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Journal: mmmmmmmm donuts... 5

Journal by Big_Ass_Spork

Hello, /. community types, disidents, trolls, my fellow americans. It has been a long time no write. In the time since I was last active a lot of shit has happened to me. I left my wife of 4 years. I made new friends, got my own place. Got 4 piercings and a large new tattoo (my 12th). Still write code for the same company. Still have my cat and my hand to fuck (I meant to say I still have my cat and I can always fuck my hand, n/e hoo...).

This is the state of the Big Ass Spork. Living the single life, getting used to being alone...

User Journal

Journal: I am retiring this account 3

Journal by Big_Ass_Spork

I have 666 comments as BAS and would like it to stay that way. So I am going to stop using this account. It has been a nice ride, thanks for all the support these last few years. I Do It Wrong, ASCII GoatSe (not originally mine, but I posted it a bunch...), Random cut and paste crapfloodz, the spectacular (while it lasted) UAG crapfloods made possible by on by, a true hacker, and all the other depressing shit I have posted. Its been real.

VA

Journal: I must either leave /. or change tactics... 16

Journal by Big_Ass_Spork

First this: Karma: Bad (mostly affected by moderation done to your comments)

Then this:

Slashdot only allows a user with your karma to post 2 times per day. You've already shared your thoughts with us that many times. Take a breather, and come back and see us in 24 hours or so.

If you think this is unfair, please email jamie@mccarthy.vg with your username "Big_Ass_Spork".

Surely it has been seen by others in the community. I have written the follow email to Mr. McCarthy in response:

Dear sir,
    I do not understand this new restriction that has been levied against me. I already post replies to articles at -1, removing my input from the view of the general public, now I can not post more than *2ce* a day? I believe this harms more than it helps. I for one will be making disposable account after disposable account. This just fills your user table with a bunch of junk! Let's save VA Software some harddrive space and relax! I have a long list of anonymous proxies, plus I can give myself countless email addies for reg'ing new accounts. What has this accomplished? I have used my BAS account for a long time, now with my CF'ing crippled, I will become the biggest karma whoring SOB there is. When I can post with a +1 bonus, we shall see what kind of posting gets done.

Thank you for your time in this matter,
The Poster Formerly Known As Big_Ass_Spork

User Journal

Journal: Bucha' Concerts!!! 5

Journal by Big_Ass_Spork

Here in El Paso, Texas, there are a shitload of concerts all piled on top of each other! Last night (6/3/2002) I saw the Eagles. I was skeptical at first, not considering myself a big fan. But, it was the best show I've ever been to, and I have seen a lot of bands! Tonight (6/4/2002) I am going to go see Danzig at El Paso's Far West Rodeo. Been a fan since high school (circa 1991), gonna kick copious amounts of ass! My wife and I are still in the air as far as seeing Kid Rock tomorrow, considering the Eagles cost us over $250 after tickets ($85 each), a $50 shirt, beer was $5.50, etc... All in all worth it! We are planning on seeing the Rolling Stones next year, gonna make a trip of it. Love the live rock! /.'ers: What shows are coming through your town? Are you going? Do ticket prices affect your choices?

**UPDATE**
Kid Rock cancelled the El Paso date... Guess that decision was made for me ;)

Handhelds

Journal: Rejected Story: QPOSE. UPDATED. 4

Journal by Big_Ass_Spork
I thought it was interesting anyway...

Here are your recent submissions to Slashdot, and their status within the system:

  • 2002-05-23 18:08:30 POSE Ported To Zaurus (articles,pilot) (rejected)

Summary:

  • rejected (1)

The story:

PalmInfoCenter is reporting that POSE (the Palm OS Emulator) has been ported to the Sharp Zaurus. For more info see the QPose homepage.

UPDATE

This story was stolen from me and attributed to AC see it here.

Perl

Journal: Code Snippets 4

Journal by Big_Ass_Spork
The "Bitchslap" script:

#!/usr/bin/perl -w
# This code is a part of Slash, and is released under the GPL.
# Copyright 1997-2002 by Open Source Development Network. See README
# and COPYING for more information, or see http://slashcode.com/.
# $Id: bitchslap,v 1.3 2002/01/08 17:22:09 pudge Exp $

use strict;
use File::Basename;
use FindBin '$Bin';
use Getopt::Std;
use Slash::Utility;
use Slash::DB;

(my $VERSION) = ' $Revision: 1.3 $ ' =~ /\$Revision:\s+([^\s]+)/;
my $PROGNAME = basename($0);
(my $PREFIX = $Bin) =~ s|/[^/]+/?$||;

my %opts;
# Remember to doublecheck these match usage()!
usage('Options used incorrectly') unless getopts('hvu:', \%opts);
usage() if ($opts{'h'} || !keys %opts);
usage('Please specify a list of User IDs') if (! scalar @ARGV);
version() if $opts{'v'};
$opts{'u'} ||= 'slash';

# We turn off warnings here because it's distracting.
$^W = 0; createEnvironment($opts{'u'}); $^W = 1;

my $slashdb = getCurrentDB();
my $constants = getCurrentStatic();

# main program logic (in braces to offset nicely)
{

    for (@ARGV) {
        my $user = $slashdb->getUser($_);
        if (! $user) {
            print "User ID#$_ is invalid.\n";
            next;
        }

        unless ($opts{'f'}) {
            die <<ERR if $user->{karma} > 10;
User $_ has a karma of $user->{karma}. Slap aborted. Use -f to forcibly slap.
ERR

        }

        print "Bitch Slapping #$_...\n";
        print "Karma Reduced\n";
        print "Default Score Reduced\n";
        $slashdb->setUser($_, {
            -karma        => $constants->{badkarma},
            -defaultpoints    => -1,
        });

        print "ALL live comments moderated down\n\n";
        $slashdb->sqlDo("UPDATE comments SET points=-1,reason=1 WHERE uid=$_");
    }
}

sub usage {
    print "*** $_[0]\n" if $_[0];
    # Remember to doublecheck these match getopts()!
    print <<EOT;

Usage: $PROGNAME [OPTIONS] ... [UIDs]

SHORT PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

Main options:
    -h    Help (this message)
    -v    Version
    -u    Virtual user (default is "slash")
    -f     Force slap.

