Why do I ask? Because Rasmussen Polls just released what struck me as an absurd poll result: that 59% of those polled said the best years of their lives were before the age of 40. The first 20 of those 40 years include adolescence and late adolescence. Twenty-to-thirty typically includes entry-level jobs where you’re treated as fungible and disposable. That feels really great.
Please cast your vote in the Comments section, and then we’ll compare our poll figures to Scott Rasmussen’s. I’m going to roll the dice and bet that at least 59% of PJM Lifestyle readers say that their years after 40 have been their best.
When you comment, please make clear which way you’re voting.
It’s not for nothing that one of the most popular television series in TV history was Life Begins at 40. No one said it better than the divine Miss Sophie Tucker:
Just reading the words (emphasis added by yours truly) should stuff the PJM ballot box in favor of post-40 being the best years of our lives:
LIFE BEGINS AT FORTY
(Jack Yellin / Ted Shapiro)
A Musical Monologue by Sophie Tucker
I’ve often heard it said and sung
That life is sweetest when you’re young
And kids, sixteen to twenty-one
Think they’re having all the fun
I disagree, I say it isn’t so
And I’m one gal who ought to know
I started young and I’m still going strong
But I’ve learned as I’ve gone along…….
That life begins at forty
That’s when love and living start to become a gentle art
A woman who’s been careful finds that’s when she’s in her prime
And a good man when he’s forty knows just how to take his time
Conservative or sporty, it’s not until you’re forty
That you learn the how and why and the what and when
In the twenties and the thirties you want your love in large amounts
But after you reach forty, it’s the quality that counts.
Yes, life begins at forty
And I’ve just begun to live all over again
You see the sweetest things in life grow sweeter as the years roll on
Like the music from a violin that has been well played upon
And the sweetest smoke is from a mellow, broken and old pipe
And the sweetest tasting peach is one that’s mature, round and ripe
In the twenties and the thirties you’re just an amateur
But after you reach forty, that’s when you become a connoisseur
Then it isn’t grab and get it and a straight line for the door
You’re not hasty, you’re tasty, you enjoy things so much more
For instance, a novice gulps his brandy down, he doesn’t understand
Observe a connoisseur, the way he holds it in his hand
How he strokes the glass, fondles it, warms it as he should
Smaks his lips, aahhh, slowly sips, hah, boy, it tastes good
Life begins at forty
Then it isn’t hit and run and you find much more fun
You romance a girl of twenty and it costs you all your dough
But when a forty thanks you, she hates to see you go
And girls of twenty, all they want are big men
Big men with strong physiques
I don’t say that it’s bad
But you do get tired of those damn Greeks
Life begins at forty
And I’m just living all over again
(Thumbnail on Lifestyle homepage by Shutterstock.com)
Gregg Easterbrook is the single best reason to be excited by the return of the NFL. Because of it, and during its season, he blogs at ESPN.com in a column every Tuesday, appropriately called Tuesday Morning Quarterback, or TMQ to its legions of admiring readers, of whom I am one. I don’t read it for its analyses of football games. I am opposed to football as a “sport.”
I loyally read TMQ, however, for its cultural observations of the world beyond the gridiron and for its wit. This week’s column demonstrated, once again, the vast expanse of daylight between the moribund New York Times and actual reality as perceived by the tens of millions of Americans who are not employed by the quondam serious publication:
Wacky Food of the Week: The New York Times declared a “flowering in the doughnut arts.” Hibiscus, salted caramel and passion fruit donuts are now baked in the Big Apple, as are mashed-potato donuts with chocolate-hazelnut icing. Yum! One donut baker, the newspaper opined, is “a mystic technologist” because he “makes jam from local fruit.” If making your own jam strikes the New York Times as mystical, perhaps the paper’s staff should get out more. One baker has “the power to amaze” with a donut that is “an homage to the carrot cake.”
Here’s an app for iPhones, iPads, Androids, or any mobile browser that links the seemingly disparate worlds of urology and Hollywood. It’s like something out of a Rosanne Roseannadanna rant:
I just got a letter from a Mr. Richard Feder in Fort Lee, New Jersey, and Mr. Feder writes, “Dear Roseanne Rosannadanna, I feel real uncomfortable at the movies. I always gotta take a leak but I never wanna miss a big scene.
