Entry 593: Headlines That Caught My Eye

Here are a few of the headlines that have grabbed my attention recently and do not involve Donald Trump.


>Truman Capote’s Ashes Sold at Auction for $45,000.00. They had been owned carnac-259x3001by Joanne Carson, Johnny Carson’s ex-wife (especially now that she’s dead), who would take the ashes to movies and plays in keeping with the author’s wishes not to “be put on a shelf.” It is unclear whether Capote’s ashes ever made an appearance on The Tonight Show.

CARNAC THE MAGNIFICENT (holding envelope up to his head): Powdered Capote. (opens envelope and reads): What did your ex-wife sprinkle on your pizza?

The guy who ran the auction said, “The people who bought Capote’s ashes will continue his adventures.” In other words, Capote has a more active social life dead than I do alive.
>Study Reveals That People Who Curse Have Higher Intelligence. Don’t get too excited yet, potty-mouth. It’s not the frequency that means you’re smart, it’s the variety. Psychologists at Marist College and the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts have determined that people who have a large vocabulary of curses tend to have a larger vocabulary in general. I don’t know what’s dumber, that somebody thought to do this study in the first place or that it took two colleges to do it.

In any case, the researchers found that people who knew the names of the most different animals also knew the most curses. Really. That was the methodology. Which means that, when we say “Oh, he curses like a sailor,” we really should be saying, “Oh, he curses like a zoologist.”

Also, the study only used people aged 18-22, so the subjects hadn’t lived long enough to learn all the really good curses.

I think the truly amazing find is that the participants generated a total of 533 curse words and slurs. That’s only 5.79 epithets per individual which doesn’t sound like such a great friggin’ vocabulary to me. Particularly since the curses they came up with included “cum dumpster” and “ass pirate,” which are clearly made up (so, okay, points for creativity). And finally, the most disappointing part of this study is that the actual published scientific article didn’t even include an appendix with the 533 curses.
>Child Born with Three Biological Parents. This is a new technique, not yet legal in the U.S., that is used to bypass defective genes. In this case, the wife carried the gene for Leigh Syndrome, a fatal disorder that had caused four previous miscarriages. So scientists took a nucleus from one of her eggs and combined it with the disease-free mitochondrial DNA from a donor’s egg, then took the resulting egg and fertilized it with sperm from the father. The boy who was born shows no sign of Leigh Syndrome. He has two biological mothers and one father.

Of course, this technique is raising a lot of ethical questions, such as, “If a girl is born in this way, how will she know which mother to turn into?”


>New Study Shows Dogs Ignore Bad Human Advice.  In research from psychologists at Yale’s Canine Cognition Center, a treat was placed inside a puzzle, and researchers showed dogs how to get it out by lifting the lid of the box. They tried to mislead the dogs by commanding them to push a lever attached to the box. The lever didn’t actually do anything. When researchers left the room, it didn’t take long for the pups to ignore the command of using the lever and head straight for the treat.

An almost identical study was done in 2005 using children, but they kept pressing the useless lever.

This may prove that dogs are smarter than children (especially if the pups have a large vocabulary of curse words), but I don’t think you can extrapolate balloon2anything about ignoring advice. While it’s true that our dog, Riley, ignored my bad advice about investing in the company my son-in-law worked for, he often also ignores my good advice, like not dissembling mommy’s sandals and actually consuming the leather straps, or not going into that bush with all the burrs.

So I think what this study really shows is that dogs have a lower tolerance for nonsense than humans.

Now if we can just get one to run for office.
>Superheroes Defeat Princesses. For the first time in over a decade, princess costumes are not the top-sellers for Halloween. They have been dethroned by superhero costumes. I have two things to say about this. First, this report came out on September 28, so there’s still plenty of time for princesses to catch up. And second, I bet there are a lot of fathers of sons who are breathing a sigh of relief.
>Carrie Underwood’s Knee Looks Like Prince George. Well, okay, there is some kneeresemblance, but I think it’s more due to the power of suggestion, like when somebody sees Jesus in some bathtub schmutz and then everyone else goes, “Oh, yeah, there he is!” and then people are lined up around the block to be blessed by the miracle mold. But you have to admit it takes a special kind of person to go to a Carrie Underwood concert and, first of all, put her knee under close scrutiny and, second of all, be that familiar with Prince George’s face to notice the similarity.

I believe they have places for those specials kinds of people.

See you soon.

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