    [UIDs]    Space separated list of IDs to slap.
EOT
    exit;
}

sub version {
    print <<EOT;

$PROGNAME $VERSION

This code is a part of Slash, and is released under the GPL.
Copyright 1997-2002 by Open Source Development Network. See README
and COPYING for more information, or see http://slashcode.com/.

EOT
    exit;
}

__END__

The "ModSlap" script:

#!/usr/bin/perl -w
# This code is a part of Slash, and is released under the GPL.
# Copyright 1997-2002 by Open Source Development Network. See README
# and COPYING for more information, or see http://slashcode.com/.
# $Id: modslap,v 1.3 2002/01/08 17:22:09 pudge Exp $

use strict;
use File::Basename;
use FindBin '$Bin';
use Getopt::Std;
use Slash::Utility;
use Slash::DB;

(my $VERSION) = ' $Revision: 1.3 $ ' =~ /\$Revision:\s+([^\s]+)/;
my $PROGNAME = basename($0);
(my $PREFIX = $Bin) =~ s|/[^/]+/?$||;

my %opts;
# Remember to doublecheck these match usage()!
usage('Options used incorrectly') unless getopts('hvu:', \%opts);
usage() if ($opts{'h'} || !keys %opts);
usage('Please specify a list of User IDs') if (! scalar @ARGV);
version() if $opts{'v'};
$opts{'u'} ||= 'slash';

# We turn off warnings here because it's distracting.
$^W = 0; createEnvironment($opts{'u'}); $^W = 1;

my $slashdb = getCurrentDB();
my $constants = getCurrentStatic();

# main program logic (in braces to offset nicely)
{

        for (@ARGV) {
                my $user = $slashdb->getUser($_);
                if (! $user) {
                        print "User ID#$_ is invalid.\n";
                        next;
                }

                print "Mod Slapping #$_...\n";
                $slashdb->setUser($_, {
                        -karma        => $constants->{badkarma},
                        -points        => 0,
                        rtbl        => 1,
                });
        }
}

sub usage {
        print "*** $_[0]\n" if $_[0];
        # Remember to doublecheck these match getopts()!
        print <<EOT;

Usage: $PROGNAME [OPTIONS] ... [UIDs]

SHORT PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

Main options:
        -h        Help (this message)
        -v        Version
        -u        Virtual user (default is "slash")

        [UIDs]        Space separated list of IDs to slap.
EOT
        exit;
}

sub version {
        print <<EOT;

$PROGNAME $VERSION

This code is a part of Slash, and is released under the GPL.
Copyright 1997-2002 by Open Source Development Network. See README
and COPYING for more information, or see http://slashcode.com/.

EOT
        exit;
}

__END__
User Journal

Journal: The Turd Report Now a Foe 5

Journal by Big_Ass_Spork
Rigged election results in BAS being reported as tied with AC for gayest /. poster. Libelist bastard. Just because I post certain links and certain pictures:

* g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x *

g g

o / \ \ / \ o

a \ a

t `. : t

s` \ s

e \ / / \\\ -- \\ : e

x \ \/ --~~ ~-- \ x

* \ \-~ ~-\ *

g \ \ .--------.___\ g

o \ \// ((> \ o

a \ . C ) ((> / a

t /\ C )/ \ (> / t

s / /\ C) (> / \ s

e ( C__)\___/ // _/ / \ e

x \ \\// (/ x

* \ \) `---- --' *

g \ \ / / g

o / \ o

a / \ \ a

t / / \ t

s / / \/\/ s

e / e

x x

* g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x *

Does not make me the gayest. I am not even gay. I have straight sex with a woman for Christ's sake. Goddamn it!

User Journal

Journal: January 3rd Fund

Journal by Big_Ass_Spork

WSecond Post! - Props to Egg Troll (Score:-1, Offtopic)
by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 03, @10:32AM (#2778621)
Congrats to THe Turd Report, WIPO Troll & Clerk

[ Reply to This | Parent ]

Re:WSecond Post! - Props to Egg Troll (Score:-1)
by Big_Ass_Spork on Thursday January 03, @10:45AM (#2778686)
(User #446856 Info | http://srd.yahoo.com...epages/Big_Ass_Spork | Last Journal: Tuesday January 01, @08:56PM)
WTF... Am I chopped liver?

By the way, its Klerck.

---
Rosie O'Donnel is a fat piece of ham, as is Wil W. [slashdot.org]
[ Reply to This | Parent ]


MR.AC HAS FORGOTTEN THE SPORK NATION AND OTHERS!!! (Score:-1)
by Retarded_One on Thursday January 03, @10:47AM (#2778693)
(User #518093 Info)
So I will donate some BOLD TEXT, in the interests of Troll peace!!!

[ Reply to This | Parent ]


Re:MR.AC HAS FORGOTTEN THE SPORK NATION AND OTHERS (Score:-1)
by Big_Ass_Spork on Thursday January 03, @10:53AM (#2778729)
(User #446856 Info | http://srd.yahoo.com...epages/Big_Ass_Spork | Last Journal: Tuesday January 01, @08:56PM)
Dear Sir,
Thank you for you generous donation of BOLD TEXT. It will be instrumental in helping the troll cause, any surplus BOLD TEXT is being regifted to help retarded midget masturbaters kick the habit. Pray for our success.

