• In Impotence: A Cultural History, Angus McLaren, and leave it to a scholar named Angus, found a 17th century French midwife with a suggestion: "An enchanted husband should drink water from the mouth of a 'young stone horse.'" (To be performed, apparently, while the horse himself is drinking.) My new favorite euphemism for horny and limp is now "enchanted," but better yet: try "due benevolence" for sex. In the same study, "Nicholas Culpeper and midwife Jane Sharp recommended that a man, who due to magic could not give his wife 'due benevolence,' should piss through her wedding ring." That can’t be good for the ring. Culpeper’s Complete Herbal [...]
Now, I don’t think I ever actually believed in Santa. The closest I came was a slow-burning conviction that his name was Santa Sauce because he was, in some sense, actually a marinara-ladled meatball given life and laugh and beard. I don’t think that counts, really—certainly a meatball could never hold a sleigh’s reins, or operate a multinational corporation—so I'll claim that I knew from day zero that Santa was, strictly speaking, a kind of lie.
But he's a useful lie. One that parents can deploy to effectively trick children into not behaving like tiny sociopaths who are too short to drive themselves to school. (Imagine attempting to get full [...]
As told by Arthur C. Clarke's 1990 novel The Ghost from the Grand Banks, 2012 is the year that would see the Titanic resurrected from the ocean floor. But the year is now 2012, and the Titanic continues to sit 12,000 feet below the ocean surface, rusting more with every passing year (indeed, it's predicted here that by 2045, only the hull will remain). The likelihood that any of us will live to see a resurrected Titanic outside a James Cameron movie now seems very slim.
Much like the philosopher’s stone or the Holy Grail, the perfect hangover cure has been the subject of endless inquiries by some of history’s greatest minds, and has proved just as elusive. Those who do possess it are often fictional or demigods, or both: who can forget the mystery drink concocted by P.G. Wodehouse’s inimitable Jeeves on his first day reporting to work for Bertie (this was itself a variation on the oft-touted prairie oyster)? Kingsley Amis made a long study of hangovers and their cures, much of which can be found in Everyday Drinking: The Distilled Kingsley Amis, and in which he notes that [...]
Here are some tips on how to make that double chin go away. In pictures, at least.
Although I’m huge on newspapers, no New York newspaper seems to fit my demographic: aging socialist who only wants to read the Sports Page and Garfield. I give up on newspapers ruthlessly and as permanently as I can. The Boston Globe and The New York Times were the first to go by the wayside. The Globe because The New York Times destroyed it, and then The Times because of their craven build-up to the Iraq War. That, and all their annoying Brooklyn trend pieces. I read the Boston Herald in Boston, minus the entire front section (except the always-enjoyable “The Inside Track,” because I want to know what Matt [...]
"If you want to keep Google from combining your Web History with the data they have gathered about you in their other products, such as YouTube or Google Plus, you may want to remove all items from your Web History and stop your Web History from being recorded in the future. Here's how you can do that." [Via]
"Many emotionally sensitive people seem to dislike and even hate themselves. The reasons vary but seem to fall into certain categories: self-blame, negative self-attribution, believing myths, not living values, treating yourself as if you don’t matter and" realizing that, in spite of whatever good intentions you have somehow managed to retain while being buffeted by the basic brutalities of life you will one way or another hurt or disappoint the people who love you the most and then briefly consider the possibility that it's their own fault for choosing to love someone as worthless as you are in the first place before finally accepting the bitter reality that no [...]
In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, volunteers have spontaneously organized to help the many, many people whose homes were destroyed or damaged by the storm. Many displaced or electricity-lacking NYC residents are still in need of hot meals. Occupy Sandy has been coordinating deliveries and making some food at their hubs in Brooklyn, but a lot of the food they're distributing is coming from various kitchens in churches and schools and even homes, and some of those volunteers are also finding ways to deliver the food themselves. (Here's what's happening and where to help for Thanksgiving.)
This outpouring of community support gives me a schizoid blend of alternately [...]
Recently I've been rewatching "Battlestar Galactica." On a rewatch, I feel like it's a very long haul. And I've now seen a lot of people cruise through the first couple seasons then get bogged down in, say, season three. It's quite a bit of TV! For a non-fanboy or non-fangirl, it can get tedious. Reordering the Star Wars movies made so much sense; the so-called "machete order" for Star Wars (IV, V, II, III, VI, skipping "Episode One"!) is a work of genius. So I began to wonder, not so much about order, but: how can we chop down "Battlestar"? The answer: pretty easily. (DON'T KILL ME, FANS!)
