“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Lust and Love. What They did not Teach You in Chemistry 101

Oz girl Jennifer Hawkins knows her Chemistry.

Ten things you never knew about Lust and Love

13 February 2007 Advancing the Chemical Sciences

The Royal Society of Chemistry has come up with ten things you never knew about lust and love, taken from its recently published Lust and Love - Is it more than chemistry? book by Gabriele and Rolf Frobose.

1. The cuddle hormone

Oxytocin - the "cuddle" hormone - is why women like to cuddle up after sex. Their oxytocin levels are much higher after sexual encounters, creating a feeling of closeness and comfort. Men also have oxytocin, but it is compensated for by higher levels of testosterone - so they are less prone to cuddling!

2. 3kg of lipstick in a lifetime!

Miss average will put on around 3kg of lipstick on her lips throughout her lifetime. 92 per cent of women in industrialised countries use lipstick, and it is at the top of the league of items most frequently shoplifted.

3. The sweat effect

The smell of a man's sweat may not be the turn off one might think - an experiment at Northumbria University in 2000 asked 16 students to judge the looks of various men in pictures. Then without the girls' knowledge, a cloth soaked in male sweat was placed in the room and the experiment repeated - with phenomenal results. Men previously judged unattractive were seen in a new light. Even those judged the least attractive in the first viewing were able to catch up to their more handsome rivals in the second viewing. So men could try wiping their sweat on their handkerchief and leaving it showing when they ask out a potential date!

4. The love hormone

Dopamine is a hormone which people in love have generally much higher levels of than those who are unattached. Not enough dopamine can lead to Parkinson's disease or Schizophrenia, while too much can make one a little too amorous - is this why Casanova became pathologically addicted to love?

5. Men and women fancying each other

Is there such a thing as love at first sight? If a woman fancies a man, she will look to make eye contact early in the conversation - even if she is shy! If a man fancies a woman, he will quickly begin asking her questions about herself - but if he doesn't, he will make bland general observations about the weather or other generic topics!

6. The direct approach - men like it, women don't!

American psychologist David Buss carried out a survey on the pulling tactics used by the sexes and found - unsurprisingly - that men are turned on by women wearing tight fitting, revealing clothes; that dance provocatively and have long legs and swinging hips. Most men would also be receptive to a woman "grinding" herself up against him at a bar. Women were much less impressed by corresponding approaches by men - with the study concluding men like explicit behaviour in women, whereas women find it objectionable and sometimes repulsive in men.

7. Sex cures your headache!

Whenever we have sex, we release morphine-like substances called endorphins into our bodies. These hormones - from a group called opiates - are both pleasure causing and natural painkillers - thus sex can cure your headache! Couples who are close are full of these opiates, as are a mother and her new born baby. It is this shared "high" that contributes to the formation of the mother-baby bond.

8. Perfume - chemistry made it cheaper!

Many of the natural fragrants used in perfumes are incredibly expensive, so have been replaced by cheaper synthetic alternatives. Although many people would no doubt prefer the real thing, the cost of preparing - for example - one kilogram of attar of roses requires five tonnes of petals, costing some £3,500! Thus synthetic chemistry has made perfumes affordable to the masses.

9. Oysters - aphrodisiac or myth?

Oysters are believed to aphrodisiacs the world over - China and Japan attribute miraculous effects to the Asian Oyster Crassostrea gigas. The Danes go even further - their traditional name for the Oyster is kudefisk, which literally means vulva fish!
However, the Oyster does not have much to offer by way of active ingredients, and it is more likely its semi-liquidity, its somewhat evocative appearance and the taste of salt and sea that are responsible for any love inducing effects! The suggestion of luxury associated with a dinner of oysters by candlelight could also reinforce this "placebo" effect.

10. Eyes not nose to find a mate

Throughout evolution, our ancestors have gradually trust their eyes more than their noses - researchers believe that we are not very good at responding to chemical signals in mating. Some of our primate cousins are much better however - while we always look at each other before mating - the squirrel monkey, much more adept with its nose - will sniff at a potential mate.


