Monthly Archives: August 2007

11 Unconventional Sleep Tips: How to Get to Sleep and Stay Asleep

Written by Stephanie

I have a lifelong difficulty with falling asleep at night and then – even more problematic – staying asleep. I don’t have a medical cause for insomnia or any sleep disorders, just a brain that likes to go into overdrive when my body finally has a chance to lie down and rest.

I’ve looked to the Internet for sleep advice, but I’ve mainly just found lists with sleep tips so obvious it’s painful – like “avoid coffee in the evening” and “make your room dark”. It’s taken me a bit of trial and error, but finally I’ve found a number of things that really do work in helping me get to sleep and stay asleep long enough to get enough deep restorative sleep to wake up feel rested and refreshed in the morning. For me, the following has worked well. I call these sleep tips unconventional because I haven’t seen them in the typical sources – in fact, I often see the just the opposite recommended.

  • Nap every single day
    Contrary to all the sleep sources that say to avoid napping during the day in order to sleep better at night, I believe it is actually a good idea to nap every day. But in order to make this work it is vital to stick to three rules – nap regularly, keep it short, and make it in the early afternoon: 1) By napping at the same time every day, your body will start to regulate itself to want to nap at that time and it will become easier to fall asleep quickly and take an efficient nap; 2) Keep it short – only nap for about 20 minutes. This length of time, a power nap, is just enough to make you feel refreshed and mentally more alert but doesn’t allow you to go into a deep sleep (which would interfere with falling asleep at night), and; 3) Make sure to nap in the early afternoon – preferably about 20 to 30 minutes after lunch, which is when your body is naturally inclined to feel sleepy, and early enough in the day to not interfere with falling asleep at night.
  • Avoid taking a hot bath
    There is lots of advice that says take a hot bath right before bed to relax yourself, but since the body needs to lower its temperature in order to fall asleep a hot bath will actually keep you up. If you find a hot bath very relaxing, enjoy it about 2 hours before your bedtime so that your body has enough time to cool down. Make sure to give your body at least an hour to cool down after a bath and prior to going to bed.
  • Make your room cold
    Similar to the point above, your body needs to cool down in order to fall asleep and stay asleep, so do what you can to make your room cool.For me, a cool bedroom has the added benefit of nestling into a heavy comforter, and I find the heavy warmth on top of me very soothing.
  • Exercise intensely
    Don’t just “exercise”, but do so intensely, to the point of feeling physical exhaustion. At the end of the day, this is probably the single best thing for helping induce deep, restorative sleep. When I say “intensely”, I mean intense relative to your capability. For some this may mean running 5 miles, for others it may mean a brisk 20 minute walk that elevates the heart rate. Physical tiredness is absolutely essential to getting a good night’s sleep.
  • Limit to one glass of wine
    This seems to be especially true with red wine. Drinking more than one glass of red wine is a sure-fire way to interrupt your sleep during the night and make it difficult to get back to sleep, especially (although I don’ t know why this is) if you’re over 30.
  • Expose yourself to bright light/sunlight soon after waking up in the morning
    When you wake up, don’t lounge around in bed. Don’t even stay inside. If possible, get out in the morning sun soon after getting up. The bright sunlight (or any bright light) tells your body’s natural biological clock that its time to wake up, and that same clock will then be set to tell your body its time to go to sleep about 14 to 16 hours hours later.
  • Don’t watch TV
    Avoid watching TV (or looking at a computer screen) at least 30 minutes before you go to bed. Many sources of sleep advice say to watch TV or do something similar like surfing the Internet to wind down before bed, but I think this is bad advice. Watching TV and going online are both mentally and visually stimulating. It may feel physically restful, but these activities stimulate the brain instead of helping the brain wind down enough to fall into sleep.
  • Block out noise
    White noise is restful, and even more importantly, it means that I won’t be woken up with every little thump that the house makes. A fan is ideal because it does double duty of providing consistent soft background noise as well as keeping my room cool. White noise machines are also available. I got one from Radio Shack for about $20 that allows you to pick from sounds such as rain, babbling brook, and or a train (no whistles, just the wheels on the track).
  • Find a bedtime ritual that works for you
    Warm milk? Yech. A cup of herbal tea? No thank you. These are commonly advised to help you rest and fall asleep. I say find the routine that works for you – whatever it is – and do it every night. For me, it’s the simple act of shutting the house down. Turning off all the lights, picking up stray toys, reviewing the schedule for the next day, planning breakfast for the morning rush, and locking each door. Feeling organized about the house helps me feel less anxious. This simple routine tells my body that its time to close down for the day, and it really does help. Find what helps you feel less anxious at the end of the day and incorporate into a nightly ritual.
  • Do what it takes to manage stress in your life
    At some points in our lives we are burdened by a great deal of stress. It may be chronic pain or other health condition, a family or work situation, financial stress, or all combined. And the stressful situation may well be unavoidable. But do what you can to take some control over the stress. There are so many ways to do this – I encourage you to try some and just keep trying until you find what works for you. Simple meditation works best for me. It forces my mind to focus on something, thereby freeing up all the clutter to float to the surface, be recognized, and be gone. For others it is guided imagery, either with the help of a professional or with CD’s, regular massage, yoga or tai chi, calming music, or a therapeutic run or bike ride after work. We all have different preferences – try one that sounds appealing, but if you find it difficult to stick with it, then try a different one.
  • Keep pen and notebook next to your bed
    Often when I’m lying in bed, or even while I’m sleeping, I’ll think of a new idea for work. Or I’ll remember something important that I forgot to do during the day. Rather than try to remember it, which causes anxiety (which is stimulating) I write it down so it exists on paper and doesn’t have to stay in my head. And if I keep a notebook for these things right next to my bed I find I’m more likely to write it down.

For those who are curious, I have tried sleep medications, biofeedback, and many other sleep aids as well, but the above combination has worked the best. I think the bottom line is to re-condition yourself to positively associate the process of going to bed with sleep, which ultimately is an act of letting go – and to get your brain to stop stressing.

The preceding tips worked perfectly for me and I hope will give you at least some ideas of what will work for you, too. What do you think ? Do you have a tip that didn’t make my list? Let us know in the comments.

Sweet Dreams!

Weird History

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weird historyNext time you’re washing your hands and the water temperature isn’t just how you like it, think about how things used to be. Here are some facts about the 1500s.

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May and still smelled pretty good by June. However, they were starting to smell, so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor.

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children — last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.”

Houses had thatched roofs — thick straw — piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the dogs, cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof — hence the saying “It’s raining cats and dogs.”

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could really mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That’s how canopy beds came into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt, hence the saying “dirt poor.”

The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on the floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they kept adding more thresh until when you opened the door it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entranceway, hence, a “thresh hold.”

In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes the stew had food in it that had been there for quite awhile. Hence the rhyme, “peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old.”

Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man “could bring home the bacon.” They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and “chew the fat.”

Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with a high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning and death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Most people did not have pewter plates, but had trenchers, a piece of wood with the middle scooped out like a bowl. Often trenchers were made from stale bread which was so old and hard that they could be used for quite some time. Trenchers were never washed and a lot of times worms and mold got into the wood and old bread. After eating off wormy, moldy trenchers, one would get “trench mouth.”

Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or “upper crust.”

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whiskey. The combination would sometimes knock them out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of holding a “wake.”

England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a “bone-house” and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they thought they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the “graveyard shift”) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be “saved by the bell” or was considered a “dead ringer.”

And that’s the truth. . . (who ever said that History was boring)?

ASME’s Top 40 Magazine Covers of the Last 40 Years

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On October 17, 2005, the 40 greatest magazine covers of the last 40 years were unveiled at the 2005 American Magazine Conference (AMC) in Puerto Rico, by Mark Whitaker, Editor of Newsweek and President of American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME), and AMC Chairman Evan Smith, Editor of Texas Monthly. Read the press release.

