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LAST_UPDATETue, 23 Dec 2014 10am

Why Are Blood Donors Asked Their Sexual History?

Photo: www.blooddonors.org.myThe US Food and Drug Administration is meeting to consider lifting a lifetime ban on blood donations by men who have had sex with other men, even just once, since 1977. The blood is tested so why does it matter?

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Putin's Gas Deal With Turkey Is a Defeat

Pic: www.nbcnews.comPRESIDENT Vladimir Putin is trying to turn defeat into victory, after Bulgaria's intransigence forced him to abandon the planned South Stream natural gas pipeline. Yesterday, Putin said he was scrapping the project in favor of an alternative route to Turkey. That should show those pesky Europeans he doesn't need their custom: Russia can still do business with other authoritarian regimes.

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Sex Experts Think That More Straight Men Are Exploring A Formerly Taboo Hot Spot. We Try To Get To The Bottom Of It

Young couple embracing in bed asleepI was sitting around the fire pit in my backyard with a handful of straight male friends when drunken conversation inevitably turned to sex. The perverted powwow officially began when one friend, let’s call him Freddy, announced something to the effect of, “Having your prostate milked is awesome.”

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The Cheap Oil Curse

Remember "Peak Oil?" The world was running out of oil, prices would soon skyrocket, and we had better find other fuels.

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The 10 Best Movies Of 2014, According To Edgar Wright

Edgar Wright. Photo: Cinemablend

Now that we are closing in on the end of the year every man, woman, dog and grandmother is currently chomping at the bit to reveal their ten favorite movies of 2014. Most of the time you will probably have to politely nod and pretend to listen. But when Edgar Wright unveils his favorite films of the past 12 months you tune in intently and make notes. So without further ado, here are his stand-out movies of 2014 in no particular order:

Boyhood
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Birdman
Snowpiercer
Interstellar
Nightcrawler
Under The Skin
The Lego Movie
Whiplash
Edge Of Tomorrow

It’s a pretty safe list from the Shaun Of The Dead and Hot Fuzz director. There aren’t any avant-garde choices, they are all in the English-language and each of the films involve a cast or crew member who is a mainstay of America cinema too. However except for Interstellar, Edge Of Tomorrow and The Lego Movie they are all inexpensive, borderline independent, movies too. In fact Edgar Wright told Esquire: "I thought it was a great year for independent movies," while he also went into more detail about the specific reasons why he picked the aforementioned movies.

On Boyhood Edgar Wright admitted that he was so transfixed by Richard Linklater’s intimate examination of growing up that he "left the cinema wondering if [he] had done everything [he] could with the last 12 years of [his] life." While Richard Linklater might be a tad worried about the mid-life crisis that his film provoked there’s no denying the fact that Boyhood was one of the most thought-provoking and transfixing movies of the last decade. But Edgar Wright also found room to nod his hat to Hollywood’s blockbusters too. Whether or not you found Interstellar to be either a soaring space opera that combined luscious visuals with a bombastic soundtrack to a rousing extent or simply a pompous dud you have to admit that seeing on the big-screen was a reminder of the power that cinema has. "Chris Nolan’s most personal movie is also the best argument for seeing films on a giant silver screen," Edgar Wright explained.

And while I adore everything that Edgar Wright has ever overseen and find him cute as a button too, I have to admit that I didn’t quite agree with one of his explanations. That might seem like a rather odd stance to take, especially considering that it is a person’s opinion - and doubly especially when the person in question is one of the most stylish, visually arresting and idiosyncratic filmmakers in the world – but hear me out...

Edgar Wright describes Whiplash as his "favorite horror movie of 2014," and to me there was nothing terrifying about Damien Chazelle’s rollicking masterpiece. I didn’t even find JK Simmons terrifying in the film. I simply thought he was preposterously compelling to the point that by the end of the movie I found myself with a man-crush on bald 59-year-old man. It also swayed the camera, sliced the edit, and fizzled with acting energy in a way that cinema rarely does. Other than that I have no issue with Edgar Wright’s list. In fact I agree wholeheartedly with everything on there.

It is strange that there wasn’t any room for either Guardians Of The Galaxy or Captain America: The Winter Solder on Edgar Wright’s list though. I wonder why …

Source: Cinema Blend

'Frozen'-Obsessed Puppy Wakes Up From Nap To Sing 'Let It Go'

Photo: disney.wikia.comWe’re over it. You’re probably over it. But this puppy?

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Want A Helping Hand? Try Wearing High Heels.

