Cooling Underwear Puts Sperm On Ice
Feb. 14, 2012 -
Einstein's hair wasn't the only wild thing about him. The famous physicist also had numerous sexual liaisons during his two marriages. Einstein's first marriage was miserable. He and his wife, Mileva Marić, even formed a contract in which she became little more than a household servant, including the conditions set by Einstein that, “You will renounce all personal relations with me insofar as they are not completely necessary for social reasons ... . You will stop talking to me if I request it.” After the inevitable divorce, Einstein married his cousin, Elsa Lowenthal, whom he was already sleeping with. But his second marriage didn't keep Einstein in line either. Six girlfriends were mentioned in letters to his wife. At least he was honest about it.
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Erwin Schrödinger You may have heard of the theory of Shrödinger's cat , a hypothetical feline that may be either alive or dead depending on the random decay of a nuclear particle. It turns out Shrödinger was quite the Tom cat himself. The physicist got physical with numerous lovers. His wife, Anny, knew all about it. She had a lover of her own. The swinging scientist even went so far as to hire Arthur March as his lab assistant because he lusted after March's wife, Hilde. She bore Shrödinger a child, though she remained married to March. Shrödinger's two-woman harem eventually cost him an appointment at Oxford, since the idea of a polyamorous physicist was outside the cultural acceptability of the day.
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Richard Feynman Compared to other famous physicists, Feynman was more of a stereotypical number cruncher. He loved numbers so much that his second wife considered them his mistress. She wasn't as forgiving of Feynman's dalliances with sweet lady calculus as Einstein and Schrödinger's wives had been with their actual sexual escapades. She divorced Feynman, a master of quantum mechanics, because of his love affair with math. Feynman's first wife had died of tuberculosis in 1945. But the third time was the charm for him. He married Gweneth Howarth and lived happily ever after in the beach house he bought with his share of the Nobel Prize award that he won in 1965.
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Marie Curie Famous for her pioneering study of radiation, this star-crossed scientist's love life was just as conflicted, tragic and scandalous as the history of the energy she studied. Her husband, Frenchman Pierre Curie, slipped on a slick street in Paris during a storm and died after a horse drawn carriage crushed his skull. Heartbroken, Curie buried herself in her work to deal with her grief, until in 1910 she found solace in the arms a former student of Pierre's, Paul Langevin. But Langevin was a married man and five years her junior. The affair scandalized the French and fueled xenophobia against Curie, a native of Poland.
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Stephen Hawking On his 70th birthday, Stephen Hawking commented that, to him, women were a "complete mystery." No wonder, since his personal history sounds like what would happen if Jerry Springer hosted Nova. Hawking divorced Jane Wilde, his wife of 25 years, and married one of his nurses. His nurse, Elaine Mason, divorced her own husband, the man who had designed Hawking's iconic speaking machine, for Hawking. But some of Hawking's former nurses claimed Mason psychologically abused and mentally manipulated the wheelchair-bound genius. In 2006, Hawking broke free of Mason and began to mend fences with his children from his first marriage.
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Alfred Charles Kinsey A sexologist with torrid tales surrounding their research...who'da thunkit? Kinsey faced allegations that he conducted his research on human sexuality to fulfill a personal kink, but was also praised for making sex a legitimate topic of discussion and bringing the study of homosexuality out of the closet. Sure, in the privacy of his attic Kinsey filmed some of his own sexual behavior with his fellow researchers. And he encouraged his staff to engage in amorous experimentation in order to gain the confidence of research subjects and more fully understand the topic they were studying. But Kinsey's work also helped to make one of the most basic aspects of human biology a respected area of study. The groundbreaking Kinsey reports accompanied the United States into the sexual liberation of the 1960s.
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Men struggling with fertility might as well have a fire going on in their pants: Their sperm-making parts are actually hotter than men who have no fertility problems at all. To combat this, an Ashland, Va.-based company is selling briefs that promise to keep the family jewels nice and cool.
The briefs, appropriately called Snowballs, began last year as a Kickstarter campaign by Joshua Shoemake. Snowballs sound funny, but the story behind them is serious.
The idea began with several couples struggling to conceive. One couple had a miscarriage. They were told to give up and try adopting. Then a gynecologist told them that elevated scrotal temperature can be a major cause of infertility in men, according to the company.
Sick of holding melting freezer bags on their crotches, the guys worked on a design for organic cotton boxer-briefs with space for a “SnowWedge” gel pack made from carboxymethyl cellulose sodium that could stay cool for at least 30 minutes. Using the briefs helped one of the couples have a baby girl, the company said.
Although Snowballs didn’t reach their $20,000 goal on Kickstarter, the people behind it did launch a retail site that now sells a $59 “fertility pack” containing two Snowballs boxer-briefs and three SnowWedges. Hat tip to Gizmodo.
When their Kickstarter campaign was still under way last spring, CNET’s Eric Mack suggested that it might have raised more money if it had been July instead. “I advise any man planning a summertime trip to Houston to bring along a pack, regardless of your sperm situation,” he wrote.
Given the arctic weather that’s been blasting the country recently, nature might be Snowballs’ biggest competition. Spend enough time outside, gentlemen, and it’s probably about the same as putting a frozen gel pack in your underpants. But after all this melts in a few months, better get back to the freezer.