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She want that Lovey-dovey, That Kiss Kiss 
By Kat Vecomnskie, Staff Writer

In the ever-astute words of the great Aretha Franklin, “Does he love me? I want to know. How can I tell if he loves me so? …It’s in his kiss.” If she only knew the scientific wisdom her lyricist was imparting. Ever wonder why a kiss can turn your knees to Jell-o and give you butterflies, or even better, make you utter those coveted words, “Want to come upstairs?” Why is it that when you kiss your Granny the same thing doesn’t happen? Hopefully.

      There are multiple answers when it comes to the question of why humans kiss. One possible answer could be that it is a learned response like tying your shoes, or realizing women are always right. Some scientists think that it may date back to the age of early humans when a mother would chew her food and, much like a bird, put her lips on her baby’s and feed it the A.B.C. yummies. There is evidence that even after the infants had cut their teeth, the mothers would still put their mouth on the child’s to calm and soothe them. Seems dangerously close to a kiss to me. An NYU anthropologist found that only 90% of humans kiss. That means that, for some reason, there are some poor unfortunate tribes out there that make up the 10% of the population that never swap spit, lock lips, play tonsil hockey, nothing. Sorry about their lives huh?

      Perhaps, however, that is just correlative evidence and not causative. There are other possible reasons for your urge to lay one on that hottie in economics. A study at the University at Albany by Susan M. Hughes, et. al. reveals that "kissing is part of an evolved courtship ritual,” in which multiple factors play a role. They found that males tend to kiss because they felt they’d get something out of it, a.k.a. in order to “score” you have to kiss her first. Females however, tended to use the kiss as a gauge of the status of their relationship and a way of moving said relationship to the next level, a.k.a. I’ll kiss you on the first date, make out with you on the second and ask you up to my place for “coffee” on the third. Lucky dog.

      In an evolutionary sense, most of our traditions and practices, as well as body parts, played some sort of role in keeping us alive as a species and getting us to reproduce. In extreme layman terms, our genes are selfish and what doesn’t promote sex usually gets the boot. Kissing is no exception. It is thought that kissing is part of our mating ritual as humans. The same way a male peacock flashes his Liberacci-esque plumage, male Homo sapiens are judged on their ability to seductively spell their name with their tongue in female mouths. One scientist thinks it is in part because you can “smell” the genes for immunity in pheromones, and a female will want to mate with someone with an immune system that is different from hers, to give their baby the best shot at having a strong immune system. If this is the case and pheromones do play a distinct role, kissing would be a perfect time to “try on” your partner’s for size bcause you are s close. In this respect it is thought that a bad kiss may be enough for some people to end a relationship before it even starts. It makes sense too, a bad first kiss triggers that thought in the back of your head, “if he can’t kiss, do you need to know what else he’s not good at?”

      Finally, there is the most obvious of answers. When done right, it feels amazing. That is because there are thousands of nerve endings in the lips and mouth. Think of all the feeling and sensation you have when chewing gum, you have nearly as many nerve endings in your mouth as you do in your hands, and like wise, in your pants. Kissing feels good because you are caressing and pressing and massaging those nerve endings. Just reading that I bet you got ideas. Ultimately, society has decided that, because kissing feels good, it is “first base” in the game of sex. Good thing because if it had turned out to be high-fives, basketball would be a lot more interesting. 
 

Last Article


San Diego Means “Whale’s Vagina”

Kat Vecomnskie, staff writer 
 

      “What the Fuck Would Jesus Do?” That’s how a New Yorker knows they’re home. Gone are the silent streets and calming cool breezes that lazily blow through palm trees, gone is San Diego. Enter the hazy, chaotic mêlée of Newark airport. A “wthwjd” sticker plastered on the door to the terminal, a homeless individual licking a trash can. It’s good to be home.

      Recently, I felt the need to justify my scientific prowess to my faithful readers of this article, so my lab partner Meaghan Crook and I made a researcher’s pilgrimage to the fruit fly Mecca – San Diego. We attended the 49th annual Drosophila Research Conference and presented our year’s worth of research on spermatogenesis (how sperm is made (genesis) in the body). For the past year Meg and I have dissected the testes out of fruit flies (and a few guys who pissed us off) and stained them with fluorescent genetic tags to examine what genes are involved in forming sperm. The short, fun synopsis of it is, “We make sperm glow.”

