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Here's your other commencement speech, recent college graduate. It's going to be hard out there in the real world. Not "The Real World," but the rest of your loan-vexed, non-academic life, where the stakes are higher and your diploma really doesn't matter much anymore.
Two to three months after you strut across the stage in your graduation regalia, you'll get a letter from your college or university. In it, you will find a request for money. Not for more tuition -- for a donation, anywhere from $10 to $1,000. Does that sound like something you might be interested in?
Aaaaand it won't be long after graduation that you'll receive your first student loan bill. Remember those thousands of dollars you borrowed for tuition, books, housing, booze? Paying it all back is going to feel something like this:
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Microbiologist Norman R. Pace recently ventured into the bowels of the New York City subway system to analyze the air taken in by millions of people who swipe and ride every day. His findings included one quote that caught our eye: "Every time you step down, you pressurize the air that's in your shoe. You stomp down, you squirt out a little warm air, carrying foot microbiology." That's a foot fart! The air in the New York City subway is full of toxic farts emanating from our feet! Fascinating stuff.
In light of this revelation, we now present six more examples of fascinating fart-based research. And please don't laugh. This is about science.
1. Women's farts smell worse than men's
Anecdotal evidence be damned, Danish and British gastroenterologists earlier this year found that a woman's fart is more likely to peel the paint off a wall than a man's. Ladies, this is one thing on which we'll gladly cede superiority.
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We look forward to summer all year long, but then -- once it arrives -- we remember the dreaded reality: It's wedding season. Even if you're still a young guy, you'll soon find yourself at scads of ceremonies, squeezed into a Men's Wearhouse tux, wishing you were anywhere else. But you can survive these tragic events if you follow a few basic rules...
1. Take a fun date
There's a reason why "plus ones" are so coveted on wedding invites: Without one, you'll plus wonder what the hell to do with yourself all night while seated next to complete strangers. Of course, bringing a date negates your chances at hooking up with any hot singles in attendance, and nothing makes single women hornier than weddings.
2. Dominate cocktail hour
The most fun 60 minutes of any wedding is that glorious interlude between ceremony and reception: Cocktail hour. No rules, no formalities, no boring speeches from the maid of honor. Just a lot of eating, drinking and schmoozing. During this time, you'll want to identify A) the hot single girls, and B) from which kitchen exit the best finger food is coming.
Oh yeah, and enjoy the open bar. You've already spent a ton of money on travel, a hotel room, dress clothes and even a stupid gift of salad forks, so now is the time to cash in your chips and earn a little of that money back.
Using an animal to pick up women is a time-honored, Hollywood-approved tradition. All the smoothest operators and most ruthless lady-killers have a veritable petting zoo on standby. There's no wingman more valuable than a big-eyed, shaggy, preferably three-legged dog. But while this approach is effective, it isn't 100% foolproof. It's a high-risk, high-reward situation. Here are just a few ways it can backfire horribly.
1. Unpredictable Behavior
Dogs are messy. Even the most domesticated breeds have a few bad habits and are liable to revert to their base animal instincts at just the wrong moment. They hump stuff. They sniff and lick butts. They eat their own excrement. They harbor ticks and fleas. They have extra-active saliva glands.
Not that there's anything wrong with any of that! Under different circumstances these behaviors can be downright charming. But it can be difficult to successfully exchange digits while scooping up a Great Dane's monster dook with a plastic bag or prying a sex-crazed and fully erect Jack Russell terrier off a lady's ankle.
Some people are allergic to dogs. Their eyes get all red and their nodes swell and their faces get all messed up. It's a horrible way to go through life and will make for a horrible pick-up attempt. (Try a potbelly pig upon subsequent "chance" encounters. George Clooney had one.)
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Every guy's favorite summer activity is a good ol' fashioned barbecue. It's ridiculously easy for even the most inept cook to make something tasty for his guests, and you don't have to bother with small talk when everybody's mouths are full of smoked pork ribs.
But if you must speak, here are some conversation starters you can drop between bites.
