Rats prefer sexy underwear over nakedness – Paula Halifax

I’m all for interesting studies being done, but this one is a little out there, even for me.  According to a study done by researchers at Concordia University in Montreal, male rats prefer to have sex with female rats in lingerie.

Let’s break this down a little more.  12 virgin male rats were allowed to have sex with female rats wearing specially designed jackets.  The sexcapades were repeated multiple times.  The last time, the rats were put in an open field with a mouse who had the jacket on and a mouse who did not.  It appears more of the rats preferred the mouse with the jacket on and they “stroked” the jacket with their whiskers.

Not to stop there, the experiment was repeated again, with some slight variations.  The second test, they took 12 more virgin male rats, allowed them to have sex multiple times with female rats wearing jackets, then with female rats not wearing jackets but the non jacketed females were not as sexually receptive.  Once again, placed in an open field with jacketed and non jacketed females, the male rats ejaculated quicker and ejaculated more with the jacketed females.

Their overall findings were that the male rats could learn to associate the jackets with sexually pleasing encounters.

My scientific mind would have liked to have seen a third trial.  Where 12 more virgin rats were placed with non jacketed, sexually responsive females and then with jacketed, non-sexually responsive females, and then see which female those males chose.  Let’s face it, is it about the jacket or about the sexual response of the female that excited the male rats?

Bottom line, ladies, if you’re sexually responsive AND wear lingerie, it looks like you’ll make men happy!

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Fireballs shooting from your wrist like a Superhero? Now you can! – Paula Halifax

Is your inner Superhero craving to come out?  Ellusionist Adam Wilber is making it even easier with is Pyro Fireshooter.  Pyro is a wrist worn, James Bond style device that allows you to give the appearance of shooting fireballs out of the palm of your hand.

The unit fits on the underside of your wrist, so your palm remains completely empty.  With a remote control you keep hidden in your other hand, just give your fist a squeeze, and fire will shoot out of one of the four separate chambers.

Safety is important and great care was taken not only in the manufacturing of the unit but in the training DVD that comes with it along with a protective sleeve.  It is not a toy and can only be purchased and used by adults, you know, being shooting fire and all.

At $174, it is not a cheap “toy” to own, plus you have to supply batteries and additional flash cotton and flash paper, but, let’s face it, does any of it really matter when you get to look like a Badass Superhero?

Lego offering beauty tips? Is Fashion close behind? – Paula Halifax

Legos; the toy building blocks parents curse when they step on one in the dark, has been taking steps to change their image over the last few years, trying to cater to both genders, not just boys.  Perhaps those steps are going just a little too far.  In the March-April edition of Lego Club Magazine, there was a page offering “Emma’s Beauty Tips” where they offer the readers tips on picking the best haircut for their face shape and encourages them to “experiment with bows, barrettes, and headbands!”

The Danish Company, founded in Billund, Denmark by Ole Kirk Christiansen had been, up to about 2008, notoriously geared towards boys.  After a few hit and misses, in 2011, they launched Lego Friends, a product geared towards girls.  While still keeping the creative construction element Legos are known for, they have softened the faces, making them more realistic, added brighter colors to their pieces, and made the sets more focused on activities girls would be interested in.

Lego Friends doubled the company expectations their first year and have continued to grow in popularity.  While parents are not questioning the choice to introduce sets like beauty shops, cafés, and more accessories, what has them up In arms in their choice of offering beauty tips with toys geared towards the age ranges of four to twelve years old.

The article in question also included tips on blow drying or brushing your hair.  This is not the first time Lego has been brought under scrutiny for what some parents consider a “sexist” attitude towards the differences in their products targeted for boys and for girls, but in an age of beauty identification, many feel they have taken it too far.  The magazine has girls questioning their face shape and wondering if their hair style is appropriate.

With all of the backlash Lego received, they have since changed their page 5 article.  It is now a fill in article about choosing an ice cream flavor.  Maybe next month they will have an article about choosing the right outfit to go with a girl’s body shape to go with that ice cream!

