You can’t be serious.

1 05 2009

While trying to wind down for the evening and getting my fill of celebrity gossip on ONTD, I come across a horrific image:

under the photo there is a small “disclaimer”: This CD is not in any way racist or intended to imply racial beliefs or affiliation to any racist organization including the Ku Klux Klan. All imagery is fictional and presented for the sole purpose of humor and entertainment. Please do not take this imagery seriously and we apologize if anyone takes offense or is indeed offended by the imagery portrayed henceforth.

…ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!

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“The taste of Texas with a little spicy Mexican”

1 05 2009

Burger King has done it again.  After the Mexican government complained about an ad campaign that ran in Europe for Burger King’s new “Texican” Whoppers, Burger King has decided to remove ads which have been considered racist, stereotypical, and offensive.

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Women detect underarm odor better than men?

1 05 2009

“Women have a better sense of smell than men, at least when it comes to detecting underarm odor,” claims Nicholas Bakalar of The New York Times.

A recent study collected underarm secretions from 59 male and female participants.  The researchers then tested a different group of men and women at sniffing the secretions followed by chemical fragrances. When the armpit odor or the fragrances were presented separately, there was little difference in the perceptions of men and women. But when the chemicals were presented after the secretions, thereby attempting to conceal the smell of the secretions, men were much less likely than the women to detect the underlying male or female odor.  In general, male odor was more frequently detected by both men and women when concealed by the fragrance.

George Preti, the senior author of the study, reasoned that underarm odors might be important to women in mate selection and reproduction. “This study highlights how women receive biological odors even in the presence of fragrances meant to block them.  Biological information is present in underarm secretions, even when you try to screen it out,” he claimed.

Hmm…Oh, how I wish I could figure out how to access the full text of the article without paying for it so I could critique it in full. The New York Times column was a fun read, but for the New York Times Author to entitle the article “Perceptions: No Hiding Underarm Odor From Women” is stretching the study’s results more than a little bit.  I’m always pretty skeptical about any article that claims that women are biologically different from men while failing to take into account social influences, making broad generalizations based on little evidence, and citing studies with small numbers of participants.  I just really don’t know about this one.  The idea of volunteering for a study in which you are asked to sniff people’s underarm secretions, however, is hilarious.  Any thoughts?