Jack the Ripper Found? DNA tests ‘prove’ Jack the Ripper’s identity

Information originally posted at News.com.au and Mic.com

THE search to uncover the identity of Jack the Ripper appears to be over.

The alleged identity of Jack the Ripper, the infamous murderer of at least five women in the late 1800s, has been revealed.DNA on a shawl found near one of the victims, Catherine Eddowes, reportedly contains a match to both her and one of the chief suspects, Aaron Kosminsky. A Polish immigrant, Kosminki was initially one of the suspects during the string of murders in London’s East End. 

The Polish hairdresser, who moved to England with his family in 1881, was committed to a mental asylum at the peak of Ripper hysteria. Kosminski was born in Poland in 1865 before moving to Whitechapel, England.

Is this Jack the Ripper?

DNA evidence reportedly confirms that Aaron Kosminski is Jack the Ripper.

The breakthrough came when Dr Jari Louhelainen, an expert in historic DNA, was commissioned to study a shawl found with Eddowes, the second-last “confirmed” victim of the Ripper more than 125 years ago.

The shawl — which still retained historic stains — had been bought by businessman Russell Edwards at an auction in 2007. It has survived without ever being washed and maintained genetic material.

“It has taken a great deal of hard work, using cutting-edge scientific techniques which would not have been possible five years ago,” Dr Louhelainen told a British newspaper.

“Once I had the profile, I could compare it to that of the female descendant of Kosminski’s sister, who had given us a sample of her DNA swabbed from inside her mouth.

“The first strand of DNA showed a 99.2 per cent match, as the analysis instrument could not determine the sequence of the missing 0.8 per cent fragment of DNA. On testing the second strand, we achieved a perfect 100 per cent match.”

Killing sports ... this map of Whitechapel in the 1800s shows Flower and Dean Streets in

Killing sports … this map of Whitechapel in the 1800s shows Flower and Dean Streets in purple and the sites of some killings as red spots.

The murders attributed to Jack the Ripper began in 1888, with up to 11 deaths around the Whitechapel area linked to the killer.

Frances Coles, believed to be the Ripper’s last victim, died in February 1891 — the same year Kosminski was forcibly put in Colney Hatch Lunatic Asylum.

He remained in mental health facilities until his death in 1919, aged 53.

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17 Lies We Need to Stop Teaching Girls About Sex [[From Mic]]

 
[[Originally from Mic]]

Whether it’s the constant fretting over Miley Cyrus‘ influence on school girls or the growing (and troubling) tradition of Purity Balls, it’s clear that society has a fascination with young women’s sexuality — especially when it comes to controlling it. But what are we actually teaching today’s girls about sex?

Fueled by outdated ideals of gender roles and the sense that female sexuality is somehow shameful, there seem to be certain pernicious myths about girls and sex that just won’t die. That sex education in America has gaping holes in its curriculum hasn’t helped much, either; in a recent Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report just 6 out of 10 girls said that their schools’ sex ed program included information on how to say no to sex. This lack of personal agency was reflected in a forthcoming study by sociologist Heather Hlavka at Marquette University as well, which found that many young girls think of sex simply as something that is “done to them.”

Knowledge is power, and we can promote a healthier relationship with sex by encouraging a more open dialogue, teaching girls to feel comfortable with their sexuality and, most importantly, emphasizing that their bodies are theirs and theirs alone. But first, we’re going to need to stop perpetuating the following 17 myths about female sexuality.

1. Virginity exists. 

Therese Shechter’s 2013 documentary How To Lose Your Virginity asks a seemingly simple question: What is a virgin? The answer is actually pretty complicated. The common idea of virginity is focused on a heteronormative, male-centric definition of intercourse — that is, penis-in-vagina penetration. But this definition ignores LGBTQ couples, oral and anal sex, instances where it “didn’t go all the way in,” rape and emotional intimacy.

The cultural obsession with virginity is more about keeping girls pure than anything else, and because the term begins to crumble upon close inspection, it doesn’t have to carry such weight. There’s no clear universal concept of virginity, and people should be able to define meaningful markers of intimacy for themselves.

