I may not be literally heading for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, but if this article is true I have gotten 10 pounds smarter over the past couple of months. And by my math that makes me fit to build a rocket.
Have you ever hooked up with someone and then wondered later if you did the wrong thing?
Well, according to ABC News, if you get an email from an ex these days whose subject line starts off "You're too hot to be out of action...," don't delete it. It's probably not spam.
That subject line concludes "..."I got diagnosed with herpes since we played."
Yeah, I know. That's a messed up prank. Except it's really not. Seriously. If you have time, follow the link. ABC News profiles this public health Web site that allows people to send cutesy e-cards to former sex partners they may have infected with a sexually transmitted disease or two. The story says that the site grew out of an effort to use technology to help people keep partners informed and so on.
That part is admirable. Don't keep your crotch diseases secret. I get it. But I can't be the only person who wonders about the lack of civility that comes with informing a former partner through email that you may have infected them with something.
Now, as you may know, the Cowboy Code is generally a guide to male friendships with one another and a guide to understanding male behavior in relation to romance with women. But it is also a guide to good sense and courtesy for both men and women in relationships.
And I don't think I need to tell you that there are very few exceptions to when it's appropriate to share any kind of serious news over the Web or by phone with an ex-romantic partner.
In fact, I think that there are only two exceptions:
- If you and an ex parted ways on reasonably good terms, geographically you and that ex live far apart these days, and you don't keep in close contact with that ex, then it's OK to tell them through email that your mom is sick, or your old dog died, or (this one's debatable) you're engaged.
- The second exception would be that you simply write better than you speak. I don't know how many of us can say that. But if that applies to you, and it's not just an excuse to avoid seeing your ex, then at least write it the old-fashioned way - with pen, on paper. Be thoughtful, and include a phone number in the letter, in case your ex, after reading your letter, wants to call you and hash it out further.
Barring those exceptions, all serious news needs to be delivered face-to-face, unless you live so far apart that an in-person meeting just isn't practical.
It's bad enough breaking up with someone over the phone. But this takes the cake. If you kiss or otherwise swap fluids with someone, and they walk away with anything more than a warm fuzzy feeling...that doesn't require a shot of something that ends with "cilin," you owe them a face-to-face explanation.
Otherwise, you are guilty of the worst lack of Burnettiquette and are in clear violation of the Cowboy Code.
There's been some buzz online and in a few newscasts this morning about studies at the University of Miami's Touch Research Institute that say touching your significant other is good for your health.
I confess, when I saw the headlines my immediate reaction was that they were talking sex, 'cause you can't touch more closely than that.
But apparently this research is talking about hand-holding, hugging, kisses, and non-sexual massage, PG-13 stuff.
Having read snippets, I have to admit this makes sense. It's all about relaxing, losing tension, and literally feeling good as a result of close contact with that significant other.
Reportedly, when you touch your partner's hand or simply hug your partner, your body is prompted to release a hormone called oxytocin AKA the "happy hormone," known, when interacting with dopamine from the brain, to lower blood pressure and stress, and even suspected of promoting the faster healing of wounds.
So I don't have a brain that operates on the same wavelengths as doctors and other scientists, but I can't help but wonder if simple romantic touching can improve your health and extend your life shouldn't sex make you healthier than a mule and help you live to be 100?
There has to be something to that theory, considering this touch research also acknowledges that women's bodies seem to get more health benefit out of non-sexual touching than men's bodies.
But as much as I want my theory to be true, I'm sure some doctor will shoot it down.
Can't blame me for trying though.
I just spent 10 minutes struggling to come up with some tongue-in-cheek way to approach what I'm about to write, but I couldn't think of anything. The topic speaks for itself.
So, without further ado, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has issued a challenge to Ben & Jerry's to stop using cow milk in the production of its ice cream and start using human milk. That's right, human breast milk.
The fact that this topic has nearly milked the humor out of me bites, 'cause this would normally be the paragraph where I said something only I would think was clever, something like "Peta wants Ben & Jerry's to promote liquid cannibalism!"
Again, though, I just can't do it. Nevermind the obvious logistical problems and the large scale kidnapping operation Ben & Jerry's would have to undertake in order to properly staff the transition to human milk.
All I can say with a straight face is this: Loving animals is great. Protecting animals from irresponsible humans is great. It's necessary. Compelling adult humans to drink human milk? I don't think so.
I know that sometimes for kicks and giggles I play a dumb jock - pretty, but dumb. But the fact is I lead a pretty healthy lifestyle...except for the occasional cigar and what not. For a long time I've read both sides of the arguments over drinking cow milk. I know that traditionally it's viewed a s a great source of calcium. I haven't broken any bones...except for that time I was hit by a bus. And, even though I don't drink milk (but not for the reasons PETA requests), when I was less health conscious I used to enjoy it over a bowl of Count Chocula or Frankenberry.
