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Moloch

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18th century depiction of Moloch with 7 furnace chambers used for sacrificing children.

Moloch is the biblical name of a Canaanite god associated with child sacrifice. Moloch is traditionally depicted as a bronze statue heated with fire into which the victims were thrown. Worship of Moloch is said to have been practiced by the Canaanites, as well as the Phoenicians, and related cultures in North Africa and the Levant region of Asia/Middle East. Moloch appears several times in Biblical texts, but primarily in Leviticus, where he is described as a bull-headed god whom Yahweh (God) warned the Canaanites to stop worshiping. 

Verses include:

  • 2 Kings 23:10: “And he (King Josiah of Judah) defiled Topheth, which is in the valley of the children of Hinnom, that no man might make his son or his daughter to pass through the fire to Molech (Moloch).”
  • Jeremiah 32:35: “And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.”
  • Leviticus 18:21 “And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD.”
  • Leviticus 20:2: “Again, thou shalt say to the children of Israel, Whosoever he be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel, that giveth any of his seed unto Molech; he shall surely be put to death: the people of the land shall stone him with stones.”
  • Leviticus 20:3: “And I will set my face against that man, and will cut him off from among his people; because he hath given of his seed unto Molech, to defile my sanctuary, and to profane my holy name.”
  • Leviticus 20:4: “And if the people of the land do any ways hide their eyes from the man, when he giveth of his seed unto Molech, and kill him not”
  • Leviticus 20:5: “Then I will set my face against that man, and against his family, and will cut him off, and all that go a whoring after him, to commit whoredom with Molech, from among their people.

Multiple spellings of this deity’s name, including Molech, Molek, Molok, make tracking him difficult.

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Komodo Dragons: Immaculate Conception pt. 2

Komodo dragon is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Immaculate Conception: Animals That Have Virgin Births

Another fascinating case of Parthenogenesis.

Parthenogenesis in Komodos is thought to have evolved in response to their remote environment, where mates may not always be accessible, rather than due to captivity, like sharks. The offspring, do derive all their genetic material from their mother but unlike other animals, rather than being strictly clones, half of the genes the female would normally contribute to sexual reproduction are instead doubled-up and passed onto her offspring. Hence, the offspring derives all its genes from the mother, but they are not a duplicate of her genome. 

Komodos have a curious twist in their sex determination. Although we think of females being XX (that is, having two X chromosomes) and males as being XY, it’s the other way around in these giant monitor lizards. Two identical sex chromosomes make a male Komodo, and two different ones make a female. Biologists label the Komodo’s sex chromosomes as W and Z, so ZZ makes a male and WZ makes a female. In other words, a female Komodo dragon can produce a perfectly healthy male, all by herself.

Fun fact: Embryos of some reptiles–notably crocodiles and turtles–don’t have any sex chromosomes; rather, the incubation temperature dictates their gender.

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Sharks: Immaculate Conception

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Blacktip Shark

By far, the biggest on the list

Parthenogenesis has been known to occur in several species of shark, including blacktip, zebra, carpet, white-spotted bamboo, bonehead, and even some kinds of hammerhead sharks. The phenomenon has primarily been observed in captivity when females have been isolated from males. Under these circumstances, some females have the ability to switch from sexual reproduction to parthenogenesis. While this is likely an evolutionary trait that allows a species to survive when mates are scarce, some researchers worry it could lead to a lack of genetic diversity and endanger long-term shark survival in the wild.

While many older studies suggest that the offspring of this phenomenon is less equipped for survival, there are examples of fully capable offspring from self-fertilization. However, there is not sufficient evidence on whether parthenogenesis occurs similarly in nature, as all observations of this process has occurred while the shark was in captivity.

 

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Parthenogenesis: Everyday Immaculate Conception

In deference to all those who will be spending Valentine’s Day very much alone…

What follows is a series of post of animals who are doing just fine, all on their own.

But first, to make it easier, let’s define some terms. 

