Weekendish: Sex and sports hybrids
- 25 July 2014
A collection of some of the best reads from the BBC News website this week, with an injection of your comments.
Let's talk about sex
God doesn't help gullible, foolish men. So says Dr Mahinder Watsa, 90, whose frank and often acerbic sex advice to Indian newspaper readers was celebrated this week. A typical question put to him: Should I follow the advice of my astrologer and pull my penis for 15 minutes each day while saying a prayer, in order to make the organ grow? Probably not. If the astrologer was right, Dr Watsa advises, "most men would have a penis hitting their knees". Danny tweets that some of the questions put to Dr Watsa "sound like they may have been asked by people I know..."
New balls, please
If following Dr Watsa's advice doesn't appeal, one could always spend the afternoon inventing new sports. Take Vigoro, a cross between cricket and tennis, for example, which was dreamt up in the early 1900s. "Bowlers" would carry racquets, "batsmen" would stand in front of stumps, and "fielders" would use the racquet to collect the ball. It's the sort of thing one might make up in a back garden, but Vigoro never quite caught on around the world. "So I was not insane to attempt box-cricket on a tennis court?" tweets Saurabh Dave. Ed tweets: "Quick, #TeamEngland, before anyone else takes it up." Sorry, Ed - the game survives in Australia, so that's another shrimp they can throw on their sporting supremacy barbie.
Burnt on the outside
Talking of which, the culture of barbecuing in public apparently divides the world. Some cities approve, others forbid cookery wafting. In parts of New York, smells from barbecues are considered as toxic fumes. But according to Richard Shweder, author of Why Do Men Barbecue? Recipes for Cultural Psychology (the best book title of the week) it could all have a deeper meaning.
"In Judeo-Christian tradition, sharing the meal is a very important part of family solidarity," he says. "It's celebratory - we are sharing food. To the extent that people resent barbecues in parks, it might be because they feel those around them are not part of their 'family'." Reader Dom Markham is uncompromising in his response: "I think being the scum of the Earth is anti-social, not having a barbecue."
Myths about myths
There wasn't a Trojan horse, Homer probably didn't exist, Pythagoras probably wasn't a mathematician and he didn't prove his theory. These are some of the legends about ancient Greece discussed by Dr Armand D'Angour this week. For some it might be the equivalent of saying Father Christmas doesn't exist. But Rasha Taus tweets that's it's clever of the BBC to publish Dr Angour's "Reithian endeavour... Blessed be the educators in 'dodgy subjects'," she adds.
The only thing Shinji Mikamo had left after the Hiroshima bomb destroyed his home was his father's watch. The heat of the explosion had fused the shadows of the hands into the time piece, marking the exact time of the explosion. So when his daughter found out it had been stolen from a museum she was furious. But Shinji, like with everything else, was forgiving. He calmly told her "when you lose something, you gain something". This story got debate going on Facebook. While Hannah Nomin said it was a "really sad story of mankind", Ifeanyi Obi JP pondered that "humans seem to be destructive by nature". And Brad DeMoranville sighed: "Here comes the 20/20 hindsight from the people who have no idea what was going on."
Here are some things we've enjoyed this week from elsewhere around the web:
Who is dying in Afghanistan's 1000-plus drone strikes? - Bureau of Investigative Journalism
How to invent a person online The Atlantic
Kim Philby and the Hazards of Mistrust - The New Yorker
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