Cambridge, MA. (Our Fair City)- A new study released this week by the Massachusetts Institute of Serendipitous Science and Education (MISSED) identifies vegans as a major contributing cause of global warming… I mean, “climate change” (wink… wink…).
According to the study’s author, Dr. Norma Leigh Bogus, “It’s methane… pure and simple… all these people do is eat is beans, lentils, legumes and other indigestible material… the digestive system has to do something with all this indigestible stuff… it gets converted to methane… so vegans fart… fart a lot!”
According to the study, vegans on average release between 70 and 120 kg of methane per year into the environment. Methane is a greenhouse gas like carbon dioxide (CO2) and a major contributor to global warming… I mean, climate change… wink, wink!
The study points out that the negative effect of methane on the climate is twenty-three times higher than the effect of CO2. Therefore the release of about a hundred kilograms of methane per year for each vegan is equivalent to about 2,300 kilograms of CO2.
Sasha Payne-Diaz, a contributor to the study, puts this value of 2,300 kilograms of CO2 in context. “The same amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) would be generated by burning a thousand liters of petrol… I mean, gasoline for you Yanks. If a car were to use eight liters of petrol per a hundred kilometers, it could be driven 7,800 miles per year on vegan farts.”
“Not only are these people a threat to the environment,” Payne-Diaz continues, “But they’re fire hazards. Methane is a highly flammable gas! My boyfriend tried to light up a nice fat dugan in the loo… I mean, the can… of a vegan restaurant and the gas damn hear blew the doors off the place… at least, that’s how he remembers it.”
Alma Keddon, a spokesperson for the reputedly radical PETL, People for the Ethical Treatment of Legumes, states. “World-wide, there are about three hundred million people who claim to be vegans. So, there are probably at least a couple hundred thousand of them out there eating beans and farting. But, that’s a hundred thousand too many for the environment. In addition, clearing of rain forests to create more and more farm land for growing soy and other vegetables is responsible for an extra 2.8 billion metric tons of CO2 emission per year!”
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, vegans account for a whopping eighteen percent of the total release of greenhouse gases into the environment world-wide. This is more than pork ‘n beans, chili con carne and hard-boiled egg consumption combined.
“Farting is a major factor for greenhouse gas emissions,” according to Anne Droid, EPA Assistant Deputy Director of the Vegan Information and Policy Branch. “Vegans are one of the most significant contributors to today’s most serious environmental threat. Urgent action is required to remedy the situation.”
The report states that fields needed to satisfy the voracious consumption demands of vegans now use thirty percent of the earth’s entire land surface, including thirty-three percent of global arable land. As forests are cleared to create bean fields, it is a major driver of deforestation, especially in Latin America where, for example, some seventy percent of former rain forests in the Amazon have been turned over to lentils and beans.
A Japanese study showed that consuming a kilogram of legumes leads to the emission of greenhouse gases with a global warming… I mean, climate change… (wink, wink)… potential equivalent to 36.4 kilograms of carbon dioxide (CO2). It also releases fertilizing compounds equivalent to three hundred forty grams of sulphur dioxide and fifty-nine grams of phosphate, and consumes 169 megajoules of energy In other words, a vegan wolfing done a kilogram of legumes is responsible for the equivalent amount of CO2 emitted by the average car every two hundred fifty kilometers and burns enough energy to light a hundred-watt bulb for nearly twenty hours.
The conclusion reached by the study is to eat more meat and dairy products. Not only will this reduce the negative effects of cow farting on the environment, but it is also the most effective way to reduce the vegan carbon footprint (VCF) and the negative impact on these bean-munching fanatics on the environment.
Brush Limpbat, syndicated columnist and talk-show host, states, “Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on earth as much as a steak and potatoes diet… with a good cigar and a bottle of cheap, domestic chianti.”
How does fiction bring history to life?
Below are three passages. The first is Julius Caesar’s description of Divico, an Helvetian chief, defying Caesar and the Roman people, from Book 1, Chapters 13 & 14 of de bello Gallico. The second is my reading of that passage in my forthcoming book, A Soldier’s Caesar. Finally, is my retelling of the scene in The Helvetian Affair.
