(Not) Thinking About Sex

Here’s something else that makes me proud of my alma mater — researchers at The Ohio State University have studied how often male and female college students think about sex.  Thank God that our scarce scientific resources have finally been directed at that crucial, too-often-ignored topic!

In any case, the study debunks the canard that men think about sex every seven seconds, which would mean that men think about sex 8,000 times in a 16-hour day.  Instead, the study found that the male subjects reported thinking about sex between 1 and 388 times each day, and the female subjects admitted to thinking about sex between 1 and 140 times per day.

On average, the men thought about sex 19 times a day, and the women thought about sex 10 times a day.  By way of comparison, men thought about food an average of 18 times a day and sleeping an average of 11 times a day, and women thought about food an average of 15 times a day and sleeping 8.5 times a day.

So, according to the study, men aren’t thinking about sex every waking second, and women aren’t either.  In fact, sex, food, and sleep account for only 48 of the thousands of the daily thoughts that college men presumably have.  But that just begs the question:  what in the world were these male college students thinking about the rest of the time?  Here’s my guess on some of the likely results:  (1) sports (200 thoughts per day); (2) beer (200 “thoughts” per day); (3) “This class sucks” (50 thoughts per day); (4) “Whoa, this room is trashed!” (40 times per day); (5) “When you think about it, Captain Picard was actually a better starship captain than Captain Kirk” (25 times a day).

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Bedeviled Blue Devils

I watched the much anticipated Blue Devils vs. Buckeyes basketball game last night. Who would have thought that afterwards we could say that coach K’s guys were soundly beaten? The old word “drubbed” comes to mind. No one beats Duke by 20 points. But Ohio State did.

I remember when I was in high school and college in Ohio (not at OSU) and Lucas and Havlicek (and Bobby Knight off the bench) made Ohio State the premiere basketball team in the country. Its fun to see State back on the top again and, I’m sure, a good balm for the alumni who suffered with their football team this year. (Though it surely looks like the Bucks have a future great QB in Miller which along with Coach Meyer holds great promise for the next few years if the NCAA doesn’t do something crazy. Speaking of which – where are those NCAA guys relative to Penn State and the failure of its coaches to act on truly criminal matters that make Tressel’s failure to report the sales of his players personal property for tattoos seem like little more than jaywalking?) But I digress.

Last night’s game, though, was a startlingly reminder of how much the game has changed since Lucas and this Webner were in high school and college (we went to different schools together). Of course, as Dick Vitale would say, the kids today have more “athleticism”. They are taller, stronger, jump higher and run faster. (The center on our high school team was 6’ 2”.) But it wasn’t the athleticism that was startling. The change that startled me was in the stands. The fan factor, if you will.

When we (Jerry Lucas and I) were in high school, cheerleaders made everyone be quiet when the other team was shooting foul shots. It was considered un-sportsman-like to make a noise that might break the shooter’s concentration. True. Not a peep was heard. Referees might even give a team an extra shot if the fan distraction was too great (un-sportsman like.) In college it was the same. All of the yelling and screaming was for our team and not against the opposing team. Last night, in stark contrast, the fans behind the goals screamed, yelled, were generally obnoxious AND waved pictures of Elvis, Tweety Bird, Yosemite Sam and assorted other characters to try to distract Duke at the foul line. Come on!

Now I recognize that this is just the progression of things. At some point, I’m not sure when, (the beginning of the Viet Nam war?) fans began to make noise to distract the players and then to yell and wave their arms; then to yell, wave their arms and jump up and down; then to yell, wave their arms, jump up and down and wave signs; then to yell, wave their arms, jump up and down, wave signs and wave those “noodle” things. But, at least for me, last night was a new phase when they added the waving of placards displaying cartoon characters, Elvis Presley’s picture and the like (including those – what were they – “We’re Nuts” signs?) to distract the shooter. In my view, these fan distractions only distract from the game. Does a missed foul shot at the end of a close game as a result of fan distraction prove the fan’s team is the better team?

I wonder why it is allowed to continue. For the Buckeyes, at least, it doesn’t look like they need that kind of fan assistance.

“Toilet Gaming” And The March Of Human Progress

Just when you think we’ve reached the nadir in the arc of human social development, you read a story about “toilet gaming” — and you realize there are entirely new depths waiting to be plumbed by modern homo sapiens.

You read it right:  “toilet gaming.”  Or, to be precise, urinal gaming.  Apparently modern men simply can’t abide the 50 seconds or so of down time that usually accompanies the basic human function of bladder evacuation.  It’s just so damn tedious, standing there on the sticky floor of a public restroom, staring at the wall a few inches ahead while you answer nature’s call!  So, some enterprising British business has developed devices that allow the bored urinal user to play a video game that uses urine flow as a kind of hands-free joystick.  A good aim at inner urinal sensors that hits various targets allows you to get a top score in a skiing game or to correctly answer trivia questions, and your score shows up on a video screen directly ahead.  The developers think they’ll be able to sell advertising — presumably, for beer — on part of the video screen.