A participant runs during a high heels race in Tbilisi, June 24, 2014. The 50-meter-long race requires participants to wear shoes with heels at least 3 inches long. Photo: Reuters

A new study out of France’s Université de Bretagne-Sud in finds that men are more likely to lend a helping hand to a woman wearing high heels.

In the study, social psychologist Nicolas Guéguen found that men were more likely to answer survey questions if the woman asking them was wearing heels than if she was wearing flats. Similarly, Guéguen (who has also tackled the research question of whether carrying a guitar case makes a man more likely to succeed in getting a woman’s phone number) found that men were more likely to help a woman pick up a dropped glove if she was wearing heels.

 

Pro-Russian rebels stand near a monument during a ceremony to honour the World War Two defenders of Donetsk from Nazi forces in Donetsk September 8, 2014. Photo: Reuters.

 

That high heels change how straight men respond to women is hardly surprising. After all, high heels change the way you walk, the way you stand, and the way your clothes fit your body. As a culture, we have decided that the alterations heels produce in how women carry themselves are desirable, a decision we’ve stuck to for over 50 years. In recent years, the trend pendulum in high heels has swung toward atmospherically high, with platforms and hyper-narrow stiletto heels giving way, recently, to 1990s-nostalgia in the form of chunkier heels. These are, in the grand scheme of things, relatively minor variations; our cultural penchant for high heels is entrenched, and it doesn’t appear to be going anywhere.

Some have questioned this study’s methodology, and not without reason, but its findings raise some interesting questions. Are men more likely to respond to women in heels because they find them more attractive, and are they more likely to answer survey questions from or help an attractive woman? Or are the men who help a woman in heels pick up her glove correctly perceiving that a woman in heels is in fact, physically, less stable than a woman in flats, and might therefore be more likely to need their help? Or, more interestingly still — and more troublingly — does a woman’s perceived instability and vulnerability make her more physically attractive to some men?

I’ve often felt, when wearing heels, that my ability to quickly flee from potential danger is impeded, and this isn’t the first time that, as a culture, we have decided that women are most attractive when their mobility is restricted. We’ve largely done away with corsets and petticoats. But we still believe that women are sexiest — and many women still feel most confident and powerful — in footwear that often hurts them, causes long term orthopedic damage, and literally makes them less stable and less mobile than men. I’m not calling for a feminist ban on pumps, but their persistence does make you wonder.

This study invites other questions about the effects of high heels on people’s perception of a woman. How do high heels affect one’s perceived credibility, or intelligence? Do men and women respond differently when asked to assess the credibility of a woman in heels?

 

A model smiles backstage while preparing for a striptease during the “Eros & Amore” erotic fair in Munich September 27, 2014. The erotic fair runs until October 5. Photo: Reuters.

 

These aren’t just questions about how to build a wardrobe or how to plan an outfit. Our clothes and our footwear play an enormous role in shaping people’s assumptions about us — of our wealth, our competence, our intelligence, our sexual availability and morality, and our power. These are all perceptions that are intertwined. Often, these assumptions are made in a split second, and once made, they’re difficult to shake. For women who are applying for or doing jobs that grant them power and authority, the question of how to present themselves is particularly vexing — ask any woman who’s ever run for office.

It would be easy to dismiss social science around high heels as frivolous, as questions of style, and not substance. In fact, the subject area goes to core questions of power: how we gain it, how we wield it, how we lose it. It also raises fascinating questions about power, attraction, and gender, and like this study, it raises more questions than it answers — a good sign of a subject area that merits further exploration. And then, of course, there’s question I always ask myself when I walk in the door after a long night out in high heels, the balls of my feet burning and my calf muscles loudly complaining: why on earth did I think these shoes were a good idea?

Here's Why Everyone Should Embrace Workplace Napping Right Now

Photo: The Huffington PostAlthough it's certainly advised that you power down devices an hour before bed, escort them out of the bedroom and log a solid seven to eight hours every night, once in a while -- whether it's due to insomnia or busy schedules -- we don't always get the sleep we need.

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An Open Letter From Introverts To Everyone Else

Photo: twentyinparis.netHi, it's us, Introverts. We just wanted to write a quick note to everyone to clear the air. We know that we can be hard to read, a little closed off and even irritable sometimes, but we do love you. To help you deal with us, we have put together a list of things you should know.

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10 Words From 10 Years Of Oxford Dictionaries UK Word Of The Year

Just last month Oxford Dictionaries announced vape as its international Word of the Year 2014. The Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year is a word or expression that has attracted a great deal of interest during the year to date. Language research editors revealed that the word was used more than doubled compared to 2013.

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