Friday, April 06, 2001

Thursday, April 05, 2001

Wednesday, April 04, 2001

"Build a man a fire and he'll be warm for a day. SET a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life" - Terry Pratchett
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Tuesday, April 03, 2001

Todays mystery thought is: Just how much time do you save at the urinals if you are wearing boxer shorts? I'll pass this over to Dr Dipper, who I'm sure will be able to answer this.

Monday, April 02, 2001

Today on Ask Dr Dipper Why do Men have nipples??

1) It has been argued by many scientists, including most notably Matt Ridley (1994) that all organisms began as asexual. The development of sexual species occurred because a sexual
species has certain survival advantages. Bearing in mind that each step away from the point where all members of a species were identical must be 'repaid' by a selective advantage the
question "Why do men have nipples?" becomes rather simpler.

Since the natural condition of both sexes would be to have only different sex organs to allow the interchange of genes and the nurturing of young, any other differences that arise must have
significant advantages to confer. So the question is not why do men have nipples? But rather "What advantage would a nipple-less man have over men with nipples?" It is true that part of the
reason why men and women have different shapes is to assist in identification of the different sexes, but the removal of the nipples would not represent a significant improvement since the differences between the two sexes are sufficiently well made out through shape and cultural reinforcement. Male nipples do not pose a significant threat to the health of the male, whether fighting or susceptibility to diseases or cancer.

In short, a nipple-less male has no advantage in natural selection, and would not develop. The question itself is being asked of a system that does not choose the best, but trims off the least effective.

2) Although we have now come to accept that men have nipples, a little-known fact is that until the 1930s men did not wear nipples. As our grandparents will remember, the world was a much less consumer oriented place, with the primary male drives being social or personal advancement. The use of the nipple among women, begun by the Romans, was restricted to women, whose role was seen as more dilatory and ornamental.

The first use of nipples was seen among those persons associated with the pro peace agreements of the then League of Nations. the nipple became a symbol of pacifism because of its feminine associations and the fact that the wearing of nipples meant disqualification for military service.

The turning point came in 1939 when the spectre of fascism rose over Europe. Although many people remained committed pacifists, a large proportion of objectors signed up for military service in deference to the special nature of the conflict against rampant aggression. Over the course of the war the symbolism changed to that of taking up arms against an aggressor, and was seized upon by all Allied forces as the inverse of the Swastika.

(War-time propaganda)

Interestingly, in Russia, the symbolism of the nipple was combined with the existing notion of 'mother' Russia to produce the 'Propaganda Cow'; perhaps because cows have such large nipples. Very few propaganda cows remained in the post Stalin years because Kruschev thought they had made fun of him as a child. Almost all examples were subsequently erased from Russian history.

(rare example of the Propaganda Cow, taken from turret of T-34 in the 1st Shock Army museum, Kiev)

The male nipple fell more out of favour during the post-war years as the World tried to put the War out if mind. It returned briefly during the flower-power period along with army coats and military chic. The most famous example being the period where John Lennon wore Yoko Ono's nipples during their bed protest for peace at the Hilton.
It was only a matter of time before the change in western industry from product to consumer focus gave rise to the principle of creating markets. Nipple manufacturers got on board the Reagan ticket with the largest campaign contribution in US election history. The subsequent laws ruling the retroactive adjustment of historical texts to show all men having nipples was rushed through Congress on the back of a nuclear treaty. From that point it was only a matter of time before wearing nipples became first accepted, and then eventually a mandatory part of births in hospitals, like tying the umbilical cord. Objections to this process were brushed off as 'male chauvinism'.

The only place not affected by the move to universal nipple suffrage was the comics industry. For years they slipped pictures of men without nipples past the censors in the grand old tradition of left-wing underground behaviour in this often unrecognisedly rebellious artform. Comics have been left to continue doing this by the now incredibly powerful 'nipple industry' to keep the story away from the front pages.

(comic nipple)

Claims that nipples are associated with breast cancer have been denied rigorously, but never officially checked.

Best Regards,

Tamlan Dipper

testing. thinngs ain't working properly. stories disappearing. WAHHH