"A Plurality of Rigid Members"

Since everyone is posting about this supposed anti-rape condom -- which is obviously an art project, people! It couldn't possibly work as described and shown. If it's like a regular condom, then entry of a penis is just going to crumple it up inside, and if it's shaped like a "female condom" then half of it's going to be obviously sticking out... Geez.

Anyway. To over-kill this topic, it's clearly time for me to ressurect this old post from 1998, for posterity:

US4016875: Penis locking and lacerating vaginal insert

(You've probably seen this one, but it was my jumping off point, so to speak, for the others.)

A plurality of rigid members forming lateral enlargements engage a plurality of housing members having lateral slots to secure the enlargements, springs within the housing press the rigid members distal to the housing to retain the device within a woman's vagina and a blade, which may have barbs on its edge, is pivotally mounted within a slot in the internal surface of the housing.

US4237876: Anti-rape device

An anti-rape device having a hollow housing adapted to be worn within a human vagina. The housing has a front opening and contains a hypodermic syringe having a volume of rape-deterring fluid and a needle facing and aligned with the front opening. Actuator means in the housing are provided which include housing means such as a spring to force the needle through the front opening and inject the fluid, cocking means to cock the device into a position which totally shields the needle within the housing, and prevents action of the spring, and trigger means which automatically releases the cocking means, upon forceful penis penetration of a vagina containing the device, to permit the spring to protrude the needle and inject the fluid into the penis. Preferably, the fluid is a quick-acting, safe narcotic such as scopolamine, or the like to render the rapist unconscious.

(The illustrations on this one make it look like a doorknob mechanism or something.)

US5769090: Female security device

A female security device placed within a vaginal cavity to protect and minimize physical damage caused by physical sexual intercourse. The female security device includes a cylindrical housing including a first open end and a second closed end. The second closed end is inserted deeper within the vaginal cavity than the first open end and an inner surface of the cylindrical housing is able to absorb any fluid dispensed therein.

Pressure sensors are positioned therearound for sensing contractions in walls of the vaginal cavity and a pressure sensor is positioned therein for sensing pressure caused by insertion of an object into the cylindrical cavity. A needle is positioned to extend into the cylindrical cavity for contacting the object inserted therein and retaining a tissue sample of the object.

A microcomputer is connected to the external and internal sensors for determining when an object has been inserted therein and a reservoir is connected for releasing an identification dye to discolor the object upon making such a determination. Furthermore, the needle is able to inject a tissue irritant into the object upon contact therewith and thus cause an irritation to form.

An auditory recorder may also be connected to the microcomputer and activated upon a determination that an object has been inserted therein for recording all sounds occurring during the sexual intercourse and a vibrating ring may be activated at that time to notify the user that the device has been activated.

Figures 5B (captions: VIBRATOR RING 74 and AUDITORY RECORDING DEVICE 72) and 6 (with its illusration of the needle deployment mechanism) are worth seeing. But do not miss figure 8, which illustrates "AIRBAG DEPLOYED AS BARRIER TO PENETRATION."

US4167183: Anti-rape device

An anti-rape device adapted to be inserted into the vaginal cavity of a human female, which comprises a base member to which is attached elongated penis penetrating means which projects outwardly toward the mouth of the vaginal cavity when the device is operationally positioned within the vaginal cavity of a human female. The elongated penis penetrating means is surrounded or enveloped by retractable means which serves to prevent the walls of the vaginal cavity from contacting the penis penetrating means and which is adapted to be retracted upon penetration of the vaginal cavity by a male penis to permit penetration of the penis by the penis penetrating means.

(The illustration shows this one to be one of the more low-tech entries in the vagina dentada sweepstakes. But effective!)

US5620429: Feminine napkin allows external sexual intercourse

A feminine napkin that allows that permits external sexual intercourse. A round bag is attached to the front side of the napkin. The bag is in the size and shape of the vagina to give the husband the same sexual feelings. The round bag has an opening and rings, windings and protrusions, as well as a suitable cream. This bag has also a downward extension for fixing the napkin on the vagina opening when the woman lies on her back. The fixing extension is placed between the rumps and may be coated by an adhesive material. The round bag can be taken off the napkin and disposed while continuing to use the napkin.

