Male big horn sheep live in what are often called “homosexual societies.” They bond through genital licking and anal intercourse, which often ends in ejaculation. If a male sheep chooses to not have gay sex, it becomes a social outcast. Ironically, scientists call such straight-laced males “effeminate.” Giraffes have all-male orgies. So do bottlenose dolphins, killer whales, gray whales, and West Indian manatees. Japanese macaques, on the other hand, are ardent lesbians; the females enthusiastically mount each other. Bonobos, one of our closest primate relatives, are similar, except that their lesbian sexual encounters occur every two hours. Male bonobos engage in “penis fencing,” which leads, surprisingly enough, to ejaculation. They also give each other genital massages. As this list of activities suggests, having homosexual sex is the biological equivalent of apple pie: Everybody likes it. At last count, over 450 different vertebrate species could be beheaded in Saudi Arabia. You name it, there’s a vertebrate out there that does it. Nevertheless, most biologists continue to regard homosexuality as a sexual outlier.
According to evolutionary theory, being gay is little more than a maladaptive behavior.
“Until a few weeks ago, I thought that if I used reliable birth control, I would never have to deal with an unintended pregnancy. Turns out, I was wrong.”—Kasha Chang, a friend and much admired colleague, in The Ubyssey
Take a boring photo with your 50mm f/1.8 prime wide open, with a small sliver of your subject in focus. Leave large portions of the subject outside of the focal plane, regardless of how important or interesting they are.
Rotate the camera 30 degrees before shooting.
Oversaturate or slightly desaturate. Tint red to look old. Under no circumstances should you apply a neutral white balance.
“I did not appreciate the difficulties historians must face regularly in the course of their research until I began trying to compile a short history of the Buffalo chicken wing. Since Buffalo chicken wings were invented less than twenty years ago, I had figured that I would have an easy task compared to, say, a medievalist whose specialty requires him to poke around in thirteenth-century Spain.”—(from Calvin Trillin’s AN ATTEMPT TO COMPILE A SHORT HISTORY OF THE BUFFALO CHICKEN WING, at The New Yorker)
booked a week off in January; ostensibly I am planning on attending a journalism conference in Montreal but I am considering staying there for a few days after or maybe spending a couple days in Toronto. Given that it’ll be post-holiday work rush, and also January, is this a good idea?