Monday, November 20, 2017

A Little Miscommunication

Cordie Mae Wilson, who ran a gas station and gift shop in Southern Mississippi, hired Brenda, a girl from Jones County to run her store some of the time. Things mostly worked out; but since the store was smack dab long side of I-59, sometimes Brenda had communication issues.

You see, I-59 was the main interstate highway going diagonally through Southern Mississippi, and lots of tourists pass through daily. Cordie Mae got a lot of business with them; and learned over time to understand what they were saying. Or trying to say.

Brenda had a lot to learn also.

For instance, some guy from Massachuetts came in and asked to buy some pee cans. Brenda was a bit amazed; and told the fellow that using their rest rooms were gratis; and what's more, they were cleaned twice a day and even had pot potpourri that her Granny homemade.

Still, the guy got more confused. Brenda thought, 'Wow! This guy has to go real bad or is going to do some serious travelin.'

Along came Cordie Mae. She learned enough tourist English in her time to become halfway proficient in talking with them. Matter of fact, she coulda taught a class in Tourist English at the college if needed.

So Cordie Mae said, "Brenda, sell him a sack of nuts!" And said, "Mister, no offense; but we call 'em pecans (pronounced puh-kawns) 'round these parts!"

Pecans (pronounced puh-kawns)

So harmony on I-59 was restored. Cordie Mae even gave the Massachusetts guy a slice of pecan pie.

And that tourist also took advantage of the cleanest restroom in Pearl River County.

Pronunciation of pecan map

Friday, November 17, 2017

Sakura the Otaku Has a Break from the Usual

Sakura, like many unattached people in their 20's with limited income, continued to live with her parents. To amplify her story somewhat, she left home for a while to pursue employment in Portland, the home of the supergeeks; but returned back home after a year and found a job clerking in a local store.

Shortly after she left home but before she returned, her parents sold their place and moved into a smaller house in response to the lesser need for space as her siblings also left and were on their own. Therefore, the one unused room was in the basement.

To be sure, she found the local scene to be boring; and found her hobbies and time on the internet to be more reinforcing to her. What did she do? Well, she followed a lot of social media; even posting japes at time on web sites. In some ways, she was even an internet troll at times.

These were her hobbies. First of all, she was a collector of anime figures like a true otaku. Also, she was a gamer girl par excellence! And got a great charge out of both.

Not surprisingly, Sakura was a feminist like most millennials; and she was adverse to sexual stereotypes. She regarded them as concepts to be challenged on every occasion. And yet, she was an ironic twist on the stereotype of the guy who lived in his parents' basement, but a better groomed and better smelling one (most of the time, probably)!

For the basement was a totally safe haven, providing a setting with emotional support and minimal risk. 

I think you have to understand why some choose this type of lifestyle. It's risk-free for the timid or unadventurous.

However, recently Sakura had an adventure of sorts. During her morning run to Starbuck's for coffee, while she was checking the e-mail on her smart phone a guy asked if they could share a table. They made perfunctory conversation at first, but soon merged into a full-fledged encounter!

Anyway, Sakura was late showing up for work that day, and the manager was not pleased.

Sakura was, though. And resolved to have that kind of coffee break more often.

Even otakus need to be pleasingly laid sometime.

Sakura in her natural setting.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

An Odd Tomb

St. Louis Cemetery Number 1 is the oldest cemetery in New Orleans. It is the resting place of some of the historical notables; notably former mayor Etienne de Boré, world chess champion Paul Morphy, landowner Bernard Marigny, notorious sadistic slave owner Delphine LaLaurie, and voodoo queen Marie Laveau. Not surprisingly, the above-ground graves located there are all old; no surprise since some of them were made before 1800. (A bit of local advice: Don't visit this graveyard unless you're with a tour. There's a high danger of you getting mugged there.)

Recently, a new person may have his final resting place there: the actor Nicholas Cage. He had built a pyramidal grave for his permanent resting place. This pyramid definitely makes a contrast with the typical look of tombs in St. Louis Number 1:

Old school traditional burial oven common in New Orleans cemeteries:

I can say that the Cage tomb will be a topic for discussion long-term, if for no other reason than it raises a lot of unanswerable questions. Why a pyramid?

Monday, November 13, 2017

Spotted Richard?

While browsing among the import foods in World Market, I happened upon cans of something called "Spotted Dick." 

