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September 12

Politics and bedfellows

Filed under: News — posted by Breakup Girl @ 5:49 am

According to a new poll, 77 percent of people avoid discussing politics. Which is funny, ’cause around me these days, at least 77 percent of people can’t stop. But anyway: this survey, conducted by VitalSmarts and the authors of Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High, suggests that they dodge the topic not because they don’t care, but because conversations about politics with friends and family can be nasty, brutish, and not short enough. Nearly half of respondents, according to a press release, “have had bad experiences in the past when sharing their political views — and rather than risk a verbal battle, they hunker down and shut up.” And: “As soon as the discussion escalates or becomes the least bit controversial, only 28 percent feel they can control their own temper and only 23 percent believe they can handle if it the other person gets upset.”

Yeah, I know. This is not good for the political conversation, small or large. “This is a tragedy for democracy,” said Joseph Grenny, co-author of Crucial Conversations. “Our founding fathers believed spirited public discourse was the crucible of democratic decision-making. And here we have evidence that dialogue has all but ceased. The result is a public whose opinions are rarely tested and challenged.” (His latter point is taken, especially since we so often hang out with our own choirs, but “dialogue” has hardly “ceased.” Um: political blogs?)

But stay with me; I’m getting to my — apolitical — question. “People no longer feel safe discussing politics,” says Grenny. “These discussions quickly turn from casual conversation into personal attacks on people’s values and interests.” Especially now, apparently, with 66 percent of people, according to this study, “believing the current political race is more controversial than in past elections.” [Supercomputer? Are we sure that’s not 166 percent? — BG]

Okay. So never mind friends and family — what about more-than friends? Promising dates? On the one hand, it does always seem advisable to avoid potentially controversial topics (politics, man skirts) during early courtship. On the other, especially these days, it really does seem unavoidable, especially if your first date is at MooseBurger King. I mean hey, it comes up.

So BG wants to know: How are you handling that little conversational dance these days? Especially that — perhaps now more than ever? — your date’s red or blue status may be a deal-breaker for you? (Of course, depending on how or where you met, like at the Ron Paul dance marathon, you’ll already know.) How do you balance the demands of getting-to-know-you with your own personal need-to-know (if any)? (And of course, even planning to vote the same way doesn’t mean you feel the same way about what’s going on.) In other words, no matter what, plenty of room for other sparks to fly. So what, in terms of political conversation, is your dating campaign strategy these days?

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September 11

Nathan Fillion watch

Filed under: Celebrities,Treats,TV — posted by Breakup Girl @ 8:38 am

“TV shows about writers are notoriously hard to get off the ground, but ABC’s Castle [2009] sounds like a brilliant disaster of train-wrecky goodness,” notes our top-secret tipster (okay, our very own Colin) of the new network showcase for BG’s beloved Nathan “Captain Hammer” Fillion.

“It is, in fact, so bold in its multi-genre mutant hybrid cloning experiment that it has to be great. At least for the four episodes they will be allowed to air.”

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September 10

My cause, or yours?

Filed under: Advice — posted by Jackie @ 2:06 pm

Listen up, single New Yorkers.  Think it’s impossible to find a good worm in the biggest of apples?  Meet Sandra Schwartz-Pingrey, Founder and President of Cause & Affection Dating (formerly Cause and Effect), a matchmaking service that — like others before, but with a more individualized touch — brings together this perfect couple: dating and volunteering.

As Time Out New York reports, “a 2007 study conducted by the Corporation for National & Community Service revealed that New York’s volunteering rates ranked in the bottom three of 50 U.S. cities.”  Oof! Cause & Affection is doing its part to help improve this ranking by offering clients (screened via face-to-face interviews!  no online profiles!) a date structured around a charitable cause, such as taking shelter pooches out — together — for those proverbial “long walks.”

Soup kitchens can’t guarantee soul mates, of course, but hey: as Cause & Affection says, “Even if it goes bad…you did good.”

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Love me, love my candidate

Filed under: Celebrities,News — posted by Rose @ 8:45 am

I remember family reunions and Thanksgiving dinner tables that occasionally turned into the freaking Nuremberg trials when family members debated politics.

And weren’t we supposed to absorb those sorts of lessons and avoid repeating those mistakes in our own adult relationships?

Wait, or are we supposed to transcend the pettiness of politics in our quest for true love?

I’m so confused. But I now know this: I’m relieved, all partisanship aside, that I will not be present at The McCain Family Christmas.

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September 9

Arachno — oh wait, it’s art.

