Great Sex-pectations

first_imgMost of us women tend to think that we’re emancipated, modern creatures. We drink, drive, smoke, have casual sex, and do all those other things that 50 years ago were largely reserved for the less-fair sex. And yet there are some female things that we still consider taboo. The worst name anyone can be called is ‘cunt’. The best thing a cunt can be is small and unobtrusive: the anxiety about the largeness of the penis is only equalled by anxiety about the smallness of the cunt. No woman wants to find out that she has a twat like a horse-collar: she hopes she is not sloppy or smelly, and obligingly obliterates all signs of her menstruation in the cause of public decency. Women still buy sanitary towels with enormous discretion, and carry their handbags to the loo when they only need to carry the pad. If you think you are emancipated, you might consider the idea of tasting your menstrual blood – ”if it makes you sick, you’ve a long way to go, baby.” Statements like this, from Germaine Greer’s The Female Eunuch (1970), were radical even then. But let’s face it: female masturbation, vibrators, periods and even tampax, damn it, are still not considered acceptable topics of conversation. And yet, there is seemingly no objective reason why these things should be set apart. Indeed, they have not always been so. In 1869 the electronic vibrator came into being, as an object recommended by doctors to cure female illnesses such as “hysteria”, depression or general malaise. A plethora of advertisements still survive, with engaging captions such as, “Invented by a woman who knows a woman’s needs.” Well, quite. But then, disaster struck: vibrators began to be used in the early blue movies of the 1920s, and, threatened with the terrifying taint of disrespectability, they disappeared from general use. By the 1950s, it was generally accepted that a woman who couldn’t have an orgasm through penetrative intercourse alone was ‘frigid’, and probably in need of psychiatric help (see, for example, The Sexually Adequate Female by Frank Caprio, 1953). Research by the famous sexologists Masters and Johnson, published in 1966 as Human Sexual Response, did much to re-appropriate the pursuit of sexual pleasure as a ‘healthy’ activity. However, the team also decided that, given adequately sustained stimulus, most ‘normal’ women could be trained to have vaginal orgasms. In the rapidly changing world of the ‘60s and ‘70s women now gathered the courage to respond to some of Masters’ and Johnson’s conclusions with suitable outrage, pointing to deeper, sociological and psychological factors in men’s desire to assume that all women needed their penises in order to have satisfying sex. So, how far have we come since those heady days? This is going to hurt our generational pride, but I’m afraid I have to say it. Not very. In fact, we’ve possibly even gone backwards. For example, recent studies conclude that only 30% of women can have vaginal orgasms, and yet items such as vibrators are pretty taboo. Have you ever seen one in a (non-X-rated) film? Do you own one? And would you admit to the people sitting next to you right now that you do? Websites that sell vibrators offer to ship them in plain cardboard boxes, and reassure buyers that not even the name of the shop will be written on the package. Some websites, such as, seem to see no distinction between sex toys and pornography, (this one offered a “free, live and uncensored webcamera” as well as various sex toys). Even the high-street retail giant Ann Summers has an aura of the slightly kinky, the on-the-edge-ofsmutty, with its lurid red and black polyester cutaway barmaid outfits and red-tipped plastic penises adorning everything from drinking straws to key-rings. How can, and do, women put up with this? The most obvious response is that, actually, increasingly they don’tput up with it. There are mail order websites that take a less pathetic approach, such as British, or the amusingly named (oddly enough, its American counterpart is A quick browse on Google led me to the mind-expanding, which showcases a range of toys as well as “salon sexuals” brimming with advice from how best to perform oral sex on a woman to where to find female-friendly erotica. And, despite my minor misgivings, by bringing a range of these products onto the high street Ann Summers is nonetheless taking a huge step in the right direction. However, this isn’t the whole story. To limit sexual satisfaction to orgasms is narrow minded, when, as any gal knows, there are lots of different types of fun to be had, and of differing degrees of satisfaction at that. And of course, although sex is an important part of many relationships, this is not the case for an equally substantial number. Whatever your preferences, though, the real problem I guess I’m trying to get at is the paralysing sense of taboo that, as the more astute of you may have noticed, has stopped me (and probably most other writers in this special ‘sex’ edition) from talking from a personal standpoint, whatever our views. We seem able only to laugh nervously like school childen at sex, to treat it with distaste or to pretend that it doesn’t exist, and that seems to be even more the case for women’s sexual practices than for men. So let’s applaud those brave voices in the dark over the decades, to Germaine Greer and others like her, without whom we would all feel that little bit more weird.ARCHIVE: 3rd week TT 2004last_img read more

