Sunday, January 29, 2012

Men Who Are Irresistible To Women—How Do They Rate As Potential Mates?

As a writer of various forms of romance, I can take the type of man who is intriguing, interesting, exciting, even dangerous—the quintessential bad boy or flashy guy or brooding loner among several choices—and by the end of the book love has tamed the aspects of his personality that would make him a lousy choice as a mate. He has seen the light and realizes his life is not complete without the heroine, a realization that allows him to change and make an honest commitment to relationship.

But that's one of the joys of fiction. We can create accurate characters for specific personality types and situations, but have the availability of writing that hero the way we want him to be rather than portraying the reality for that type. We can create that growth and resolve the inner conflict so the hero can change over the course of the book.

But what about real life? How about those personality types that are seemingly irresistible to women? How do they stack up for a viable long term committed relationship?

The Flashy Guy
We've all seen the type—the hot new sports car, a Rolex watch. Women are naturally attracted, finding this type of man more desirable on the surface than the guy who drives a four year old economy car. But does that attraction equate to a healthy relationship? According to researchers, not really. According to their findings, while women are interested in dating this type of man they are not interested in settling down with them. The women surveyed said that men who were flashy spenders were only interested in no-strings-attached sex rather than a relationship. However, experts say it could be a sign that the man is suffering from low self-esteem and feels that a show of possessions could lure a potential mate. Bottom line: find out what's behind the flashy exterior before determining yea or nay to the possibility of a true relationship.

The Bad Boy
Through out history, bad boys have been attractive to women. The sense of danger and thrills that surrounds the bad boy pulls women into the high-energy excitement. But after a while, the newness wears off and you're left with a guy who possesses such traits as narcissism and callousness along with a high number of sex partners. Not very good qualities for a committed relationship. If his core personality is not that attractive or desirable, you should leave.

The Moody Dude
Canadian researchers did a study on why women go for the brooding type. Using photographs to determine the sexual attractiveness of the opposite sex, they found that men were attracted to smiling happy-looking women but women generally found the most attractive men to be the ones who appeared moody, proud, or powerful. Psychologists say these are usually women who don't believe they deserve a good person, especially women whose fathers were emotionally distant during childhood. They try to heal old wounds by seeking out relationships with similar type men hoping things will be different for them. Unfortunately, they usually aren't.

The Less Attractive Guy
For a healthy relationship, should a woman pass on the eye-candy and go for the less attractive man instead? Researchers from UCLA and the University of Tennessee found that women who are more attractive than their husbands have happier marriages. Research showed that in those cases, the man was generally more emotionally supportive of his wife. When the man was the better looking spouse, he was less supportive.

The Older Man
According to a Swedish study, women prefer to date older men. The study showed that the majority of women were seeking wealthy, accomplished, older partners. It also noted that older meant experienced, which could be sexy…on average the guy was wiser and richer. However, an American psychologist said she doubted the study could be applied to the American culture. It was possible, but unclear as to how it would apply.

The Class Clown
Many women find a good sense of humor to be a very desirable quality in a man. Why do women find humor attractive? A British study suggested that women believe men with a good sense of humor are more intelligent, therefore better providers. It has been suggested that humor has a positive effect on women's health because it helps de-escalate conflict, creating happy and healthy relationships.

These types make for good fiction, but how do you think they fare in real life?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

10 Wacky Driving Laws

A while back I did a blog about weird laws…the type that should have been taken off the books decades ago. This time I'm looking at wacky driving laws.

Basic driving laws are the same everywhere. Green lights mean go and red lights mean stop. Pedestrians in crosswalks have the right of way. You aren't allowed to drive faster than the posted speed limit. That's pretty straight forward and simple.

However, individual states have some peculiar driving laws of their own that don't make any sense. Perhaps there was a valid reason for them at the time the law was passed, but in today's society they're totally out of sync with reality.

Here are a selection of 10 such laws, in no particular order.

In Arkansas it's illegal to blast your car horn after 9pm where ice cold beverages or sandwiches are being served.

In Dublin, Georgia, it is illegal to drive through playgrounds.

In Connecticut and Tennessee hunting from cars is illegal, unless it's whale hunting. It does make you wonder just where in Connecticut and Tennessee you would go to hunt whales. Aquariums probably frown on the activity.

In Illinois all cars must be driven with the steering wheel. Hmm…I wonder how many other options are available.

In Almosa, Colorado, it's illegal to throw missiles at cars. It really makes you wonder what would have prompted that type of legislation.

In San Francisco it's illegal to wipe your car with used underwear. It's probably not best to dwell on that one.

