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What’s left of sexologist Krafft-Ebing’s personal collection of erotica

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Meanwhile, back at the Krafft-Ebing household.
“Ah, Richard, there you are—where have you been?”
“My dearest, I’ve been out…er…shopping.”
“Shopping? I hope you’ve not been buying any more of those dirty postcards with images of sexual congress and strange and unnatural fetishes.”
“Well, em, yes, as a matter of fact, I have.”
“But darling, you promised...”
“I know, I know, but these images of sexual congress and strange and unnatural fetishes are essential for my scientific research!”
“Your scientific research?”
“Yes, my sweet. These are not merely dirty postcards—these are prime examples of diverse sexual practices, which are essential research for the book I am writing.”
“Oh, I see. Well, I suppose that’s all right then.”
“Yes, it certainly is. Now, if you will kindly excuse me, I must…er…examine these new specimens… in private.”

I am sure it was never like that, but then again who knows? As Richard Freiherr von Krafft-Ebing (1840-1902) certainly did have a fine excuse for collecting “French postcards” and assorted erotica during his lifetime. This Austro-German psychiatrist took a keen interest in all aspects of human sexual behavior and wrote an early pioneering book on the subject called Psychopathia Sexualis in 1886. This tome was intended as “a medico-forensic study,” a kind of reference book to be used by psychiatrists or as he described it: “men engaged in serious study in the domains of natural philosophy and medical jurisprudence.” Krafft-Ebing’s study popularized the terms “sadism,” “masochism” and “fetishism,” and was the first medical science book to examine homosexuality, bi-sexuality, necrophilia, pederasty, coprophilia, bestiality, transvestism, and exhibitionism.

However, some of his ideas reflected the mores of the day rather than objective scientific investigation—for example, he considered any non-procreational sex as “a perversion of the sex drive.”

“With opportunity for the natural satisfaction of the sexual instinct, every expression of it that does not correspond with the purpose of nature,—i.e., propagation,—must be regarded as perverse.”

He also thought homosexuality was an “inversion of the brain” caused during pregnancy. So he was far more vanilla than his personal collection of erotica might suggest.

Psychopathia Sexualis was of major importance in its day—but was quickly superseded by the work of an Austrian neurologist, the cocaine-injecting Sigmund Freud, whose studies into sex, dreams and human behavior made him the father of psychoanalysis.

This rather small selection of postcards and photographs is (apparently) nearly all that remains of Krafft-Ebing’s personal collection of erotica. The images deal with transvestism, with some reference to S&M, and mainly feature one particular individual. It is unknown who any of the people are, though two are rather fun examples of the infamous dirty or “French” postcard, which were popular across Europe from the 1880s onward.
 
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More from Krafft-Ebing’s personal collection of erotica, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Mind-blowing animatronic of Yul Brynner as the Gunslinger from ‘Westworld’
04.24.2015
01:05 pm

Topics:
Art
Movies
Science/Tech

Tags:
Westworld


 
If you’re a fan of Michael Crichton‘s 1973 science fiction western-thriller WestWorld, then you’re definitely going to dig this life-like silicone robotic version of Yul Brynner as the Gunslinger. It’s truly a work of art and cool as shit to boot!

Made by sculptor Nick Marra of Nick Marra Studios, the video below goes into detail about how the Gunslinger was created. The video was shot at Monsterpalooza convention in Burbank, California.


 

 
via Tested and Laughing Squid

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Man sings ‘If I Only Had a Brain’ during an MRI
04.22.2015
12:54 pm

Topics:
Movies
Music
Science/Tech

Tags:
Wizard of Oz
MRI


 
As everyone knows you have stay damned still during an MRI. Like, you can’t move at all! But the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois has developed “a new technique that is 10-times faster than standard MRI scanners to illustrate how the hundreds of muscles in our neck, jaw, tongue, and lips work together to produce sound.”

The results are pretty crazy-looking as you can see in the video, below.

“The technique excels at high spatial and temporal resolution of speech—it’s both very detailed and very fast,” Sutton said. “Often you can have only one of these in MR imaging. We have designed a specialized acquisition method that gathers the necessary data for both space and time in two parts and then combines them to achieve high-quality, high-spatial resolution, and high-speed imaging.” To capture the audio, the team used a noise-cancelling fiber-optic microphone and synced it with the imaging later.

snip~

With a recent K23 Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Johnson is investigating whether group singing training with older adults in residential retirement communities will improve the structure of the larynx, giving the adults stronger, more powerful voices. This research relies on pre- and post-data of laryngeal movement collected with the MRI technique.