Note: country of origin, Saudi Arabia. The above was the abstract. The text of the patent itself goes on to say:

There are times in which the husband cannot engage in a sexual encounter with his wife, for example, when she is in the menses period, having continuous bleeding from her womb, during the period following delivery, when she suffers from vaginitis or a womb ulceration which may become more serious if she engages in a sexual encounter, when there is fear of transfer of infection between the two parties, or in other situations in which a doctor forbits sexual intercourse between the husband and his wife. This also can occur when the woman uses the rhythm method to prevent pregnancy without using contraceptives so that sexual relations are stopped for certain days, or when the woman cannot satisfy the excessive desire of her husband for sex.

As a result, the wife suffer from the feeling of depression since she cannot satisfy her husband's sexual desire, and also results in the husband becoming nervous and frustrated for he cannot satisfy his sexual desie. This causes some husbands to the use isolators and to engage in sexual relations during menses, which may result in infections to the wife. Some husbands may also seek sexual enjoyment from other sources, which affects family relations and raises the possibility of transferring sexual diseases. Many divorce cases and familial disputes occur during the periods when couples are forced to stop love making.

[ ... ] The present invention enables a sexual encounter to occur without taking off the feminine napkin and without inserting the penis into the vagina.

US3913574: Apparatus for sexual restraint of a bull

A method and apparatus for sexual restraint of a bull. A flanged tube is inserted in the bull's sheath and is secured in place by a pin passing through the tube and through aligned incisions in the opposite sides of the sheath. The tube blocks egress of the bull's penis from the sheath and permits a bull of low quality to be used for detecting estrus in a cow without resulting in impregnation of the cow by the low quality bull.

(Make sure you click on "View Images" and see Figure 2.)

US4381000: Device for use in human copulation

A device to be worn by the human male during sexual intercourse to support the penis and delay ejaculation during the act of copulation, comprising a semi-rigid sheath which encircles the shaft of the penis from the base to a point just behind the glans to shield the same from contact with the vagina of the female, and a support harness to be worn about the lower body of the male and support the sheath to prevent its longitudinal movement along the shaft of the penis during copulation. The harness includes an elongate semi-rigid section having a base portion which is located centrally on the lower abdomen of the male above the penis to firmly engage the pubic bone, and a semi-rigid member which extends from the base portion through the crotch area of the wearer and has a terminal end portion which firmly engages the lower vertebra of the spine to form a dimensionally stable support for the penis-encircling sheath. Strap means are provided for securing the semi-rigid support section of the harness to the body of the wearer.

Even the illustrations leave me kind of baffled about this one; the goal of this harness seems to be preventing penetration? Maybe sitting on the other side of the room would work as well and be more fun?

US4722327: Therapeutic apparatus

A therapeutic apparatus for relieving sexual frustrations in women without sex partners which includes a generally rectangular, substantially flat, platform with a pair of longitudinal rails mounted along the axis of the platform. A housing includes a lower flange for being operatively received within continuous slots formed at the lateral interior of the rails for constraining the movement of the housing to back and forth reciprocal motion between the tracks. An assembly is mounted to the front of the housing which includes an elongated, generally cylindrical artificial penis for simulating the look and feel of an erect human male's penis and an annular pad of relatively soft material disposed adjacent the front of the housing and about the base of the artificial penis for simulating the look and feel of a male's pubic hair. A rod is provided with a handle at one end so that the user, once the platform is disposed between the user's spread legs and thighs with the front end immediately adjacent her vulva, can reciprocally move the housing and the artificial penis attached thereto into and out of her vagina until she receives sexual gratification, preferably in the form of an orgasm.

The pictures on this make it crystal clear: it's a dildo on tracks that moves back and forth like a locomotive! The only thing that's missing is a smokestack.
[Update, 2005: note that my amazement at this was because it was quite a few years before fuckingmachines.com...]