The scene as “Caesar” wrote it,
 Hoc proelio facto, reliquas copias Helvetiorum ut consequi posset, pontem in Arari faciendum curat atque ita exercitum traducit. Helvetii repentino eius adventu commoti cum id quod ipsi diebus XX aegerrime confecerant, ut flumen transirent, illum uno die fecisse intellegerent, legatos ad eum mittunt; cuius legationis Divico princeps fuit, qui bello Cassiano dux Helvetiorum fuerat. Is ita cum Caesare egit: si pacem populus Romanus cum Helvetiis faceret, in eam partem ituros atque ibi futuros Helvetios ubi eos Caesar constituisset atque esse voluisset; sin bello persequi perseveraret, reminisceretur et veteris incommodi populi Romani et pristinae virtutis Helvetiorum. Quod improviso unum pagum adortus esset, cum ii qui flumen transissent suis auxilium ferre non possent, ne ob eam rem aut suae magnopere virtuti tribueret aut ipsos despiceret. Se ita a patribus maioribusque suis didicisse, ut magis virtute contenderent quam dolo aut insidiis niterentur. Quare ne committeret ut is locus ubi constitissent ex calamitate populi Romani et internecione exercitus nomen caperet aut memoriam proderet.
 His Caesar ita respondit: eo sibi minus dubitationis dari, quod eas res quas legati Helvetii commemorassent memoria teneret, atque eo gravius ferre quo minus merito populi Romani accidissent; qui si alicuius iniuriae sibi conscius fuisset, non fuisse difficile cavere; sed eo deceptum, quod neque commissum a se intellegeret quare timeret neque sine causa timendum putaret. Quod si veteris contumeliae oblivisci vellet, num etiam recentium iniuriarum, quod eo invito iter per provinciam per vim temptassent, quod Haeduos, quod Ambarros, quod Allobrogas vexassent, memoriam deponere posse? Quod sua victoria tam insolenter gloriarentur quodque tam diu se impune iniurias tulisse admirarentur, eodem pertinere. Consuesse enim deos immortales, quo gravius homines ex commutatione rerum doleant, quos pro scelere eorum ulcisci velint, his secundiores interdum res et diuturniorem impunitatem concedere. Cum ea ita sint, tamen, si obsides ab iis sibi dentur, uti ea quae polliceantur facturos intellegat, et si Haeduis de iniuriis quas ipsis sociisque eorum intulerint, item si Allobrogibus satis faciunt, sese cum iis pacem esse facturum. Divico respondit: ita Helvetios a maioribus suis institutos esse uti obsides accipere, non dare, consuerint; eius rei populum Romanum esse testem. Hoc responso dato discessit. (C. IVLI CAESARIS COMMENTARIORVM DE BELLO GALLICO LIBER PRIMVS. <<http://www.thelatinlibrary.com/caesar/gall1.shtml#13>>.)
The scene as ray gleason “read” it.
13. After the battle is over, Caesar throws a bridge across the Saone and leads his army across the river so that he can close with the remaining forces of the Helvetians. The Helvetians realize that Caesar crossed the river in one day when with great difficulty it took them twenty. They are stunned by his sudden arrival and send emissaries to him. At the head of this delegation is Divico, who had been the commander of the Helvetians in the war against Cassius. He says to Caesar that if Rome would make peace with the Helvetians, they would go wherever Caesar might require them and they would stay there. However, if Caesar should persist in attacking them, he ought to remember the ancient disgrace of the Roman nation and the long-established strength of the Helvetians. As far as his having destroyed one division of the tribe by surprise, when the rest of the tribe had already crossed the river and could not support their comrades, he should not attribute his success to his own courage or underestimate the Helvetians, who had learned from their fathers and ancestors to rely more on valor than on deceit and ambush. So, Caesar should be careful not to give the place where they were standing the reputation as a disaster for the Roman people or cause him to be remembered for the destruction of its army.
