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Study reveals men turn dumber around women

Psychology researchers in the Netherlands have published a study showing men were “cognitively impaired" simply by the thought of being near a female.
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Men acting dumb? Check. Women nearby? Check. Here, a man jabs out a companion during a argument in Bristol City Centre. Cognitively speaking, he is not at his best. (Wait, is it women or is it alcohol?) (Matt Cardy/AFP/Getty Images)

Are you struck dumb when women are near?

Turns out you are not the only one. 

And we have a study to prove it, people.  

Dutch researchers found that men perform worse on cognitive tasks just by thinking they are being observed by a woman.

The study tested both men and women, asking them to perform a so called "Stroop test" for cognitive function (think flash cards in various colors and inks) under varying circumstances, Gizmodo reports:

In two separate studies, the subjects performed the Stroop test twice: once while they believed they were alone, and a second time after being told someone of the opposite sex was watching them via webcam. In both cases the women's performance during the second test was unchanged, but for the men, the mere thought of being watched by a woman caused their performance to plummet.

Naturally, the researchers suspect, it all comes down to mating. And social status. 

And, of course, to our long evolutionary history as a species:

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Indonesia: Facing jail for filming sex on Blackberry

Three men and a woman are facing up to 12 years in jail for breaking Indonesia’s strict anti-pornography laws
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Need a spanking? (SONNY TUMBELAKA/AFP/Getty Images)

This whole story actually sounds like a script for a low budget porn flick. Sans the happy ending.

Imagine this scene:

Two men and a woman are having sex in a budget hotel room in West Java. Another man is shooting the action on his Blackberry. And, just as things are really steaming up, the door busts open and a police commando storms in.

Yes, in uniforms and everything.

This is where the story diverts from your typical porn script.

No, the cops didn’t take off their Velcro pants and didn’t get involved.

No spanking. No dirty talk (okay, maybe some of that).

But most importantly, they arrested the four people having sex.

Why, you ask?

Well, this is where the story gets a bit surreal.

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Penis formations popping up on Australian golf course

A $4,000 reward has been issued for information leading to the arrest of the vandal who burned penis-shaped formations into the grass at Cromer Golf Club on three occasions.
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The vandalised green at Cromer Golf Club. How many penalties for interfering with a penis formation? Two, and a spanking with a 4-iron. (Manly Daily/Courtesy)

Please mind the penis on the 15th green.

It's nothing personal.

Come on, people, you know hard it is to line your put up over a burned penis formation?

There are players who get distracted by a tiny leaf that’s fallen onto the green.

What do you think they’ll do when faced with an immovable obstruction like this?

They might hyperventilate and angrily throw their club into the nearest pine tree. I have seen it happen over situations far less controversial.

Is anyone else utterly sick and tired of people not taking the game of golf seriously enough? 

I was practically reduced to tears when I heard of the hardship the Cromer Golf Club in Australia must endure these days: yes, someone has burned penis-shaped formations into the grass at the 15th green and 16th fairway.

The creative vandalism occurred sometime Tuesday, but this isn’t the first time phallic “crop circles” have appeared on the course.

It’s is the third time.

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Today is March 14. That's exactly one month after Valentine's Day and if you are in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan or China, you know exactly what that means.

It's White Day.

Since in the countries above, Valentine's Day is a holiday where women give chocolates, or other gifts to men, White Day is the when men reciprocate the kindness.

Traditionally, popular White Day gifts are cookies, jewelry, white chocolate, white lingerie and marshmallows.

Sometimes the term sanbai gaeshi (literally, "triple the return") is used to describe the generally recited rule that the return gift should be two to three times the cost of the Valentine's gift.

If you are not really into that, you can celebrate another holiday.

Today is also Pi Day, a holiday commemorating the mathematical constant π (pi).

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The great masturbation debate of Ghana

Pastors in Ghana can’t agree whether masturbation is a sin against God.
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Masturbation is a lot like soccer. Why would one stop? Here, Ghana's Andre Ayew (R) vies for the ball with Mali's defender Ousmane Coulibaly during the third-place playoff Africa Cup of Nations football match between Mali and Ghana, in Malabo, on Febuary 11, 2012. (ALEXANDER JOE/AFP/Getty Images)

The great masturbation dispute of Ghana started with a simple phone call.

During the “Pastor Chris Live Show," a man from Ghana called in to ask how he can overcome his masturbation habit, Ghana web reports.

In response to the question, Pastor Chris said:

“The reason you want to stop this is because of what you think it is….God is not worried at all about persons who masturbate because it has got nothing to do with Him [God].”

Further, he launched into a full soccer analogy.

As you do in Ghana. In Ghana, a soccer fanatic nation, things are always compared to soccer, which – mercifully – is not on the list of activities God disapproves:

If you were in the habit of playing football, you probably would not ask ‘how can I stop playing football? But because you think there is something wrong with this, that is where your problem is coming from. But no matter how wrong it is in your mind, get this straight: (masturbation) in itself, it is not a sin against God….There are many Christians who think it is a sin against God and Satan uses this against them, oppressing their minds and making them feel ineffective and inefficient in the things of God. But when you get to understand that it has nothing to do with God and that is all about you and your own body, then Satan loses his power to use it to accuse you. So if you don’t like it, stop it but God has got nothing to do with it. It is your own body, masturbation is about your body and God is not offended by it. He is only offended by any habit that takes a hold of your mind and if this takes a hold of your mind and dominates you then, God is offended by the fact that it takes a hold of your mind.