-BAS

---
Rosie O'Donnel is a fat piece of ham, as is Wil W. [slashdot.org]
[ Reply to This | Parent ]


Re:MR.AC HAS FORGOTTEN THE SPORK NATION AND OTHERS (Score:-1)
by Tasty Beef Jerky (`moc.oohay' `ta' `ykrejfeebytsat') on Thursday January 03, @11:04AM (#2778785)
(User #543576 Info | http://www.deliciousbeefproducts.com/)
Excuse me gentlemen,
I was wondering if perchance you needed any ITALIC TEXT as well. I picked some up the other day in preparation for the snow, and it turns out we're not supposed to get any, so I have a large surplus of ITALIC TEXT. If I dig around enough, I might even be able to find some BOLD ITALIC TEXT for you guys.
If any of this will help your cause, let me know. I fully support your efforts.


I'm the tasty treat nobody can resist!

[ Reply to This | Parent ]


Re:MR.AC HAS FORGOTTEN THE SPORK NATION AND OTHERS (Score:-1)
by Retarded_One on Thursday January 03, @11:21AM (#2778858)
(User #518093 Info)
Thank you for your kind donation of ITALIC TEXT! Given the harsh economic climate we are in, we can definitely put it to good use!

I was unaware that any surplus BOLD ITALIC TEXT was available, but Ralph 'Jew hater' Nader is really the expert on that, and may be able to tell us where we can find some!

I do know, however, that we have a chronic shortage of

  • BULLET POINTED BOLD ITALIC TEXT

Please, if you have ANY, send it to the January 3rd Fund, C/O CmdrTaco.


[ Reply to This | Parent ]


Donation to the January 3rd Fund, C/O CmdrTaco (Score:-1)
by Tasty Beef Jerky (`moc.oohay' `ta' `ykrejfeebytsat') on Thursday January 03, @11:36AM (#2778920)
(User #543576 Info | http://www.deliciousbeefproducts.com/)
I will gladly donate all the ITALIC TEXT I have available towards the January 3rd fund. I feel what you are doing will greatly benefit the Slashdot community, and I will gladly offer up my formatting for such a worthy cause.

Unfortunately I too have a shortage of

  • BULLET POINTED BOLD ITALIC TEXT

but while I was searching for my hidden stash, I accidently ran across some

BLOCKQUOTED TYPEWRITTEN BOLD ITALIC TEXT

If this can be of any use, please take any of it included below.

THIS TEXT HAS BEEN INCLUDED AS A DONATION TO THE JANUARY 3RD FUND. I, UNLIKE SOME PEOPLE, SEEK TO HELP THE MIDGETS WITH SELF-GRATIFICATION PROBLEMS. DO YOUR PART, DONATE YOUR SPARE FORMATTING TODAY!


I'm the tasty treat nobody can resist!

[ Reply to This | Parent ]


Re:Donation to the January 3rd Fund, C/O CmdrTaco (Score:-1)
by Big_Ass_Spork on Thursday January 03, @01:06PM (#2779477)
(User #446856 Info | http://srd.yahoo.com...epages/Big_Ass_Spork | Last Journal: Tuesday January 01, @08:56PM)
Gentlemen,
Thanks to your efforts so far, three little people have stopped their insessant stroking. Barnaby, Peeps, and Rebbe have ceased the self fouling practice.

Donate generously and often to the January 3rd fund. Lets help retarded midgets to stop defiling themselves!

-BAS

---
Rosie O'Donnel is a fat piece of ham, as is Wil W. [slashdot.org]
[ Reply to This | Parent ]

VA

Journal: YAPP

Journal by Big_Ass_Spork
Fucking hell!!!

YeT AnOtHeR PeNiS PoSt...

Malda is *still* a fag.

        dI  Ib
       dpizzaob
      djackoffob
     dbitchslapob
     9kickassbitP
       9 iiii P
      C        )
      I   C    I
      I   o    I
      I   C    I
      I   k    I
      I   S    I
      I   a    I
      I   Y    I
      I   !    I
      P        )
       9      P
       I      I
       I      I
       I      I
      d        b
....som        eti
...mesI        supr
..iseevenmyselfwitht
.hethingsIdo.likethet
timeIatethatdogmyvietn
amesefriendmadeformeve
.rytasteyshit,adogyum

COCKSAY -- Because being gay is about more than using Linux.
http://www.geocities.com/cocksay/
Unix

Journal: Tofu Sex Aids

Journal by Big_Ass_Spork

Tofu Sex Aids

Discover the Wonders of Vegetarian Self Stimulation
 
Tofu has an organic quality resembling human flesh. I have heard girlfriends divulge its texture as that of the male member when cooked/warmed.

I envision a marketing push by blue chip Tofu Mulitnationals to promote their product in a range of edible sex aids - both for men and women.

The strap - on Tofunator with vibrating multispeed tip would be a hit with lesbian vegetarian extremists who despise 'meat' of both kinds.

Feral type men who often have trouble with penetration due to over-pierced willies can safely 'deforest the untouched valleys' of the silken Tofu vagina.

Also in this range is the 'Falafel-Fist' for the earth-conscious fetish environmentalist, the natural spray on pheromone for shy hippies - 'Chick-Pea Magnet' and of course the 'Lentilly Lace' vegan underwear range - gauranteed to show off those politically hursuit thighs.

Announcements

Journal: Eating Out: Etiquette Do's and Don'ts

Journal by Big_Ass_Spork

Eating Out: Etiquette Do's and Don'ts
 
  Q I have been invited to several holiday parties, many of them work-related and involving a sit-down meal. This may sound silly, but I'm a bit nervous since I don't really know the "proper" way to dine -- which fork to use first, where to put my napkin when I get up from the table. I don't want to embarrass myself. -dianer

  A Dear dianer: I don't blame you for being slightly concerned; there is an unspoken prejudice against those who don't handle themselves well at the table. And with the holidays almost here, all of us will probably be doing more partying and dining than ever. So I've put together a table manners how-to list to help everyone make it through the holidays in the most mannerly manner. Consider it my pre-holiday gift.