US gives $1 billion to the Oxford vaccine, securing 300 million doses in return by Autumn

first_imgThe US has given over $1 billion to AstraZeneca to support Oxford’s coronavirus vaccine. The money will advance the development, production and delivery of the vaccine, including a Phase III clinical trial with 30,000 participants and a paediatric trial. In return, the US expects that 300 million doses of the Oxford Vaccine, now known as AZD1222, will be made available to the country by October.  This comes amid news that AstraZeneca has secured contracts to provide at least 400 million doses around the world, 30 million of which will be going to the UK. The company has managed to source enough manufacturing capability for one billion doses, and will begin first deliveries in September. There is still no data from the first clinical trial, which began last month to assess the safety, immunogenicity and efficacy of the jab. Even though there is no certainty that the vaccine will work, AstraZeneca continue to scale up operations at speed.  The additional $1 billion funding is part of the US Government’s ‘Operation Warp Speed’, which has backed projects underway at a range of different pharmaceutical companies. The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), which made the deal with AstraZeneca, is currently supporting four vaccine candidates, seven potential treatments and seventeen diagnostic tests.center_img This has led some to worry that, in the race to develop and distribute treatments for Covid-19, countries without such deep pockets may be put at a disadvantage. But both those working on the Oxford vaccine and at AstraZeneca have confirmed their international outlook, hoping to make jabs available in developing countries at the lowest possible cost.  Patrick Soriot, the CEO of AstraZeneca, said “we need to defeat the virus together or it will continue to inflict huge personal suffering and leave long-lasting economic and social scars in every country around the world.”last_img read more