“I pay a lotta money for my movie tickets. And the whole time I’m thinking I gotta take a leak. What should I do? I can’t have any fun at the movies. You know why? You wanna guess?”
Mr. Feder, for a guy from Fort Lee, New Jersey, you sure sound like a great movie date. But I, Roseanne Roseannadanna, know exactly how you feel. I never wanna miss a big scene and I always gotta pee.
Cut to Jane Curtin glowering at Gilda.
Now, through the genius of a high-tech inventor, there’s a free app for that. It’s called, with no beating around the bush, runpee. That’s right. Run Pee. This is the app for the bladder-challenged who love to go to the movies.
You click on the movie currently playing at a theater near you and…you learn the exact cues in the script that will signal the ideal moment to head to the back of the theater and hit the rest room. And it will give you several opportunities per film.
It came to me after watching the movie King Kong, which was 3ish hours long. My wife and I were thinking how nice it would be to have a website that listed movie times we could easily miss and run to the bathroom to empty our poor bladders, and not miss any crucial scenes.
I sat on the idea for about 2 years while working at XBox in Seattle. I am a Flash Platform developer and as my skills set grew, I started to learn to make Flash/database driven website – Spring ’08. The RunPee idea seemed like a good project to practice, on so I started building it. By August of ’08 it was up and running.RunPee.com debuted at the 360Flex conference in San Jose to much fanfare – watch the video at youTube.
Members of the Writers Guild of America West may be offended that any scene they wrote with such care– and, of course, such genius — could be deemed missable, but millions of antsy movie-goers will be glad they have this marvel.
Mr. Richard Feder of Fort Lee, New Jersey would have appreciated it, too.
(Thumbnail image via Shutterstock.com)
Many readers may be old enough to remember a time when we were young and the dollar was strong, and one of the glories of a trip to Europe was the splendid cuisine available for a song at many a roadside bistro or ristorante. Everything tasted so much better there — from the simplest fresh green salad to the most heavenly bouillabaisse.
Well, that was then.
Coming to European restaurants soon will be insects — long popular in Asian foods — and not the kind you can swat or squash. You’ll be paying for these insects because they won’t be trying to alight on your food. They’ll be your food, if the mighty culinary forces of the European Union have any say in the matter. Bye-bye Boeuf Bourguignon and bonjour, Soupe a la Moustique (mosquito soup.) According to today’s Telegraph in London:
Experts in Brussels believe insects and other creepy crawlies could be a vital source of nutrition which will not only solve food shortages but also help save the environment.
They have launched a three million euro (£2.65 million) [$4,243,184.45] project to promote the eating of insects while also asking national watchdogs like the UK’s Food Standards Agency to investigate the issue.
Proponents of entomophagy – insect eating – argue that bugs are a low-cholesterol, low-fat protein food source.
Yes, well that’s why they’re in favor of eating insects. But the rest of us? Are we all to become entomophagists? The Telegraph actually assigned a reporter to taste bugs at a London restaurant ahead of the times. You can just imagine the moment in the newsroom, when the assignment editor is looking for just the bloke for the taste test. Today, it was Adam Lusher who was at the wrong place at the wrong time. Here is a bite of his findings:
Chocolate covered scorpion: roasted for 20-30 minutes at 180-200C, cooled and dipped in dark chocolate. Served on its own rock.
My scorpion, I am assured, enjoyed a happy life – they are ethically farmed in China, with plenty of stones to hide under.
It just doesn’t seem that happy as I raise it to my mouth, tail curled as if to sting, pincers open ready to nip.
Presentation somewhat unsettling then, especially as it comes with a warning to chew thoroughly. Otherwise the sting can stick in the oesophagus, “which can hurt”.
At least the venom has been removed to comply with UK safety rules. Elsewhere, says Graham Belcher, the restaurant manager, they keep the venom and when the sting nips your throat “that’s when you die. Bon appétit.”
