Daily Archives: January 7, 2012

On This Day…

In 1979, Vietnamese forces captured the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, overthrowing the Khmer Rouge government.

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Men with Lower Voices Have Lower Quality Sperm

English: Human sperm stained for semen quality...

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Last year saw lots of research into low-voiced guys, with scientists finding that women are better at remembering things when they’re said in a deep, manly voice, and that women prefer deep-voiced partners. The authors of the latter study wrote, “Lower-pitched men’s voices are not only rated as more attractive, but are associated with a greater number of reported sexual partners, and greater reproductive success than are higher-pitched men’s voices.”

It appears that’s not the case: a recent study found that men with deep voices actually have lower-than-average semen quality. The study authors write,

Consistent with previous voice research, women judged lower pitched voices as more masculine and more attractive. However men with lower pitched voices did not have better semen quality. On the contrary, men whose voices were rated as more attractive tended to have lower concentrations of sperm in their ejaculate.

Scientific American speculates that a deep voice might be a symbol of sexual and social maturity: men who speak in low tones may be perceived as powerful and established.

Via Jezebel.

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Filed under Family, Science, Strange But True

France Considers Bill Outlawing Denial of Armenian Genocide

France’s parliament is preparing to vote on a measure that would criminalize the denial of the Armenian genocide, drawing the ire of Turkey as well as free speech proponents.

French Senate, where bill banning denial of Armenian Genocide will be debated. Photo courtesy of Azatutyun.am.

The law would prescribe a maximum one-year prison sentence and € 45,000 penalty to violators.  This penalty is equal to the law that criminalized the denial of the Holocaust.

The Armenian genocide took place in 1915, when Ottoman Turks killed 1.5 million Armenians.  France officially recognized the Armenian genocide by passing a law in 2011.  Turkey objects to the description of genocide and comparison to the Holocaust.

French President Nicholas Sarkozy, whose signature is necessary to ratify the bill, has thrown his support behind the bill.

Some French Members of Parliament oppose the bill.  Foreign Minister Alain Juppe slammed it, calling it “a futile and counterproductive bill, which will have serious consequences on bilateral ties with Turkey.”  French Senator Nathalie Goulet has declared that she will “go on a crusade” against the proposed anti-denial law.

The National Assembly, France’s lower house, approved the bill last month.  The passage prompted Turkey to recall its ambassador and suspend all contracts and military coöperation with France.  Turkey’s Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogam slammed the bill, calling it “politics based on racism, discrimination and xenophobia” and accused France of committing genocide in Algeria and being complicit to genocide in Rwanda.

The French law has also come under fire for its assault on free speech.

Protests of two dozen people of Turkish descent took place in front of the French embassy in New York City on January 5 to oppose the bill’s ratification.  Protestors want an open and fair discussion to find out what truly happened in 1915.

The Senate will debate the bill on January 10.  This will be followed by discussion by the Constitutional Court between January 23 and January 30.  If the bill passes, it will go to President Sarkozy’s desk, where he will have the opportunity to sign the bill into law.

Via Impunity Watch.

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Filed under International Justice, World

Florida Bill Would Impose Life Sentences for Abortion Doctors

English: Rep. Albert Wynn (left) joins Gloria ...

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Roe v. Wade affirmed that women have the right to seek an abortion until a fetus is viable. Florida legislators don’t agree with the decision, so they’ve introduced a bill that violates it. The near-total ban on abortion in the state won’t stand, but lawmakers have packed it chock full of methods to take away a woman’s right to choose, in the hope that some bit of it will wind up becoming law.

The Florida Independent reports that last week, Republican state Rep. Charles Van Zant, a Baptist minister, introduced legislation that would make abortion illegal, even in cases of rape and incest. House Bill 1151 would create the “Florida for Life Act,” and establish that, “all human life comes from the Creator, has an inherent value that cannot be quantified by man, and begins at conception.”

The only exception would be when the mother’s life is at risk; in that circumstance, doctors would have to sign paperwork attesting to the fact. The bill states:

A termination of pregnancy may not be performed unless:

(a) Two physicians certify in writing to the fact that, to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, the termination of pregnancy is necessary to prevent the death of the patient;

(b) Two physicians certify in writing to the fact that, to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, the termination of pregnancy is necessary because to continue the pregnancy would unreasonably reduce the likelihood of successful treatment of a life-threatening disease of the patient; or

(c) A physician certifies in writing that a medical emergency existed and another physician was not available for consultation prior to the time necessary to perform the termination of pregnancy. The physician’s written certification must clearly describe the medical emergency.

If a doctor performs an abortion on a woman who isn’t on the brink of death, that’s a felony, and the physician could spend the rest of his or her life in prison.

In case this is a little too extreme for Florida legislators, they have plenty of other anti-choice legislation to choose from. Last year, Republicans introduced a record eighteen bills attacking abortion rights. Now there’s a variety of new legislation that could redefine the termination of a “viable fetus” as the death of an “unborn child,” impose burdensome restrictions on abortion facilities, and ban abortions after twenty weeks. Seven anti-abortion bills have already been introduced in the 2012 session.

Via Jezebel.

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Filed under Health, Sick Sad World, War on Women