#1 Rolling Stone (January 22, 1981)
Rolling Stone‘s cover of John Lennon and Yoko Ono was named the top magazine cover to appear since 1965. The image was photographed by renowned celebrity portraitist Annie Leibovitz mere hours before Lennon was shot on December 8, 1980. The photo was eventually used on the cover of Rolling Stone‘s tribute issue to Lennon on January 22, 1981.
#2 Vanity Fair (August 1991)
Vanity Fair‘s provocative cover shot of the naked and hugely pregnant Demi Moore (also shot by Annie Leibovitz) projected the actress to even greater heights after the huge success of the movie Ghost the previous year. The cover helped firmly establish Moore as a member of Hollywood’s A-List at the time.
#3 Esquire (April 1968)
The controversial April 1968 cover depicting Muhammad Ali impaled by six arrows appeared on the heels of his refusal to be inducted into the U.S. Army because of his religious beliefs. (Ali, convicted violating the Selective Service Act, was barred from the ring and stripped of his title.) The cover, the second of three Esquire covers defending Ali, shows the boxer martyred as St. Sebastian, a patron saint of athletes and one who was shot with arrows for his steadfast religious beliefs. This was one of the covers designed by George Lois, Esquire‘s Art Director during the 1960s.
#4 The New Yorker (March 29, 1976)
Saul Steinberg’s March 29, 1976 The New Yorker cover, “View of the World from 9th Avenue,” has come to represent Manhattan’s telescoped perception of the country beyond the Hudson River. The cartoon showed the supposed limited mental geography of Manhattanites.
#5 Esquire (May 1969)
One of the most iconic of Art Director George Lois’s creations, the May 1969 cover of Esquire juxtaposed the celebration of pop culture while deconstructing celebrity. The image of a drowning Andy Warhol was a friendly spoof of the artist’s famous Campbell Soup artwork, a pervading symbol of the Pop Art movement.
#6 The New Yorker (September 24, 2001)
New Yorker Covers Editor Fran?oise Mouly repositioned Art Spiegelman’s silhouettes, inspired by Ad Reinhardt’s black-on-black paintings, so that the north tower’s antenna breaks the “W” of the magazine’s logo. Spiegelman wanted to see the emptiness, and find the awful/awe-filled image of all that disappeared the on 9/11. The silhouetted Twin Towers were printed in a fifth, black ink, on a field of black made up of the standard four color printing inks. An overprinted clear varnish helps create the ghost images that linger, insisting on their presence through the blackness.
#7 National Lampoon (January 1973)
National Lampoon quickly grew in both popularity in 1970s, when it regularly skewered pop culture, counterculture and politics with recklessness and gleeful bad taste. The notorious January 1973 shot of a human hand holding a revolver to the head of a docile-looking dog, who suspiciously eyes the firearm with a sideways glance, was photographed by Ronald G. Harris and is the magazine’s most memorable cover.
#8 Esquire (October 1966)
This cover story by legendary writer John Sack helped change public perception of the Vietnam War and was a landmark in the history of New Journalism. Early in 1966, when America had little more than 100,000 troops in Vietnam, Sacks became Esquire‘s war correspondent in Vietnam. At 33,000 words, the resulting article was and still is the longest ever published in Esquire. The all-black cover with the white inscription, “Oh My God-We hit a little girl,” became the cover to reflect the story.
#9 Harper’s Bazaar (September 1992)
Harper’s Bazaar, which debuted in 1867 as America’s first fashion magazine, celebrated its 125th anniversary in 1992, and the September 1992 issue under legendary Editor-in-Chief Liz Tilberis’s direction heralded one of the most dramatic magazine reinventions in history. Tilberis helped transform the magazine from an “also-ran” fashion magazine into the one of the most cutting-edge and experimental of the big fashion glossies-illustrated by the creative typeface and avant-garde image of Linda Evangelista on the September cover.
#10 National Geographic (June 1985)
Photographer Steve McCurry immortalized the haunted eyes of a 12-year-old refugee in a camp on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. Soviet helicopters destroyed her village and family, forcing her to make a two-week trek out of the perilous mountains of Afghanistan. The photo became a National Geographic icon after it was published on the cover in June 1985. Since then, this raw, untouched image has been used on rugs and tattoos, making it one of the most widely reproduced photos in the world.
#11 LIFE (April 30, 1965)
The fetus became widely recognized after LIFE published Linnart Nilsson’s photograph of an 18-week-old fetus inside the womb on its April 30, 1965 cover. Swedish photographer Nilsson used an endoscope with an electronic flash to capture both the cover picture and pictures appearing inside the magazine to chronicle the beginning of human life. These pictures are part of Nilsson’s book, A Child is Born, which sold eight million copies in the first four days after publication.
#12 TIME (April 8, 1966)
The question “Is God Dead?” appeared on the cover of TIME in red letters against a black backdrop, and this was the first time the magazine used a type only cover. The article, written by the editors and entitled “Toward a Hidden God,” included the opinions of Christian theologians Gabriel Vahanian, Paul van Buren, William Hamilton, Thomas J. Altizer, and the Rabbi Richard Rubenstein. They believed the “death of God” had come since God was no longer visible in public life and religion was dead. This article received much backlash from readers, but the radical movement died out by the end of the decade. This is one of two “type only” covers in the Top 40.
#13 LIFE Special Edition (1969)
This LIFE special edition “To the Moon and Back” chronicles the first moon landing, brought about by the courage of the Apollo 11 astronauts and the thousands of people who supported their mission. On the cover is a picture of Buzz Aldrin, taken by fellow astronaut Neil Armstrong. Along with color photographs of this historic walk on the moon, there are biographical sketches of Neil Armstrong, Edwin Aldrin and Michael Collins. There is also a history of manned space exploration from the first single orbit around the earth orbit to the launch of Apollo 11.
#14 The New Yorker (December 10, 2001)
This New Yorker cover by Maira Kalman and Rich Meyerowitz features a map of “New Yorkistan” where the city is divided into Middle Eastern names. The pastel map pastel map showed a flat, bird’s-eye view of New York City drawn in pen and wash. It echoed Saul Steinberg’s map “View of the World from 9th Avenue,” published on the cover of The New Yorker on March 29, 1976 (ranking no. 4 on this Top 40 list).
#15 Harper’s Bazaar (April 1965)
This cover of Harper’s Bazaar is a photograph of model Jean Shrimpton by photographer Richard Avedon. The cover of Shrimpton peering from behind a bright pink Day-Glo space helmet was designed by Art Directors Ruth Ansel and Bea Feitler. This photograph, with the Harper’s Bazaar logo vibrating against it in acid green has been often reproduced as an emblem of the sixties.
#16 The Economist (September 10-16, 1994)
This controversial cover of The Economist portrays “The Trouble with Mergers” by showing an illustration of two camels mating. The London-based magazine published the cover in the North American edition, but not in the European edition. Reaction to this cover was mixed, with some readers disgusted and others highly amused.
# 17 TIME (June 21, 1968)
Roy Lichtenstein’s drawing of “The Gun in America” was the cover of the June 21, 1968 issue of TIME. Soon after the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy, pop artist Lichtenstein aimed a smoking gun at readers to emphasize the urgency for gun legislation. Before the end of the year, Congress passed the Gun Control Act of 1968 that banned most interstate sales, licensed most gun dealers and barred felons, minors and the mentally ill from owning guns.
#18 ESPN the Magazine (June 29, 1998)
This ESPN the Magazine cover portrays Michael Jordan jumping against an all-white background in his Chicago Bulls uniform. Two weeks after winning his sixth title with the Bulls, the corresponding article speculates whether or not Jordan will retire from basketball. Jordan retired on January 13, 1999, but two years later signed a deal to play for the Washington Wizards. On April 16, 2003, Jordan played his last game and announced his final retirement.
#19 Esquire (December 2000)
Bill Clinton’s appearance on Esquire‘s cover at the tail end of his administration provoked ire from both sides of the political spectrum. Accompanying an extensive profile of the President in his waning weeks in office, Platon’s cover shot (the result of an 8-minute session in a cramped hotel bedroom in Princeton, NJ) was intended to evoke the Lincoln Memorial. Instead it came to be seen as fraught with sexual significance following the scandal with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
#20 Blue (October 1997)
A man diving appears on the premiere October 1997 issue of Blue. Art Director David Carson, known for his innovative typography and photography designed the cover. Editor Amy Schrier launched the first adventure lifestyle magazine, covering outdoor recreation, action sport and adventure travel for men and women. The magazine also explored the diverse cultures of the world and took a look at their political, economic and social concerns.
#21 LIFE (November 26, 1965)
“The Blunt Reality of War in Vietnam” appears on the November 26, 1965 cover of LIFE. Paul Schutzer’s photograph of a Vietcong prisoner with his eyes and mouth taped shut captured the tumultuous war. Schutzer was one of LIFE‘s best photographers, but was killed on assignment while covering the Six-Day War in 1967.
#22 George (Oct/Nov 1995)
The premiere issue of George featured supermodel Cindy Crawford on the cover dressed as George Washington. George was founded by John F. Kennedy Jr. and covered politics, current events, pop culture and celebrity news. In 1999, Kennedy was killed in a plane crash and consequently, George folded in March 2001.
#23 The Nation (November 13, 2000)
This cover of The Nation features artwork by Brian Stauffer that depicts George Bush as Alfred E. Neuman. The Nation compared Bush to Alfred E. Neuman, the fictional mascot of the magazine Mad, complete with a button that reads, “What, me worry?” The U.S. presidential election was held on November 7, 2000, and when this issue of the magazine was released, the winner of the election was still unclear. The issue discusses what would happen to the country and the world if Bush became president, and in fact Bush was declared the winner of the election the next month.
#24 Interview (December 1972)
This cover of Interview was designed by Richard Bernstein and features Andy Warhol photographing model Grace Jones for the December 1972 issue. Warhol founded the magazine in 1969 and featured unedited interviews with celebrities along with photographs and striking ads.
#25 TIME (September 14, 2001)
The cover of the September 14, 2001 special edition of TIME features a photograph of the Twin Towers terrorist bombings on September 11, 2001, taken by photographer Lyle Owerkoof. The issue included testimonies from survivors, more photographs of the Twin Towers after the bombings, and a salute to all those who perished in the tragedy.
#26 People (March 4, 1974)
This premiere issue of People featured Mia Farrow on the cover biting a strand of pearls. Farrow was starring in the movie “The Great Gatsby” as Daisy Buchanan and the cover dubbed Gatsby the year’s next big movie. Since this issue, People has become a popular magazine of celebrity and pop culture news and is best known for yearly special issues naming “The 50 Most Beautiful People,” “The Best and Worst Dressed” and “The Sexiest Man Alive.”
#27 Entertainment Weekly (May 2, 2003)
The Dixie Chicks appear naked on this cover of Entertainment Weekly with slogans such as “Boycott,” “Traitors,” “Hero” and “Proud Americans” printed on their bodies. Two months before, member Natalie Maines criticized the impending invasion of Iraq by President George Bush at a concert in London. This remark sparked intense criticism from many Americans who subsequently boycotted The Dixie Chicks music and concerts. In their interview with Entertainment Weekly, the group discussed their reaction to the criticism and what lies ahead for them in the country music industry.
#28 LIFE (April 16, 1965)
This black and white photograph on the cover of LIFE by Larry Burrows shows the Vietcong zeroing in on vulnerable United States helicopters. The LIFE photographer had covered the war in Vietnam since 1962 and reported this article from Da Nang. On this day, Burrows accompanied a helicopter squadron on a mission where the pilot was killed and other members of the squadron were wounded. Burrows himself was killed in 1971 while on assignment in Laos when his helicopter was shot down by enemy fire.
#29 (tie) Playboy (October 1971)
Photographer Richard Fegley took this photo of model Darine Stern sitting on a Playboy bunny chair for the October 1971 cover of the magazine. The idea came about when art designer Len Willis decided to create a chair using the famous rabbit head. Stern became the first African-American model to grace the cover of Playboy and the cover has become a classic for the magazine.
#29 (tie) Fortune (October 1, 2001)
This special edition of Fortune, entitled “Up from the Ashes,” shows a man covered in ashes after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Published less than a month after the attacks, the issue discussed the economic ramifications of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on New York City and the world.
#31 Newsweek (November 20, 2000)
This cover of the November 20, 2000 issue of Newsweek is entitled “The Winner Is?” with a photo of half George W. Bush and half Al Gore. The presidential election had taken place earlier that month, but there was still no clear winner declared because of the close ballot count in the state of Florida. In this issue, Newsweek chronicled the lawsuits, court challenges and endless counting of ballots. The following month, George W. Bush was declared the winner of the closest presidential election in United States history.
#32 Vogue (May 2004)
Photographer Irving Penn captures Nicole Kidman’s back profile dressed in a Christian Lacroix oyster satin backless dress for this cover of the May 2004 issue of Vogue. This was the first cover shoot for Vogue by Penn since 1989. The issue contains more photographs of Kidman dressed as a Grecian goddess, an Italian diva and as legendary actress Sarah Bernhardt.
#33 Newsweek (July 30, 1973)
This July 30, 1973 cover of Newsweek, entitled the “The Nixon Tapes,” gives an aerial view of the White House turned into a tape recorder. The article discusses how President Nixon had been secretly taping everything said in his offices and on his telephones for at least two years. The following year, the tapes were released and they proved Nixon was involved with the Watergate Scandal cover-up. In August 1974, Nixon announced his resignation and Gerald Ford became President. Ford later pardoned Nixon, immunizing him from prosecution for any crimes he may have committed as President.
#33 (tie) Wired (June 1997)
This June 1997 cover of Wired is entitled “Pray,” with a picture of the Apple symbol covered in barbed wire. The article “101 Ways to Save Apple” gave an assessment of what could be done to fix the once-great company. Steven Jobs and Steven Wozniak founded Apple Computer in 1976 when they introduced the Apple I. However, by 1997, Apple saw major competition from other computer companies and experienced economic troubles. Since that time, Apple has made a comeback, due in part to the tremendous success of the iPod.
#35 New York (June 8, 1970)
This cover of New York is entitled “Free Leonard Bernstein,” with a photograph of New York society women posing with fists upraised. Bernstein was an acclaimed American composer and orchestra conductor who was a presence on Broadway, in Hollywood, at Carnegie Hall and at the New York Philharmonic. He supported the Black Panthers and in 1970, held a fund-raising meeting for the organization at his apartment. The magazine cover was a jab at his association with the Black Panthers and their radical ideology.
#36 People (September 15, 1997)
This cover of People features a black and white photograph of Princess Diana, and the issue is a tribute to her life after she was killed in August 1997 in a car crash. Diana appeared on the cover of the magazine a record 52 times and was one of the most popular People cover subjects. In 1981, she married Prince Charles and arguably became one of the most famous women in the world. She was lauded for her high-profile involvement in AIDS issues and for an international campaign against landmines. Diana’s death was greeted with extraordinary public grief, and her funeral at Westminster Abbey drew an estimated three million mourners in London, as well as worldwide television coverage.
#37(tie) Details (February 1989)
This cover of Details features a photograph of Cyndi Lauper sporting a classic Hollywood look. In the issue, Lauper discusses her songwriting and recounts her trip to the U.S.S.R. with a group of American songwriters the previous year to collaborate with Soviet counterparts. They produced the song “Cold Sky,” which appears on the album Action Speaks Louder Than Words.
#37 (tie) Fast Company (Aug/Sept 1997)
This cover of Fast Company is entitled “The Brand Called You,” against the Tide background. In the cover article, author Tom Peters discussed how people can market themselves as brands to stand out and move up in their professional life.
#37 (tie) Glamour (August 1968)
This issue of Glamour model Katiti Kirondi II on the cover features the “Best Dressed College Girls.” This marked the first time an African-American woman appeared on the cover of a national women’s monthly magazine. This issue featured the 10 best-dressed college girls and 100 great fall looks, which included mini-skirts and psychedelic colors.
#37 (tie) National Geographic (October 1978)
This cover of National Geographic magazine is entitled “Conversations with a Gorilla,” with Koko the gorilla snapping a photograph of her reflection in the mirror. The photo was of such high quality and significance that it was chosen to be the cover photo for the October 1978 National Geographic article featuring Koko. Developmental psychologist Francine Patterson spent six years with Koko teaching her sign language and this led Patterson and other researchers to believe Koko displayed evidence of linguistic capabilities.
#37 (tie) TIME April 14, 1997)
This cover of TIME magazine is entitled “Yep, I’m Gay,” with a photograph of Ellen DeGeneres by celebrity photographer Firooz Zahedi. In the April 14, 1997 issue of TIME magazine, DeGeneres spoke to writer Bruce Handy and admitted to him that she was gay and this made her television’s first openly gay star. The television character played by DeGeneres on the sitcom Ellen also came out later that month and this was one of the most watched episodes of the series.