US5725473: Sexual aid

A sexual aid including a housing, mounted on detachable legs and containing a motor that urges a dildo, including vibration means, to describe an arcuate path generally coincident with an orifice, such as a vagina. A first stimulator, also containing vibration means, is superposed above the dildo and is urged through an arcuate path concentric with and radially spaced inwardly from that of the dildo, cyclically contacting a clitoris. The sexual aid may include means for introducing a vacuum between the first stimulator and the clitoris. A second stimulator, also containing vibration means, is subjacent the dildo and is urged through an arcuate path concentric with and radially spaced outwardly from that of the dildo, cyclically contacting an anus. The sexual aid includes remotely locatable stimulators that may be placed in contact with a user's nipples and areolae. The sexual aid also provides a vacuum phenomenon between the remotely locatable stimulators and the nipples.

The first illustration of this one is great, especially the wavy lines implying that the dildo is actually much longer than pictured! The pump-action-nipple-suction-cup dingus in Fig. 4 is a hoot, too.

US4961419: Men's underware with penile envelope

An underwear garment that is specially constructed to be worn by men having semi-rigid penile implants. The construction includes not only a general type of a brief but also an athletic model, each of which is adapted to include a specifice type of front panel interior pocket or envelope that is constructed of a plurality of panels of material with each panel contributing a particularly desirable retention function. The envelope consists of outer paneling which exerts significant inward retentive pressure against the body and penis while a next layer of soft, thick batting material provides cushioning thereby to avoid abrasive tendencies of the structure. Finally, the inner contacting panels which directly envelope the penis are formed of a very soft fabric having a smooth surface in actual contact with the organ. The alternative sports model necessitates a stronger waistband elastic which, in turn, requires that a soft fabric window portion be placed adjacent the upper portion of the penis member.

US4564024: Electro-ejaculator probe

An electro-ejaculator probe is inserted into the rectum of a restrained bovine bull. Electrical current is passed from electrodes located on the probe primarily to the nerves controlling erection and ejaculation. As little as possible, current is passed to the nerves registering pain. Electrical stimulation of these nerves results in ejaculation. Voids or pockets in the probe receive any fecal matter which might otherwise insulate the electrodes from the intestine wall. The ejaculated semen is collected for analysis or artificial insemination.

(I just really love the phrase "electro-ejaculator probe.")

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the ongoing horror show

I tend to assume that the stories of looting and armed gangs are blown way out of proportion; if there are 10,000 people "looting" bottled water and bread, and one guy hauling a television, the guy with the TV is the one who's going on the front page. And cops "looting" stores for food and guns tends to sound to me like "cops doing their job". But OMFG:

Anarchy disrupts US storm relief:

Medical evacuations from the Superdome stadium have been disrupted after a gun shot was fired at a rescue helicopter. Suspending the helicopter rescues at the Superdome, a spokesman for the Louisiana ambulance service told the BBC the crowd had grown unruly and he was concerned for the safety of his staff.

Canada has not been allowed to fly supplies and personnel to the areas hit by Katrina:

On tonight's news, CTV (Canadian TV) said that support was offered from Canada. Planes are ready to load with food and medical supplies and a system called "DART" which can provide fresh water and medical supplies is standing by. Department of Homeland Security as well as other U.S. agencies were contacted by the Canadian government requesting permission to provide help. Despite this contact, Canada has not been allowed to fly supplies and personnel to the areas hit by Katrina. So, everything here is grounded. Prime Minister Paul Martin is reportedly trying to speak to President Bush tonight or tomorrow to ask him why the U.S. federal government will not allow aid from Canada into Louisiana and Mississippi. That said, the Canadian Red Cross is reportedly allowed into the area.

Canadian agencies are saying that foreign aid is probably not being permitted into Louisiana and Mississippi because of "mass confusion" at the U.S. federal level in the wake of the storm.