Here's my greater point, though: This isn't about milk sources. It's about credibility. And if PETA ever wants mainstream folks, Joe and Jane Average, to take them seriously, this type of argument is not the way to go.
If you don't want people eating delicious animals or drinking delicious animal juice, then don't go to the other extreme and ask them to consume people juice. Be reasonable. Offer folks soy milk as an alternative.
No wild soy beans are ever starved or kept in a tiny pen to produce soy milk.
OK, my head hurts - a sure sign that I've already put too much thought into this.
Hey, since I told you guys I was launching a new career - while at the same time continuing to be a journalist - I have had a change of heart.
Banking is no longer for me. The loan office at the First Bank of James is now closed. Besides, it looks like the Bailout Gravy Boat could get mothballed before it even leaves the docks. And I was banking on getting bailed out later this fall after you all had defaulted on the loans I planned to give you.
So I've decided to become a magician. Ever since I saw David Blaine engaged in his latest bit of wizardry - hanging upside down (off and on, apparently) for 60 hours - I realized that I was a magician too, because there are times I stay in almost the same position and display few signs of life for hours at a time.
For the right price, I am willing to risk the health of my butt cheeks by sitting nearly motionless in one spot...ideally in front of my television with a cooler and a chamber pot nearby, for 60 hours...also off and on.
I'm just joshin' about Blaine. Some of his illusions and tricks have been amazing, like when he appears to levitate. But hanging upside down? Seems kinda lazy. I mean the biggest scary element to this "trick" is that his blood could rush to his head and pop his eyeballs or make him go temporarily blind. And I could tell him how to keep that from happening: by not hanging upside down for 60 hours.
Anyway, if hanging upside down is worth money, surely sitting on my behind is worth half as much.
Have I ever recommended you guys revert to kindergarten occasionally and exercise a flexible sense of humor?
If not, and you don't already, try it sometimes. The ridiculous can be as therapeutic as scripture sometimes.
Don't believe me? Keep reading.
There are few behaviors or actions, even minor, silly stuff, that if we wanted, we couldn't assign a minimum standard of behavior to.
Think about it. You approach a door at the same time as another person? You exercise the baseball standard, as in "tie goes to the runner," and you give way to the other person (or not, if he's a jerk).
You bump into someone in a crowd? You smile and say "Excuse me."
Someone compliments you? You don't disregard their words. You say "Thank you."
You belch? You pardon yourself.
And so on...
So clearly, the alien woman Mrs. B and I encountered in a department store Saturday afternoon hadn't heard the rules about farting in public.
We were strolling down an aisle looking for a rug or something like that. When we rounded the corner to head up the next aisle, the woman was exiting that aisle and didn't see us.
I mean her head was down as she pushed her cart. But even if it hadn't been down, she couldn't have seen us. 'Cause three steps later when we crossed the spot where she'd just stood, we smelled an unbelievably foul odor. I'm certain it was the foulest odor I've ever come across. And keep in mind back when I was a crime reporter I spent time in the morgue. And I even came across a couple of crime scenes ripe with the smell of recent death.
This is why I call the woman an alien. No human could emit a smell like that unless they sustain themselves on a diet of charcoal and brimstone, or unless something - like an alien? - crawled up inside 'em and died.
Most rules of letting one rip are pretty much common sense. But in case you, like this woman, have a serious gastro problem and absolutely have to pass one in a public indoor place, like a department store, then make sure you're in an isolated part of the store - a part of the store where the products are covered with dust, giving you a good indication that people rarely go there. And whatever you do, and wherever you do it, look UP!!!! Look up and around first to make sure the coast is clear. It's the best way to avoid embarrassment - though this woman tried to pretend "it" wasn't hers, and the best way to avoid being grossly offensive.
This act, my friends, was high on the list of poor Burnettiquette. Silence is no excuse, and certainly no mask.
Anyway, if that hasn't made you giggle or scrunch up your nose uncomfortably enough already, the whole unpleasant incident that made my eyes water and I swear induced a minor asthma attack for me, reminded me of this beeper commercial featuring the start of a blind date:
I wasn't able to get my vid from CNN yesterday into YouTube. It required coding knowledge that was beyond me. Recap: it's a friendly debate between me and another journalist over how good or bad a job the media is doing when it insists on discussing Barack Obama's race but then seems to glaze over (in my opinion) his biracial heritage.
So if you wanna watch it, here's the link: http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/politics/2008/06/09/am.burnett.clemeston.cnn?iref=videosearch.
I don't always look that chunky. But it's hard being pretty all the time.
Also, here and here are links to two articles I had in today's Miami Herald, the first about a husband and wife team of brain cancer experts, the second about a new kind of camp for at risk kids. They're quick reads.