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Showbiz & Celebrity / Marge Simpson (The Simpsons) graces Playboy Cover
« on: October 14, 2009, 06:43:27 AM »

Marge Simpson graces Playboy cover

By Breeanna Hare

(CNN) -- If those coveted 20-something readers can't identify with Hugh Hefner, maybe they will with "The Simpsons."
Marge Simpson will appear in the November issue of Playboy as the magazine's first cartoon cover model.

Marge Simpson will appear in the November issue of Playboy as the magazine's first cartoon cover model.

Like nearly everything printed on paper these days, Playboy magazine has been facing tough times. Advertising pages have dropped 31 percent over the last year, newsstand sales have dried up by 25 percent, and its circulation has dipped to 2.4 million, according to publishing insider Media Industry Newsletter.

Can a blue-haired mother of three deliver the iconic gentleman's book to a new generation?

Part commemoration of "The Simpsons'" 20th anniversary, part nod to the golden days of Playboy, what has become known as "The Marge Simpson Cover" has drummed up more attention for Playboy than the premiere of the original "Girls Next Door." But it remains to be seen whether the animated move can open the wallets of a younger generation.

"The shock value always does Playboy very good," said Media Industry Newsletter online editor-in-chief Steve Cohn. "This is a novelty one, but it's no different than a celebrity. In a sense, Marge has something in common with a woman who's never done it before, someone like Nancy Sinatra."

But it's not exactly shock value Playboy is going for -- more like "hip, cool" and the kind of magazine a 25-year-old would read. Maxim, a "lad mag" with an average reader of 29, also ran a cover of Marge Simpson in 2004, depicting the d'oh-eyed beauty in a sheer dress on all fours, scrubbing the floor.

"We knew Marge's pictorial would appeal to a large demographic," said Playboy editorial director Jimmy Jellinek. "This cover and pictorial is just another example of how we're evolving our editorial content to continue to reach men in their 20s, and also maintain the elements of the magazine that have attracted readers for more than 50 years."

The three-page pictorial, featuring a scantily-clad Marge in cartoon lingerie, was "obviously tongue-in-cheek," new Playboy CEO Scott Flanders told the Chicago Sun-Times. "It had never been done, and we thought it would be hip, cool and unusual."

Playboy's use of "hip" isn't the only thing retro-cool -- the cover is a clear nod to the empire's peak in the 1970s. Marge's now infamous image, itself considered to be groundbreaking as the first cartoon character to land a Playboy cover, was inspired by another bunny-eared milestone: The October 1971 issue featured Darine Stern, the first black woman to pose on a Playboy cover.

"We decided to re-create [it] because it's one of our most iconic covers," Jellinek said, "and because Marge's sexy blue beehive immediately made us think of Darine Stern, whose beautiful, voluminous hairdo was front and center on the October 1971 cover."

For Hefner, "Marge Simpson is the quintessential girl next door who stole our hearts 20 years ago and has held them captive ever since. We were delighted to learn she wanted to grace the pages of our magazine. Her pictorial is truly stunning," he told CNN.

This move comes on the heels of a disappointing first half of 2009, during which Playboy lost some attention from the demographic it does have -- the average reader is a 35-year-old male. The magazine came in 200,000 short of its 2.6 million rate base -- the minimum circulation a magazine promises to advertisers -- according to BusinessWeek.

Playboy's lackluster showing as of late can be attributed to two things, Cohn said. One, the audience transferred some of their desire for tastefully disrobed women to the Web. Second, Hugh Hefner got old.

"The reason for their audience shift can be seen in Hugh Hefner. I went to college in the '70s and Hefner was in his 40s back then. He was the symbol for what kind of guy I wanted to be," Cohn said. "Now he's in his 80s -- it's hard to identify with someone like that. That's a problem for Playboy."

But, Jellinek said, "Playboy is a state of mind and a way of being, not a pre-prescribed age. We knew this was something that all of our readers would enjoy, because the show has been on for 20 years and it resonates with adults of all ages."

The "Simpson"-ized Playboy will be available at newsstands Friday.

Serena Williams nude on the cover of ESPN The Magazine

By Chris Chase

Serena Williams will be one of six athletes appearing nude on different editions of ESPN The Magazine's "Body Issue", which hits newsstands on Friday. Serena's cover was released earlier this week and, yup, she's naked:

Is the photo an homage to Farrah Fawcett, perhaps? The left hand, raised knee, upturned head and flowing curls are almost identical to the famous 1970s picture of the Charlie's Angels star. All that's missing is a runaway nipple.

Another similarity between the Serena and Farrah pics: They both look great. Compared to the airbrushed, plastic physique of fellow ESPN cover model Gina Carano (who is apparently an MMA fighter), Serena's natural body is a thing of beauty.

And a final kudos to the photographer, who evidently made certain that Serena's left foot stayed behind the line. Good decision, my friend.

Sports and Fitness / Manny Resumes Heavy Training
« on: October 06, 2009, 10:41:24 AM »
Manny resumes heavy training
By Abac Cordero Updated October 06, 2009 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Manny Pacquiao plunged back into training in Baguio City yesterday while Mexican trainer Nacho Beristain, who was thousands of miles away, bared his thoughts on how the Filipino pound-for-pound champion would hit Miguel Cotto “like a rocket” on Nov. 14.

Pacquiao entered his third week of training in the country’s summer capital, which was pummelled by typhoon “Pepeng” over the weekend, by doing 15 rounds of mitts with Freddie Roach and some plyometric exercises with his conditioning coach, Alex Ariza.

Pacquiao broke camp Saturday evening after sparring five rounds with Shawn Porter and Urbano Antillon. He braved the storm to take a 250-km ride to Manila and personally help distribute relief goods to victims of last week’s tropical storm “Ondoy” the other day.

Pacquiao and his entourage were back in Baguio close to midnight of Sunday. It took them longer than usual to get there because, according to one of his bodyguards, Jojo Sta. Teresa, there was “zero visibility” on the zig-zagging, cliff-hanging roads up to Baguio.

At the Shape Up Gym, it was business as usual yesterday it looked like the mitts on Roach’s hands were ready to explode.

Pacquiao resumes his sparring today with Porter and Antillon. Another sparringmate, former WBC lightweight champion Jose Luis Castillo, is scheduled to fly in today to provide the extra muscle in the Pinoy icon’s camp six weeks heading to the fight on Nov. 14.

Meanwhile, Beristain, the future Hall-of-Fame trainer from Mexico, gave ESPN’s Spanish TV program “Golpe a Golpe” (Blow by Blow) a big hint of things to come when Pacquiao and Cotto dispute the WBO welterweight crown at a catchweight of 145 lb.

Beristain, who trained Juan Manuel Marquez in his two fights with Pacquiao, is on the side of the Filipino southpaw.

