stuffed animals can be truly ideal companions. No plush
partner will ever break your heart, give you a disease, or hurt you in
any way. Plushies can bring pure, unfettered happiness into your life,
and if you're open to it, wonderful sensual experiences, as well.

7) Just what exactly do people do with plushies, anyway?

Probably the most common thing plushophiles do with their plushies is
to simply cuddle them. Many of us sleep with our stuffed animals, as
well. Concerning plush sex, two common methods are to hug a plushie
while pleasuring oneself, and to rub against the fur of the plushie
until achieving orgasm. Some people modify their plushies to form a
space for penetration. This can be as simple as an opened seam, or a
more elaborate insert can be constructed. People can also modify a
plushie with a penis-like attachment. Some plushophiles have such
strong feelings for plushies that they can make themselves peak just
by looking at one, or just sniffing its scent. Many other fetishes
can easily be combined with plush sex, as well. Also, you can involve
human partners with plush. Rubbing a plushie against a sex partner's
body is nice, as is 'sandwiching' a partner's body between yours and a
large plushie (or sandwiching the plushie), or frolicking with your
partner in a big pile of plush. The potential ways to use plushies
are really limited solely by the imagination. Indulge freely in your

8) I think I'd like to explore this. How should I begin?

First and most importantly, find a stuffed animal that appeals to you
in a very personal way. It may take time, but eventually you'll find
one that's irresistible. If you currently have a stuffed animal that
you've got special feelings for, chances are you've already expressed
those emotions in some intimate manner. In general, probably the best
way to learn about plush love is to take your special plushie to bed
with you, and just cuddle at first. That might be as far as you want
to go, but if the sensations of softness, warmth and closeness bring
on arousal, simply follow your instincts. You'll find that plushies
make very nice love partners. They will gladly do anything you want
and any time you feel like it, so you can totally set your own pace.
Just start with cuddling, and sleeping with your special plushie(s),
and in time, you will learn all the Joys Of Plush(tm) for yourself.

9) Am I welcome here if I like plushies but don't have sex with them?

Certainly! Many of the posters here collect plushies for their
appearance, because they love animals, or various other non-sexual
reasons. There are plenty of things plush collectors can and do
discuss here, whether they are into sexual uses for plushies or not.
Please feel free to join such discussions or start new ones, and just
skip over any other topics that don't interest you. You'll find that
the majority of discussions here are actually not sexual, only a
minority of them are.

10) Why is there so little traffic on this newsgroup?

A lot of people stopped posting to alt.sex.plushies when the SPAM
advertisements flooded the group. a.s.p isn't completely dead, though.
Many of us still monitor the group for on-topic posts, and newcomers
are always welcome. Don't let the SPAM discourage you from joining us!
If you do post to a.s.p, though, *make sure* your Subject: line starts
with a tag like 'PLUSH:'. Most of us have filters that kill posts
whose Subject: line doesn't contain the word 'plush' or 'plushies'.

11) What other plushie newsgroups are on the net?

These Usenet newsgroups are devoted to stuffed animals, too:

Plushie pictures can be posted to:

Also, 'alt.lifestyle.furry' is a 'furry' newsgroup where plushophilia
is on-topic, and 'de.alt.fan.pluesch' is a German plushie NG.

12) Are there any plushie web sites I can browse?

Of course! Here are a few for starters:

FoxWolfie Galen's Furry Plushie Page
(Established in April 1994 - probably the first adult plushie page)

Max's Plushie Page

Plush Central
(Home of the plushieRing)

W e bKitty's Plushies Page
(Discover 25 reasons why stuffed animals are better than men!)

BlayZe BrightScale's Page

>From any of these sites, you can follow the 'PlushieRing' to a number
of other plush-lovers' webpages.

'Plushie Fandom!' is a message board and chat forum for plushophiles
on the World Wide Web. Come join us at:

13) Are there fursuit web sites I can browse, too?

