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Windows Pro (phylactic)

Software billionaire and philanthropist Bill Gates just issued his latest “Grand Challenge.” Create the next generation condom and win $100,000 start up money.

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Don’t hold your breath for the punch line. There isn’t any as this challenge is genuine. Bewailing the lack of innovation since latex condoms were introduced about 50 years ago, the Gates’ foundation could offer as much as $1 million in further funding to the innovation “that significantly preserves or enhances pleasure, in order to improve uptake and regular use.”

Good luck with that.

In the meantime, here are some actual bleeding-edge condom designs:

 

Formal wear condom

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What pretentious men would probably want to wear. Using it could make one feel like James Bond.

 

Edible condom

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There are already flavored condoms. And edible panties. So it doesn’t really take a quantum leap of intelligence to come up with an edible condom. No need to throw the thing in the trash after use.

 

Whole body condom

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For the ultimate in safe sex. Protects you not only against HIV, but also against mononucleosis, hepatitis, and even the common cold.

 

Spray-on condom

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This may be what Gates’ had in mind when they issued the challenge for the next gen, high tech prophylactic. Specially useful when you are unusually “oversized.”

 

Junior-sized condom

On the other side of the size spectrum are a couple of contenders.

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Probably designed for Japanese and other Asians.

Or young sacristans/church-goers being molested by priests and bishops. The kids may be emotionally scarred for the rest of their lives but at least the condoms guarantee that they are HIV-free.

Hand Job

Ok, this one leaves me aghast, and I don’t know where to start. Talk about a guy with balls, and apparently nothing else.

Andrew Wardle, 39-year-old male, from Manchester, Britain, was born without a johnson or a willy. And he’s letting the whole world know about it. In doctor-speak he has “penile agenesis” a condition that apparently affects only 1 in 20 million men, or (I already did the math) less than 200 poor souls world-wide.

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In an extremely rare and complicated three-part operation, a flap of skin from his forearm, with its blood vessels and nerves, will be folded into a tube and grafted into the pubic area.

According to The Sun, “his surgeons must build from scratch a new penis that can pass urine, have feeling, make sex possible and look natural too.” See the illustration from The Sun:

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Natural looking? Only if your penis looks like a roll of duct tape, or medical bandage.

Actually, he’s had several surgeries since infancy. That’s not surprising since penile agenesis is associated with other medical conditions like bladder exstrophy (his urine bag is hanging out of his body, go figure). What’s surprising is this picture of Andrew as a child.

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Is that his sister’s hand over his crotch?

When it dawned on him how different he was, he turned to drugs like ecstasy and LSD as a coping mechanism. He said: “By taking drugs I gave myself the perfect cover. I’d bed girls but said things could only go so far because the drugs meant I couldn’t rise to the occasion.”

Wait a sec. Bed girls? (Aghast face) Actually, Andrew boasts that he has slept with about 100 women. And he say’s 20% of the women know of his, uh, deficiency. The other 80% were presumably too drunk or stoned to care.

How did he manage to bed all those girls when most men with complete anatomies don’t even come close to sleeping with a hundred women in their lifetime? Unapologetically, he claims it’s due to a combination of good looks, charm, and the gift of gab. So, as you probably suspected all along, a good tongue will make most women happy.

There you go. Andrew Wardle, the very definition of chutzpah.

This is one guy whose arm I’d like to shake, or on second thought, I’ll just salute him, thank you.

Eagle Cybersex

In the movie “Continental Divide” a big city reporter (played by the late John Belushi) was trying to woo an eagle researcher (played by Blair Brown) by describing the mating rituals of the bald eagle while in flight in sexy, romantic detail.

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With the magic of the Internet, eagle voyeurs will now be able to view two Philippine Eagles (a highly endangered specie, formerly known as the monkey-eating eagle) getting it on, 24/7. Yeah baby!

