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Kissing Cousins

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924901.  Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:06 am Reply with quote

I found it difficult to think of K subjects for a whole episode, but wondered whether Kissing Cousins could be one. It can incorporate questions about kissing and romance, as well as famous relatives.

There are a large number of US politicians who were married to their cousins, which in itself is interesting, but I'll pick the case of Andrew Jackson.

It's not actually the 7th President of the US who I'm thinking of, but his wife's nephew, Andrew Jackson Donelson, who in fact lived with his aunt and uncle for some time.

The younger Andrew actually helped his uncle during his Presidential campaigns and became a diplomat and Vice Presidential candidate at one point. He was also the older Andrew's private secretary for some time.

This is where it may become somewhat mixed up. Andrew Jackson Junior (AJJ) married his first cousin, Emily Donelson, but when Andrew Jackson Senior's (AJS) wife, Rachel, died just before he took office, Emily became the unofficial First Lady of the US. The First Lady was therefore married to Andrew Jackson, but not the President, she was actually his niece, by marriage.

Confused yet? Let's try a bit harder...

Amily died very early (aged 29), and as AJJ was still a young man himself, he remarried after 4 years to another cousin, Elizabeth Martin Randolph (she did not become First Lady as AJS was no longer President). Elizabeth herself was also a widow, having been previously married to Meriwether Lewis Randolph. Meriwether's grandfather was the third President of the US, Thomas Jefferson.

924903.  Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:09 am Reply with quote

It should be added that Thomas Jefferson was also one to advicate marrying cousins, having married his third cousin, Martha Wayles.

925096.  Thu Jul 19, 2012 7:38 am Reply with quote

While on kissing cousins, some of you may be aware of the romantic relationship between two characters in Harry Potter, with the couple played by Emma Watson and Rupert Grint.

As it turns out, a search into their family history revealed that Rupert's family could be traced back as far as 1792 to a tiny village called North Kilworth, and Emma's family could be traced back to just a few years later in South Kilworth. These were twin villages dominated by two major families, Berridge (Rupert's ancestors) and Bonsor (Emma's ancestors).

In those times it was not uncommon for neighbouring families to intermarry and it's very probable that Emma and Rupert are actually related.

925099.  Thu Jul 19, 2012 7:47 am Reply with quote


925758.  Sun Jul 22, 2012 9:25 am Reply with quote

Jerry Lee Lewis.

Not only was she his cousin, she was also a minor!

926040.  Mon Jul 23, 2012 9:44 am Reply with quote

Charles Darwin also married his cousin.

938983.  Fri Sep 14, 2012 6:11 am Reply with quote

And so to kissing (but not always with your cousin, ew):

Here is the post in which I linked the paper to boner-sneezing; the tendency to sneeze when sexually excited or on the point of orgasm. The more I think about this, the less funny it seems, although I suppose some illnesses are funnier than others. It must be sad not to be able to be able to have a secret crush on someone f'rexample, and everyone in the house would know when you were have a "proper think" about someone you like.

Added to that, you have the risk of throwing your back out when sneezing (also mentioned in the New Scientist article), and some people have broken ribs while sneezing.

<edit> It occurs to me that the above post may be culled before the K series preparation gets started, so here is the academic paper in question.

Last edited by swot on Sat Sep 15, 2012 8:46 am; edited 1 time in total

938989.  Fri Sep 14, 2012 6:21 am Reply with quote

Also to do with kissing:

Here is an excerpt from Malcolm Rose's rather excellent book Plague, written in 2000

Malcolm Rose wrote:
The skin around the mouth is home to many microbes and the mouth teems with different bacteria. In between, the lips are less populated with live organisms so when people kiss lightly on the mouth only a few microbes move between participants. A little more passion and the outer layers of bacteria are ripped away from their moorings on the teeth. Grease from the corners of the mouth is torn away, along with spurts of acne bacteria. A passionate kiss generates a wind tunnel effect, a howling gale for bacteria and viruses, which stream from one person to another with the sloshing saliva. In the fervour of a kiss, the male's body temperature and hormone levels increase, intensifying the female's desire. After, if the kissing couple rest their foreheads together, the invisible families of demodex mites living on their eyelashes interchange, hunting for food like mascara or acne cream.

Not that I want to ruin kissing for everyone, I just found that morbidly fascinating.

Just for some context, Malcolm Rose is a writer of young adult fiction and a scientist, so his books tend to feature scientific issues, and also tend to be accurate.

938990.  Fri Sep 14, 2012 6:31 am Reply with quote

Kissing as an act outside lovemaking was not as common or accepted as it is today.

In 1895 there was a famous play in New York, called The Widow Jones, and as an early attempt to showcase cinematography Edison filmed the two leading actors (May Irwin and John Rice) kissing. When this film was brought to Tokyo in 1896 it became a sensation, with huge crowds lining up to view a practice they were not used to. It was more than half a century later when Rodin's The Kiss was finally allowed to be shown in Japan. In fact, it was not until the 1990s that kissing in public became a brand new trend among young people.

938993.  Fri Sep 14, 2012 6:38 am Reply with quote

Did not know that.

I recall reading about the 'momentous' kiss that happened between Kirk and Uhuru on Star Trek TOS. I'm really amused by the idea that people were perfectly happy to watch Shatner whoring his was through the galaxy, kissing as many aliens as possible, but it was new and shocking for him to kiss a black girl.

938997.  Fri Sep 14, 2012 6:41 am Reply with quote

I read in New Scientist a while ago about the trade-off we have between kissing and sex and personal safety. On the one hand you've got mixing of DNA, producing offspring more likely to be strong and adaptable (compared with asexual reproduction), and you also have bonding between groups. On the other hand, you make yourself vulnerable to diseases. I'll try to dig it out.

938999.  Fri Sep 14, 2012 6:44 am Reply with quote

In some countries, where religion still dominates the law, kissing in public can still be a criminal offence. In some places in the Middle East you can still be arrested for kissing in public, as well as in India.

In some countries public kissing is still a sensitive issue, 4 years ago a cable television company in Singapore was fined for an advert that had two women kissing (link to story).

939000.  Fri Sep 14, 2012 6:47 am Reply with quote

Listverse did a list of notable screen kisses a few months back:

It's interesting to note that two women kissing was accepted years before an interracial kiss was, and two men kissing was not accepted until much later.

939004.  Fri Sep 14, 2012 6:53 am Reply with quote

Well, all of the lesbians are incredibly attractive...

939009.  Fri Sep 14, 2012 6:58 am Reply with quote

Have you seen Rosie O'Donnell?



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