“Turning a girl into a flower”

A letter from a recent copy of Fortean Times (UK) quotes 19th century Russian writer Maxim Gorky:

“The [university] boys treated the girls with a blatant cynicism and played all kinds of dirty tricks on them. They would catch them out in the fields, lift their skirts up and tie the hems tight with a piece of bast [rope] right up over their heads. This was known as ‘turning a girl into a flower’.”

Gorky speculated that some young women “found this sport pleasant”.

Another datum related to some of my recent posts on female sexuality.

Women Objectify Themselves

In what will probably become a new series of posts on cases of women objectifying themselves, I present:

10 Times Tina Turner’s Legs Were ‘Simply the Best‘”

This is an article from the liberal “Huffington Post” written by one Yagana Shah, a young woman.

Tina Turner

More on “rainbow birds”

I recently wrote about “rainbow parrots”, species in which the colours of the rainbow appear on the bird’s plumage in the same order as in the visible spectrum: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet.

Here is another parrot (Eunymphicus cornutus, the horned parakeet) which shows the apparent effect:

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And the Nyasa lovebird (Agapornis lilianae) from Africa:

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Although I have focussed on parrots, there are some unrelated birds which also show a similar pattern including a number of birds in the tanager family (Thraupidae) or finch family (Fringillidae).

The bay-headed tanager, Tangara gyrola:

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The rufous-winged tanager, Tangara lavinia:

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The blue-naped chlorophonia, Chlorophonia cyanea:

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The chestnut-breasted chlorophonia, Chlorophonia pyrrhophrys:

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And, maybe, the multicolored tanager (Chlorochrysa nitidissima):

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The occurrence of this rainbow effect in birds other than parrots raises the question of whether it is simply a random effect in the colouration of some species, or whether there is some adaptive or developmental reason for their having plumage colours in the order seen in a natural rainbow.

The Christian Wife-Spanking Movement

From the Daily Mail:

The Christian Wife-Spanking Movement

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The not-very-convincing picture from the article is above.

I found this reference on an evolutionary psychology discussion group. One of the first comments was from “Edgar”: “The right of a husband to discipline his wife when she misbehaves has been the accepted norm in almost every culture throughout history up until modern western times …”

Perfect “Rainbow Parrots” Around the World

I have sometimes wondered why it is that scarlet macaws (Ara macao, from South America) show the colours of the rainbow in order. That is, not only does this parrot have “all the colours of the rainbow” but they are in the same order on the body (or at least the wings) of the bird as the colours in a rainbow.

Scarlet Macaw

The order of the rainbow or visual spectrum (red, orange, yellow, green, blue).

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Another parrot, the sun conure (Aratinga solstitialis, from South America) has a somewhat similar pattern of colours as the scarlet macaw, with the colours of the rainbow in rough order, with the reds, oranges and yellows at the top of the bird and the greens and blues on the wings. This conure is probably fairly closely related to the macaws.

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Another South American conure (Aratinga jandaya) also shows plumage colours in the order of the rainbow:

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The eastern rosella (Platycercus eximius), a bird common around here in Canberra, Australia, also has its coloured feathers moving in a fairly orderly way through the spectrum: red, orange, yellow, green, blue ..:

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Below is a picture of the endangered Australian orange-bellied parrot (Neophema chrysogaster):

 

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It also seems to have the same kind of colour order as the spectrum: … orange, yellow, green, blue … (moving upwards from the orange belly).

And another Australian parrot, the mulga parrot (Psephotus varius) also shows a hint of the same order ascending the bird’s body … red, orange, yellow, green? (turquoise?), blue …

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Below is a picture of a parrot (the orange-fronted parakeet, Cyanoramphus malherbi, from New Zealand) which has been described as resembling a “flying rainbow”:

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Another South American parrot, Hapalopsittica fuertesi, the indigo-winged parrot, with a suggestion of a sequence of yellow, green, blue and indigo.

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It is hard to know if these “rainbow birds” just pop up in the parrot order randomly, or whether there is some unknown adaptive value in having the colours of the spectrum (in order) on their bodies. In any case, the effect occurs in a variety of parrot families and all around the world.

Two more “perfect rainbow parrots”:

Amazona oratrix (notice the colours in spectrum order on the wing):

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And the extinct Carolina parakeet (Conuropsis carolinensis):

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“Threshold Game”

Carrying your wife, especially over the threshold, is always good “game”:

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It is a few years now, but I seem to recall doing the threshold thing.

Film girl checks out her own legs

In my last post, I included this picture. The girl on the left is actress Carolyn Farina. I remarked that in my opinion shortish women like Miss Farina do not normally have very good legs. Viz.

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Here is the same woman, as “Audrey Rouget” in the 1990 film “Metropolitan”. She has been to have her legs waxed, along with the other girls, and is admiring her own legs for their smoothness, and maybe shapeliness. Perhaps the director, Whit Stillman, thought his leading lady had nice legs. And who am I to argue with a film auteur?

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Continuing the leg theme, here is today’s Google image (Toulouse-Lautrec’s classic depiction of women doing the can-can, a leg show):

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