      This semester we compiled our data – created a poster explaining our research and presented it to 3,000 international scientists of varying degrees of academia. Our poster was seen and reviewed by researchers from Yale and Oxford as well as our mentor, Dr. James Fabrizio’s old mentor from his post-grad research at University of Pennsylvania. Meg and I were among the meager 40-50 undergrads mixed in with the 3,000 accomplished and eminent biologists of today. We networked and rubbed elbows like it was our job. We also attended presentations and talks about cutting edge genetic technologies and principles. All this is great press for the Mount. It is quite a big deal to have undergraduate students attend an international biological conference and even more, to bring the new and up to date data back to the school so it can be taught to the student body. Overall it is a huge step to bringing good light back to the Mount’s name. It should be high on the priority list to make a greater effort to send more students – from different disciplines – to conferences such as this. While we are a lesser-known college, we are capable, as Meg and I proved, to wrestle with the “big boys” of Ivy League. We are all intelligent individuals and the Mount could get its name out by showcasing its students’ abilities more often. On the whole, it was an amazing and irreplaceable experience, not only personally but professionally as well.  
 

      As a career closing remark, I’d like to thank all the readers as well as the editors and wish all the seniors good luck with all their future endeavors. Also, good luck to all the underclassmen and future seniors – in your hands lies the fate of the world – don’t screw it up.

senioritis break out

CDC ANNOUNCES EPIDEMIC AT COLLEGE OF MOUNT SAINT VINCENT:

ENTIRE CLASS OF ’08 HIT HARD

Kat Vecomnskie, staff writer 
 

The CDC has announced that if the spread of this disease continues the way it has so far this semester, the National Guard will be called in to quarantine the campus. We are nearing epidemic proportions. Symptoms include, but are not limited to: extreme lethargy, lack of interest in daily tasks, general shirking of responsibilities coupled with spurts of anxiety, confusion, depression and elation. In most cases, high levels of THC and alcohol have been found in serum analysis of the patients as well as intense credit debt due to frequent trips to white castle, blockbuster and /or bar tabs. Four and five year seniors on and off campus comprise the demographic of high-risk patients.

      Senioritis, as it has been referred to in medical journals, has been classified as a virus based on the way it is named, however despite efforts made by the NIH and the CDC to visualize the structure of the causative agent, the virus itself still has not been found. Unfortunately, without the structure of the virus itself, research for a cure and vaccine cannot go forward, so the only course of treatment for patients is to just “stick it out”. It has not been found to be deadly, however, the prognosis for the worst cases recorded has been as intense as, “not graduating due to lack of effort,” but this has only been found in the most acute senioritis infections. Symptoms usually can be seen as early as the second week of senior year, but have been known to lay dormant until the student’s return from Spring Break second semester. Whenever symptoms may appear, the professional advice from the CDC is to stay strong and repeat the phrases, “I need to pass to graduate. If I don’t go to at least 2/3 classes a week I will not graduate. I want to graduate. I will graduate. I will start my senior seminar paper way before the night before it’s due.” Slight improvement has been noted in patients who repeated these phrases during intense episodes and flare-ups of the infection. The only other form of treatment is to visit the center for Career Development and Internships in Admin. Room 118 and make an appointment to help yourself find direction and work on your resume, which has been shown to be a therapeutic experience all around.

       If you think you have acute symptoms and are beyond the help of Career Services, and need to seek mental help to cope with the fact that you probably will not graduate on time or will not get a job or find and apartment etc. etc., you may want to visit the Counseling Center in Admin, room 408B.

      Now, in these unstable times here at the Mount, we need to come together more than ever to fight this disease. As detailed in staff writer, Tristan Franz’s article in this issue, we are more than capable of great things when we band together as a campus for a common goal. Let’s stamp out this disease. I WANNA BE ONE LESS! GET A JOB! FIGHT SENIORITIS!


Liar Liar


Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

Kat Vecomnskie, Staff Writer 
 

      That stupid, lint-licking, witch is doing it again. “What did you get?” So what if she got a 97 on the physics midterm; you could think of a few places she could shove her 97 right now. While contemplating the most painful orifice to forcibly insert a graded test, you lie to her face, “Oh, I got the bonus question right, so I actually got a 105.” 105…55, same difference, she doesn’t need to know. As humans, we lie to each other constantly. In fact, it has been speculated that society and humanity as we know it, would not be able to exist and thrive if lies were not a regular part of our daily rapport. For one, presidential debates and campaigns would be rather boring.

