Geek Girl: Girl Gamers Get More Sex
Plus- RIP Anne McCaffrey, Will.i. am is a science geek, protect your pooch from dog flu and more!
-Lucia Peters and PJ Gach
Well, we were off for a week, but the world just kept on spinning. This is a good thing, as food had to be eaten, friends had to met, sales had to be stalked and such. While we recovering from our various Tday fetes and feasts, the news kept coming.
We had to say good-bye to a writer who moved many of us, watched a space launch and more.
Check out this week’s round up.
The Solar System Is Backwards
See this lovely thing here? It’s called the Leiden Sphaera. As far as we know, it’s the first heliocentric (that is, centered around the sun) model of our solar system ever made. It was built sometime around 1670 by a Dutch clockmaker named Steven Tracy. And unfortunately, we’ve just discovered that the Sphaera’s constellations are all backwards.
According to Govert Schilling, an astronomy writer and contributing editor of Sky & Telescope Magazine , each constellation is pictured in reverse. Apparently, the constellations have the correct orientation as long as they’re viewed from the inside of the globe representing the Earth, but as seen from the outside, they’re flipped horizontally.
It’s suspected that this mistake wasn’t made by Tracy, but rather by those who restored the Sphaera after World War II, during which it was severely damaged—at least, that’s what Hans Hooijmaijers, head of collections at Museum Boerhaave where the Sphaera is displayed, thinks. And there’s some evidence to support this theory: An engraving of the Sphaera that dates to 1711 (!) shows the piece with its constellations in the correct order. So does a photograph taken in 1930. But what about a photo from 1948? You guessed it: That one shows the Sphaera with its backwards constellations. I do so love a historical, astronomical mystery!
Now who’s up for repairing the thing?
Girl Gamers Get More Sex
Okay, you thought gamers; any type of a gamer would be more into playing with their joystick than playing with others, right? Think again. While guys might be a bit backwards in getting a little somethin’ somethin’ apparently girl gamers are scoring big time.
Okay, I’ll stop with horrific game tie-ins. Gametart, a UK game rental service conducted a survey back in 2007. They polled 200 women and found that those who played video games had sex 4.3 times a week. Women who didn’t play games had sex 3.2 times a week.
Of course this sparked interest, so Harris Interactive did a poll of American women this past summer. The poll, published in VentureBeat found that 55 percent of online gamers are women. Among the things they found out was that 57 percent of women who play online games have sex, 38 percent of them have sex at least once a week. Whereas 53 percent of women who don’t play online games don’t have sex. Non-gaming women are less sexually active, as 52 percent have sex and only 34 percent of them have sex at least once a week.
What was really interesting was thatthey found that 55 percent of females who play online games are happy.
Matt Hulett, Gamehouse head gamer in response to the survey, told the UK Daily Mail, “Maybe if we all watched a little less TV and played more games online, we’d all be having a little more sex.”
Mario Goes to the Opera
Meet Jon and Al Kaplan. They’re composers. Usually they work in film and TV, but their big love is musical theatre. You may have heard of their off-Broadway hit Silence! The Musical, a musical adaptation of Silence of the Lambs. It’s awesome. But right now, I’d like to introduce you to something a little smaller scale, though no less amazing. That thing is Super Mario Bros.: The 8-Bit Opera. You see, Jon and Al also go by the name Legolambs, and they have a YouTube channel full of marvelous little tidbits like this—though this one is hands down the best one of the bunch. What’s not to love about the original 8-bit Mario running around and stomping on Goombas while singing an impressive operatic aria? Hilarious highlights include what happens to the piece when Mario falls down a hole, the segment I will refer to only as “Invincible,” and (of course) the truly atrocious Italian accent it all goes down in. Do yourself a favor and take three minutes to watch it.
And just in case you can’t get enough of it, you can nab the MP3 of Super Mario Bros.: The 8-Bit Opera on iTunes. Hoorah!
