Geek Girl: This Is Your Brain During Orgasm!
3D printers for the home, Doctor Who comes to the movies, lab-grown burgers and more!
-Lucia Peters and PJ Gach
Who knew you could make a 3D photo at home under $300? Insane and we want it! Lots of cool news in Geek Girl this week. We’ve got music videos with Tegan and Sara, a laptop that has a terabyte (must lie down for this), tasty food from a lab and more!
Finally! There’s an Official Music Video for “Still Alive”!
When it comes to video games, I’m not much of a first-person shooter player. However, I absolutely adore Valve’s spectacular Portal games. Is it the astonishing visual storytelling? The hilarious script? The fact that the goal isn’t to shoot lots of people or monsters, but rather to solve puzzles using physics and the clever placement of orange and blue “portals”? I’m not really sure—maybe it’s all of the above—but whatever it is, man, those games rock. You know what also rocks? The songs that nerd musician extraordinaire Jonathan Coulton has supplied each game with. Who could forget the first time they heard evil supercomputer GLaDOS’s voice pipe up with the brilliant “Still Alive” at the end of the first game? Not me. And hey, guess what? Four years later, “Still Alive” finally has an official music video! Jonathan Coulton teamed up with indie rock duo Tegan and Sara, and this is the delightful result. Oh, and did I mention that there’s a theremin? Because there is. And theremins are AWESOME. Check it out here!
This Is Your Brain on Orgasm
Okay, say you “see” colors when that happy moment occurs. Did you think you were just transported by all those feelings? Well, it’s a bit more complicated than that. Scientists did a little experiment. They did a series of brain scans. One wonders what the lab looked like! Professor Barry Komisaruk, a psychologist at Rutgers University in New Jersey and his team decided to study women and orgasms to find out exactly what happens so that they can in turn assist men and women who can’t achieve one.
Dr. Komisaruk told The Guardian, “The general aim of this research is to understand how the orgasm builds up from genital stimulation and what parts of the brain become recruited and finally build up into an orgasm.” He presented the work at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in Washington DC this past Monday.
Apparently, as you start to orgasm, two parts of the brain, the cerebellum and the frontal cortex get a lot of activity, possibly due to muscle tension. During orgasm, the hypothalamus releases a chemical called oxytocin. That causes the uterus to contract and also releases, what you could call very pleasureable sensations. Another spot in the brain also have increased activity, the nucleus accumbens, it’s an area linked to reward and pleasure.
The video shows how oxygen levels in the blood correspond to activity in the different areas in the brain. The red is the lowest and the yellow/white areas are the highest. There were 20 photos taken from a 12 minute sequence as a women approached, achieved and then relaxed after an orgasm.
Big, Gigantic Doctor Who News
Consider yourselves warned, Doctor Who fans; the following announcement might just make your head explode, though whether that explosion will be a good thing or a bad thing remains to be seen:
Doctor Who is currently being developed for the big screen.
Are you done exploding yet? Good, because here are the details: Harry Potter director David Yates is the one helming the project, he’s currently looking for writers, and, according to the Hollywood Reporter, he’s hoping that the whole thing will develop into a long-running movie franchise a la James Bond or Batman.
Here’s the catch: The Hollywood Reporter also stated that the movie “would have no connection to the show.” And this… makes me a little bit nervous. Yes, there’s a precedent for Doctor Who movies unconnected to the show—Peter Cushing made two films in the mid ‘60s entitled Dr. Who and the Daleks and Daleks’ Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D. that aren’t considered canon—but still. Does this sound like a good idea? Or does it sound like a really, really good way to alienate your existing fan base?
Well, at least we’ve got plenty of time to ponder that question, because it’s unlikely that any potential Who will happen anytime soon. The movie is still in the super early stages, and David Yates is being rather picky about what he chooses for his post-Potter projects. What do you think, fellow Whovians? Good idea/bad idea?
3D Printer for Your Home
If you thought that creating a 3D image for home use was light years away from happening, you’re wrong. HP has created the super cool HP Top Pro M25 MSP $399.
You simply place an object on the scanner, it takes a picture and voila! You have a 3D image on a 2D space (paper). Watching it in action elicits yelps of “cool!” “Do it again!” and “Wow!”
If you’re an eBayer or do a lot of Etys-ing, this is the perfect tool to take images of your items. You can see everything in the photos.
This baby prints, copies and scans in black and white. You can use letter and legal-sized paper.
To check it out visit the site.
Would You Eat a Lab-Grown Hamburger?
To be honest, I’m not really sure I would, but apparently, lab-grown meat could become a reality as soon as August 2012. Um… yum? I think?
It’s true: Mark Post, a vascular biologist at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands, cultivates living animal tissue for a living. His latest goal, therefore, is to create an actual hamburger patty from strips of meat grown in a petri dish. Ah, the wonders of stem cells!
The not-so-crazy thing is that environmentally speaking, lab-grown meat is probably a better option than continuing to produce meat the way we currently due. Right now, meat production is wasteful and horribly unsustainable, as well as questionable when it comes to animal rights.
Somehow, though, I can’t help but think of the ChikieNobs of Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake. For those of you who haven’t read it (and I highly suggest that you do), ChikiNobs are a form of fast food that are ostensibly chicken; they just happen to have been grown in a lab on a kind of chicken plant. They don’t have eyes or anything—the only parts of the chicken that are grown are the edible bits—but they still have mouths (they do need to be fed, after all), and naturally, there are all sorts of ethical issues surrounding them.
So I don’t know. Would you eat a lab-grown burger? Or do they squick you out, too?
Is This Earth 2?
Scientists have found 50 new exo-planets including 16 rare Super Earths! The European Southern Observatory in Chile obviously has been really busy. They used the High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher instrument (HARPS).
What is a Super Earth? The term refers to a planet that has a mass higher than Earth’s. It doesn’t necessarily mean that it is or could be Earth’s twin. However, one of the Super Earth’s found, HD 85512 b seems to have an orbit around its sun that’s similar to ours. This could mean that liquid water is on its surface. It’s only 3.6 times bigger than earth and its sun is only 25 light years away from us.
Any time you find a planet with liquid water, as opposed to frozen or gaseous water, there’s a pretty good chance that life of some sort exists there.
HARPS team leaderl Michel Mayor of the University of Geneva in Switzerland stated, The harvest of discoveries from HARPS has exceeded all expectations and includes an exceptionally rich population of super-Earths and Neptune-type planets hosted by stars very similar to our sun,. And even better — the new results show that the pace of discovery is accelerating.”
If you have cool gadgets, interesting science news and anything pertaining to science fiction and urban fantasy, feel free to email Lucia (lucia.peters AT bettyconfidential.com) or PJ (pj.gach AT bettyconfidential.com).
Lucia Peters is BettyConfidential’s associate editor.
PJ Gach is Senior Editor: Style + Beauty at BettyConfidential.