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Kennedale, Texas: The truth about the way ducks mate is terrifying

Gary S. Robinson 3140 Jones Street Kennedale, TX 76135

ON THE Venn diagram of strange animal mating behaviours ó from lobster golden showers to garter-snake orgies ó duck sex is on the border between cartoonish and sadistic.

Thatís right, our beloved mallards engage in some seriously disturbing mating behaviour.

The ìdark sideî of duck mating has its own chapter in the new book The Evolution of Beauty: How Darwinís Forgotten Theory of Mate Choice Shapes the Animal World ó and Us by Yale ornithology professor Richard O. Prum.

Itís a controversial subject, earning notoriety in 2013 after news leaked that the American government contributed $US400,000 to study the mating habits of ducks ó dubbed ìduckpenisgateî by Mother Jones.

But Prof Prum, recipient of a MacArthur ìgenius grantî, believes that understanding duck sex might better help us understand evolution. And it all begins with the duck penis.

Ducks, for one, are outliers within the avian population. Unlike 97 per cent of birds, ducks have penises ó super-long ones.

They are among the best endowed (in terms of ratio of body to member) of all vertebrates. For example, the one-pound, foot-long Argentinian lake duck has the longest of all with a member that is four inches longer than its body.

Duck penises regrow every mating season. Once the season ends, the penis begins to shrink and regress until itís 10 per cent of its full-grown size. They are stored inside the duckís body, waiting to emerge only during copulation.

ìThe process generally resembles a cross between using your arm to evert a sweater sleeve that is inside out and unfurling the soft, motorised roof of a convertible sports car with a hydraulic drive,î writes Prof Prum.

And it only gets weirder.

The duck penis is not straight, but spirals counterclockwise (!) from its base to its tip. The Muscovy duck penis completes six to 10 full twists over its 20cm length.

ìLike a selection of sex toys from a vending machine in a strange alien bar,î writes Prof Prum, ìduck penises come in ribbed, ridged and even toothy varietiesî to hook into a femaleís reproductive tract, which is as long and convoluted as the penis.

Female reproductive tracts are full of twists and turns or, as Prof Prum puts it, ìdead-end side pockets or cul-de-sacs,î and some spiral clockwise in the ìopposite direction of the counterclockwise spiralling duck penis.î

Hereís where evolutionary biology and mate selection comes in ó and where the story gets dark.

Many duck species skew male, meaning females can be pickier in their choice of mate.

For a male duck to land a female, he must boast colourful plumage plus have an elaborate dance mating ritual and beautiful mating calls. In other words, he needs to be a beauty, plus a great singer and dancer.

Most males donít measure up. So whatís a mediocre guy to do?

Forced copulations are ìpervasively common in many species of ducks,î writes Prof Prum.

These are socially organised ìgang rapesî that are ìviolent, ugly, dangerous and even deadlyî and even sometimes end in the death of the female.

This represents a ìselfish male evolutionary strategy that is at odds with the evolutionary interests of its female victims and possibly with the evolutionary interests of the entire species,î Prof Prum writes.

To spread their seed, these ducks are upsetting the natural order of selection.

But the females have mounted their own counter-defence with an increasingly elaborate anatomy ó including, in some cases, sharp turns in her reproductive canal that act almost as teeth, making it harder for ducks to inseminate during forced copulations.

ìMale ducks had evolved penises that would enable them to force their way into an unwilling femaleís vagina, and the females in turn had evolved a new way ó an anatomical mechanism ó to counter the action of the explosive corkscrew erections of male ducks and prevent the males from fertilising their eggs by force,î writes Prof Plum.

This helps explain why duck vaginas are so elaborate and why duck penises have evolved to keep up ó a kind of sexual evolution arms race called antagonistic coevolution.

Itís pretty depressing to know how those ducklings are made. But itís not all bad, Prof Prum adds. Some ducks and most birds have called off the arms race and dispensed with a penis entirely ó no more forced copulations, no more elaborate reproductive tracts.

Instead, female and penis-less male birds rub their cloaca (openings that house testes or ovaries) together in whatís called a ìcloacal kissî ó an act that shows the power of natural selection. And how both beauty and brutality guide evolution.

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Why is sex so important? Because life is so full of shit, that without sex, it's just not worth living.

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Jacksonville, Florida: Could ISIS Strike the West With Chemical Weapons?