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A livestreaming project was launched today in Davao by the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF), in partnership with a local telecom provider and Ustream.tv

According to the PEF, the eagles are an “active breeding pair that hopefully will be able to produce an offspring during the 2013 breeding season.” Dennis Salvador, PEF executive director, said, “With this, we will be able to raise public awareness and this is the best time for our own specie to be known worldwide,” hopefully referring to the eagles.

In tech-speak “the streaming uses a pan–tilt–zoom (PTZ) camera that is capable of remote directional and zoom control, controller, microphone, and computer to capture, process, and unicast video stream to a service provider who broadcasts it across the internet,” said the telecom provider. In zoophile-speak this translates to “good eagle porn.” Voyeurs not only get to see eagle parts in action up close, they get to hear all the moans and groans too!

In related news, celebrity psychiatrist Randy Dellosa cautioned that the male eagle might develop performance anxiety if he finds out that the mating sessions are being shown live on the Internet. Also, photos of eagles doing it doggie-style were released by scientists today.

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US minesweeper crashes into Tubbataha

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While on an unspecified mission, the USS Intruder Guardian ran aground in the famed Tubbataha reef, off Palawan island in western Philippines. Tubbataha is a protected nature sanctuary, and is among the best diving sites in the world. Boats entering the area must secure permits from the government.

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The ironically named Guardian is not the first foreign ship to wreck the reef. The likewise ironically named Greenpeace (flagship of the environmental activist group) was fined $7,000 for doing the same in 2005.

Leftist Environmental groups wasted no time in venting their ire at the American embassy in Manila. The crew of the minesweeper was evacuated from the ship, not because the Greenpeace or other protestors were in the area, but because the ship was in danger of sinking.

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Navy officials did not reply to questions why a minesweeper can be wrecked by fragile corals and marine life. Being men, the crew reportedly refused to ask for directions and blamed faulty navigation software for getting lost at sea.

In related news, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer denies that the company created the Minesweeper navigation software, just the game of the same name. Apple CEO Tim Cook likewise denies that the faulty Apple Maps app (sample screen capture below, guiding a road car) is to blame for the ship’s grounding.

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The 7th Fleet Command issued an order that henceforth, only Google Maps must be used by the navy.

Pinoys in Space!

Even though there is a move by some scientific sectors to create a Philippine space agency, the notion of a Filipino astronaut seems like a pipe dream. But it may happen as early as 2014. Axe, the deodorant brand, will be sending 22 humans to space in the Lynx suborbital space ship, and one of them will be a Filipino.

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“The program we’ve launched is an opportunity for our great nation to join the global community in taking the next big leap. We’re very excited to meet the first Pinoy astronaut. It could be anyone,” said the Philippine Axe brand manager.

I initially thought the whole thing was a joke, particularly because the marketing campaign was named the “Axe Apollo Space Academy” (AASA), as in “AASA ka pa ” (“In your dreams”).  And Axe? Really? Until I realized astronauts don’t really take showers during space missions, so it may actually make sense. The Axe contest is promoting a new fragrance line called Apollo, and even hired the second man on the moon, Buzz Aldrin, as spokesman. Neil Armstrong is most definitely spinning in his grave.

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From the first 10,000 Pinoy applicants, two candidates will be chosen for astronaut training at the Axe Apollo Global Space Camp in Orlando, Florida. One of them will eventually take the $95,000 space ride for free.

More space news. Advances in ultrasound technology will allow NASA’s scientists to see more clearly what happens to astronauts’ spines under zero-gravity conditions. It has been known for a long time (probably since the Skylab missions) that astronauts can grow by a few inches during space travel due to a lengthening of the spine from lack of the Earth’s gravity pull. The vertebrae basically just relax and expand. The ultrasound device will be used for research in the next mission to the International Space Station.

In related news, spokesmen for Vice-President Jejomar Binay (height 5’2″) and former president Gloria Arroyo (height 4’11”) deny rumors that the two were among the first applicants in the search for the Philippine Axe astronaut.

