“Luke Cage” Breaks Netflix

Luke Cage on Netflix (Metro UK)

Luke Cage on Netflix (Metro UK)

Marvel’s newest superhero Luke Cage only arrived less than two weeks ago, but he’s already made a name for himself. And not just for his heroic deeds.

The titular character’s thirteen-episode first season dropped on Friday night, Sept. 30th. Not even a day later, Netflix received so much traffic that the site went down for two to three hours on Saturday afternoon. The outage affected the U.S. and most of the UK.

It’s posited that so many viewers streaming the new series at the same time led to the site crashing.

If anything, Netflix’s crash proves that there’s a very real audience for non-white superheroes that’s been underserved for far too long. I hope the success of “Luke Cage” changes that.

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Almost 50% of British Women Can’t Identify the Vagina

Female reproductive diagram (Pinterest)

Female reproductive diagram (Pinterest)

Well, this is alarming. A new study that surveyed 1K British women found that only 56% of women could identify the vagina from a medical diagram. For those of you who can’t do math, that’s 44% of women who can’t identify the vagina. And that’s way too high.

By contrast, nearly 70% of women could identify the male reproductive organs from a diagram. (Full disclosure: this was me in fifth grade health class. But then I got some knowledge.)

The study turned up some other things to note: Less than 30% of women could correctly identify all six parts of the women’s reproductive system from the same diagram. Also, only one in seven women were able to name a cancer that affects the reproductive organs. (The study was done by The Eve Appeal, a UK-based gynecological charity in awareness of September being Gynaecological Cancer Awareness Month.)

The study also turned up the interesting note that women ages 65 and older were most likely to have scant knowledge of their reproductive organs, with less than one of four women able to name even one part. This might speak to a divide in sexual and health education between generations.

Not to be dramatic, but knowing this information could save your life, or the life of another woman you know.

 

 

France Outlaws Paying for Sex

French prostitutes (The Independent UK)

French prostitutes (The Independent UK)

Earlier this month, France made a major move: The country has now made paying for sex illegal.

If someone is caught paying for sex, they’ll be fined up to $1.7K for a first offense, and up to $4.2K+ for a second time. The offender may also be required to attend classes on sex workers’ conditions.

France isn’t the only country to pass a measure of this kind, or even the first: The country follows in the footsteps of the U.K., Sweden, Iceland, and Norway.

Advocates of the new ban claim that this will help sex workers get out of the trade. But sex workers are opposing this new measure, reasoning that it will expose them to more violence.

It’s estimated that France has between 20K to 40K sex workers. (Naturally, it’s difficult to get an accurate count.)

Sex & The ’60s: Joan Holloway Inspires Brits to Get Boob Jobs

'Mad Men' season 1 still with Christina Hendricks (The Telegraph UK)

‘Mad Men’ season 1 still with Christina Hendricks (The Telegraph UK)

This week, we’re examining sexuality data from the 1960s, in celebration of the upcoming final half-season of “Mad Men” beginning Apr. 5th.

Happy Friday! Bombshell Joan Holloway (and the gorgeous actress behind the character, Christina Hendricks) has become well-known for her dangerous curves throughout the course of “Mad Men.” (That’s not editorializing, that’s a fact, and everyone agrees.) In Britain, Hendricks is credited with sparking an increase in breast implants.

In a 2011 article in “The Telegraph,” the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) found that the number of women having “breast augmentations” rose 10%+ in 2010 from the 2009 figure. This equals out to 9K+ British women per year.

The BAAPS estimates that overall plastic surgery procedures have tripled from 10.7K+ in 2003 to 36.4K+ in 2009.

A BAAPS source suggested that Hendricks was an influence, especially with the hourglass figure coming back into fashion. But the source wasn’t the only one to name-check Hendricks for her curves. Britain’s Equalities Minister and Liberal Democrat MP Lynne Featherstone proclaimed Hendricks to be “fabulous” while urging the need for more curvy role models. And she would know: Featherstone was voted the “most fanciable MP in Parliament” in 2010.

 

How Big is The Average Penis?

Sewing tape measure (Gika Rector)

Sewing tape measure (Gika Rector)

Happy Friday! Men, I’m sure you’ve all worried about your size at some point, right? (No royal we here, since I’m not a man and therefore have never had this particular worry.) Depending on your mood today, you may or may not want to read on.

Scientists have (once again) figured out the average penis size. But this time, they’ve really got it down. (Some might say to a science.)

British researchers looked at a pretty comprehensive sample size of 15K+ men from the U.S., Asia, Europe and Africa. The men ranged in age from 17 to 91 years old, and most of them were from either Europe or the Middle East.

The results, published in the “British Journal of Urology” and fittingly titled “Am I Normal?,” found the following:

The mean length of a flaccid penis is 3.6 inches, and the mean length of an erection is 5.16 inches. An average guy’s erect circumference is 4.5 inches.

(How many dudes are frantically measuring right now?)