The world’s strangest laws

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Here is a list of the world’s most ridiculous laws… no wonder lawyers earn so much!

– In Victoria Australia, only a licensed electrician is allowed to change a lightbulb.

– In Victoria Australia it is forbidden to wear pink hot pants after mid-day on a Sunday.

– It England, it is illegal for a cab in the City of London to carry rabid dogs or corpses.

– It England, it is illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament.

– It England, it is an act of treason to place a postage stamp bearing the British monarch upside down.

– In France, it is forbidden to call a pig Napoleon.

– Under the UK’s Tax Avoidance Schemes Regulations 2006, it is illegal not to tell the taxman anything you don’t want him to know, though you don’t have to tell him anything you don’t mind him knowing.

– In Alabama, it is illegal for a driver to be blindfolded while driving a vehicle.

– In Ohio, it is against state law to get a fish drunk.

– Royal Navy ships that enter the Port of London must provide a barrel of rum to the Constable of the Tower of London.

– In the UK, a pregnant woman can legally relieve herself anywhere she wants – even, if she so requests, in a policeman’s helmet.

– In Lancashire, no person is permitted after being asked to stop by a constable on the seashore to incite a dog to bark.

– In Miami, Florida, it is illegal to skateboard in a police station.

– In Indonesia, the penalty for masturbation is decapitation.

– In the UK, all men over the age of 14 must carry out two hours of longbow practice a day.

– In London, Freemen are allowed to take a flock of sheep across London Bridge without being charged a toll; they are also allowed to drive geese down Cheapside.

– In San Salvador, drunk drivers can be punished by death before a firing squad.

– In the UK, a man who feels compelled to urinate in public can do so only if he aims for his rear wheel and keeps his right hand on his vehicle.

– In Florida, unmarried women who parachute on Sundays can be jailed.

– In Kentucky, it is illegal to carry a concealed weapon more than six-feet long.

– In Chester, Welshmen are banned from entering the city before sunrise and from staying after sunset.

– In the city of York, it is legal to murder a Scotsman within the ancient city walls, but only if he is carrying a bow and arrow.

– In Boulder, Colorado, it is illegal to kill a bird within the city limits and also to “own” a pet – the town’s citizens, legally speaking, are merely “pet minders”.

– In Vermont, women must obtain written permission from their husbands to wear false teeth.

– In London, it is illegal to flag down a taxi if you have the plague.

– In Bahrain, a male doctor may legally examine a woman’s genitals but is forbidden from looking directly at them during the examination; he may only see their reflection in a mirror.

– The head of any dead whale found on the British coast is legally the property of the King; the tail, on the other hand, belongs to the Queen – in case she needs the bones for her corset.

– In Eureka, Nevada, USA, it is still illegal for men with moustaches to kiss women.

– In Alexandria, Minnesota, USA, it is still illegal for a man who has garlic, onions or sardines on his breath to have sex with his wife.

– In Logan County, Colorado, USA, it is still illegal to kiss a woman while she is asleep.

– In Providence, Rhode Island, USA, it is still illegal for shop owners to sell toothpaste and toothbrushes to the same customer on a Sunday.

– In Zion, Illinois, USA, it is still illegal to offer cigars to your pets.

– In St. Louis, Missouri, USA, it is still illegal for firemen to rescue women who are still in their nightdresses.

– In Ames, Iowa, USA, it is still illegal for men to have three sips of beer while they are in bed with their wives.

– In Maryland, USA, it is still illegal for radio stations to play Randy Newman’s song ‘Short people’.

– In Oklahoma, USA, it is still illegal to make faces at a dog, a crime that could result in a prison sentence.

– In Texas, USA, criminals are still required to give their victims at least 24 hours oral or written notice giving details of the crime they are about to commit.

– In Washington, USA, it is still an offence to pretend that you have rich parents.

– In Baltimore, Maryland, USA, it is still an offence to take a lion into a cinema.

– In Tremonton, Utah, USA, it is still an offence for a woman to have sexual intercourse with a man in an ambulance. She can be charged with a misdemeanour and have her name printed in the local paper.

– In Oxford, Ohio, USA, it is still illegal for a woman to undress in front of a picture of a man.

– In Miami, Florida, USA, it is still illegal for anyone to imitate an animal.

– In Afghanistan the Taliban militia banned women from wearing white socks just in case men find them attractive. The police are also ordered windows to be painted black to stop women being seen from the outside.

– In the USA impotence is grounds for divorce in 24 states.

– In Illinois, USA, it is against the law to give a lighted cigar to a pet.

– In Iowa, USA, it is against the law to kiss for more than five minutes.

– In International Falls, Minnesota, USA, it is against the law for a dog to chase a cat up a telegraph pole and dog owners can be fined for this.

– In Kentucky, USA, it is illegal to carry and ice cream cone in your pocket.

– In Louisiana, USA, if you bite someone with your own teeth it is classed as ‘Simple assault’ but if you bite someone with your dentures it is classed as ‘aggravated assault.’

– In Massachusetts, USA, it is illegal for mourners to eat no more than three sandwiches at a wake.

– In Chico, California, USA, the law says that anybody who detonates a nuclear device within the city limits is liable to a fine of $500.

– In Lebanon any man may legally have sex with any animal just as long as it is a female.

– In Conorsville, Wisconsin, USA, it is illegal for a man to fire a gun while his wife is having an orgasm.

– In Tremonton, Utah, USA, it is illegal for a woman to have sex with a man while riding in an ambulance.

– In Oblong, Illinois, it is illegal to make love while fishing or hunting on your wedding day.

– In Bahrain it is illegal for a doctor to look directly at a woman’s genitals while he is examining her although he is permitted to see their reflection in a mirror.

– In Ames, Iowa, USA, a husband may not take more than three gulps of beer while lying in bed with his wife.

– In Hastings, Nebraska, USA, the law says that hotel owners have to provide a clean white cotton nightshirt for each guest. Also no couples are allowed to have sex in the hotel unless they are wearing these nightshirts.

– In Willowdale, Oregon, USA, no man may curse while having sex with his wife.

– In Indonesia the punishment for masturbation is execution by decapitation.

– In Kingsville, Texas, USA, it is against the law for pigs to have sex on airport property.

– In Florida it is illegal to have sex with a porcupine.

– During World War I anyone found to be a homosexual in the French army was executed.

– Hundreds of years ago in Japan anyone who attempted to leave the country was instantly executed.

– The very first country to abolish capital punishment was Austria in 1787.

– In Wetaskiwin, Alberta, Canada, in 1917, it was illegal to tie a male horse next to a female horse.

– In San Diego, USA, hypnotism is banned by public schools.

– Chewing gum is illegal in Singapore.

– In Paraguay duelling is legal just as long as both parties are registered blood donors.

– In Milan, Italy, there is still a law that requires citizens to smile at all times or risk a hefty fine. The only exceptions are visiting hospitals and funerals.

– In Switzerland every citizen is required by law to have access to a bomb shelter.

– In Burma it is illegal to get internet access. If a person is found in possession of a modem he can be imprisoned.

– In Bangladesh it is against the law for schoolchildren to cheat at school exams. Pupils as young as 15 can be imprisoned for this.

– Until 1984 Belgians were made to choose their children’s names from a list of 1500 drawn up in the days of Napoleon.

– In Romania, in 1935, Mickey Mouse was banned because the authorities thought that the sight of a 10ft high rodent on screen would terrify the nation’s children.

– Donald Duck comics were once banned in Finland because he never wore pants.

– Belgium is the only country that has never imposed censorship on adult films.

– Karate films were banned in Iraq in 1979.

– In Indiana, USA, during the 1950’s, all Robin Hood films were banned because authorities thought that robbing the rich to give to the poor was an act of communism.

– In Iceland it was once against the law to own a pet dog.

– The bloodhound is the only animal in the world whose evidence is admissable in court.

– In Basle, Switzerland, in 1471, a cockerel was found guilty in a court of law for laying an egg “In defiance of natural law”. The bird was then burnt at the stake as a “Devil in disguise”.

– In Stelvio, Italy, in 1519, a court issued a warrant for the arrest of a gang of moles that had severely damaged crops. The moles were sumoned to court but when they failed to appear they were sentenced to exile.

– In South Bend, Indiana, USA, a monkey was once found guilty of smoking a cigarette.

– In Munster, in 1670, the courts banished a plague of fleas from the city, prohibiting them from returning for ten years.

– In Seville, Spain, in 1983, an alsatian dog was arrested for snatching handbags from shoppers.

– Judge J.H. Logan from California, USA, created the Loganberry fruit. He crossed a wild blackberry with a cultivated raspberry and came up with his own fruit.

– In ancient Sparta men were required by law to eat at least two pounds of meat every day. This was supposed to make them brave.

– In Turkey, during the 16th and 17th centuries, it was illegal to drink coffee and anyone caught doing so was sentenced to death.

– In Venice all gondolas have to be painted black unless they belong to a high ranking official.

– In England, in 1865, a law was passed stating that any self propelled carriage on an English highway had to have a crew of three, one of whom had to walk in front of the carriage with a red flag to warn horse drawn vehicles of it’s approach.

– In Rome, 2,000 years ago, Julius Caesar banned chariots from the centre of Rome to ease congestion.

– In London, England, there is still a law that states London Taxi cabs must carry a bale of hay at all times.

– In Bermuda, up until 1948, all private cars were banned.

– At one time it was against the law to slam car doors in Switzerland.

– In Britain, in 1888, a law was passed which stated that every cyclist had to constantly ring the bell on his bicycle non-stop while the machine was moving.

– In Singapore it is illegal for a person to walk around the house naked and not flushing the toilet. Also a person can be executed if they are found in possession of more than 200g of cannabis resin. Oral sex is banned unless it is used only during foreplay and if a person is caught littering the streets he is forced to make an appearance on TV with a bib around his neck saying “I’m a litterer.”

– In Birmingham, England, it is illegal for a man and a woman to have sex on church steps after sundwon.

– In Iowa, USA, it is illegal for horses to eat fire hydrants.

– In Denmark it is not illegal for a convicted prisoner to escape from prison. If the escapee is caught he only serves the rest of his sentence.

– In Denmark it is illegal to start your car without first checking to see if there are any children asleep underneath it.

– In Thailand it is illegal to step on a banknote, leave your house without wearing underwear and if you drop a piece of bubblegum on the pavement you can be fined $600.

– In Thailand all cinema goers must stand up during the National Anthem before a film starts.

– In Switzerland it is against the law for men to urinate standing up after 10pm which is the same time that it is illegal to flush the toilet.

– In Canada, by law, 1 out of every 5 songs on the radio must be sung by a Canadian and in British Columbia it is illegal to kill a Sasquatch or Bigfoot if one is ever found.

– In Alberta a released convict is entitled to a gun and a horse to ride out of town on.

– In London, England, it is illegal to use a camera tripod, throw a stick for your dog or use an offensive powder like pepper on your jacket potato in any park.

– In London, England, wife beating is legal just as long as it is not after 9pm and it doesn’t disturb the neighbours.

– In London, England, it is illegal to impersonate a Chelsea pensioner which once carried the death sentence in the 19th century.

– In Lebanon men are allowed to have sex with any other animal just as long as it is a female. If a man is caught having sex with a male animal then the penalty is death.

– Non-Christians have been banned from being within 20 metres of churches in Rovato, Italy. The move, instigated by the local government, has angered police because a major highway passes within 15 metres of one of the churches. Officers claim that they cannot be expected to stop motorists and demand to see a Baptism Certificate.

– North Carolina has a law to ban people from swearing in front of cadavers. The law also sets out guidelines transporting the recently deceased after one funeral firm was caught piling stiffs onto the back of a pick-up truck. It outlaws ‘profanity, indecent or obscene language in the presence of a dead human body’ making it technically illegal to say the ‘f’ word in front of a hearse!

