Episode 164 – The One Where We Wish Better 2018 For Us All!

In This Week’s Show, episode 164, 2017 was a hard year to swallow, so we move forward and onward to Egyptian glory.

Now, grab a beer and help us test the god hypothesis — because, while Illujanka (snake-demon of Hittite myth) hasn’t struck us down yet, we are trying its patience!

Shea’s Life Lesson

Jenn’s Actual Lesson

Did you know that in Hittite myth, Illujanka was crushed to death by Teshub, the weather god? This symbolized the beginning of a new era and was read on their New Year’s Day.

But before we get to all that, let’s have a beer!

This Week’s Beer

Midas Touch Ancient Ale – Dogfish Head

  • BA Link: bit.ly/2AMquzV
  • BA Rating: Rating: 87% – ‎2,147 votes
  • Style: Ale
  • ABV: 9%
  • Aaron: 5
  • Jenn: 4
  • Shea: 2

This Week’s Show

Round Table Discussion

New patron BBQattheLaserFactory – you might want to turn those lasers down eh?

Heartfelt thanks to Louise in Scotland for the one-time donation and very kind words.

Singing drunk dial (pretty sure it’s Brewer Ben).

bit.ly/2BHKZKP

Felicia with Utah Outcasts would like to join forces with The Yeti if he pursues twerking for Patrons.

Headlines

HL1 – Fuck This Guy Too

We’ll get some notes up in here when Shea gets them to us…

HL2 – Worship Like An Egyptian – bit.ly/2ChJxm1

  • The Committee on Religion in the Egyptian Parliament has disclosed plans to pass into law a bill that makes atheism a criminal offense in the North African nation.
  • Current Egyptian law says atheists can be prosecuted for expressing their disbelief in public but the committee’s proposal would go further and criminalize disbelief itself.
  • It would be recalled that in 2014, little more than a week after Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi was sworn in as Egypt’s President, the government announced that it was preparing a national plan to crush every form of atheism.

This Week’s Stories

You’re a Water Wizard Harry! bit.ly/2A7bz2s

in the UK, where nearly a dozen companies have admitted to using divining (or dowsing) rods to detect leaks or figure out where to dig for water.

While there are variations on how these rods work, the version we’re talking about here involves holding two sticks out in front of you, parallel to each other. You walk around the area, and if the rods “detect” water, they’ll pull themselves toward each other and cross. If that sounds ridiculous, that’s because it is.

Overall, Le Page says, 10 of the 12 companies she contacted use or allow divination as a way to detect… something. Even though there is literally zero evidence that they work. It’s a waste of time, money, and resources.

In a statement to the Guardian, the company added: “Using dowsing rods to find leaks is an old-fashioned method. We don’t spend money on it, or issue rods to our engineers.”

Severn Trent told the Mirror: “We don’t issue divining rods to our engineers but we believe some of our engineers use them. As long as the leak is found and repaired quickly, by whatever means, we’re happy and so are our customers.”

The industry’s trade body, Water UK, also blamed individual engineers. It said: “The reality is that water companies are spending millions of pounds each year on innovative leakage detection schemes such as thermal imaging drones, sonic listening devices and other high-tech electronic mapping equipment, which has helped reduce leakages by a third since the 1990s, and it’s unlikely that a few individuals doing some unofficial divining has had much impact.”

Christopher Hassall, a specialist in water management at the Leeds University school of biology, expressed alarm at the continuing use of what he dismissed as witchcraft.“If they are going to be passing the charges on to us for using dubious practices, then that’s something everyone in the UK should be concerned about,” he told the Guardian.

Good To The Last Drop bit.ly/undefined

Continuing the skeptical bent from the last story I forgot we evergreened for this show… swallowing for science!

Good news ladies, “Semen is ‘good for women’s health and helps fight depression’” according to the Daily Mail.

Michael Castleman of Psychology Today of all fucking places went with “Attention, Ladies: Semen Is An Antidepressant”.

And Toni at Her Campus — apparently a lax blogging or writing system somehow associated with the University of Ottawa that prepares students for exciting careers with journalistic megaliths like Buzzfeed, Glamour, and MTV — went with “Swallowing the Truth: The Many Benefits of Semen for Women”

So, clearly you should all be blowing everyone all the time and you’ll never be depressed… or as Her Campus puts it “This scientific breakthrough raises the age-old question women and gays all around the world have been pondering: is it better to spit or swallow?”

From the Daily Mail article — the original insofar as it was all over my feeds and the one I saw first — Oral sex is good for women’s health and makes you feel happier, according to a study which studied the effects of semen’s ‘mood-altering chemicals’.

The State University of New York study – which scientists carried out via survey rather than through practical experiment – compared the sex lives of 293 females to their mental health.

Semen contains another of chemicals along with spermatozoa, including cortisol, which is known to increase affection, estrone, which elevates mood and oxytocin, which also elevates mood. It also contains thyrotropin-releasing hormone (another antidepressant), melatonin (a sleep-inducing agent), and even serotonin (perhaps the best-known antidepressant neurotransmitter).

