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Showing posts from March, 2014

Yawning Equals Love in Relationships

Look over at your spouse or significant other. Give a big yawn. Did they yawn back? Did they take a while to yawn, or did they do it right away?

If they didn't yawn back or took several seconds, they may not love you anymore.

I may be overstating things, but according to a 2011 study by the University of Pisa, yawns are especially contagious when you're with close family members, such as your parents, siblings, or children. When they yawn, you yawn. When you yawn, they yawn.

(And did you yawn because I keep saying "yawn?" I've already yawned four times since I started this column. Also, if you did, it means you really like me.)

According to a story on the Mother News Network website, the researchers also found that yawning is less contagious when you're only with friends, and even less so among strangers. The closer your relationship is, the faster the yawn jumps from sender to receiver.

In other words, the longer it takes your significant other to yawn, the …

No More Red Pens at English School

Red ink on student papers is mean and bullying and hurts precious snowflakes' feelings. At least that's what administrators at one school in Cornwall, England are worried about. They're no longer allowing teachers to use red pens to mark their students' work because it might make them feel bad. Instead, teachers will use green pens to give feedback, and students will use purple pen to write responses.

According to a story in The Cornishman newspaper, the Mounts Bay Academy is worried that students will feel discouraged when they see all the red markings on their papers. So rather than help students do better, teachers are instead working to make green the new "I suck at math" trigger color, which will then be the subject of stories like this in about 20 or 30 years.

Either that, or every kid will just be patted on the head and given a participation trophy.

Head teacher (which is British for "principal") Sara Davey told the Cornishman, "Students…

Your Home Is Trying To Kill You

In 2008, 57,612 people were injured by their televisions.

I'm not sure exactly how, or in what manner, but according to the Statistical Abstract of the United States, nearly 58,000 people were injured enough by their televisions to require emergency medical attention.

This doesn't include the number of people who were injured, but didn't go to the ER, which means the number could be higher. Much higher.

The Statistical Abstract of the United States is a government report that looks at how the 319 million people in the United States have lived, worked, played, and injured themselves in the last several years. It includes data from the Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Economic Analysis, and "many other Federal agencies and private organizations."

In this case, this injury data — Table 197, "Injuries Associated With Selected Consumer Products: 2008" — was compiled by the National Safety Council of Itasca, Illinois.

What's worse, acc…

EU Wants U.S. to Cut Cheese Names

You just can't please the French when it comes to words and language.

The Académie française was established in 1635 to prevent English words and other barbarisms from entering the French language. They often dictate what words are allowed or not allowed, and will even replace words like "email" and "skyscraper" with "courriel" and "gratte-ciel."

While the Académie does not have any official powers, they're like your snooty, pretentious cousin who's always correcting everyone else's grammar and makes you want to punch him in his smug little face. When it comes to their snootiness about language, they can be a royal "emmerde" (pain in the ass) about it.

Now the Académie snootiness has spread to the "rond-de-cuirs" (pen pushers, bureaucrats) in the European Union (EU). They're complaining about the way American food makers sometimes use European regional names for their food products.

According to a story on…