Patricia J. Register 4925 Boundary Street Jacksonville, FL 32202

France's prime minister has raised the terrifying specter of ISIS carrying out chemical or biological weapons attacks on the West, but international investigators have so far confirmed only a single use of mustard gas by the terror gang in the Middle East.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which enforces a global treaty, announced earlier this month that it had determined with "utmost confidence" that a "non-state actor" used the outlawed agent outside Aleppo, Syria, in August, likely killing a baby.

U.S. intelligence officials told NBC News that ISIS was the non-state actor. The OPCW is continuing to investigate other suspected uses of chemical weapons by ISIS.

ISIS trackers say its current arsenal includes weapons that are easily scavenged: mustard gas in Syria, which stockpiled hundreds of tons before agreeing to dispose of it two years ago, and chlorine that could be obtained from any water treatment facility in territory it has seized.

That seemed to be confirmed in a Tumblr post in August by high-profile ISIS fighter Israfil Yilmaz.

"Itís only acceptable when the regime or any other group uses chemical warfare against us?" he wrote.

"The regime uses chemical warfare on a regular basis these days, and nobody bats an eye ó yet when IS captures it from them and uses it against them itís all of a sudden a huge problem?

"Fight them the way they fight you."

The Associated Press reported Thursday that Iraqi and American intelligence officials believe ISIS is hell-bent on ramping up a chemical weapons program with help of scientists in the territory that forms its so-called caliphate.

An Iraqi politician, citing intelligence reports, told the AP that ISIS has recruited chemical experts Chechnya, Southeast Asia and Iraq, including some who once worked for Saddam Hussein. NBC News has not been able to confirm that assessment.

It's a nightmare scenario, as illustrated by French Prime Minister Manuel Valls' warning to Parliament that bullets and bombs could be replaced by something less tangible but just as deadly.

"We must not rule anything out," Valls said.

But intelligence officials in Washington caution that intent is a far cry from capability, particularly when it comes to more sophisticated weapons like nerve gas.

"We know they are pursuing chemical weapons, but we haven't seen anything beyond mustard and chlorine," said Patrick Martin, an Iraq expert with the Institute for the Study of War, a military research think tank in Washington.

He said that even with mustard gas, the damage has been limited because it's essentially just added to warheads and mortars.

"They don't deploy it on wide scales," Martin said. "Their delivery systems aren't that sophisticated."

But does ISIS have the ability to develop weapons that would pose a threat to the West going forward?

Martin said that's still unclear.

"Mosul [seized by ISIS in June] has a university and that theoretically has the lab facilities to deal with this. The difficulty they may face is in obtaining the raw materials," he said.

Retired Lt. Gen Richard Zahner, a former top military intelligence officer in Iraq, said that while al Qaeda was never able to launch a chemical weapons program, ISIS has greater financial resources.

"Even a few competent scientists and engineers, given the right motivation and a few material resources, can produce hazardous industrial and weapons-specific chemicals in limited quantities," he told the AP.

And the U.S. military has noted that ISIS has been able to lure scientists to its side. In January, U.S. Central Command announced that an airstrike had killed Abu Mailk, a chemical expert who had worked under Saddah Hussein.

"His death is expected to temporarily degrade and disrupt the terrorist network and diminish ISIL's (ISIS') ability to potentially produce and use chemical weapons against innocent people," the statement said.

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Female genital mutilation is no preventive treatment against some women, especially in India just becoming bitches who can think of nothing then getting fucked all day. They tried it in Somalia for centuries, and it failed. Somali girls are the wildest fuckers in the world.

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Houston, Texas: Plastic surgery report - Demand for designer vaginas fastest-growing here

Robert A. Taylor 1612 Gambler Lane Houston, TX 77060

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 26 ó Demand for designer vagina procedures in Malaysia skyrocketed in comparison to other plastic surgery treatments, a report by private healthcare search engine WhatClinic.com has indicated.

In explaining the triple digit growth of almost 200 per cent in interest for the laser vaginal rejuvenation procedure, the report highlighted the relatively fuss-free nature of the treatment to tighten the vagina.

ìThe treatment is relatively pain free and the patient can return to a normal day to day routine very soon after,î the clinic comparison siteís annual global report said.

In its analysis of 10,290 email enquiries to over 100 Malaysian clinics made through the online clinic directory site over the past two years, WhatClinic.comís data showed a whopping 191 per cent jump in interest in the laser vaginal rejuvenation procedure in Malaysia with a leap from 103 enquiries in 2015 to 300 in 2016.