14. Caesar answers that he certainly understood what Divico was talking about because he well remembers those events to which the Helvetian envoys had alluded. For him, it is most offensive to be reminded of this because the Roman nation did not deserve what was done to them. Had Rome been aware of any animosity toward itself, it would not have been difficult to avoid disaster. But, Rome had been deceived! Rome had not been aware of anything that it had done which would cause it to be distrusted by the Helvetians. Rome should not have felt the need to be wary of the Helvetians without having given cause. But, even if Caesar were willing to forget past grievances, should he also be willing to put aside recent grievances—the Helvetians testing him by forcing their way across the province against his will and their attacking the Aedui, the Ambarri, and the Allobroges? Caesar sees no difference between Helvetians’ incessant and insolent boasting of their victory and their bluster that they have been able to get away with these atrocities so long without punishment. At times the immortal gods are accustomed to grant favor and long-lasting impunity to those whose crimes they wish to punish, so that they suffer more grievously from their change of fate. Although these things may be so, if the Helvetians give him hostages to assure him that they will do as they promised, and if they make restitution to the Aedui and the Allobroges for the outrages that they have inflicted on them and on their allies, he will make peace with them. Divico answers that from the time of their ancestors, the Helvetians are accustomed to take, not give, hostages. Of this, the Roman nation serves as a witness. Having answered thus, Divico departs (Ray Gleason, A Soldier’s Caesar. pp 16-8).
 One must wonder whether this is another example of Caesar’s quasi-historic theater or whether the Helvetians could be so arrogant and absolutely insensible to how Caesar, and the Roman nation, would react to such a provocation. In Caesar’s defense, it was common practice to dramatize history by having characters make stirring or provoking speeches that were never actually made. Certainly, Caesar is presenting Divico as the arch-villain of those savage and dangerous, Helvetians in his drama. But, the reader, having just been told by Caesar that his victory over the Tigurini may in fact have been the result of a divine plan to avenge the massacre of Cassius’ army and the injury to Caesar’s own family, must wonder at the Helvetians’ choice as a spokesman to negotiate a treaty, the very leader who massacred the Roman army and killed a Roman consul, and then his reminding Caesar of the fact. This would be nothing short of an irresistible provocation of the Roman people. And, perhaps that’s exactly how Caesar wanted it to play.
The scene as Ray Gleason envisions it in The Helvetian Affair.
Labienus nodded, then said, “We detected a small band of them heading back in our direction. We think it’s some sort of delegation.”
Caesar looked at me questioningly.
“If they want to talk, they’ll be carrying the truce wands like the others,” I told him.
Caesar looked over to Labienus, who just shrugged. “We didn’t get that close, Imperator,” he said.
Caesar just grunted in response. “I can’t see any other option, Titus,” he said to Labienus. “Perhaps we can finish this thing here and now the way we convinced the Tigurini to return to the Rhenus. When they arrive, lead them to a spot where they can see what we are doing here… there’s a small hillock between the castra of the 10th and the 7th legions… that would be perfect… I will meet their delegation there… perhaps the sight of Roman might and competence will convince them to return to their homeland.”
The Helvetii delegation arrived at the ninth hour. This time, Caesar remained mounted waiting for them on the hillock overlooking his legions on the west side of the river, the bridges over the Arar and, beyond the river, the remnants of the defeated Tigurini. The message was clear, “In one day we defeated one of your tribes and accomplished a river crossing that took you almost three weeks.”
The leader of the Helvetian delegation was a giant of a man on a black stallion. His long, flowing grey-hair hung freely from his bare head; his long gray, chin-length mustachios seemed to bristle pride and defiance. As he waved his wand of negotiation negligently in our direction, the sun glinted off the golden armbands that circled his bulging biceps.
He rode directly at Caesar. At two paces away, he pulled his horse’s head abruptly to the right, so the animal reared a bit and exposed the warrior’s long Gallic sword in a gold-wired scabbard hanging down his left side. He stilled his mount and stared directly at Caesar with cold, piercing blue eyes for a few heartbeats.
It was then I realized that over his chainmail lorica, his chest was festooned with Roman phalerae – gold and silver sculpted disks awarded to Centurions and rankers for acts of valor. No legionary would willingly surrender such treasures. They were trophies taken from Roman dead.
“So, Roman, you are the one called Caesar,” he said in Latin!
Caesar remained silent, perfectly still.
“Are you surprised I speak your language,” the warrior continued? “I learned it from my slaves who were once soldiers in the army you sent against us many years ago when we killed your chief, the one you called ‘consul’.”