Curiosity got the best of me; and I discovered that it is an English pudding made of suet and currants or raisins (hence, the "spotted" in the food product name). It's usually served with custard.

English food, while often being known for being subpedestrian in its flavor, occasionally does make up for it with original names. Hence Bangers, Welsh Rarebit, Stargazy Pie*, or Toad in the Hole.

I surmised that even the taste-challenged English would have become aware of the possible double entendre nature of this food name; and I discovered that this was so.

The Flintshire County Council seriously proposed renaming it "Spotted Richard!" Now that terminology would be acceptable for use in American restaurants! Spotted Richard, anyone?

*The little fish heads put me off.

Spotted Dick AKA Spotted Richard

Friday, November 10, 2017

What to Do After Sex?

The bi-weekly gathering of les femmes of St. Cletus's Parish in the New Orleans coffeehouse sometimes has conversations that run into the borderline risqué. Let's face it: this is partly due to the inherent interest in some topics and also raising these helps to egg on some more reticent members among the coffee-drinkers to reveal more about themselves than they planned.

Okay, the topic that came up for the day was what to do after sex. Needless to say, both the sexually active conversational participants and the celibate ones found this interesting! One reason why this topic is intrinsically interesting is because some in the group occasionally reporting having  problems with post-coital tristesse. Bonne nuit tristesse! Alas, Galen got it wrong when he wrote that "every animal is sad after coitus except for the human female and the rooster." One wonders about his research sampling methods . . . . Were his partners accomplished in faking orgasms, or happy it was over? 

Anyway, the two usual suspects for post-coital activities, sleeping and cuddling came up right away. Missy Chauvin pointed out that some guys were just not that good at cuddling, and that maybe cuddling lessons should be added to the college curriculum!* That got a rise, to be sure! Still, some said that cuddling is a great way to come down afterwards. 

Also mentioned was that old reliable, Netflix.

Hilda Walspurgis recommended that, if you feel energized after sex, then that's a perfect time to do some house cleaning! Nothing like vacuuming to carry on the feeling!

Missy reported that having great sex made her feel like practicing basketball. She was the reigning H-O-R-S-E champion of the Parish! This explains the popularity of the N.B.A.

Along those same lines, Clotilde Badeaux said that she would immediately segue into her yoga regime. Clara Thibodaux asked, "What about the guy you were canoodling with?"

Her response was, "I don't know. The last one left while I was doing down dog and farted!"

Speaking of cleaning, neat freak Marie d'Aquin said that she always took a shower immediately afterwards. And it saves water to shower with a friend. When asked if the guy she had sex with is a friend, she replied, "Well, I do give him a performance review before asking him to join me!"

Bernadette Richard raised an interesting possibility: spend some time afterwards on a post-performance review. Clearly, she was influenced by some of the new thinking in business! And, who knows, maybe it might increase the enjoyment of future encounters . . . . especially for those not following the short-term (hookup) mating strategy.**

Madeline cautiously inquired whether the same sort of activity choices would apply after making out. Immediately this caused some of the gathering to wonder whether their assumptions regarding her and Officer Pete were valid. Not that anyone had the nerve to ask!

Suzette Picou, AKA the Existential Stripper, said that after sex she would then make a pot of coffee. This mystified the good ladies; but she put it in terms to re-priming the pump for an encore!

Madeline asked, like a typical Orleanian, "Do you serve it straight or café au lait and use real chicory coffee or that weak stuff that tourists drink?" 

*That would be a real plus for the P.E. Department!

**A concept that you can credit or blame evolutionary psychology for.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Piling On

Among the various things that the striped shirt guys take exception to in football are piling on or unnecessary roughness. It's symptomatic of recent times that in the political or social realm too many people are ready to let fly with both barrels over damned near everything! And assuming the worst in others.

Okay, I get it. Many people are disappointed with what they think is the direction that the country is going in; and they have real life problems that are hard to get the proper handle on. Frankly, terrorism, job prospects, the fragile health care system, are real enough and scare me too. And, who knows, maybe some people are not getting laid often enough? 

But there's also a tendency that many people have to jump on others' remarks with both feet gleefully. Godwin's Law, or the reductio ad Hitlerium, is not entirely a myth.  

The reason why on-line forums sometimes degenerate into name-calling, and our national discourse is often filled with acrimony is because some people go through life loaded for bear with the least provocation. It would be good if they could dial it down a bit. And their digestive systems would be better served if they would just chill!