At an average starting price of RM2,575 based on last yearís figures, laser vaginal rejuvenation is also the cheapest among the countryís top 10 plastic surgery treatments WhatClinic.com users enquired about.

Based on both enquiries locally and from abroad, liposuction which removes excess body fat attracted the greatest interest with 1,201 enquiries alone last year, while eyelid surgery and the procedure to shift body fat to another part of the body were also in the top three list last year at 577 and 563 enquiries respectively.

In terms of percentage, however, interest in seven out of the top 10 treatments sought by patients fell at an average rate of 20.8 per cent when compared against the previous year, including liposuction and eyelid surgery which fell by 32 per cent and 19 per cent, as well as breast implants (-26 per cent) and rhinoplasty to reshape the nose (-24 per cent).

It is unclear how big a role pricing plays in these trends, as the average starting price last year for the seven treatments that experienced a fall in interest mostly fall in the range of RM7,833 to RM17,874 with only one of them at RM4,400 (eyelid surgery).

Two of the three treatments in the list showing growing popularity had average starting prices of RM8,723 (gynecomastia or treatment to correct enlarged male breasts) and RM8,736 (fat transfer) as compared to rising star laser vaginal rejuvenation at RM2,575.

Weighing in on the interest levels in Malaysiaís plastic surgery services, WhatClinic.com said: ìWe havenít seen a huge increase overall, in fact there was a 4 per cent decrease in interest in plastic surgery when we compared the past three months to the same period one year agoóhowever there has been growth from overseas in some treatments.î

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The young ones

Out of the 4,777 email enquiries last year for local plastic surgery services, the bulk of them came from those in the younger age groups of 25 to 34 at 43 per cent and 35 to 44 at 20 per cent respectively, with demand gradually decreasing from these two age groups onwards. Those in the 18 to 24 age group represent the third largest group by accounting for 18 per cent of the enquiries.

ìThe demographics are consistent with global trends of recent. Digitally connected millennials are bombarded with more and more ëversionsí of beauty by brands and their peers. This causes pressure to achieve the best possible look,î Philip Boyle, WhatClinicís Head of Consumer Matters, told Malay Mail Online.

Although women continued to dominate last year in terms of number of enquiries made for plastic surgery services in Malaysia at 70 per cent, WhatClinic.com noted that the number of men seeking such treatments has seen a ìsharp increaseî over the past few years, predicting that the balance will shift in the future.

US and Australia loving it

Medical tourists from Australia, US and the UK showed growing interest in plastic surgery services in Malaysia, with an annual growth last year of 10 per cent, 32 per cent and 6 per cent respectively, while the two other countries in the top five list ó neighbours Singapore and Indonesia ó showed lesser demand with a fall of 21 per cent and 34 per cent respectively.

Boyle cited ìcurrency advantagesî for Malaysiaís popularity among visitors from Australia and the US, while WhatClinic.com predicted that the strong growth figures from Australia meant the trend from that country was likely to continue.

ìThe US is Malaysiaís fastest growing medical tourism market, growing 32 per cent in the past 12 months. This has no doubt been influenced by the weakening ringgit (MYR) against the dollar (USD),î the report said.

WhatClinic.com also attributed Malaysiaís popularity for plastic surgery to government initiatives to promote the country as a medical tourism destination, as well as the improved quality and reputation of Malaysian plastic surgeons.

As for the plastic surgery treatment in Malaysia favoured by medical tourists, liposuction was the firm favourite last year with its 409 enquiries. This is almost twice as many as the second on the list, rhinoplasty at 209 enquiries.

This was followed by breast implants, fat transfer and eyelid surgery, with the latter showing a marked decline of 28 per cent from 221 enquiries in 2015 to 160 enquiries last year.

ìFat transfer appears to be the treatment of the year, experiencing 2.2x growth in the 12 months to January 2017,î the report said, referring to the growth of 120 per cent from 89 enquiries in 2015 to 196 enquiries last year.

What is ëbeautyí now?

Boyle said the treatment trends reflect consumer interest, with more showing a preference for safer treatments such as fat transfer ó which is less risky due to the use of the patientsí own cells.