As I crunch in, I’m not getting much taste, just a quick lick of chocolate. But I am getting texture, a lot of texture. I am getting thin, spindly legs (eight of them, since scorpions are arachnids, not insects), hard, unidentifiable fragments of exoskeleton.
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have my next meal outside the United States at that Dominos Pizza on the moon.
No sooner had NASA mothballed the space shuttle than Domino’s Pizza’s Japanese branch announced plans to open a pizza joint on the Moon. What could be a better business plan that that?
You think I jest? Far from it. Today’s Telegraph in London reports the great news for all pizza aficionados headed for the lunar surface:
Keen to make the most of local resources, Domino’s said it will keep costs down by using mineral deposits on the moon to make the concrete, which is likely to cost around Y194 billion (£1.5 billion).
An artist’s impression of the restaurant anticipates a two-storey dome with a diameter of around 26 metres and a basement level constructed of steel plating and an area to prepare pizzas. Staff would be required to live on the premises.
“We started thinking about this project last year, although we have not yet determined when the restaurant might open,” Tomohide Matsunaga, a spokesman for Domino’s, told The Daily Telegraph. The company also expects to be able to offer delivery services.
Turns out that Domino’s has been simmering for the past decade, since arch-rival and mega-nemesis Pizza Hut supplied its delectable six-inch mini-pies to Russian cosmonauts aboard the International Space Shuttle. How could Domino’s compete? With this attention grabbing (you’re still reading this, aren’t you?) plan.
It may be just pie in the sky now, but wait till you alight from your LEM (Lunar Excursion Module) hungry as a bear. You’ll be mighty glad you read this blog so that even without a Zagat Lunar Edition, and definitely sans Guide Michelin de la Lune, you’ll know where to go. Hold the anchovies?
It’s not every day that the American Bar Association website offers the world a dish of such delicious implications as this, served on a veritable silver platter, but PJM LifeStyle readers, today is our lucky day. The eye-catching headline reads “Massage Parlor Mistrial Declared After Masseuse Recognizes Defense Lawyer as Client:”
A Chicago federal judge declared a mistrial last week in a sex-trafficking prosecution after a masseuse who worked for the defendant and testified for the prosecution recognized the defense lawyer as a client.
The revelation prompted U.S. District Court Judge Robert Gettleman to declare a mistrial in the case against a massage parlor owner accused of threatening immigrant women to extort money and force them to into sex trafficking.
As it turned out, not only was the prosecution witness a professional masseuse but, according to her client, the defense counsel, she holds a bachelor’s degree in law from her native Ukraine. The lawyer failed to recognize her name on the witness list because she had worked as a masseuse under an assumed name.
Considering how law firms have been unleashing torrents of young, unemployed lawyers in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis and the recession it deepened, I have to admire the gumption of a young law graduate from central Europe coming to this country and contributing to the American economy by dint of hard work. There was no evidence presented that Liudmyla Ksenych performed anything but massages for the defense attorney or for anyone else.
I wish her well in her future legal studies and I hope the defense attorney has the intestinal fortitude to withstand the national teasing that his proclivity for massages has brought about. Being a defense attorney, especially in Chicago, is stressful enough. I think he deserves some empathy. But then, I’m not his wife.
(Photo of Ksenych from her Casting 360 page.)
There are many who consider themselves night owls. They believe they peak at 3 A.M. But a new study, discussed by John Tierney in today’s New York Times Magazine (I know: the paper is the pits, but even a stopped clock is right twice a day) tells of a fascinating Stanford-Ben Gurion University study on the effects of “decision fatigue.” Despite your feelings about the Times, this one piece is worth reading. Excerpt:
…There was nothing malicious or even unusual about the judges’ behavior, which was reported earlier this year by Jonathan Levav of Stanford and Shai Danziger of Ben-Gurion University. The judges’ erratic judgment was due to the occupational hazard of being, as George W. Bush once put it, “the decider.” The mental work of ruling on case after case, whatever the individual merits, wore them down. This sort of decision fatigue can make quarterbacks prone to dubious choices late in the game and C.F.O.’s prone to disastrous dalliances late in the evening. It routinely warps the judgment of everyone, executive and nonexecutive, rich and poor — in fact, it can take a special toll on the poor. Yet few people are even aware of it, and researchers are only beginning to understand why it happens and how to counteract it.