Image Credit: Flickr

2. Hymens are a sign of virginity. 

Given that the entire notion of virginity is dubious at best, it’s not all that surprising that there is actually no medical way to tell if someone is a virgin or not. This includes a broken hymen. Hymens usually become worn down throughout adolescence, and can be torn by everything from jumping on a trampoline, to horseback riding, to simply playing sports. Some women aren’t born with one at all.

Despite the fact that more than half of women don’t bleed the first time they have penetrative sex, blood on the sheets has remained a signifier of losing one’s virginity throughout history. The persistence of this myth surrounding a basically irrelevant anatomical feature has even spawned a market for artificial hymens and reconstructive surgery to “restore” virginity. More disturbingly, girls around the world are often subject todegrading, invasive virginity “tests” to ensure their purity.

Image Credit: Hymen Shop

3. All women are born with vaginas. 

Some items on this list focus on the anatomy of those assigned female at birth in an effort to illuminate issues that many girls don’t get to talk about enough, but the purpose is never to be exclusionary. Gender identity is different from biological sex, and trans women are women, period.

Image Credit: YouTube

4. The first time is going to hurt — a lot. 

Much of the pain young women are taught to expect during their first sexual experience actually comes from increased muscle tension due to nervousness. Blood usually comes from vaginal tissue tearing due to lack of lubrication and, ahem, inexperienced love making — not the hymen breaking. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy, really; maybe if we stop telling girls to be terrified of the excruciating pain of their first time, things would be a little more comfortable for everyone.

Image Credit: YouTube

5. If someone buys you something, you owe him or her sex. 

It doesn’t matter if it’s a drink or a diamond necklace: You never “owe” someone sex. Ever.

Image Credit: Getty

6. Too much sex will stretch you out. 

Nothing like the old “hot dog down a hallway” analogy to scare young women away from safe, consensual promiscuity. The truth is, women differ in size just like men do. The vagina is like a rubber band, and unless you’re regularly getting down with fire hose, you should be fine.

Similarly, having a baby will not “ruin” your vagina. Many women report feeling different down there after childbirth (the post-baby healing process depends on a variety of factors like age, the size of the baby and your commitment to Kegels), but we should really be teaching girls to accept their differences as normal and natural — not as new-found flaws.

Image Credit: Bill Ebbesen via Flickr

7. Women don’t think about sex very much. 

Many sexologists have arrived at the same conclusion: Women want sex just as much as men. This isn’t some new trend, either; science is just learning to ask the right questions about female desire.

So why does this myth of the undersexed female persist? It certainly doesn’t help that women often are taught that thinking about sex is boyish or juvenile. Entertainment media also frequently likes to portray women as the more responsible party in a relationship (think: nagging wife, childish husband).

The flip side of this thinking is the idea that “real” men should always have a voracious sexual appetite. But the saying “men think about sex every seven seconds” is just not true. Society’s focus on young men’s libido has created a sort of caricature of male sexuality, one that treats an occasional lack of desire or displays of emotion as not being masculine enough. And that’s not fair to them, either.

Image Credit: YouTube

8. Women don’t like casual sex. 

Not only do women want sex, but as journalist Daniel Bergner points out in What Do Women Want? Adventures in the Science of Female Desire, their desire is “not, for the most part, sparked or sustained by emotional intimacy and safety.” This means that, contrary to popular belief, women can most definitely have sex without getting emotionally attached. Studies of sexual desire have actually shown that plenty of ladies want casual sex more than the average guy, and many guys want it less than the average lady.

Much of this desire appears to be socially conditioned, anyway: Gendered differences in desire have been shown to diminish over time with more progressive generations, in countries with more equitable distributions of power and when the perceived stigma of being slut-shamed is controlled for in female subjects.

Moral of the story? It’s a personal preference, and blanket generalizations aren’t helping anyone.

Image Credit: Comedy Central via HitFix

9. Boys buy the condoms. 

You don’t need to depend on anyone else for your protection. Girls can be prepared, too.

Image Credit: AP

10. “Frigid” wives make cheating husbands. 

