Gender Reassignment Surgery: Male to Female

The reason gender reassignment surgery is possible is because all human beings begin life with the same anatomy, with the ovaries starting from the gonadal ridge, becoming testicles if they drop and remaining as ovaries if they do not. In addition to this, the clitoris is effectively a short penis as both genitalia are physically and anatomically identical (e.g. nerve ending bundles, interior connection and placement, sexual function etc.). When male anatomy is transitioned into female anatomy, a reversal of embryology occurs. When a biological male transitions to become female, during surgery, the scrotal skin is excised after which it is opened to form the labia majora and labia minora, and part of it is utilized to line the new vaginal cavity. The testicles are removed in their entirety and the cliterous is formed using the head of the penis which allows the cliterous to function as it does upon the body of a biological female, with most patients able to orgasm post surgery once healed. The volume of erectile tissue is decreased as the penis is effectively folded over, but because the nerves and arteries remain attached, sensation remains. Once the cliterous is sutured into place, the vaginal tunnel is created which is the most difficult aspect of the entire surgical procedure. A space is created between the bladder and the rectum which is difficult as both structures contain significant blood supply and injury to these systems can cause major complications. A skin graft from the scrotum is then set in place onto a cylindrical mold and sutured around it once the cavity is produced so that it can be implanted. Hair follicles are obliterated as they will continue to grow internally if not removed which would cause further complications. The mold used is an approximation of the average male penis which allows surgeons to create a cavity large enough to allow for sexual intercourse if desired. Small cosmetic details are taken care of after which the patient is sutured and migrated out of the operating theater so that they can be left to rest and reawaken after the anesthesia administered wears off

The Advent of Oil Paint Storage Changing Artwork and the First Artist to Begin Painting Outdoors

Tubed oil paint became available in 1841, superseding the traditional methods of storing paint in pigs bladders and glass syringes, which made traveling to a location and/or painting outside, suddenly possible, so that aspects of light and shadow would not have to be manufactured as with classical paintings, but rather they could be painted exactly as the artist laid witness to them. Claude Monet was the first Impressionist artist to start painting outdoors during the mid 19th century, often painting in the public’s view, outdoor scenery like The Manneporte which he painted in 1885

The Symbolism of the Islamic Garden

Islamic gardens act as symbolic representation of the archetypal eternal heavenly garden, an attempt to provide a small peak into what could potentially wait for a person in the afterlife. Repetition of geometric shapes in Islamic gardens help to emphasize the link between the physical world and thereafter. Circular fountains represent Jannah, the Islamic representation of heaven, as the circle is symbolic of heaven. The square is always utilized as a symbol of the Earth, with circular fountains often found within square indentations to act as a metaphor for heaven and Earth meeting. The term “Jannat-al-Firdaws” which means “Garden of Paradise” in Arabic, is mentioned many times throughout the Quran, with Chapter 55 of Surat al-Rahman (pronounced “suu-rat al rack-man”), which means the “all merciful” in Arabic, holding the best and most descriptive accounts of what this garden truly would look like if experienced. Water plays a crucial role in these accounts, with multiple layers of symbolism for life present which is why water is the most important element within an Islamic garden as it is symbolic of the soul. Rain was and continues to be viewed as a merciful gift from heaven within Islamic culture as Islam stems from one of the hottest regions in the world. Water is essential to Islam and an Islamic paradise garden cannot exist without the incorporation of water to some degree. Islamic gardens are separated into 4 specific quadrants because of the “chahar bagh” (pronounced “cha-harr bahh”) which means “4 gardens” in the Persian language of Farsi, directly related to the 4 rivers of paradise, including a river of milk, honey, wine, and water, an order and harmony which underlies everything within an Islamic garden

The Craft of Venetian Mask Manufacturing for the Italian Festival of Carnival

Masks have been part of Venetian culture since at least the 12th century A.D. as it was in 1162 that the first Carnival festival occured, a city wide celebration which marks the period prior to Lent. Up until 500 years ago, classic Venetian masks were constructed of papier-mâché, a medium that some Venetian mask artists still utilize during the modern day. Strips of papier-mâché are laid into a mold made of resin and layer by layer they are covered in glue. All materials are designed to be non-toxic. When a mask is complete, artisans use scalpel blades to cut out the eyes and any rough pieces remaining (e.g. edges etc.). Once a mask dries, it is decorated with beautiful colors and artwork (e.g. floral arrangements etc.). This is often performed freehand with a pencil. Masks are then painted using beautifully ornate colors (e.g. blue, red, yellow etc.) and finished by adding accoutrements (e.g. 24 karat gold leaf etc.). The craft was almost lost when Napoleon Bonaparte conquered Venice, Italy in 1797 and banned Carnival and Carnival masks as he believed the event could spark rebellion. Benito Mussolini banned the celebrations once again in the 1930’s. Until the late 1970’s, Carnival was a largely forgotten relic but it has since observed a resurgence within popular culture

The Origin of Pogs

The game of Pogs originated in Japan during the 17th century and was originally referred to as “Menko”. The Pogs game was adopted once again during the 1960’s in Hawaii, United States of America and was played using cardboard juice and milk bottle lids. The name “Pogs” was chosen for the game due to the popular juice flavor in Hawaii of “passion fruit orange guava”, making “Pogs” more so an acronym rather than a name