“His left hand is like a missile, like a rocket, it has tremendous speed and his power is tremendous. The key to the fight is not only Pacquiao’s speed but is also the fact that he has been better with his technique,” he said.

“He is a technical fighter now with speed and power, and that Pacquiao is very difficult to beat. If it was difficult before, imagine now, Cotto will be in a world of trouble when he steps in the ring with Manny, besides that, I don’t think he recovered from the beating Margarito gave him, I think Pacquiao will win this fight.”

Beristain also shared his thoughts on Roach’s importance to Pacquiao, even if an Internet article that came out yesterday talked about one member of Team Pacquiao saying it may be time for the 30-year-old Pacquiao to dump Roach.

“I think Pacquiao is lucky to have him in his corner, Freddie Roach is one of the best trainers in the world and he has a lot of knowledge and he has made Pacquiao a better fighter who used to have a lot of flaws in his style. Pacquiao used to jump when throwing punches and now he is doing great from a technical point of view and that is Freddie’s work,” said Beristain.

Love Talk / Lihim na bading
« on: October 06, 2009, 10:22:46 AM »
Lihim na bading

Dear Dr. Love,

Una sa lahat, let me greet you a pleasant day. Tawagin mo na lang akong Carl, 23-anyos. Sumulat ako dahil sa ako’y dumaranas ngayon ng krisis. Lalaki ako pero bakit ang damdamin ko’y babae. Gustuhin ko mang umibig sa babae ay tumatanggi ang puso ko.

Sinikap kong ma-overcome ito. Ni Minsan ay hindi ako nakipagrelasyon sa kapwa ko lalaki dahil alam kong bawal ito sa Salita ng Diyos. Noong maliit ako’y nakita na ng mga parents ko ang tendency kong maging bakla. Pero iminulat nila ako sa Salita ng Diyos. Choir member pa ako sa aming church.

Nagbinata ako na walang problema. Pinilit kong maging lalaki. Nanligaw ako ng babae pero katagalan ay ako na rin ang umaayaw dahil hindi ko talaga ma-take.

Gusto kong magpakatatag. Mas mahalaga sa akin ang pagsunod sa Diyos kaysa sa aking nadarama. Ano ang dapat kong gawin para mapaglabanan ito?


Dear Carl,

Ang sabi sa Bible: “I can do anything through Christ Jesus who strengthens me.” Itanim mo sa puso mo na ang lahat ng ating kapintasan at kalikuan ay naipako na sa krus kasama ng ating manunubos na si Jesus at tayo mga bagong nilalang na.

Lagi kang magbulay sa Salita ng Diyos sapagkat iyan lamang ang source ng ating kalakasan. Manalangin ka at kilalanin ang iyong kahinaan at palalakasin ka ng Diyos.

Nagagalak ako sa sinabi mong mas nanaisin mong sundin ang kalooban ng Diyos kaysa iyong damdamin. God honors your declaration of faith. Keep it up and God bless you.

Dr. Love

Philippine Business News / 'Quedan' enters RP as 'Pepeng' lingers
« on: October 06, 2009, 10:07:17 AM »
'Quedan' enters RP as 'Pepeng' lingers
By Helen Flores (The Philippine Star) Updated October 06, 2009 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - A new typhoon entered the country yesterday and might pull back tropical storm “Pepeng” (international name “Parma,” which was earlier a typhoon) to northern Luzon, the weather bureau said yesterday.

Administrator Prisco Nilo of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said one of the models showed that Quedan (international name “Melor”) would drag Pepeng up toward Okinawa, Japan.

“If that happens, Pepeng would cross again northern Luzon and possibly make landfall over Ilocos Norte and Batanes,” he said.

It is still possible that Pepeng would further intensify while over the South China Sea, he added.

Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon would not be directly affected by Pepeng and Quedan, Nilo said.

Chief government forecaster Nathaniel Cruz said typhoon Quedan was pushing west but does not pose a direct threat to northern Luzon.

Stormy weather would continue to prevail over northern Luzon in the next three days, he added.

Cruz said Quedan, packing maximum sustained winds of 205 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 250 kph was moving west northwest at 26 kph.

However, Quedan was not expected to hit any part of the country as it would move toward southern Japan tomorrow, he added.

Cruz said Pepeng regained strength from 95 kph at 11 a.m. yesterday to 105 kph at 4 p.m. after “interaction” with the powerful Quedan, which is located 1,130 kilometers east southeast of Basco, Batanes.

“Pepeng will remain stationary for the next three days,” he said.

Cruz said Pepeng was not expected to make another landfall but will continue to dump heavy rains in northern Luzon.

The storm was located 143 miles (230 kilometers) off northern Laoag city, packing winds of 59 mph (95 kph) and gusts of up to 75 mph (120 kph), he added.

Nilo said storm signal No. 3 was again raised over Ilocos Norte as Pepeng remained stationary off Laoag City.

Signal No. 2 remained hoisted over Ilocos Sur, Abra, Apayao, and northern Cagayan (including Calayan and Babuyan Group of Islands and Batanes Group of Islands), he added.

Signal no. 1 was still up in La Union, Benguet, Mountain Province, Ifugao, Kalinga, and rest of Cagayan, Nilo said.

Pepeng was already moving out of the country on Sunday when it was blocked by a high-pressure area off Hong Kong, causing it to remain stationary for the last 48 hours.

Pepeng is expected to be 220 kms north northwest of Laoag City this afternoon; at 210 kms northwest of Laoag City tomorrow afternoon; and at 260 kms north northwest of Vigan City by Thursday afternoon.

Quedan is predicted to be at 780 kms east northeast of Basco this afternoon; at 1,080 kms northeast of Basco or 350 kms east northeast of Okinawa, Southern Japan by Wednesday afternoon.

In the Visayas and Mindanao, Pagasa has forecast good weather in the next few days.

In Metro Manila and other areas in Luzon, partly cloudy skies with isolated light rains would continue to prevail, according to the weather bureau.

Technology / TOP GUN
« on: October 06, 2009, 01:56:24 AM »
Top Gun
When Brandon Crisp's parents took away his Xbox, they had no idea that their attempt to restrict their son's video gaming would lead to tragedy. In retaliation, Brandon ran away. His body was found three weeks later. His disappearance, and death, became a national news story as it revealed a dark side to what many thought was a harmless entertainment. Gillian Findlay investigates how a video gaming obsession can turn to addiction and a pro gaming circuit with thousands of dollars in potential winnings, experts say, can fuel the need to play.