The myth of the frigid wife plays off outdated notions of women who are too uninterested in sex to keep their men satisfied. But instead of lazily blaming infidelity on gender stereotypes, let’s encourage a sense of personal responsibility. Besides, men deserve more than to be treated like animals who can’t control themselves.

Image Credit: Getty 

11. You have to wax. 

Despite ads that try to convince women life can only be fully enjoyed stubble-free, you do not have an obligation to do anything to your body that you don’t want to do. After all, hair removal is still an industry, designed like every other to exploit people’s insecurities to make the most money possible.

It’s working, too: Hair removal is a $2.1 billion industry in the U.S., and over the course of a lifetime the average woman will spend an estimated $10,000 on shaving products. You should do what works for you, whether or not that means buying in.

Image Credit: Coloribus

12. You can’t have sex on your period. 

If it grosses you out, no pressure. (Seriously though, is period blood really that much grosser than regular sexy-time fluids?) But such an act is both physically possible and safe. In fact, sex during your period canimprove menstrual cramps, and some women even report having a shorter period overall when they get busy during that time of the month. Be warned, however: It is still possible to get pregnant or spread an STI while on your period, so don’t forgo the condom.

Image Credit: NBC

13. Sex is supposed to hurt sometimes. 

Sex is not supposed to hurt, but for many women, it does. If your muscles aren’t ready, things can get painful. It can take 20 minutes of foreplay for a woman’s vaginal muscles to relax enough to be truly ready for penetrative sex.

For some women, however, foreplay isn’t the issue at all. Conditions like vaginismus and vulvodynia are very real, albeit unfortunately not very well known. The result is that many women suffering from these conditions don’t realize that there is help available. If sex hurts, it’s worth finding a specialist who can talk you through your options.

Image Credit: HBO

14. Once you start having sex, you’re not allowed to say “stop.” 

You can change your mind at any time during sex, and your partner must respect that. It doesn’t matter if blue balls are real or not. Know that your voice must be heard.

Image Credit: Charlotte Cooper via Flickr

15. Women don’t watch porn. 

The hatred many women feel towards porn is understandable, given that so much of it promotes unrealistic or downright unhealthy attitudes about female sexuality. The problem is, as the Kinsey Institute’s Debby Herbenick points out, “Most mainstream porn is made by men with other men in mind.”

This doesn’t mean that many women don’t enjoy porn, nor that there’s not a market for more female-friendly fare. Researchers have shown that men and women respond comparably to sexually explicit material, and that the increase in women’s brainwave activity when looking at erotic images is just as strongas the increase in men’s.

Image Credit: Imgur

16. Sexual harassment is normal. 

A disturbing new study concluded that many young women consider sexual harassment and violence to be part of everyday life. Girls shouldn’t have to think of this treatment as expected. Sexual violations of any kind are unacceptable, and the dismissive “boys being boys” defense is both ridiculous and damaging to all genders. Sorry, personal bodily autonomy is not up for debate.

Image Credit: ‘Stop Telling Women to Smile’ Facebook

17. Everybody’s doing it. 

The average American loses his or her virginity, for lack of a better term, at age 17. Plenty of people don’t start having sex until later (or earlier) in life, and that’s okay, too. Some people don’t have much of an interest in sex at all. Being sex positive isn’t about encouraging everyone to have tons of sex all the time; it’s about understanding that sex should be safe, shame-free and above all, based on informed, personal choices.

Image Credit: Listal

 

Robin Williams and Gaming Because No, I’m Still Not Over It

You may have known, I didn’t until reading this article, but Robin Williams played World of Warcraft. And now he’s going to be immortalized in-game. However, WoW wasn’t the only game he played. He named his daughter after Zelda from “Legend of Zelda,” and named his son after Cody from “Final Fight.” 

“Robin Williams played “Portal,” and “World of Warcraft,” and “Call of Duty,” and was open about his addiction to them. “It’s like cyber-cocaine,” he told the Daily Telegraph in a 2011 interview. ‘Especially if you’re online playing against other people, it’s totally addictive, you get lost in the world.'” – Salon

If this doesn’t make you love Robin Williams more than you’re crazy, because his love for gaming is awesome. And adorable in this “Legend of Zelda” commercial, feature RW and his daughter:

There’s so many things I wish I had known before this great man died, and this is one of them.