I heard Labienus suck in his breath, when the warrior said that. This was not a negotiation, I realized. This man had come to challenge Caesar, to provoke him into combat.
“I am Dewi Map Coel… Divico to you Romans… know that it was I who was orgorix of the Helvetii the day we slaughtered the Romans and took ten thousand heads…”
“Orgorix,” Labienus whispered to me?
“Slaughter-King,” I translated for him, “War Chief.”
“Cunnus,” Labienus hissed and spit on the ground.
“…the whitened skulls of Roman dead decorate our feasting halls and lodges to this day… and now you have the temerity to attack us? Know you, Roman, the fact that you were able to ambush and slaughter one of our minor clans while they were trapped against a river and burdened with women and children does not impress us… Roman deception and cruelty has been known to us for many generations… we will offer you this… the valleys of the Rhodanus are wide and fertile… we will accept any of these and settle there… know you, Roman, the Helvetii have learned from their ancestors to rely on valor and strength, not on deceit and ambush… unless you want to make of this ground on which we stand another monument to Roman defeat and shame, you will give us the land we demand and withdraw your soldiers across the Rhodanus… then there will be peace between our nations.”
“Quite an oration,” Labienus hissed. “He couldn’t provoke Caesar more if he tried.”
I looked over toward Caesar. His face was as white as a candidate’s toga. His lower jaw was set slightly forward and his thin lips were drawn tightly across his face like a knife scar. I later learned that this was the only telltale sign of his rage. Caesar was too controlled ever to demonstrate it, especially when facing an adversary.
Finally, Caesar spoke, “Well do I remember that of which you speak. No Roman will ever forget the tragedy that befell the Roman nation and the army of Lucius Cassius Longinus… many families still mourn that day… many men desire blood vengeance to appease the restless lemures of their murdered ancestors… you say that the Helvetii are a people of valor and courage… I tell you that you are a liar… you only defeated Longinus by deceit and ambush… you feigned friendship with the Roman people and delivered treachery at the end of a spear… know you, Divico of the Helvetii, that, although members of my own familia shed their blood, lost their lives on that fateful day, I, Gaius Iulius Caesar, Proconsul of the Roman people, commander of this army, offer you these terms for peace… first, you will return to the lands you abandoned on the Rhenus… second, you will give restitution to the allies of the Roman people whose lands you have pillaged and destroyed… third, you will surrender hostages to me to ensure your submission and good behavior… only then am I willing to let the Helvetii leave this place in peace… and also know this, Divico of the Helvetii… the gods despise hubris… they do seem at times to grant their favor but only to heighten despair when they withdraw it. What is your answer, Divico?”
Divico’s eyes glared at Caesar like piercing blue embers. “Roman! Since the time of our ancestors, the Helvetii are accustomed to taking hostages, not surrendering them!” He held up the wand of negotiation, broke it in two, spit on the pieces and threw them at the feet of Caesar’s horse. He pulled back on his reins causing his black stallion to rear and turn, then galloped off the hillock followed by his entourage.
Caesar calmly watched Divico ride off. Then he turned to Labienus and said, “It appears that our negotiation with the Helvetii is ended. Come with me. We have work to do.” Then he rode off toward the castrum of the 10th Legion.
Caesar had established his Praetorium with the 10th. When we arrived at the headquarters tent, Caesar said, “Accompany me, Insubrecus.”
We entered Caesar’s operations area; the maps were already hung and soldiers were busy making notations. I could easily see the location of our army on the left side a squiggly blue line that ran down from the top the map; the Arar, I assumed. It led downward to another, thicker blue line that seemed to plunge toward the bottom left corner of the map; the Rhodanus. About a cubitus to the left of our location was a large, red marker; the Helvetii.
While Caesar’s body-slave was helping him out of his armor, he was talking to Labienus. “That was the best theater I’ve seen since I left Rome! Divico! He could easily upstage Plautus’ braggart. Did you see the size of that sword? How does the man walk without tripping?”
Labienus, his helmet under his arm, answered, “Could he have really been the Helvetian commander when they ambushed Longinus? What would that make him what… sixty? No one could look like that at sixty.”
