Archive for 16 de February de 2017


Is Bart Simpson Queer?

Thirty years of episodes hint at the 10-year-old’s budding sexuality

I hate fan theories. Oh, sure, I can appreciate that with a certain kind of prestige TV show — your Stranger Things, your Westworld, your Orphan Black — viewers are propelled through the series by burning questions and outrageous twists that raise yet more burning questions. It’s just that when significant swaths of the internet are given over to people working to decode the grand designs of their entertainments, I’m tempted to argue they’ve spoiled the pleasures of passive watching.

Then again, I keep wondering about Bart Simpson’s sexual identity.

One of the curious side effects of The Simpsons’ maligned longevity — April will mark 30 years since the family’s debut on The Tracey Ullman Show — has been the near-subliminal continuity of a few motifs across those three decades, 10 show-runners and dozens of writers. There’s the continued refusal to specify which state the town of Springfield is in, Homer’s repeated false claims that some new ambition has been his “lifelong dream,” and Ned Flanders’ obscenely well-toned physique, to name but a few. And, perhaps, some hints about Bart’s sexual orientation, a characteristic that fascinates because it remains half-formed and necessarily ambiguous.

“Heel, toe. Heel, toe.”

Every Simpsons fan recalls that in “Homer’s Phobia,” Homer suspects Bart is gay for a host of trivial reasons related to the influence of a family friend named John (voiced, in a timeless turn, by the national treasure John Waters): He starts wearing Hawaiian shirts, drops sassy phrases like “Homer, you are the living end,” and dances around the living room in a Hairspray-style wig.

That episode is rightly praised for its wry take on LGBT politics in the shifting landscape of the late ‘90s — it showed us how straights’ gay panic is not merely stupid, but rather passé, and easily overmatched by a little additional life experience. And, of course, the story is less focused on uncovering Bart’s “true sexuality” than on making a point about Homer’s ignorant prejudice: The kid is 10 years old and usually oblivious.

But do other episodes partly corroborate Homer’s assumption? Haven’t we seen frequent indications that Bart Simpson isn’t simply white-bread hetero, and instead complicated by a charming queerness? Indeed, some of Bart’s funniest moments involve him undermining his straight bad-boy persona. In season four, with Lisa reluctant to participate in a beauty pageant Homer has signed her up for, Bart teaches her how to walk in heels and even speculates he could win the contest. In the Rear Window parody “Bart of Darkness,” Lisa visits her secluded brother in his room — he’s broken his leg and been housebound for the summer — and is disturbed to find he’s writing a stuffy Victorian parlor drama in the vein of Oscar Wilde.

The strongest argument for Bart’s straightness is his string of dalliances with girls, yet these end up being neither evidence for or against a given reading of his sexual persona. They could just as easily represent the first fumbling advances of a hetero boy or the awkward liaisons of a kid who doesn’t realize that girls aren’t really his thing. In each case, the courtship seems motivated by Bart’s desire to show who he wants to become as opposed to who he wants to be with

more…

https://melmagazine.com/is-bart-simpson-queer-94dabd2e2c15#.dhjxfh4ge

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Map of Europe

With the serious economic and political crisis showing no signs of abating in Europe, both geographical and moral boundaries are being erased in the name of globalization, Sputnik Italy quoted participants of a round table discussion in Rome as saying.

© SPUTNIK/ ALEXEY VITVITSKY

Now that Europe is going through a severe economic and political crisis, its geographical and moral barriers are being erased for the sake of globalization, the participants of a round table discussion in Rome were quoted by Sputnik Italy as saying.

They claimed that Europe have already entered an era of uncertainty where cultural differences had blurred.

Italian journalist Marcello Veneziani, for his part, noted that the process of erasing all boundaries across Europe had come amid stark differences between the EU member states in terms of economic vitality and political sovereignty.

In this regard, Veneziani underscored the importance of boundaries being preserved.