Love Talk / Wired for Sex, Lies and Power Trips: IT'S A TEEN'S WORLD
« on: October 06, 2009, 01:44:42 AM »
Wired for Sex, Lies and Power Trips: IT'S A TEEN'S WORLD ::) ::)

You know, you think that okay, then maybe I could grab her ass 'cause the way she dresses, she's telling me to grab her ass.
Billy, 17

They keep doing it even if you say no or stop 'cause they think you're joking so it gets kind of difficult to tell them to stop.
Kelsie, 15

They don't think that the little things they do is sexual harassment. They just think it's normal.
Pauline, 16

Kids today are active players in a sexually-charged popular culture, fuelled by media and personal technology. But at what cost? Whether it's posting sexy photos and raunchy video on the net, ass-grabbing in the school hallway or spreading explicit gossip that shatters high school lives, harassment is commonplace, even acceptable.

Kids today seem to be simply absorbing the bombardment of sexually explicit language, images and behaviours into their social scripts. Even those who recognize the consequences feel powerless to stop it.

Combining documentary verite and self-directed dramatic films, three diverse groups of Toronto teens have an unprecedented opportunity to examine their provocative, fast-paced and hyper-sexualized social world more carefully and thoughtfully. Perhaps most revealing is how the kids in each group challenge each other's assumptions, grapple with contradictions and ultimately change their perspectives.

In an unprecedented journey through computer screens, inside all-ages clubs, with candid personal diaries and in their own short dramatic films about sexual pressures, It's a Teen's World exposes what it's like for today's teens to navigate a tangled web of sex, lies and power trips.

Wired for Sex, Lies and Powertrip: It's a Teen's World is the thematic sequel to director/producer Lynn Glazier's acclaimed and influential documentary film It's a Girl's World: how girls use their social power to hurt each other (NFB 2004). (from CBC)

(this video contains sexually explicit materials.)


What’s in a Nickname? The Origins of All 30 NHL Team Names
by Scott Allen - October 2, 2009 - 10:55 AM

Ever wonder what a Canuck is? How about a Blue Jacket? With the NHL season kicking off this week, here’s a breakdown of how the league’s 30 teams got their names.

1. New York Rangers
In 1925, the New York Americans joined the National Hockey League and played their home games at the old Madison Square Garden. Tex Rickard, the boxing promoter and ex-gold prospector who built and owned the arena, decided he wanted his own NHL team, which he was awarded in 1926. Rickard’s team was immediately dubbed “Tex’s Rangers” as a pun referencing the paramilitary force founded in Texas during the 1830s. The Americans folded in 1943, while Tex’s Rangers remain.

2. New Jersey Devils
Given that New Jersey has never been known for its mountains, the team needed a new nickname after the Colorado Rockies relocated to the Garden State in 1982. The New Jersey Sports and Exhibition Authority sponsored a statewide newspaper contest to determine the new nickname and some of the other finalists included Americans, Blades, Coastals, Colonials, Gulls, Jaguars, Meadowlanders, and Meadowlarks. While some fans objected to the winning selection on religious grounds – one threatened the life of a reporter who was covering the search – the Devil has an entirely non-religious folk history in New Jersey. According to legend, a harmless creature known as the Leeds Devil, or the Jersey Devil, roamed the Pine Barrens in the southern part of the state from 1887 until 1938.

3. New York Islanders
When New York’s expansion Major League Baseball franchise held a name-the-team contest in 1961, Islanders finished third behind Mets and Empires. Eleven years later, Islanders was selected as the nickname for New York’s new hockey team, which plays its home games on Long Island.

4. Philadelphia Flyers
The team sponsored a name-the-team contest after Ed Snider, then-vice president of the Philadelphia Eagles, brought hockey back to the City of Brotherly Love in 1966. Snider’s sister, Phyllis, reportedly suggested the name Flyers, which sounds good when paired with Philadelphia but doesn’t have any real meaning.

5. Pittsburgh Penguins
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette sponsored a name-the-team contest, but Carol McGregor, the wife of one of the franchise’s part owners, Jack McGregor, was the one responsible for the nickname. In his book, Pittsburgh Penguins: The Official History of the First 30 Years, Bob Grove describes how Carol McGregor came up with the name. “I was thinking of something with a P. And I said to Jack, ‘What do they call the Civic Arena?’ And he said, ‘The Big Igloo.’ So I thought, ice. . . Pittsburgh. . . Penguins.” More than 700 of the 26,000 contest entries were for Penguins.

6. Boston Bruins
When grocery store tycoon Charles Adams brought a team to Boston, he hired former hockey great Art Ross to serve as his general manager. Adams tasked Ross with coming up with a nickname, with one of the requirements being that the team’s colors would be the same as his grocery store chain – brown and yellow. Ross decided on Bruins.

7. Buffalo Sabres
When Buffalo entered the league in 1970, owners Seymour Knox III and Northrup Knox wanted the nickname for their new team to be unique. The brothers sponsored a name-the-team contest and decided on Sabres, with a buffalo featured prominently in the team’s logo.

8. Montreal Canadiens
In 1909, John Ambrose O’Brien created the Club de Hockey Canadien. Ambrose wanted his team, a charter member of the National Hockey Association, to appeal to Montreal’s francophone population and he hoped to drum up a rivalry with the city’s established team, the Wanderers. The Canadiens are often referred to as “The Habs” or “Les Habs,” an abbreviation of “Les Habitants,” the name for the early settlers of New France.

9. Ottawa Senators
The original Ottawa Senators, founded in 1883, won 11 Stanley Cups. When an NHL team returned to Ottawa in 1992 after a nearly 60-year hiatus, the nickname, a reference to Ottawa’s status as Canada’s capital city, was an obvious choice.

10. Toronto Maple Leafs
Conn Smythe purchased Toronto’s hockey team in 1927 and one of his first orders of business was renaming the team. The franchise that began play as the Arenas in 1917 changed its nickname to St. Patrick’s in 1919 to attract Toronto’s Irish population. Smythe eventually decided on Maple Leafs, for a couple possible reasons. Smythe fought in the Maple Leaf Regiment during World War I, and there was a former Toronto hockey team called the East Maple Leaves.

11. Atlanta Thrashers
Ted Turner named Atlanta’s 1997 expansion team after the brown thrasher, the state bird of Georgia.

12. Carolina Hurricanes
After the Hartford Whalers moved to Raleigh in 1997, new owner Peter Karmanos, Jr. named his team after the devastating storms that regularly ravage the region.

13. Florida Panthers
Had Tampa Bay been awarded a baseball team in the early 90s, they likely would’ve been called the Florida Panthers, a reference to the endangered species of the same name. Instead, the nickname was adopted by Florida’s second NHL team. When Panthers president Bill Torrey revealed the nickname, he told reporters: “A panther, for your information, is the quickest striking of all cats. Hopefully, that’s how we will be on the ice.”