The researchers published their technique in the journal Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.

 
Sources: Beckman Institute, Mental Floss 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
These stackable coasters create a 3-D brain on your coffee table
04.22.2015
10:39 am

Topics:
Science/Tech

Tags:
brains
home decor
coasters


 
I’m digging the hell out of this ten-piece set of glass brain coasters that create a 3D brain if stacked in the proper order. Apparently the Brain Specimen Coasters are easy to stack in order as each coaster is labeled. The price for these ain’t too shabby either, the entire set is a mere $19.99 plus shipping. I think that’s very reasonable for a 3D glass brain! 

The coasters have rubber feet as not to scratch any surfaces and they’re hand wash only (not safe for dishwashers).


 
via Bored Panda

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Finally, the Tesla/Thomas Edison AC/DC mashup shirt we’ve all been waiting for
04.20.2015
11:02 am

Topics:
Pop Culture
Science/Tech

Tags:
ACDC
Thomas Edison
Nikola Tesla


 
Someone on reddit recently spotted this fantastic shirt in Seattle—you can get it here on eBay for $23.99 plus shipping.

It’s an open question how many AC/DC fans know that “AC” stands for “alternating current” and “DC” stands for “direct current”—but for those looking to catch up, Tesla invented AC, and Edison backed DC. Tesla had previously worked for Edison. Tesla was a genius and died alone in a hotel room in New York; Edison was also a genius and died as rich as Croesus. Edison killed an elephant named Topsy to demonstrate the supposed dangers of alternating current, as depicted in a 2013 episode of Bob’s Burgers called “Topsy.” Tesla was a man made for our underdog-rooting and nerdy age. David Bowie played Tesla in Christopher Nolan’s terrific 2006 movie The Prestige.

On the flipside, science nerds, AC/DC is an Australian rock band. If you don’t already know that, you probably don’t really want this shirt too bad, do you?

Here’s “greedy Thomas Edison” killing Topsy:
 

 
via Das Kraftfuttermischwerk

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Elvis Costello and Terry Gilliam shill for Philip K. Dick


 
In the days just before the dawn of the World Wide Web, those wanting to prove the relevance of Philip K. Dick’s visionary books were likely to point to the prevalence of advertising everywhere and CNN’s coverage of the first Gulf War. More than twenty years later, in a world in which drones annihilate enemies of the American state, smartphones can decode spoken instructions, Netflix can accurately predict the next movie you want to watch, and so on, it would be folly to argue that Dick’s prescience has been any less than astounding.

In A Day in the Afterlife, a 1994 hour-long documentary made for the BBC series Arena on that great fucked-up writer, director Nicola Roberts employed a clever metaphor of a fictional product called “PKD,” complete with lightning-bolt corporate logo, to help illustrate the strongly artificial, alienating, and commercialized landscape of Dick’s works. The logo pops up at unpredictable intervals throughout the movie, and there are also cheeky “commercials” featuring Elvis Costello and Terry Gilliam as well as British novelist Fay Weldon.
 

Elvis Costello: “Featuring such classics as ‘Lies, Inc.,’ ‘The Man in the High Castle,’ ‘Ubik’.....”
 
I couldn’t find much evidence that Costello is a Dick-head (aside from his appearance in this very movie), but Gilliam’s enthusiasm for Dick’s books is well documented. (Unlike Costello, Gilliam consented to contribute a few more typical talking-heads bits.) In this 2008 interview with HitFix, Gilliam discussed his high regard for Dick’s work and his plans, never realized, to adapt Dick’s little-known 1956 novel The World Jones Made (Gilliam has the title slightly wrong):
 

Terry Gilliam: I mean, like, “Brazil”... I was even more determined it had to end that way because of “Blade Runner” having betrayed me at the ending.  I felt betrayed because I loved that until the end of the film.  Now all of a sudden, the android’s going to live forever?  What the fuck are you talking about, man?  You create a world that’s very solid, and then you… that’s why Philip K. Dick is always been one of my favorite writers.  He doesn’t go where that road takes you.

HitFix: I am convinced that someone will eventually make “The Man in the High Castle.”  There is such…

Gilliam: I’m actually meeting his daughter tomorrow.

HitFix: Are you?  Are you?  That is just a phenomenal book and so ripe in terms of the way it talks about how we process reality and the way we tell ourselves stories about history.  I think now is a great time to remind people of some of the things Phillip had to say.