Tails Have It With Mermaid Boot Camp

first_imgBowfish Studios co-founder McKenna Robel leads her troops in Mermaid Boot Camp this week. (Photos courtesy Bowfish Studios) By Maddy VitalePaddleboarding, surfing and jet skiing may be fun. They may be exciting. But they aren’t a match for well – the unusualness – that comes with this water sport. It involves a tail.Mermaid Boot Camp, a concept created by McKenna Robel and Caitlin Quirk, co-founders of Bowfish Studios, 956 Asbury Ave. in Ocean City, gives children a four-day excursion into the world of make believe.There are hair-braiding sessions, glittery makeovers and also some serious instruction about how to swim while wearing a long, shiny tail.On top of it all, the Mermaid Boot Camp is being offered at OC Waterpark. It began this week and sessions run through August.There are only 12 spots a session, and Robel and Quirk said it is booking up quickly. People should reserve spots by visiting new camp is an extension of a successful one-day camp, which Bowfish began last year. It is offered Mondays and Fridays in July and August and includes paddleboard lesson and tail lessons.“Last year, when we debuted the one-day mermaid camp, I thought it would be cool to do a camp for a longer time,” Robel, 20, said. “The one-day camp at the docks with Ocean City Paddle Company gives the kids a full day of a variety of things. They get a paddleboard lesson, mermaid tail lesson, and they paint.”Quirk noted that Robel was the driving force in creating both camps. Robel worked at OC Waterpark and the owners were very supportive of her hosting the camps there, they said.“The one-day camp gives the kids a taste of everything. It is really good to get a paddleboard lesson, too, and is a great way for people to try a bit of everything,” Quirk said.The four-day boot camp is focused more on the safety aspect of swimming with a tail.“Anyone who has an interest in tails should know they are not toys,” Quirk emphasized. “It is like learning to surf on a board safely. We don’t advocate people using them in the ocean. It is a water sport and just like with any water activity, you need training.”Campers learn how to swim safely wearing tails.Camps take place throughout July and August. Mermaid Day Camp is $125 a day and is held from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Mondays or Fridays at the Ocean City Paddle Company at the 10th Street Wharf.The camp includes:Tail Swimming LessonsStandup Paddle Board LessonsPaint SessionsT-shirtMermaid Boot Camp costs $275 per child for a four-day camp Monday through Thursday from 7:15 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. at OC Waterpark during hours when the park is closed to the publicThe camp includes:Tail Swimming LessonCrafts & Hair BraidingMermaid “Graduation” (Makeover/photoshoot)T-shirtRobel said parents should consider a few things before choosing either camp. Some people are on vacation and their kids can’t do the extended camp. Others might want to do the camp because they liked the one-day camp so much last year that they wanted more days in the world of mermaids.“We kind of wanted to hit both markets. For the kids who could do the four-day camp, that is great,” Robel said.An exciting aspect for the campers is using the waterpark slides. They get unlimited use at the end of their camp day. And since it is during hours when the park is closed, they don’t have to wait in line.“The other day the girls went down the slides 10 times,” Robel said. “For those who only spend a day on the bay, they get to do a lot of things. It is nice, too.”Children get to lounge on tubes in OC Waterpark as they learn what it is like to be mermaids.And for parents who sign their kids up for the early morning boot camp, there are some perks.Not only are there discounted family passes to the OC Waterpark for participants, but parents could enjoy the Boardwalk, hit the beach, or get an early breakfast while they wait to pick up their kids, Robel said.At the end of the sessions there is a mini-graduation.And then all of the campers receive certificates stating that they have officially graduated from mermaid school.last_img read more

Lavazza delivers the ’perfect’ espresso

first_imgLavazza Coffee has launched a capsule system called Lavazza Blue. Guaranteed by the company to deliver “the perfect Italian espresso every time with no compromise on flavour or body”, Lavazza Blue claims to turn every user into a real “cappuccinatore”.The system comprises a Lavazza Blue machine and coffee capsules. The user manually loads the capsules. There is a choice of espressos, from medium to strong, with all coffees coming from Rainforest Alliance sources. The espresso is ready in seconds and the capsule is thrown away.www.lavazza.comlast_img

News story: Celtica Hav report published

first_img Press enquiries out of hours 020 7944 4292 Press enquiries during office hours 01932 440015 Press enquiriescenter_img Our report into the grounding of the Bahamas registered cargo vessel Celtica Hav on a stone training wall in the approaches to the River Neath in March last year, is now published.The report contains details of what happened, the subsequent actions taken and recommendations made: read more.last_img

Things to Know: State vaccination talks being held privately

first_imgAs the nation’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign accelerates, governors, public health directors and committees advising them are holding key discussions behind closed doors, including debates about who should be eligible for the shots and how best to distribute them. An Associated Press review found that advisory committees created to help determine how to prioritize vaccine doses have been holding private meetings in at least 13 states that are home to more than 70 million people. In at least 15 other states, such meetings are open to the public. But even in those states, governors and health officials can modify or override committee recommendations with little or no public explanation.last_img

