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Hyperion September 2, 2003
the Hyperion Chronicles
“Fighting cancer with every spare moment

#149 Potpourri, Volume XIX

Our Long National Nightmare is Over
We start today with the happiest news I’ve had to report in a long while (other than the cancellation of “The Real Roseanne Show”). Yes Friends, through adversity, wrack and peril, and with sheer determination and moxie (and a flavorless mush I like to call rootmarm) I have finally settled on a name for my website. Now my Webmaster Laureate can start putting up these columns and hopefully soon we’ll have the new place to be on the web. I’ll have full details as soon as we have things set up, but in the meantime, don’t ask me what the name is. Laureate and I are the only ones who know, and I made him Triple-Kabiple Swear not to tell, so you’re not getting anything out of us.

You can still win a C.A.R.
I said at the beginning of the summer that I was going to let a lucky Reader win a C.A.R., that is, a Column About the Reader. The way to win was to get the most new readers, and the deadline was Labor Day. Well, as of yesterday we have a tie, and after consultation with the Hyperion Institute Advisory Board, I am extending the contest until November 1. So, even if you’re way behind, you can still catch up and get an entire column written about you, or about any topic you’d like. So get cracking and bring me new Readers!

The Vicarious Olympics
For some time I have been contemplating a column—or perhaps series of columns—on how so much of Western Society lives vicariously. Getting a jump-start on that, I ran across the Global Gaming League the other day on CNN Headline news ( The idea is to create a new professional sports league that will, in their words:

“…create fans and stars by producing world-class entertainment and events where professionally dedicated players will gain recognition for their lifestyle, skill and commitment to "V-Sports™." Top professional gamers and gaming teams will have the chance to qualify for live GGL™ Championship Events with the opportunity to earn cash, prizes, endorsements and respect”
-From the Global Gaming League “About Us” page

In case that’s not too clear, they want to make people who play video games professional athletes. And somewhere Lucifer built an igloo…

A Name by any other Rose…
You’ll recall a couple of weeks ago I predicted that first names would begin to boom in creativity. Of course, that doesn’t mean that traditional names are going to die a coward’s death any time soon. I ran across a fascinating article the other day that explained how names become popular, by “The Power Rule.” Basically, parents mostly copy existing names, ones in their family or ones they like, and the article argues that names get popular mostly by dumb luck. You can check it out if you so desire here.

Before you do, though, try to guess what the top ten names for girls and boys are this year in North America. I’ll have the answers in a couple of paragraphs.

Why couldn’t I have been in the test group?
Our next item comes from the gently rolling hills of Playtex headquarters. It seems our friends at Playtex have announced they will soon start selling half sizes in bras: Almost A, Almost B, and Almost C (Almost Mosquito Bite didn’t quite make the cut). This might not seem like that big an issue to some of you, but after taking an informal poll down at 7-11, I’m here to tell you that women are going to be cheering this decision. Apparently, for years they’ve been wearing bras that don’t fit! And while I’m not ever in favor of putting more clothes on women, I am pleased their long national nightmare is almost over.

The OED becomes Wordylicious
I have disturbing news out of England. It seems that the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) has been adding nearly three thousand words a year to its pages. Among this year’s new entries (which can be read here) are “Eeyorish,” “muggle,” “bada-bing,” and “bootylicious.” If only Milton had “bootylicious” at his disposal; Paradise might never have been Lost…

The Name Game
Here now, as promised, are the most popular names for girls and boys:

0-Hyperion (Just kidding, but it’s coming)

And somewhere, Onan smiles wryly
Finally, we have an article from New Scientist magazine. (Read it here) According to Graham Giles of The Cancer Council Victoria in Melbourne, Australia, a new study has found a link between lower cancer rates and…masturbation. No really, you think I’m making this up, click the link and read the article!

The researchers asked 1079 men with prostate cancer about their sexual habits and compared the results with 1259 healthy men. They found that men who masturbated frequently were 30% less likely to develop prostate cancer later on in life. These findings contradicted previous studies that concluded increased sexual partners led to an increased risk of cancer, but the researchers theorize that’s because the previous studies only looked at the number of sexual partners, and not solitary behavior.

If these findings are replicated (and no, I don’t have an 800 number to volunteer, so don’t ask), this could lead to a revolution in the way doctors advise their patients. For one thing, that “apple a day” thing goes out the window. For another, this now gives every kid a ready-made excuse if ever his parents caught him: “Do you want me to get cancer?”

And that’s life in the Monkey Barn,

September 2, 2003

Motto Explanation
If you read the column, the motto should make perfect sense

Editing from Tootsie
Thanks to Achmed for the Science news

@2003 the Hyperion Chronicles


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