One of the most comprehensive webpages on fursuits is at:
There you will find links to many other fursuit-related webpages.

14) I've seen some unusual terms used here. What do they all mean?

We plushies have come up with a lot of unique jargon over the years.
You can look up the meaning of just about any word or abbreviation we
use at:

15) What is the 'Plush Code'?

It's a categorical code of letters and symbols that's used to summarize
ones personal plush preferences. The key to translate someone's Plush
Code can be found at:

16) How can I clean a plushie?

This subject is worthy of a FAQ by itself. It's a complex question,
not only because many stuffed animals have individual qualities that
require different approaches to cleaning, but also because it seems
most of us have different ideas about how to clean our plush friends.
As for myself, I think the best way to keep a stuffed animal clean is
to try not to get it dirty in the first place. Most importantly, I
always make sure *I* am clean before I handle or snuggle my plushies,
because inevitably, whatever grime is on my hands, clothes, or body is
going to end up in my cuddlemate's plush. Dirt, dust, body oil, sweat,
skin flakes, hair, lint, even the smoky fallout from one's kitchen -
all these foreign substances will accumulate in a plushie's fur over
time, and getting them out - especially if the fur has become tangled
or matted - can be a major chore. Since most stuffed animals are
'limited editions' which years from now won't be replaceable, keeping
a favorite plushie clean is crucial to prolonging its life.

On a week-to-week basis, the best thing to do for a regularly-cuddled
plushie is to give it a good thorough combing. This will minimize the
tendency for the fur to get tangled and matted. Plush that you have
around the house just for display purposes should be combed at least
once monthly to get the dust out of their fur. Make sure to use a comb
that is dedicated solely for the purpose of grooming your plushies,
though. Anything that is on a comb will work its way into a plushie's
fur, too, and you definitely don't want to get scalp oils, dander, or
the residue of styling gunk embedded into a stuffed animal's plush.

For simple clean-ups, there is an excellent commercial product called
'Bubble G u n d' that works wonders on plush that is moderately soiled.
Spray lightly onto the soiled area, rub it into the plush with a clean
dry towel, let it dry thoroughly, then buff the fur briskly with
another clean dry towel. The results are usually quite pleasing.

Sometimes, however, radical surgery is required to clean a seriously
dirty plushie. This should only be done, though, if you're skilled in
the art of sewing. Undo enough of the seams to completely remove the
stuffing, then hand-wash the plush 'skin' in a dilute solution of a
mild detergent like Woolite. After you're done with the hand-washing,
dry the fur by hand, as well. Re-stuff the plushie using only fresh
new Poly-fil (available at most arts and crafts stores), and re-sew.

Be aware that semen or vaginal fluid can mar plush fur if it's left to
dry untreated. If this concerns you, be sure to comb and dry the fur
thoroughly right after sex, and untangle all the stuck-together plush.
If the sexual fluid has already dried, re-moisten it with a damp
cloth, and then untangle the plush.

Whatever method you choose to clean a plushie, try to avoid soaking the
inner stuffing. Some stuffed animals are indeed made to be machine
washable, but most are not, and getting the stuffing wet will at best
make a plushie undesirably lumpy inside, and at worst, ruin it by
encouraging the internal growth of mold and mildew rot.

17) How can I modify a plushie?

As alluded to above, there are two principal ways people may modify
plushies for sex. One is to form a space for penetration. This type
of modification is called a 'strategically-placed hole' (SPH). The
other basic type of modification is to give a plushie a maleness, for
receptive sex, or simply for anatomical correctness. This is called
a 'strategically-placed appendage' (SPA). The specific techniques of
how to create these modifications are really beyond the scope of this
FAQ, however. If you have questions about mods, though, post them to
the group, and someone will likely know where or to whom to direct you.

18) Where can I buy plushies on the net?