14. Tampa Bay Lightning
In 1990, a thunderstorm served as inspiration for then-president of the Tampa Bay Hockey Group Phil Esposito’s decision to name his team the Lightning. Esposito said that in addition to being a natural characteristic of the Tampa Bay area, Lightning expressed the fast action of a hockey game.

15. Washington Capitals
Washington owner Abe Pollin decided on the perfectly apt nickname Capitals after staging a name-the-team contest.

16. Chicago Blackhawks
World War I veteran and coffee tycoon Frederic McLaughlin was Chicago’s owner when it entered the NHL in 1926. McLaughlin named the team after the 86th Infantry Division in which he served. The “Black Hawk Division” was named after Chief Black Hawk of the Sauk American Indian tribe, who fought the Illinois militia in 1832. The nickname was officially changed from Black Hawks to Blackhawks in 1986.

17. Columbus Blue Jackets
Blue Jackets was the winning entry in a name-the-team contest. According to the team’s website, the name “celebrates patriotism, pride and the rich Civil War history in the state of Ohio and, more specifically, the city of Columbus.” Ohio contributed more residents to the Union Army than any other state during the Civil War.

18. Detroit Red Wings
After purchasing the Detroit Falcons in 1932, James Norris renamed the team after the “Winged Wheelers,” the nickname of the Montreal Hockey Club for which he once played. Norris chose a winged wheel as the team’s logo, a nod to Detroit’s growing reputation as the heart of the automobile industry.

19. Nashville Predators
A vote by the fans helped determine Nashville’s nickname, a reference to the saber-toothed tiger remains that were discovered during an excavation in the city in 1971.

20. St. Louis Blues
According to the team’s website, owner Sid Saloman Jr. selected the nickname Blues in 1967 after W.C. Handy’s song, “St. Louis Blues.” Mercury and Apollo were two of the other nicknames that were considered. The space capsules bearing those names were built in St. Louis.

21. Calgary Flames
The Flames played in Atlanta from 1972 until 1980 and their nickname was a reference to the burning of Atlanta by General William T. Sherman during the Civil War. While the team moved, the nickname remained.

22. Colorado Avalanche
Rockies, the nickname for Colorado’s hockey team that left for New Jersey in 1982, had been adopted by Denver’s baseball team by the time the Quebec Nordiques left Canada for the Front Range in 1995. Management originally wanted to name the team Extreme, but received all sorts of negative feedback, and justifiably so. Avalanche, which eventually beat out Black Bears, Outlaws, Storm, Wranglers, Renegades, Rapids, and Cougars, drew some criticism, as well, given their deadly nature. A member of the marketing group responsible for naming the team replied: “This is the NHL, a rough and tough sport, and Avalanche is something that matches the ‘on the edge’ feel they want to create. Hey, Cougars and Bears kill people, too. People shouldn’t get so excited about Avalanche being a disrespectful name or something. It’s just a name.”

23. Edmonton Oilers
Edmonton, the capital of Alberta, is also the oil capital of Canada. Edmonton began play in 1972 in the World Hockey Association and retained the name Oilers when it joined the NHL in 1979.

24. Minnesota Wild
In 1998, Wild was chosen from a field of six finalists, which also included the Blue Ox, Northern Lights, Voyageurs, White Bears, and Freeze. (Voyageurs were the working-class employees of fur trading companies in the region during the 1700s.)

25. Vancouver Canucks
Johnny Canuck, who originally appeared as a Canadian political cartoon character in 1869, was reinvented as a comic book action hero who fought Adolf Hitler, among other villains, during World War II. Canuck is also slang for Canadian, making Vancouver’s hockey team the Canadian equivalent of the New York Yankees – with a little less money.

26. Dallas Stars
When the Minnesota North Stars, whose nickname was decided by a fan contest, moved to Texas in 1993, they ditched the “North” and didn’t feel compelled to replace it with “South” or “Lone.”

27. Los Angeles Kings
The late Jack Kent Cooke, who owned the Los Angeles Lakers and later the Washington Redskins, settled on Kings as the team nickname from entries submitted in a fan contest. The Los Angeles Monarchs played in the Pacific Coast Hockey League during the 1930s and Cooke’s new team adopted the same royal color scheme as the Lakers.

28. Anaheim Ducks
Quack. Quack. Quack! Quack! QUACK! Anaheim joined the NHL in 1993 and its team was known as the Mighty Ducks, after the wildly popular Disney movie and cross-marketing vehicle of the same name. The nickname was changed to Ducks and the logo was changed in 2005 after Disney sold the team.

29. Phoenix Coyotes
The Winnipeg Jets moved to Phoenix in 1996 and Coyotes was the winner in a name-the-team contest that attracted more than 10,000 entries. Scorpions was the runner-up.

30. San Jose Sharks
Sharks was chosen from 2,300 entries in San Jose’s name-the-team contest. The other finalists included Rubber Puckies, Screaming Squids, Salty Dogs, and Blades. Blades was the most popular entry, but ultimately rejected because of its gang implications. When the nickname was chosen, seven shark species made their home in a stretch of the Pacific Ocean off the California coast called The Red Triangle.

General Topic / Why Chicago Failed To Win The Olympics
« on: October 05, 2009, 09:24:46 AM »
Why Chicago Failed To Win The Olympics

by Howard Berkes
October 3, 2009

Actually, it's not Chicago's fault. Nothing more could have been done. Nothing legal at least.

Olympic insiders praise the city's 2016 Olympic bid as completely solid. The plan was sound. The anticipated venues were stunning and compact. The ambitious funding projections were reasonable, given the kind of corporate and American television revenue an American Olympics can generate.

Blame politics unusual.

Chicagoans may not like to admit it, but there's no American city with a better track record of working a room, peddling influence, counting votes, buying loyalty, playing hardball and cultivating corruption.

So, neither the practiced politicos in Chicago nor in the White House could wine and dine, glad-hand, lobby or perform the most basic function of any campaign: count potential votes. They couldn't poll and then shift strategy based on the polling results. They could only guess at who would vote which way, and even then, there was very little they could do about it.

All that worked wonderfully in the past for cities so desperate to host the Olympics that they plied the votes of members of the International Olympic Committee with college scholarships for the kids, all-expenses-paid vacations, lucrative real estate deals, luxury bathroom fixtures, surgical procedures, laptop computers, skis and skiwear, rent-free housing, shotguns and more. To be fair, that culture of Olympic corruption was due as much to the greedy demands of IOC members as it was to the complicit desperation of bidding cities.

It was a culture that played to the strengths of a bidding city like Chicago. Imagine the results if the gold medalist for patronage and political corruption could have applied its considerable skills to that atmosphere.

It would have been politics as usual for Chicago.