– In Minnesota, USA, it is still against the law to hang male and female underwear together on the same washing line.

– In Indiana, USA, in the 1950’s anything to do with Robin Hood was banned on the grounds that robbing from from the rich to give to the poor was a communist act!

– In England, in 1837, a law was passed that entitled a woman to bite off a man’s nose if he kissed her against her will!

– The Egyptian government banned male belly-dancing in 1837 because of the enthusiastic riots that it caused.

– In Arizona, USA, it is illegal to hunt camels.

– In California, USA, in 1986, Judge Samuel King became so annoyed that jurors were absent from his court because of heavy rain that he issued a decree which stated “I hereby order that it cease raining by Tuesday.”
Amazingly it stopped raining on Tuesday and California suffered a 5 year drought.
In 1991 the judge then decreed “Rain shall fall in California beginning February 27th.” Later that day California had the heaviest rainfall in ten years.

– In Alexandria, Minneapolis, USA, it is against the law for a man to make love to a woman with the smell of sardines on his breath.

Top 5 Most Ridiculous Movie Plots of ALL TIME

Written by Carter Swan

Sitting in the back seat of my parents’ car last week, driving across the Big Sky State and fighting with my brother Skyler like an adolescent over shared space and what was to be defined as “my territory”, I was hit with one of those ideas that seemed great at the time. “Most ridiculous movie plots ever! I’d totally read that.”

CUT TO: Today as I hash this out. Let me tell you? it ain’t easy. What is a ridiculous plot? There are as many ways to define this as there are ridiculous movies themselves. So in order to do this right we have to lay some ground rules for how to judge this, and like a bad fighting movie, there is only but one rule?

These movies have to be something that was made with the intention of being taken seriously. Comedies don’t really cut it because for the most part, they are ridiculous by nature. Same goes with fantasy, horror, sci-fi, or anything else that is going for any kind of alternative or heightened sense of reality. These films create their own universes and/or rules so it is not fair to say that they are as ridiculous as others that are supposed to be “real.” (And believe me, there are a few that came close to making it anyways.)

Before we get started I’d like to hand out a few honorable mentions and awards:

Just missing the cut:


Jean Claude Van Damme Lifetime achievement award:

Since it’s not fair to give it to Van Damme because he is a fake kick boxer posing as an actor, I give this award to the stallion himself, Mr. Sylvester Stallone. This is a man who has starred in the biggest suspension of disbelief pieces of all time. ROCKY 3, 4, 5, BALBOA, and TANGO AND CASH. He road with the Taliban in RAMBO3. He directed STAYING ALIVE, COBRA, RHINESTONE, LOCK UP, DRIVEN, and the list goes on and on. If you go back and watch his old movies now they are literally as funny as anything Chaplin or Peter Sellers ever did. True classics.

The Anti-Irving J Thalberg award:

Uwe Boll. It says something when you only direct video game adaptations and people walk out shaking their heads at the absurdity of your work. I would say more but Uwe seems to be the only one taking his work seriously, and will duke it out with anyone who says different. And our friend Uwe made waves this week with Wired News taking them on as well. It’s only a matter of time before I’m next folks. Pray for me!

The decade on decadence:

Maybe it was all the cocaine, or the glam rock, but something was definitely in the water during the 1980’s when cinematic I.Q.’s took a real dive. A bad hangover from the innovative films of the seventies led to what I believe is over 90% of the most absurd plots of all time. Ahhhh, along with the awesome music videos that displayed innovative filmmaking and great social messages like “Here I go again” and “Nothing but a good time.” This is a decade whose entertainment media I sorely miss. (I just spent 20 minutes re-watching these videos a couple of times apiece. I can tell you two things: 1) I feel like my IQ has diminished drastically within that time span, and 2) I don’t care because those videos ROCK!!!!!)

One last point that I’d like to make — while yes, these movies are ridiculous, they are all highly watchable and I would go so far as to say I like all of them because of it. Yes these plots are ridiculous but its part of their charm, which makes them near, and dear to me and “cult” movies throughout the world. We’ll save the worst movies for another Bat Place, another Bat time, on another Bat channel.

So without any further ado? the top 5 most ridiculous plots, in reverse order?

#5. EXTREME OPS (2002)

The story of five friends and extreme sports enthusiasts, who travel into the Yugoslavian mountains to film themselves for a commercial. But unknown to them, a Serbian war criminal who faked his own death, has set up shop at the same seemingly abandoned mountain hideaway they decide to camp at. When they accidentally get footage of him, they must run from him and his mercenary henchmen. Good thing for them that they are such great sportsmen as the chase ends up seamlessly involving skiing, snowboarding, sky diving, white water rafting, helicopter jumping, motorcycle chases, and base jumping, all of which they have the equipment, and expertise to pull off with world class precision. They not only save themselves, but end up bringing down the terrorist and his militia as well.

Another poor attempt to cash in on the snowboarding, pot smoking, extreme sports crowd that didn’t pan out. A not as smart version of XXX (yes, read that again), this movie pretty much forced Brigitte Wilson into retirement, a real loss for us all, and ended Devon Sawa’s career. It’s strange because when watching this movie, you would think that with all the stunts they’ve mashed into it, it would at least be entertaining, but no. The entertainment comes from its ludicrous, Scooby Doo haunted house-style plot and girth of ridiculous situations that are only there to induce wild stunts instead of trying to push its so called plot forward at all. And as bad as these things are its one-liners are even worse; its tagline “fear is the trigger” is the best they could come up with, so you can imagine how the rest of them are.

Here is the trailer for anyone who is interested:

Extreme sports guys defeating Bosnian war terrorist and his cronies = PRETTY RIDICULOUS.

#4. OVER THE TOP (1987)

Stallone. Arm. Wrestles. For. The. Custody. Of. His. Son.

That’s right. A child custody movie mixed with ARM WRESTLING. I think Norm MacDonald’s Car Wreck victim character on Saturday Night Live said it best when he exclaimed: “Whoa, hey! Hey, remember that movie “Kramer vs. Kramer”? Yeah, that was about child custody, too. Yeah, but it wasn’t that good. I don’t know, it was missing something, you know? Ah, what was it missing? I can’t.. oh, wait! I know! Arm wrestling!”

I don’t think I can say it any better than that?

I found this AMAZING old VHS promo for OVER THE TOP that delves a bit more into the rest of his career. After watching that (hopefully ten times in a row like I did), do you find yourself wondering “How did the arm wrestling world championships escalate to the point where Robert Loggia is kidnapping Sly’s son, and forcing him to drive a semi-truck through the front of his house?” Or is that just me?

Stallone. Arm. Wrestles. For. The. Custody. Of. His. Son.= REALLY RIDICULOUS.


In JAWS, a landmark, watershed film that I count among the greatest of all time, Matt Hooper, played by Richard Dreyfuss, tells Mayor Vaughn of Amity “? what we are dealing with here is a perfect engine, an eating machine. It’s really a miracle of evolution. All this machine does is swim and eat and make little sharks, and that’s all?” The beauty of this is that it’s true and encapsulates what is perhaps mankind’s greatest living predator, the Great White Shark, to a T.

Unfortunately, the franchise itself didn’t heed its own words when they made JAWS: THE REVENGE. Now if you are unfamiliar or have forgotten the plot, let me lay it out for you and remember, the following words are actually true?

Years have passed since the Brody brothers where attacked at Sea World by a giant great white in JAWS: 3D (a lot of people forget that they tried to use these characters in JAWS 3, including the filmmakers of this movie, who mention nothing about it.) It has also been years since their father Police Chief Martin Brody has passed. His youngest son Sean works as a local deputy and gets a call that there is a piling stuck to a buoy, and boats out to free it. But as he does, he is attacked and viciously killed by a new great white shark.

His brother Michael flies down from the Bahamas to attend the funeral and comfort his mother, Ellen, who is convinced that this shark came for Sean. Michael and family convince Ellen that she needs to get away and she flies down to the Bahamas with them. Not too bad so far. Nothing that breaks it yet, right? Well this is where we jump off the tracks and never get it back? The shark then FOLLOWS the Brody family from the northeast coast, where great whites are rare, to the Bahamas where great whites are non-existent. That’s right. Through some sixth sense, the shark KNEW that they left, where they went, and exactly where to attack them when he gets there.

I really don’t know what else to say. Every movie asks you to take certain leaps of faith, and suspend disbelief a bit, but to ask us to believe that a shark would take a personal vendetta and follow a family around the ocean is cartoonish, absurd and ridiculous. In fact this is the only movie on this list that literally couldn’t happen. There are only two reasons this doesn’t rank higher on this list?

1. The rest of the movie besides that is actually pretty straightforward and scientifically correct.

2. It led to one of my favorite Nintendo games of all time JAWS and I feel strongly that that should count for something.

You can see the game actually played in its glorious entirety, here.

There is actually a really lame alternate opening to this film in which a narrator tries to add some explanation to this movie. You can watch it here.

Funny enough, some people swear by this movie, and this guy here even goes so far as to proclaim it “Most underrated movie ever!”

Shark with a human-like vendetta and LoJack GPS that helps him locate said vendetta: UTTERLY RIDICULOUS

#2. The Karate Kid Part III:

**I have to put up this disclaimer before I get into this one. For me, this probably is the most ridiculous plot of all time. The reason I have it at #2 is because one of my idols, The Sports Guy, Bill Simmons, on has already staked this out as his own. Now I may steal a great many things from time to time, but I have to leave this one for him. It’s his. He peed around it along time ago so that’s why it will not crack the top of my list. Now having said that?

After being destroyed by Miyagi in KARATE KID I and with the help of a brief cut scene from 1 placed at the beginning of 3, sinister sensei John Kreese of the Cobra Kai goes into a downward spiral, closing his school and becoming a drifter. Luckily for him he has an old army buddy Terry Silver, whose life he saved in ‘Nam, and who happens to now be a billionaire through his shady waste disposal business. And since he owes his friend his life, and luckily enough is a complete psychopath, he agrees to help his friend John Kreese, destroy Daniel LaRusso, and launch a plan to spread the Kobra Kai’s evil Karate across California. Duhn-duhn-duhn!!!

I realize that on the surface, this idea may not seem quite as far fetched as a vengeful shark with a GPS awareness but when you watch the film, you find yourself repeatedly shaking your head and saying “huh?” Let me put this into a real life context, do you think that Mark Cuban would take time out of his life, to go undercover as a poor karate teacher, drive a beat to shit old Toyota truck with no roof, in order to destroy an 18 year old karate champion from the valley? And that Cuban’s ultimate goal would be to hatch a whole slew of evil karate schools which he hoped to profit tremendously from, even though he hands over twenty five percent of them to karate’s bad boy, Mike Barnes, a ringer they bring in from out of town to punish Daniel San at every turn, before winning the tournament? Yeah, my thoughts exactly. Add to that the fact that Ralph Macchio was like 40 when they did this movie, and that Pat Morita mails this performance in like a parking ticket, and you have a gleefully fun and ridiculous plot. The love story in the movie involves Daniel and a girl with a boyfriend that he has no shot with. Apparently they had that little faith in Daniel’s pull with the ladies.

I would write more on this, but as I said, The Sports Guy has covered this one thoroughly enough already.


Billionaire decides to go undercover to sabotage 18 year old karate champion from the valley and help out his old buddy from Nam = LUDICROUSLY RIDICULOUS (Which by the way is the expression my dad used when I tried to do a half ass Michael Jordan up an under and got checked by the bottom of the backboard and fell on my ass during a Junior High basketball game. It really was probably a fitting description.)

Now before we get to #1, I would just like to quickly re-iterate the fact that just because movies are on this list, doesn’t mean that I don’t like them, or that I think they are bad movies. As a matter of fact, I am a huge fan of the following movie. I saw it as a kid at Totem Lake Theater in Kirkland Washington with my best friend Casey. I’ve watched it numerous times since. My friend Steve and I like to do quotes from it all the time. So don’t any of you out there think that just because it’s the #1 most ridiculous plot of all time on my list, doesn’t mean that I don’t have love for?

#1. IRON EAGLE (1986)

Since I love the one-liners from this movie, lets get them in the mix?.