  • Parthenogenesis, from the Greek meaning “virgin birth” is an odd quirk of embryonic development that allows the female animals of some species to have offspring without a male genetic contribution – usually by a doubling of the egg genome to generate a new embryo with the proper number of chromosomes. In other words, females self-fertilizing their eggs.
  • I’ll be focusing on the at the animals who can reproduce with a member of the opposite sex, and choose self-fertilize.
  • Not including transsexual and transgender animals in this series.
Enjoy, all you lonely motherfuckers 🙂
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The Fascinating History of Erectile Dysfunction: “Cures and Treatments” Pt 2

….Continued


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From the 13th to the end of the 17th century, particularly among the upper classes, impotence was one of the only grounds for divorce. In fact, in canonical (ecclesiastical) law, it was considered a deadly sin for an impotent man to marry, although there was nothing actually preventing him from doing so. The only means of proof of impotence, was to sequester the couple behind curtains and ask them to have intercourse in front of expert witnesses, although the lack of exact definitions led to much ambiguity. Juries occasionally required that the man ejaculated in public, whereas others inspected the woman’s hymen. For obvious reasons, these trials attracted a great deal of publicity. Impotence trials became more frequent from the end of the 16th century, with reports on trials widely distributed. Such public trials continued until 1670, after which they were thought to be too scandalous, and were abolished.

Image result for victorian masturbationSpeculation about the causes of impotence continued throughout the centuries, with the ultimate focus on divine providence rather than physiology. This continued until the 19th century, when authorities promoted a new theory, claiming that impotence was a male disorder caused by insufficient self-control and sexual misconduct.

At this time, the high incidence of impotence among Victorian men was attributed mainly to the voluntary loss of semen through masturbation. Because of public outcry, many pamphlets were distributed, and parents warned their young sons not to practice such evils.

 

 

 

Treatments to prevent such semen mistreatment Image result for jugum penisincluded quinine, opium and digitalis, and sponging with cold salt water at 5 o’clock in the morning.

 

 

For more difficult cases, physicians blood letting to remove the “pressure” which would reduce the congestion in the vessels of the urethra thereby curing impotency. Various tools were also developed for more serious cases, such as the Jugum Penis a pointed urethral ring.

The Electric Alarum for Treatment of Masturbation, 1887. (Image via Wellcome Library CC BY 4.0)

 

 

They even had devices for ‘spermatorrhoea‘ to prevent the dreaded involuntary ‘nocturnal emissions’ (aka wet dreams).

 

 

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Wouldn’t mind if my exes tested this out.

 

 

Also, in the 19th century, many doctors in England recommended eating Hemlock as a cure for impotency. I’m sure they died from the sheer embarrassment of it all.

 

 

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, everyone knew that electricity could cure everything. Electric belts became the most popular impotence cure between 1890 and 1920 by offering a unique combination of discretion, diagnoses, and deliverance. In addition to promising to treat impotence so quietly that even one’s wife would not know. Doctors and scholars practiced and taught electrotherapy since the mid-18th century in hospitals around Paris and London. 

Image result for electric belt.

 By the 19th century, devices became smaller, more portable, and easier to operate, giving way to a wave of battery companies that produced electric-based health products. General medical commodities, including products like the electropathic belt, easily made up 25 percent of all advertisements by 1880. Needless to say, it wasn’t very effective. However, the visual of men hunched over in a closet hiding from their wives while getting shocked in the stomach does make me smile inside.

 

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During the early 20th century, science on erectile dysfunction veered off the tracks. In 1918, a Russian doctor came up with the idea of transplanting monkey testicle tissue into humans.

This started a series of ill-conceived experimental surgeries to treat ED by implanting strips of testicles taken from human cadavers, goats, boars, and deer into men with impotence. 

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In the 1960’s, there was the ‘Rise’ of the penile implant. The earliest penile implants were based on the observation that many animals had actual penile bones. But attempts to implant bone or cartilage into the human penis failed because the grafts were quickly absorbed. Instead, doctors began using synthetic implants.

 

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The first implants were hard and caused pain. In the early 1970’s these were replaced with implants that could be pumped full of air. This option is still popular as an ED treatment but does involve the risks of surgery.


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In the 1970’s a Pentecostal minister with a tire repair business really pumped up the excitement for ED sufferers, when he figured out how to attach a tire pump to a cylinder, insert a penis into said cylinder and pump up an erection using negative pressure. From such beginnings came the FDA-approved vacuum penis pump system for erectile dysfunction, which many men (and porn stars) still use today. If you’re not a slave to spontaneity, you may be able to pump up an erection that lasts about 30 minutes and forgo the visit to the pharmacy.