This also applies to the two or three major national newspapers. In spades!

So remember that, whatever your Political Flavor of the Month happens to be: there are good Republicans and good Democrats that also want to come up with real, practical solutions to problems. Demonizing the perceived opposition is lazy thinking, in my opinion. Likewise, whatever religion you might profess, other people professing different beliefs may have a lot in common with you.

And, to put things in a SEC frame of mind: there are even good Ole Miss fans!

An odd cartoon with a timely message:
Pride and Prejudice seen from a non-Austen perspective.

Monday, November 6, 2017

A Surprising Yooper Term

The term "Yooper" refers to a resident of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. 

Going into the northern peninsula of Michigan is an odd experience of sorts, as it's far less populated and manages to be colder than the mitten part of the state. (Which did not vote for Mitt Romney, by the way.) Anyway, this Yooper part of that northern state has some unique vocabulary and cuisine items.

In our travel across the Upper Peninsula, we were surprised to see cafes offer pasties on the menu. Needless to say, this caused us a little bit of confusion. Where we came from, a pasty referred to a paste-on nipple cover, such as worn by desnuda performers and those who want to go braless without being obvious about it.

Still, some sex shops sell edible panties; did edible pasties happen to make the menu in Northern Michigan?

Woman shamelessly flaunting her pasties.
We soon discovered that in the Upper Peninsula, the term 'pasty' refers to a meat pie: a concoction consisting of minced beef or pork, potatoes, onions, carrots, rutabaga, and other vegetables baked into a hand-held pie. It had its origins from Cornwall, in England.  Here's a sample recipe. (Kind of like a calzone.)

We tried some; they were very good, despite the strange rutabaga vegetable! 

A pasty, a mainstay of Cornish cuisine that is
also popular on the Upper Peninsula
Just a further remark: the wearable kind of pasty is pronounced "pay-stee." The edible kind is pronounced "pass-tee."

Friday, November 3, 2017

An Economic Reason for Opposing Secession

The current crisis regarding Catalonian secession from Spain looks like it's handled in a heavy-handed manner by the Spanish government: a suspension of local government, calling out the funny hatted police, jailing some of the opposition, and a call for new elections so the Catalonians will do it the right way this time. (The right way, according to Madrid, that is.) 

Some people from north of the Mason-Dixon line point out, individual southern states receive far more from the Federal government in terms of benefits than the same government realizes with regard to taxes. To give an example, Mississippi costs more to have around than it pays off in revenues for the rest of the country. Looking at it as if it was a store in a chain, it would be one that produces negative revenues. Using that criterion, that state seceding would have little impact on the rest of the country. Well, maybe northerners desiring to go to New Orleans might have to go through Mississippi customs. I'm sure that if Mississippi had border guards, they could be as inefficient as in anyplace else!  

But, you know, the same could be said for several other states. Suppose the inhabitants of Vermont decided to go it alone; most of the rest of America would hardly notice. Well, maybe the leaf-peepers would have to go through customs, and Ben and Jerry's ice cream would be an import item now. 

The same can be said for South Dakota. Hey, you only need to see Mt. Rushmore only once to be satisfied. And Georgia has its own version of landscape statuary gigantism: Stone Mountain. 

Nevada? It's an easily available place for Californians wanting to misbehave: just a half-day's drive from L.A.!

So why quibble if Mississippi or Vermont or South Dakota or Nevada were to pass ordinances of secession?

Well, it's like this, folks. By allowing them to do it, a precedent is set allowing other states to follow suit if things are not going their way.  And this might include states that punch in a pretty high weight class.

Imagine the impact if California or Texas or New York were to walk away with their marbles and go the independence route. (Do kids still play marbles now, or am I using a folk expression? I must confess to being a marbles virgin.)  Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, Washington, and a few others also bring a lot to the economic table.

Well, this is exactly what Spain was looking at if Catalonia were to go. Spain probably could spare Basque Country with little difficulty: that might even solve some problems for them. 

But if an economic and industrial section like Catalonia were to say "adios," this would squeeze Madrid in the huevos!  So, in a nutshell, Spain had to react negatively to Catalonia going independent in that fashion, as crass as that sounds.

And, following this same logic, why can't we take the opportunity to dump Mississippi or Vermont? Because of California possibly getting the same idea. 

Thursday, November 2, 2017

The Lewd Dude's Advice on Scoring with Women

al·go·rithm - alɡəˌriT͟Həm/ noun.
  1. a process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations, especially by a computer.