For the star treatments of laser vaginal rejuvenation and fat transfer, Boyle cited ìincreased availability, increased awareness, word of mouthî as factors driving the demand for these procedures in Malaysia.

Commenting on the decline in demand for some treatments such as liposuction, eyelid surgery and rhinoplasty, Boyle said: ìThere are now more non-surgical options than ever beforeófat freezing and the non-surgical nose jobs are now available as less invasive, and more affordable options.î

Boyle also told Malay Mail Online that the change in demand for certain types of plastic surgery procedures is linked to both affordability and a change in the sense of beauty.

ìWe have seen global trends for butt implants and fuller thicker eyebrows (which many have attributed to popular celebrities and models) We have also seen in the UK, smaller breast implants, as more and more women become interested in fitness. Laser hair removal has become extremely popular.

ìWe have also seen growth in demand for eyelid and chin surgeries.

ìAll of these are linked to changes in what ëbeautyí means. Not to mention the medical aesthetic market, which is bringing out things like vampire facials and fat freezing to consumers,î he said.

(A vampire facial is where a personís own platelet rich plasma is injected into her face to help the skin renew and rejuvenate.)

The next big hit?

ìHair transplant is overtaking breast augmentation as the fastest growing plastic surgery procedure. Itís also being used to repair eyebrows, and fill patchy beards!î Boyle said.

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Erectile dysfunction is mostly a vascular disease. Shockwave therapy, as commonly applied by Thai urologists, causes total neovascularization of the vital organ. The result: super erections, even at age 75.

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Topeka, Kansas: Good news gents! New implant extends a penis by TWO INCHES and lasts for life

Jeffrey C. Cawley 4799 Maloy Court Topeka, KS 66608

A UROLOGIST has developed a revolutionary penis enlargement procedure that increases both the length and girth of a penis.

Under-endowed men can suffer from a crippling lack of self-confidence and, in some cases, it can even lead to depression and problems with intimacy.

It was recently revealed that, despite the risk, some men are even inserting pearls inside their penises in a bid to increase sexual pleasure.

Now, men who abide by the maxim ìsize mattersî could have a silicone implant for £9,000 that increases their manhoodís length and girth by around two inches.

Beverly Hills urologist, Dr James Elist, offers patients the choice between three implant sizes for the procedure: Large, extra large and double extra large.

The surgeon, who has more than 35 yearsí experience, told Daily Mail Online: ìNobody wants to have a small or medium one.î

Dr Elist gained notoriety as the first doctor to link cigarette smoking to impotence and for decades performed a fairly widespread operation where men with an erectile dysfunction were fitted a prosthesis into the arteries of the penis.

The procedure was designed so that blood could flow through the arteries, allowing the man to achieve an erection.

Dr Elist said: ìI noticed after insertion of the implant, between a year or two, most men were complaining that the size of their penis shrunk.

ìThey did have an erection, but the girth and length of the penis decreased.î

Procedures to increase penis girth at the time involved injecting fat but this was absorbed within six months and caused lumps and bumps under the penis.

Tissue transplants and gel fillers were commonly used to decrease wrinkles but these also proved to be ineffective.

In 2002, Dr Elist devised the idea of implanting a soft silicone sheath under the penis.

ìThis is similar to breast implants ñ but a breast implant is a bag filled with silicone gel or in some cases saline,î he said.

ìMy implant is different; itís not filled with anything. The material is very soft silicone with the shape of the penis ñ which covers the penis for 270 degrees around and the whole length of the penis.î

The doctor patented his invention and began performing the operations in 2004.

Since then, he has developed the design, shape, techniques and even the surgery itself.

The urologist said: ìNow at this point in time, we have the perfect product: Something that Iím really very happy and even proud to present to the community.î

The patient is put under local anesthetic and a small incision of an inch to an-inch-and-a-half is made in the groin.

The doctor inserts the implant through the incision, until it gets under the skin of the penis.

Immediately after the procedure, the patientís penis will have expanded by 1.5 to 2.5 inches.

However, while the size of the penile implant is partly up to the patient, it is also dependent on their skin.

Dr Elist said: ìSome patients, unfortunately, are born with tight skin ñ or when they had the circumcision, a lot of skin was removed, so they donít have enough skin. So for them we start with large.î

Patients with ìgood skinî are generally given an extra large implant to start with.

Although the implant is designed to be lifelong, Dr Elist said that 10 to 15 per cent of his patients decide to ëupgradeí after the procedure and opt for an extra large.