The scandalous behavior of IOC members and Salt Lake City Olympic bidders in the 1990s triggered reform that effectively banned the gifts and favors. The reform effort also made it difficult to apply legitimate politicking to the bidding process. This not only hogtied the savvy political operatives in Chicago, it also minimized the role of President Obama, the Olympic bidder-in-chief.

The tough bidding rules established after the Salt Lake City scandal made it impossible to conduct even the most fundamental political campaign. IOC members are not permitted to visit bidding cities and even meet with the bidders, except under very limited and controlled circumstances.

So, neither the practiced politicos in Chicago nor in the White House could wine and dine, glad-hand, lobby or perform the most basic function of any campaign: count potential votes. They couldn't poll and then shift strategy based on the polling results. They could only guess at who would vote which way, and even then, there was very little they could do about it.

Those who were certain that the president went to Copenhagen because the result was predetermined know nothing about Olympic politics and IOC members. The balloting for host cities is secret, and IOC members are famous for not talking about their votes, before or after the voting. Trusting those who do talk is risky because there's no accountability in a secret vote.

Chicago also suffered from Olympic politics completely beyond the control of its bidders. Rio de Janeiro had the strong emotional appeal of finally staging an Olympics in South America. It's a new market for what the IOC likes to refer to as "Olympism," which includes the spreading of Olympic ideals and tapping new corporate and television revenues.

Also, the U.S. Olympic Committee seemed to go out of its way to put obstacles in Chicago's path. IOC members are not generally fond of the United States because (choose one or select all):

1. American corporate sponsorships and television contracts are the single-biggest source of Olympic funding. This is viewed by some as Olympic imperialism.

2. The U.S. is viewed as an arrogant and dominating world power generally.

3. The Olympic bribery scandal involved an American bid and resulted in humiliating hearings in the U.S. Congress (in which then-IOC-President Juan Antonio Samaranch was forced to empty his pockets at a metal detector) and a failed but embarrassing prosecution by the Justice Department.

The U.S. Olympic Committee helped fan any lingering anti-American flames by announcing a U.S. Olympic television network, despite the IOC's insistence that more discussion and negotiation was necessary first. A truce helped ease simmering resentment over the USOC share of Olympic revenues, but that came late in the bidding process. And the USOC's ongoing senior leadership crises and changes left the group unprepared to do the networking and bid marshalling that IOC members expect.

Finally, Chicago politicians defied their reputations for political acumen by failing to guarantee Olympic funding until a few weeks before the voting. This is the most basic element of Olympic bidding: Don't leave the IOC on the hook if you don't raise enough money to pay all the Olympic bills. The failure to provide the guarantee earlier could have been viewed as classic American arrogance, as in "we like to do things our way."

Chicago and President Obama were only able to muster 18 of 94 votes. That's a pathetic 19 percent, proving the bidding for the 2016 Olympics was anything but politics as usual.

NPR's Howard Berkes has covered six Olympic Games and two Olympic bids, including the Salt Lake City Olympic scandal.

Talk of the Town / Love, pleasure, duty: Why women have sex
« on: October 04, 2009, 09:35:35 AM »
Love, pleasure, duty: Why women have sex

By Elizabeth Landau

(CNN) -- What makes a woman want to have sex? Is it physical attraction? Love? Loneliness? Jealousy? Boredom? Painful menstrual cramps?

Many women interviewed were having sex purely because they wanted the experience.

It turns out that woman have sex for all of these reasons and more, and that their choices are not arbitrary; there may be evolutionary explanations at work.

Psychologists Cindy Meston and David Buss, both professors at the University of Texas at Austin, decided that the topic of "why women have sex" deserved a book of its own. They've woven scientific research together with a slew of women's voices in their new collaborative work, "Why Women Have Sex," published September 29 by Times Books.

"We do bring in men occasionally by way of contrast, but we wanted to focus exclusively on women so that the complexity of women's sexual psychology was not given the short shrift, so to speak," said Buss, a leading evolutionary psychologist.

The authors conducted a study from June 2006 to April 2009 that asked women whether they had ever had sex for one of 237 reasons, all of which had emerged in a previous study. About 1,000 women contributed their perspectives.

It turns out that women's reasons for having sex range from love to pure pleasure to a sense of duty to curiosity to curing a headache. Some women just want to please their partners, and others want an ego boost.

Buss said he found it surprising how dramatically and variably sexual experience seemed to influence women's feelings of self-esteem.

"Some sexual experiences that women in our study reported just had devastating effects and long-lasting negative effects on their feelings of self-worth," he said. "But then for others, their sexual experiences provided the soaring height of euphoria and made them feel alive and vibrant."

Meston said some 20-somethings defied the gender stereotypes that women should be more chaste than men and not sleep around as much.

"Many of the women were having sex purely because they wanted the experience, they wanted the adventure, they wanted to see what it was like to be with men of different ethnicities," she said. "Some women said they wanted more notches on the belt. They simply wanted to get rid of their virginity."

Some women have sex to make money, and not just in the conventional manner of prostitution. A woman from California who goes by "Natalie Dylan" garnered national attention this year with her campaign to sell her virginity and said in January that her top bid of $3.8 million came from a 39-year-old Australian. Read more about selling virginity

There are more factors that influence a woman's sex drive than a man's, the authors said, and the factors that make men attractive to women -- personality, sense of humor, self-confidence, status -- are less important considerations for men when they are choosing women.

There is also evidence that sexual arousal is more complicated for women than for men, the authors report.

A study from Meston's lab showed a strong correlation between how erect a man's penis is and how aroused he says he is. By contrast, the link is much weaker between a woman's physical arousal (as measured inside her vagina) and the arousal she says she feels, the researchers found. This is why drugs to treat erectile dysfunction such as Viagra don't work as well in women, the authors said.

That makes sense from an evolutionary perspective, even though men and women may not consciously think about their choices that way, the authors said. If the goal of a man is to spread his genes, he would need to look for signs of fertility in a woman, which are historically associated with physical cues, Buss said.

"The adaptive problem that women have had to solve is not simply picking a man who is fertile but a man who perhaps will invest in her, a man who won't inflict costs on her, a man who might have good genes that could be conveyed to her children," he said.

In this context, women must also be more selective, because wrong choices can lead to much higher costs than for men: pregnancy and child-rearing.

In studies, women have consistently shown preferences for men with symmetrical bodies, a subtle mark of genetic fitness and status, the book said. In fact, simply by smelling T-shirts that men had worn for two nights, women judged the odors of symmetrical men to be the most attractive, and the asymmetrical men's odors the least attractive, in one study.

Still, symmetry isn't everything, Meston and Buss said. They pointed to singer-songwriter Lyle Lovett as someone with other positive attributes, such as musical talent and personality, who has clearly done well with women despite asymmetrical features.