“Without boundaries-related restrictions, any society can increase to immeasurable dimensions,” he said, calling for the creation of a governing class who would be able to not only win elections, but also to manage the affairs of state.

In an interview with Sputnik Italy, Italian economics expert Alberto Bagnai, in turn, focused on the economic crisis in Europe and how it had spelled disaster for Italy, which had earlier been hit by the 2008 economic meltdown.

Bagnai specifically critiqued the court of popular opinion, where anyone who would champion his or her country’s national interests, identity or ability to control its borders is denounced as a populist.

“This is happening because we live in a historical period when only multinational companies possess sovereignty. It’s clear that the media’s dismissive reaction to the idea that people can also possess sovereignty and identities is playing into someone’s hands,” he said.

Additionally, Bagnai commented on the fact that there are 90 NATO and US thermonuclear bombs on Italian soil, something that he said calls into question whether Italy is, in fact, a sovereign country.

“Italy possessing sovereignty is out of the question, and the problem is that it is time to understand that we should take advantage of the situation to negotiate the best terms for our country now, [and address] the relationship between the boss and his local representative, Germany,” he said.

Bagnai added that “Rome is very unlikely to become the capital of the Empire again in the coming years.”

“Given that we are a dependent country, we can either move towards a European Union which has, in fact, become the Fourth Reich which is opposed by the United States, or we can gain a little autonomy, negotiating with Russia and Washington,” he said.

“In this vein, mutual rapprochement is not necessarily a negative thing. It is much better than dropping atomic bombs on each other,” he concluded.

Meanwhile, Freedom Party of Austria member and former presidential candidate Norbert Hofer told Sputnik late last month that the European Union needs to cut taxes and slash bureaucracy in order to overcome economic stagnation.

“The EU crisis is much deeper, as many EU members have huge debts and high unemployment rates; the economies of some EU countries are very weak. Therefore, we should focus on economics, strengthening the EU economy through reasonable tax cuts and reducing bureaucracy,” Hofer said.

https://sputniknews.com/europe/201702141050653385-europe-italy-economic-crisis-globalization/

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Rats implanted with human kidneys from aborted fetuses lived up to four months after transplant.

Credit: Eugene Gu et al

By Tanya Lewis, Staff Writer

Researchers say they have developed a new technique that will get more kidneys to people who need transplants, but the method is sure to be controversial: The research shows that it is feasible to remove a kidney from an aborted human fetus, and implant the organ into a rat, where the kidney can grow to a larger size.

It’s possible that further work could find a way to grow kidneys large enough that they could be transplanted into a person, the researchers said, although much more research is needed to determine whether this could be done.

“Our long-term goal is to grow human organs in animals, to end the human donor shortage,” said study co-author Eugene Gu, a medical student at Duke University and the founder and CEO of Ganogen, Inc., a biotech company in Redwood City, California. [The 9 Most Interesting Transplants]

Such organs could also be used to test drugs before human trials are started, which would help avoid the risks associated with using untested compounds in people, Gu added.

The new findings will be published tomorrow (Jan. 22) in the American Journal of Transplantation.

But the research raises a number of ethical questions, including whether it is acceptable to use human fetal organs in research, or to transplant human organs into animals. If the research moves forward, it must be determined that the organs were obtained with proper consent, and that the research was conducted with adequate oversight, experts said.

Human-rat transplants

More than 123,000 people in the United States currently need an organ transplant, and about 21 people die each day waiting for one, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Previously, other scientists had attempted to grow immature human kidneys in the abdomens of mice, but the new research “is definitely the first time an actual whole human organ has been grown in an animal, and has sustained the life of that animal,” Gu told Live Science.

In the new study, Gu and his colleagues obtained human fetal kidneys from Stem Express, a Placerville, California-based company that supplies researchers with tissue from deceased adults and fetuses. The people who donated the fetal tissues gave consent for the kidneys to be used in research, and the scientists were completely separated from the donation process, Gu said.

