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Dominique Cappronnier via Flickr Creative Commons // CC BY-ND
Dominique Cappronnier via Flickr Creative Commons // CC BY-ND

Today’s Americans More Accepting Than Ever of Same-Sex Relationships

Dominique Cappronnier via Flickr Creative Commons // CC BY-ND
Dominique Cappronnier via Flickr Creative Commons // CC BY-ND

Good news for equality: A large survey of American adults found that tolerance is on the rise. Researchers published a summary of the survey findings in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior.

Since 1973, the General Social Survey has been kind of like a thermometer for American attitudes and beliefs. Survey respondents are asked about their thoughts and feelings on a broad range of topics, from our criminal justice system and legalizing marijuana to racism and social equality. The survey’s most recent iteration, sent out in 2014, brought responses from more than 30,000 adults.

Those adults are not the adults of the '70s, or even the '90s—at least not when it comes to same-sex relationships. For years and years, American attitudes about same-sex relations didn’t really change. In 1973, just 11 percent of adults agreed that "sexual relations between two adults of the same sex [are] not wrong at all." In 1990, that number was only up to 13 percent. Yet something big has happened since then. As of 2014, 49 percent of all adults and 63 percent of Millennials were OK with same-sex relations.

And we’re not just more OK with same-sex experiences—we’re also having more of them, or at least we’re saying that we are. In 1990, 4.5 percent of men reported having sex with another man at least once. By 2014, that percentage had nearly doubled. Women’s self-reported same-sex experiences rose even faster, from 3.6 to 8.7 percent. Bisexual behavior is also on the rise, at 7.7 percent, up from 3.1.

Now, all these results are self-reported. Is it possible that it’s just become more acceptable to talk about having same-sex experiences? Absolutely. But that’s progress, too.

Lead author Jean Twenge is a psychologist at San Diego State University and the author of two controversial books about Millennials: Generation Me and The Narcissism Epidemic. "These large shifts in both attitudes and behavior occurred over just 25 years, suggesting rapid cultural change," Twenge said in a press statement. 

Those rapid cultural changes are the result of a number of factors, Twenge said, but she believes that it boils down to an increased interest in individuality and equality. "Without the strict social rules common in the past,” Twenge said, “Americans now feel more free to have sexual experiences they desire." 

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Stones, Bones, and Wrecks
3500-Year-Old Mummy Discovered in Forgotten Egyptian Tomb

As the site of the ancient city of Thebes, the modern-day Egyptian city of Luxor is filled with archaeological treasures. But until recently, two forgotten tombs—both located in the necropolis of Dra' Abu el-Naga, an important non-royal cemetery—hadn’t been fully explored. Now, National Geographic reports that experts have finally excavated these burial sites and discovered a 3500-year-old mummy, along with ornate funerary goods and colorful murals.

While excavating one of the two tombs, known as Kampp 150, experts found linen-wrapped remains that Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities believes belong to either "a person named Djehuty Mes, whose name was engraved on one of the walls ... [or] the scribe Maati, as his name and the name of his wife Mehi were inscribed on 50 funerary cones found in the tomb's rectangular chamber."

In addition to the mummy, archaeologists discovered wooden statues, masks, earthen pots, a cache of some 450 statuettes, and around 100 funerary cones—conical mud objects, which were often positioned outside a tomb's center, and could have served as identifying markers or as offerings—inside Kampp 150.

The Associated Press reported that the second tomb, known as Kampp 161, is thought to be approximately 3400 years old—about 100 years newer than its neighboring chamber—as its design is characteristic of other such structures dating back to the reigns of Amenhotep II and Thutmose IV.

Inside Kampp 161, archaeologists discovered wooden funerary masks, a decorated coffin, furniture shards, and the mural of a festival or party depicting the tomb's unknown resident and his wife receiving ceremonial offerings.

German scholar Friederike Kampp-Seyfried surveyed and numbered both tombs in the 1990s, which is how they got their names, but she did not fully excavate nor enter either one.

Officials celebrated the rediscovery of the tombs on Saturday, December 9, when they publicly announced the archaeological finds. They hope that discoveries like these will entice foreign travelers to visit Egypt, as political unrest has harmed the country's tourism industry in recent years.

“It’s truly an exceptional day,” Khaled al-Anani, Egypt's antiquities minister, said in a statement. “The 18th dynasty private tombs were already known. But it’s the first time" anyone's ever entered them.

Check out some pictures of the newly revealed relics below.

Mustafa al-Waziri, director general of Luxor's Antiquities, points at an ancient Egyptian mural found at the newly discovered 'Kampp 161' tomb at Draa Abul Naga necropolis.
Mustafa al-Waziri, director general of Luxor's Antiquities, points at an ancient Egyptian mural found at the newly discovered 'Kampp 161' tomb at Draa Abul Naga necropolis on the west Nile bank of the southern Egyptian city of Luxor, about 400 miles south of the capital Cairo, on December 9, 2017.
STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images

An Egyptian archaeological technician restores artifacts found at the newly discovered 'Kampp 161' tomb at Draa Abul Naga necropolis in Luxor, Egypt.
An Egyptian archaeological technician restores artifacts found at the newly discovered 'Kampp 161' tomb at Draa Abul Naga necropolis on the west Nile bank of the southern Egyptian city of Luxor, about 400 miles south of the capital Cairo, on December 9, 2017.
STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images

An Egyptian laborer stands next to an ancient Egyptian mural found at the newly discovered 'Kampp 161' tomb at Draa Abul Naga necropolis in Luxor, Egypt.
STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images

Ancient Egyptian wooden funerary masks and small statuettes found in and retrieved from the newly discovered 'Kampp 150' tomb at Draa Abul Naga necropolis in Luxor, Egypt.
A picture taken on December 9, 2017 shows ancient Egyptian wooden funerary masks and small statuettes found in and retrieved from the newly discovered 'Kampp 150' tomb at Draa Abul Naga necropolis on the west Nile bank of the southern Egyptian city of Luxor, about 400 miles south of the capital Cairo.
STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images

[h/t National Geographic]

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Kohske Takahashi, i-Perception (2017)
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fun
Can You Figure Out This Newly Discovered Optical Illusion?
Kohske Takahashi, i-Perception (2017)
Kohske Takahashi, i-Perception (2017)

Ready to have your mind boggled? Take a look at the image above. What shape are the lines? Do they look like curves, or zigzags?

The image, spotted by Digg, is a new type of optical illusion published in the aptly named journal i-Perception. Discovered by Japanese psychologist Kohske Takahashi, it’s called the “curvature blindness illusion,” because—spoiler—the contrast of the lines against the gray background makes our eye see some of the lines as zigzags when, in fact, they’re all smooth curves.

The illusion relies on a few different factors, according to the three experiments Takahashi conducted. For it to work, the lines have to change contrast just at or after the peak of the curve, reversing the contrast against the background. You’ll notice that the zigzags only appear against the gray section of the background, and even against that gray background, not every line looks angled. The lines that look curvy change contrast midway between the peaks and the valleys of the line, whereas the lines that look like they contain sharp angles change contrast right at the peak and valley. The curve has to be relatively gentle, too.

Go ahead, stare at it for a while.

[h/t Digg]

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