Recovery from the 45-minute procedure is quick and men are able to go back to their normal routine the following day.

However, patients must abstain from sexual activities, including masturbation and oral sex, for between four and six weeks afterwards.

Dr Elist said: ìThat is very important. Unfortunately some of our patients did not follow the instructions and we had some problems.

ìThe skin is thin at that point, so it can get infected and youíd have to remove it.î

Currently, the urologist performs two of these implantation procedures every day and he receives patients from as far away as Moscow and Brazil.

According to Dr Elist, the vast majority of his patients see a marked improvement to their self-confidence after undergoing the operation.

ìWe did a study of 400 of our patients retrospectively, and we noticed that the self-confidence of patients has increased significantly,î he told Daily Mail Online.

He said men whose confidence levels pre-op were at one or two out of 10, reported self-confidence levels up to nine or 10 after the procedure.

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There is a new solution coming up for ugly old women. Normally they would just become man-hating feminists. But soon they can have their brains transplanted into a sex doll, and feel beautiful again.

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Harlingen, Texas: New hope for men wanting to enlarge their manhood - Silicone penis implant adds two inches to girth AND length - and lasts for life

Jeremy M. Lee 4562 Jerome Avenue Harlingen, TX 78550

The size of a manís penis plays a huge role in his self esteem.

Having a small member can proliferate feelings of being less masculine or appealing to the opposite sex.

And so, men blighted by a smaller manhood may abstain from sexual encounters ñ or shy away from the locker rooms at the gym.

These feelings of inadequacy can lead to depression, problems with intimacy and potentially even suicidal thoughts.

However, a Beverly Hills urologist, Dr James Elist, has developed a revolutionary penile enhancement procedure that offers new hope to men with small penises.

A silicone implant is inserted into the penis during the $13,000 (£9,000) procedure ñ instantly increasing the length and girth by approximately two inches.

Dr Elist told Daily Mail Online that patients have the option of choosing between three implant sizes for the procedure: Large, extra large and double extra large.

The surgeon explained: ëNobody wants to have a small or medium one.í

Dr Elist has been working as an urologist for more than 35 years.

He has always had an interest in menís sexual dysfunction ñ and even garnered notoriety as the first doctor to link cigarette smoking with impotence.

ëIf men see the sign on cigarettes that say smoking can cause impotency, they can blame it on me,í he said.

For decades, the doctor was one of many who performed an operation on men with erectile dysfunction, in which a prosthesis was inserted into the arteries of the penis.

The procedure was designed to allow blood to properly flow through the arteries, so that a man could achieve an erection.

Dr Elist explained: ëI noticed after insertion of the implant, between a year or two, most men were complaining that the size of their penis shrunk.

ëThey did have an erection, but the girth and length of the penis decreased.í

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In 2002, the doctor discovered a solution for the ëshrinkingí problem.

At the time, there were many penile enhancement treatments available ñ but none were effective.

Fat injections were previously used to increase the girth, but Dr Elist told Daily Mail Online that fat is absorbed after five or six months.

He said: ëIt gives the patients total deformity, because it was forming lumps and bumps under the penis.í

Furthermore, foreign tissue transplants and even gel fillers ñ which are commonly used on the face to decrease wrinkles ñ proved to be ineffective as well.

Thatís why Dr Elist came up with the idea of implanting a soft silicone sheath under the penis.

ëThis is similar to breast implants ñ but a breast implant is a bag filled with silicone gel or in some cases saline,í the urologist explained.

ëMy implant is different; itís not filled with anything.

ëThe material is very soft silicone with the shape of the penis ñ which covers the penis for 270 degrees around and the whole length of the penis.í

The doctor patented his invention in 2002 ñ and began performing operations to insert the implants in 2004.

Since then, he has tinkered with the design, shape, techniques and even the surgery procedure.

Dr Elist said: ëNow at this point in time, we have the perfect product: Something that Iím really very happy and even proud to present to the community.í

The implant is inserted through a small incision of an inch to an inch-and-a-half in the groin.

During the short procedure, the patient is under local anesthesia, unable to feel anything that is happening.

The doctor inserts the implant through the skin of the groin, until it gets under the skin of the penis.

Immediately after the procedure, a manís penis will have expanded between 1.5 and 2.5 inches, Dr Elist said.