Filed under: Superheroes,Treats — posted by Breakup Girl @ 2:44 pm

French art!

(Unlike Dumpzilla, who really did scale buildings and wreak buzzkilling havoc.)

P.S. Is it me, or is this SO the first act of the Doctor Who Christmas special?

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Kickin’ it, super-hero style

Filed under: Superheroes,Treats — posted by Maria @ 9:51 am

Going out to fight crime and/or breakups the world over and just don’t know which shoes will match your tights and cape?

Well LimitedSoles feels your pain. And so, for the superhero in all of us, they’ve introduced DC Comics-licensed, limited edition sneaks. (Well, not for the superhero in ALL of us. Ladies, if you’re looking for the female heroes of your childhood — how hard would it be to put out a nice pair of Wonder Woman kicks? — well, so far, they’re about as invisible as her trusty jet.)

LimitedSoles will offer only three varieties of the shoes: Batman, Joker, and Superman, and in limited quantities, too —  1,939 pairs of the Batman shoes (after Batman’s first appearance in 1939), 1,940 pairs of the Joker model, and 1,938 pairs of Superman — so you may have to leap tall buildings to score a pair in the first place.

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September 8

Now at MSN.com: Single mom in bedroom community ISO “bedroom community”

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 10:14 am

Young singles searching for love in Boston, say, have it hard enough. Now — societal age preferences and demographic clusters being what they are — try being a 50-year-old single mom in a Granite State “bedroom community,” where much of the nightlife likely consists of driving two hours from Boston and going to … bed. With that, we bring you this week’s installment — now on Mondays!* — of Ask Lynn, the advice column penned by BG’s alter ego at MSN.com (powered by Match.com). This week we meet “Searching in New Hampshire,” who, well, there you go.

She’s got two grown kids plus a 9-year-old — and room in her heart for a fella. Her hope both wanes — “I’m starting to feel that I need to move…as everyone around here is either married or in a relationship with women my age who don’t have younger kids” — and waxes: “I still feel that there must be men out there who like kids or have never had children and would like to experience them without the baby/toddler phase or miss having children around the house now.”

Yes, there must. And they are not made of wood. Or granite.

What suggestions — and reassurance — does Lynn have for Searching? Read the whole exchange, and then come back here to add your own!

* Our latest season of all-new adventures wrapped up a few Mondays ago >sniff< ! Stay tuned for more!

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September 5

Get out of my dreams and into my Prius

Filed under: News,Treats — posted by Breakup Girl @ 9:48 am

In an advertorial for Maserati, the Telegraph reports the results of a new study in which 100 percent of female participants had a significant increase in testosterone secretion (i.e. arousal) after listening to that particular sports car’s revving engine. (60 percent of men had the same response to a Lamborghini.)

“The roar of a luxury car engine does cause a primeval physiological response,” said researcher psychologist David Moxon, whose work was actually commissioned by a British auto insurer (i.e. insuring that people continue, despite economic downturn and concern about other kids of emissions, to buy luxury cars). He added the sound of an average car engine actually led to a decreased level of testosterone. Which, of course, is concern #1 when shopping for an automobile.

Here’s what Switched.com had to say: “So, women, say all you like about how much you appreciate a man who drives an efficient car to save the environment, we now know what you really want.” Mmmhmm. We’re the ones who want to drive the sporty roadster, once in a while, just for fun. And then go home with the guy on the waffle bike.

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September 4

What’s your damage, Heather?

Filed under: News,Psychology — posted by Abby @ 8:24 pm

So now that youngsters (myself included) are heading back to school, let’s discuss the persistent annoyance of POPULARRRITTTTY. My bespectacled, retainer-clad self has always secretly loathed these social rankings. I always give off that what-EVER vibe, but secretly, I rely on the mantra of the social-success-challenged: “You’ll be sorry when I’m older, when I’ll be far greater than this.” Mom’s version: “They won’t grow up to be nearly as great as you!”

Could either of us be actually — scientifically — correct? A recent article in the New York Times explored various sociological studies of popularity, suggesting, for one thing, that those with aggressive, dominating attitudes within the hallowed high school halls (you know, those that lettered in every sport, ever, including picking on you) carried those traits into the “real world” … where they didn’t go over well. (Picture Emily Blunt’s character in The Devil Wears Prada, who was probably a popularity nightmare in high school.)

(more…)

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September 3

Now can you build it for two?

Filed under: Treats — posted by Breakup Girl @ 1:41 pm

Greener alternative to the Cream Puff Drive-ThruThe Waffle Bike!

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