Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Pleasure is in your own hands
It is a subject that would make most governments blush, but officials in the Spanish region of Extremadura have launched a major programme to encourage what could be described as a more hands-on approach to sexuality.
The region's socialist government has launched a €14,000 (£12,600) campaign aimed at teaching young people how best to set about "sexual self-exploration and the discovery of self-pleasure" – or to put it less delicately: masturbation.
"Pleasure is in your own hands" is the slogan of a campaign that has sparked political controversy and challenges traditional Roman Catholic views on people having sex, even on their own, for non-reproductive reasons.
"This is an intimate subject that should be dealt with at home," complained local opposition leader Hernández Carrón of the rightwing People's party. "We have become the laughing stock of Spain."
"They are interfering with the right of parents to educate their own children about a matter as important as their sexuality," agreed the conservative Confederation of Fathers and Mothers of Schoolchildren.
Officials from the neighbouring region of Andalucia have expressed an interest in copying the programme.
The newly released "2012" doing well at the box office.
In the movie, an alignment between the Sun and the center of the galaxy on Dec. 21, 2012, causes the Sun to go berserk with mighty storms on its surface that pour out huge numbers of the elusive subatomic particles known as neutrinos. Somehow the neutrinos transmute into other particles and heat up the Earth’s core. The Earth’s crust loses its moorings and begins to weaken and slide around. Los Angeles falls into the ocean; Yellowstone blows up, showering the continent with black ash. Tidal waves wash over the Himalayas, where the governments of the planet have secretly built a fleet of arks in which a select 400,000 people can ride out the storm.
But this is only one version of apocalypse out there. In other variations, a planet named Nibiru crashes into us or the Earth’s magnetic field flips.
There are hundreds of books devoted to 2012, and millions of Web sites, depending on what combination of “2012” and “doomsday” you type into Google.
All of it, astronomers say, is bunk.
“Most of what’s claimed for 2012 relies on wishful thinking, wild pseudoscientific folly, ignorance of astronomy and a level of paranoia worthy of ‘Night of the Living Dead,’ ” Ed Krupp, director of the Griffith Observatory, in Los Angeles, and an expert on ancient astronomy, wrote in an article in the November issue of Sky & Telescope.
Many will flock to see the film.....and some of the moviegoers will believe in what they see. The web site December 212012.com lists Mel Gibson and Shirley MacLaine among the believers. Yes, 'usual suspects'. A lot of geegaws on sale -- coffee cups, tee shirts, books, pictures,etc. No doubt the promoters will make some money. But December 21,2012 will come go just like any other day and the hucksters will move on to something else to dupe the gullible.