Top 10 Dining Mistakes Corrected:

Misuse of silverware: Gripping your fork like a cello and your knife like a dagger are both major dining faux pas. You should also avoid resting silverware partly on the table and partly on the edge of the plate -- one slip and you have a mess. Instead, make sure that once you pick up a piece of silverware, it rests on your plate from that point on and never makes contact with the table again. Another thing to watch out for, when setting the table and while eating: The knife blade should always face in, never out. Lastly, refrain from making any gestures while holding your cutlery; no one wants their dining companion waving pointy objects around.

Misuse of your napkin: The napkin should be used to carefully dab the corners of your mouth. It is not a blotter or a flag. The napkin should be open and spread across your lap during the meal and not put back on the table until the meal is concluded, when you should place it next to your plate. If you leave the table temporarily, place your napkin on your chair, then push your chair back under the table while you're gone.

Leaving lipstick stains: It's bad form, especially at a business meal, to leave lipstick on a glass or cup. To prevent this, try powdering your lips before applying lipstick and (discreetly) blot your lips before drinking. If you don't have a tissue with you, make a quick detour to the powder room for one or use a cocktail napkin from the bar.

Not breaking bread: Buttering an entire slice of bread then cutting it with your knife is a breach of basic table manners. Instead, tear bread into bite-sized pieces and butter each piece right before you plan to eat it.

Seasoning food before tasting it: This sends the message that you don't trust the chef and may be taken as an insult by your boss or whoever chose the restaurant.

Poor posture: Food doesn't go down well when you sit slumped over. And, frankly, you're not as attractive to your dining partner when you do this, either. So sit straight up -- you'll actually feel more comfortable.

Eating too quickly: Whether you're at McDonald's or a fancy restaurant, it's bad for your digestion -- not to mention unattractive -- to gulp food. Since dining with others is a shared experience, dining partners should generally have the same number of courses and start and finish each at about the same pace.

Picking your teeth: If you must remove something trapped between your teeth, excuse yourself and visit the rest room to do so.

Talking with your mouth full: The corollary is chewing with your mouth open. If your mouth has food in it, keep it closed until you swallow. Take small bites, finish chewing, smile ... and then carry on your part of the conversation.

Putting accessories on the table: Simply stated, don't do it. This rule includes purses, briefcases, keys, gloves, hats, cell phones (which should be turned OFF) and anything else that is not part of the meal. Why? It's unsightly and unsanitary.

There are other dining mistakes you can make, of course. Just remember that good manners and courtesy can get you through most meals. One further note about dining: Sitting in a smoking section doesn't give a diner the license to light up between courses. Smoke affects your dining companions' taste buds and sense of aesthetics. If you do smoke, save the cigarettes for after the entire meal, and please, a plate is not an ashtray.

It's funny.  Laugh.

Journal: HOW TO MAKE IT WITH HAMSTERS

Journal by Big_Ass_Spork

HOW TO MAKE IT WITH HAMSTERS

Introducing the most powerful system ever for being successful with
hamsters! Are you fed up with seeing pretty rodents scampering by and
not knowing what to say to them? Do you wish you could walk up to ANY
hamster you choose and set a date?

Well now you can! "How To Make It With Hamsters" is a fantastic new
course that will show you everything you need to know to turn you from
a shy ordinary guy into a highly successful rodents man - guaranteed.

Includes such topics as:

- Opening lines that work like a dream,

- A simple rule that will double your number of pets,

- How to instantly become more attractive to small mammals,

- Be confidant and at ease in any situation,

- How to get hamsters to pick you up!

- How plain men can easily get dates with gorgeous gerbils,

- How to make hamsters fancy you without even trying,

- How to maintain an amazing and enviable pet life,

- And much much more.

Everything contained in this course has been proven in real life
situations and works like magic. Just listen to what some of our
previous customers have to say (copies available on request):

"I can't believe how effective your course really is, the information
in here is dynamite. Hamsters just love me and a can't do a thing
wrong."

"It's amazing, I'm now going out with the hamster I've always fancied
but before now never dared to ask. Thank you so much."

"Before learning your techniques I had tried everything on the market
to make me more successful with rodents - but nothing seemed to work.
Now things couldn't be better and I see a different species every
night of the week."

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

YES! I want to make it with hamsters. Please rush me the complete "How
to make it with Hamsters" course which includes a dynamic hour long
audio tape of animal noises, and an easy to follow guide book. I
enclose a cheque/postal order for £12.95.

Name _______________________ Address _________________________________

__________________________________________________ Postcode __________

Send to:

Dept. FW, Skyline Multimedia, PO Box 4, Bangor, Co. Down, N. Ireland,
BT19 6UP.

Science

Journal: Bonobo Sex and Society

Journal by Big_Ass_Spork

Bonobo Sex and Society

The behavior of a close relative challenges assumptions about male supremacy in human evolution

by

Frans B. M. de Waal

(Originally published in the March 1995 issue of SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, pp. 82-88)

At a juncture in history during which women are seeking equality with men, science arrives with a belated gift to the feminist movement.Male-biased evolutionary scenarios-- Man the Hunter, Man the Toolmaker and so on--are being challenged by the discovery that females play a central, perhaps even dominant, role in the social life of one of our nearest relatives. In the past few years many strands of knowledge have come together concerning a relatively unknown ape with an unorthodox repertoire of behavior: the bonobo.

The bonobo is one of the last large mammals to be found by science. The creature was discovered in 1929 in a Belgian colonial museum, far from its lush African habitat. A German anatomist, Ernst Schwarz, was scrutinizing a skull that had been ascribed to a juvenile chimpanzee because of its small size, when he realized that it belonged to an adult. Schwarz declared that he had stumbled on a new subspecies of chimpanzee. But soon the animal was assigned the status of an entirely distinct species within the same genus as the chimpanzee, Pan.

