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Monday, December 18, 2006

Human females are the only primate who have permanently swollen breasts (mostly fatty tissue). No other mammal has breasts of comparable size when not lactating. This suggests that the outward form of the sexually mature human female breast may be functional beyond only lactation.
Human Breasts

Figure 1:
Yo Momma

As an example from the not-swollen breasted mammals, here's some Spider Monkeys having hot monkey sex for visual comparison.

I have gleefully argued with a friend whether or not men's interest in female breasts is purely socialization (that is, we are "taught" by society to like them) or a built-in (i.e. genetic) attraction, like Bonobo males to genital swelling.

If it were to be built in, there would have to be a selective advantage for it. In evolution, the most important metric is the (average) chance to survive long enough to reproduce (and ostensibly have your offspring survive to the same point). A small advantage for a given environment will spread through the gene pool rapidly (in generational time). If mens interest in permanently swollen human breasts is in fact genetic and there is a non-lactation function which at some point selected them for being permanently swollen, it isn't much of a stretch to suggest these may be entwined. In fact, they may be the smoking gun of cause and effect.

If you are a mamallian species in which the female only has swollen breasts during pregnancy or lactation, the male can determine a time when the female can have sexual intercourse without concern for production of offspring. (i.e. Sex during pregnancy will not result in another child, but you take your chances with lactation)

Assume at some point in our ancestry, females did not have swollen breasts except during pregnancy/lactation. This is a reasonable assumption given the comparison with other primate species (except possibly Bonobos). In this scenario, I suggest that males may copulate more often (monogomously or not) with a willing female partner if her breasts are swollen because they believe intercourse will not result in offspring. They are less interested in copulating with a currently fertile female because of the chance of creating more mouths to feed, more competition, social repercussions, etc. Thus, males had some measure of control over the reproductive lives of the females. Males may grow to like swollen breasts (because it equates with consequence-free sex time), but does not necessarily confer any advantage (and could possibly be a disadvantage as far as evolution goes).

Now that we have that table set, for the first time in this scenario introduce a mutation where once sexually mature, a female's breasts stay swollen via fatty deposits. Since this concept is unknown, there is a much higher chance the female will copulate during her fertile period with a male who thinks no offspring will happen as a result of the intercourse. ("Hey man, I couldn't have knocked up your sister - [I thought] she was already pregnant!") If this was even remotely the case, it would confer enough of an advantage for the new large breasted woman gene to spread like wildfire through the human population.

Not only would this mutation have taken away the males ability to reproduce on their terms, it puts the control for (consensual) reproduction back into the hands of the female. One could further argue that females could use their breasts as a tool to reproduce with the male of their choice - especially males of prominance or skill who think there would be no reproductive consequences - who would be slightly easier to seduce by a female of lesser station. With natural selection, slightly easier is all you need to make a big difference. A honey bomb like the one at the top of the article might have been looking at your forefather and saying "Hi Thog the strong and rich, notice my full breasts? If you put your seed inside me, I won't get pregnant with your child. Wanna have some fun?" At that point, oddly enough, all Thog said was "Uhhhh...."

So there you have it. My interest in women's breasts may be deeply seated in my evolutionary past. If true, I could no more dislike women's large breasts than I could dislike like eating meat. That is, I could, but it wouldn't be in line with the conferred evolutionary advantage that directed my ancestry. I have the teeth I have because my ancestors evolved as omnivores. Meat tastes good to me. Mmmmmmm....meat. Mmmmmm.

I should do some research into this. I can just see me now, trying to justify to the IT and HR departments at work why I should be able to spend the day surfing for pictures of topless women. It's all in the name of science. I can't wait to tell my wife.

Burton MacKenZie /

Intellectual. Not so much.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

I remember as a kid reading Superman comics, in which some of them had him running super calculations on that super brain/intellect of his. I always found this the most dubious of his powers.

It just struck me a few days ago that this is a necessary consequence of his ability to run with super speed if you define "super intellect" as "ability to process information at incredible speed". Since Superman is able to run without uncontrollably smashing into buildings, poles, cars, people, or anything else, he necessarily has a nervous system that is able to respond to seeing these obstacles in his path in the short time before he actually hits them at super speed. (He would, of course, use his super strength to create the huge momentum change (F.t, where t is small, F must be big) away from his existing m.v momentum vector) Given that the high speed feedback path involves processing visual input, assigning meaning to what is seen (i.e. "obstruction ahead"), and instructing the muscles to respond, its isn't a reach to think his entire nervous system is capable of super speed performance. Thus, it's a no-brainer that he can think with super speed as well.

BUT WAIT! To my knowledge, it has never been implied that the Flash can super think. If the Flash can run just as fast as Superman (see images), he should be able to do the same super thinking as Superman! Somewhat supporting this thesis is that the Flash is supposedly able to speak faster (than a normal person's ability to hear) to other super-speedsters like Superman. This would imply super-fast mental processing. I think perhaps the Flash isn't telling us the whole story. What are you hiding, Flash!?

Also, I wonder what would it sound like if the Flash had Tourette's Syndrome. C*ckS00k3r! $#@

Burton MacKenZie


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