Here’s more reassurance, per The U.K.’s “The Guardian:”

In reality, only 2.28% of the male population have an abnormally small penis, said the study – and the same percentage an unusually large one.

Over 97% of men have an average-sized penis. This also means that we can assume a normal distribution (or bell curve) in terms of distribution.

Breathing easier now?

To find these numbers, the researchers examined variables from 20 previous studies on penises (culled down from 96 original studies) to construct a “nomogram,” a graphical representation that’s supposed to include all ages and races of men’s genitalia.

The study is the first of its kind to “combine all existing data on penis length and girth into a definitive graph.” It’ll be used by doctors to reassure men from size anxieties.

Here’s one of the graphs related to penile length:

Penile length graph (The Guardian)

Penile length graph (The Guardian)

However, the researchers have admitted there are some flaws to this study. One is that size differences between the races can’t be compared equally, because the sample sizes of each race were not equal themselves.

And then there’s this flaw:

They acknowledged their results may have been somewhat skewed by the possibility that men who volunteer to be examined may be more confident in their penis size than the general population.

But I’m sure that’s just part and parcel of the entire package (sorry, couldn’t resist). Either way, 97%+ of men can now rest easy.

 

 

Lucy and Maria Aylmer: How Many Twins Look Racially Different?

Twin sisters Lucy and Maria Aylmer (BoredPanda)

Twin sisters Lucy and Maria Aylmer (BoredPanda)

This week, the Internet has been fascinated by a set of English fraternal twins Lucy and Maria Aylmer. But there’s something special about them: Lucy has pale skin and red hair, while Maria has brown skin and brown curly hair.

In other words, one twin looks white, and the other twin looks black.

Their parents have a mixed racial background: their mother is half Jamaican, and their father is white.

Occasionally, stories like theirs pop up every now and again. In 2009, another British mixed-race couple produced not one, but two, sets of identical twins who each looked very racially different from their sibling.

But how common is this?

Unfortunately, there are no statistics that track this. From “The Associated Press:”

The phenomenon is so uncommon that there are no statistics to illustrate its probability, although it is thought likely to become more common because of the growing number of mixed-race couples.

To give you an idea on exactly how uncommon this is (using numbers!), Dr. Sarah Jarvis of Britain’s Royal College of General Pracitioners, said in 2009 (though it still applies today):

“Even non-identical twins aren’t that common. Non-identical twins from mixed parents, of different races, less common still. To have two eggs fertilized and come out different colors, less common still. So, to have it happen twice must be one in millions.”

But that’s just a guess, though the BBC reported chances closer to 1 in 500 in 2011. We won’t know until we actually start tracking the numbers.

Thursday Trends: Plus-Size Models in Mainstream Media

Tess Munster (Bustle)

Tess Munster (Bustle)

It’s safe to say that plus-size models are having a moment in the spotlight right now. The fashion industry has finally cottoned on to the fact that most women are not a size -2 (which is rarely found in nature), but that more “normal”-sized women representative of the American public might want to see themselves depicted (and desired!). And the inclusion will also sell more for said fashion companies, so it’s a win-win all around.

We can trace this development to late last year, when the Pirelli calendar unveiled its 2015 edition. Candice Huffine made history as the first plus-size model to grace the legendary calendar’s pages. She broke a tradition stemming from 1964 of using the usual thin models to usher in a new year and a new outlook on beauty standards.

Speaking of beauty standards (more like #effyourbeautystandards), plus-size model/retro bombshell Tess Munster (now Tess Holliday) recently became the first plus-size model to sign with the U.K.’s MiLK Model Management. She’s now the first plus-size model signed to a mainstream agency, in the Curves division, and the first one within Curves above a size 20 (she’s a 22 and stands at 5 ft. 5 in.). Munster cuts a distinctive figure, with bright red wavy hair, alabaster skin and lots of tattoos. She’s been around for awhile, and was named a top plus-size model in the world by “Vogue Italia” in 2013. That same year, the “body positive activist” began the aforementioned hashtag to encourage women to love their bodies at any and every size. She also participated a video in which she and other plus-size models recreated Beyoncé’s music video for “***Flawless,” called “#everyBODYisflawless.”

Fashion blogger/model Nadia Aboulhosn was one of these models. She’s gained attention and press for her fashion prowess that’s all about the street style. The half-Lebanese stunner first drew notice when she won American Apparel’s XL Model Search in 2011.

Perhaps the most mainstream seal of approval, “Sports Illustrated” selected a plus-size model for this year’s Swimsuit Issue: Model Robin Lawley is a size 12. Lawley had previously been on the cover of Australian “Vogue,” as the first plus-size model, and was the first plus-size face of Ralph Lauren in 2012. But even though she’s plus-size by fashion industry standards, she still looks…well, like a normal tall, curvy girl. Like a model.

Let’s hope that plus-size women gaining visibility in the fashion world isn’t a one-time trend, and eventually becomes an unremarkable norm encompassing diverse shapes and sizes.