…The more choices you make throughout the day, the harder each one becomes for your brain, and eventually it looks for shortcuts, usually in either of two very different ways. One shortcut is to become reckless: to act impulsively instead of expending the energy to first think through the consequences. (Sure, tweet that photo! What could go wrong?) The other shortcut is the ultimate energy saver: do nothing. Instead of agonizing over decisions, avoid any choice. Ducking a decision often creates bigger problems in the long run, but for the moment, it eases the mental strain. You start to resist any change, any potentially risky move — like releasing a prisoner who might commit a crime. So the fatigued judge on a parole board takes the easy way out, and the prisoner keeps doing time.
“The best decision makers,” social psychologist Roy F. Baumeister says at the conclusion of Tierney’s article, “are the ones who know when not to trust themselves.” Is “decision fatigue” something that affects you? What do you do to overcome it, or at least help to reduce the odds of making bad decisions?
The fascination with Vogue engendered by the book and movie, The Devil Wears Prada begat the fascinating 2009 documentary, The September Issue, in which Vogue‘s imperious, inscrutable and impossible editrix, Anna Wintour, was completely upstaged by Grace Coddington, the flame-haired, Welsh-born creative director of the Conde-Nast fashion mag pictured above. Now word comes from The New York Observer that Coddington has landed a reportedly $1.2 million book deal with Random House to tell the tale of her 70 years here on Earth. And what a seven decades they’ve been. After a convent schooling in post-war Wales, she became a gorgeous model in 1960s London until a devastating car accident disfigured her face (later repaired through surgery, but ending her modeling career.) After two decades as Photograph Editor of British Vogue, she moved to New York to work with Calvin Klein, and then came on board at Vogue.
She stole the show from Wintour in the 2009 documentary about the editorial process by which the annual September issue of the magazine (the year’s biggest) is conceived, orchestrated, and created, about which, Kyle Smith of the New York Post wrote:
This peek inside the star chamber is juicy viewing on a number of levels. It’s a psychological portrait of Anna, powerful female executive, mother, daughter, perfectionist. It’s a front-row seat at how the albeit-impeccably-turned-out-but-sausage-nonetheless gets made at Vogue.
And perhaps most interestingly, it’s a snapshot of Paris before the Revolution, before the bottom fell out of the Park Avenue parquet, the world Wintour courted and documented so finely in the pages of her magazine.
Cut to the $2 million-a-year editor sipping her Starbucks in the back of a chaffeur-driven limousine that is her daily commute as the examples of a soon-to-be bygone era unfold.
As the pressure of producing a blockbuster issue mounts, Wintour jettisons $50,000 worth of photos from a shoot. One minute a designer dress is on a rack in the halls of Vogue, the next it is on her back. Heraldic assistants sounding the alarm of her arrival contrast nicely with viewers’ knowledge that, in real life, Condé Nast receptionists were all recently laid off.
Even if you don’t give a fig for fashion, it’s rare that you get to see Nero tuning up his fiddle as Rome is about to spontaneously combust.
While Wintour was almost a parody of Meryl Streep’s parody of Wintour in Prada, Coddington came across as a warm, genuinely creative, witty and loveble soul, whose passionate dedication to the glorious photographs in the issue and to her colleagues on the magazine’s staff stood in stark contrast to Wintour’s Antarctic silence and froideur.
For color-o-philes, the tedium of white iPod earbuds and cords has gotten wearisome. To the rescue come UrbanEars to add a gorgeous pop of cherry pink, vibrant orange, Kelly green, sunny yellow, navy blue, and on through a rainbow of vivid hues. They come in narrow-width head-bands as well as the heftier, more-visible-from-a-distance ones shown here. Prices range from $30 to $70. In terms of sound quality, the website says this:
We designed Plattan to be the perfect classic headphone, utilizing innovative functions and performance with today’s technology. It is a full size headphone allowing for rich, secluded sound. You can fold it down to the size of your fist for maximum mobility. Plattan also comes with a “zound plug” on the earcap, allowing for a friend to plug in and enjoy your music.