-“Can you handle the loop?” “
“Can you handle the music!?”

Imagine you’re a movie executive sitting in you office on a warm afternoon, circa 1984-1985, and a screenwriter comes in with this pitch?

“So this air force pilot gets shot down in a middle eastern country. He’s going to be executed and it looks like the politicos are going to let it happen. So back at home his eighteen year old son, who is a great pilot, but not good enough to get into the Air Force academy and his old wingman, a crotchety older guy, think someone like Louis Gosset in OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN team up. With the older pilots guidance and help from the kid’s air force brat gang, they manage to secure a couple of F-16’s and in three days, the kid learns how to become an ace pilot and he and the crotchety guy fly to the middle eastern country, kick the hell out of their army and air force, save the dad, and fly home safely. Not only that but by doing what the bureaucrats wouldn’t, he becomes a hero, and is allowed into the Air Force Academy! Doesn’t that sound great!? Its like TOP GUN meets GOONIES!” (And yes I am aware that IRON EAGLE hit the theaters a few months before TOP GUN so you can feel free not to remind of it. I’m just saying.) “And to top it all off, I have a sequel where the lead character from the first one gets killed in the first five minutes of the second one! It’s radical!”

What would you say? Well some movie executive heard that very pitch. And you know what? They loved it. So did countless others on the way to production of the most ridiculous movie of all time. Apparently nowhere along the way, no one stopped and said, “Wait a second, this is fucking ridiculous and in no way could ever happen!” That in and of itself seems fairly unbelievable to me.

-“You’ve gotta to believe that plane you’re in is like a suit of armor, an iron eagle nothing can penetrate.”

Ohhhhhh? where to begin? This movies plots has more holes than the PGA championship, features some rather unbelievable plot devices, character motivations that seem very false, and reversals that are laughable in how contrived they seem.

Let’s elaborate on this plot a bit?

The film starts off with Ted Masters, Air Force Colonel being wrongfully shot down over a Middle Eastern country that remains nameless but hostile the entire film. Meanwhile back at home his son Doug engages in a reckless race pitting his Cessna, against a local public school jocks motorcycle. So intent on winning, the local guys sabotage Doug’s plane, knowing full well it will lead to Doug crashing and being killed. Now I’ve been in a lot of heated, high school, airplane/motorcycle race rivalries, but its never escalated to the point of us trying to kill each other so blatantly. After hearing this, Doug convinces his dad’s old war buddy and wing man Colonel Chappy Sinclair that they need to go save him since the bureaucrats claim nothing can be done as they don’t want to risk war. After thinking hard about it for 30 seconds of screen time, Chappy says, he’ll do it if Doug can prove that he can fly.

– “Damn it Chappy, I’m doing it my way!”

The first time they rather easily sneak Doug onto an F-16 they go to the target range and Doug initially misses all the targets badly. Chappy tells him to land the plane; he’s not ready for this. But what Chappy doesn’t know is that when he turns on his heavy metal music, Doug turns into a pilot that would make Han Solo green with envy (or nausea.) Doug blasts the targets at the range away and it looks like the mission is on.

Video of this scene:

In the mean time Doug’s gang of Air Force brat friends (including Styles from TEEN WOLF, and Lamar from REVENGE OF THE NERDS) is begging, borrowing, and hacking their way into securing two fully loaded F-16’s for Chappy and Doug.)

Within three days time and no-real hiccups, they secure the jets, Doug learns to fly like an ace, and they come up with a plan to take out the middle eastern army’s forces and rescue Doug’s dad.

-“No you can deal directly with me, Colonel Nakir Nakesh!”
“And you can deal with me, Doug Masters!”

The bad guys in this movie are so stereotypical and one dimensional, I’m actually surprised they weren’t wearing turbans and ululating the entire film. When Doug and Chappy reach the base, they quickly cripple the enemy forces but Chappy is hit and crashes, seemingly dead. As Ted Masters is brought out, Doug drops a snake eyes bomb that creates a wall of flame that is so big and burns so long, apparently no one can just drive around it. A sniper shoots his dad, but thank god, it was just a flesh wound.

– “Way to fly Doug!”

Doug escapes the runway, shoots down about five more jets including one piloted by ace Nakesh himself and escapes with the help of some U.S. backup. Back at home he is placed under military arrest and as he goes to his hearing is stunned to find Chappy still alive. Apparently no one bothered telling Doug his friend survived his crash and somehow swan out of the Persian Gulf unscathed and free.

– “God doesn’t give people things he doesn’t want them to use, and he gave you the touch.”

At the hearing of course Doug not only doesn’t get reprimanded for stealing a multi million dollar aircraft and blowing the hell out of another hostile, oil carrying country. No, no? they are so proud THEY LET HIM IN THE AIR FORCE ACADEMY.

Somehow far fetched doesn’t seem to quite do it for this whole scenario. This movie asks for suspension of disbelief so many times yet hides under the guise of being real. Now a lot of 80’s movies featured plots with teenagers doing extraordinary things and getting into government control (WAR GAMES, RED DAWN, REAL GENIUS) but they were all done with a tongue in cheekiness to them or done well. IRON EAGLE takes the steps to make it seem authentic, with steps that are just as flawed, making it utterly ridiculous and unbelievable.

Here is the trailer?

And a great cheesy montage video for it that pretty much sums it up, can be found here.

So in conclusion?

High school kid hijacks jet fighters, takes on a whole hostile middle eastern country, kicks their ass, saves his dad, and is let into the air force academy because of it = THE MOST RIDICULOUS PLOT OF ALL TIME.

The 6 Most Over-Hyped Threats to America (And What Should Scare You Instead)

Written by Clive Bannister

Some say that the government and the media are partners in a vast conspiracy, with a goal of making you so afraid that you’ll submit to their every desire. And, well?that sounds about right. Whether it’s the threat of a terrorist attack, a shady foreign dictator, or men putting their genitals into other men, the powers that be want to keep you afraid of things you simply shouldn’t be afraid of. Here are the six most unwarranted sources of fear the Man uses to keep you dumb? and Himself in power.


The Hype

The various clowns helming the Bush administration have touted the importance of confronting an Iraqi Al Qaeda group since the run-up to the war (when Al Qaeda had less to do with Iraq than John Goodman does with the Tour de France). The uber-feminine Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC), for example, claimed in a recent press release that US forces are ?making great progress in crushing Al Qaeda in Iraq,? and that “The defeat of Al Qaeda in Iraq should be our No. 1 priority.?

Why You Should Blow It Off

Underground newsletter TIME magazine reports that Al Qaeda in Iraq ?comprises no more than five percent of the insurgency, according to US intelligence estimates.? No wonder things are going so laughably bad?if ?Girl Name? Graham is right, our No. 1 priority comprises only five percent of the bad guys. That’d be like the A-Team fighting a group of 20 kidnappers (they always do), but they all just beat the shit out of one dude.

What You Should Actually Be Pissing Your Pants About

Muqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army, Ivan Drago to Al Qaeda in Iraq’s Danny LaRusso.


The Hype

If gays are allowed to marry, society will self-destruct Mission Impossible-style, and people will start sodomizing dogs in the street and marrying two orangutans at a clip. In 2006, Bush and his fellow gay marriage foes tried to pass a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, with officials like then-senator Rick Santorum infamously comparing man-on-man relationships to ?man-on-child? and ?man-on-dog? relationships. Woof.

Why You Should Blow It Off

As of 2005, the Census Bureau estimated the number of significant same-sex relationships (presumably, couples that would want to get married) at around 780,000. With the US population hovering just over 301 million, that would put the number of married gay people at a whopping 0.5 percent of the population if gay marriage was legalized. Why worry about such a small fragment of our citizenry when over 4 percent of us have bought a Nickelback CD? Now that’s a serious problem.

What You Should Actually Be Pissing Your Pants About

Judging by the track record of outed child-stroker Mark Foley and outed male prostitute-stroker Ted Haggard, the foes of gay marriage are the ones who are far more likely to try to sodomize your dog.


The Hype

With the average price of gas at roughly three bucks per gallon, more than half of the US population will be forced into prostitution to pay for their minivan fuel. (And you know some of those people are probably ugly.) The main culprit here is the media?how many reports like this one have you seen that focus on near-suicidal drivers filling up? Lots, that’s how many.

Why You Should Blow It Off

Once again, the fat, whiney American consumer has it made compared to the rest of the world. In major cities like London, Paris, Berlin, Oslo and Hong Kong, gas tops six bucks a gallon?twice the cost of gas Stateside. When we bitch and moan about high gas prices, it’s roughly the same as bitching about how the Starbucks barista girl forgot to give you soy milk in your mochafrappulattechino. Just be thankful you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg for it. Literally.

What You Should Actually Be Pissing Your Pants About

There’s plenty of oil-related non-bullshit to be scared about; just don’t let the media get you fired up about the price of gas. How about the fact that carbon emissions are about to turn the 677,676-square-mile Greenland Ice Sheet into a giant, extinction-flavored Slurpee?


The Hype

The face of anti-Western sentiment in the Middle East, this charismatic leader has jumped on the ?America eats babies? bandwagon and has teamed with other rogue countries, like Venezuela, to oppose US ?imperialism.? His outrageous public denials of the Holocaust have prompted strong condemnations from US leaders like Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), who rightfully called Ahmadinejad’s stance, ?ludicrous, outrageous and repugnant.?

Why You Should Blow It Off

He’s not actually the dude in charge. Getting uppity about this delusional loudmouth is like giving lip to the kid at the register when he won’t give you a Liter Cola?the guy you really want to talk to is the manager, and the manager of Iran, so to speak, is Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. He (not Ahmadinejad) is the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, controls military intelligence and has sole power to declare war. And what about Ahmadinejad’s rap-battle tough-talk about developing nuclear weapons? At most, Iran has a couple of RC Cola-quality duds, compared to our 10,000 Coke Classics.

What You Should Actually Be Pissing Your Pants About

The man who approves the ?Guardian Council,? which, in turn, approves presidential candidates. You guessed it: Grand Ayatollah Ali ?Badass Motherfucker? Khamenei.


The Hype

With the Castro-esque strongman Hugo Chavez at the helm, and with oil revenues out the ass, Venezuela is poised to become America’s biggest headache (except, of course, for the rising cost of Xbox 360 games). Staunchly anti-American, the ruthless leader referred to George W. Bush as ?the Devil? in a 2006 speech at the UN General Assembly.

Why You Should Blow It Off

Venezuela’s military ranks 36th in the world, behind non-powers like Thailand, Poland and Norway. Plus, the nation’s newly minted 100,000-member ?Armed Reserve? is little more than a loose militia of coffee farmers with pitchforks, although, if you’ve ever been pelted with a handful of coffee beans for making unwanted advances at that Starbucks barista, you know it can be pretty painful. So, much like Ahmadinejad, Chavez can go right ahead and blow us. We’ll just double our oil order from Algeria, get the ethanol thing straightened out and forget we ever heard of him.

What You Should Actually Be Pissing Your Pants About

North Korea’s Kim Jong Il?he’s just as adorably mockable, but commands the fourth-largest army in the world.


The Hype

In 2004 and 2005, the government and the media made you believe that SARS was about to break into your house and rape you. The St. Petersburg Times , for one, referred to SARS as a ?mysterious fever [that] bolted out of south China and spread illness and death across the globe,? and the Rolling Stones headlined a SARS benefit show that drew a crowd of nearly a half a million (which is ironically also the combined age of the Stones). More recently, Bird Flu has spurred fears across America, with one CNN reporter claiming that ?No act of modern warfare, with the possible exception of a nuclear exchange between major world powers, has the potential to threaten as many lives and cause as much disruption to the global economy as [Bird Flu].? To be fair, this man slept through 9/11 and nobody remembered to tell him about it.

Why You Should Blow It Off

The one major outbreak of SARS resulted in 774 deaths, while the Bird Flu has killed only 191 people worldwide since 2003. The point is, every few years, a new pandemic du jour comes along to scare the ass off of the American public, and turns out to be a flop. The only reason people pay so much attention is because Outbreak is replayed on cable all the time and looks scary as shit, however unlikely it may be. (Not the part where Dustin Hoffman saves America by catching a monkey?that really happens.)