Clearly, we should all be swallowing … this story! aaah, see what I did there?

And the supportive partner should be doing his part as well, again from Her Campus “sexperts suggest men eat more fruits with natural sugar, like apples and mangoes, to enhance the sweetness of their ejaculate. They also encourage them to drink plenty of water to flush out the toxins that could be contributing to the bitter and extra salty taste.”

They continue on like that for another 5 paragraphs before finally suggesting you just go buy a book called Natural Harvest – it’s a spunk cookbook. Finally, they conclude with ‘it’s so good for you should even pay for it on your face’ by telling us about Spunky-Spas, whose treatments range from a 55 pound, 45-minute “hair conditioning” to the 250 pound, 10-minute facial rub… out.

The research suggests it is not just that women who are having sex are simply happier, but that happiness levels might be related to the quantity of semen within their body.

So there ya go – straight from the mouths of sciencers into… well… your mouth. Unless you want to die of vitamin D deficiency…

No? Not satisfied?

hehe.

From the NHS review of the paper: bit.ly/2BMLaVu

“The “news” is based on research that is more than 10 years old.
The facts used to support the lascivious claims come from a small study looking at depression scores of women students who used condoms during sexual activity compared with those who did not. It found that sexually active women who did not use condoms reported fewer depressive symptoms than those who did. From this the researchers seem to assume that semen may have antidepressant qualities.”

This study is full of holes – and extreme caution should be used when interpreting anything from it. Researchers only gleaned information about depression symptoms (not a diagnosis of depression), how often the women had sex, and whether they used condoms, via an anonymous questionnaire. All of these facts greatly limit the reliability of the results.”

It is also worth noting that the study has also not assessed diagnoses of depression, only depression scores.”

After reading a few articles one finally linked to the paper in question “Does Semen Have Antidepressant Properties?” by Gordon G. Gallup, Jr., Ph.D.,1,2 Rebecca L. Burch, B.S. and Steven M. Platek, B.A.., published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, Vol. 31, No. 3, June 2002. – Impact factor 2.783. So… not great.

The journal is paywalled, because fuck science, but thanks to the power of an edu email address, I got a copy and read it.

The four-page paper, to summarize, goes a little like this:

Some dude named Nay in 1986 wrote that maybe bitches be less cra if they’re full ‘o cum. Fast forward twentyish years and these folks did that study.

From the Paper:

“A sample of 293 college females agreed to fill out an anonymous, written questionnaire designed to measure various aspects of their sexual behavior, including frequency of sexual intercourse, number of days since their last sexual encounter, and types of contraceptives used.?

They were also asked to answer the Beck Depression Inventory – a simple but commonly used test updated in 1996 with the DSM v4. So meh.

So, the Results then:

“Most of the respondents answered most of the questions, but in a few instances items were left blank.”

So… fuck those answers I guess.

“Significant correlations were found between DBI scores and the length of time (in days) since engaging in sexual intercourse.”

And
“The only correlate of the relationship that approached significance was the frequency of sexual intercourse, which was inversely proportional the to the length of relationship”

The study, in air quotes “found” that women who weren’t getting laid and women who were but used condoms had basically the same scores on depression, thoughts of suicide and other bad shit. Whereas the ladies getting on the reg without the love glove showed signs of improved mental state.

However, as the study itself says

“Another competing account of the proposition that same functions as an antidepressant might be that sexually active females who never use condoms were less depressed simply because they were having sex more often.”

But weren’t we talking about swallowing?
Yes, we were. But after reading the paper “oral” only comes up twice… hehe.

The first is distinguishing between condoms and oral birth control, which oddly showed that a woman on oral contraceptives has the same reaction to semen as one using condoms … a problem in the study? Yep.

And the second when the paper closes on
“It is also possible that there may be other nonreproductive sites of entry. For example, it would be interesting to investigate the possible antidepressant effects of ingestion of semen or semen applied through anal intercourse.”

So there ya go – is swallowing well for you? Who the fuck knows, these people didn’t even a little bit look at that question in this entirely fucked study.

They took self-reported data from college women, who presumably don’t want to be thought of as sluts. Correlated it with self reported protected or unprotected sex, and then disregard the need for follow up data, ignore of the women are in relationships (though they did divide the women into two groups accordingly no consideration was given to either group when considering how a long-term relationship might affect both general happiness (or sadness) or the likelihood of feeling the need to use protection), and then injected their own ideal conclusion absent any reliable metrics – which the news picked up as “swallowing is good for you”.

Next Week’s Beer

Short’s Bellaire Brown Ale | Short’s Brewing Company

By Heeby Jeebus

  • BA Link: bit.ly/2kzW9uN
  • BA Rating: 3.78/5
  • Style: American Brown Ale
  • ABV: 7%

Faith In Humanity Restored

A story that could have been very tragic turns out to be really sweet and heartwarming: the root – bit.ly/2CjBghu

Single mom Sophia Reed from Oklahoma City had spent all her spare money (including for Christmas) to move herself and her children to a nicer new apartment. For Christmas, they were just planning on celebrating the new home.

