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craig johnston 03-29-2008 09:12 AM

In the pubic interest


What a lousy way to go

Marc Abrahams
Tuesday March 4, 2008
The Guardian


The rise and fall of a louse is tragic in the eyes of the louse and in the hearts of scientists who love that louse.
Until recently pubic lice, also known as "crabs", were riding high. Studies in the 60s, 70s and 80s reported more of them were taking up residence in their favourite neighbourhoods.

The louse had even overcome its poor reputation with scientists, who believed them to be lazy and slow. That characterisation was smashed to glorious pieces in 1983, thanks to a report by Ian Burgess and John Maunder, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and Tin Than Myint, of the ministry of health in Rangoon, Burma.

Their study, Maintenance of the Crab Louse, Pthirus pubis, in the Laboratory and Behavioural Studies Using Volunteers, tells how they coated groups of pubic lice with powders that glow different colours under ultraviolet light. They then gave each group of lice a chance to migrate from its old home on one human body to a new home on another. The colours let the scientists see what moved where when - and it revealed a surprise.

Pubic lice showed themselves to be neither sedentary nor sluggish. Nay, says the report, "these observations suggest the converse is true and that these insects are extremely active".

But devastation visited the pubic louse community. A 2006 study called Did the Brazilian Kill the Pubic Louse?, written by NR Armstrong and JD Wilson, of Leeds General Infirmary, wonders at the sudden rarity of pubic lice in the UK and elsewhere. Published in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections, the study suggests a possible cause:

"The drop in pubic lice in women appears to be most dramatic around 2000 and coincided with the introduction of extensive waxing techniques, such as the 'Brazilian', in women in the United Kingdom."

In this era where more and more animal species face the spectre of extinction, the "Brazilian" study sent alarm through the research community. Dutch naturalist Kees Moeliker, intrigued that the pubic louse might soon vanish altogether, started a campaign to collect and preserve some specimens for the Rotterdam Natural History Museum, of which he is a curator. "When the bamboo forests that the giant panda lives in were cut down, the bear became threatened with extinction," Moeliker explains. "Pubic lice can't live without pubic hair."

Moeliker is coming to Britain to collect some specimens. He will take part in the Ig Nobel Tour for National Science and Engineering Week (March 6-16). If you have a specimen of Phthiris pubis you'd like to donate to science, or know someone who has, please bring them to one of the events.

Marcus Bales 03-29-2008 10:21 AM

The Brazilian

... A 2006 study called "Did the Brazilian Kill the Pubic Louse?", written by NR Armstrong and JD Wilson, of Leeds General Infirmary, wonders at the sudden rarity of pubic lice in the UK and elsewhere. Published in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections, the study suggests a possible cause ... Dutch naturalist Kees Moeliker ... started a campaign to collect and preserve some specimens for the Rotterdam Natural History Museum, of which he is a curator. "When the bamboo forests that the giant panda lives in were cut down, the bear became threatened with extinction," ... Moeliker ... will take part in the Ig Nobel Tour for National Science and Engineering Week (March 6-16). If you have a specimen of Phthiris pubis you'd like to donate to science, or know someone who has, please bring them to one of the events. -- Marc Abrahams, in The Guardian, Tuesday March 4, 2008

Girls, though you are tough or tender,
Fat, or medium, or slender,
Clean and sober, on a bender,
Drink it straight or from a blender,
Free or trussed in a suspender,
In firm control or fond surrender,
Smooth the groove of your pudenda.
Burma Shave.

YsaPur EsChomuw 03-29-2008 02:04 PM

The question seldom addressed is where Medusa had snakes. Underarm hair is an even more embarassing problem when it keeps biting the top of the deodorant bottle.

Terrry Pratchett: Soul Music

skip intro 03-30-2008 08:43 AM

do you practise what you preach mr bales?

Marcus Bales 03-30-2008 08:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by skip intro (Post 382679)
do you practise what you preach mr bales?

In a similar spirit I do edit my work.

craig johnston 03-30-2008 06:40 PM

Quote:

In a similar spirit I do edit my work.
what? you have lice in your pomes?

my mind is full of unpleasant images

:(

Marcus Bales 03-30-2008 10:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by craig johnston (Post 382739)
my mind is full of unpleasant images.

Oh, you must be used to that by now!

priceyfatprude 04-02-2008 01:17 AM

When someone has freaky facial hair or freaky head hair I always have to wonder if they have freaky pubes.

Brynn 04-02-2008 10:10 PM

Yes, whose mind doesn't go directly to that? Then one has to start thinking about their parents, siblings and pets as well.

brightpearl 05-25-2008 10:04 PM

This ought to cover everything.
Jon Dyer's Quest for Every Beard

I think I like the Hulihee best.

brightpearl 05-05-2009 07:57 PM

But where does this leave Sylvia Plath?

Poets ranked by beard weight.
Thoreau, a mere 29.

lukkucairi 05-06-2009 01:49 AM

http://beardeddevelopers.com/

'nuff said, really

lukkucairi 05-06-2009 01:51 AM

computer languages and facial hair

Brynn 05-06-2009 03:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lukkucairi (Post 410532)

:D what a mighty army!

brightpearl 08-13-2010 11:02 AM

ahem.

*bump*


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