Have we really reached the point where men can’t even relieve themselves without playing a video game?  Can’t public restrooms just be devoted exclusively to their intended purpose?  I don’t know about you, but I don’t want the guy using the next urinal over to be focused on directing the stream in order to score well on a video game rather than paying careful attention to successful and prompt completion of the task at hand.

The Hat Season

This is a crappy time of year for the glasses-wearing population of Columbus.  It’s been raining for days, and it’s like the scene in Forrest Gump where Forrest talks about the rain in Vietnam — sometimes big fat rain, sometimes sharp stinging rain, sometimes drizzle that seems to blow on the breeze.  Inevitably the spectacles end up coated with moisture, leaving the now-blinded, hapless glasses-wearing wretch stumbling through the mist.

Umbrellas aren’t a great answer, either.  For one thing, they’re cumbersome and a pain to use in the wind.  And if you’re lugging a satchel and notebook, you’ve got no hand free to hold an umbrella, anyway.

So, I’ve decided to wear a hat and trench coat on foul weather days.  I’ve had a Country Gentlemen Lite Felt hat for several years, but I haven’t worn it much.  This year, I’m going to change that.  I’ve worn the Country Gent the past few rainy days, and it’s perfect.  It’s warm, water repellent, and has an exceptionally wide drop down brim that keeps the raindrops off the lenses.  So what if I look like a bit player in a ’40s crime movie?  It’s worth it to be able to see on Columbus’ drizzly winter days.

Elvis Costello: His (Anti-Gouging) Aim Is True

I’ve liked Elvis Costello since he came out with the timeless My Aim Is True album when I was in college.  I like him even more after reading an article today about Elvis telling the world that his latest offering has been ridiculously overpriced by his record company.

It’s hard to argue that with conclusion.  It’s a 3 CD, concert DVD, vinyl record, coffee table book “boxed set” called Return of the Spectacular Spinning Songbook that carries an absurd $225 price tag.  Costello tried to get the record company to reduce the inflated price.  When it wouldn’t, he wrote on his website that he couldn’t recommend the boxed set to anyone because the price was either “a misprint or a satire,” and he recommended a collection from Louis Armstrong instead.

Good for Elvis Costello!  He’s showed that he’s not just in it for the cash and that he’s willing to call his record label when their price gouging gets to the point of ludicrousness.  If only more artists were willing to stand up to the money-at-all-costs views of their publishers and record companies!

Coach K Comes To Columbus

Tonight at 9:30 p.m. the Ohio State men’s basketball team will take on the Duke Blue Devils at Value City Arena.  It’s a match-up that will pit no. 2 against no. 3 and the winningest coach of all time, Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, against a strong up-and-comer in the Buckeyes’ Thad Matta.

The game is part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, the annual event that until recently hasn’t been much of a challenge for the ACC.  The ACC won the first ten Challenges, but the Big Ten eked out the last two and hopes to make it three in a row.   As always, there are many intriguing games, including Wisconsin at North Carolina, Miami at Purdue, and Indiana at N.C. State.

The most anticipated contest, in Columbus at least, is Duke at Ohio State.  Despite the constant rain over the past few days, OSU students have camped out so they can get into Value City Arena early and start raising a ruckus.  Duke has beaten several ranked teams already, won the Maui Invitational, and has five scorers averaging in double figures — guards Seth Curry, Andre Dawkins, and Austin Rivers and forwards Mason Plumlee and Ryan Kelly.  The Blue Devils have the size — and three towering Plumlees — to bang down low with Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger, and William Buford, Aaron Craft, and the OSU back court will have their hands full with the Duke guards.  Ohio State will have to play tough defense to stop the high-scoring Duke attack and will need to be aggressive in rebounding and keeping Duke from getting second shots.

Year-in and year-out, Duke is the premier program in America, and they are used as a kind of measuring rod for other programs.  This year is no different.   We’ll have a better sense of how Ohio State sizes up after tonight’s game.

Calling For Christmas Cookie Recipes — 2011 (II)

I like cookies with nuts, and also cookies made with cream cheese.  If you combine the two, so much the better!

Merry  Cheesecakes

Ingredients:  1 cup flour; 1/3 cup softened butter; 1/2 cup packed brown sugar; 1/2 cup chopped nuts; 8 ounces softened cream cheese; 1/4 cup granulated sugar; 1 egg; 1/2 teaspoon vanilla; 2 tablespoons milk; 2 tablespoons lemon juice.

Baking:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Blend flour, butter, and brown sugar with a mixer on low speed.  Stir in nuts.  Set aside 1 cup of mixture for topping.  Put remaining mixture into an 8-inch square pan.  Bake about 8-10 minutes, until lightly browned. 

Beat cream cheese with granulated sugar.  Add egg, vanilla, milk, and lemon juice.  Spread cream cheese mixture over crust.  Sprinkle with reserved nut mixture.  Bake 25-30 minutes, until golden brown.  Cool then refrigerate, then cut into bars.

Calling For Christmas Cookie Recipes — 2011