In Florida if an elephant is tied to a parking meter, you must put money into the meter same as if you were parking your car. My guess is that this law is a hold over from the days when Ringling Brothers circus had their winter headquarters is Sarasota, Florida. I can't think of another reason for someone having an elephant tied to a parking meter. :)

In Alabama it is illegal for a person to be blindfolded while operating a vehicle. How strange…no blindfold driving allowed.  What's next...needing to be licensed in order to drive a car?

In Tennessee it's illegal to drive while sleeping, but no mention of a blindfold. :) If for some reason you end up driving a car while asleep, my guess is getting a ticket for breaking that particular law will be the least of your worries.

And finally…

In Hilton Head, South Carolina it is illegal to store trash in your car. However, it seems to me that you shouldn't need a law for that.

Any weird driving laws where you live?

Sunday, January 15, 2012


On January 10, 2012, the Doomsday Clock was moved forward. The Clock (a symbol of imminent apocalypse since 1947) now stands at five minutes until midnight.

With the winter solstice of 2012 less than a year away and some people putting forth the theory that the Mayan calendar shows Friday, December 21, 2012, as the end of the world, I thought it might be interesting to look at some of the failed doomsday predictions that were proclaimed to be absolute in their accuracy at the time.

Doomsday predictions have been around for many centuries. In fact, it would probably be more accurate to say millenniums. No sooner has one prophecy come and gone without the earth coming to an apocalyptic ending than another one pops up to take its place.

Needless to say, so far none of these prophecies have come to fruition. Regardless of the dire predictions and the credentials of the doomsday prophet, the world is still here.

The Prophet Hen Of Leeds, 1806
For the last two thousand years many of the doomsday predictions have been associated with the imminent return of Jesus. One of the strangest is a hen in the English town of Leeds. In 1806 the hen began laying eggs that had "Christ is coming" written on the shell. Many people believed the miracle and claimed the end was at hand—until a curious neighbor watched the hen laying eggs and discovered that the entire thing was a hoax.

The Millerites, April 23, 1843
William Miller, a New England farmer, came to the conclusion that the date God had chosen to destroy the world could be determined by a strict and literal interpretation of scripture. He eventually had thousands of followers known as Millerites who decided the actual date for the end of the world was April 23, 1843. When the date arrived and nothing happened, the group disbanded.

Mormon Armageddon, 1891 or earlier
At a meeting of his church leaders in February 1835, Joseph Smith announced he had spoken with God and learned Jesus would return within the next 56 years and immediately afterward the End Times would begin.

Halley's Comet, 1910
In 1881, an astronomer discovered that comet tails include a deadly gas called cyanogen. This was of no particular interest until someone realized that Earth would pass through the tail of Halley's comet in 1910 which would subject everyone on the planet to the deadly gas.

Pat Robertson, 1982
Televangelist and founder of the Christian Coalition, Pat Robertson, informed his 700 Club television audience that he knew when the world would end. He guaranteed that by the end of 1982 there would be a judgment on the world.

Heaven's Gate, 1997
In 1997 with the appearance of comet Hale-Bopp, rumors circulated that an alien spacecraft was following the comet and NASA was covering up this fact. A San Diego UFO cult, Heaven's Gate, concluded that this meant the world would end soon. On March 26, 1997, 39 members of the cult committed suicide.

Y2K, January 1, 2000
With the turn of the millennium, rumors were flying fast and furious that the world's computers would fail and what they controlled would cease to function because the computers wouldn't be able to tell the difference between the year 1900 and 2000. Catastrophic problems were predicted. However, the new millennium began with only a few minor glitches.

May 5, 2000
And just in case the Y2K bug didn't finish us off on January 1st, the year 2000 had another shot at it. A 1997 book titled 5/5/2000 Ice: the Ultimate Disaster assured us that specific date when the planets would be aligned in the heavens and would result in a global icy death. Guess they forgot about global warming. :)

Nostradamus, July 1999
The writings of Nostradamus have intrigued people for over 400 years. However, the accuracy of his predictions depends on a very flexible interpretation. One of his quatrains said,
The year 1999, seventh month
From the sky will come great king of terror
Many believed this was Nostradamus' vision of Armageddon.

God's Church Ministry, Fall 2008
Ronald Weinland, minister of God's Church, said in his 2006 book that hundreds of millions of people will die and by the end of 2006 there will be a maximum of only two years remaining before the world will be plunged into the worst time in all human history.

And most recently…

Harold Camping, 2011
On his radio program, Harold Camping proclaimed that Judgment Day would be May 21, 2011, and would begin with global earthquakes and a rapture of the faithful. This would be followed by months of catastrophe and the world would end of October 21, 2011.  And again, we're still here.