There’s another company that makes a smaller, but colorful, earbud and wire, shown here:
…signature ear-muff/sound devices from his winning 2005 collection, but I have my suspicions. Strong suspicions. See for yourself, especially the red extravaganza, complete with scarlet, va-va-va-voom earphones:
In the first years of the seventeenth century, William Shakespeare wrote his magisterially stormy tragedy of Scottish King Macbeth. It includes this timeless exchange:
MACDUFF: What three things does drink especially provoke?
PORTER: Marry, sir, nose-painting, sleep and urine. Lechery, sir, it provokes and unprovokes: it provokes the desire but it takes away the performance.
According to a report in Britain’s The Independent:
Turns out overeating, being sedentary, smoking, and drinking booze can dampen your sex drive and improve your odds of not having any sex.
A study announced July 6 found that vices contributed to sexual dysfunction in men, and unhealthy lifestyles are more common among both men and women who aren’t sexually active.
Danish researchers surveyed more than 5,500 adult men and women, and found that unhealthy habits increase the chance of not having sex by up to 78 percent in men and 91 percent in women.
Among the men in the survey who had sexual partners, those with a large waistline had a 71 percent increase in the risk of sexual dysfunction. Hard drug users had an 800 percent increase in risk. For women, those who smoked hashish had three times the risk of losing the ability to climax during sex.
So, to summarize, if you want to avoid sexual relations, or to engage in them dysfunctionally, the way to go is to get fat, do hard drugs and smoke hashish. Don’t say William Shakespeare and The Journal of Sexual Medicine didn’t warn you.
“No, not really,” is not only my answer but also that of Hoover Institute Visiting Fellow and American University Law Professor Kenneth Anderson. Writing on The Volokh Conspiracy under the headline, “The Personal Is Not the Political Is Not The Professional,” Professor Anderson tells of his discomfort with Facebook: “I don’t really want to inflict my political views or professional concerns on all my nieces and nephews, and I don’t really want to inflict even the most adorable pictures of my grandniece on all my professor friends… Facebook is frustrating if you don’t believe in commingling all parts of your personal and professional life.” He then learned of an online challenger to FB: Google+:
“I read this account of it yesterday, and — true, great minds think alike, but the Big G is in a position to do something about it:
Instead of treating all of your friends as equals, Google lets you put them into different groups, called circles, such as ‘friends’, ‘acquaintances’, ‘family’, ‘sports fans’, and so on. These circles represent a powerful innovation. They allow us to send more personal updates just to our closest friends instead of forcing us to share with all of our hundreds of acquaintances. This simple task is not easy to do within Facebook.”
Unfortunately, the Big G is just as intrusive in Google+ as it is in Google Street View, so before Professor Anderson jumps from the frying pan of FB to the fire of G+, he might want to check out the Motley Fool’s tech analyst, Kurt Bakke, here, writing on Sunday:
Google+: And You Thought Facebook Is a Privacy Nightmare: Google Could Be Setting Itself Up For Massive Lawsuits
“What particularly surprised us here at ConceivablyTech is the virtually nonexistent privacy on Google+. If you have complained about a lack of privacy on Facebook before, you surely won’t like Google+, and if you freely voice your opinion that could get you in legal trouble, you may want to think twice about using Google+. The company’s general terms of service also apply to this new service, which would include these paragraphs:
‘By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services.
‘You agree that this license includes a right for Google to make such Content available to other companies, organizations or individuals with whom Google has relationships for the provision of syndicated services, and to use such Content in connection with the provision of those services.
‘You understand that Google, in performing the required technical steps to provide the Services to our users, may (a) transmit or distribute your Content over various public networks and in various media; and (b) make such changes to your Content as are necessary to conform and adapt that Content to the technical requirements of connecting networks, devices, services or media. You agree that this license shall permit Google to take these actions.”