This discovery just goes to show that good things can come from bad beginnings. A French surgeon unintentionally injected the drug papaverine, used to open up blood vessels, into someone’s penis, and it caused an instant erection. Thus, the beginning of intracavernosal injection ED therapy.

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This is MUSE, an alternate penile injection where the medicine is distributed directly into the penis through the urethra

 

 

 

Fun Fact: In 1983, a British researcher actually injected his own penis at a medical meeting to prove how effective this treatment could be for erectile dysfunction.

 

 

 

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And finally, the modern age. In 1994, another accident occurred. Researchers found that sildenafil, a drug being studied to treat angina (chronic chest pains) also caused erections. In 1998, the FDA approved Viagra to treat impotence, and it was soon followed by Cialis and Levitra. And just five years after oral ED drugs appeared, erectile dysfunction diagnoses increased by 250 percent.

 

Needless to say, if you are among the 30+ million men with ED today, it’s a good thing you were born in this century.

 

 

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The Fascinating History of Erectile Dysfunction: “Cures and Treatments”

Flaccid dick, through the ages

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Around 1600 BC, the Egyptians believed that impotence was the result of a natural disorder or an evil spell. One of their remedies used to ward off the ED curse was grinding up baby crocodile hearts mixed with wood oil to rub on the penis.

 

Another of the Ancient Egyptian treatments, using white and blue lotus flowers, is actually being rediscovered as one of the active ingredients, apomorphine, can effectively be used to treat ED.

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Fun fact, what we know as the infamous Spanish Fly, is actually a beetle. In about 300 BC, Aristotle, the Greek philosopher, extracted an “aphrodisiac” from the dried bodies of beetles also known as Spanish flies. The wife of the Roman emperor Tiberius snuck Spanish fly into family meals so she could blackmail relatives roused to sexual indiscretions.

 

Spanish fly was used for centuries as an aphrodisiac, but today we know that it is toxic and while it can cause a great deal of “swelling” it’s very unlikely to be a pleasant erection.

 

Image result for Malleus MaleficarumBy the Middle Ages, and for many years thereafter, impotence was believed to be caused by witches. In the ninth century, Hincmar, the Archbishop of Rheims, was the first to make the connection between witchcraft and impotence. In the preface of Daemonologie, King James I of England asserts the power of witches to weaken ‘the nature of some men, to make them unavailable for women’. A few hundred years later, in the medieval textbook for witch hunters, the Malleus Maleficarum (the “hammer of witches”), men with impotence problems were urged to track down the women who had bewitched their penises and persuade them, often with violence, to restore their erections. 

 

Image result for key holeAlong this same pattern of thinking, many believed that tying a magic knot into a ring or a key using cord or a strip of leather, and then hiding it, caused impotence of the groom at a wedding. This was known as the ‘magic ligature’. The impotence would last until the knot was found and undone by the person who cast the spell. A countermeasure against the ligature involved the groom urinating through the wedding ring the night before the wedding, or, once he discovered his impotence, he could piss through the keyhole of the church in which he as married. 

 

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Torture: The Head Crusher

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The head crusher was a torture device commonly used primarily by the Spanish Inquisition. The victim’s chin was placed over a bottom bar and the head under a upper metal cap. A screw was then slowly turned, which gradually compressed the head between the bar and cap.

It is said that first, the victim’s teeth were smashed and the jaw crushed. Next, the eyes would be squeezed out of the sockets. Some models of this device are even said to have small containers to catch the eyes once they left the skull. This agony would continue several hours, until the victim’s brain was finally crushed. However, the torture was stopped midway to prevent death, though the victim generally had irreversible damage to the brain, eyes and/or jaw.

Another variation on this type of torture, for which death was the only outcome, was the use of elephants as executioners. In medieval India and Persia, trained elephants were often used to crush the heads of criminals. Unlike many other methods of torture, this practice continued well into the 19th century.

https://i1.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/25/Le_Toru_Du_MOnde.jpgExecution by elephant in Persia (Louis Rousselet, 1868)

 

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