The bonobo was officially classified as Pan paniscus, or the diminutive Pan. But I believe a different label might have been selected had the discoverers known then what we know now. The old taxonomic name of the chimpanzee, P. satyrus-- which refers to the myth of apes as lustful satyrs--would have been perfect for the bonobo.

The species is best characterized as female-centered and egalitarian and as one that substitutes sex for aggression. Whereas in most other species sexual behavior is a fairly distinct category, in the bonobo it is part and parcel of social relations--and not just between males and females. Bonobos engage in sex in virtually every partner combination (although such contact among close family members may be suppressed). And sexual interactions occur more often among bonobos than among other primates. Despite the frequency of sex, the bonobo's rate of reproduction in the wild is about the same as that of the chimpanzee. A female gives birth to a single infant at intervals of between five and six years. So bonobos share at least one very important characteristic with our own species, namely, a partial separation between sex and reproduction.

A Near Relative

This finding commands attention because the bonobo shares more than 98 percent of our genetic profile, making it as close to a human as, say, a fox is to a dog. The split between the human line of ancestry and the line of the chimpanzee and the bonobo is believed to have occurred a mere eight million years ago. The subsequent divergence of the chimpanzee and the bonobo lines came much later, perhaps prompted by the chimpanzee's need to adapt to relatively open, dry habitats [see "East Side Story: The Origin of Humankind," by Yves Coppens; SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, May 1994].

In contrast, bonobos probably never left the protection of the trees. Their present range lies in humid forests south of the Zaire River, where perhaps fewer than 10,000 bonobos survive. (Given the species' slow rate of reproduction, the rapid destruction of its tropical habitat and the political instability of central Africa, there is reason for much concern about its future.)

If this evolutionary scenario of ecological continuity is true, the bonobo may have undergone less transformation than either humans or chimpanzees. It could most closely resemble the common ancestor of all three modern species. Indeed, in the 1930s Harold J. Coolidge--the American anatomist who gave the bonobo its eventual taxonomic status--suggested that the animal might be most similar to the primogenitor, since its anatomy is less specialized than is the chimpanzee's. Bonobo body proportions have been compared with those of the australopithecines, a form of prehuman. When the apes stand or walk upright, they look as if they stepped straight out of an artist's impression of early hominids.

Not too long ago the savanna baboon was regarded as the best living model of the human ancestor. That primate is adapted to the kinds of ecological conditions that prehumans may have faced after descending from the trees. But in the late 1970s, chimpanzees, which are much more closely related to humans, became the model of choice. Traits that are observed in chimpanzees--including cooperative hunting, food sharing, tool use, power politics and primitive warfare--were absent or not as developed in baboons. In the laboratory the apes have been able to learn sign language and to recognize themselves in a mirror, a sign of self-awareness not yet demonstrated in monkeys.

Although selecting the chimpanzee as the touchstone of hominid evolution represented a great improvement, at least one aspect of the former model did not need to be revised: male superiority remained the natural state of affairs. In both baboons and chimpanzees, males are conspicuously dominant over females; they reign supremely and often brutally. It is highly unusual for a fully grown male chimpanzee to be dominated by any female.

Enter the bonobo. Despite their common name--the pygmy chimpanzee--bonobos cannot be distinguished from the chimpanzee by size. Adult males of the smallest subspecies of chimpanzee weigh some 43 kilograms (95 pounds) and females 33 kilograms (73 pounds), about the same as bonobos. Although female bonobos are much smaller than the males, they seem to rule.

Graceful Apes

In physique, a bonobo is as different from a chimpanzee as a Concorde is from a Boeing 747. I do not wish to offend any chimpanzees, but bonobos have more style. The bonobo, with its long legs and small head atop narrow shoulders, has a more gracile build than does a chimpanzee. Bonobo lips are reddish in a black face, the ears small and the nostrils almost as wide as a gorilla's. These primates also have a flatter, more open face with a higher forehead than the chimpanzee's and--to top it all off--an attractive coiffure with long, fine, black hair neatly parted in the middle.

Like chimpanzees, female bonobos nurse and carry around their young for up to five years. By the age of seven the offspring reach adolescence. Wild females give birth for the first time at 13 or 14 years of age, becoming full grown by about 15. A bonobo's longevity is unknown, but judging by the chimpanzee it may be older than 40 in the wild and close to 60 in captivity.

Fruit is central to the diets of both wild bonobos and chimpanzees. The former supplement with more pith from herbaceous plants, and the latter add meat. Although bonobos do eat invertebrates and occasionally capture and eat small vertebrates, including mammals, their diet seems to contain relatively little animal protein. Unlike chimpanzees, they have not been observed to hunt monkeys.

Whereas chimpanzees use a rich array of strategies to obtain foods--from cracking nuts with stone tools to fishing for ants and termites with sticks--tool use in wild bonobos seems undeveloped. (Captive bonobos use tools skillfully.) Apparently as intelligent as chimpanzees, bonobos have, however, a far more sensitive temperament. During World War II bombing of Hellabrun, Germany, the bonobos in a nearby zoo all died of fright from the noise; the chimpanzees were unaffected.

Bonobos are also imaginative in play. I have watched captive bonobos engage in "blindman's buff." A bonobo covers her eyes with a banana leaf or an arm or by sticking two fingers in her eyes. Thus handicapped, she stumbles around on a climbing frame, bumping into others or almost falling. She seems to be imposing a rule on herself: "I cannot look until I lose my balance." Other apes and monkeys also indulge in this game, but I have never seen it performed with such dedication and concentration as by bonobos.