"Women are evaluating men on multiple attributes," Buss said.

Kissing also turns out to be more important for women than for men in some respects: In one study, 53 percent of men said they would have sex without kissing, but only 15 percent of women said they would even consider sex without smooching first, the book said. For women, kissing is "an emotional litmus test," the authors wrote.

The medicinal value of sex also comes into play for some women, the book said. Sex can help a woman relax and sleep better, and it can ease the pain of menstrual cramps and headaches -- and some survey participants cited these as reasons they've had sex.

A study from Rutgers University found that, during orgasm, women were able to tolerate 75 percent more pain. Though Meston has not studied the phenomenon in men, she said she would expect sex to have the same effects of reducing headaches and other pain.

The authors collected stories from 1,006 women from 46 states, eight Canadian provinces, three European countries and Australia, New Zealand, Israel and China. Participants came from a variety of ethnic and religious -- as well as non-religious -- backgrounds and socioeconomic statuses. About 80 percent of the women said they were in a relationship at the time, and 93 percent said they were predominantly or exclusively heterosexual.

The book also explores how women's perception of sex may change over time, according to whom they're with and whether they are married.

A 26-year-old heterosexual woman wrote, "When I was single, I had sex for my own personal pleasure. Now that I am married, I have sex to please my husband. My own pleasure doesn't seem as important as his. I believe he feels the same way."

Research findings

Purposely made partner jealous?
31 percent women vs. 17 percent men have tried to evoke jealousy in a partner.

Had sex out of sense of duty?
84 percent wives vs. 64 percent husbands usually or always comply when a spouse wants sex but they don't.

Partner choice for casual sex?
63 percent of women prefer to have casual sex with a friend vs. 37 percent who prefer sex with a stranger.

Steal someone else's mate?
38 percent of women say they've "poached" someone for a short fling.

World Daily News / 19th Anniversary of German unification
« on: October 04, 2009, 09:07:05 AM »

19th Anniversary of German unification

October 2, 2009, 5:10pm

In 1871, the idea of political and administrative unification of Germany had been brought forth by princes of the German states. Unification showed several glaring religious, linguistic, and cultural differences of that time among inhabitants of the new nation.

The process of unification entailed considerable changes and assimilation among the German people.

After World War II in 1946, Germany again became a divided nation. It was not until October 3, 1990, that the German Democratic Republic (East German) joined the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany). To commemorate this day, October 3 has since then been celebrated as the Day of German Unity. The fall of the Berlin Wall was the symbol of the reunification of the two countries under a democratic system.

With the readiness of the citizens of both East and West to combine their efforts for economic progress and for democracy, Germany has emerged once more as Western Europe’s richest and most populous nation. After the initial difficulties of adjustment, Germany remains a key member of the continent’s economic, political, and defense organizations, particularly the European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

We congratulate the people and government of the Federal Republic of Germany led by H.E., President Horst Kohler and H.E., Chancellor Angela Merkel, and its Embassy in the Philippines, headed by H.E., Ambassador Christian Ludwig Weber-Lortsch, on the occasion of their historic reunification.

LGU Philippines / ‘Facebook’ debate erupts between Mikey, Hontiveros
« on: October 04, 2009, 09:05:44 AM »
‘Facebook’ debate erupts between Mikey, Hontiveros

October 3, 2009, 1:16pm

Engaging presidential son and Pampanga Rep. Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo in a bitter debate on cyberspace regulations, Akbayan Rep. Risa Hontiveros proposed that social networking sites in the internet should not be covered by libel laws.

Hontiveros issued the reaction after chiding Arroyo for airing his support to proposals to regulate postings in social networking sites.

Arroyo aired this view when a Facebook photo entry believed to be posted by a journalist assailed him for allegedly shopping for wine at Rustan’s supermarket as Ondoy was flooding a huge portion of Metro Manila.

“My picture posted at Facebook with a caption saying I was busy shopping for wine at the height of Typhoon Ondoy is another malicious attack at my personality. It is so depressing,” Arroyo said in a press statement.

The eldest son of President Arroyo said he was with his family in Malacañang last Saturday morning, adding that he helped mobilize rescue and relief operations for Metro Manila folks.

Reacting to Arroyo’s statement, Hontiveros chided the Pampanga solon for calling for restrictions in the use of social networking sites.

Asked what should be the recourse of people who have been unfairly maligned with vicious lies posted in the internet, Hontiveros said they can turn to the provisions of the libel law.

However, she stressed that since users of Internet sites are merely exercising freedom of expression, they should be exempted from libel.

Hontiveros’ statements elicited an angry reaction from Arroyo who insisted that the party list solon’s position was an effort on her part to “hug the limelight.”

Arroyo said Hontiveros’ position is being beclouded by her senatorial ambition.

“The problem with a senatoriable like her is that she is too quick to jump on the gun without understanding fully well what the issue is all about,” Arroyo said. “She is saying that Facebook is being used for Bayanihan purposes and I believe that’s good.”

“Either she is myopic or she is too hungry for media exposure,” said Arroyo. “What I said was I hope Facebook would be regulated, not I want or seek any regulation for Facebook.”

Some websites including Yahoo practice regulation, suspending accounts of users found to have abused their privileges.

While traditional media including print and broadcast are regulated with the writers, reporters, editors, publishers and network executives held responsible for their stories, online social networking outfits which have become sort of alternative media are not.

Philippine Business News / Fossil Find May Result in Evolution Revolution
« on: October 03, 2009, 02:59:50 AM »
Fossil find may result in evolution revolution

By Thomas H. Maugh II
Los Angeles Times
Updated: 10/02/2009 02:20:51 AM MDT

A treasure trove of 4.4-million- year- old fossils from the Ethiopian desert is dramatically overturning widely held ideas about the early evolution of humans and how they came to walk upright, even as it paints a remarkably detailed picture of early life in Africa, researchers reported Thursday.

The centerpiece of the diverse collection of primate, animal and plant fossils is the near-complete skeleton of a human ancestor that demonstrates our earliest forebears looked nothing like a chimpanzee or other large primate, as is now commonly believed. Instead, the findings suggest that the last common ancestor of humans and primates, which existed nearly 2 million years earlier, was a primitive creature that shared few traits with modern- day members of either group.

The findings, analyzed in a large group of studies published Thursday in the journal Science, also indicate that our ancestors began walking upright in woodlands, not on grassy savannas as previous generations of researchers had speculated.

The discovery of the specimen, called Ardipithecus ramidus, "is one of the most important discoveries for the study of human evolution," said paleoanthropologist David Pilbeam of Harvard University, who was not involved in the research.

The fossils were found 15 years ago in the Afar Triangle of Ethiopia by a team led by paleoanthropologist Tim White of the University of California, Berkeley. But White and his team have been relatively quiet about the fossils, and other researchers — some of whom have accused him of hoarding the fossils for his own use — have been eagerly awaiting more information.