The researchers transplanted the fetal kidneys into adult rats that lacked an immune system (so as to avoid tissue rejection), and connected the animals’ blood vessels to the organs using a challenging procedure that involved tiny stitches, about three to four times smaller than the width of a human hair.

One of the main reasons that previous attempts to transplant fetal organs into animals have failed is due to a difference in the blood pressure between human fetuses and adult animals. In most adult animals, including rats, the average blood pressure is about three times higher than it is in human fetuses. If a fetal organ is transplanted without adjusting the pressure, “the organ basically hemorrhages everywhere,” Gu said.

To get around that problem, Gu’s team developed a device, called an arterial flow regulator, which they fitted around the rats’ blood vessels to decrease the pressure of the blood flowing into the fetal kidneys.

About a month after the researchers transplanted the fetal kidneys into the rats, the scientists surgically removed the animals’ own kidneys. The rats that received the transplanted kidneys survived an average of four months after transplant, and one even survived for 10 months, Gu said. By comparison, a control group of rats that did not receive a transplanted kidney lived for only three to four days after having their kidneys removed, the researchers said.

Kidney growth in a rat host

Kidney growth in a rat host

Credit: Eugene Gu et al

In addition to kidneys, the researchers have also transplanted human fetal hearts into rats, Gu said. The work is still in progress, but the researchers said it may also be possible to use the method with other organs. “This technology is applicable not just to the kidney, but to every kind of [blood-supplied] organ in the body,” Gu said.

more…

http://www.livescience.com/49503-human-kidneys-grown-in-rats.html?cmpid=558958

 

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by Makia Freeman, Contributor Waking Times

Reincarnation is frequently rejected as impossible by those who worship at the altar of rational materialism and mainstream science. Yet, for those with an open mind who realize that logic and reason cannot possibly grasp and account for all the phenomena existing in the Universe, it is amusing to see how perplexed those with “scientific minds” are when presented with information which is beyond rational explanation. Beliefs in reincarnation have been around a long time; reincarnation is still widely regarded as real in Tibetan Buddhism and Hinduism, and even the Catholic Church held reincarnation as true before the 4th century AD (when its doctrines become standardized at the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD).

Evidence of Reincarnation

Reincarnation researchers such as Dr. Ian Stevenson (3000 cases) and Carol Bowman (1000 cases) have collected impressive (at the very least) evidence of reincarnation, if not outright proof of reincarnation by compiling thousands of cases of children who have demonstrated accurate past life recall. The accounts are truly incredible. Many of them have similar themes, such as children being able to fluently speak other languages (which they never learnt in this life) and describing how they died in graphic detail (e.g. being injured or shot in a certain part of the body, and then synchronistically having an ailment in that exact part of their body in this life). In some cases their stories can be proven in black-and-white: some children even remember the military colleagues they served with, whose names match those on veterans’ lists.

Below is a selection of 3 cases of modern-day reincarnation, out of literally thousands that have been recorded, documented and compiled.

Reincarnation Case #1: Cameron Macauley

Cameron Macauley: the boy who apparently found a portal and got born again through the womb of another mother

The weird thing was that Norma had never been to Barra. Cameron’s desire to visit Barra and to see his former mother grew more and more persistent. One day he even told Norma that he wanted his “Barra mum (mother)”, and not her, to pick him up from kindergarten or school. Eventually the family went to Barra and found the white house just as Cameron had described.Cameron Macauley’s case is quite startling. Cameron was born in Glasgow, Scotland, to his mother Norma. Ever since he was 2 years old and first started talking, Cameron told his parents, relatives, friends and neighbors – anyone who would listen – the story of his other life in Barra (a tiny island in the northwest of Scotland). At first his mother just thought he was making it all up, but as Cameron got older, the story didn’t change – and he was able to fill it in with more detail. He talked about living in a white house with 3 toilets, seeing airplanes fly out his window and having a mother with long brown hair. Cameron even described the way his father died while crossing the road: “He didn’t look both ways”.