I, myself, don’t get the soccer/football, analogy.

If I were playing football, I would probably always ask myself: “Why I am playing football? Can God please make me stop?”

But that’s beside the point.

What’s fascinating about the Pastor’s answer is the part where he says: “It is all about you and your own body.”

I always thought Christianity didn’t recognize the concept of “one’s own body?”

Which is, after all, why The General Secretary of the Church of Pentecost, Apostle Alfred Koduah, got involved and retaliated shortly after the show.

He said the implied endorsement of masturbation by a renowned man of God, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, leader of the Christ Embassy Church, is plain wrong.

According to Koduah, masturbation is a practice of sexual self-pleasuring.

Meanwhile, the only sexual act God allows is that of sex in marriage which often leads to the bearing of children and gratification on the part of both people.

He said that any act of sexual gratification done outside the context of marriage is wrong. On top of things, addiction to masturbation has several effects which include psychological and physiological problems and the possibility of long terms effects after one is married.

So he therefore urged all who indulge in the practice to repent and pray for God to have mercy on them.

Quoting from the Gospel according to Matthew the Chapter 5 and the 28 verse to buttress his point, Apostle Alfred Koduah said “anybody who looks at a woman or man lustfully, wishing to have her has already committed fornication or adultery with her in his heart."

Further:

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Dubai: Female nurses allowed to see genitals

The United Arab Emirates’ top Islamic ruling body said the exposure of sensitive parts of the woman’s body to female nurses at intensive care units is permissible.
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A young boy checks medical equipments inside the operating room of ORBIS, the flying eye hospital, as visitors listen to an explanation by one of the hospital staffers at Dubai airport September 11, 2008. (KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images)

An Emirati nurse has just joined the gynecology section at a UAE hospital and she wanted to know if she is allowed to see female patients’ genitals.

I know it sounds like the beginning of a joke, but it’s actually a true story.

Or, at least, that’s what the Arabic language daily Al Khaleej reported.

The Fatwa (Islamic edict) center at the Ministry of Justice, responded to her:

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Did you know crocodile dung was one of the earliest forms of birth control?

Ancient Egyptians used a pessary made of dried crocodile dung as a contraceptive. The substance contained spermicidal properties similar to those used on condoms.

How they discovered its contraceptive properties is a whole other issue. Was it just a lucky guess or did they actually go through a "trial and error" experiment with anything they could think of?

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World’s mecca for sex drugs? Saudi Arabia

Nearly 12 percent of Saudi Arabia's 20 million men are believed to be suffering from impotence. Great news for Viagra.
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A Saudi man and woman at a hotel in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on January 22, 2012. (FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images)

Saudi Arabia must be Pfizer’s favorite country in the world.

According to Al Riyadh, an Arabic language daily, Saudi Arabia ranks as the world’s sixth largest consumer of sex enhancing drugs.

Considering that Saudi Arabia only has about 27 million people and is one of the most sparsely populated countries on the planet, that’s quite an achievement.

Saudis spend over $1.5 billion a year on Viagra and other anti-impotence drugs, or about ten times more than Russia. Meanwhile, Russia’s population is about ten times that of Saudi Arabia.

Arab countries generally rank very high in sex drugs consumption.

Collectively, they spend more than $10 billion on Viagra and other anti-impotence medicines every year.

Saudi Arabia’s sex drugs consumption is highest, followed by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, which spend about $1 billion and $500 million respectively.

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Buddhist monk arrested for watching porn

In Sri Lanka, a monk has been caught watching “blue films” while on temple premises. Monks have been getting into all sorts of mischief lately.
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Sri Lankan Buddhist monks offer special prayers to bless the national cricket team at the Kelaniya Temple in Kelaniya on April 1, 2011. (Ishara S. KODIKAR/AFP/Getty Images)

Buddhist monks are not supposed to do anything that would encourage passion, craving or attachment.

Watching pornography isn’t prohibited, technically speaking, as long as one manages to not get aroused. Similarly, during the World Cup, monks were allowed to watch soccer, as long as they didn’t get too excited and rowdy.

You might think that watching pornography without getting aroused would defeat the purpose.

And you would have a good point, which is why pornography is generally discouraged in Buddhist monasteries.

That’s not to say monks don’t try to smuggle it in on a regular basis.

Just this week, a monk from the Dippitigoda Dalugoda temple in Peliyagoda, Sri Lanka, was reportedly arrested for watching “blue films” on temple premises.

According to the Sunday Leader, the Chief Monk of the temple lodged a complaint with the Peliyagoda police, who arrested the monk in question.

The offending monk was fined and released. And his computer was confiscated.

But cases of monks behaving badly aren’t all that unusual.

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Wanderlust Daily Trifle: Merkin

Learn something new.

Did you know... Merkin is a pubic hairpiece?

Merkins became popular in the 17th century, when they were originally worn by prostitutes after shaving their genitalia to combat pubic lice and other sexually-transmitted maladies.

Prostitutes would wear these so-called pubic hair toupees to cover up signs of disease.

So now you know.

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