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Yes, Virginia there is a Santa Claus (and fairies/elves/hobbits)

Virginia O’Hanlon was an eight-year-old girl in 1897 New York City. Her friends have developed the insight a couple of years earlier that there is no Santa Claus (Virginia would grow up to be an educator, and relate later that studies have shown that children generally stopped believing in Santa at around age 6). And giving her hell for still keeping the faith.

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Confused, she asked her father, a doctor in Manhattan’s Upper West Side, if Santa really existed but his answer was frustratingly vague. He then advised her to direct the question to The Sun, a prominent New York City newspaper at the time, assuring her that “If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.” Thus dooming his daughter to believe that everything in the newspapers (or if she lived long enough, the Internet) is true.

Apparently, The Sun was the 19th century equivalent of “snopes.com.” Despite the definite “Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus,” the reply, an editorial written by Francis P. Church, was actually less straightforward and is a masterpiece on how to provide a philosophical non-answer to difficult questions. Thus, dooming little Virginia into believing not only in Jolly Old Nick, but in fairies as well. I’m not sure if Church wrote the editorial for the eight-year-old (who may not yet have developed the proper discernment needed for an op-ed) or for her father and presumably The Sun’s readership demographic.

The resulting “Yes, Virginia” meme went viral, almost a century before the Internet became generally available. Thus we have the various “Yes, Virginia there is a . . .” (insert noun here) permutations still in wide use today. The Sun reprinted the famous editorial every Christmas, and for most of her life, Virginia was repeatedly asked if she still believed in Santa. Pictures of her in her senior years speak volumes of the stress she might have gone through.

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A few questions come to mind. Would The Sun have bothered to answer the letter if little Virginia was from the working class Lower East Side, instead of the upscale Upper West Side (Virginia’s father actually warned her about her letter being ignored)? How would Church have answered if instead of Santa Claus, she asked the most classic child’s question of all, did the stork really bring me home? Let’s try to paraphrase Francis P. Church (substituting stork for Santa Claus):

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“Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see.

Yes, Virginia, babies really do come from storks. Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no storks. It would be as dreary as if there were no Cabbage Patches.

Not believe in storks! You might as well not believe in fairies! Nobody sees storks delivering babies, but that is no sign that there is no such thing. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world, nor all the uncomfortable questions children may ask their parents!

No storks! Thank God! They live and live forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, storks will continue to deliver babies.”

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Merry Christmas everyone!

Smartphones for Christmas? Try smart socks!

Don’t you just hate it when you couldn’t match your left with your right socks when it comes back from the laundry? Especially when they’re all black. What’s worse, after a few washings the black socks start to fade into gray, so you end up not only with two left foot socks but with mismatched color to boot. To avoid having fifty shades of grey (that is if you have a few dozen pairs) socks, Swiss manufacturer Blacksocks has exactly what you need. Microchipped socks! For $189 you get 10 pairs of RFID-tagged socks, an RFID reader and iPhone app. The socks can be purchased in 10-pair allotments without the RFID reader for $120.

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Each sock is given an individual electronic identity tag, which you register in the app as soon as you get them. As a spokesman for the company says: “For socks, as in real life, only those things that go together really belong together.” Anybody who has tried sorting socks would know how difficult it is. I’m just not sure that having to scan the socks, and upload the data to the Blacksocks servers, is a chore anybody would look forward to. Sorting becomes relatively easy using the RFID reader, which connects by Bluetooth to the iPhone. The waterproof microchip can even sense if the sock has been laundered.

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It gets better (or worse, depending on how much you love matching socks). The app even has a module for measuring how faded the Peruvian pima cotton socks have become using the iPhone camera. It can warn you when it’s time to buy new pairs, or if you keep losing socks, match errant pairs having roughly the same shade of grey. But who are they kidding? Methinks the app is just a way to make it really convenient for customers to order online.

In related news, Philippine apparel company Bench is coming out with its own RFID-tagged briefs in time for Christmas.

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The accompanying free iPhone app supposedly prevents men from wearing the same underwear again unless it has been washed first.

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