Some guys wish there was an algorithm for scoring with women. Others, like Harvey W., try the lewd, crude, and totally disgusting approach.

The Lewd Dude (our Gentleman from Indiana*) has his own ideas:

"Hello, guys. I'm Milton, your friendly computer store techie and guru on all that is important. In addition, I'm a philosopher and a student of human nature. Life can be confusing, sometimes. Let me help you navigate through the shoals of what you really want: seducing women! They don't call me the Lewd Dude for nothing, you know!

"It's all a matter of learning the algorithms. Yes, it really breaks down into knowing how and when to do it.

"First of all, don't appear to be too interested in them. Women like a challenge. If you seem lukewarm to them at first, they feel slighted and tested; they want to be reassured that they are really hot numbers! So be interested in other things, initially.

"Dress up. Sorry, bros; but slobs rarely make any headway with the ladies. That's clean, ironed shirt, clean pants, the who nine yards! 

"Smile at them; but make it a short one of recognition. Don't give them the 200-watt full grin! You want them to want more.

"Listen to her when she speaks. And appear knowledgeable and confident.

"Women like guys with a sense of humor. But keep it in the PG- range; maybe a mild test of one or two in the R- range. Anyway, don't make it obvious that you have designs of getting into her panties! Not until later; but somehow give her the impression that you were tempted by her irresistible charms!

Invite her for coffee, or perhaps a dessert or on some seemingly mild yet quirky type of activity; like going to feed the sea birds or something.

"Go through a routine of pointing something out. But in the process, touch her lightly on a shoulder or mid-back. (Coincidently, you might check out that she's wearing a bra! If she isn't, consider this to be a green light!)

"Find some excuse to nibble on her neck or ear lobe. 

"And there's a clincher: bring her a gift of chocolate-covered strawberries! Now that's ringing her bells on two levels! 

"Spread this out over several weeks. Leave her intrigued; and wanting more. Now that's how to score with style!"

So much for the Lewd Dude's advice. Some advisors are all hat and no cowboy, as Cowgirl Melinda would say. 

*Also the title of an old book which I haven't read.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

The Eyes Don't Have It

What do men fixate on when looking at a woman's face?

Research by Dr. Geoff Beattie of the University of Manchester found that men, upon first encountering a woman, would spend about half of the first 10 seconds looking at her lips upon first meeting her provided she's wearing red lipstick.

Men fixated on lips wearing pink lipstick for 6.7 seconds on average; and 7.3 for those with red lipstick. Unfortunately for Goth girls like Dethany in the comic strip On the Fast Track, he did not collect data on dark lipstick. 

If women were wearing lipstick, then men spent only about 0.95 seconds looking at her eyes and 0.85 seconds looking at her hair.

If the woman being viewed was not wearing lipstick, then the guys focused on her lips only for about 2.2 seconds. The moral of the story is to wear a little lipstick! Maybe they might pay less attention to what's below the neck too!

Friday, October 27, 2017

Bubba and the Traffic Cop

Officer Smith was out patrolling on Main Street the other day, when he spotted Bubba driving along and weaving all over the road. Knowing how Bubba liked to indulge in some "liquid refreshments" at all hours of the day and night, Officer Smith figured he could add to his ticket count, and get a good D.U.I. "bust" at the same time, so he pulled Bubba over.

 Officer Smith walked up to Bubba's pickup truck, and advised him that he will have to take a breath test.

Bubba said, "I'm so sorry, but I have asthma real bad, me, and if I blow too hard, I'm gonna have me a real bad attack."

But Bubba said, "Oh, I'm so sorry, but I have hemophilia, too. If you take some blood, I could bleed to death."

So Officer Smith told him, "Well, OK, then I'm gonna give you a blood test."

Officer Smith, getting just a little frustrated, told Bubba, "Well then, I will need a urine sample to test."

Bubba said, "I am truly sorry, but I also have diabetes, and if I do give up my urine, my blood sugar will drop real low."

Officer Smith then said, "Well, OK, then come over here and walk this line for me."

Bubba replied, "Gee, I'm sorry, I can't do that either." 

Officer Smith, really now mad, screamed, "And why not?"

Bubba answered, "Because, I'm too drunk!"

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Antoine "Fats" Domino, R.I.P.

