Friday, February 15, 2008

Just Another Day

It was Valentine's Day? What? Lol, it felt like just another day. Though I must admit - for as long as this week has been, for as long as this day has been - it hasn't been that bad.

In Chinese class today, we watched part of a Chinese movie called “天下无贼” which translates to "A World Without Thieves." Apparently it's the Chinese version of "The Italian Job," but the two movies are not similar at all - except for them both being about thieves. Now I really want to see the rest of this movie.

I went to my next class, Great Books of China discussion. We talked about Zhuangzi's philosophy of life and death - but particularly death. Haha. After class, I was accosted in the halls by the Valentine's Day ninjas - people dressed in pink sweatshirts and sweatpants with ninja hoods who gave out candy to random strangers. It was amusing, to say the least. I know not what university group they're affiliated with, but they have my support.

But by far, lunch was the highlight of my day. I was finally able to attend SBS (Society of Biology Students) for the first time this semester! Okay, I know it sounds incredibly dorky, but first hear me out. There was free pizza. Who can say no to free pizza?! And the speaker was this amazing EEB (Ecology & Evolutionary Biology) professor. His topic: the evolution of sex.

He was a very entertaining speaker. I now wish I was able to take on of his courses (particularly Bio 116: The Biology of Sex). Grr, graduating. Anyway, he talked about how people choose mates who have a MHC (multi-histocompatibility) complex that's different than theirs. Basically, people tend to choose mates whose immune systems are most different than theirs. This is correlated with natural male and female body odors as well as the symmetry of men's faces.

He then moved on to the mystique of the female orgasm. These 2 guys had to go to class and when the professor mentioned the female orgasm, they were clearly torn. Admittedly, I would've been torn too. Apparently, about 29% of American women ever get orgasms from vaginal sex, although over 95% of these women are able to attain orgasm when masturbating. That's somewhat telling. And we went through all these theories as to how the female orgasm may have evolved or been adaptive. So apparently in some non-human primates, the males suck so bad at vaginal sex that the females "get off" only by stimulating each other. Facultative lesbian primates? Hmm.

Lastly, someone asked him about homosexuality. What he said isn't too far off from what I know/believe. Of course there are genetic and factors in the womb. According to some statistic, if one fraternal twin is gay, there's a 25% chance that the other's gay too. And among identical twins, that probability increases to 50%. This clearly suggests that there's a genetic component to homosexuality, and some studies suggest that certain hormone changes in the womb at the right time can influence the sexuality of the fetus. But even with those numbers, it's also clear that there are external post-gestation factors such as socio-cultural aspects. Lastly, I also appreciated how he said that sexuality is obviously not determined by a single gene, because that's too simple, and that sexuality is multigenic (aka, affected by many genes). Oh yeah, and he bashed Huckabee as a moron. His reaction was priceless.

The rest of my day was a blur, of sorts. I went to research, did what I had to do, and then went to work. At work, I helped people understand genetics. I'm somewhat impressed that people showed up at all, but hey, their genetics exam is next Monday - so studying trumps Valentine's Day. For the second week in a row, I actually felt productive and useful. Hurray!

Now, for some amusement/humor:

This Wang Leehom song has been stuck in my head lately.

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