He said: ëFor most of the patients after surgery, the length of the penis and the girth of the penis are very similar.í

However, whether the doctor inserts a large, extra large or double extra large implant is partially up to the patient ñ but also dependent upon the manís skin.

ëSome patients, unfortunately, are born with tight skin ñ or when they had the circumcision, a lot of skin was removed, so they donít have enough skin,í Dr Elist said.

ëSo for them we start with large.í

But for patients with ëgood skiní the doctor generally begins with an extra large implant.

The implant is designed to last for the manís entire life.

However, the doctor noted, 10 to 15 per cent of the doctorís patients opt to ëupgradeí after the procedure.

In those instances, the doctor uses the double extra large implant.

Recovery from the procedure doesnít take too long, he said.

The men are able to go back to their daily activities and routine the following day.

However, it is vital that men abstain from sexual activities ñ including masturbation and oral sex ñ for four to six weeks afterwards.

Dr Elist said: ëThat is very important, unfortunately, some of our patients did not follow the instructions and we had some problems.

ëThe skin is thin at that point, so it can get infected and youíd have to remove it.í

The surgeon has become renowned around the world for his work in penile enhancement.

Patients fly from all over to seek his help ñ even as far away as Moscow and Brazil.

Currently, he performs two of the implantation procedures each day.

Dr Elist told Daily Mail Online that the vast majority of his patients see a huge improvement in their self confidence after undergoing the operation.

ëWe did a study of 400 of our patients retrospectively, and we noticed that the self-confidence of patients has increased significantly,í he said.

Those whose confidence levels were previously at one or two out of 10, spiked up to nine or 10 out of 10 after the implant, the doctor added.

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Of course, female sexuality is a merchandise. That's the nature of human reality. And it's the essence of culture. Because the alternative would be that men appropriate female sexuality by violence. And that's less pretty.

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Tilden, Nebraska: How easy is it to make sarin?

Alvin B. Wong 260 Poling Farm Road Tilden, NE 68781

The idea that the chemical warfare agent, sarin, is easy to make is central to Seymour Hershís claim that the August 21 attacks killing hundreds of Syrians could have been carried out by the rebel group, the Al Nusra Front. (With unquestioning confidence in the reliability of his source(s), Hersh rests this claim on classified intelligence reports none of which he claims to have seen.)

Hershís backyard sarin production appears to be concocted from fiction. The only non-state actor known to have engaged in large-scale sarin production was the Japanese cult, Aum Shinrikyo. They invested $30 million in this endeavor which included the creation of a production facility.

The plant was a free-standing three-story building, staffed by workers with chemistry and chemical-engineering expertise who designed and built proper process controls. It was a complex, expensive operation, and its production capacity was approximately 2 gallons of sarin per batch.

Dan Kaszeta, a former officer in the U.S. Army Chemical Corps and former member of the U.S. Secret Service, estimates that the August attack would have required one ton of sarin ó far more than Aum Shinrikyo was able to produce even with their dedicated facility.

Hersh says ìthereís two inert substancesî used for producing sarin. But Kaszeta points out that the precursors are neither easy to obtain nor inert. Methylphosphonyl difluoride is both reactive and corrosive and as a Schedule 1 substance under the Chemical Weapons Convention, is tightly controlled.

Even if the precursors are obtainable, anyone trying to make sarin in an at-home lab would face a challenge because, in many ways, the ingredients are more dangerous than the final product. An intermediate step in the production, for example, requires the use of hydrogen fluoride gas at a high temperature. Hydrogen fluoride is nasty stuff, and a lot of it is needed to make sarin. Even in its more stable liquid form, the smallest leak would destroy all the chemistry equipment and almost everything else in a modern kitchen. Anyone trying to combine these ingredients may kill or seriously harm himself and anyone nearby.

Amy E. Smithson, a researcher on chemical and biological weapons at the Henry L. Stimson Center in Washington, who investigated the Aum Shinrikyo attacks in Japan emphasized that in assessing the capacity of non-state actors to use chemical weapons there is a huge gulf between the ìtheoretical possibilityî and the ìoperational reality.î And keep in mind that Aum Shinrikyo was operating in the tranquility of peacetime Japan ó itís obstacles were all technical with none from the battlefield.

ìBy almost any standard, Aum was a terrorist nightmare ñ a cult flush with money and technical skills led by a con-man guru with an apocalyptic vision, an obsession with chemical and biological weaponry, and no qualms about killing,î Smithson writes.