      Some of you are probably saying at this point, “Not me, I may fib once in a blue moon, but I hate liars.” Well honey, set aside some money for your future couch time now, because you just admitted you hate yourself. We all lie, multiple times, every single day. We wouldn’t get through daily life without this defense mechanism. In fact, a study   conducted in 2002 by Robert S.Feldman, a psychologist and researcher at the University of Massachusetts Amherst confirms this. In the study, Feldman secretly taped his students while they were asked to have a ten-minute conversation with a stranger. Afterward, each student was asked to analyze their tape and tally how much of what they said was a true and what was fabricated. Strikingly, on average, three false statements were told in the ten-minute time span. Think about it, that’s kind of a lot, but at the same time, when was the last time you actually gave your real name to the guy sitting next to you on the subway?

      Recently, research published in The British Journal of Psychiatry by Yaling Yang, gave insight into the physiological reasons why some people are better at telling tall tales than others. In the study, Yang highlighted structural differences in the prefrontal cortexes of people with a history of persistent lying using magnetic resonance scanning (MRIs). In the prefrontal cortex, there is the gray matter that processes information and white matter that draws connections between different parts of the brain. Yang’s findings elucidated the fact that pathological liars have an increased amount of white matter in their prefrontal cortex. This could theoretically mean that these individuals have a greater ability to make connections between processed information faster and more efficiently. Thus, an honest person who hates their job may hesitate and stutter when asked what they do, but a “liar” who hates their job equally, easily makes the connection between the words, “Pro Wrestler” and “I’m a”. It’s also thought that this increased amount of neural connections is the reason why liars tend to be more creative and imaginative. Yang says because they are able to, “… jump from one idea to another [they] can come up with more random stories and ideas.”

      There is a myriad of reasons and excuses why we lie. Most of them stem from some sort of fear: fear of harm, fear of conflict, fear of punishment, fear of rejection, etc. Of course, however, there is always the ever altruistic, white lie. “No! That dress definitely does not make you look fat at all!” Darla doesn’t need to know that she looks like pre-Subway-diet Jared. It’s too late to do anything about it; she’s already left the house. You lied to make her feel good for the five minutes she has left before she sees a mirror in good light. You’re a good friend. Mostly, however, we lie because it works and we can get away with it, so long as we don’t get caught with our pants down.

It's not easy being Green


She Blinded Me with Science:

The Mount’s Bi-Weekly Dose of Science - with a spoonful of sugar

      Hippie tree-huggers everywhere unite! Go Green! Drive hybrids! Support biofuels! Vote Gore 2012! There are a few things wrong here. In the trendiest revolution to sweep America since the Beatles, (and maybe those obnoxious yellow live strong bracelets), science is being confused with opinion and agenda, be it political, economic or otherwise. I know, what else is new? However the difference between the green movement and say, stem cell research controversy, is that the green movement is hands down, no questions asked, a good thing. What human would look you in the face and seriously say that they like breathing polluted air and drinking cancer water? Ask anyone from Long Island and you’ll be hard pressed to find someone that is willing to drink their tap water without having the words “I triple dog dare ya,” in front of it. But have you ever stopped to think how much good are you actually doing? If you converted your engine to use corn-based ethanol – would field workers in China really breathe easier?  It can be confusing to navigate through the influx of information being nonchalantly thrown at us daily, especially since a lot of it sounds like scientific nonsense that we tried so hard to block out freshman year in our core classes, but for the duration of this article at least, let’s try.

      Looking at biofuels for example, what could be bad about that? Since our generation was old enough to watch Jurassic Park and know what a fossil was, we have been hard wired with the mantra, “burning fossil fuels is bad, burning fossil fuels is bad”. Recently though, that mantra has been amended to, “burning fossil fuels is bad, find new biofuels to burn instead”. A biofuel can be described as anything used for fuel that is made of raw biological materials, such as wood or ethanol. In essence, this always sounded like a good idea. Save the world and trade in your SUV for a van that runs on corn-based ethanol. It may not be a babe magnet, but hey, with all the money you save on gas she won’t mind riding in your corn-mobile wearing that Tiffany’s necklace right? HA! Like you’d buy her Tiffany’s, but that’s beside the point. You may save a lot of money on gas, but it turns out that you won’t be a global gladiator like you thought. In fact, your corn mobile (like the bat mobile but cooler) may be a major cause for increased hunger and poverty levels as well as increasing the effects of global warming. Watch out my ethanol-supporting friend, I hear Al coming for you as we speak. It turns out that in order to make the ethanol, food crops in the US as well as acres of rainforest in the Amazon are being plowed under in order to plant “biofuel crops” such as corn, palm and sugarcane. I’m sure you can see how this is not good already, because the other mantra we grew up with was, “save the rainforest! save the rainforest!” Well, oops, goofed on that one.