Lego Friends Heartlake Hair Salon

Lego Friends Heartlake Hair Salon

How to travel long distances safely with your dogs in the summer – HaliPawz

I travel from Kansas City to Michigan quite often in the summer months with my dogs.  It is a 13+ hour drive.  While I do not mind the drive, my biggest concern is about the health and welfare of my dogs while traveling in high heat.  It is possible to travel long distances safely with your dog in the summer months, but you must be smart about it!

The first thing to do is to make sure your pets are healthy.  You should never travel long distances with a sick pet, especially one where their breathing may be restricted. Make sure they are up to date on all of their shots and licenses.  Check their collars and leashes to make sure they are in good condition.  If you normally walk your dog(s) with a harness, make sure you have them out and ready to go.  Check your dog food amounts.  Do you have enough for the whole time you are going to be gone?  To make things easier for me, if I am going to be gone for a week to ten days, I will just go and pick up a bag the appropriate size for the trip and then pack one serving out of their opened bag into a zip lock baggy.  This way, I don’t have to worry about open bags of dog food in the vehicle.  You should also have one or two emergency leashes, the type that just slips over their head, in case of a collar or leash breaks.  I have an extra one for each dog.

Make sure your dog(s) are used to riding in the car and riding with each other if you have more than one.  Start taking them with you when you are running errands, keeping in mind the temperature out and being careful.

Because I travel often with my pets, I have a bag with toys I only give them when I travel, collapsible dog food dishes, extra emergency leashes.  Be considerate of others if you are planning on staying in a hotel at all.  Pack toys they can play with without making a lot of noise.

On the day of travel, try to keep your stress level low.  Dogs are sensitive to stress and it is important to keep their stress level down. Try not to medicate your dog with any medicine to keep them calm.  I know some people will give their pet Benadryl or something equivalent to relax them.  While I understand you can not have your dog running around when you are driving but you also want them to be able to breath without any issues, so consider a seat belt or a travel crate over medication.  Benadryl can cause rapid heart rate and rapid breathing, which is not good when it’s hot out.

Ugh!  I hate packing!

Ugh! I hate packing!

Have plenty of water.  They may or may not drink a lot when you are in travels, but you want to make sure they have water available at all times.  I like to use a small insulated cooler because it stays stable due to the weight of it and it keeps the water from splashing around.  Both of my dogs can drink easily out of it.  I also like it because it holds enough water so I don’t have to put my dogs through changing water multiple times and I don’t have to use bottled water.

Starting out isn’t bad because you either have the air conditioner on or the windows down, the potential dangers hit when you have to stop.  Think about your stops.  Try to minimize the amount of time you’ll be stopped during the day, when the sun is up.

Ready to go!

Ready to go!

Are we there yet?

Are we there yet?

Here is what I do to keep the dogs safe while I am making the necessary stops.

When stopping at a gas station, look for one with a full canopy over all of the pumps if you can.  It shades the sun from getting into the car.

Roll the windows down as much as you can in the back without it being so much that the dogs can get out.  Do not just “crack” the windows.  Get them down enough so they can get their nose out the window if they need to.

Do not leave their leashes on them when you are out of the vehicle.  If your dogs are anything like mine, they may jump from the back seat to the front seat and back.  If the leash gets hung up on anything, it could be deadly.

I will usually start the gas, then get the dogs out to start stretching their legs.  I let them walk around with me while the gas is pumping.  Be aware of any liquids on the ground though, as it could be poisonous.

Once the gas is done pumping, I’ll go and walk them in the grass, letting them go to the bathroom, and just overall enjoy being out of the vehicle.

I’ll then put them back into the car but I’ll keep it under the canopy with the windows in the back down and the windows in the front down slightly, just not as much.

Then I run in and use the restroom, grab some snacks if I want them, and get back in the car to take off.  It is so easy to lose track of time looking at things so one thing I do is set my alarm on my phone for seven minutes.  By setting the alarm, I’m able to MAKE SURE my dogs are never left in the car and in a dangerous situation.  Even if I haven’t finished purchasing what I’m getting, I’ll set the stuff down, run out, check on them, and then run back in to finish doing what I was doing.  The other reason for seven minutes is so, if I’m the next in line, knowing it will only be one more minute, I’m good.  Ten minutes could easily stretch to fifteen, so I keep it at seven, that way it is never more than ten.

