This Friday sees the release of Charlemagne: The Omens of Death, the second metal LP by actor/secret agent/metal musician Sir Christopher Lee. Death and Taxes has song clips and a video where Lee "shares the inspiration for his calling as a metal sorcerer."
We've got a lot of methods of birth control at our disposal, and on principle, we are big fans of all of them, because dang it, family planning is a good thing. Yes, we are fans of things for boring reasons sometimes. Despite our best laid plans, though, accidents still happen. That's why it's always good to have a backstop, and for many women and couples, that backstop is Plan B. Also known as the morning-after pill, Plan B can prevent an egg from ever being fertilized. We repeat, since there's been some confusion...you know what? Just check out the above video from AsapSCIENCE, who once again just knock it out of the park with snappy answers to our stupid questions. Oh, and also brightly colored pictures. We like pictures.
I'll be honest, it's been a while since I sat in a science class and my brain has refused to retain most of what I learned when I did. Though mostly, I don't care how things like the pill or Plan B work, just that they do work. But in case you're curious (or forgot), here's a great animation from AsapSCIENCE showing you what goes down in your body.
(via The High Definite)
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Beginning in the 1960s, the introduction of hormonal birth control pills introduced modern family planning to the world, preventing unwanted pregnancies and generally making the world a better place for everyone concerned. It turns out the pill may do even more than that, though. A new study shows that taking hormonal birth control before menopause may improve women's cognitive function later in life, leaving them sharper and more mentally "with it" than peers who weren't on the pill.
Upon hearing there's a bar that offers pregnancy tests in the bathroom, you might think they're trying to make some really terrible joke about taking someone home after a few beers and having unprotected sex. In actuality, they're concerned with women who had sex before stepping into their establishment. That's right. One Minnesota bar wants to prevent you from drinking while you're pregnant. Thanks for the concern, I guess?
Wouldn't it be absolutely wonderful if the burden of using the majority of contraceptive options didn't fall almost totally upon women? Thanks to an innovative birth control method involving a gel that is applied directly onto men's skin, reliable male contraceptives may not be a pipe dream any longer.
Whenever amendments, resolutions, and other such proposed laws attempt to strictly include fertilized ova as persons in attempts to make abortion illegal, it is pointed out, and rightfully so, that not only does medically defined pregnancy not begin until that fertilized ova travels down its Fallopian tube and implants in the wall of the uterus, that the majority of birth control methods prevent implantation, rather than fertilization. Meaning, that such personhood amendments would actually outlaw an overwhelmingly large number of birth control options for women. Plan B, and other "morning-after" pills, however, usually get left out of those discussions, since it's generally understood and even written on the box that they flat out prevent the implantation of fertilized ova instead of preventing fertilization.
But as the New York Times recently looked into, scientific studies show that morning after pills don't work that way, and the FDA was straight-up labeling the boxes wrong.
The day after hilarious radio personality Rush Limbaugh called Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke a "slut" and "prostitute" who should make videos of herself having sex if she wants access to birth control pills (to show everyone she's using them, you see), Fluke has issued a response, she received a phone call from the President, and sponsors have started dropping their ads from Limbaugh's show. Sorry guys, we couldn't let this one go. But let's look at the support Fluke has been receiving since this infuriating thing happened. (Don't worry, there is lots of support.)
Well, it's about time they came forward and explained themselves! Courtesy of Funny or Die and a delightful group of actors (Nick Offerman, Tim Meadows, Judd Nelson, Kurtwood Smith, Ray Wise, Corey Stoll, and Brian Flaherty) those poor, misrepresented men finally get the opportunity to explain exactly why they are better at talking about women's health issues than women are. Full disclosure, I could only watch about 28 seconds because I started to have my period. I always have that!
Previously in Women's Health
This piece, worn by Eric, an IT director, is an all-encompassing celebration of pride, equality, and tolerance -- displayed in the nerdiest maner possible: binary. That portion reads as follows: “All men and women are created equal." (via Fashionably Geek)
Thank you, Amy Poehler, for coming back to Saturday Night Live to visit your old castmate and this week's host, Maya Rudolph, so you could join your old Weekend Update co-anchor Seth Meyers in a segment we like to call: OMG THANK YOU WE'VE BEEN UPSET ABOUT THE BIRTH CONTROL DEBATE ALL WEEK AND YOU SAID EVERYTHING PERFECTLY. Thank you, also, Saturday Night Live writers.
"Don't tell me what to do!"
(via Saturday Night Live)
Birth control has been in the news as of late. President Barack Obama has compromised today by saying his administration will not require religious institutions to provide free contraception to their employees using their health insurance but that employees may still obtain it from their insurance directly. Of course, there have been debates, but something interesting ThinkProgress.org observed? Cable news has been talking to more men than women about the proposal. Which is weird, because I don't know any men who take birth control to prevent conception...
Before you become concerned about what the phrase "birth control affects women's memory" might mean, we'll get right to the point. Scientific research from UC Irvine (published in the September issue of Neurobiology of Learning and Memory) has shown that women who take birth control pills have reported changes in their memory functions -- they can actually remember some things more clearly, specifically emotional events. It is related to the hormones affected by the Pill and the left side of the brain. Now, scientists are saying that estrogen might explain the differences between what women remember and what men remember.
Today in "Congratulations, Government! You've finally done the really obviously right thing to do!": According to CNN, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is requiring that, as of August 1st, 2012, all new health insurance plans are required to cover a number of women's preventative services, including birth control. Someone finally realized that it's cheaper to not have babies when you're not financially prepared to do so. Good job, Government!
Flying deep under the radar is discussion about an injectable birth control option for men. Yeah -- an article was published on Wired in April, and then it quickly vanished into nothingness. But it's true: An Indian scientist has been devising a birth control method for men that is basically a temporary vasectomy. No surgery, just an injection into the vas deferens (after a local anesthetic) that can be reversed with another similar injection. So, why wasn't there a huge deal made about this?