Yesterday, Antoine "Fats" Domino died; he was 89. "Fats" was a cheerful pioneer in rhythm and blues and had a musical career of over 60 years. No musician more exemplified the unique New Orleans style of popular music than Fats Domino.

It's no exaggeration to say that he will be missed. His first language was Louisiana Creole. His musical career began in the late 1940's. It spanned from then to the time of Hurricane Katrina.

Here are a few of his big hits.

Rest easy, Fats! Heaven now has a great piano player and man of good cheer.

"Blueberry Hill"

"Blue Monday" 

"Ain't that a Shame"

Here Fats is doing a duet with Doug Kershaw of an old Rockin' Sidney song. David Carradine and Edwin Edwards also make appearances:

"My Toot-Toot"

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

What Guys Think About Women's Swimwear

I won't pretend otherwise: young women's choices in swimwear are partly determined by how attractive or even how sexy they look in them. But what kinds of swimsuits do men really like?

As is my wont, I did research. I found an article in Marie Claire which reported on what 100 randomly selected men felt about different styles of women's swimsuits. Here's some findings regarding specific examples of swimwear:

String bikini: 74% of the guys like them; 26% feel they are too revealing or they make observers feel uncomfortable. Maybe it's the string. Are they more comfortable when they're double knot-tied? Maybe seeing the top tied with a single bow can be anxiety-invoking for some fellows! One told me so directly!

Standard bikini: 93% like them; and only 7% find them too revealing. This one seems to get the highest approval ratings and is a safe bet, in most cases. And this type of suit seems to be compatible with moderate exercise.

Bandeau top bikini: 89% of guys like them; 11% don't. This is also a safe bet.

Monokini: only 22% of guys like them. These are seen as kind of weird. 

Standard one piece: 61% of guys like them; but they don't like retro styles so much. Ditch the 1940's look.

High fashion bikinis just did not thrill guys at all. Plus I wonder about the bizarre tan lines that go with some.

Unfortunately, the Marie Claire article did not go into details about their sample of 100 guys: their ages, marital or parental status, or other dimensions that could bring a bearing on their responses. As a researcher, I like those little details.

With this in mind, I thought it would be sweet to ask my fiancé his opinion regarding the type of swimsuit he would prefer me to wear shortly after we we got engaged,  I figured that if we were to be a couple, then he definitely deserved to have input into what I wear.

A nice hybrid bikini style

A safe swimsuit style that can be worn for heavy exercise.

Monday, October 23, 2017

The Ubiquitous Bird

There's a gesture that is generally regarded as rude; and that in itself might contribute to its widespread use. We do live in crude times; but the days of yesteryear had their crude moments as well.

I'm talking about the bird; whether used as in shooting the bird, or flipping the bird. Anyway, no avians are hurt by that gesture, so nature lovers can rest easy! This gesture is widespread in Western cultures; and recorded examples of it go as far back as in the plays of Aristophanes where a minor character righteously flips off Socrates. (Now Aristophanes was a frequently raunchy playwright; he wrote Lysistrata.

The English and the French find solace in saluting others with the bird; so do the ill-bred of the Fourth Ward in New Orleans.* And, no, mes amis: its origins had nothing to do with English longbowmen proving their middle fingers were not removed! That's a myth.

Our current unfriendlies, the North Koreans (supposedly AKA to themselves as Best Koreans) apparently were unfamiliar with the gesture when it was made by captured U.S. sailors from USS Pueblo years and years ago. In fact, they mistook if for the Hawaiian shaka sign!

But let's consider the high water mark for flipping the bird: When the Las Vegas shooter killed more than 50 innocent people attending a concert, one intrepid person in the crowd flipped him the bird. Apparently the photograph appearing in the New York Post was real. (Thanks to New Orleans's best T.V. station for that information.)

For some reason, his defiant act spoke for all of us when crap like the shooter pulled comes down: "Hey, we're Americans! Up yours, Asshole!"

The passage from the Henley's verse, "bloody but unbowed" comes to mind.

*Guess from which ward I came from!

Apparently not having a beautiful
day in the neighborhood.

Friday, October 20, 2017

How Locals Pronounce Some Street Names in New Orleans

No shit, dear readers. One of the reliable markers distinguishing long-term New Orleanians from others is how we pronounce local streets and neighborhoods.  Here's a sample:

Tremé - Tre-may.

Marigny - Mar-in-yee

Calliope - Cal-ee-ope. 