“What did you think of that act, Insubrecus,” Caesar asked me?
“He was trying to provoke you, Patrone,” I said stiffly.
“Of course he was,” Caesar answered. “I sometimes forget how young you are, Gaius… you haven’t had time to develop a sense of irony yet.”
I too was beginning to forget how young I was.
Caesar stood staring at the situation map. “I feel a bit like that boy in the children’s story, who thinks he’s captured a lion because he has ahold of its tail,” he was saying. “I can neither let go nor continue to hold on.”
I’ll be back after the holiday… Happy Thanksgiving!
OH YES… A rights reserved!
Washington DC — US President Barack Obama intensified his fight Monday against “bourgeois Republican parasites and Fox News” he accuses of an economic war against his Affordable Care Act by forcing insurance companies to give back to consumers health insurance polies cancelled because of the Affordable Care Act.
Members of the US Armed Forces, some of whom had assault rifles and bayonets, were positioned around the offices of health insurance companies that Obama has ordered to restore the policies cancelled by Obama’s administrative order or face arrest by Obama’s armed forces. Thousands of people lined up at various Blue Balls Blue Deal offices hoping for a bargain after the government forced the company to restore insurance policies cancelled under the government’s policies.
“I want coverage to tighten my chin and for some work my tush,” said Beyonce Beytwice, 34, a business administrator who waited seven hours outside a AssociatedHealthcare office in Des Moines. “And, the girls could use some perking up! It’s going to be so cheap!”
Five executives of healthcare companies including AssociatedHealthcare are being threatened with arrest and detention for complying the Affordable Healthcare Bill before doing so became a political liability for the President and his party, a spokesperson for US Department of Health and Human Services government said. More policies may be at risk, as well. Government agents were dispatched to check policies at an array of other healthcare providers.
“This is for the good of the nation,” Obama said, referring to the military’s occupation of Blue Balls Blue Deal corporate offices in Chicago. “Leave nothing on the shelves, nothing in the warehouses… Let nothing remain in stock!”
Obama said his seizures are just the “tip of the iceberg” and that doctors and hospitals would be next if they did not comply, or if they did comply, with his policies. Obama is expected to decree that Congress shut the hell up in the coming days.
The assault against the domestic health care industry comes amid a severe lack of US leadership in the international arena. Vladimir Putin recently upstaged the US in Syria over the use of chemical weapons, and more recently, France blocked US led efforts to end sanctions against Iran without Iran promising not to nuke Israel. In fact, Iran pretty much promised to blow Israel up as soon as they could figure out how to make their damn nukes work and squeeze them into a suitcase.
Also, the US government is struggling to recover from a recent government shut-down whose point was ironically to avoid—or at least postpone—the chaos caused by the inability of Americans to purchase healthcare insurance on the dysfunctional government insurance exchanges before the Affordable Care Act cancelled their current policies. So far, at least six Americans have managed to do so.
The next scheduled government crisis will be the increase of the debt ceiling to allow the government to borrow enough money to fund this year’s federal budget. The US Federal Reserve said the country’s money supply grew 170% in the past year as a result of the mint working 24/7 to print enough money just to keep up with the interest on the debt, which the Obama administration wants raised.
Presidential Press Secretary, Jay Carnival dismisses these stories of the loss of international prestige, run-away government spending and charges of the unconstitutional government intervention in the healthcare industry, as a “smokescreen” put up by the President’s opponents in Congress.
“When’s the last time you heard a Republican recognize the administration-led advances in issues that are actually critical to the nation… like criticizing the racist name of a professional football franchise, or the providing an endless source of entertainment for late-night TV, or causing voters to wonder why the hell they didn’t vote for Hillary in the 2008 Democratic primary?”
Carnival pointed out that selecting health insurance was complicated… very, very complicated. The government healthcare exchanges, once they finally get working, will remove the complication of selecting individual healthcare plansbased on individual need and affordability by telling Americans what healthcare plans they can have and using the IRS to make sure they pay for them.
When asked why the healthcare policies mandated by the law seem to be materially more expensive that those being canceled by the law, and mandate coverage not applicable to certain classes of users, Carnival said that’s complicated… very, very complicated… “but the government’s got your back… don’t worry about a thing… you’re going to love it!”.