Saint Mary’s hosts alumni networking event to support graduating belles

first_imgSaint Mary’s alumni hosted a casual networking event Friday to connect students and alumni, fostering a sense of support and community. The alumnae event included representatives of the Belles of the Last Decade (BOLD) committee, who work closely to assist new graduates with the transition from Saint Mary’s to the workplace. “As soon as you graduate from Saint Mary’s College, you become a member of BOLD automatically,” Kristin Murphy, a member of BOLD, said. “If you would like to be more involved, BOLD representatives have meetings twice a year to help the College prepare for the annual Donor Challenge and also help lead initiatives to engage with recent graduates.” Murphy said the BOLD committee is a valuable resource for graduates to maintain a connection with the Saint Mary’s community. “We try to assist recent graduates by highlighting grads around the country who are doing different things and hosting events like this, so we can connect with you guys and help you in whatever way we can by answering questions about transitioning to post-college life,” she said. For some current students, this event was an opportunity to personally meet some of the alum they have previously connected with in different settings and learn more about the transition after Saint Mary’s. “I was invited to come because I am a Phonathon representative, meaning I have the delight of calling our alumni every week and speaking to them,” junior Deirdre Drinkall said. “Our department invited us to mingle with some of the BOLD members.” Drinkall believes that alumni events like this are the foundation of the Saint Mary’s community. “Saint Mary’s is such a special school, and we’re so built on tradition. Events like this help foster this tradition,” she said. “It reminds me why they chose Saint Mary’s and why they choose to keep coming back to Saint Mary’s. It gets me so excited and invigorated to be at Saint Mary’s presently.” This event also helped ease students’ worries about the future as alumni provided insight into the post-college experience. “I talked with several of the alumni and learned some very good tips about how to transition out of college, how to find good internships, and also, how to find great places to live,” junior Claire Linginfelter said. The opportunity to build relationships with alumni helps students and alumnae grow the Saint Mary’s community. “It’s really important to build relationships with alumnae because it helps them feel more connected to our campus, and it helps students realize that Saint Mary’s is broader than our campus community,” Linginfelter said. Both alumni and students alike said that this event was a great way to bring both parts of the Saint Mary’s community together. “I think this just highlights the overall connection between those who have gone to Saint Mary’s and those who currently go to Saint Mary’s,” Murphy said. “As soon as you graduate, you will always be an alum and Saint Mary’s will always be your connection. It’s a lifelong sisterhood.”Tags: belles of the last decade, Community, networkinglast_img read more

Australia Coal Advocates Bank on Unlikely Demand From India

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Daniel Hurst for The Guardian:Australia’s resources minister has predicted India’s demand for coal will increase, even as some analysts warned him against relying on “overly bullish” forecasts.In a speech in Canberra, Josh Frydenberg said China – which is undergoing an economic transition – was “not the only game in town” and strong economic growth in India would drive increased demand for Australian resources.India is seeking to increase its own domestic coal production and also boost its reliance on renewable energy. Frydenberg acknowledged global demand for coal would fall as a percentage of the overall energy mix from 40% now to 30% in 2040, but said India would become the largest coal importer in the world by 2020.Frydenberg said absolute demand for energy in Asia was rising because of dramatic increases in population, urbanisation and a rising middle class.“The reality is that there will be significant demand for our energy and minerals going forward and this forms the basis for long-term optimism for these sectors of Australian industry,” he told the National Press Club on Tuesday.“Consider this: today India has 18% of the world’s population but represents only 6% of global energy use.”Last week, Frydenberg met with the Indian minister for coal, power and renewable energy, Piyush Goyal, who has previously suggested the country could stop importing thermal coal by 2017 except to supply coastal plants.When asked on Tuesday to reconcile India’s ambitious target with his own rosy outlook, Frydenberg said there was a “real market for Australian coal, which is low in sulphur, low in ash”. He said when considered alongside “still evolving” carbon capture and storage technology, “the picture for coal is not one-sided”.“When it comes to India, Goyal has made very clear that they still will need to import coal, they are looking for clean coal, or cleaner, that Australia has an important part to play,” Frydenberg said.“We export $5bn worth of coal annually to them. It is their real key form of baseload power. They are investing in renewables, and that’s a fantastic story, but if they are going to expand the grid, the way to do that, he made it very clear, is coal and Australian coal has a role to play.“I got the clarification that he will need Australian coal for some time to come.”Pressed on whether that demand would increase, Frydenberg said: “Based on the arithmetic I have seen, I think it will.”But Tim Buckley, the director of energy finance studies at the pro-renewables Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, urged the government to tread cautiously.“Josh Frydenberg’s general disposition is very bullish for Australian coal but several of his points are factually inconsistent with the existing data,” said Buckley, a financial markets expert.“For example, he doesn’t clarify the distinction between India’s increasing reliance on coking coal imports versus the declining Indian reliance on imported thermal coal, which is down 15% year on year.”Buckley said while four-fifths of India’s coal usage comprised thermal coal, or the type used in power plants, just 20% comprised coking coal, or the type used in steel production. This meant that coal imports were likely to experience an overall decline, with India aiming to double its domestic thermal coal production by 2020.“Energy minister Goyal has made it very clear his top priorities are driving improvement in grid efficiency, energy efficiency, solar, wind, hydo capacity expansions and a diversification away from coal over time,” Buckley said.Full article: Josh Frydenberg says India’s demand for Australian coal will increase Australia Coal Advocates Bank on Unlikely Demand From Indialast_img read more


