This week on

  • The female orgasm apparently mystifies a fair number of people—men and scientists alike (though those two groups may not be wholly unrelated). Greg Laden explores the evolutionary biology of orgasms in humans in response to a paper that investigates the genetic origins of the female orgasm. He delivers an excellent discussion on the ways changes to social groups may have driven the development of the orgasm, including its function in maintaining relationships.
  • From orgasms to vanity: staying the aging process is also something that has held fascination for many (e.g., Ponce de Leon). At Inkfish, Elizabeth Preston discusses research on senescence (aging&38212;the weakening we experience as we get older). Science is trying to understand why some species do not experience this phenomenon, and if they can crack it, it could change the meaning of "successful aging."
  • To round out these discussions, David Winter muses on the meaning of "meaningful," as he shares research on the reasons some activities are more meaningful than others—including work.

Tune in next Thursday for more from anthropology, philosophy, and research on