Friday, May 31, 2019

fRMI & romantically disillusioning events: Compared to regret‐inducing events, disillusioning events showed greater activation in areas thought pertinent to detail processing and decision making (occipital fusiform & lingual gyrus)

Functional magnetic resonance imaging activation in response to prompts of romantically disillusioning events. Sylvia Niehuis et al. Personal Relationships, May 30 2019.

Abstract: To differentiate romantic disillusionment from similar constructs of dissatisfaction and regret, functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) data obtained when romantically involved individuals (N = 39) were reminded of relationship events representing these emotions were analyzed. Whole‐brain activations suggested disillusionment‐linked processes not observed for dissatisfaction or regret. Compared to dissatisfying events, disillusioning ones showed greater activity in regions pertaining to evaluation, reflection, and reconciling conflicting information (e.g., anterior cingulate cortex). No regions showed significantly more activation for dissatisfying than disillusioning events. Compared to regret‐inducing events, disillusioning events showed greater activation in areas thought pertinent to detail processing and decision making (occipital fusiform and lingual gyrus). Regret‐inducing events activated regions suggesting the planning and thoughts of how one could have acted differently (e.g., prefrontal cortex).

The Relationship between Marijuana Use Prior to Sex and Sexual Function in Women: Marijuana appears to improve satisfaction with orgasm

Lynn BK, López JD, Miller C, et al. The Relationship between Marijuana Use Prior to Sex and Sexual Function in Women. Sex Med 2019;7:192-197.

INTRODUCTION: Scientific research on the effects of marijuana on sexual functioning in women, including libido, arousal, orgasm, and satisfaction, is limited.

AIM: To evaluate women's perceptions of the effect of marijuana use before sexual activity.

METHODS: A cross-sectional design, from March 2016-February 2017, within a single, academic, obstetrics and gynecology practice, was performed. Patients were given a questionnaire at their visit and asked to complete it anonymously and place it in a locked box after their visit.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The primary outcome was satisfaction in the sexual domains of drive, orgasm, lubrication, dyspareunia, and overall sexual experience. The secondary outcome was the effect of the frequency of marijuana use on satisfaction.

RESULTS: Of the 373 participants, 34.0% (n = 127) reported having used marijuana before sexual activity. Most women reported increases in sex drive, improvement in orgasm, decrease in pain, but no change in lubrication. After adjusting for race, women who reported marijuana use before sexual activity had 2.13 higher odds of reporting satisfactory orgasms (adjusted odds ratio = 2.13; 95% CI = 1.05, 4.35) than women who reported no marijuana use. After adjusting for race and age, women with frequent marijuana use, regardless of use before sex or not, had 2.10 times higher odds of reporting satisfactory orgasms than those with infrequent marijuana use (adjusted odds ratio = 2.10; 95% CI = 1.01-4.44).

CONCLUSION: Marijuana appears to improve satisfaction with orgasm. A better understanding of the role of the endocannabinoid system in women is important, because there is a paucity of literature, and it could help lead to development of treatments for female sexual dysfunction.

KEYWORDS: Epidemiology; Female Sexual Response; Health Behavior and Attitudes; Women’s Sexuality


Over the last decade, marijuana use and the legalization of marijuana, medically and recreationally, has continued to increase in the United States.1 The internet is rife with claims of the beneficial effects of marijuana on several aspects of sexual function including libido, arousal, and orgasm. However, our scientific research on the effects of marijuana on sexual functioning is limited. Recently Palamar et al2 evaluated self-reported sexual effects of marijuana, ecstasy, and alcohol use in a small cohort of men and women aged 18–25. They found that the majority of marijuana users reported an increase in sexual enjoyment and orgasm intensity, as well as either an increase or no change in desire.2

Endocannabinoids, which are structurally similar to marijuana, are known to help regulate sexual function.3 The cannabinoid receptor, discovered in the 1990s, has been mapped to several areas of the brain that play a role in sexual function.3 Cannabinoids and endocannabinoids interact with the hormones and neurotransmitters that affect sexual behavior. Although these interactions have not been clearly illuminated, some studies in rodents have helped to clarify the relationship between cannabinoids and the hormones and neurotransmitters that affect sexual behavior.4 Although there is less data on human subjects, some studies have measured patient’s perceptions of the effects of marijuana on sexual function. Studies have reported an increase in desire and improvement in the quality of orgasm.5 Most recently, Klein et al6 evaluated the correlation between serum levels of 2 endogenous endocannabinoids and found a significant negative correlation between endocannabinoids and both physiological and subjective arousal in women. Sumnall et al7 reported that drugs such as cannabis and ecstasy were more frequently taken to improve the sexual experience than was alcohol.