What You Should Actually Be Pissing Your Pants About

How about some good ol’ fashioned tuberculosis? In a head-to-head deadly-off, it trumps these new-fish ailments with its 1.6 million annual worldwide fatalities. A Stones concert for TB just doesn’t sound very sexy, though.


“In Iraq, Operation Last Chance” (TIME)
“Graham Meets with President Bush to Discuss Iraq” (Lindsey Graham)
“Atlas: Where to Gas Up Around the Globe (Or Take the Bus)” (
“Gas goes up again” (Lake County News-Sun)
“Same Sex Couples and the Population” (The Williams Institute)
“World Fact Book: The United States of America” (Central Intelligence Agency)
“World Military Strength Ranking” (
“Cumulative Number of Confirmed Human Cases of Avian Influenza” (World Health Organization)

10 Million Dollar Ideas That Shouldn’t Have Worked.

Written by Dmitri Davydov

1. Million Dollar Homepage

1000000 pixels, charge a dollar per pixel – that’s perhaps the dumbest idea for online business anyone could have possible come up with. Still, Alex Tew, a 21-year-old who came up with the idea, is now a millionaire.

2. PickyDomains

Hire another person to think of a cool domain name for you? No way people would pay for this. Actually, naming domain names for others turned out a thriving business, especially, when you make the entire process risk free. PickyDomains currently has a waiting list of people who want to PAY the service to come up with a snappy memorable domain name. PickyDomains is expected to hit six figures this year. Full Story

3. Doggles

Create goggles for dogs and sell them online? Boy, this IS the dumbest idea for a business. How in the world did they manage to become millionaires and have shops all over the world with that one? Beyond me.

4. LaserMonks is a for-profit subsidiary of the Cistercian Abbey of Our Lady of Spring Bank, an eight-monk monastery in the hills of Monroe County, 90 miles northwest of Madison. Yeah, real monks refilling your cartridges. Hallelujah! Their 2005 sales were $2.5 million! Praise the Lord. Full Story

5. AntennaBalls

You can’t sell antenna ball online. There is no way. And surely it wouldn’t make you rich. But this is exactly what Jason Wall did, and now he is now a millionaire. Full Story

6. FitDeck

Create a deck of cards featuring exercise routines, and sell it online for $18.95. Sounds like a disaster idea to me. But former Navy SEAL and fitness instructor Phil Black reported last year sales of $4.7 million. Surely beats what military pays.

7. PositivesDating.Com

How would you like to go on a date with an HIV positive person? Paul Graves and Brandon Koechlin thought that someone would, so they created a dating site for HIV positive folks last year. Projected 2006 sales are $110,000, and the two hope to have 50,000 members by their two-year mark.

8. Designer Diaper Bags

Christie Rein was tired of carrying diapers around in a freezer bag. The 34-year-old mother of three found herself constantly stuffing diapers for her infant son into freezer bags to keep them from getting scrunched up in her purse. Rein wanted something that was compact, sleek and stylish, so in November 2004, she sat down with her husband, Marcus, who helped her design a custom diaper bag that’s big enough to hold a travel pack of wipes and two to four diapers. With more than $180,000 in sales for 2005, Christie’s company, Diapees & Wipees, has bags in 22 different styles, available online and in 120 boutiques across the globe for $14.99.

9. SantaMail

Ok, how’s that for a brilliant idea. Get a postal address at North Pole, Alaska, pretend you are Santa Claus and charge parents 10 bucks for every letter you send to their kids? Well, Byron Reese sent over 200000 letters since the start of the business in 2001, which makes him a couple million dollars richer. Full Story

10. Lucky Wishbone Co.

Fake wishbones. Now, this stupid idea is just destined to flop. Who in the world needs FAKE PLASTIC wishbones? A lot of people, it turns out. Now producing 30,000 wishbones daily (they retail for 3 bucks a pop) Ken Ahroni, the company founder, expects 2006 sales to reach $1 million.

To see other businesses that have not made the top 10 list but came pretty close, visit Uncommon Business Ideas Blog

10 Websites with Great Photography

Written by TutorialBlog

Photography can make or break a website – got a great site with lame pictures, then you’ve got a lame website. Today we’re going to take a look at the ones that got it right?

Incase – Lovely close up photos of the products allow you to see the textures of them. Class


Nike – Every Nike website has great photography, I’ve chosen to showcase their Golf site here


Brook Pifer – Large quality photography is the main focus of Brook’s portfolio site, some really striking imagery


Stratocucine – Large crisp photos of the modernist kitchen designs makes this site


The Touch Agency – Nice Graphic design portfolio site, uses effective photography to display their work


Dirk Lambrechts – Great fashion and beauty photography portfolio from Dirk Lambrechts


Design House Stockholm – Makes use of high quality black and white photos for the background


Albert Oviedo – Some cracking photos in this Photography portfolio site


Georgiew – Photography portfolio


Andreas Burz – Another great photography portfolio


Cassette tape culture

Written by

these days it is hard to avoid the continuing debate that surrounds the ‘future of music’ and the formats that bring it to us. however this so called ‘digital age’isn’t the first time that new music formats have created such a stir, some time not too long ago it was cassette tapes that were causing the music industry concern.the design of the cassette tape was resolved in the 1960s by the dutch electronics company philips as a portable alternative to the large vinyl formats.having not been patented the cassette tape design was quickly copied by many manufacturers leading to its widespread use. during the mid 1980s cassettes were at their most popular accounting for more than half of the worlds total music sales. alongside the attraction of music on the move, the cassette tape offered the opportunity for people to edit and customize their music easily for the first time. the DIY ethic of the tapes didn’t stop with home recording though, as many people often created their own artwork for their mixes.

investigation recording

twenty years on from the hight of their popularity cassettes are all but forgotten by the music industry, but still very much in use in police interview rooms. despite the march of new technology such as digital recording, which makes analysing individual words and phrases much easier, the humble cassette still reigns when it comes to recording evidence. the UK’s police forces, for example, use about 500,000 audio cassettes a year for interviews, half of the estimated one million tapes sold in the UK each year.

cassette collecting

is surprisingly popular, particularly in germany. a single teac cobalt (with reel-to-reel spools inside) is worth more than 200 USD, but the top for cassette collectors is the sony super metal master from 1990, with a ceramic shell and a magnesium case. read more

cassette collecting


early japanese cassette tapes that transform into dinosaurs, or those released by hasbro in 1984, the generation 1 transformer transforms from tape cassette, to robot, animal etc and back. via toybin

hasbro cassette transformer, 1984

hasbro cassette transformer, 1984

early japanese transformers from cassettes to dinosaurs

turn the obsolete into

the craze for cassettes as music messengers may well be gone, and hundreds of millions of tapes are out there unused, but two current trends have brought them out for a second play. with 80’s nostalgia rife in the visual world and recycling and sustainability mentioned just about everywhere, the humble cassette has undergone several unlikely re-incarnations in the last few years. wether it be the retro graphics adorning them or the reels of tape inside them cassettes are finding their way back into the hands of the ‘cool’ crowd.

cassette wallets

the hand made wallets by marcella foschi were designed especially for the designboom mart in tokyo, november 2006. the italian designer dismantles old cassette tapes, removes their insides and then joins the plastic sides together with a zip. each design is usually a one off leading to a high demand for the wallets. available via the designboom shop.

cassette wallets by marcella foschi image ? designboom

cassette wallets by marcella foschi image ? designboom

a different version is the DIY cassette wallet via crafster

DIY cassette wallet

tape crochet

whilst some designers are more concerned with the outer appearance of cassettes others use the tape itself as the basis of their designs. a shortlisted entry of designboom’s competition ‘Re-think + RE-cycle (october 2004) by alyce santoro shows dresses and furniture covers fabricated from weaving cassette tape.

sonic superhero dress by alyce santoro

dresses and other items fabricated from weaving cassette tape by alyce santoro

belt buckles

another accessory of the tape kind is the cassette belt buckle. old tapes are simply fitted with a standard buckle on the back. created by chandra sweet and available via honorable mention another belt design is a 15K gold cassette buckle via etsy

‘cassette tape belt buckle’ by chandra sweet

15k gold (fake) cassette buckle

cassette necklace pendant

one quick way to re-cycle old tapes is to simply attach them to a necklace. although it is probably more suitable to use mini cassettes. via etsy

‘mix tape’ necklace

cassette bag

one slightly annoying aspect of cassettes is the unravelling of the tape – many mixes would meet their end, by being chewed up in the player. this obviously had a serious affect on the makers of the ‘tape bag’. the tote bag features colorful graphics and two straps that mimic unravelled tape.

mix it up with this retor carry-all by world wide fred

USB memory stick

‘all in all, 2 hours of work and thinking, for a very simple, but I think rather cool mod for my old usb stick.’ see the photoset found on flickr

USB memory stick

your name on tape

just enter text and click the ‘go’ button. a picture of a cassette will be generated for you.

tape dispenser

this easy to use tape dispenser might not re-use existing cassette tapes but it certainly doesn’t mess about when it comes to it’s design: ‘it’s a tape, it dispenses tape.’

tape dispenser by j-me

record racers

one project that doesn’t so much re-cycle obsolete cassettes as the machines that play them. the german event ‘record racers‘ invites participants to transform their old walkmans into small ‘racers’ by using the players motors to make them move. on your marks, get set, press fast forward!

‘recorder racers’ transform your old walkman and cassette tapes into mini motorized vehicles.

13 Things to Avoid on a First Date

Written by J.J. Nixon

Author’s note:

Greetings, dear readers.

Below these words you will find a list of a dozen and one actions you would do well to not perform on a first date. Each item on the list is appended with a brief commentary explaining its inclusion thereon, and the effects its utilization imparts on the proceedings of dates in general. Also included under each entry are two partly fictional example scenarios wherein the avoidance (Good), and non-avoidance (Bad), of the action is exhibited. It is the author’s dearest wish that these humble guidelines be taken to heart and used to their fullest extent. If they have managed to do so but a little, then their and my work is done.

The author, J.J. “Linux Fan” Nixon

1. Being late

Arriving on time is, of course, a prerequisite to a successful date – perhaps the most important of them all. No lady will have much respect for a man who is unable to keep his appointments. Even five minutes of tardiness may prove to be devastating. On the other hand, turning up early is also undesirable, as it indicates an unseemly eagerness and a lack of prior engagements, both of which are hallmarks of lesser men. Therefore, make sure that you arrive exactly on time (give or take a few seconds, of course). Arrange your schedule so that nothing can possibly come in the way of this. Cancel all your previous meetings, tell any visitors that you might be entertaining to depart, force the taxi driver at gunpoint to adjust his speed according to your needs. Whatever it takes. And finally, remember the old adage: “My heart, it is not with a man who comes late, but a man that’s on time is undoubtedly great.”


You (glancing at watch): “…Fuck!”

You (arriving at meeting point to discover date is not there anymore): “…FUCK!

Her: “Hi!”
You: “…Hello.”
Her (opens mouth to speak): “-“
You: “So here I am, at the exact place we agreed we would meet. On time.”
Her: “Yeah.”
You: “Whereas you were two minutes and thirty-nine seconds late.”
Her: “…Yeah.”
You: “…”
Her: “…”
You: “…”
Her: “Is… is that a problem?”
You (face in hand): “…”
Her: “Look, I’m sorry…”
You (sighing audibly): “…You know what, nevermind.”

2. Coming on too strong

Maintaining a respectful distance during the early phase of the date is absolutely vital; both an emotional and, especially, a physical one. If you do not immediately show the lady that you are gentle and sensitive, she may shy away from you beyond hope of reversal. Any and all bodily contact between the two of you should be kept to a minimum, such as a casual “accidental” meeting of your respective hands and the like. Avoid close contact if at all possible and, above all, do not touch the lady in any manner that might be considered ungentlemanly, as most women prefer not to be treated like a piece of meat. Under no circumstances is this allowed, even in situations where your instincts may tell you otherwise, such as the lady spilling her beverage over her bosom and not having a handkerchief at hand; or the lady falling unconscious due to an accident or a sudden violent bout of allergy and requiring cardiopulmonary resuscitation.