Robin Williams and Articles Worth Reading

So unless you’ve been under a rock for the past few days…

…well Robin Williams. RIP Robin Williams. 

And some people have been asking questions. Hell, even NPR this morning talked about how some people are asking “how can a man with so much commit suicide?”

Depression doesn’t only attack a certain financial sector. Trust me – I’m lucky to never have to worry about having food in front of me, and thanks to the brilliant saving of my parents, college is pretty much paid for. And call me some ranting crazed spoiled brat, but that money hasn’t stopped me making scars on my legs to deal with the pain. The good thing? I’m starting to make progress. But others aren’t. 

The taboo against depression? That remains to be seen. But you can start the conversation by reading this article. It manages to discuss the issue without blaming those who are depressed.

So. Let’s get rid of the taboo. We can’t just keep saying goodbye to people and then act like nothing happened. 

I’m Jennie and I have major depressive disorder. Nice to meet you.

Why Donating Clothes Might Not Make You Such a Good Person After All

About a month ago, I went to New York City.

I loved it. I love urban environments – the honking doesn’t annoy me as much as I feel that it should and the constant wave of new people walking around with cameras and pointing fingers make me smile instead of causing me annoyance. That being said, it felt weird sometimes walking or waiting by people with cardboard signs. It was a constant psycological war. One one hand, they needed help, and who was I with my Nine West purse and my LOFT shirt to judge or hold some place in society above them? Why did I have the financial luck and they have none? Yet, turn a corner, walk down a block, and there was some other person with a dog , a piece of cardboard and a sharpie to ask for my help. I can do something for one person and not another, but then why did the first person get the aid? What did it go toward? On one hand, I could help a person. On the other I might not do anything for them, while losing money from my own bank account.

This psychological struggle is why I like stores like Salvation Army, Goodwill and Savers. I know where the money goes – it goes to organizations that serve many people at once, and I get something in return for my money. I love donating things to Goodwill and buying things from the store as well. I’m helping people and getting something at the same time. It almost makes one tempted to take their shoes off and chuck them in the nearest donation bin to continue the process.

Dont.

According to the Huffington Post, the numerous donation bins set along many a street of the bustling city are actually benefiting for-profit companies. Instead of going towards charitable organizations to raise money for or give clothing to those in need, the clothing is sold in thrift stores or in bulk overseas to corporations that cannot be traced.

So donate your clothes. Give and buy from stores like Goodwill – there’s one on 8th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues – but be careful of where you’re putting your clothes. Your act may be one of a good samaritan, but the people putting price tags on the other side certainly aren’t as kind hearted as you are.

How to Fight Against Racism in Less Than 140 Characters

Thank you twitter. 

I’m not thanking the “funny tweets” people put out there though. Often, people decide that hilarity comes in the form of bashing other people. Not so funny. Then agian, maybe Ryan Carr disagrees.

Yes. Yes you are racist in this case.

Yet, one can appreciate this tweet for something – it brought about this response:

Screen Shot 2014-08-08 at 1.46.27 PM

As fantastic as this reply is, it doesn’t mean that racism like this can be solved with a snarky comment. Mic posted an article explaining why.

Turbans are predominantly worn by Sikhs. Sikhism is an independent religion with no association to Islam or the Arab world, though those were undoubtedly the groups Carr was referencing. His tweet was so racist that it even conflated different races. (This doesn’t mean that Muslim or Arab people are justifiable targets, only that Carr’s understanding of these religions and ethnicities was factually incorrect on top of being racist in itself.)

So Carr was being so racist he didn’t actually realize who he was being racist to. And considering the amount of shootings recently, Singh has a point.

Wow.

Why Females Should Be At the Top of the Business Chain

Women CEOs and COOs are on the rise. Leslie Bradshaw, the COO of Guide, calls this the “Sheryl Sandburg Effect,” which is named after Facebook’s COO. No matter what you call it, the point is that women are climbing the corporate ladder, and we’re damn good at it too. In fact, companies with female’s as CEOs make more money. Check it out.

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