Juvenile bonobos are incurably playful and like to make funny faces, sometimes in long solitary pantomimes and at other times while tickling one another. Bonobos are, however, more controlled in expressing their emotions-- whether it be joy, sorrow, excitement or anger--than are the extroverted chimpanzees. Male chimpanzees often engage in spectacular charging displays in which they show off their strength: throwing rocks, breaking branches and uprooting small trees in the process. They keep up these noisy performances for many minutes, during which most other members of the group wisely stay out of their way. Male bonobos, on the other hand, usually limit displays to a brief run while dragging a few branches behind them.

Both primates signal emotions and intentions through facial expressions and hand gestures, many of which are also present in the nonverbal communication of humans. For example, bonobos will beg by stretching out an open hand (or, sometimes, a foot) to a possessor of food and will pout their lips and make whimpering sounds if the effort is unsuccessful. But bonobos make different sounds than chimpanzees do. The renowned low-pitched, extended "huuu- huuu" pant-hooting of the latter contrasts with the rather sharp, high-pitched barking sounds of the bonobo.

Love, Not War

My own interest in bonobos came not from an inherent fascination with their charms but from research on aggressive behavior in primates. I was particularly intrigued with the aftermath of conflict. After two chimpanzees have fought, for instance, they may come together for a hug and mouth-to-mouth kiss. Assuming that such reunions serve to restore peace and harmony, I labeled them reconciliations.

Any species that combines close bonds with a potential for conflict needs such conciliatory mechanisms. Thinking how much faster marriages would break up if people had no way of compensating for hurting each other, I set out to investigate such mechanisms in several primates, including bonobos. Although I expected to see peacemaking in these apes, too, I was little prepared for the form it would take.

For my study, which began in 1983, I chose the San Diego Zoo. At the time, it housed the world's largest captive bonobo colony--10 members divided into three groups. I spent entire days in front of the enclosure with a video camera, which was switched on at feeding time. As soon as a caretaker approached the enclosure with food, the males would develop erections. Even before the food was thrown into the area, the bonobos would be inviting each other for sex: males would invite females, and females would invite males and other females.

Sex, it turned out, is the key to the social life of the bonobo. The first suggestion that the sexual behavior of bonobos is different had come from observations at European zoos. Wrapping their findings in Latin, primatologists Eduard Tratz and Heinz Heck reported in 1954 that the chimpanzees at Hellabrun mated more canum (like dogs) and bonobos more hominum (like people). In those days, face-to- face copulation was considered uniquely human, a cultural innovation that needed to be taught to preliterate people (hence the term "missionary position"). These early studies, written in German, were ignored by the international scientific establishment. The bonobo's humanlike sexuality needed to be rediscovered in the 1970s before it became accepted as characteristic of the species.

Bonobos become sexually aroused remarkably easily, and they express this excitement in a variety of mounting positions and genital contacts. Although chimpanzees virtually never adopt face-to-face positions, bonobos do so in one out of three copulations in the wild. Furthermore, the frontal orientation of the bonobo vulva and clitoris strongly suggest that the female genitalia are adapted for this position.

Another similarity with humans is increased female sexual receptivity. The tumescent phase of the female's genitals, resulting in a pink swelling that signals willingness to mate, covers a much longer part of estrus in bonobos than in chimpanzees. Instead of a few days out of her cycle, the female bonobo is almost continuously sexually attractive and active.

Perhaps the bonobo's most typical sexual pattern, undocumented in any other primate, is genito-genital rubbing (or GG rubbing) between adult females. One female facing another clings with arms and legs to a partner that, standing on both hands and feet, lifts her off the ground. The two females then rub their genital swellings laterally together, emitting grins and squeals that probably reflect orgasmic experiences. (Laboratory experiments on stump- tailed macaques have demonstrated that women are not the only female primates capable of physiological orgasm.)

Male bonobos, too, may engage in pseudocopulation but generally perform a variation. Standing back to back, one male briefly rubs his scrotum against the buttocks of another. They also practice so-called penis-fencing, in which two males hang face to face from a branch while rubbing their erect penises together.

The diversity of erotic contacts in bonobos includes sporadic oral sex, massage of another individual's genitals and intense tongue-kissing. Lest this leave the impression of a pathologically oversexed species, I must add, based on hundreds of hours of watching bonobos, that their sexual activity is rather casual and relaxed. It appears to be a completely natural part of their group life. Like people, bonobos engage in sex only occasionally, not continuously. Furthermore, with the average copulation lasting 13 seconds, sexual contact in bonobos is rather quick by human standards.

That sex is connected to feeding, and even appears to make food sharing possible, has been observed not only in zoos but also in the wild. Nancy Thompson-Handler, then at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, saw bonobos in Zaire's Lomako Forest engage in sex after they had entered trees loaded with ripe figs or when one among them had captured a prey animal, such as a small forest duiker. The flurry of sexual contacts would last for five to 10 minutes, after which the apes would settle down to consume the food.

One explanation for the sexual activity at feeding time could be that excitement over food translates into sexual arousal. This idea may be partly true. Yet another motivation is probably the real cause: competition. There are two reasons to believe sexual activity is the bonobo's answer to avoiding conflict.

First, anything, not just food, that arouses the interest of more than one bonobo at a time tends to result in sexual contact. If two bonobos approach a cardboard box thrown into their enclosure, they will briefly mount each other before playing with the box. Such situations lead to squabbles in most other species. But bonobos are quite tolerant, perhaps because they use sex to divert attention and to diffuse tension.

Second, bonobo sex often occurs in aggressive contexts totally unrelated to food. A jealous male might chase another away from a female, after which the two males reunite and engage in scrotal rubbing. Or after a female hits a juvenile, the latter's mother may lunge at the aggressor, an action that is immediately followed by genital rubbing between the two adults.

