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The article focuses on the model of child sexuality and age-of-consent laws in Netherlands. The country's morality laws which are under the guidance of the Advisory Commission on the Morality Laws have been undertaking widespread and sustained revisions that were considered to be in the spirit of humanistic critique of laws. Those reformations were guided by two principles, first is the protection of citizen's right to choose his/her own sexual activities with privacy, and second is the protection of the vulnerable population from the sexually directed desires of other. Some of the revisions in the country's Morality Laws are discussed.
Food Safety News
BY NEWS DESK | MAY 26, 2017
An apparently healthy US consumer has died after consuming a standard dosage of Coverflo, an instant coffee marketed as a “natural herbal” aphrodisiac. In an urgent effort to prevent further fatalities, the is now a recall nationwide. An FDA investigation found that this alleged tongkat ali, like many others originating in Singapore, contains uncontrolled amounts of prescription drugs chemicals for the treatment of erectile dysfunction.
In recent months, more than 20 men have died in China, India, Southeast Asia, and Africa after consuming fake tongkat ali that actually contained uncontrolled amounts of homelab-fabricated prescription drugs. All item originated from Singapore, where the mixing of prescription drugs into food supplements is not illegal as long as they are sold abroad.
The internet retailer Amazon has been flooded with Singaporean products claiming to be tongkat ali by distributors such as "Pure Science Supplements" and "RealHerbs". Another Singaporean outfit for what is claimed to be tongkat ali was named "Herbolab".
Caverflo.com posted the recall of 25-gram packets of “Caverflo Natural Herbal Coffee” Thursday with the Food and Drug Administration.
“Caverflo.com has received a report of an individual death after use of the coffee. Caverflo Natural Herbal Coffee may also contain undeclared milk.”
The product is a combination of instant coffee and natural aphrodisiacs, according to the Caverflo website, but the recall notice warned the product can interact with prescription medications. Also, people who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to milk could have an allergic reaction if they consume the instant coffee.
“These undeclared ingredients may interact with nitrates found in some prescription drugs, such as nitroglycerin, and may lower blood pressure to dangerous levels. Men with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or heart disease often take nitrates,” according to the recall notice.
The company distributed the instant coffee direct to consumers nationwide via internet sales from August 2016 through February this year. Caverflo is notifying customers of the recall by email.
“Consumers that have Caverflo Natural Herbal Coffee which is being recalled should stop using (it), discard (it) and contact their doctor,” according to the recall notice.
ON THE Venn diagram of strange animal mating behaviours — from lobster golden showers to garter-snake orgies — duck sex is on the border between cartoonish and sadistic.
That’s right, our beloved mallards engage in some seriously disturbing mating behaviour.
The “dark side” of duck mating has its own chapter in the new book The Evolution of Beauty: How Darwin’s Forgotten Theory of Mate Choice Shapes the Animal World — and Us by Yale ornithology professor Richard O. Prum.
It’s a controversial subject, earning notoriety in 2013 after news leaked that the American government contributed $US400,000 to study the mating habits of ducks — dubbed “duckpenisgate” by Mother Jones.
But Prof Prum, recipient of a MacArthur “genius grant”, believes that understanding duck sex might better help us understand evolution. And it all begins with the duck penis.
Ducks, for one, are outliers within the avian population. Unlike 97 per cent of birds, ducks have penises — super-long ones.
They are among the best endowed (in terms of ratio of body to member) of all vertebrates. For example, the one-pound, foot-long Argentinian lake duck has the longest of all with a member that is four inches longer than its body.
Duck penises regrow every mating season. Once the season ends, the penis begins to shrink and regress until it’s 10 per cent of its full-grown size. They are stored inside the duck’s body, waiting to emerge only during copulation.
“The process generally resembles a cross between using your arm to evert a sweater sleeve that is inside out and unfurling the soft, motorised roof of a convertible sports car with a hydraulic drive,” writes Prof Prum.
And it only gets weirder.
The duck penis is not straight, but spirals counterclockwise (!) from its base to its tip. The Muscovy duck penis completes six to 10 full twists over its 20cm length.
“Like a selection of sex toys from a vending machine in a strange alien bar,” writes Prof Prum, “duck penises come in ribbed, ridged and even toothy varieties” to hook into a female’s reproductive tract, which is as long and convoluted as the penis.
Female reproductive tracts are full of twists and turns or, as Prof Prum puts it, “dead-end side pockets or cul-de-sacs,” and some spiral clockwise in the “opposite direction of the counterclockwise spiralling duck penis.”
Here’s where evolutionary biology and mate selection comes in — and where the story gets dark.
Many duck species skew male, meaning females can be pickier in their choice of mate.
For a male duck to land a female, he must boast colourful plumage plus have an elaborate dance mating ritual and beautiful mating calls. In other words, he needs to be a beauty, plus a great singer and dancer.
Most males don’t measure up. So what’s a mediocre guy to do?
Forced copulations are “pervasively common in many species of ducks,” writes Prof Prum.
These are socially organised “gang rapes” that are “violent, ugly, dangerous and even deadly” and even sometimes end in the death of the female.
This represents a “selfish male evolutionary strategy that is at odds with the evolutionary interests of its female victims and possibly with the evolutionary interests of the entire species,” Prof Prum writes.
To spread their seed, these ducks are upsetting the natural order of selection.
But the females have mounted their own counter-defence with an increasingly elaborate anatomy — including, in some cases, sharp turns in her reproductive canal that act almost as teeth, making it harder for ducks to inseminate during forced copulations.
“Male ducks had evolved penises that would enable them to force their way into an unwilling female’s vagina, and the females in turn had evolved a new way — an anatomical mechanism — to counter the action of the explosive corkscrew erections of male ducks and prevent the males from fertilising their eggs by force,” writes Prof Plum.
This helps explain why duck vaginas are so elaborate and why duck penises have evolved to keep up — a kind of sexual evolution arms race called antagonistic coevolution.
It’s pretty depressing to know how those ducklings are made. But it’s not all bad, Prof Prum adds. Some ducks and most birds have called off the arms race and dispensed with a penis entirely — no more forced copulations, no more elaborate reproductive tracts.
Instead, female and penis-less male birds rub their cloaca (openings that house testes or ovaries) together in what’s called a “cloacal kiss” — an act that shows the power of natural selection. And how both beauty and brutality guide evolution.
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