The Obama administration brushed aside complaints about what some have characterized its “high-handed and unconstitutional” effort to force free enterprise to comply with government mandates and claimed that it is trying to put an end to sub-standard healthcare coverage.
“The essential problem with healthcare is the greed of the insurance companies,” Carnival stated. “They were providing sub-standard policies at exorbitant prices. Now, every American, young and old, male or female, Catholic or not, will have coverage for contraception… and if that doesn’t work… for pre- and post-natal care… and if that doesn’t work… euthanasia.”
Many Americans lined up for the reduced-price policies. Water and snacks were being sold outside many of the offices by the troops themselves trying to raise money to fund their own healthcare. Many happy customers emerged carrying new policies, office supplies and equipment.
“I love this government,” said Connie Lingous, 33, a businesswoman from Albany NY hoping to take home a cut-price health policy and a Xerox machine. “Even though they’re doing this for nothing but political reasons, in time for the 2014 elections. Once they’re re-elected, they’ll just go back to ignoring their constituents to further some vapid and self-serving ideology”
“This is more like government-sanctioned looting,” said Chicago-based engineer Dick Burns, 42. “What stops them going into telephone exchanges, internet suppliers and news agencies?” After saying this, Burns was tossed into the back of a black SUV with government plates by two, no-neck goons in black EPA windbreakers and Ray-Bans.
from Caput IV – De Mama Mea, Qua Muliere Romana Feroce
My Mama, A Formidable Woman of Rome
Avus Lucius had three children who survived to adulthood, his son and heir, Lucius Helvetius Naso Tertius, and two daughters, Helvetia Maior and Helvetia Minor, my mother being the youngest.
My aunt, Helvetia Maior, he married off to a mid-level functionary in city government. Government jobs were steady and dependable, Avus Lucius said; you’ll never get rich, even with collecting the stipes, the gratuities that were expected from petitioners who wanted their requests moved through the bureaucracy quickly, but you’ll always have an income. That is, unless you became too greedy and got the attention of the wrong people. Then, you ended up as part of the foundations of some new building.
No one is sure why he married his younger daughter, Helvetia Minor, to my father, the oldest son of a subsistence framer out in the boonies, who was still living in a round hut. My gran’pa claimed it was due to our connection, albeit tenuous, with the patrician gens Iulia down in Rome. But, the more credible explanation is that Helvetia Minor was a hellion and Avus Lucius was willing to fob her off on the first credible prospect he could find for her. And, that was my Papa.
This made sense in many ways. First, both Mama and her mother, Avia Marcia, were redheads, and Avus Lucius had enough on his hands with his foundries to come home to two redheads under one roof. The second is indicated by the pet name he gave Mama, “Valeria.” Mama said it meant “fierce.” Gran’pa said it meant “good riddance.”
Despite that, Avus Lucius had given Mama a first class Roman education-for a Roman girl, that is. She could read and write Latin. She knew her Roman history and literature. She could even work up the household accounts on a hand abacus-she used to help Avus Lucius and Scriba with the business accounts-but she considered that slave work.
Avus Lucius gave Mama a fine dowry worth over 25,000 denarii, which put Papa halfway to qualifying for the Equestrian class. Of course, being Avus Lucius, he tied the money up so tightly that Papa couldn’t get a penny of it between his fingers while Avus Lucius was alive and, after he went off to wherever dead Roman businessmen go, Mama. Mama used to refer to her dowry as her divitiae, her “fortune,” especially when she was arguing with Gran’pa and, after Gran’pa went off to the Land of Youth, with my Papa and, after Papa went off to wherever dead Roman farmers go, with my brother, Lucius, and, after Lucius joined Papa in that paradise of farmers (a place where they at least didn’t have to constantly hear the clacking of Mama’s sharp tongue) with her grandson, Lucius Iunior.
They say redheads thrive on conflict. My Mama was certainly proof of that.
