Is this the black-and-blue / gold-and-white controversy that everyone on Twitter’s going on about?

black blue gold white

And do we really need science to explain it?


A wedding picture frame for cousins


I saw this frame while looking around the local discount stores for some last-minute wedding decorations.

It’s a popular belief that the Southern US is a hotbed of cousin marriage, but you may not know that the United States is the only western nation with restrictions on marrying your cousin. Marriages between first cousins are legal through Canada, Mexico, and Europe, and it’s estimated that 1 in 5 couples worldwide are first cousins. The world is Shelbyville, it seems.

The taboo against cousin marriage has more of a basis in culture than genetics. It’s said that the risk of genetic defects in children of cousins is smaller than generally assumed: at most, 2% higher than the population-wide risk of birth defects, which is 2% – 3%. If those low risks still scare you, genetic screening can help those few at-risk cousin couples avoid it.

we can still be cousins

The real problem with getting involved with your cousin isn’t genetics, but social. As this article in Slate puts it:

You can move on from an ex-spouse or ex-lover, but there’s no such thing as an ex-cousin. How are your parents and your ex’s parents supposed to handle a nasty divorce or a breakup? How can they support their kids without antagonizing their siblings and their siblings’ kids? You’ve wrecked your whole family. It isn’t as bad as if you’d slept with a sibling, but it’s a lot worse than if you’d slept with a friend or an officemate. We don’t ban you from dating people at the office, but we don’t tell you it’s a great idea, either.

If you get into bed with your cousin, there’s no need for Uncle Sam to throw you in jail. If it works out, great. If not, you’ll find yourself in a jail no uncle will let you out of.


Quantum orange juice

quantum orange juice

From concentrate and not from concentrate at the same time, this orange juice is part of Schrödinger’s complete breakfast. Or more accurately, the moment just prior to Schrödinger’s complete breakfast.

I’m beginning to realize that Florida is a quantum state.


More on America and the metric system

To this day, one of the most-visited articles on this blog is one from 2008, titled Countries That Don’t Use the Metric System, which points out that there are only three: Liberia, Myanmar, and the United States.

Since it’s from the era when George W. Bush was president, I ended the article with this smart-ass quip: “I say we let them get some decent governments first, then worry about getting them on the metric system.” I believe it’s that line that got the article all that attention, and all the back-and-forth fighting in the comments section.

If you like partaking in debates about the metric system, you might find this passage from the novel Wild Thing by Josh Bazell interesting:


I should pick up this book!


Sign of the day




Idaho lawmaker (GOP, of course) asks if women could have a gyno exam by swallowing a tiny camera

vito barbieri

Earlier today, during a debate on legislating abortion, Idaho representative Vito Barbieri asked if a woman can swallow a small camera for doctors to conduct a remote gynecological exam.

Here’s the relevant excerpt from the Associated Press’ story:

The question Monday from Republican state Rep. Vito Barbieri came as the House State Affairs Committee heard nearly three hours of testimony on a bill that would ban doctors from prescribing abortion-inducing medication through telemedicine.

Dr. Julie Madsen was testifying in opposition to the bill when Barbieri asked the question. Madsen replied that would be impossible because swallowed pills do not end up in the vagina.

“Fascinating. That makes sense,” Barbieri said, amid the crowd’s laughter.

These guys have such a terrible track record with women that they should be given standard-issue talking points and refer anything more complex tham “boys have wee-wees and girls have cha-chas” to designated spokespeople. It would save them a lot of embarrassment.

There’s more at Think Progress, and in the meantime, here’s a quick recap of the digestive system, in case you’re a bit rusty or Republican.


Most people marry someone the same age…

marriage ages

Click the graph to see it at full size.

…but then again, I am not most people. Where the Future Missus and I are on this graph is left as an exercise for the reader.

Graph found at dadaviz.