first_imgStresslines Career burnout? Putting the spark back in your practice Career CounselorMondays were the most difficult days. He felt unable to think about the tasks he had set for himself. He knew why it was hard to concentrate: He was tired of the same problems and issues he had dealt with so many times before. He realized that he was utterly bored with his job and felt stagnant, mentally. Is this all there is? Is this what he worked so hard to achieve? W hat can you do when you are bored with your job? Many attorneys eventually experience a sense of understimulation in their work lives as the learning curve flattens out over the years. Adrenaline used to flow when the work was new and fresh, but over time that same work can become commonplace. Understimulation can occur at different points in a career, depending on the type of work you do and the type of person you are, as well as many other factors that can affect your feelings about your work.Under certain circumstances, understimulation at work may be cured by following a totally new career path. There are circumstances that support going for your dream in life. You may be in a position to go for the life you’ve always yearned for as a fiction writer or an aviator; or the moment may be right to take a chance on a business venture. Moving into a new field may jack up the adrenaline and reshape the learning curve, but for some attorneys a radical move may not be feasible, advisable, or timely.For some attorneys, understimulation can be instantly “cured” when life outside of work gets very active or stressful. For example, I was working with a mid-level attorney who began career counseling because she was not challenged by her job. But, after adopting a child, she realized that her understimulating job was a blessing, at least for the time being. Other stresses and physical impairments can alter one’s attitude about understimulating work. Another attorney I worked with who voiced a similar complaint of stagnation at work was relieved to have his dull job when he developed chronic fatigue syndrome.There is a take-home lesson to be gained from these experiences: The perception or sensation of boredom at work can be altered or affected by your life outside of work. A valid way to combat a sense of being “plateaued out” on the job may be to enrich and nourish yourself by developing more of a life both inside and outside your work world.What’s Wrong With Ted?Ted was an income partner at a mid-sized firm. He had established a transactional practice in corporate law that gave him some security. He had a fairly stable berth at a fairly stable firm, a wife, three college-aged kids, a home in Lincoln Park and a summer house in Michigan. His life looked good to the outside world. But Ted felt something was missing. He felt his work life was too dull and predictable.Ted had been valedictorian of his high-school class and an academic star in college as a poly-sci major. He was active in sports, did well in law school, enjoyed traveling, was well-read and loved to write.In high school his dream career had been international news reporting. He imagined the excitement of traveling the world, reporting on developments in a variety of countries on a variety of topics; enjoying what he imagined to be the ever-shifting terrain of the news reporter.As he grew older he thought often about a career in journalism, but was discouraged from pursuing this path because of the lifestyle that went with it. He wondered how he would be able to have a satisfying family life. He realized that there might be dangers involved with the work. He thought that someday he might want a less adventurous lifestyle. He didn’t think that he would be happy taking a senior desk job editing the work of front-line reporters. Ted decided to keep shopping for a career that better suited his lifestyle needs. A career in law seemed to be a good alter native. The law offered greater personal safety, intellectual challenge, and a more stable existence. He did so well on his LSAT exam that he convinced himself that law was his true calling. But after 20 years of practice, he felt profoundly bored. The issues had become too predictable, and his cases offered very little real intellectual challenge. He dreaded going to work to mull over problems he had seen before, for the same types of clients he had served for years.Lately he had had a recurrent dream that he was walking down a long institutional hallway that went on and on. There were repetitive posters on the walls every few feet, and no windows or doors to get out of the place. Ted felt that