I am diligent about this.  One time, when I was traveling with my mom and my two dogs, we decided to stop at a chocolate store near the Michigan border.  It was over 85% that day.  I was not taking a chance on their health and well being.  Every seven minutes, I ran out, checked on them, made sure they were perfectly fine, and then would reset the alarm and go back in.  We ended up being in there about 25 minutes.  The dogs were perfectly content.  I did pull them out to walk around one more time, just to be on the safe side, but they were pretty content to get back in out of the sun.

One last word of caution, when you are traveling and stopping someplace for them to go to the bathroom, be aware the asphalt they are stepping out on could be very hot.  Again, always think about the situation, think about the potential dangers, and everyone stays healthy and happy.

Watching out the window

Watching out the window

It isn’t always easy to travel with your pets in the heat of the summer, but it is possible.  Remember, they need to be your first concern.  Water, windows down enough for them, not just cracked, and managing your time will keep them safe!

Happy Travels everyone! 

I'm always happy at Grandma's house!

I’m always happy at Grandma’s house!

The Gunman; my movie review – HaliPawz

I went to see ‘The Gunman‘ at AMC Independence Commons in Independence, MO.  The movie is based on a novel by Jean-Patrick Manchette, directed by Pierre Morel, and starring Sean Penn, Jasmine Trinca, Peter Franzen, Javier Bardem, Ray Winstone, Mark Rylance, and Idris Elba.  Good names, strong director, should be interesting.

Jim Terrier (Sean Penn) is a former special ops soldier working in the private sector over in the Congo.  He’s a trained sniper with orders to take the Minister of Mines out.  After completing the mission, he had to immediately leave the continent, and leave his love interest, Annie (Jasmine Trinca), behind.  We catch up with Penn eight years later, back working in the Congo, this time for a good cause.  It appears he is trying to right all of the wrongs (killings) he had done in the past. While working, an attempt is made on his life and the remainder of the movie is focused on him trying to figure out WHO is trying to kill him, WHY they are trying to kill him, and him trying to stop it.  All the while, he is dealing with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) leading to early onset Alzheimer’s.  While in the process of reuniting with his former security team, he learns Annie went on to marry Felix (Javier Bardem).  Felix was the one who had ordered Terrier to kill the Minister and had assured him he would take good care of Annie.  Terrier also learns there is an ongoing investigation on the killing of the Minister of Mines and that Interpol is looking for him and the others involved.

The beginning was difficult to watch.  When the actors spoke, they sounded muffled, more so than just because they are talking in low tones; the images moved fast, almost giving you a swim feeling.  I was concerned about it being like that throughout the whole movie.  Luckily, it wasn’t.

After about the first fifteen minutes, the movie caught my attention and kept it throughout.  I enjoy good action movies, even if I tend to be a little squeamish at the blood scenes! I am what you would call a “close my eyes, I can’t watch, then I peek through my eyelashes” watcher when it comes to more of the gruesome scenes.  I can’t help it, even when I try to watch, it just happens. I will admit, there were plenty of scenes throughout the movie where I caught myself doing it.  Even when I tried to watch them, I’d flinch, close my eyes, and force them open again!  I’m sure the person sitting next to me was laughing at me!

The attention to detail seemed hit or miss throughout the movie, which was a little disappointing.  In an interview with Collider, Penn shared with them why he helped write the movie and how he worked with different consultants to bring authenticity to various scenes throughout.  This work was evident in the scenes where special op training came into play.  Those details and scenes were good.  The action scenes were suspenseful.  You know something is about to happen, you just don’t know what exactly.

One of the misses in the attention to detail was in regards to the TBI.  It went in and out of staying true to a character who would have this disease.  When it was convenient for him to have symptoms to make the movie interesting, it was front and center, when it wasn’t convenient, it just magically disappeared.  The movie touched on how he had been suffering with the symptoms long before he was ever diagnosed because he wrote everything down and had for years.  He was meticulous in keeping these books safe.  He was a trained killer.  The fact that he lost one of the books in such a sloppy way made for a good movie scene, but was another miss in the attention to detail you would expect from Terrier.

