Absurd Penile Censorship

Definition of Absurd: (1) ridiculously unreasonable, unsound, or incongruous <an absurd argument>, or (2) having no rational or orderly relationship to human life : meaningless <an absurd universe>; also : lacking order or value <an absurd existence>

Every now and then, I come across something for which I cannot provide a single possible explanation. I mean not even a “I don’t agree but I see where they are coming from…”


After I got my Iphone 4S… I’m sorry… my iPhone 4s, I started an unhealthy obsession with the TED app. What I like best about TED is that it makes very smart people boil down, into digestible powerpoint presentations, increasingly complex ideas in order that these can be understood by complete illiterates, usually over a lunch break or while on the treadmill. So next time you see Zuuko pontificating intelligently about non-invasive brain surgery using ultrasound, know that the sum total of knowledge behind his statements come from a 15-minute TED talk.

Now you get all kinds of interesting speakers and lectures at TED. From the content of the subject matter to the eloquence of the speaker, there can be a great variety as you move from video to video. Some videos are better than others.

Which brings me to this:

Please keep in mind the following as you ask yourself, “why is Zuuko posting about the point of erections?” Its not because that the subject matter is particularly unusual for a TED talk (editor’s note: its not). Its not because the speaker is unusually passionate about the subject matter (editor’s note: she is). Its not that the subject matter at hand is something with which Zuuko may have an unhealthy obsession (editor’s note: he doesn’t except when the mood is right).

Its because of the following image at the 3:40 mark, where the before- and during-an-erection picture of two rhinoceroses is used. I’ve taken a screen grab for my dear readers.

Can someone please tell me why on earth are there black rectangles over the eyes of both rhinoceroses? Is it because the picture is somehow offensive? As the TED Video’s static image before you hit play shows, its more typical to cover the nude male’s bits and pieces than their eyes, a la Adam & Eve style? So is it because the identity of these two rhinos needs to be protected? Just in case they happen to be at an internet cafe and one of their friends emails them an embarrassing gotcha photo of them in coitus? What possible reason could there be?

I just don’t get it. Like wtf?

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6 Responses to Absurd Penile Censorship

  1. zolltan says:

    uhh.. it’s a joke? I mean, you gotta admit it’s a pretty funny joke.

    • Zuuko says:

      Well, it is pretty funny but I don’t think that picture is intentionally meant to be a joke.

      • zolltan says:

        The presentation contained a bunch of jokes, so why not another one? As you say, there is no other even remotely possible explanation, and it is pretty funny. So, I’m gonna say Occam’s razor here. We could send Diane Kelly an e-mail and ask her, but I kinda prefer not to know so I can hold out hope that maybe it’s actually not a joke and there is some legal reason for rhinoceros identity protection.

        Also, have you seen Mary Roach’s TED talk along the same lines? She is a pretty great speaker.

    • Zuuko says:

      i have now. its pretty funny

  2. zzzanna says:


  3. zolltan says:

    At least two people have now found our blog looking for rhinoceros penises on google. Nice!

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