Protect Your Pooch against Canine Flu
Oh, this may sound silly, but dogs can and have gotten the flu. While you may conjure up images of a dog sipping chicken soup while watching Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies, the sitch is actually more serious than that.
It’s so serious that there are dog boarders and groomers who are asking owners to show them paperwork that they’re dog has been inoculated against the Canine Flu.
According to the CDC, “The ‘canine influenza virus’ is an influenza A H3N8 influenza virus (not a human influenza virus) that was originally an equine (horse) influenza virus. This virus has spread to dogs and can now spread between dogs.”
While you don’t want to think of the movie Contagion playing in your head (it isn’t that bad), there have been reported outbreaks of Caninie Flu in New York State, New Jersey, Colorado and San Antonio, Texas.
If you have a dog who is very social or lives in an area where there are a lot of dogs, you might want to talk to your vet about getting the vaccine for your pet.
The VetVid, Dr. Mike says, “The signs may be mild, but this illness can be potentially life threatening.” Watch the video to learn for what to do to protect your four-legged baby. And don’t forget to call your vet.
RIP: Anne McCaffrey, 1926 – 2011
This is a little belated since Geek Girl was on hiatus last week for the holidays, but it’s still worth noting, so here we go: Sci-fi and fantasy author Anne McCaffrey passed away from a massive stroke at her home in Ireland on Monday, November 21. She was 85 years old.
Anne was probably best known for her classic fantasy series, Dragonriders of Pern. What began as a single trilogy about a pre-industrial world inhabited by both humans and dragons coming under threat from a menace known as Thread would eventually grow to encompass some 24 books. These were far from her only works, though; Anne kept up with nine different series, as well as several short story collections, other novels, and, interestingly, a couple of cook books. She was nothing if not prolific, but never at the cost of quality. The third Pern novel, The White Dragon, became one of the first sci-fi novels ever to land on the New York Times Best Seller List; she won notable Hugo and Nebula awards; she was named Grand Master of the Science Fiction Writers of America in 2005; and in 2006, she was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame.
My dad handed me a copy of the first Pern book Dragonflight when I was a kid, and I devoured the thing within a matter of days. I proceeded to eat up as many books in the series as I could get my hands on. Not too long after I first got hooked on Pern, though along came Acorna: The Unicorn Girl, and I had a new favorite McCaffrey series. And then years later when I was in college, one of my best friends and roommates introduced me to The Ship Who Searched, and it was love at first read all over again. Here’s the great thing about Anne’s books: Whether they take place on the ground or in space, whether there are dragons or ships, they all have one thing in common. They feature strong, independent women as their protagonists. They don’t compromise, and they always stick to their guns. These were valuable lessons to learn for a budding young nerd, and I couldn’t have had a better teacher than Anne McCaffrey.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go get in touch with my dragon.
Will.i. am the Science Geek
You probably know Will.i. am as a founding member of The Black Eyed Peas and a well respected music producer. Were you also aware that he’s a science geek too? He’s proudly talked about his love of all thing science on various CNN shows and in an article for the Huffington Post, he explains why we need to have more focus on science in schools. He states, “Technology is recession proof and most kids are not dreaming of being programmers, scientists or engineers. The ones that are, do not get the spotlight or attention. Instead, they are looked at as geeks or uncool, when in actuality technology is the only thing that is cool today. iPhones, Android devices, Facebook, Twitter (all tech), all exciting. This is why I put my own money, passion and time to take Dean Kamen’s FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) and turn it into a back-to-school TV special.”
Will.i. am has now partnered with NASA astronaut Leland Martin to get kids pysched about science. Watch the interview that took place this past Saturday at the Mars launch, where he proudly says, “I’m a tech geek, a space geek, I’m curious…”
Lucia Peters is BettyConfidential’s associate editor.
PJ Gach is Senior Editor: Style + Beauty at BettyConfidential.