Condi Rice Continues to Shop Up a Storm:

Just moments ago at the Ferragamo on 5th Avenue, Condoleeza Rice was seen spending several thousands of dollars on some nice, new shoes. A fellow shopper, unable to fathom the absurdity of Rice's timing, went up to the Secretary and reportedly shouted, "How dare you shop for shoes while thousands are dying and homeless!" Never one to have her fashion choices questioned, Rice had security PHYSICALLY REMOVE the woman.

Lots of good linkage and commentary from Tom Tomorrow:

We've all made a lot of jokes about the Department of Homeland Security over the past four years. But apparently, the Department of Homeland Security has absolutely no plan for dealing with devastation on this scale, which is supposedly the thing we've all been worried about for four years.

interdictor runs an ISP atop a highrise in New Orleans, and is posting regular horrific updates:

National Guard shoving water off the backs of trucks. They're just pushing it off without stopping, people don't even know it's there at first -- they drop it on the side in debris, there's no sign or distribution point -- people are scared to go near it at first, because the drop points are guarded by troops or federal agents with assault rifles who don't let people come near them, which scares people off. It is a mess.

Interesting thoughts from Charlie Stross about the global economic impact this will have: Katrina aftermath and The real end of the 20th century?

But the economic damage from closing the Port of Southern Louisiana for up to three months is huge -- plausibly equal to 5% of the US balance of trade with the rest of the world. I can't put a figure on that total, but I'd be surprised if it isn't an order of magnitude more than the $25-30Bn insurance costs, and possibly even higher than the cost to date of the Iraq war and occupation ($200Bn).

What are the likely consequences (locally and globally) of blowing a 5% of GDP sized hole under the waterline of the US economy?

Coming up next: cholera!

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Yay, Onion!

The Onion just put their entire archive back online! They used to expire it after two months. You may remember them from such hits as: "Bush: 'Our Long National Nightmare Of Peace And Prosperity Is Finally Over'"; "'I Provide Office Solutions,' Says Pitiful Little Man"; and "U.S. Techno-Industrial Base Eroding Due To Foreign Competition".
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mammal regeneration!

'Miracle mouse' can grow back lost limbs

Scientists have created a "miracle mouse" that can regenerate amputated limbs or badly damaged organs, making it able to recover from injuries that would kill or permanently disable normal animals. The experimental animal is unique among mammals in its ability to regrow its heart, toes, joints and tail.

Details of the research will be presented next week at a scientific conference on ageing, Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence, at Cambridge University. Ellen Heber-Katz, professor of immunology at the Wistar Institute, an American biomedical research centre, says that the ability of mice at her laboratory to regenerate appears to be controlled by about a dozen genes. She is still researching their exact functions, but it seems almost certain that humans have comparable genes.

"We have experimented with amputating or damaging several different organs, such as the heart, toes, tail and ears, and just watched them regrow," she said. "It is quite remarkable. The only organ that did not grow back was the brain.

"When we injected foetal liver cells taken from those animals into ordinary mice, they too gained the power of regeneration. We found this persisted even six months after the injection."

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every sperm is sacred

Pope tells Catholics to multiply

Pope Benedict XVI told Catholics to have more babies "for the good of society," saying that some countries were being sapped of energy because of low birth rates.

"Having children is a gift that brings life and well-being to society," he told about 15,000 people at his weekly audience in the Vatican, to which he arrived by helicopter from his summer residence southeast of Rome. He said the decline in the number of births "deprives some nations of freshness and energy and of hopes for the future incarnate in children."

The pope also spoke of "the security, the stability and the force of a numerous family."

"I can no longer sit back and allow Communist infiltration, Communist indoctrination, Communist subversion and the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids," he did not add.

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Current Music: Fluke -- Bullet ♬

AppleScript question

How do I get the selected text from Applescript? Not the contents of the clipboard, but the text that is currently highlighted in Safari. I thought it should be just:

    tell application "Safari"
      set output to the selection as string
    end tell

but that doesn't do it ("Can't make selection into type string.") Google is not helping me, nor is the AppleScript language guide.

Failing that, how do I copy that selected text to the Clipboard, and then get that as a string? I can't make that work either.

(As always, please only answer if you've actually tried it and seen it work. Not interested in your guesses.)

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