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March 12th, 2008

Straight men beware! Oh yeah, and you "straight-acting" gay men? You too!

Where no man's hand should wander

An Italian court is trying to overturn human nature—or at least male nature, said Simon Hattenstone in the London Guardian.

In a case that should cause men everywhere to shudder, Italy's highest appeals court has ruled that men may not touch their genitals in public. "We're not talking about masturbating in public (of course, I don't approve of that), or displaying one's equipment in public (ditto)." We're talking about nothing more than a "discreet realignment."

The ruling came in a case against a workman accused by the police of "ostentatiously touching" himself through his overalls. It's not as if a chorus of women had complained about this follow; in fact, the Italian judges specifically said that the action was wrong because it caused feelings of "awkwardness, disgust, and disapproval in the average man"—not the average woman.

Only the country that gave us Fellini could devise such a surreal precedent." But never fear, gents, the ruling can't possibly be enforced. How would Mick Jagger, Roger Daltrey, and all other "great crotch rockers cope if they were not allowed to embrace themselves in front of their admiring public?"

No, men are simply destined to spend much of their time "with their hands down their trousers." Why? "Because it feels right."   ~ THE WEEK Magazine ~



I had quite the busy day today. It was one of my week days off from IBM.

From 10:00–11:30, I met with a focus group to talk about the potential of including a Writer's Center in the new Golden Belt space under construction in Durham.

What a very, very cool idea and concept they've got going there. I was quite impressed. By the time I left there, I almost wanted to move to Durham, and would probably even consider it if it wasn't so far from "da cluubs."



On the way back from Durham, I ran by my house to pick up a package of folders and papers to give to Myra, who I met for lunch at Helios at noon.

We caught up on everything and everybody, and as expected, and as always, I thoroughly enjoyed our time together. We're going to do it again on April 9th.

She asked me about potentially participating in early April on a diversity panel in the class she's taking for her PhD degree. Sounds interesting. Hope it works out.



I attended the STC@NCSU's Student/Faculty Roundtable @ Bruegger's on Hillsborough Street from 5:30–6:30. The topic was Web 2.0 from a technical communicator's perspective and the starting discussion questions were:

  1. What challenges and opportunities does this new paradigm present for technical communicators?

  2. How does it change the way technical communicators interact with audiences?

  3. What specific skills do we need to stay current?
Drs. Dicks and Covington were present for the gathering, and it included, in addition to myself, students Brian Swiger, Christin Phelps, Andrew Armstrong, Rebecca O'Connell, John Strange, and Michelle Tackabery.

I thoroughly enjoyed the discussion—all-in-all good intellectual, as well as social, time well spent.



For dinner, I added the shrimp I had boiled last night to the rest of my leftover Hot & Spicy Shrimp dinner from Hong Kong, and it was just delicious.



Dancing was fun tonight. We had a lot of dancers and the crowd was okay, too.

Eric brought four friends of his with him (3 straight people and one Lesbian), so we had an "audience" for a lot of the evening, which always makes things more interesting. There were three other guys, sitting at "the rail" and watching too, at least for some portion of the evening.

Note: There is still no sign of the over-promised and under-delivered "wooden floor" that's supposed to be going in there, allegedly before the Charlotte Country guys come to dance on March 29th. Oh, okay, I see that no one needs a look of surprise put on their face.

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