Her: “Hi!”
You (punching her in the face as hard as you can): “Hi!
Her (hitting the ground noisily, falling unconscious): “-“
You: “So I know this really great little Italian place we could go to.”
Her: “-“
You: “…”
Her: “-“
You: “Chinese it is, then!”

You (“accidentally” brushing your hand against hers): “Oh! Your hands are so soft! May I touch them, please?”
Her: “Yeah… sure.”
You (rubbing hands): “Ooooohhh, soooooft.”
Her: “…Yeah…”
You: “You simply must tell me what hand cream you use.”
Her: “Well, I-“
You: “Ooh, and your lips look so soft as well! May I touch them too?”
Her: “…”
You: “You simply must tell me what lipstick you use.”

3. Staring

Despite what some men might tell you, very few ladies desire to be gaped at as if they were some sort of prized ham to be devoured solely by the use of one’s eyes. (As an aside, I should advise you to forever part company with any such men you may consider friends, as they are obviously deeply disturbed). While it may be true that many women strive to improve and accentuate their natural beauty for the benefit of man’s eyes, it should nevertheless be considered highly inappropriate to look at them for more than the briefest moment at a time. It is most important that you never allow a lady to catch you staring at her, especially certain sensitive parts of her body, or else all hope of further advancement may be lost. When addressing your lady friend, do not look at her directly, not even her eyes. Instead, pretend to examine an interesting item in your vicinity, such as a glass or teacup, a floor tile or another woman standing nearby (preferably with her back turned towards you).


You (staring at her breasts): “-“
Her (oblivious): “The weather’s really great today, don’t you agree? I really like these clear, sunny days when it’s not too hot. It’s a shame we don’t get them that often anymore blah blah blah blah pollution blah blah blah smog blah blah blah blah cancer blah blah blah blah emissions blah blah blah global warming blah blah blah blah penguins and polar bears blah blah blah blah blah blah mother earth blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah”
You (staring at her breasts): “-“
Her (catching on): “…”
You (still staring at her breasts): “-“
Her: “Um… Excuse me, are you staring at my brea-“
You: “Shh. I’m staring at your boobs.”
Her (looking offended): “…”
You (still staring at her breasts): “-“
Her: “Okay, please stop do-“
You: “Could you turn around, please? It’s time to stare at your ass now.”

You (looking up at the sky): “-“
Her: “The weather’s really great today, don’t you agree? I really like these clear, sunny days when it’s not too hot. It’s a shame we don’t get them that often anymore, you know?”
You (looking at the ground): “Yes, yes, I know.”
Her: “I mean, there’s so much pollution in cities nowadays. In many places, the smog is just unbearable, not to mention it promotes diseases like emphysema and cancer. I hope that some laws to curb these harmful gas emissions take effect soon, or there will be nothing to curb the relentless encroachment of global warming, you know?”
You (looking at your watch): “I know… I know.”
Her: “I just don’t think humans fully appreciate its effects on…”
You (trying to look inside your skull): “-“
Her: “…Are… Are you okay?”
You (looking at your crotch): “Yeah… we’re okay.”

4. Being offensive

A sure way for a lady to lose all interest in pursuing a deeper relationship with you is recognizing you as a boorish clod. Bear in mind that ladies are much more sensitive than men by birth, so be sure to avoid making disparaging comments towards certain groups of people, even if these people are naturally inferior to you and me. Rid your jest repertoire of any crude jokes that may be construed as being insulting to the aforementioned people, as they may achieve the exact opposite effect of that intended (it being, of course, making a lady fall for your smashing sense of humor). Furthermore, if you chance to encounter any such individuals during the course of your date, pass them by politely, rather than pausing by their side and inflicting verbal or physical abuse on them, even though they may deserve it, and more besides.


You: “…And then the rabbi says: ‘That’s not a dozen dead niggers, that’s my wife!‘ AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!”
Her (blank stare): “…”
You (tears of laughter obscuring vision): “Hehehe- hey, how about this one: Three faggots and a serial killer walk into a bar…”
Her (sobbing softly): “…”
You: “Oh, I see you’ve already heard that one. Say by the way, you got any gay, black or Jewish relatives? Me and my gang could rough ’em up a bit, if you want. Show you what a pool stick does to a cheek bone.”
Her (crying openly now): “…”
You: “…Any Mexicans, maybe?”

Her: “…And the man replies: ‘I did take him to the zoo yesterday. Today, I’m taking him to a hockey game!”
You: “Hehehe. I bet it was a Penguins hockey game.”
Her: “Heh, yeah. Hey, do you know any funny jokes?”
You: “Do I? Do I ever! Let’s see, there’s the one with the blonde and the fifteen coc- wait, that’s no good… Then there’s the one with the Arabs and the huge pile of d- no, no, that won’t do… Um… How about the one with the dog and the thousand naked- oh God no. Okay, okay, think… think… good, clean, funny joke… nice… little joke… must… tell… a…”
Her: “You know, you don’t really need t-“
You (getting desperate): “NO no, it’s good, I got it, I got this, don’t worry, I got it… joke… jokey jokety mcjoke joke joke… ummmmmmmmm… um um um um ummm…”
*5 minutes pass*
You (on edge of nervous breakdown): “HEY! I g- I got one! I got one! Okay, okay, okay. Check it: Why did the chicken cross the road?”
Her: “…”
You (grinning maniacally): “To get to the other side!”
Her: “…”
You (still grinning, left eye twitching slightly): “…”
Her: “That… That’s pretty funny.”
You: “Heh, yeah. I know. Hey wait, I think I got another one.”

5. Being nosy

A woman’s defining natural trait is her insatiable curiosity; that much we all know. However, that does not mean you should stoop to her level, and be inquisitive in turn. Men are much more reserved in that regard and should normally be quite satisfied with gathering little tidbits of personal information here and there, mostly by themselves, and combining them into a whole of their choice. Although some ladies enjoy giving away facts about themselves almost as much as they enjoy receiving those about others, it is not likely that your lady of the moment is among them. Therefore, do not pressure her by issuing queries regarding her private life. On the other hand, go ahead and discuss yourself as much as you wish, or even more. Feel free to exaggerate at your leisure, as women usually accept all they hear without question and later pass it on to their friends with exaggerations of their own added. This may well end up presenting viable possibilities for the future should your current date go astray.


You: “Alright, so before you start talking about other things, I’ve prepared a short questionnaire for you.”
Her: “…Okay…”
You: “Are you a virgin?”
Her: “Um… Excuse me?”
You: “I asked you if you were a virgin.”
Her: “Uh… no.”
You (writing): “Answer number one… slut. Okay, next: Have you ever had sex with a girl?”
Her (looking offended): “What?”
You: “Or, you know, just made out or something.”
Her: “Not that it’s any of your business, but no!”
You (writing): “Answer number two… Threesome unlikely. Too bad. Next question: Are you interested in BDSM?”
Her: “I’m not even answering that.”
You (writing): “Number three… Possible… Could be persuaded by alcohol.”
Her (looking very angry): “…”
You: “Great! Three down, only forty-seven to go! Next: How many incurable STDs do you currently have?”

You: “…And then I met up with you today. So, that’s the life story of me and my huge penis. Questions? Comments?”
Her: “That was very… exhaustive. As for me, I was born in-“
You (interrupting): “No, no, no. You don’t have to tell me anything about yourself. I don’t want to pressure you or anything.”
Her: “That’s okay, I-“
You (interrupting again): “No, no, no, no. I don’t want to make you feel like I’m some kind of stalker, obsessed with every tiny little detail about your life. I’m perfectly fine with not knowing more than I already do, seriously.”
Her: “No really, it’s n-“
You (interrupting yet again): “NO, no, no, no, no, no, no. Please. It’s okay. No information. I’m not even that interested in you.”
Her: “…”

6. Talking to other people

Being on a date means devoting all your senses and attention to a single person: the one next to you. All other people should be disregarded as much as possible. If you happen upon an acquaintance, ignore them. If a friend approaches you, act as if you do not know him. If a stranger comes soliciting or begging for money, give them a look promising severe discomfort in their near future unless they withdraw at once. Roll up your sleeves if necessary. Leave your mobile telephone at home unless you absolutely cannot. If such is the case, disable any and all of its functions that might lead to a sound being made. Remember that one single ring may break the magic of the moment and render the lady disenchanted for the rest of the evening. If that does indeed happen, destroy the device as soon as you return to your abode.


You: “And then I kicked him in the… Holy junk, it’s Frank! HEY! FRANK! OVER HERE!
Frank (coming over): “Hey, man! Nice to see you.”
You: “You too, dude! Say, have you bounced back from Saturday yet? Man, that shit was off the hook! I didn’t know it was possible for a human to vomit that far. And then Mike passed out and we all teabagged him! Best party ever!”
Frank (mildly uncomfortable, glancing over at your date): “Heh, heh. Yeah. Um…”
You: “OH! I almost forgot. This is [Her]. [Her], this is Frank.”
Frank: “Uh, hi.”
Her: “Hi.”
You: “Why don’t you join us, Frank?”
Frank: “No, that’s okay, I was just-“
You: “I’m sure [Her] won’t mind, will you, [Her]?”
Her (lips pursed): “…”
You: “See?”
Frank: “Actually, I-“
You: “Sit down, Frank.”
Frank (sitting down): “…”
You: “Isn’t this nice? Say Frank, could you show [Her] your impression of Monica Lewinsky? It’s hilarious.”
*your phone rings*
You: “Could you guys excuse me for a minute? It’s my girlfriend.”

You: “You know what I think is a really underappreciated sport? Pro wrestling. I mean, these guys beat the hell out of each other on a daily basis and what do they get? A bunch of people calling them ‘fakes’. It’s incredibly insulting. Also, do you have any idea how many weights they have to lift to get a body like that? Speaking of their bodies, I wish I had one like that. Sometimes I imagine I-“
Waitress (rudely interrupting): “Can I get you something?”
Her: “I’d like some herbal tea with honey, please.”
Waitress (looking at you): “And you? What would you like?”
You (looking away from waitress, pointedly ignoring her): “…”
Waitress (looking at you): “…”
You (still ignoring waitress): “…”
Waitress (still looking at you): “…”
You (shooting a brief angry glance at waitress, then looking away again): “…”
Waitress: “Maybe I should come back lat-“
You (jumping up, confronting waitress) “THAT’S IT! I’VE HAD IT! Why do you keep TALKING TO US?! Can’t you just LEAVE US ALONE?! Is it TOO MUCH TO FREAKING ASK?! Is it not possible for a couple to come to a cafe and sit for FIVE MINUTES without their privacy being violated, nay, utterly ANNIHILATED?! I bet you people would like to see us naked, wouldn’t you? Is THAT it, huh?! WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE ME NAKED?! HUH?! WOULD YOU?!
Waitress: “Sir, if you would please calm down and-“
You: “COFFEE! I want FUCKING COFFEE! There! Are you HAPPY NOW?! You’ve ruined it! You ruined EVERYTHING! I hope this knowledge torments you until the last days of your life! I HOPE THE PAIN FOLLOWS YOU INTO YOUR VERY GRAVE!
Waitress: “Espresso or cappuccino?”
You (looking away, ignoring her again): “…Cappuccino.”

7. Neglecting your date

I direct your attention to the first sentence of the point above. Under no circumstances whatsoever should the lady feel neglected in any way, shape or form. Do not leave her side even for a moment, barring an emergency of a truly prodigious scale. Cater to her needs if it is within your power. Get her a drink if she seems thirsty. Buy her a bite to eat if she looks hungry. Offer her your coat is she shivers. Provide her with a fan if she swelters. Give her your hat if she looks at it longingly, and so on. If a lady begins to feel that you are losing interest in her, she will soon become distant in turn. Worse yet, it may cause great damage to her self-confidence, which down the road, can eventually lead into her turning into a cold, embittered woman, a loss to you and other men everywhere, especially if she is of good looks.


Her: “So what do you think of employing the handicapped? I think it’s a wonderf-“
You: “Hold that thought. I gotta go take a dump.”
*25 minutes later*
You: “Okay, I’m back- wait, crap, I forgot to wipe. Back in a moment.”
*12 minutes later*
You: “Alright, where were we?”
Her: “I was just saying that employing the handicapped is a wond-“
You: “Could you wait a moment? I need to go jack off.”