One scene, in particular seemed a little over the top.  It takes place out in a country home that just didn’t seem realistic, from the lack of security, to the number of staff members in the home.  The scene, as a whole, was played out a little long.  It was in this scene Felix gets killed and Annie goes with Terrier.

I was disappointed in how they portrayed Annie.  It was clear the two were in love in the beginning and it was clear from the beginning the feelings Felix had for Annie so it was not a surprise he wanted Terrier out of the way.  What wasn’t clear was how Annie could be such a strong woman to work as a doctor in the Congo during difficult times, yet acted so weak at other times in the movie.  As a doctor, she would have picked up on some of the symptoms of the TBI in Penn’s character, yet there never seemed to be a mention of it, it was as if she was completely in the dark.

We learn Interpol Office DuPont (Idris Elba) had been watching Terrier in his quest to catch up with Felix and the others.  He manages to have a cryptic conversation with Terrier and leaves him his business card instead of picking him up, knowing he was close to leading them to the others.

The last main scene had me confused.  Penn made a phone call to DuPont asking for some backup, but for Interpol to have been so close to him throughout the movie, always tailing him or watching him on camera, help didn’t arrive until everything was over with.  The timing just seemed far-fetched.

sean-penn-in-the-gunman 

All in all, I felt Penn did a great job in the movie.  You felt his emotions coming across the screen.  His character had depth and passion about trying to atone for something he did, even though it was at the direction of someone else and it was his job at the time.

Some of the movie was predictable but I didn’t feel like it took too much away from the movie itself.  Bottom line, as a story, it wasn’t the best.  As an action movie; combining Penn’s acting with Morel’s ability to direct some great action scenes, leads to a pretty good action movie.

 

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Internet Tutorial: Minimizing Game Requests on Facebook – HaliPawz

All too often, I hear the complaint about game requests.  I have mentioned in previous posts it is not always easy to stop a game from sending a request to someone you know doesn’t play, or even more accurately, it is impossible to know who really plays and who doesn’t.  This blog is going to help you minimize the requests because it will stop the recurring requests from your friends who play games you do not play.

This is easiest to do from your desktop / laptop.  You can do it from a mobile or tablet, but you have to switch it to desktop mode.  I have found it to be so much easier to do from the desktop or laptop though.

First step is to go down to the Apps on the left hand side and click on games.

FB Game 1st block

Once there, it will show you the games you play (if any) first, you don’t want to do anything with them.  Under that, there will be your game invites.  You click the X or Ignore next to the games you do not want and then it will ask you if you want to ignore the game.

FB Game Block 1

FB Game Block 2

Then you will click confirm.  Once you click confirm, it will stop that particular game from sending you requests.

As you scroll down, you may see it also listed like this, when you do, just click “Block” and then “Confirm” again.

FB Game Block 3  FB Game Block 4

By doing this, the friends who play the games will not annoy you by sending you continuous game requests and everyone will be happy!

Powdered alcohol is really a thing – Paula Halifax

Remember making Kool-Aid as a kid, or, if you’re anything like me, last week?  Did you ever think to yourself, “If only I could make something stronger this way.”  Well your wish has come true!  Powdered alcohol, called Palcohol, has been approved and is available for all adults of legal drinking age.

Let’s look at some of the pros around this news.  Powder will be a lot easier to store than a bunch of bottles.  It will be lighter, so when you’re stocking up for a big weekend party, you’ll be able to carry it all in the house in one trip.  There are four flavors; cosmopolitan, margarita, vodka, and rum, so those who have a scientific curiosity can start mixing the powders to create their own alcoholic concoctions.  It’ll be a lot easier to hide from the parent’s when they are out of town.

Of course, whenever there is something completely new available, there will be the naysayers wanting it stopped before it can begin.  Some states are already moving to place bans on Palcohol stating potential abuse by minors, afraid they will figure out how to abuse it, because, you know, that doesn’t happen with the regular stuff right now.  There is also fear some may choose to snort it instead of drinking it.  Makes me wonder if there are kids out there snorting Kool-Aid for fun?

Palcohol should be available this summer wherever you go to buy your other liquid libations.  Just remember to keep it away from your Kool-Aid collection, you don’t want to serve it at the next kid’s birthday party by mistake!