I once observed a young male, Kako, inadvertently blocking an older, female juvenile, Leslie, from moving along a branch. First, Leslie pushed him; Kako, who was not very confident in trees, tightened his grip, grinning nervously. Next Leslie gnawed on one of his hands, presumably to loosen his grasp. Kako uttered a sharp peep and stayed put. Then Leslie rubbed her vulva against his shoulder. This gesture calmed Kako, and he moved along the branch. It seemed that Leslie had been very close to using force but instead had reassured both herself and Kako with sexual contact.

During reconciliations, bonobos use the same sexual repertoire as they do during feeding time. Based on an analysis of many such incidents, my study yielded the first solid evidence for sexual behavior as a mechanism to overcome aggression. Not that this function is absent in other animals--or in humans, for that matter--but the art of sexual reconciliation may well have reached its evolutionary peak in the bonobo. For these animals, sexual behavior is indistinguishable from social behavior. Given its peacemaking and appeasement functions, it is not surprising that sex among bonobos occurs in so many different partner combinations, including between juveniles and adults. The need for peaceful coexistence is obviously not restricted to adult heterosexual pairs.

Female Alliance

Apart from maintaining harmony, sex is also involved in creating the singular social structure of the bonobo. This use of sex becomes clear when studying bonobos in the wild. Field research on bonobos started only in the mid-1970s, more than a decade after the most important studies on wild chimpanzees had been initiated. In terms of continuity and invested (wo)manpower, the chimpanzee projects of Jane Goodall and Toshisada Nishida, both in Tanzania, are unparalleled. But bonobo research by Takayoshi Kano and others of Kyoto University is now two decades under way at Wamba in Zaire and is beginning to show the same payoffs.

Both bonobos and chimpanzees live in so-called fission- fusion societies. The apes move alone or in small parties of a few individuals at a time, the composition of which changes constantly. Several bonobos traveling together in the morning might meet another group in the forest, whereupon one individual from the first group wanders off with others from the second group, while those left behind forage together. All associations, except the one between mother and dependent offspring, are of a temporary character.

Initially this flexibility baffled investigators, making them wonder if these apes formed any social groups with stable membership. After years of documenting the travels of chimpanzees in the Mahale Mountains, Nishida first reported that they form large communities: all members of one community mix freely in ever changing parties, but members of different communities never gather. Later, Goodall added territoriality to this picture. That is, not only do communities not mix, but males of different chimpanzee communities engage in lethal battles.

In both bonobos and chimpanzees, males stay in their natal group, whereas females tend to migrate during adolescence. As a result, the senior males of a chimpanzee or bonobo group have known all junior males since birth, and all junior males have grown up together. Females, on the other hand, transfer to an unfamiliar and often hostile group where they may know no one. A chief difference between chimpanzee and bonobo societies is the way in which young females integrate into their new community.

On arrival in another community, young bonobo females at Wamba single out one or two senior resident females for special attention, using frequent GG rubbing and grooming to establish a relation. If the residents reciprocate, close associations are set up, and the younger female gradually becomes accepted into the group. After producing her first offspring, the young female's position becomes more stable and central. Eventually the cycle repeats with younger immigrants, in turn, seeking a good relation with the now established female. Sex thus smooths the migrant's entrance into the community of females, which is much more close-knit in the bonobo than in the chimpanzee.

Bonobo males remain attached to their mothers all their lives, following them through the forest and being dependent on them for protection in aggressive encounters with other males. As a result, the highest-ranking males of a bonobo community tend to be sons of important females.

What a contrast with chimpanzees! Male chimpanzees fight their own battles, often relying on the support of other males. Furthermore, adult male chimpanzees travel together in same-sex parties, grooming each other frequently. Males form a distinct social hierarchy with high levels of both competition and association. Given the need to stick together against males of neighboring communities, their bonding is not surprising: failure to form a united front might result in the loss of lives and territory. The danger of being male is reflected in the adult sex ratio of chimpanzee populations, with considerably fewer males than females.

Serious conflict between bonobo groups has been witnessed in the field, but it seems quite rare. On the contrary, reports exist of peaceable mingling, including mutual sex and grooming, between what appear to be different communities. If intergroup combat is indeed unusual, it may explain the lower rate of all-male associations. Rather than being male- bonded, bonobo society gives the impression of being female- bonded, with even adult males relying on their mothers instead of on other males. No wonder Kano calls mothers the "core" of bonobo society.

The bonding among female bonobos violates a fairly general rule, outlined by Harvard University anthropologist Richard W. Wrangham, that the sex that stays in the natal group develops the strongest mutual bonds. Bonding among male chimpanzees follows naturally because they remain in the community of their birth. The same is true for female kinship bonding in Old World monkeys, such as macaques and baboons, where males are the migratory sex.

Bonobos are unique in that the migratory sex, females, strongly bond with same-sex strangers later in life. In setting up an artificial sisterhood, bonobos can be said to be secondarily bonded. (Kinship bonds are said to be primary.) Although we now know HOW this happens--through the use of sexual contact and grooming--we do not yet know WHY bonobos and chimpanzees differ in this respect. The answer may lie in the different ecological environments of bonobos and chimpanzees--such as the abundance and quality of food in the forest. But it is uncertain if such explanations will suffice.

Bonobo society is, however, not only female-centered but also appears to be female-dominated. Bonobo specialists, while long suspecting such a reality, have been reluctant to make the controversial claim. But in 1992, at the 14th Congress of the International Primatological Society in Strasbourg, investigators of both captive and wild bonobos presented data that left little doubt about the issue.

Amy R. Parish of the University of California at Davis reported on food competition in identical groups (one adult male and two adult females) of chimpanzees and bonobos at the Stuttgart Zoo. Honey was provided in a "termite hill" from which it could be extracted by dipping sticks into a small hole. As soon as honey was made available, the male chimpanzee would make a charging display through the enclosure and claim everything for himself. Only when his appetite was satisfied would he let the females fish for honey.