Thursday, they are getting a surfeit: 11 papers by 47 authors and a similar number of short summaries prepared by each paper's authors.

The fossils were found in a layer of sediment sandwiched between two layers of volcanic ash, each dating from 4.4 million years ago — indicating that the fossils are also of that age.

In addition to the nearly complete fossil specimen of the female primate, which investigators have dubbed Ardi, the team found more than 100 fossils from 36 other members of the same species.

"These fossils are much more important than Lucy," the 3.2-million-year-old specimen of Australopithecus afarensis that was found in the Afar desert in the 1970s, said paleoanthropologist Alan Walker of Penn State University, who was not involved in the research. "These fossils are of a completely unknown creature, and are much stranger and more primitive than Australopithecus."

This whole collection of data "gives us information we have never had before about human evolution," said paleoanthropologist C. Owen Lovejoy of Kent State University, one of the primary authors of the papers. "The whole savanna theory goes out the window in terms of it being the explanation for upright walking. . . . And the idea that we evolved from something like a chimpanzee also goes out the window."

Anonymous Diary Blog / A Layman, Hain Naman Ka Nong?
« on: October 02, 2009, 11:58:58 AM »
nakakita ba mog tawo nga gulangon
maayo nga pagka-lolo
lantip og pangisip
ug bol-anong dako?

tabang kono mog pangita...

Philippine Business News / Palace hopefuls race to help flood victims
« on: October 02, 2009, 11:10:12 AM »
Palace hopefuls race to help flood victims
October 02, 2009 03:21:00
Michael Lim Ubac
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines — The race for the presidency is being run on a timely frontier—the need to help the flood survivors.

Senators Manuel Villar Jr. and Benigno Aquino III, standard-bearers of the rivals Nacionalista Party (NP) and Liberal Party (LP), respectively, have organized their own relief efforts.

In separate press statements, the two camps claimed to have helped more than 100,000 flood victims in a span of four days.

In terms of speed, Villar beat the LP camp of Aquino and his running mate, Sen. Mar Roxas, with the self-made billionaire from the slums of Tondo doing his thing in a chopper as soon as the sky cleared on Sunday afternoon, a day after Tropical Storm “Ondoy” (international codename: Ketsana) hit.

Villar dropped food packs and bottled water to famished families trapped on their rooftops in Cainta, Rizal, and the cities of Marikina and Pasig, who were then still waiting to be rescued by the National Disaster Coordinating Council.

He told the Philippine Daily Inquirer he had to do it because he had heard that the families could not be reached due to the still high floodwaters.

By its own reckoning, “Tulong Villar Relief Assistance” has distributed food packs to 68,372 people, rescued 4,040, and helped 400 clean up their homes as of press time Thursday.

It said that since Saturday, 40 relief trucks had been deployed to areas in Metro Manila, and that those in need of assistance could call its 24-hour hotlines: 0905-3316626 and 0917-4226800.

‘Tulong Bayan’

On the other hand, the Aquino-Roxas tandem through “Operation Tulong Bayan” has distributed relief packs to more than 34,000 families in 45 areas in Metro Manila, Rizal and Bulacan since Sept. 27.

Around 1,000 volunteers, mostly young, come to the relief center every day to help arrange and distribute relief packs containing bottled water, rice, noodles, canned goods, clothing and candles, Aquino and Roxas said in a statement.

They called for more donations, saying that the most needed items were rice, water, canned goods and clothes.

Other goods, like instant noodles, snacks and others, are also accepted, as well as donations in cash, he said.

The Operation Tulong Bayan relief center is in Balay, Expo Centro (formerly Seafood Market), EDSA corner General McArthur Street, Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City, inside the parking lot fronting the fruit section of Farmers Market.

Its hotlines are 0908-6579998, 9137122, 9136254 and 9133306.

Under the radar

The other presidential aspirants are also helping the flood survivors, but are keeping their efforts largely under the radar.

On Sunday, staff members of Sen. Loren Legarda of the Nationalist People’s Coalition started distributing relief goods to affected families in Marikina, Malabon and Cainta.

On Monday, Legarda helped deploy medical teams of the health department to the Rosario Sports Complex and Manggahan Elementary School, both in Pasig, and seven hard-hit areas in Cainta and Pasig.

Forty sacks of rice were also transported to as far as Famy, Laguna, and assorted goods to two barangays in San Mateo, Rizal.

A total of 22,550 bags of foodstuffs have been distributed so far, Legarda’s office said.

Legarda will distribute P15 million worth of relief goods to top 20 evacuation centers through the social welfare department starting Oct. 8.

‘Team Chiz’

Her partymate, Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero, has mobilized volunteers to repack relief goods.

These volunteers have given out food packs, including bottled water, canned goods and rice, to 10 areas.

On Friday, “Team Chiz” will motor to Marilao, Bulacan, to distribute relief goods, and a medical team will be sent to Barangay Manbugan, Antipolo City.

Repacking of relief goods is being done in Galas, Quezon City, and in Bay Center, Malate, Manila.

Gordon on the scene but …

Sen. Richard Gordon, accompanied by an army of volunteers from the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC), which he chairs, has been on the scene since early Sunday.

But only show biz personalities have been given TV airtime, he complained.

Gordon has formed Red Cross 143, a network of 44 volunteers (one leader plus 43 members) in every barangay.

“They must be the first to prepare, first to report, and first to respond during disasters and other emergency situations,” he said.

Gordon on Thursday called on Filipinos, especially the flood victims, to rise from the devastation caused by Ondoy.

“Now that Ondoy has passed, our people need to focus on rebuilding their lives,” he said.

On Wednesday, the PNRC mobilized its volunteers for relief and cleanup operations in Quezon City and Marikina.

Gordon spearheaded the relief distribution and cleanup drive at Diosdado Macapagal Elementary School in Barangay Tatalon, Quezon City, in which US Ambassador Kristie Kenney, American soldiers and workers of the US Agency for International Development also participated.

He proceeded to other sites, including Benitez Elementary School in Quezon City and Nangka Elementary School and H. Bautista Elementary School in Marikina.

The PNRC has set up community soup kitchens and provided water purifiers and portable toilets for the victims.

Generators and floodlights will also be installed in communities with no electricity, Gordon said.

Estradas et al.

Joseph Estrada and his son, Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Estrada, will not be outdone in relief efforts.

The ousted President has started distributing relief goods in Tanay and Taytay, Rizal, and his son, in Marikina and Pateros, among other areas.

So far, 40,000 bags have been distributed to victims, but the relief efforts will continue, Senator Estrada said.

Even those not aspiring for the presidency have pitched in.