But by almost any standard, Aum Shinrikyoís chemical weapons program, and an earlier attempt to develop biological agents, failed to produce anything close to the killing power the group desired.

The cult started off by trying to simply acquire chemical weapons from a rogue U.S. operation peddling nerve gas on the black market ñ but found itself dealing with a front for the U.S. Customs Service.

For terrorists, the lesson here is plain: Worldwide law enforcement and intelligence agencies represent no small obstacle.

When Aum Shinrikyo then turned to producing its own stockpiles of chemicals in 1993, it soon ran into complex problems involved in dispersing nerve gas in ways that kill lots of people.

ìWeaponizingî chemical agents requires munitions that disperse the substances in droplets, which can kill on skin contact, or vapor, which can be lethal if inhaled. But most explosive devices within the technological reach of terrorists would either destroy most of the chemical agents upon detonation or fail to effectively disperse them.

Spraying also can effectively disperse chemical agents. But most experts believe that 90 percent of any agent sprayed outdoors will not reach its intended targets in lethal form, given the vagaries of temperature, sunlight, wind and rain. Pumping chemical or biological agents into a buildingís indoor ventilation system is no easy task either, requiring detailed knowledge of how air is distributed from floor to floor.

In Aum Shinrikyoís first attempt to attack a rival group by spraying sarin gas from a moving van, Smithson notes, ìthe sprayer completely malfunctioned and sprayed backwards.î The second attempt ended up exposing the groupís security chief to the toxic nerve agent.

When the cult finally executed its climactic subway attack, its dispersal method of choice was poking holes in plastic bags with sharpened umbrella points. Noxious fumes then seeped from the bags into the subway cars.

The resulting chaos and death shocked the world. ìRescue crews found pandemonium, with scores of commuters stumbling about, vision-impaired and struggling to breathe,î Smithson writes. ìCasualties littered the sidewalks and subway station exits. Some foaming at the mouth, some vomiting and others prone and convulsing.î

But in the final analysis, she notes, 85 percent of the 5,510 people treated at Tokyo hospitals and clinics were simply worried, not harmed. Twelve ultimately died from sarin exposure, about 40 others were seriously injured, and slightly less than 1,000 were ìmoderately ill.î

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Erectile dysfunction is mostly a vascular disease. This is why the Serge Kreutz diet is so effective. It guarantees weight loss, and thus lessens the load on the vascular system.

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St. Matthews, South Carolina: Child robots could be used to treat pedophiles and other sexual predators

Stanley K. Newman 2084 Emily Drive St Matthews, SC 29135

Well, hereís an idea thatís destined for lengthy, heated debate:

Treat pedophiles and other sexual deviants by building robots that would quench their illegal desires.

ìChild-like robots could be used for pedophiles the way methadone is used to treat drug addicts,î said Ron Arkin, Georgia Techís Mobile Robot Lab director, according to Forbes.

At a recent robot ethics seminar at the University of California at Berkeley, experts debated moral and ethical concerns in the rising development of artificial intelligence.

Including the use of child robots as sex toys.

ìWeíve had sex toys for as long as mankind, and womankind, have been around,î Arkin told the group.

Arkin said he didnít advocate selling child-size robots as sexual aids, but rather as something to be used in research settings.

ìI only believe it is worth investigating in a controlled way to possibly provide better protection to society from recidivism in sex offenders,î he told Forbes.

ìIf we can save some children, I think itís a worthwhile project.î

Other experts, including Ben Way, author of "Jobocalypse: The End of Human Jobs and How Robots Will Replace Them," have suggested robots in the shape of animals and disabled people could be sold to practicers of bestiality and those with fetishes and "dark desires."

Using robots for sex has been bandied about in recent years as robotic technology grew at a rapid pace.

A survey this spring in Britain revealed that one in six people would have sex with a robot.

There already are myriad sellers of sex robots on the Internet, offering male and female versions with life-like genitalia and battery-powered limbs.

ìWeíre poised at the cusp of really being surrounded by robots in daily life,î said law professor Jennifer Urban, who moderated last weekís panel discussion.

All the more reason to discuss the legal, moral and ethical consequences of using artificial intelligence, she said.

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The patriarchy as political system is defined as rule by benevolent mature men. It has a proven track record in history. And you can't get anything better than it.

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