Cameron’s case is impressive evidence for reincarnation and past-life recall. What makes the whole thing especially fascinating is that he actually described the way in which he left his old family and was born into his new one. It appears as if he found some kind of magic portal that transported him through space and time, out of one body and into the body of a fetus in his new mother’s womb:

“Norma: ‘How did you get here to me?’

Cameron: ‘I fell through, and went into your tummy’.”

Reincarnation Case #2: James Leininger

Reincarnation? James Leininger recalls the exact details of being James Huston (WW2 veteran) Credit: http://www.brianstalin.com.

Although just a toddler, James drew numerous pictures of planes being gunned down in flames, signing his name as “James 3.” When his parents asked why he was putting a “3” after his name, James replied that he was the “third James”.The story of James Leininger is no less amazing. At the age of 2, James started telling his parents stories of not being able to escape from something. He was having nightmares about it. His parents Andrea and Bruce Leininger tell the story in his book Soul Survivor: The Reincarnation of a World War II Fighter Pilot. What made James’ parents take him more seriously was when James produced 3 pieces of information which could be verified – the name of the boat he flew his final mission from (Natoma), the name of another pilot he flew with (Jack Larson) and the name of the place where he died (Iwo Jima).

Bruce called a veterans’ organization to check James’ information and it checked out. They were able to verify everything he said. James went on to divulge various names of WWII fighter pilots and more. Eventually after years of research, Bruce and Andrea tracked down the family of James Huston, who was indeed killed in a plane crash while on a mission near Japan.

The question is: did the spirit of James Huston somehow jump into the body of newly born James Leininger, carrying with it all the memories and trauma it had just experienced?

Reincarnation Case #3: Shanti Devi

Shanti Devi as an adult.

This case happened in the 1930s. Shanti Devi was born in India in 1926, and like many of these cases, started speaking about a previous life in great and vivid detail at the age of 4. She kept going on about her previous husband (a man named Kedarnath), son (named Navneet) and house which she said was located in another state in a village called Mathura. CarolBowman.com explains:…

more…

About the Author
Makia Freeman is the editor of The Freedom Articles and senior researcher at ToolsForFreedom.com (FaceBook here), writing on many aspects of truth and freedom, from exposing aspects of the worldwide conspiracy to suggesting solutions for how humanity can create a new system of peace and abundance
**Sources embedded throughout article.
This article (Definite Evidence, and Maybe even Proof, of Reincarnation) was originally created and published by The Freedom Articles and is re-posted here with permission. 

http://www.wakingtimes.com/2017/02/14/definite-evidence-maybe-even-proof-reincarnation/

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Resultado de imagem para Penelope Unraveling Her Work at Night (1886),

Penelope Unraveling Her Work at Night (1886), Dora Wheeler, on silk. Courtesy the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Sylvia and Leonard Marx Gift 2002

Why would Odysseus dump a hot nymph? Or toyboys lust after his wife Penelope? Unveiling the erotic mysteries of the Odyssey

C D C Reeve is distinguished professor of philosophy at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He has written and translated many book and edited many volumes, his latest being a translation of Aristotle’s Metaphysics (2016). He lives in Chapel Hill. 

The Trojan Wars ended in Troy’s defeat at the hands of the Greeks, many of whom returned to their homes. But the great Odysseus was not among them. He became marooned on the faraway island of Ogygia, enjoying – or tiring of – the favours of the beautiful nymph Calypso. Homer’s Odyssey, as we all know, is the story of Odysseus’ long journey away from Calypso and home to Ithaca, where his wife Penelope waits, courted in his absence by 117 princes young enough to be her sons.