Rain Jackets, waterproof cameras, air conditioners, umbrellas, solar battery packs, portable GPS, fans, grills, and much much more. (Although the handy category here is cheap rain jackets, if you ever want to talk expensive rain jackets, call me, we'll discuss Prada windbreakers versus Zegna Sport.
Do you suffer Computer Back? I do. Mine is caused by the terrible habit of hunching over the laptop while also curling my legs under the chair in a sort of corkscrewed position that is osteomuscularly nightmarish but somehow conducive to concentration. When I stand up I look like a stooped, slightly concerned turtle. Now, lots of people have Computer Back, and nearly everybody with whom I've talked about it has, at some point in the conversation, brought up the fact that Philip Roth works at a standing desk. That tidbit, you'll remember, came out in a 2000 David Remnick profile, and it apparently haunts the imagination of everyone [...]
Description: “My 5 year old created this egg using a Tie Dye Egg kit. This is better than the Jesus grilled cheese, better than the Jesus cheeto, and definitely better than the George Washington chicken nugget. And I'm sure that a 5 year old girl in the Midwest could use a little more money in her college account. Sale is final.”
Starting Bid: None, although there is a “reserve” that is not specified.
Current Bid: $.99, which is not yet enough to reach said reserve.
Item Location: Mason, MI
I'm not sure that I'm sold on this new book, but I'm DEFINITELY pro any venture that is in favor of real-talking women about straight men. People don't break up with people enough! Go on, break up with someone today! If you love something and it doesn't love you right back, stab it until it loves you correctly!
So you are a neurotic person who wants to learn how to ski. Not "neurotic" in the infuriatingly loose sense in which normal, highly functioning people use it ("Okay, like, I hate to be noo-rot-tick, but I really think we should leave this party to get to the other party because my friends are at the other party and might leave it soon."), but actually neurotic, sometimes cripplingly so: Your brain doesn't work like other people's brains. Your thoughts are often sputtering satellites orbiting singularities of infinite worry. Sometimes when you get a call and see that it's your mom you're sure that when you pick up she'll be crying [...]
Due to the ever-increasing loudening of the universe, white noise is now a multi-billion-dollar-grossing industry. I just made that fact up! It's probably not true in the slightest! But there are a TON of albums, apps, websites and purveyors, all devoted to white noise. That is because some of us cannot sleep without it, due to exterior noise and/or snoring, or because of our fear of silence and/or death, or also because we are tired of babies crying.
The best way—with a few exceptions!—to use white noise at night is with an iPhone or iPod docked in some kind of speaker-thing. Or from your computer to speakers! (As long as [...]
If you've accidentally stumbled onto the BBC news website while looking for information on when the new "Doctor Who" season is starting, you might have discovered that the government (British for "administration") is in a bit of a spot of bother over plans to reform the House of Lords! And by "bit of a spot of bother" we mean "there is a small but non-negligible chance it might collapse and force early elections." As regular readers will know, this site takes its commitment to Knifecrime Island coverage seriously (including its celebrities) and while your correspondent is not a UK resident, he does like to read obsessively about British [...]
1. Happy mobs are all alike; every unhappy mob is unhappy in its own way. This has been lost on a lot of journalists in the last few weeks as many Québécois1 have poured into the streets, banging casserole dishes and getting beaten up and arrested for the perceived threat they pose. Every American commentary I find on it is eager to relate this to Occupy Wall Street, conveniently excusing itself from learning about the culture of the place. Well, agitprop’s always been a lot quicker to write than history, I suppose, and maybe that is most of all true about a place like Québec, where people sing [...]
Have you ordered flowers for your mom yet? Mother's Day is this Sunday. Here's what you need to know.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the Great American Novel if your name is George R. R. Martin or Suzanne Collins. You guys are doing great; somebody give them genius grants. I had never before read a 1,000-page book, and now I’ve read like 5 of them. If Westeros had subways things would move along much faster, George. Think about it. (Unless it was a weekend! Then they’d have shuttle buses between King’s Landing and Riverrun like only once every few hours. Ugh!) And obviously Katniss Everdeen should have dated both those dudes in the book rather than suffer the guilt and sorrow of having to choose just one. Let’s [...]