So now we wait for December 21, 2012…

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Friday the 13th —Does it make you stop and think?

Triskaidekaphobia: Fear of the number thirteen.

Paraskevidekatriaphobia: Fear of Friday the 13th.

An obviously irrational concept that a mere number can bring bad luck to someone. Or that a specific day of the week can be unlucky. But that doesn't stop us from dwelling on the possibility. 

And the 13th of January falls on Friday...and that's this week!

The tradition of Friday being a day of bad luck dates back centuries with some of the more common theories linking it to significant events in Christian tradition believed to have taken place on Friday such as the Crucifixion, Eve offering Adam the apple in the Garden of Eden, the beginning of the great flood.

Many sources for the superstition surrounding the number thirteen and its association with bad luck also derive from Christianity with the Last Supper being cited as the origin. Judas was the thirteenth person to be seated at the table.

And when you put the two bad luck symbols together you get Friday the 13th…the day associated with misfortune.

Superstition is a belief or notion not based on reason or knowledge. An irrational belief. Lots of superstitions came into being during the Dark Ages, a time when living conditions were so severe that people reached out to anything that might bring them help and solace with the results being explanations for what seemed unexplainable at the time. Religious beliefs and lack of scientific knowledge helped to spawn many superstitions.

Superstitions differ from culture to culture, but we all have them even if it's only paying surface homage to the concept. We don't believe in the good luck vs. bad luck of chain letters, yet it often comes down to saying what's the harm, then sending the letter on to avoid breaking the chain.

We often follow the tradition of the superstition without really knowing why it's the traditional thing to do. If we blow out all the candles on our birthday cake with one breath while making a silent wish, then the wish will come true. When expressing a desire for good luck (we'll be able to go on the picnic if it doesn't rain), we grin, then we knock on wood as we emit an embarrassed chuckle.

In Western folklore, many superstitions are associated with bad luck. In addition to Friday the 13th there's walking under a ladder, having a black cat cross your path, spilling salt, stepping on a crack, and breaking a mirror among others.

In addition to cultural superstitions, there's also certain occupations that evoke various rituals to bring on good luck. It seems to me that gamblers and sports figures have the most superstitions and rituals to insure good luck.

Do you have any superstitions that you hold dear? Are they more of a traditional situation handed down through your family or are they superstitions that have come down through the ages?

I'd like to hear about them.

And I'm sure there won't be any unpleasantries or bizarre accidents this Friday (knock on wood).

Sunday, January 1, 2012

9 Hangover Remedies -- Do They Really Work?

New Year's Eve has just come and gone. And synonymous with New Year's Eve is the traditional celebration—the New Year's Eve PARTY.

And from the party comes the inevitable next morning hangover for many of those party-goers.

It seems that everyone has a sure fire remedy for the dreaded hangover. Let's take a look at 9 popular home remedies and what the experts say about their viability.

1) Increase Water Intake
It's generally known that alcohol dehydrates the body so it's only logical to assume that drinking lots of water will help rehydrate the body thus easing that hangover. It's not a complete cure but it will help the bloodstream and circulatory system carry nutrients and oxygen to tissue and remove waste from a night of drinking.

2) Nibbling Toast With Honey
Evidence suggests that any high-carb, high-sugar snack might provide some immediate energy, but beware…it's only a temporary boost, not a cure.

3) Guzzling Sports Drinks
The extra electrolytes found in sports drinks such as Gatorade can give them an edge over plain water to treat a hangover by leading to quicker rehydration of the body.

4) Loading Up On Vitamins And Minerals
Vitamin C and magnesium can help the body break down alcohol and eliminate it from the body, making them a viable hangover remedy. A good source is magnesium citrate power which can be taken with hot or cold water.

5) Drinking Coffee
This is a popular way of initially easing the pain of a hangover, but it's only temporary and is limited in its effects. Caffeine is dehydrating, same as alcohol. It might wake you up, but can potentially make the situation worse.

6) Have Some "Hair Of The Dog"
Waking up and having another alcoholic drink may be a sort of feel-good cure, but it's very temporary. The traditional college approach to ease the pain doesn't help. Drinking more alcohol only continues to disrupt blood chemistry and hydration.

7) Eating Greasy Food
A greasy breakfast, one high in carbohydrates and fat content, can give your body a short term boost. But, for the long term it's not a good idea.

8) Working Out
Of all the possible and popular hangover cures, the experts say this one works the best. It improves circulation and pumps up your mood-boosting hormones. The biggest problem with this is forcing yourself do it.

9) Sex
There isn't any scientific data to support engaging in sex as a hangover cure. But there's no harm in trying. :)