Skip to main content

So sexuality is like... a switch?

The wonders of old newspapers... I came across a Dec 19 edition of the free Vancouver 24 Hours newspaper that has a small news item (titled "Nature or Nurture") on page 10. According to the news, a team of University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) neurobiologists have discovered that the sexual orientation of bees can be altered by genetic manipulations or drugs. In other words, as the lead researcher Prof David Featherstone ecstatically points out, homosexuality/heterosexuality can be turned on and off.... I tried to do some online research on this, but the newspaper's website doesn't show the news. (Dropping print material in the online version isn't really uncommon for the media, especially if the company can't afford a proper website. By the way, the Dec 19 spells Wednesday wrong on the cover!) Dr Featherstone is on the UIC website, and his lab has an address as well, but I couldn't find what I was looking for. Do the same neurobiological principles apply for humans? Last term I was teaching students Tomson Highway's Kiss of the Fur Queen, which has a gay character who was sexually abused in residential school. I did a bit of research to prepare for class, and found out that, according to the NARTH website, there is no 'gay gene' in the human body (also checkout Wikipedia). I shared the resources with my students, and asked them what they thought. Surprisingly, most of them believed that the character was not a born homosexual (in Highway's novel); or in other words -- as they argued later in an essay -- homosexuality isn't hardwired or irreversible. Art preceding science, anyone?

Popular posts from this blog

How to get rid of the Blogger navbar

There's hardly a Blogger user to be found who hasn't been irked by the navbar. True, it’s not entirely useless – it lets you quickly log on to Blogger and provides a quick customization link. But by just being there the navbar brings a generic look to your blog, which is enough to make readers not take it seriously. On top of that, the navbar allows any Blogger user to flag your blog! (Which, assuming you’re one of the good guys, puts you at the mercy of the goodwill of your diverse readership.)Therefore it’s imperative that you hide your Blogger navbar, or at least know how to. In case you’re wondering, the Blogger Terms of Service doesn’t say anything about the navbar, so you’re good to go.Hiding the Blogger navbar1. Sign in to your Blogger account. This will take you to your Dashboard. Click on the Layout link of your blog.2. Click on the Edit HTML link on the Layout page. Don’t worry, you don’t have to know anything about HTML! I’ll take care of the code.Scroll down the Ed…

Miscellaneous security software (part 1)

This is part 9 in my Optimizing Broadband|Windows|Firefox series and part 1 of my reviews of miscellaneous security software. Covers anti-spyware, anti-adware, registry cleaners, junk file cleaners, and install monitors.The following aren't really reviews, but should provide you with everything you need to know.

Anti-spyware and anti-adware reviews
Most antivirus applications today come with built-in anti-spywares, so unless you're suspicious something is wrong with your PC you don't need to worry. However, it would be a good idea to install a third-party anti-spyware and anti-adware once in a while to make sure everything's under control. The chief anti-spyware and anti-adware brands are Windows Defender (from Microsoft), Ad-Aware 2007 Free (Lavasoft), AVG Anti-Spyware Free Edition (Grisoft) and Spybot S&D (Safer Networking). Note that I haven't mentioned any paid software, such as the popular Spy Sweeper (Webroot Software). It hardly makes any sense to spend m…

Adding a line break in Excel

I keep forgetting this! To add a line break/create a new line in an Excel cell, press Alt+Enter. Problem solved!