Gilliam: One of the things that is… there’s another one that people don’t know called “The World According to Jones.” Do you know that one?

HitFix: Mm-hmm.

Gilliam: That really fascinates me… where we’re in a world where basically everything is relative.  It can’t be black and white because there’s a more religious fundamentalism that we’re talking about.  So now everything is relative.  And then the idea that a guy comes along that can see the future, and it is not relative… that intrigues me, and I don’t know exactly how to do it.  His other books… Ubik is always fun.  But again, so much of his stuff has been stolen already and used…

 
Obviously, the HitFix interviewer, one “Drew McWeeny,” was entirely correct that The Man in the High Castle would be adapted into a movie—earlier this year Amazon Prime dropped the pilot for a forthcoming miniseries based on the book. (As an aside, it’s wonderful that Dick’s greatness has been embraced by the Library of America, which in 2009 added Dick to its slate of great American authors like Whitman, Hawthorne, and Melville.)

Continues after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ covered by hard disks and other internal computer doodads
04.09.2015
10:29 am

Topics:
Music
Science/Tech

Tags:
Nirvana
robots


 
We’ve seen this a few times before, most notably with the cover of “Rock Lobster” by the “Bit52s” a couple years back. Here we have a case full of hard drives and other unidentified computer components playing what is arguably the song of the 1990s, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana.

It should be said that the “Rock Lobster” cover works a bit better, but at least this experiment establishes conclusively that robots cannot reproduce the ass-kicking righteousness of Dave Grohl’s skull-shattering drum fills.
 

 
via Das Kraftfuttermischwerk
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Fun with electricity (or why you should never play with a taser)

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A young man from New York learned a painful lesson in electrical conductivity when he “tazzed” himself with a stun gun. The certainly intrepid, but perhaps not too bright D’angelo Conner was showing off the effects of a taser on a can of Coke, when he decided to repeat his experiment while holding a metal bracelet… and you know what is going to happen next.

Stunning! (and what’s with the couple in the background, anyway?!?)
 

 
H/T Metro.

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
New carnivorous plant named for H.R. Giger is beautiful (in a vagina dentata kind of way)
04.06.2015
10:04 am

Topics:
Art
Science/Tech

Tags:
H.R. Giger
plants


 
Rarely do we here at Dangerous Minds get a chance to report on the fast-paced (?) world of botany, but rarely is a gorgeous new cultivar of carnivorous plant named for H.R. Giger! This beautiful (if a little monstrously vaginal) specimen of Nepenthes—or “pitcher plant”—was only recently registered with the International Carnivorous Plant Society by photographer and horticulturist, Matthew M Kaelin, who explains the plant’s name in his submission:

I named this plant Nepenthes ‘H.R. Giger’ in October 2014 in memory of the recently passed Surrealist Artist from Switzerland who is perhaps best-known for creating the Alien creature for director Ridley Scott’s 1979 film “Alien”, which earned him an Academy Award for the Best Achievement in Visual Effects for his designs of the film’s title character, the stages of its lifecycle, and the film’s extraterrestrial environments. As the innovator of the nightmarish “Biomechanical” style, he had a long and well-respected career as a globally influential fine artist in the disciplines of painting, sculpture, industrial design, and interior design. When viewed extremely close and at an angle, the intersection of the peristome teeth and the lid spikes of the cultivar create a frightening alien landscape akin to those imagined by the late H.R. Giger (Fig. 6). This, and because the plant is darkly colored and has such a nightmarish appearance, I feel that it would be a fitting tribute to name the cultivar for the late visionary genius Hans Ruedi Giger.

For your scientific edification: pitcher plants are vines, and tend to climb up trees or sprawl close to the ground—the H.R. Giger cultivar has grown over six feet long, but could grow up to 30. Pitcher plants normally eat insects, but can also consume small vertebrates. Kaelin also notes that the flowers smell “like a pile of dirty sweatsocks”—charming!

And a fitting dedication to a master of body horror brilliance!
 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Is that the Hadron Collider in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?
04.06.2015
08:29 am

Topics:
Amusing
Media
Science/Tech

Tags:
Hadron Collider
BBC News
typos

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Now, this little cock-up is why we should always check our spelling…

It would appear someone at the BBC was a tad over-excited by the news the Hadron Collider was back online after a two-year refit.

It’s not the first time the Hadron has been called a “Hardon”—two years ago the Daily Telegraph reported “Large Hardon Collider breaks energy record.”

The mind boggles…
 

 
Via the Independent

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
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