he understood the emotional message of his dream and signed up for career counseling.When Ted started career counseling, he wanted to leave the law altogether to get a steeper learning curve and more excitement in his life. But a reality check of his lifestyle and the people he cared about — who also relied on his income — caused him to slow down. When we reviewed his priorities, he realized that his highest values were his family and his lifestyle. But a close third priority was to find a way to be more involved in his job and challenged by his work.Ted had a history of becoming bored in school and in a variety of jobs. School had come easily to him. A quick learner, he inhaled information and enjoyed the challenge of learning new things. He was intellectually restless. The acquisition of knowledge was as thrilling for Ted as a new frontier must have been for a pioneer. But once he had acquired information he needed new challenges.Ted required the constant excitement of newness to be satisfied intellectually. How could he achieve that in his current practice? In our counseling work we looked at Ted’s areas of interest to determine the areas of greatest sustainable intellectual challenge. He had gotten interested in computers in the past few years. He enjoyed the rush of information and felt revitalized by his exposure to the rapidly changing world of technology. But he had never considered using his interest in computer technology as a way out of his stagnation at work.Ted began to feel revitalized by pursuing his interest in technology. He took classes in computer programming and spent time working with his own computer. He introduced new technology to his firm and became one of the few people at the firm who was truly knowledgeable about computers. He began to design his own programs. He met other people in the field. The excitement of learning in this new area has caused him to re-engage in the legal practice.Some attorneys need greater intellectual challenge, stimulation, and variety than they can obtain through their jobs. Some of my clients have steepened the learning curve by taking up a foreign language, studying the great books, learning to play the flute, learning to fly an airplane, fiction writing, developing an antique business, creating a greeting card business, learning Japanese cooking, and a host of other pursuits. By following their innate interests, these lawyers tell me they feel a rekindling of excitement and a sense of personal fulfillment that translates into greater energy for other parts of their lives. Sheila Nielsen is president of Nielsen Consulting Service, which provides career counseling for attorneys. Since 1985, Nielsen, a trained social worker and attorney, has counseled hundreds of attorneys dealing with career change and job search issues. This column is published under the sponsorship of the Quality of Life and Career Committee. The committee’s Web site is at The Quality of Life and Career Committee, in cooperation with the Florida State University College of Law, also has an interactive listserv titled “The Healthy Lawyer.” Details and subscription information regarding the listserv can be accessed through the committee’s Web site or by going directly to June 1, 2003 Sheila Nielsen Regular Newslast_img read more

Millennials really don’t like debt, aren’t into credit cards

first_imgMillennials hate debt, aren’t crazy about credit cards and occasionally post photos of the house or car they just bought on Instagram.That’s some of what Facebook IQ — a unit of the social network that combs through user data with an eye toward marketers — found in a report released on Monday that looks at how Americans on Facebook between the ages of 21 and 34 manage their money.“Millennials are diligent in paying down debt, careful with credit cards and dedicated to accumulated savings,” the Facebook researchers wrote. “The burden of debt weighs so heavily that millennials have redefined financial success around it, with 46 percent saying that financial success means being debt free.”The report indicated that, if you run a company that offers financial advice to millennials, the market is ripe. Young people spend plenty of time talking about their finances on Facebook, but only 37 percent have a real money-management plan in place, according to the report. People in this age category tend to be likely to save, with 86 percent saying they stash away some money on a monthly basis, but they are less likely than their parents to invest those dollars. continue reading » 24SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more