Well, so much for Google+.
In a recent issue of The Weekly Standard, Joe Queenan notes a peculiar and, in his view, a troubling new trend in magazine journalism, or what’s left of it: the advent of bizarre numbers in headlines and in the articles they introduce. In the past, he writes, headlines such as “10 Stay-Cations That Won’t Bust Your Family Budget!” and “7 Ways to Drive A Woman Wild!” were staples. But lately, he writes, “I have noticed that magazines are suffering from an odd strain of numerological serendipity, with preposterously large and increasingly weird numbers turning up on the covers. ’131 Great Recipes’ is the come-on plastered across the cover of Food Network. ’57 Best Beers’ is what Maxim pushed in February. ’25 Fun Ways to Go Nude (Without Freezing Your Butt Off)‘ teases Cosmopolitan:”
Wait a minute! Don’t I do that every morning when I take a nice hot shower? For this I need Cosmo?
These are not isolated examples. ’141 Super-Fun Recipes and Simple Ideas’ is the headline beckoning from the cover of Cuisine Tonight: Quick and Easy Menus….Slightly upping the ante, ReadyMade offers “35 Projects to Make Every Day An Adventure.” Getting completely out of control is Glamour, whose cover pitches “700 Instant Outfits and Ideas.
These numbers worry me. They suggest that editors have forgotten the virtues of simplicity, that they have succumbed to some madcap Obama-era penchant for huge, unwieldy figures. Why, on earth, would anyone want to learn “65 Ways to Relieve Stress”? Wouldn’t it be less stressful to simply cancel your subscription to such an indecisive, undiscriminating magazine? Moreover, the numbers are meaningless: Numbers like 65 and 35 and 700 are too big and clumsy to be of much help to readers, and the number 14—as in “14 Cards, Treats and Surprises” (Disney’s FamilyFun)—is just plain stupid. Sixty-five and 35 and 14 and 700 are not cardinal numbers. They are not ordinal numbers. They are not sexy numbers. Like 173 and 4,123,076, they lack the archetypal, evocative power of 1, 3, 5, 7, and 10. They also lack the cultural resonance associated with 666 or 1776. There are not 35 Deadly Sins. There are not 65 Commandments. It’s The Magnificent Seven, not The Magnificent 57. The magnificent 57 is the 57 flavors of Heinz.
He concludes, “In reading these articles, I get the sense that the numbers are pulled out of thin air by editors who just don’t care. Why would you propose 141 Super-Fun Recipes and Simple Ideas, and not 142? What—did you run out of recipes?”
Style alert! If you want to fit right in to the latest Silicon Valley, South Bay and Bay Area high-tech and venture capital firms, be sure to don a hoodie. According to The Wall Street Journal, it needn’t be cotton or sweat-shirty: in Menlo Park, near Palo Alto, they’re cashmere. But they’re still hoodies.
“The hoodie’s centrality to tech culture was solidified by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who has made it his uniform. ‘I never take off the hoodie,’ Mr. Zuckerberg told participants at the D8: All Things Digital conference last year, while sweating in the spotlight.
“Cashmere hoodies are all the rage on Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park, Calif., home to many big-name venture-capital firms, according to venture capitalist Marc Andreessen, who recently brought on former U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers as a special adviser. Mr. Andreessen says ‘the challenge for now is to get Larry to wear a hoodie.’ ”
That’s quite a challenge. Good luck with that, Marc.
For those who don’t work for such companies, where free, corporate logo’ed hoodies are a perk of employment, Maine’s venerable L.L. Bean offers 30 in all (they say there are 31, but there’s a men’s sweater in the group with no discernable hood.) The one I would least recommend is this (below), aimed at the girls’ market.
Hey, give the girls a break. They want to look cool, too. OTOH, like so many, maybe this just needs the right girl:
Better still, check out the PajamasMedia Store and treat yourself to something truly awesome, not to mention awe-inspiring. Picture yourself or someone you love (of course, it might be the same person if you’re the President) wearing this incomparable hoodie, the hoodie of all hoodies. Don’t leave home without it: