When you can't live without bananas

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

"Three o'clock is always too late or too early for anything you want to do." - Jean-Paul Sartre


The Straight Dope: Is it possible for someone to be tickled to death? - "According to Meerloo, the more important meaning of being "tickled to death" is not real death but metaphorical death--i.e., sexual surrender. Sez he, "In a deeper sense, being tickled to death means taking part in sexual orgasm and experiencing the _sterbe und werde_ feelings (to die and to be resurrected) provoked by deep ecstatic sexual satisfaction ..."The clitoris ... is in other languages called the organ of being tickled and titillated (in Dutch: _kitelaar_). All these words are also related to itch, the old English _yicchen_: a combination of restless hankering and irritation, of ambivalent yearning after fun and the taboo against giving in to the yearning.... `I'm being tickled to death' means ... that the pleasure is nearly too much for me.""

Hipsters repaint bike lanes in brush off to Hasids - " Groups of bicycle-riding vigilantes have been repainting 14 blocks of Williamsburg roadways ever since the city sandblasted their bike lanes away last week at the request of the Hasidic community. The Hasids, who have long had a huge enclave in the now-artist-haven neighborhood, had complained that the Bedford Avenue bike paths posed both a safety and religious hazard. Scantily clad hipster cyclists attracted to the Brooklyn neighborhood made it difficult, the Hasids said, to obey religious laws forbidding them from staring at members of the opposite sex in various states of undress"

Why the female flirt is wasting her time - "Some girls merely flutter their eyelashes. Others snuggle up close and play footsie, while the really forward type might venture a touch on the thigh. But whatever the method of flirting it just doesn't work with most men, claim researchers... When shown images of women making advances, men tended to misread the sexual cues as friendliness. At the same time they mistook photos of women merely being friendly for sexual interest. The researchers also found that women overestimate men's ability to pick up on sexual signals. They argue that many females wrongly believe that the men are well aware of their attempts to woo, but are just not interested in responding."
One comment: "How about men either think every woman is sexually interested in them or they've realized that women are crazy, flirting all the time but are easily offended when you -think- they want something sexual. Many men would rather just ignore the signs women throw out than misinterpret them and risk getting into trouble."
Another: "The other way of interpreting this is that women are not very good at communicating clearly. The dysfunction in communication is generally the sender's responsibility, not the receivers."

Tiger Airways: Why do you not provide email or phone feedback? - "Tiger Airways wants to provide quality service to our customers through meaningful correspondence instead of casual e-mail responses. We believe all our customers deserve professional and well thought out letters in response to their concerns and that is why we put so much effort into researching and investigating every letter we write. We answer every letter we receive in the order that it arrives, with our best efforts to the matter concerned and whoever the person involved. This helps to keep our service level to customers high while keeping our costs low."

Mouthwash linked to cancer - "The ethanol in mouthwash is thought to allow cancer-causing substances to permeate the lining of the mouth more easily and cause harm. Acetaldehyde, a toxic by-product of alcohol that may accumulate in the oral cavity when swished around the mouth, is also believed to be carcinogenic."

What Not to Wear - Unfortunate T-shirts to be in when having your mugshot taken.

Muslim police chef defeated in 'bacon roll' tribunal faces £75,000 legal bill - "A Muslim chef who lost a claim of religious discrimination against Scotland Yard after complaining he was forced to cook sausages and bacon faces a legal bill of more than £75,000... [He] claimed suggestions by his bosses that he should wear gloves and use tongs left him 'stressed and humiliated'. Muslims are banned from eating pork under Islamic law. But Mr Khoja, 62, lost his claim in May after a police employee told an employment tribunal how she saw Mr Khoja eat bacon rolls and sausages... Another chef said he saw Mr Khoja once happily eat a sausage dish and told the court 'he was not as strict as some Muslims'. Judge Southam also heard how Mr Khoja had made 'wild and baseless' allegations about a human resource manager, allegedly making racial facial gestures."

Hangover from whisky worse than vodka's - "Darker drinks contain high levels of toxic substances called congeners, which is why these result in a shoddier hangover."

Remarkable Creatures - Clues to Toxins in Deadly Delicacies of the Animal Kingdom - "Blue-ringed octopus, floral egg crab, basket shell snails and puffer fish... Each of these animals is chock full of a powerful neurotoxin called tetrodotoxin... in general, animal toxins are distinct and specific to each group. For instance, the venoms produced by snakes and scorpions are made of different kinds of toxins. But the tetrodotoxin found in each dish of that deadly buffet is identical... animals do not make the toxin themselves... not all 120 or so species of puffer fish are toxic or resistant to tetrodotoxin... Puffer fish have eight versions of these channels encoded by eight separate genes... what does not kill the evolving animals makes them stronger, and deadly... evolution is more reproducible than previously thought"
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