scarlatti asks about corsets
Regular readers -- or observers of dougs-in-the-wild -- may have spotted that I have a particular fondness for the corset. I think it's a good thing for several reasons, particularly when worn by the well-padded female form. I'm not such a fan of the stick-thin person chasing a fourteen-inch waist, but if someone's got some real anatomy inside the corset, the effect it has on the figure is superb. it squeezes, and it lifts, and it changes the way the wearer breathes so that her chest rises and falls in an exaggerated fashion. It squeezes, and it pushes down, and it changes the shape of the occupant's bottom in a very pleasing way, particularly when she's walking. It squeezes, and straightens, and changes the way the wearer stands, forces her to stand up straight which has a subtle but strong impact on the way she looks. But more important by far than any of these effects is the effect that the corset has on the wearer's self-confidence, on her self-image. The best-looking corsets are the ones which are worn by people who love wearing them, people who find that wearing a corset makes them feel great. There's nothing which improves a person's appearance more effectively than something which makes them feel good about themselves ... and, when someone who loves to wear a corset does so, the effect is always wonderful.
trav28 asks about latex catsuits
Ah, latex catsuits are good for reasons connected with self-confidence, as I've outlined in the paragraph above. They're also surprisingly practical -- as that short red-haired girl pointed out, it's good that the favoured clothing of perverts is wipe-clean. It's good to see some people in outfits which really show off the figure, too. And they photograph wonderfully.
watervole asks about environmental issues and what actions should be taken
It seems to me that the best action open to people who care about the environment is to learn about it -- to understand what makes their environment tick, to become aware of the effect of their actions upon their environment. I'm conflicted about some of the things that some single-issue environmentalist campaigners would have us do -- sometimes changing a behaviour in order to reduce a particular kind of damage to the environment can have unanticipated effects on other parts of the environment. We've seen this most recently with the debate over the treatment of the eroding spit of land at East Wittering, but other issues regularly arise -- for example, shoppers are encouraged to choose tuna caught by line because nets kill dolphins, without realising that the fishing lines kill albatrosses.
the_major asks about whether caterpillars can sneeze.
This was another topic which emerged from that eyebrow in my userpic, I bet.
Caterpillars are the larval form of moths and butterflies -- the're a kind of insect. An insect doesn't have an a upper respiratory tract, instead breathing through two rows of holes along the sides of its body. I don't know how they clear obstructions in these holes. From the little I know about the habits of caterpillars, I can confidently predict that if you blew pepper into a caterpillar's face it would eat it.
hddod asks about peas
Peas are good. A pleasant-tasting food, high in carbohydrate and protein, and easy either to prepare for the table or to pick and eat raw at the right time of year when you're in your mother's garden and she isn't watching.
"Pisum sativum" is an anagram of "I am vi's sputum"
darth_tigger asks about toenails
They grow too fast. They dig holes in your socks and they gouge little chunks out of the calf of the other person in the bed. They should be abolished, as should fingernails. Actually, forget I mentioned abolishing fingernails -- if I didn't have fingernails, I'd be nibbling on something else all day and my weight would rocket.
nwhyte asks about Pope Benedict XVI
I was worried about this, earlier in the year when JPII was fading. I have serious issues with Rome's policies on a number of issues and, as head of CDF, Cardinal Ratzinger had a central rôle in developing those policies. He'd also, independently of this and before his appointment to the Curia, shown how aggressively conservative his views were.
Following his Inauguration, his published views seem to have mellowed somewhat. He writes:
Peter's current Successor takes on as his primary task the duty to work tirelessly to rebuild the full and visible unity of all Christ's followers. This is his ambition, his impelling duty. He is aware that good intentions do not suffice for this. Concrete gestures that enter hearts and stir consciences are essential, inspiring in everyone that inner conversion that is the prerequisite for all ecumenical progress.
[snip] Each one of us must come before him, the supreme Judge of every living person, and render an account to him of all we have done or have failed to do to further the great good of the full and visible unity of all his disciples.
[snip] I address all with simplicity and affection, to assure them that the Church wants to continue to weave an open and sincere dialogue with them, in the search for the true good of the human being and of society.
I really hope that this means that the Roman church is going to become more accepting, more inclusive. We'll believe it when we see it.
johncoxon asks about Getting rejected by old sweethearts.
I've never been in this position. I don't think I'd handle it well.
That's my whole list to date. If anyone else wants to solicit one of these answers, follow the link at the top of the post and put in a suggestion.