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri set up soup kitchens on Tuesday.

Senators Edgardo Angara, Alan Peter Cayetano, Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Rodolfo Biazon and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile are pushing for a P10-billion supplemental budget for the calamity fund.

How To Tips / Ten steps for a healthier, happier life
« on: October 02, 2009, 09:56:03 AM »

Ten steps for a healthier, happier life
Posted Wed, Sep 23, 2009

Step 1

Learn to Cook. The more you eat healthy home made meals the better.

Step 2

Eat back to basic foods - if you can't pronounce something on a label you probably shouldn't be eating it.

Step 3

Aim for 5 servings of fruits and 5 servings of vegetables each day.

Step 4

Walk at least 30 minutes everyday. It can't be a saunter, you have to walk briskly. Can't get up to brisk? Start off slowly and work your way up to brisk. Check with your doctor before starting any new exercise regime.

Step 5

Practice some type of stress reduction. Meditation, yoga, Tai Chi, deep breathing or going for a walk all are great choices.

Step 6

Socialize. People who have active social lives are in fact happier than their peers who don't socialize. Find a happy medium between work, family life and socializing is key.

Step 7

Practice an act of kindness everyday. It can be as little as offering your seat on the bus to as large as volunteering at an old age home or shelter.

Step 8

Practice gratitude. When we dwell on the things we're grateful for we become more positive people.

Step 9

Eat a small piece of dark chocolate every day. Research suggests that it may help reduce your chances of developing heart disease. We need a tiny treat every day. Emphasis on tiny.

Step 10

Get 7-8 hours of sleep every night. Your brain and body need to reboot every night. Getting enough shut eye will help your body fight stress and keep your immune system working on optimum.

Forbes: Tiger Woods is first athlete to reach $1 billion
by Ryan Reiterman

It's good to be Tiger Woods. is reporting that Woods is the first athlete to reach $1 billion in earnings, beating out Michael Jordan and Michael Schumacher.

Woods earned more than $10.5 million in giant cardboard checks this year on the PGA Tour and added another $10 million last weekend by winning the FedEx Cup. According to Forbes, that little bonus was enough to push Woods over the $1 billion mark.

Forbes has been tracking athlete earnings since before Tiger turned pro. Woods had earned a cumulative $895 million going into 2009, by our estimates, from prize money, appearance fees, endorsements, bonuses and his golf course design business. If you add his $10.5 million in 2009 prize money, the FedEx bonus and his take so far this year from his more than $100 million in annual off-the-course earnings, Woods' career earnings are now 10 figures.

The article points out that only Woods's accountant truly knows if he's a billionaire, but one thing is certain: Tiger's money-making potential won't slow down anytime soon.

The most stunning part is that Woods is only 33 years old--he might have 15 years of competitive golf left in him, and 30-plus years of designing courses. This is only the first billion for Woods.

Woods has been the highest-paid American athlete for years, and the competition isn't even close. In this year's Fortunate 50, SI's annual ranking, Woods's estimated total earnings were nearly $100 million, far exceeding Phil Mickelson in second ($53 million) and LeBron James in third ($42.4 million). Amazingly, Woods made even more the year before, according to SI -- $128 million.

Talk of the Town / Sex and The Single-Minded Woman
« on: October 01, 2009, 10:09:53 PM »
Sex and The Single-Minded Woman

Oct 01, 2009 04:30 AM
Vinay Menon

Ladies, could you please stop discussing your sex lives with pollsters?

Why must you share intimate details with complete strangers? Don't you already share this stuff with your girlfriends?

I can hear an indignant chorus of denials: "We never talk about our sex lives!" Please. You do.

At parties, on the street, in restaurants, I have overheard women debriefing one another with carnal intelligence reports. Declassified without the permission of the poor bastard under horizontal investigation, these reports are shockingly candid, often including annotated subsections that cover duration, technique, frequency, even size (!). If the report is positive, the woman will speak loudly as her coterie of trusted advisers chortle uncontrollably and say things such as, "You are so lucky," and "You go, girl!"

If the report is negative – the ones that go public tend to be grim – the woman will deliver her confessional in a throaty whisper. She will pause frequently. Her eyes will moisten. And her gal pals will shake their heads with sympathy, offering rejoinders such as, "That is unbelievable," and "Why don't you buy him a book?"

By contrast, men do not jabber endlessly about sex. This is a cultural myth, a treacherous lie that was no doubt started by a woman who suddenly felt guilty after doing an impression of her partner's bedroom eyes for the cheap amusement of her posse during a spa day. We men may think about sex. We may think about it too much.

But on those rare occasions when we actually talk about sex, it is never about you.

A man's sex life is sacred and wondrous and, quite often, baffling. To talk about it is to risk jinxing something. That's why if you eavesdrop on a group of men at a pub, you are more likely to hear half-soused banter about sports, politics, work or the orange bikini Halle Berry wore in Die Another Day.

As for market research, forget it. We would never participate in a steamy survey, especially one that carried the potential to inflict great psychological harm on the opposite sex. The same can't be said for the 15,000 women in 20 countries who recently took part in a poll titled, "The World's Worst Lovers."

Released this week by One Poll, a global research company, the data ranks countries by how their males perform in the sack.

Achtung! To the men of Germany, I can say only this: Never mind the luxury sedans and precision timepieces. You might consider spending more R&D money on deodorant technology.

You guys are now considered the World's Worst Lovers thanks to the female blabbermouths in your midst who characterize you as, and I quote, "too smelly."

The rest of this vile Top 10 is as follows: 2. England (too lazy);

3. Sweden (too quick); 4. Holland (too dominating); 5. America (too rough); 6. Greece (too soppy); 7. Wales (too selfish); 8. Scotland (too loud); 9. Turkey (too sweaty); 10. Russia (too hairy).

I mean, honestly. Can you imagine the outrage if an equivalent poll was released about women? Every man who participated, presumably at gunpoint, would be rushed into a witness protection program. And then –

Hang on. I just noticed something. The poll also ranked the World's Best Lovers. What's this? Canada is No. 10? Canadian males are among the best, right after our counterparts in Spain, Brazil, Italy, France, Ireland, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Denmark?


Ladies, ignore today's dispatch.

I did not spend enough time massaging the hypothesis before jumping into the action.

No hard feelings. It was simply premature exasperation.

Introduce Yourself / What Makes ME different from YOU...Ako dili Ikaw.
« on: October 01, 2009, 11:28:01 AM »
I am Unique. It's the fundamental truth about me.
I am different than others. It is what makes me who I AM.

Our differences never make us strangers.
I am drawn to you because you are different.

I love you for what you are.
Love me for what I Am.

“Tolerance and celebration of individual differences is the fire that fuels lasting love.” - Tom Hannah

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