Melpomene - Mel-po-meen. This street is now Dr. Martin L. King Boulevard.

Therpiscore - Ter-pis-core.

Clio - C. L. Ten.

Erato - Ee-rat-oh

Urania - You-rain-e-ya

Thalia - Thal-ya.

Carondelet - Ca-ron-de-let.

Euterpe - You-terp

Iberville - Eye-ber-vill

Bienville - Bee-en-vill

Charters - Char-ters

Conti - Kawn-tie

Dauphine - Daw-feen

Kerlerec - Ker-ler-ek

Thoupitoulas - Chop-a-tou-las

Classical scholars may roll over in their graves; but these pronunciations are the modal ones actually used by Orleanians. Sometimes it is due to the peculiarities of the languages originally used by different ethnic groups; sometimes it's to be funny; and some is due to sheer perversity. C. L. Ten, indeed!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Sex and Marriage Talk

One of the hazards of encountering organized religion when being a teen is having to experience the Mandatory Sex and Marriage Talk.  Now, first of all, this is always delivered to a single sex audience: either all boys or all girls, since parents are often remiss in this duty, according to educational authorities.

The dramatis personae for this painful entertainment can be:

a)  A priest or nun, for Catholics; a hip minister for Protestants;
b)  A doctor;
c)  A not-so-hip married couple.

Obviously, the slant is going to be in the direction of "don't do it until you're married, and only to him/her, and not too often, otherwise he will get ideas."  Never mind the hormones . . . .

Catholic teens are supposed to get the message that the only acceptable form of birth control is the rhythm method, but most priests have long ago accepted the idea that not all God's children got rhythm.  And there's the prohibitive cost and maternal wear and tear from having too many bambinos!  

Anyway, these sessions almost always have to include time for some anonymously written questions:

1.  How many times per week do married couples, you know, do it?

2.  After a heavy makeout session, my boyfriend complains that his testicles hurt.  Is there anything I can do to help?

3.  Is it a sin to go commando if you're not in the British Army?

4.  What is a reasonable amount of submitting to your husband?

5.  Do husbands have to submit to their wives also?

6.  How do you resolve differences over disciplining your children?

7.  (For priests)  Do you think that Kim Kardashian is hot?

8.  (For the doctor)  Is there any physical harm from getting good vibrations?

9.  How do I get my girlfriend to stop nagging me?

10.  How do I tell my boyfriend to shower more often?

Not surprisingly, the doctor tends to give the most matter-of-fact information.

The members of the audience can include a number of snarky girls.  I suppose guys refrain from snarkiness and are totally polite.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Polite Clickbait, as Opposed to the Other Kind

Clickbait is a common accompaniment to featured sites. Their purpose is to attract readers to additional sites to further advertisement or persuasive goals. Some clickbait is rather raw, promising wardrobe malfunctions or scandalous doings or perhaps revealing secrets that people might find embarrassing!

From the start I'll define the term polite clickbait as sites that are generally inoffensive, yet one squanders time pursuing. Conde-Nast Traveler, for instance, has lists of the ten friendliest and ten least friendly cities in the U.S. Where does your city fall? Which places are friendly; and which are unfriendly? Is Nashville a friendly place? What about Baltimore? I'll give you a freebie: C-N cites Charleston as the most friendly place.  

No, not the ones in West Virginia or Massachusetts.

Not surprisingly, the least friendly place cited is in New Jersey. You wanna make something of it?

We now consider the Most Boring Cities. Forbes magazine lists the most boring cities. Apparently, there's not a lot of love for California, Arizona, and Nevada. 

And there's web sites that allow you to scroll among old pictures. These are typically mundane, yet described in sensationalistic ways. You can tell the links to this kind of click bait by suggestible come-on lines as "you won't believe what she was doing." 

What can be said of these sites? They're harmless; but are sort of open-ended wastes of time. At least you don't come away from them feeling icky, like the semipornish ones or the fake news ones. Or, especially, the ones that have viruses attached.

Friday, October 13, 2017

On the Sunny Side of Discreet

Today is a special day to be marked privately by women.

This is an occasion for discreet independence from one usual convention. October 13th is National No Bra Day. It's time to free las niñas!

However, for politeness's sake and a little less conspicuousness, then you can get some breast petals so as not make a fashion statement:

Who knows: you might also find a reason to celebrate National No Bra Day + 1 and +2!

For lasses of Hibernian ancestry, there's also Saint Patrick's Day.