Mama and Nanna were at war from the time Mama entered the house. The first battle occurred when Nanna tried to assign Mama her household chores. Roman matrons do not do things like sweeping out the hearth, collecting the eggs in the morning, airing out the bedding and the various things that farm women need to do to keep the household functioning. Nanna quickly established that in her house the merc’ u ti, the woman of the house, outranked the Domina Romana and Mama had to knuckle under if she expected to get fed.
The ongoing battle between Roman and Gah’el, though, was fought over the house itself. For Mama, living out in the styx in a Gallic roundhouse held together by wooden posts, wattle-and-daub panels and a thatched roof was worse that living in the poorest, most sordid tenement in the city. Mama said that a family, who claimed to be the clients of the patrician gens Iulia should have a proper Roman masonry house with a tile roof, a proper hearth, hot water and a working bath. Gran’pa told her that, if she were willing to build it with her “fortune,” the family would be happy to live in it, But, until that happened, she should shut her yap and go about her chores.
When Gran’pa went to the Land of Youth, and Papa became the pater familias, the battle was over. Papa could never stand up to Mama. I think she scared the shit out of him and, after twenty-five years of constant combat, I don’t blame him a bit. Mama didn’t even have to use her “fortune” to build her “estate.” She just marched Papa into the city to some bankers Avus Lucius knew. They provided the money for Mama’s palace, and Papa assumed a mortgage on the farm. Assuming all that debt on a farm that at best made only a modest profit just about killed Nanna. Less than a year after Papa borrowed the money, Nanna followed Gran’pa to the Land of Youth.
The best thing Mama did for me, though, was ensuring that I was educated as a proper “Roman gentleman.” She understood clearly that that I had no prospects within the family. My older brother, Lucius, would get the farm and my uncle, Lucius “the Nose,” would get Avus Lucius’ businesses-at least, what was left after Scriba robbed the family blind. So, Mama was determined to prepare me to find my fortune outside the family in the Roman world. To do that, I had to shake off the Gallic stink and assimilate.
Kalamazoo, MI – The Institute for Useless Science surprised many observers when on 3 November it announced the winner of its prestigious, “Scientific Study That Demonstrates A firm Grasp On The Obvious” award, the University of the Upper Ozarks, for its study demonstrating that men do indeed ogle women’s bodies.
The study used eye-tracking technology and electro-shock technique to confirm that breasts, waists, breasts, butts and breasts get more scrutiny from men than things like eyes, hair and other bits of no interest to guys.
“The eyes don’t lie,” stated Dr. Ilya DuMonde-O’Balcon, the study’s lead author and social psychologist. “Men really do look at women’s bodies more than their faces.”
“We live in a culture in which we constantly see women objectified on television and in the media. Our study has confirmed what every woman, who has gone out in public with a boyfriend or a husband, has known since Adam and Eve were bounced out of paradise. A bodacious set knockers has the same effect on a man’s eyeballs, and his other balls for that matter, as a super magnet has on a nail.”
The participants – 136 men – were outfitted with an eye-tracking system, which measures in milliseconds how long their eyes are fixed on certain spots. Any time a man’s eyes were fixed on any spot for more than 10 milliseconds, a somewhat low voltage electric shock was transmitted to the man’s testicles. The authors of the study do admit that mistakes were made regulating the strength of the shocks.
The subjects were then shown avatars of women with digitally manipulated body shapes – bodacious, curvaceous, much less curvaceous, flat as Nebraska and “coyote.” The data demonstrate that the men fixed their gaze more on avatar’s boobs and less on their faces.
“We almost had a tragedy,” reports DuMonde-O’Balcon, “One subject became so fixated on the “Dolly Parton” avatar that the electric shocks to his testicles apparently stopped his heart. Fortunately, I was able to bring him back with orally. We’re engaged and plan to marry in June.”
In a follow up questionnaire, men were asked questions about the images that they had seen. For example, “What was the color of her eyes”; “Did her shoes and purse match?”; and “Was her hair blonde or brunette?” Over 70% of the respondees didn’t notice that the avatars even had eyes and none of them knew that purses and shoes were supposed to match… nor did they seem all that concerned.
“The explanation may be partly evolutionary,” says Ann Chovie, a contributing author of the study. “Men may be drawn to more shapely women for healthy childbearing and natural selection. The prevailing opinion, however, is that men are just pigs.”