  1. Man, that would cause a bulldog to break a brass chain.

    To hell with libraries, anyway. All the broads that work there are ninety years old, and, besides this crew's probably read all the books there that's worth reading a long time ago.

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  3. I thot the shoe tap was the most primal scream for love.

  4. I thought it was, "Are you a Doctor?"

    Followed, of course, by, "Why Yes, how did you know?"

  5. A "PET" Anaconda?

    I guess that's the one that hasn't eaten the toddler, yet.

  6. Meanwhile, the South Pole sets a record for least ice, also.

    Oh, Wait a Minute, THAT RECORD is for MOST ICE!!

    THAT'S been all over the news; Hasn't it?

  7. Rat, Coming to a State, or "Town," Near You.

    BTW, this stuff will grow in a rock garden. Needs virtually no water. You could probably grow it in Afghanistan.

    Has a hell of a Biodiesel/acre yield, too. About as good as Palm.

  8. Whit, I don't know which you're going to see the most of down in Florida, THIS, or Switchgrass; But, you'll see a lot of one of them. Maybe Both.

  9. This is for all the casual drop-ins (are there any?) I'm sure all you oakleaf clusterfucks, .. er, Cluster "Friends" know all This Stuff.

  10. I think This is Important, and is something Most People Don't Know.

    The U.S. is a "manufacturing" powerhouse, and getting stronger.

  11. Bobal, you mean it wasn't to spread democracy in Iraq after all? Is that why Bush no longer talks about "victory" (a military term) and only talks about "success" (an economic term)?

  12. WELL, That's just "Impolite" as can be, isn't it? The "Grown-ups" in positions of importance ain't s'posed to say sech thangs. My, My.

    You have to be an idiot to think it was about anything else; but, if you're Greenspan, you ain't supposed to, actually, Say It!

    The Shit'll hit the fan, now!

  13. I'll betcha Dubya wishes he'd a given him that extra six years, now.

  14. Touchdown, Idaho!! Right at the haft time gun. Haftime, we're ahead by 7. Catch you later, Ms T.

  15. I do not think we should have any more nukes in the hands of illiterates, and I believe we should fight to prevent that. Yes.

  16. I got 100% on that test, Rufus!
    (course I had heard about it on Rush)

    They screwed this one up:

    4) a. 2006 (Source: U.S. International Trade Commission)

    a. was 1966 in the test.

  17. We got a possible Heisman QB out here, AlBob.
    The game Rush got to watch from the sidelines last week or week before, they scored 6 td's in the first half, then he flew home in his Gulfstream.
    Sucks to be Rich.

  18. Tes,

    What’s the difference between “victory” and “success”? Please share your nuanced erudition with us.

  19. Well it's always the same. Vandals get your heart beating for a few minutes, then collapse, go down to defeat. Dang.

    Without the oil, Ms. T., I think we wouldn't have cared about the place, but the fact is the world's economy runs on oil. We best bust our buns to get self sufficient in energy. Build those nuclear power generating stations, is the best answer I can come up with.

  20. BOBAL: Build those nuclear power generating stations, is the best answer I can come up with.

    Paul Harvey says 29 of them will be coming on line in the next three years, there's been a drought of nuke plants since the 1970's.

  21. Methuselah: What’s the difference between "victory" and "success"? Please share your nuanced erudition with us.

    The Kaiser successfully invaded the Low Countries with the guns of August, but the Entente was victorious on Armistice Day.

    Pearl Harbor and Singapore 1941 were very successful for Imperial Japan, but the US was victorious in Tokyo Bay 1945.

    The US successfully won every battle in Vietnam, but Ho Chi Mihn was victorious in 1975.

    Bush is very successful in pacifying Anbar Province, but he wasn't ruthless enough, the clock ran out, the Donks are going to take it all in 2008 and "the Qaeda" is going to gain victory by being the last ones standing on the battlefield.

  22. Ms T., we've got one going (thnks to Rufus for the info on it) in south Idaho that will provide enough juice for all of Idaho, and use the excess to make fuel, right at the site, from the farm produce in the area. We can beat this thing, I'm sure.

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