Monday, October 9, 2017

What's With the Falsettos?

As I have sometimes alluded to, I'm a sometime fan of classical rock; though sometimes making cracks about some examples that I thought were excessive.

However, there's a phenomenon that seems confusing to me: periodically, male groups came out with songs suns wholly or partly in falsetto. What's with this odd practice? Frank Valli and the Four Seasons were particularly notorious; with songs like "Big Girls Don't Cry" and "Sherry." But even the Beach Boys have gone the falsetto route, with "Sloop John B." Others include Lou Christie, Beck, and The Bee Gees.

I have two possible theories for this:

(1) The occasional male group singing in falsetto is a kind of psychic rejection of puberty; with for boys no less than with girls puberty has a mixed bag to go with it.*

(2) The persistence of falsetto singing guys might be a cultural longing for castrati. As barbarous as it sounds, for several hundred years prepubescent boys were castrated to maintain their voices in an alto or soprano range.**

Anyway, I'm really puzzled. Does anyone have an idea for why male falsettos occur so often in popular music?

*Things suddenly got more serious; and there's no way out. I admit to having been ambivalent about it all at the time.

**A fictional example of this is found in Anne Rice's book Cry to Heaven. Warning: it is explicit; and not among her best. In my opinion, you might enjoy Feast of All Saints more. It's a novel about the Free People of Color in old New Orleans.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Why Do Witches Ride Brooms?

It's a common Halloween image, a witch riding on a broom.

But where did this notion come from?

Well, apparently there were a few individuals back in the Medieval times and later who practiced witchery; and sometimes this included the use of Witches' Brews.

Now among the ingredients used in these Witches' Brews included some psychoactive substances such as belladonna, henbane, mandrake, and nightshade, and others. These substances are rich in powerful alkaloids such as atropine. These were often used in their 'flying ointments,' so-called because they gave users a sense of flying.

These Witches' Brews were also highly toxic if ingested. However, they can also be absorbed into the skin in locations such as underarms, the rectum, or the vagina. The mode of application was to have the substances in an ointment that was in turn applied to the handle of a pitchfork or broom. 

Atropine can be poisonous in stronger doses. However, this method of application avoids some of the negative symptoms that oral intake would provide.

In short, by being astride a broomstick, and a little judicious friction, the witches could really get airborne in their witches' sabbats!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The Passing of Hugh Hefner, Editor of Playboy

Last week Mr. Hugh Hefner, former editor of Playboy magazine, died. The magazine, in its heyday had millions of subscribers and newsstand purchasers. had since been eclipsed by others that featured semi- or completely nude women in a less slick and high-rent tone.

He was credited with being a major figure in the sexual revolution and in Civil Rights; yet was largely retrogressive in the rise of feminism. The magazine, except for in its last two years, featured a nude centerfold, excessively airbrushed and sometimes technically augmented. Each fall, Playboy magazine featured articles on college girls by conference

I suspect that a major reason why Playboy stopped using centerfolds is because of the times. Specifically, nudity and porn became so commonplace and easily accessed that, for many guys to indulge their fantasies, it became less of a big thing. It is also my understanding that the nature of porn has changed; Playboy's nudes now seem tame, as compared to what kinds of porn are available today.

Sometime in the past of the magazine, he launched a Playboy Philosophy. This translated into free sexual license (sometime back then effective birth control means were developed and marketed) coupled with consumerism. All of this was packaged into a  hedonistic lifestyle. He also established several Playboy Clubs in large cities where keyholder members could gain access to drinks and sophisticated entertainment. Finally, he lived in the Playboy Mansion in Chicago.

To many feminists, the most offensive aspect of his endeavors came in the form of the Playboy bunnies; young, attractive women dressed in satin swimsuit-like costumes with cotton tails on their tushes and bunny ears.* I personally find them offensive too. 

If there was a truly saving grace to Playboy magazine, it was in the cartoons. Many of the best cartoonists of the time drew for Playboy, and they were regarded highly. Some of the cartoons were truly funny in a risqué way.  However, a less-publicized editorial change that accompanied the elimination of the centerfold was the elimination of Playboy cartoons. This made it just another publication, despite its still-omnipresent consumerism and hedonism orientation. Kind of like Martha Stewart for guys.

Oh well, Captain Billy's Whiz Bang had its day too.

*Curiously, the bunny ears became a common motif in anime girls cartoons later on.