Her: “Could you excuse me for a minute? I need to use the ladies’ room.”
You: “No need, I’ll just come with you.”
Her (looking puzzled): “…”
You (smiling encouragingly): “…”
Her: “…I’m sorry, but I’d rather go on my own.”
You: “It’s okay, I was in the ladies’ room before. As a matter of fact, I use it all the time.”
Her: “…”
You: “Or we can go to the men’s room, if you’d prefer. Say, how do you like my hat?”

8. Bailing out

There can never be a reason strong enough for you to suddenly terminate the date. Casting the lady aside in such fashion is one of the most ill-mannered, disrespectful things you can possibly do to her. By accepting her invitation to a date (or vice versa, possibly), you have given her an unspoken agreement that you will stand by her side and remain there for the entire duration of said date. It is your duty as a man to hold your word, no matter what. Failure to do so would effectively mean that you have forfeited your right to bear the title of gentleman. A flooded house, a sudden death in the family, your mother being held hostage by terrorists demanding a ransom within a restricted time period, your wife having a baby, all those things can, and in many cases will, wait.


You: “…And then the bastard fired me. Can you imagine? Let me tell you, I had half a mind to walk straight into his office and slit his- HOLY FISHING JESUS! I FORGOT ABOUT THE MACGYVER MARATHON! GOTTA GO!”
Her: “Bu-“
You (gone): “-“

You: “And then she left me. Just like that. One day I come home to an empty apartment. And I mean empty. She took everything. Everything. The TV, the radio, the computer, the microwave, the toaster, the dishes, the books, the carpets, the paintings, the dog, the hamsters, the food, the beer, everything. All she left me was a broken heart and an empty bed. A broken heart… and an empty bed. Except she also took the bed. She even took my porn collection. And she wasn’t even into anal, [Her]… She wasn’t even into anal.
Her: “…Wow… That’s… too bad.”
You: “I cried for months. I’d just lock myself into the bedroom and cry all day long. For months. It was hell. Hell. Anyway, [Her], I want you to know that I would never ever do anything like that to you. Ever. I would never ever leave you. Not like that. Never. I will always stay by your side. I will never, ever let you out of my sight, [Her]. All day and all night, 365 days a year, I will be there, watching over you. All the time. We will always be together. Always. We will never ever be separated. Never. Ever.”
Her: “…”
You: “What’s the matter? You look a little pale.”

9. Getting drunk

Alcohol is a poison to your liver and love life alike. Ingesting it before or during a date would be highly ill-advised. There are few things that can make a lady lose more respect for you than seeing you in jolly company with a large amount of Mr. Ale. Whereas it is true that a certain level of alcohol in your system makes everything better, the line between being merry and voiding your stomach on the sidewalk can be thin indeed. It should also be noted that alcohol affects different men in different ways: whereas some can drink a wheelbarrow full of whisky and live to tell the tale, others are denied the weight-bearing support of their feet merely by being in the vicinity of a glass of diluted apple cider. Since it is better to err on the side of caution, it is best to stay away from alcohol altogether. Do not let yourself be tempted by any people offering it to you. Use force if necessary. (An exception to this rule comes into play if your lady friend enjoys the bottle as well. Should that be the case, the above lines may be mostly disregarded, and a fun time can be had by both, especially you.)


Her: “Okay, please give me the glass. I think you’ve had enough.”
You: “Warar you talkin a-bout? I didn’t have enough of… of whaever. Say, you two look a bit… fuzzy. Hic! When ws- when was the last time you shaved?”
Her: “You’re drunk. Please, give me the glass.”
You: “I’m not drrrunk! I’m sober as a… a bull… dozer. A f- a flying… bulldozer.”
Her: “Wait, what are you doing?”
You (on table): “Look at me I’m -burp- Michael Jackson!”
Her: “Please, get down from there!”
You (trying to moonwalk): “Oo hoo! Oo hoo!”
*you fall off table*
Her: “Oh my gosh. Are you okay?”
You (picking yourself up): “I- I- I’m fine. My… my head broke… my fall. Saaay, does this taste funny to you-“
*you vomit on table*
Her (jumping away): “Holy-“

You (eyeing your drink suspiciously): “…”
Her: “What’s wrong?”
You: “Do you think there’s any alcohol in this?”
Her: “What?”
You: “Alcohol. Do you think any of it is in this?”
Her: “Well… since coffee rarely contains alcohol, my guess would be no.”
You: “But how can you be sure? I mean, what if this one does? What if the people who run this place put alcohol in their coffee? Or what if they usually don’t, but decided to put it just in this one? I mean, like if they were bored, and put it in for kicks? Or what, what if they left the coffee sit for too long and it fermented? And have you considered that maybe all coffee everywhere contains alcohol, but people just don’t realize it?!”
Her: “Okay, now you’re being ridiculous. Besides, even if there had been any alcohol in there, the heat would have caused most of it to evaporate by now. And in any case, why are you so afraid of ingesting a little alcohol?”
You: “Well, what if I am allergic to it? Or if my religion doesn’t permit it? Have you considered that? Or are you too narrow-minded? Also, I have to be careful so you don’t take advantage of me.”
Her: “…You’re kidding.”
You: “Oh, like you haven’t been thinking about it all night. I see the way you stare at me, devouring me with your eyes like I was some kind of eye burger, or eye pie or something. I perceive your mind, and oh, what a disturbing mind it is. I can see your thoughts, swimming through its sunless, murky depths like fish, black, hungry fish, craving nothing more than to sink their corrupted teeth into my soft, juicy, mouthwateringly delicious flesh.”
Her: “…”
You: “Who can blame you, though. I’m tempted to take advantage of myself, right now.”

10. Being cheap

When departing for a date, it is important to leave your love of wealth at home. Being liberal with your spending while entertaining a lady is to be considered highly beneficial, as it promotes the lady’s sense of owing you something. This usually leads to her thinking of a way to return the favor somehow, a most delicious dilemma for her to have from a man’s point of view. Therefore, do not be stingy with your money. Cover all expenses in restaurants and the like. Give the lady some coins to throw into a wishing well. Buy her items she desires openly and, if you are able to determine what they may be, items she desires secretly. Of course, none of these items need be (and for your wallet’s sake, should be) expensive. It should be noted that some women prefer their men to be frugal, but such women are generally interested in pursuing a long-term relationship and should thus be avoided.


You: “Check, please!”
Waitress (bringing check): “…”
You (smiling, handing the check to your date): “Here, you pay.”
Her: “…Excuse me?”
You: “Modern women like to pay for their own things. It gives them a sense of not being completely useless. I read it in Hustler or something. They also like to take care of their men. Me being your man, I’m giving you the joy of taking care of me. And I don’t have to waste any of my money, so that’s good, too. See? Everyone’s happy!”
Her (scowling): “…”
You: “Oh, and don’t forget the tip.”

You: “Check, please!”
Waitress (bringing check): “…”
You (smiling): “Don’t worry, I got this.”
Her: “Oh, there’s really no need-“
You: “No, I insist. I’m a man, and real men take care of their women.”
Her: “That’s… that’s sweet.”
You: “Don’t even mention it. I mean, imagine what would happen if women tried to take care of themselves. Or God forbid, other people. The whole place would fall apart in a matter of days.”
Her: “Okay, now that’s just s-“
You: “By the way, I’m not leaving a tip. I thought the service was terrible.”

11. Hurting animals

The inclusion of this point may seem strange at first, as animals hardly have an important role in most first dates, but it is important to remember that love of living things is perhaps the only thing that binds all women together. Therefore, it is to be logically concluded that hurting animals is something every woman abhors. Kicking a cat, backhanding a bird, even intentionally stepping on a snail all have a similar effect on members of the opposite sex: hidden tears and blossoming hatred towards the man responsible for these actions. Conversely, being kind to the less intelligent cohabitants of our planet and showing concern for their well-being elevates your status in female eyes to surprising heights, since most females are used to men not caring about animals beyond the confines of their steak plate. (Note that for all intents and purposes of this point, babies are to be considered animals as well.)


Her: “Aww look, a puppy!”
Puppy (happily wagging tail): “Woof!”
You (taking can of gasoline and matches out of trunk): “Hee hee!”
Puppy (looking curious): “Woof?”
You (setting puppy on fire): “HEE HEE!”
*puppy rolls on the ground in agony*
Her (stunned, motionless): “…”
You: “HEE hee… What?”
Her (tears welling up): “…”
You: “What?”
Her (crying, running away): “…”
You: “What?

You: “Hey look, a mosquito.”
Her: “Don’t worry, I’ve got it.”
*mosquito is smashed*
Her: “Ha! Got it.”
You (stunned, motionless): “…”
Her: “What is it?”
You (tears welling up): “…”
Her: “Is something wrong?”
You (crying, running away): “…”

12. Discussing sensitive subjects

There are certain topics of conversation which should only be discussed under special circumstances. These topics include, but are by no means limited to, religion, family problems, health issues, alternate forms of sexuality, doping, the gaming industry, and death. One should always tread carefully when such subjects arise in conversation, especially during a date, as there is a rather high probability that your lady friend will not feel comfortable with discussing some, or any, of them with you. Forcing them upon her regardless can never result in anything positive, neither for the lady nor for you, as it would likely leave you with the double frustration of a suddenly cheerless companion and a lack of stimulating counterarguments. Instead of these serious and challenging topics, try to talk about lighter matters such as nature, friends, happiness, toys, food, sports, and life.


You: “You know what’s always fascinated me? Death. Do you have any relatives that have recently died?
Her (slightly uncomfortable): “Actually… yeah, my grandma.”
You: “Really? What did she die of? Were you there when it happened? Did she suffer a lot? What do you think her final thought was? Did you have her cremated? Was she rich? Did she spend her final years a lonely, depressed woman?”
Her (on brink of tears): “…”
You: “Is this a sensitive issue for you? We can talk about something else.”
Her: “Yeah… yeah, that would be good.”
You: “Do you think she is in hell now?”

You: “You know what’s always fascinated me? Life. Specifically, the lack thereof. Do you have any relatives that have recently stopped living?
Her (slightly uncomfortable): “Actually… yeah, my grandma.”
You: “Really? What did she die of? Were you there when it happened? Did she suffer a lot? What do you think her final thought was? Did you have her cremated? Was she rich? Did she spend her final years a lonely, depressed woman?”
Her (on brink of tears): “…”
You: “Is this a sensitive issue for you? We can talk about something else.”
Her: “Yeah… yeah, that would be good.”
You: “Do you think she is in hell now?”

13. Not kissing goodnight

Alas, all good things must come to an end, and your date is no exception. After a long evening of fun (it is to be assumed), it is time to return to your respective domiciles. Remember, a gentleman always ensures the lady he has been temporary guardian of returns to her residence safely. Therefore, it is rightly expected that you escort her there personally. Upon delivering your special friend to her doorstep, it is customary to bestow upon her a goodnight kiss. Failure to do so may mar what had up to that point been a flawless night, not to mention it has a high probability of damaging future prospects you may have for her and you. Make your final moment together that night the highlight of her time with you; one that she will remember and treasure for years, or at least until one of your next dates goes horribly, horribly wrong and she hates you forever.


You: “Well, I must say this has been one of the best first dates I have ever been on in the last week or so. Now all that remains is for us to have a goodnight kiss.”
Her (not present because she silently left a long time ago): “…”

Her: “Well, I… I really should be going now.”
You: “That’s too bad. Oh well, time for a goodnight kiss. Pucker up!”
Her: “Uh… That’s okay, I…”
You: “You’re not planning on leaving without a goodnight kiss, are you?”
Her (slowly walking backward): “Um… I…”
You (slowly walking forward): “We don’t have to kiss on the mouth, you know. There are several other body parts I am willing to kiss.”
Her (picking up momentum): “… I… I… I really…”
You (adjusting pace accordingly): “Don’t worry, it’s just one little kiss. Mwa. Mwa. Mwa.”
Her (increasing speed to a jog): “…”
You (not losing ground): “Mwa mwa mwa!”
Her (running): “No… please…”