The primary aim of this study was to determine how women perceive the sexual experience, specifically overall sexual satisfaction, sex drive, orgasm, dyspareunia, and lubrication, when using marijuana before sex. The magnitude of the change was also evaluated. The secondary aim sought to understand the effect of the frequency of marijuana use, regardless of marijuana use before sex, on satisfaction across the different sexual function domains.

GDPR After One Year: Costs and Unintended Consequences. By Alec Stapp

GDPR After One Year: Costs and Unintended Consequences. Alec Stapp. May 24 2019.

Excerpts (full links in the original article):

GDPR cases and fines
Here is the latest data on cases and fines released by the European Data Protection Board (

    €55,955,871 in fines
        €50 million of which was a single fine on Google
    281,088 total cases
        144,376 complaints
        89,271 data breach notifications
        47,441 other
    37.0% ongoing
    62.9% closed
    0.1% appealed

Compliance costs are astronomical
    Prior to GDPR going into effect, it was estimated that total GDPR compliance costs for US firms with more than 500 employees “could reach $150 billion.” (Fortune)
    Another estimate from the same time said 75,000 Data Protection Officers would need to be hired for compliance. (IAPP)
    As of March 20, 2019, 1,129 US news sites are still unavailable in the EU due to GDPR. (Joseph O’Connor)
    Microsoft had 1,600 engineers working on compliance. (Microsoft)
    During a Senate hearing, Keith Enright, Google’s chief privacy officer, estimated that the company spent “hundreds of years of human time” to comply with the new privacy rules. (Quartz)
        However, French authorities ultimately decided Google’s compliance efforts were insufficient: “France fines Google nearly $57 million for first major violation of new European privacy regime” (The Washington Post)
    “About 220,000 name tags will be removed in Vienna by the end of [2018], the city’s housing authority said. Officials fear that they could otherwise be fined up to $23 million, or about $1,150 per name.” (The Washington Post)
        Other reports claim that GDPR does not require removing name tags from buildings, but it is telling that ambiguity in the law caused the Vienna housing authority to believe it did (derStandard)

Unseen costs of foregone investment & research
    Startups: One study estimated that venture capital invested in EU startups fell by as much as 50 percent due to GDPR implementation. (NBER)
    Mergers and acquisitions: “55% of respondents said they had worked on deals that fell apart because of concerns about a target company’s data protection policies and compliance with GDPR” (WSJ)
    Scientific research: “[B]iomedical researchers fear that the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will make it harder to share information across borders or outside their original research context.” (Politico)

GDPR has been the death knell for small and medium-sized businesses

SMBs have left the EU market in droves (or shut down entirely). Here is a partial list:

    Brent Ozar, IT consulting services
    CoinTouch, peer-to-peer cryptocurrency exchange
    Drawbridge, cross-device identity service
    FamilyTreeDNA, free and public genetic tools
    Gravity Interactive, video game developer
        Ragnarok Online
        Dragon Saga
    Hitman: Absolution, video game developed by IO Interactive
    Klout, social reputation service by Lithium
    Loadout, video game developed by Edge of Reality
    Monal, XMPP chat app
    MotoSport, powersports retailer
    Parity, know-your-customer service for initial coin offerings (ICOs)
    Payver, dashcam app
    Pottery Barn, housewares retailer
    Seznam, social network for students
    Steel Root, cybersecurity and IT services
    StreetLend, tool sharing platform for neighbors
    Super Monday Night Combat (SMNC), video game developed by Uber Entertainment
    Tunngle, video game VPN, inbox management app
    Verve, mobile programmatic advertising
    Williams-Sonoma, housewares retailer