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  The Super List
December 1, 2000

HER WAY: YOUNG WOMEN REMAKE THE SEXUAL REVOLUTION. Intellectual, political, and compassionate, Paula Kamen's new book shows that the freedom to live and love by our own standards -- with men on our good side -- is the way toward the social change that, truly, begins in our social lives. Oh wait, that's what I said in my blurb on the back. Well, I meant it.

GRAY MATTER. A new study suggests that men employ only half their brains to listen, while women use both sides. Could mean men are lame listeners; could mean women need more brain for the same task. Either way, it would take me only half a brain to write a joke here, so I'll just leave it at that.

BOVINE RIGHTS. Taking a break from Saul Bellow, Henry James, and, uh, J.K. Rowling, the latest Lit Hit on the Team BG reading list is the hilarious barnyard freedom song, "Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type." In Doreen Cronin's adorable fable -- featuring Betsy Lewin's inspired watercolors -- the Cows on Farmer Brown's farm have come across an old typewriter... and suddenly nothing will ever be the same. For anyone who believes that the written word is a powerful thing, there is no better children's book out there. [-Colin]

E-MAILS OF A GEISHA. The makers of Tamagotchi are back with another creepy hit: Love By Mail, which offers Japanese men (30,000 subscribers at press time) the opportunity to correspond via e-mail with a girl who, if they play their cards right, will respond more and more intimately. But can they follow BG's advice to MEETmeet sooner rather than later? Not unless they'd like to have cocktails with a computer script. These gals are all pre-programmed, sort of like Furbys without the fur; the idea is to use them for practice. Does it make perfect? "I dated Yumi for a while, and I have to confess I became very attached to her,"Wataru Uchida of Tokyo says in Wired magazine. "It was hard sometimes to remember that Yumi wasn't real. She would yell at me and ignore me the exact same way as all my other girlfriends have." A more satisfied customer: "You have the happiness of a secret woman, a hidden relationship, with none of the fear that your wife will find out and be angry. My grandfather had the geisha, my father had the bar hostesses, and I have Love By Mail." (And your son will have a whacked view of relationships.)

"MOST LIKELY TO BE KNOCKED UNCONSCIOUS." New York City's new campaign against teen relationship abuse turns yearbook photos into superlatively chilling reminders that "You don't have to be married to be a victim of domestic violence."

LOL=RX. A new study reveals even more about "the best medicine" -- that laughter helps produce infection-fighting cells, suppresses cortisol (a hormone that weakens the immune system), relaxes muscles, increases circulatory capacity, strengthens organs, and works as a natural painkiller. And, see, when BG tells you to "turn that frown upside down," you'll hate her so much you'll forget how mad you are at your ex.

UNBREAKABLE: HEART. Multiple Team BG members were sent into a forehead-smacking tizzy by Mike Shyamalan's follow up to "The Sixth Sense." (Don't be fooled by the exotic "M. Knight" business, by the way; dude's name is Mike.) Do yourself a favor, especially if you didn't with "Sense": don't read the reviews, don't let anyone tell you all about it, just go. The less you know the better. It may not be the blockbuster that the previous film was, but for fans of thoughtful filmmaking, intelligent pop culture, and certain sections of, it'll be a sweet thrill. And, if you want to know why the movie ends like that, we have a very interesting theory.... [-Colin]

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