The Development and Repeal of the “Keep Calm and Carry On” Red Poster Campaign During World War II in Britain

The Publicity Division of the U.K. Ministry of Information developed a propaganda campaign prior to World War II in August of 1939. Part of this collection was the iconic red “Keep Calm and Carry On” poster which was designed to be issued at a later date when morale was in need of a boost after destruction and conflict had begun to take place. It is believed that the Keep Calm and Carry On slogan is the best known of all war time campaigns in Britain. The Home Intelligence agency, tasked with monitoring public sentiment and morale, commissioned a survey to study how effective the red poster campaign was at increasing the confidence of the public within the British government. The British government quickly discovered that contrary to expectations, the public found the red posters patronizing and with overtones of an out of touch ruling class pressuring the working class to rise up and defend the state, the very same narrative which was felt by the majority of the public during World War I which was in recent memory for the majority of the British population. Because the red poster campaign was considered a failure, in early 1940, the Keep Calm and Carry On poster among all others were shelved indefinitely with virtually all 2,400,000 (2.4 million) copies rescinded and destroyed

The Rationale Behind the Iconic Mask of Anonymous

In 2008, the Anonymous hacktivism group staged mass protests across multiple cities worldwide. Because participating members were in need of adopting a physical disguise as they would be shifting from the online world into the physical world, early members of Anonymous spent the proceeding 48 hours calling comic book retailers, costume retailers, toy retailers etc. looking for identical disguises which could be purchased en masse for a reasonable price point. As it turned out, each one of these retailers had overstock of Guy Fawkes masks, most of them sitting in external storage and heavily discounted as no one wanted them after the release of the V for Vendetta film released in 2006, a rare miscalculation by manufacturers and retailers. Strangely, the iconography of the Anonymous organization was birthed out of an accidental fluke of overstock

The Argument Against Stem Cell Research and Why This Will No Longer be a Problem in the Future

The reason stem cell research is controversial for some is because it is viewed as damaging and harvesting from one life to help another. This argument may be obsolete in the future as scientists are now discovering ways to create stem cells from cells within the body (e.g. skin cells etc.). The traditional method to create a stem cell was to take a skin cell, remove the deoxyribonucleic acid from its nucleus, placing it into an egg which does not have deoxyribonucleic acid but is capable of changing deoxyribonucleic acid, turning it into a stem cell which has the patients genome ascribed unto it. The new method involves placing 4 genes into the nucleus of the skin cell and allowing time to pass, as the genes reorganize the deoxyribonucleic acid so that it begins to appear as stem cell deoxyribonucleic acid, which changes the skin cell and causes it to shrink, losing its outside, converting it into an embryonic stem cell with the only difference between this method and traditional embryonic stem cell creation method being that this technique contains the deoxyribonucleic acid of the patient it is being inserted into. The 4 genes inserted into the cell create 4 proteins which exist naturally within an egg. These proteins trigger the skin cell deoxyribonucleic acid to arrange itself identically to how it would within an embryonic stem cell. Scientists refer to this type of cell as “induced pluripotent stem cells”, commonly abbreviated as “IPS cells”. Ideally, scientists want induced pluripotent stem cells to function identically to natural embryonic stem cells, avoiding the creation of unwanted cells which can lead to cancer. Researchers have discovered that some laboratory created stem cells fail to carry out the task provided and worse yet, some cause cancer to develop. Scientists are currently pursuing 2 paths to alleviate this problem, the first being the attempt to develop induced pluripotent stem cells which function identically to natural embryonic stem cells and the second being to create a system to recognize which induced pluripotent stem cells will fail in an effort to exclude these cells from being inserted into the human body

The Japanese Shinto Faith

The Japanese Shinto religion translates to mean “way of the gods” in Japanese and primarily focuses upon ancestors and nature, with practitioners believing that every aspect of the universe has a deity (e.g. rivers have a god, mountains have a god, soil has a god etc.) with ancestors believed to have created the world for the current generation living within it. Japanese architecture is an excellent example of Shintoism as Shinto shrines are left in a minimalist state of color and simplicity, unlike contemporary Chinese architecture which is highly colorful and decorative. Shinto shrines never depict imagery of deities as the wood of the architecture itself is representative of nature, and from that simplicity and minimalism. This is also because it is believed that so many gods exist within nature that it would be foolish to only highlight a few in particular. Practitioners of Shinto observe festivals and holidays but no particular day of prayer, unlike monotheistic religions (e.g. Sunday for Christianity, Friday for Islam and Judaism etc.). There is no mainstay scripture of morality or ethical system attached to Shintoism. In Shintoism, old shrines are dismantled and moved for new shrines to be erected every 20 years. The 3 main elements of Shintoism are the mirror, precious stones, and wood

The Reason William Shakespeare’s Macbeth is Believed to be a Cursed Play

It is often believed by thespians that it is bad luck to say the name “Macbeth” within the theater that the play is being performed. This belief stems back to 1606 when a group of witches objected to William Shakespeare using real incantations within his work. As such, these witches claimed to have placed a curse upon the play, in perpetuity. The superstitious tradition caught on as the initial showing of Macbeth in private before King James I at Hampton Court in London, England sometime between August and December of 1606 was laiden with unfortunate errors and mishaps, continuing non-stop, even when performed for the public for the first time at the Globe Theater in London, England in 1611