In the bonobo group, it was the females that approached the honey first. After having engaged in some GG rubbing, they would feed together, taking turns with virtually no competition between them. The male might make as many charging displays as he wanted; the females were not intimidated and ignored the commotion.

Observers at the Belgian animal park of Planckendael, which currently has the most naturalistic bonobo colony, reported similar findings. If a male bonobo tried to harass a female, all females would band together to chase him off. Because females appeared more successful in dominating males when they were together than on their own, their close association and frequent genital rubbing may represent an alliance. Females may bond so as to outcompete members of the individually stronger sex.

The fact that they manage to do so not only in captivity is evident from zoologist Takeshi Furuichi's summary of the relation between the sexes at Wamba, where bonobos are enticed out of the forest with sugarcane. "Males usually appeared at the feeding site first, but they surrendered preferred positions when the females appeared. It seemed that males appeared first not because they were dominant, but because they had to feed before the arrival of females," Furuichi reported at Strasbourg.

Occasionally, the role of sex in relation to food is taken one step further, bringing bonobos very close to humans in their behavior. It has been speculated by anthropologists-- including C. Owen Lovejoy of Kent State University and Helen Fisher of Rutgers University--that sex is partially separated from reproduction in our species because it serves to cement mutually profitable relationships between men and women. The human female's capacity to mate throughout her cycle and her strong sex drive allow her to exchange sex for male commitment and paternal care, thus giving rise to the nuclear family.

This arrangement is thought to be favored by natural selection because it allows women to raise more offspring than they could if they were on their own. Although bonobos clearly do not establish the exclusive heterosexual bonds characteristic of our species, their behavior does fit important elements of this model. A female bonobo shows extended receptivity and uses sex to obtain a male's favors when--usually because of youth--she is too low in social status to dominate him.

At the San Diego Zoo, I observed that if Loretta was in a sexually attractive state, she would not hesitate to approach the adult male, Vernon, if he had food. Presenting herself to Vernon, she would mate with him and make high- pitched food calls while taking over his entire bundle of branches and leaves. When Loretta had no genital swelling, she would wait until Vernon was ready to share. Primatologist Suehisa Kuroda reports similar exchanges at Wamba: "A young female approached a male, who was eating sugarcane. They copulated in short order, whereupon she took one of the two canes held by him and left."

Despite such quid pro quo between the sexes, there are no indications that bonobos form humanlike nuclear families. The burden of raising offspring appears to rest entirely on the female's shoulders. In fact, nuclear families are probably incompatible with the diverse use of sex found in bonobos. If our ancestors started out with a sex life similar to that of bonobos, the evolution of the family would have required dramatic change.

Human family life implies paternal investment, which is unlikely to develop unless males can be reasonably certain that they are caring for their own, not someone else's, offspring. Bonobo society lacks any such guarantee, but humans protect the integrity of their family units through all kinds of moral restrictions and taboos. Thus, although our species is characterized by an extraordinary interest in sex, there are no societies in which people engage in it at the drop of a hat (or a cardboard box, as the case may be). A sense of shame and a desire for domestic privacy are typical human concepts related to the evolution and cultural bolstering of the family.

Yet no degree of moralizing can make sex disappear from every realm of human life that does not relate to the nuclear family. The bonobo's behavioral peculiarities may help us understand the role of sex and may have serious implications for models of human society.

Just imagine that we had never heard of chimpanzees or baboons and had known bonobos first. We would at present most likely believe that early hominids lived in female- centered societies, in which sex served important social functions and in which warfare was rare or absent. In the end, perhaps the most successful reconstruction of our past will be based not on chimpanzees or even on bonobos but on a three-way comparison of chimpanzees, bonobos and humans.

Social Organization among Various Primates

BONOBO
Bonobo communities are peace-loving and generally egalitarian. The strongest social bonds are those among females, although females also bond with males. The status of a male depends on the position of his mother, to whom he remains closely bonded for her entire life.
CHIMPANZEE
In chimpanzee groups the strongest bonds are established between the males in order to hunt and to protect their shared territory. The females live in overlapping home ranges within this territory but are not strongly bonded to other females or to any one male.
GIBBON
Gibbons establish monogamous, egalitarian relations, and one couple will maintain a territory to the exclusion of other pairs.
HUMAN
Human society is the most diverse among the primates. Males unite for cooperative ventures, whereas females also bond with those of their own sex. Monogamy, polygamy and polyandry are all in evidence.
GORILLA
The social organization of gorillas provides a clear example of polygamy. Usually a single male maintains a range for his family unit, which contains several females. The strongest bonds are those between the male and his females.
ORANGUTAN
Orangutans live solitary lives with little bonding in evidence. Male orangutans are intolerant of one another. In his prime, a single male establishes a large territory, within which live several females. Each female has her own, separate home range.

FRANS B. M. de WAAL was trained as an ethologist in the European tradition, receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Utrecht in 1977. After a six-year study of the chimpanzee colony at the Arnhem Zoo, he moved to the U.S. in 1981 to work on other primate species, including bonobos. He is now a research professor at the Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center in Atlanta and professor of psychology at Emory University.

FURTHER READING

The Gimp

Journal: But Really, what is HAND?

Journal by Big_Ass_Spork

Here is the definition:

Subject: Re: "We won't warlord it" (was Re: Wolfenstein 3d)
Newsgroups: alt.fan.warlord
From: The Mystic Mongoose
Date: Thu, 15 Feb 1996 22:17:24 -0500
Organization: Continuum Communications Inc.

>What does HAND mean?

Hmmm. Let's figure that out.

H=ASCII 72
A=ASCII 65
N=ASCII 78
D=ASCII 68

72+65+78+68=283. Now, to compute the mean, divide by the number of units,
namely, four, which gives us 70.75. Round upwards, and we get 71,
which when translated back is G. So, G is what HAND means.

"A mind is a terrible thing to have leaking out your ears." -- The League of Sadistic Telepaths

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