HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:
University studies science of smooching
School raises 150,000 baht for educational equipment
Pattaya Swim Club wins young swimmers tournament
Military exercise donates to schools
University studies science of smooching
Chicago - If you kiss your sweetheart and find it especially
appealing, credit the candlelight, the champagne - or maybe just excellent
“(Kissing) is not just for fun and sexuality. You are passing vital
information about who you are - your genetics, your temperament,” said Dr.
Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist at Rutgers University. “When you
kiss you’re not just picking up if they’re a nice guy, you’re picking up if
he’ll be a good father.”
Fisher knows all this from studying human brain activity, and she discussed
her research at last weekend’s annual meeting of the American Association
for the Advancement of Science, at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. There, she
joined other academics in presenting their most recent findings at a
symposium titled “The Science of Kissing,” the first association conference
on the topic.
“Kissing is so common, but we know very little about it,” said Wendy Hill, a
professor of neurology at Lafayette College, who was also scheduled to
“Kissing is just the tip of the iceberg of understanding all of the
biological mechanisms that are involved for mate choice,” added Fisher, who
is also the chief scientific adviser to the Internet dating site
Academic interest in philematology, or the science of kissing, increases
each year - thanks to technological improvements in genetics research and
neurology - but lip-locking for love is of course nothing new: Kissing
occurs in at least 90 percent of the world’s cultures, and romantic
puckering probably predates recorded history.
“There’s also political, power and social kissing all throughout antiquity,”
said Donald Lateiner, professor of humanities-classics at Ohio Wesleyan
“The Greeks seem to have kissed less than the Romans, not that I have the
videotape or Kinsey Institute of Rome to reference.
“We see the escalation of osculation” - that’s the rise of kissing -
“through the art we find,” said Lateiner, who also was scheduled to speak at
last weekend’s conference.
While the Greeks and Romans might have differed on how often they kissed,
such differences are not unique. Men and women also approach the act
differently, according to several recent studies. For example, one found
that women use kissing to assess a mate’s health and maintain a
relationship; in contrast, men place less importance on kissing and are more
likely to use it to end a lover’s quarrel or increase the likelihood of
Men are also twice as likely as women to have sex with a bad kisser,
according to the same study, written by professors Susan Hughes, Marissa
Harrison and Gordon Gallup Jr.
“(These) results suggest that kissing may play an important role as an
adaptive courtship/mating ritual,” the authors wrote in the online journal
Evolutionary Psychology in 2007.
Furthermore, it’s not the lips that deserve most of the credit for why we
kiss. The brain does much of the heavy lifting, and new technology is
allowing scientists to examine this better. For example, the neurology
research of Dr. Vilayanur Ramachandran of the University of California at
San Diego, another speaker at this weekend’s event, suggests that kissing
stimulates mirror neurons in the brain that promote empathy and reduce
In other words, kissing truly could be the language of love.
At Pennsylvania’s Lafayette College, Hill, the neurology professor, is
studying the chemicals that the body releases - and exchanges - when couples
kiss, such as the stress-related hormone cortisol and the bonding-related
“We think (kissing) has stress-reducing properties at least for those
couples who are in committed relationships,” said Evan Lebovitz, a senior
neuroscience major who is Hill’s assistant.
How did they determine this?
Hill and her team split a group of college-age couples into two groups:
Members of one kissed for 15 minutes, and the others conversed without
physical contact. She took blood and saliva samples before and after the
While getting college-age couples to kiss doesn’t sound like a tough task,
Hill didn’t take any chances and turned part of the school’s neuroscience
building into a love den; the team lit candles, hung drapes and soothed the
students by playing smooth jazz.
“Our earlier experiments were in the health center, and we wanted to provide
a more relaxing environment,” Hill said. “We’re learning as we go.”
Lebovitz said the students also preferred the new setting, although some of
the young lovers were unhappy with the group they were assigned.
“Some people were disappointed that they were in the talking group, that’s
for sure,” he said.
“We had one couple that said they didn’t think they could talk for 15
School raises 150,000 baht for educational equipment
Pattaya School #5 held a fund-raising ceremony, which collected
150,000 baht to provide educational equipment for students.
Prawet Dhamawaro receives the education money.
Abbot Prawet Dhammawaro of Nong Or Temple headed the ceremony on
February16, attended by Mayor Itthipol Khunplome, Deputy Mayor Wattana
Chantanawaranon, Aporn Ratchasingho, director of the school, Premruedee
Jittiwutthikarn, owner of the King Sea Food Restaurant, city councilors,
teachers, parents and students.
Nine monks from Nong Or Temple were on hand to pray for auspiciousness.
School director Aporn said that this event was held in cooperation with
the Basic Education Committee of the school and parents who were both
Buddhist and Muslim.
The goal is to develop study methods and educational media to be modern
and sufficient for students’ needs and the income will also modify the
school’s surroundings to be clean and pleasant, she said.
Abbot Prawet Dhamawaro
receives the educational “phaba”
from Mayor Itthipol Khunplome.
(L to R) Aporn
Ratchasingho, director of Pattaya School #5, Pattaya Councilor Wisan
Phettrakul, Urit Nantasurasak, Pattaya deputy council member and Deputy
Mayor Wattana Chantanawaranon join to pour the ceremonial water.
Pattaya Swim Club wins
young swimmers tournament
Pattaya Swim Club splashed away to win overall in the annual
Pattaya City Youth Swimming Tournament held at Sathit Udom Suksa
School’s swimming pool on February 14-15.
their way towards the finish line.
The club took the championship with 592 points, ahead of Pattana Garden
Club which scored 543 points.
Mayor Itthipol Khunplome opened the event in which 37 teams with over
600 swimmers participated. It is an ongoing annual event in which the
Sports and Youth Activities Department and the Academic Office of
Pattaya City encourages youngsters to take part in sports that they
In the 37 teams were 357 boys and 250 girls ranging in age between 5-14
years old with another division for children 15 years and older. The
judge was from the Swimming Association of Thailand.
After the points had been counted, Pattaya Swimming Club found itself
with a commanding lead of 592 points, Pattana Garden Club came second
with 543 points and Rajapat Suan Dusit University finished third with
Young swimmers make the
This youngster has the
lead in the breaststroke leg of the meet.
The whistle sounds and the
swimmers dive for the pool.
Three young winners
proudly display their medals.
donates to schools
The Cobra Gold 2009 joint military exercises also donated school
supplies and sport equipment and electrical tools to the Sattahip
Gold 2009 participants donate to Sattahip School.
On February 17 Admiral Supakorn Buranadilok, Commander-in-Chief of the
Royal Thai Fleet, chaired the day’s community relations component of the
Capt. Richard B. Randon, Deputy Commander of Cobra Gold Exercise 2009,
and military commanders from the U.S. and Singapore Navies joined
together to donate to the Sattahip School, located in the Royal Thai
Fleet area, and to help improve school buildings.
Admiral Supakorn said the purpose of the project was to create benefit
for the community which in turn promoted a good image and good relations
between the military and the public.
Cobra Gold has scheduled community relations projects at six locations:
Sattahip School, the Ban Saeng Song Lah Children’s Home, Ban Klod
School, Ban Klongsai School, Ban Km 5 School and the Banglamung
Lucky Sattahip School was the first of six places to receive help, as
sailors and marines painted the inside and outside of the school
buildings, changed ceiling ventilators in 23 classrooms, changed 15 lamp
sets along the sidewalk and installed four building roof ventilations.
The Singapore Navy also gave a computer, a printer, sports equipment and
musical instruments to the Sattahip School.
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