Her children decided to hatch a plan to surprise their mom with a Christmas present. Her oldest son, 13yr old Diarus, began sneaking out to collect cans to in order to buy a gift for their mother.

One evening she notices he was gone and had been for some time. Like any Mom she became worried, and after a while called the police. His sisters were afraid he was going to get into trouble but didn’t want to ruin the surprise.

Happily, he was just searching the neighborhood and saw the police cars arrive at his house. He explained to his mom and the officers what he had been doing. It so touched the responding officers so much that they took the story back to the station.

Sophia said of Christmas day:

“There was so many knocks on my door, everybody just was knocking, just was knocking, and every time I opened my door, it was the police, the police,” Sophia Reed recalled.

Soon the area under the family’s Christmas tree started to be loaded with gifts. Officers had banded together and raised some $800 and also bought the family Christmas and housewarming gifts.

“Most of the time when I see the police, it’s, like, bad stuff,” Diauris said. “Up here I guess it’s changed, good.”

“They caught us at the right time, and we are so grateful,” his mom added.

Bonus Cat Video

Exploding Elephants and the Science of Size | Uncrate

bit.ly/2Dsl4Y0

A Christmas Story’s Peking Duck | Uncrate

bit.ly/2lpsx2O

The Floor is Lava | Uncrate

bit.ly/2Dsl8qI

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse | Uncrate

bit.ly/2CgpRih

The Theory of the Universal Basic Income | Uncrate

bit.ly/2lfo0k5

Honey Saffron Challah

  • 1 cup hot, not boiling water
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 3/4 ounce (3 envelopes) active dry yeast
  • 4 1/2 to 5 cups bread flour, plus extra to dust work surface
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Dash of salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) parve margarine, at room temperature, plus extra to grease pan
  • 3 large eggs, divided
  • 1 teaspoon canola or vegetable oil

Preparation

  1. Place the saffron into the cup of hot water and stir to dissolve.
  2. Pour the hot saffron water into a large bowl.
  3. Pour in the honey and whisk until dissolved.
  4. Add the yeast and stir again
  5. Add 1 1/2 cups of the flour and stir to mix everything together.
  6. Cover with a clean dishcloth and let sit for 30 minutes.
  1. Meanwhile, in another bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, place:
    1. 2 1/2 cups of the flour
    2. the sugar
    3. salt
    4. and margarine.
  2. Using a whisk, an electric mixer, or the whisk attachment of a stand mixer, cut the margarine into the dry ingredients until it looks like sand and there are no big clumps of margarine.
  3. After the half hour, the yeast mixture should have changed: It will either look thick, have bubbles, or have increased in size. If the mixture has not changed, your yeast may be dead and you should dump that mixture and make a new one with new yeast.
  4. Beat 2 of the eggs in a small bowl.
  5. Add the eggs to the yeast mixture and mix using a wooden spoon or silicone spatula.
  6. Add the flour and margarine mixture in three parts, mixing well after each addition.
  7. With your hands or a dough hook on the stand mixer, knead the dough and add 1/4 cup of the flour. If the dough remains sticky, add another 1/4 cup of flour.
  8. Add more flour, a tablespoon at a time, until the dough is no longer sticky and feels soft when you slide your hand across it.
  9. Wash the bowl, dry it, and rub the oil around the bowl.
  10. Add the dough and rub the top with the oil on your hands.
  11. Cover with a dish towel and let rise 1 1/2 hours.
  12. Sprinkle the top of the cookie with the remaining teaspoon of sugar.

Some Time Later…

  1. Place the dough on a floured surface and punch it down to remove air pockets.
  2. Divide the dough into 2 or 3 balls, depending on how many challahs you will bake.
  3. Divide each ball into three pieces.
  4. Roll the three pieces into strands the same length, shorter for a fatter challah, longer for a long and narrow challah. Braid the strands. *See instructions in “Braiding Challah” below.
  5. Place on a greased cookie sheet. Let rise another 1 1/2 hours. Beat the remaining egg and brush the challahs with the egg.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake for 35 minutes, or until the top is browned and when you lift the challah and tap on the bottom, it sounds hollow. Remove the challahs to a wire rack to cool.
Braiding Challah
This braiding method is for making 3-braided challah. To braid the dough, place the three strands in front of you vertically, about 3 inches apart. Gently press the top ends together. Start at one side and pull one outside strand into the center. Take the outside strand from the other side and place that between the other two strands. Go to the other side and pull that strand into the center of the other two. You want to pull the dough a little each time to braid tightly. Keep alternating sides until you reach the bottom. Braid as far down as you can and then press the ends of the strands together, tuck under the loaf, and press tightly. Turn the loaf around. Undo the strands that you loosely pressed together when you started braiding. Now you will braid underneath: Take the outside strand that looks like it is on top of the other three and pull it under and in between the other two. Take the opposite outside strand and pull it under the other two. Repeat until you can braid no more, press the ends together and tuck underneath, pressing tightly.

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