Daily Reads: Dolphins v sharks, moms v babies, war photos, sex dolls

Screenshot 2014-08-08 08.24.13

War photographer Tyler Hicks on how he gets the goods (but no pictures of Hamas). A Q&A with James Estrin at the NY Times Lens blog.

This is a war fought largely behind the scenes. Hamas fighters are not able to expose themselves. If they were to even step a foot on the street they would be spotted by an Israeli drone and immediately blown up. We don’t see those fighters. They are operating out of buildings and homes and at night. They are moving around very carefully. You don’t see any signs of authority on the streets. If you can imagine every police officer, every person of authority in America gone, this is what that would look like.

If we had access to them, we would be photographing them. I never saw a single device for launching the rockets to Israel. It’s as if they don’t exist.

Pregnancy is a war between mother and child. Suzanne Sadedin at Aeon.

To see this spirit of maternal generosity carried to its logical extreme, consider Diaea ergandros, a species of Australian spider. All summer long, the mother fattens herself on insects so that when winter comes her little ones may suckle the blood from her leg joints. As they drink, she weakens, until the babies swarm over her, inject her with venom and devour her like any other prey. You might suppose such ruthlessness to be unheard-of among mammalian children. You would be wrong.

A (Straight, Male) History of Sex Dolls. Julie Beck at The Atlantic. More than one side to this story. Even two separate clips only begin to get at it.

[1] Sarah Valverde, a researcher and mental health therapist, did her masters thesis in psychology on the demographics and psychological characteristics of sex doll owners. She says that many of the men she surveyed for her research felt shame or embarrassment about owning sex dolls. But contrary to popular stereotypes, they were just as satisfied with their lives, on average, as the general population, and didn’t suffer higher-than-normal rates of depression or other mental illness. Owning a sex doll “is certainly a deviant sexual behavior from our norm,” she says. “But unless it’s all-consuming and it impacts other areas of life, we really can’t define it as a disorder.”

[2] Owning a sex doll is not a violent act. But as these creations come to look more and more realistic, their lifeless, prone silicone bodies are reminders of unequal gender power dynamics that play out in the real world. And as human women become more empowered, sex dolls offer a way for men to retreat into relationships where they are still in control. A doll is a woman-shaped thing that may bring a man comfort, may inspire devotion in him, and may drive away his loneliness. It will never challenge him, and it will certainly never do anything to make him feel ridiculous.

One out of every six dolphins in The Bahamas has been bitten by a shark. Justin Gregg. It seems they especially go after the young.

Unfortunately for the Bimini dolphins, it seems that the younger/smaller dolphins receive a fair amount of unwanted attention from sharks. This study found that of the ten dolphins whose ages were known at the time they were bitten, only one was an adult. The rest were chomped on as young animals, with seven of them being calves. Although this means that smaller dolphins are being targeted by sharks, it’s also a sign that the youngsters are able to hold their own. “The fact that we saw more scars on calves tells us, at the very least, that some calves get away,” says Melillo-Sweeting.

That would be Dr. Walmart to you. Rachel Abrams at The New York Times.

Welcome to Walmart. The nurse will be right with you.

You can also get my daily reading links by signing up for my daily newsletter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *