October 27th, 2003


(no subject)

alienspacebat pointed me at a lj_nifty post listing the top 50 people that Google scanned when they hit LJ yesterday.

I'm 5th.

I can only assume that this is because (a) I have a lot of posts, (b) I comment on people's blogs and journals and sites off of LJ, listing my journal as my website when I do. (c) my .sig on both Slashdot and Kuro5hin have a link to my journal in them and (d) I rock.

Which reminds me

Off work today. Woke up with one of those terrible headache things and a nose that wasn't so much bunged up as completely non-functional. I set my alarm for 9, woke up again then to call in sick and then slept until 10:30. I'm feeling out of it just sitting here at the computer, and I suspect a day of staring blankly into space lies ahead of me.


Bleh I say!

Any suggestions for ways to get rid of colds?


If you're involved in LARP and people keep asking you what it's all about, and you can't think of a decent explanation, you could do worse than to link them to this piece in The Times, which is actually fairly positive and reasonable about the whole thing.

NYTimes on Genetics/Behavioural link


One needs to be wary of these kinds of studies, partly because researchers drawn toward this field may have subconscious biases of their own. Moreover, many of the studies on the biological basis of homosexuality are flawed by small numbers or by the difficulty of finding valid random samples of gays and heterosexuals.

Still, while the data has problems, it is piling up — there are at least seven studies on twins. If there is a genetic component to homosexuality, one would expect identical twins to share sexual orientation more than fraternal twins, and that is indeed the case. An identical twin of a gay person is about twice as likely to be gay as a fraternal twin would be.

Earlier this year, the journal Personality and Individual Differences published an exhaustive review of the literature entitled "Born Gay?" After reviewing the twin studies, it concluded that 50 to 60 percent of sexual orientation might be genetic.

Many studies also suggest that sexual orientation may be linked to differences in brain anatomy. Compared with straight men, gay men appear to have a larger suprachiasmatic nucleus, a part of the brain that affects behavior, and some studies show most gay men have a larger isthmus of the corpus callosum — which may also be true of left-handed people. And that's intriguing because gays are 39 percent more likely to be left-handed than straight people.

O.K., these theories are potentially junk science until the studies are replicated with much larger numbers. But we also shouldn't ignore the accumulating evidence.

"There is now very strong evidence from almost two decades of `biobehavioral' research that human sexual orientation is predominantly biologically determined," said Qazi Rahman, the University of London researcher who led the blinking study. Many others don't go that far, but accept that there is probably some biological component.

Video Night

Is not on this week, due to most of you being in Whitby.

I'm going to try and get things started again the week after, if people are actually interested...