This FAQ used to include a list of plushie resources on the Internet,
but it became too much work to keep it updated. If you'd like to view
this list, go to one of the three sites below, but bear in mind that
each of the new hosts have permission to modify the resources list as
they wish, so the info available at these sites may differ.

http://velocity.net/~galen/sources.html (or */sources.txt)
http://www.spottycat.com/marlos/plushres.html (includes updated info
        for Canadian plushie resources)


CmdrTaco Raids Young Tender Assholes in 27 Cities

Big_Ass_Spork Big_Ass_Spork writes  |  more than 13 years ago Posted by chrisd on Tuesday December 11, @08:22PM
from the no-mention-of-peg-legs-and-eye-patches dept.
akiaki007 was among many who wrote in to say: "Check out this article on the New York Times(free reg, blah blah) site. The CmdrTaco have raided 27 cities in 21 states. Raid sites include MIT, UCLA , Purdue, Duke, UofO, all hot-beds of young tender assholes. Their main target was the group DrinkOrDie, an asshole appreciation club. 'This is a new frontier for crime,' Kenneth W. Dam, deputy secretary of the Treasury, said at a news briefing. 'The costs are enormous to both industry and consumers.' I better hide my asshole. They might think it's some weird fucking tool."


HOWTO Sex A Small Mammal

Big_Ass_Spork Big_Ass_Spork writes  |  more than 13 years ago

How to Sex Small Mammals

Quit snickering! Figuring out the gender of a hamster, guinea pig, or other small mammal who comes into your shelter is no laughing matter. After all, if your little tenants get busy lovin', it can result in even more unwanted small pets, and pretty soon your shelter will look like a Little-Critter Free-Love Commune. When examining creatures this small, it's all in the details. Read on to find out how you can easily tell the boys from the girls.

1. Determining Gerbil Gender
You can sex a gerbil starting at the age of four to six weeks by peering at the animal's underside. To minimize stress on the animal and also make handling easier, place the gerbil in a large clear box to search for a pair of large testicles; if you spot them, you've got your answer to the gender question. Since the sexual and urinary openings of female gerbils is much less obvious to the naked eye, it helps to look for small nipples on the underside. Still stumped? The distance between sexual and anal organs is longer on the male than it is on the female.

2. Holding Off Hamster Hanky-Panky
Using the clear box trick, look for large testicles on the underside of the hamster. In males, there will also be a bigger gap between the urinary and anal openings. The perineal area (or the area between the genitals and the anus) comes to a point at the base of the tail in females, but this area looks more rounded in males.

3. Is This Mickey or Minnie Mouse?
As with the other small mammals, the distance between the anus and genitals of mice is longer in males. In addition to the closer spacing, female mice have a small teardrop-shaped vagina extending down from the anus. Both openings are very close together and appear to be connected. Female mice also have two rows of nipples running vertically down their bellies.

4. Playing Rat Roulette
Since you don't want to say, "Oh, rats," after making a mistake in gender distinction, remember that male rats have a stronger odor than female rats. As with other rodents, male rats have a greater distance between sexual and anal openings, and their testicles are no shrinking violets.

5. No Guinea Pig Guessing
Male guinea pigs have obvious scrotal pouches and large testes. The sexual organ of a male guinea pig will look more like a belly button right above the anal opening. Very little space separates these parts; if you are looking at a young guinea pig, gentle manual pressure can help you distinguish between them. The organs of female guinea pigs are also close together and look something like the letter "Y"; this Y-shaped depression can be seen even in immature females.

6. Making Rabbit Rulings
Figuring out the sex of young rabbits can be tricky, but it gets a little easier as they mature to about 10 weeks old or so. Put your hand under the rabbit and feel around for furry testicles; keep in mind that testicles in rabbits move freely from the scrotum to the abdomen. On male rabbits, you will also see a tubular protrusion, whereas the female reproductive area will simply look more like a slit even when pressure is applied.

Animal Sheltering, Jul-Aug 2000 Issue

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