There are two erotic mysteries at the heart of the Odyssey: the mystery of why Odysseus leaves Calypso, and the mystery of why the suitors are so hot for Penelope. These mysteries shall be deepened in a moment, but first I want to add two others that are equally perplexing, though not, perhaps, equally erotic. The first concerns the savage punishment – death – imposed on the suitors. What have they done to deserve it? In the poem, their behaviour is often likened to that of Aegisthus, who took Agamemnon’s wife Clytemnestra as his lover, and then murdered Agamemnon on his return from Troy. Yet, on the face of it, the suitors have done nothing nearly so bad. Then there is the mystery presented by the form of the Odyssey itself, with its odd mixture of realism (the suitors and Penelope) and magic (the unreality of the realms that Odysseus visits between the fall of Troy and his return home). The fantastic nature of these realms seems completely mismatched to the reality of what is taking place in Ithaca. In the end, these four diverse mysteries have the same solution.

Why, then, does Odysseus leave Calypso? Or, putting it the other way around, why doesn’t he stay? Maybe you think you know. But I believe the poem intends you to be puzzled. First off, Calypso is a nymph – she will always be a babe. Her breasts will never sag. Her bottom will always be firm. Her hair will be forever luxuriant and silky. She’ll always be fun in bed, and always, it seems, willing to go there. Moreover, she can make you immortal and give you eternal youth. No need for Rogaine, no need for Viagra, you’ll be young and vibrant and virile and hairy forever. Now why would you leave all that for a middle-aged woman and your own incipient old-age and death?

The question is a sharp one, surely, but it is sharpened further in the poem. For Menelaus, the leader of the Spartans, tells us – and it is supposed to be good news, at least for him – that, at the end of his life, he won’t have to go to be a shade in Hades. Instead, as a relative of Zeus, he will go off to the Elysian Fields. Sounds hunky-dory. The trouble is that the Elysian Fields are made to sound just like Calypso’s isle – indeed, they are also made to sound like the obviously threatening lands of the Lotus-eaters:

But about your destiny, Menelaus, dear to Zeus,
it’s not for you to die
and meet your fate in the stallion-land of Argos,
no, the deathless ones will sweep you off to the world’s end,
the Elysian Fields, where the gold-haired Rhadamanthys waits,
where life glides on in immortal ease for mortal man;
no snow, no winter onslaught, never a downpour there,
but night and day the Ocean River sends up breezes,
singing winds of the West refreshing all mankind.
All this because you are Helen’s husband now
the gods count you the son-in-law of Zeus.

If the Elysian Fields are so great, Odysseus should be ecstatic at having got there so soon. Instead, he spends all day weeping – though at night, to be sure, in the way that is normal for mortal men, he takes comfort in bed with Calypso. Sorrow and depression do not dampen the libido, evidently.

So that’s the first mystery. Odysseus is in Homeric paradise. Why, then, is he so miserable?

That mystery is a confounding one, but it is nothing compared with the second. Penelope is a middle-aged woman of around 40 – not old, certainly not in our terms, but not nubile either. Past childbearing, or soon to be past it, she is not a babe. Yet more than 100 princes (117 by my count), young enough to be her sons, have been paying court to her for three years, camped out in her palace, eating and drinking, while she and they grow older. Think about that, you 18- to 24-year-old men. Think about the mother of one of your friends. Imagine that, of all the women in the world, she’s the one you want for a wife – not just for an educational Mrs Robinson-style roll in the hay, but for a wife. Now think about that in a world in which children – especially, sons – are even more important than they are in our own culture.

When Achilles among the dead hears that his son, Neoptolemus, has become a great warrior, he is temporarily reconciled even to the death he finds worse than being a slave – his steps are light as he leaves Odysseus who has brought him the news:

off he went, the ghost of the great runner, Aeacus’ grandson
loping with long strides across the fields of asphodel,
triumphant in all I had told him of his son,
his gallant glorious son.

In marrying Penelope, then, you are almost certainly depriving yourself of children, of gallant glorious sons. What could possibly compensate for that? Furthermore, why do no suitors at all show up for 17 years, and why, when they do, are they all so young? Why doesn’t anyone of Penelope’s own generation find her attractive?…

more…

https://aeon.co/essays/unveiling-the-erotic-mysteries-at-the-heart-of-homers-odyssey

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