      So why was it pushed so hard as a good thing? Because there was a miscalculation. Someone missed a decimal point somewhere. When you burn carbon-based material, that material’s carbon component is deposited into the atmosphere, usually as CO2, which, when levels get out of balance as they are now, can cause things like acid rain, global warming, food in Spellman, all sorts of trouble. What throws those levels off even more is when you clear areas full of trees and plants (like, I don’t know, the RAINFOREST) because photosynthetic organisms take CO2 out of the atmosphere and replace it with oxygen. Remove the plants, there is nothing to remove the carbon dioxide. Supporters of biofuel research claimed that the amount of carbon left in the environment by plowing under crops and cutting down forests for biofuels was canceled out by the fact that they emitted so much less CO2 than fossil fuels. Well that’s good right? It turns out, according to Tim Surchinger, an agriculture expert at Princeton University, “Prior analyses made an accounting error…there is a huge imbalance between the carbon lost by plowing up a hectare of forest or grassland from the benefit you get from biofuels." Not to mention the fact that all this corn hoopla (yes, hoopla) has influenced farmers to plant more corn instead of things like soybeans, which has driven the price of soy. So now the economy is all screwy, people have less crops for eating because they are putting them in their gas tanks, there is more CO2 in the atmosphere then when we started AND we all eat spellman food. Oops again. Morons 4, Earth 0.

      If you really want to “go green”, first of all, stop saying it and start doing it. Don’t throw this newspaper away, use it to wrap a present, or cover a textbook for your little brother (because who are you kidding, you didn’t buy any textbooks this semester). And for God’s sake, don’t just blindly listen and accept things you hear on the news as truth. Stray from facebook for 5 minutes and look it up, I’ll even accept a trip to wikipedia, anything. The best thing you can do for the environment is be informed. For those of you that are adamant about doing something now, check out http://www.worldwatch.org/node/3915 for 10 easy, concrete ways to “go green”.

work

Today is friday, november 22, 2008. I can't belive it's 2008. I remember when it was 1992. Or even 1995. Remember when Prince had that song, "we're gonna party like it's 1999,"? I just feel like time is moving so fast.
I am at work now. I have a job. No, a career. I have a career. I am a Lab Assistant 2 right now, but eventually I will become a biochemist . Hopefully, if not I'll probably become a product engineer 1. That would be completely typical of my life though, all my hopes and goals are usually pipe dreams. I do very little to follow through on them. I don't know why I have no initiative. I wish I had a drive, to do anything really. Sometimes it's amazing to me that I accomplished ANYTHING in my lifetime. You know what I miss? Writing for the paper. I want to do that again. I'm looking through all my old articles, I'm going to post them on here bc i feel like I should have them here..this is my journal, that is my writing. The End.
I don't know if you'll read this....but I got your message. Thank you. I've been trying to figure out how to say that for weeks, but nothing sounded right. I'm sorry it took so long...it meant alot to see your words though.

Dec. 3rd, 2007

i really miss pat. we spent saturday night and sunday together bc i was pathetic and begged him to hang out with me. wow.


reading that.
writing that down.
wow im pathetic.

funny thing is, he is the only one i'll be pathetic for.

i drove him away. i did it on purpose. i knew he would hurt me, i knew i couldn't trust him. he proved that after i told him about what happened in maryland and he said it was my fault. he said i deserved it and it was my fault. i know he's not a knight in shining armor bc they don't exist. he loved me because i was strong. then he got upset bc i wouldn't let him help me. i don't like people bc they all suck. everyone is selfish.

he doesn't care. at all. he doesn't think about me, he doesn't care if i die tomorrow. i texted him, bc he makes me pathetic and desperate, and nothing. even if he thought about me once in a blue moon, a text from me would elicit a response. from the patrick i know anyway. im not his kitty anymore. i'm just some crazy bitch.


i am crazy.
he's right.
everyone is right.
i'm crazy.

wow.

i miss him and i can't stop thinking about him. this is terrible. i want to die even more. i feel completely alone now. completely and utterly alone.
pat broke up with me.

i know i said i wanted it, but i didn;t break up with him bc i do love him. stupid me i was planning how i was going to fuck him or at least make out with him hard as soon as we got into the car...its probably better this way. now i have myself and thats it. thats the only person i can trust anyway.


i miss him.
i hate it.
fuck that.