II. Japanese pop singer Minami Minegishi was caught sleeping with her boyfriend, or even having one; this prompted her to shave her hair and abjectly apologize to her fans for "being a slut." This made me very sad. Whatever people or social pressures that prompted her to do that was most cruel. Why should a girl have to apologize for having a boyfriend? Instead, people should be happy for her.
III. Earlier this week, Pope Benedict XVI announced that he will retire on February 28th. In all likelihood, the next Pope will be elected by Easter. There's a trio of legends to bring up, each nonsensical:
1) Pope Joan -- Supposedly they unknowingly elected a woman Pope, Pope Joan. When she gave birth on the street, they stoned her to death.
2) The sedes stercoraria -- This is a chair in which the Pope-to-be sits, and the cardinals manually, shall we say, check out his equipment to ensure that he is male. Talk about awkward for all parties, if this had been true!
3) The Prophecy of the Popes -- This prophecy predicts that the Pope following Benedict XVI (current Pope Benny) will be Peter the Roman (Peter II), and his papacy will end with the destruction of the city of Rome. Gee, maybe there's something to this; after all, Silvio Berlusconi is back leading the Italian government! So get your tickets as the Forum, the Trevi Fountain, and the Pantheon are not going to be around very long.
IV. If you travel a lot with your spouse or lover, you tend to be closer to that person and enjoy better sex. This could be due to the pair getting closer through coping with new conditions together, or simply being more flexible to begin with.
V. "Ye Olde Gift Shoppe" is a fake Medievalism. No one said "Ye" during that time; "ye" was a print substitution for the Old English letter thorne which has a "th" sound.
Thorn looks like this: Þ or þ
Here it is in large size:
Thorn or þorn (Þ, þ)
VI. I found a site that describes an obscure U.S. military base in Greenland during World War II. It was called Bluie West One, and it was located on a glacial moraine. Apparently, it was a place where short-range planes could land and refuel with crossing the Atlantic. It looks from
this article to be a cold, distant place. It must have been awful to be assigned there.
There's also a rumor about a very large military hospital located there so as not to dampen public morale. According to some questionable sources, it was totally secret and had about 5000 beds. No official source describes it; it did appear in a Lonely Planet guide for Greenland and in some odd travel books. Definitely material for conspiracy theorists by going to this site:
or this one:
VII. Apparently, some hip companies have been giving humorous job titles to appeal to the sense of irony of members of Generation Y, my group that is alternatively fawned over and regarded as spoiled, depending on the way the wind blows. Some examples might include Director of First Impressions, Ambassador of Buzz, Consultant of Pleasure, Grand Poo-Bah, and others. See this article. I will offer a reservation about these: Should you change jobs, and apply to a more conservative company, this cutesy job title may handicap you. For example, if I listed my position as Überbabe of Psychology (even if that was my real title!), I can pretty well write off being hired someday as a Dean of Arts and Sciences.
VIII. Guppies hang out with unattractive companions to increase their own sex appeal, according to this article. As the researcher put it, "As a researcher I cannot compare human mating systems with the guppy's one," she said. "But if you ask me as a person, sure ... I saw this tactic working pretty well with humans. She obviously attended an American high school.