1. Barbecuing is a competitive sport
According to ESPN, there are hundreds of organized events throughout the country, with cash prizes as high as $110,000. (Competitive barbecuing and beach volleyball are the only sports in which the spectators are the winners.)
2. Marinated steaks are actually safer to eat than non-marinated steaks
Marinating reduces the amount of carcinogens from cooking at high temperatures. (Washing steak down with beer does not count as a marinade.)
3. The word "barbecue" comes from a Taino word for "sacred fire pit"
So if you go to a barbecue on Sunday, it technically counts as going to church.
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Sure, summer is great, if you're still a kid. (Running around! Playing with friends! No school!) But for adults, it's just another season, except worse. Let's finally admit it: Summer kinda sucks. And here's why...
1. No school
Again, this part was great when you were actually in school. But now it simply means the streets are littered with annoying little kids who get in your way while you try to do boring adult stuff. Whatever happened to parents sending 'em off to summer camp?
2. Hot as hell
Scorching weather is fine when you can wear shorts and flip-flops wherever you go. But that outfit won't quite cut it at your office, even on Casual Fridays. Thus, for adults, summer is the season for sweating through shirts and accessorizing with pit stains.
3. You have to be in shape
You coasted through the fall and winter months on a steady diet of Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Valentine's Day goodies, shrouding your burgeoning girth in loose sweaters and bulky jackets. Now it's beach season, and that flab is ready to be released to the masses. If you cut the carbs and start hitting the gym today, you might have that ripped body in time for, uh, Labor Day?
Explaining how Boy Scout Law is the original Guy Code made us wistful for our scouting days. We miss the marshmallow roasts on camping trips, sure, but we especially miss the merit badges we earned for learning skills such as First Aid and Swimming. (Kids today can earn merit badges for stuff like Game Design and Robotics.)
We've learned plenty of skills in the intervening years -- mostly related to curing a hangover -- but nobody gave us any patches to sew on our sash. Here are the updated merit badges we'd strive for today...
Every day I apply to jobs. Sometimes two, sometimes 20. The positions range from sperm donor to seventh grade teacher. The entire process is a humiliating bummer, but the applications do occasionally provide delusional fragments of an alternate life, as well as opportunities for personal reflection. Cover Letters explores these fragments and reflections and the jobs that inspire them.
Dear Water Park Administrator,
I am writing in regards to the lifeguard position. I feel I am uniquely qualified for this position. As a child I spent time at Ocean Beach, a rundown water park with an outlaw, Dogtown feel. The slides were rickety and jagged. Loose screws shredded the seats of our swim suits. During one late summer trip the governor’s son became lodged in an arid stretch halfway down the pipe. They evacuated the pool and so we shivered in our wet towels as the sun went down on the Long Island Sound, waiting for the fire department.
This was amid a period of childish uncertainty. I sometimes felt there was a chance I was not actually human. There was something they weren't telling me. I contained some secret super power. Of course this just turned out to be sex but for a while there I thought maybe I could fly or teleport or had gills tucked away somewhere. All that nameless energy seemed poised to spur some kind of evolution. This made puberty something of a let down.
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As another NBA season comes to a close it's time to look back on what we've learned. Not about zone defenses or pick and roll execution, but what has this season taught us about Guy Code? Here's five of the biggest fails and how we can be better dudes because of them.
Leave The Ladies Out of It
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It's one thing to talk trash to your friends. It's a good time to make fun of their clothes, their car or their stupid, ugly face. It's another thing when girlfriends/wives enter the equation. Kevin Garnett learned this during a Knicks-Celtics game, after he allegedly told Carmelo Anthony that his wife "tasted like Honey Nut Cheerios."While this may seem like a tremendous compliment (who wouldn't want a nice big bowl of bee-sponsored goodness?), 'Melo didn't see it that way. He waited by the Celtics bus to handle business WWE style.
Lesson: Keep your trash talking on the surface or at least compare their lady to something super-tasty like Captain Crunch. Mmm…Captain Crunch…
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The Boy Scouts of America will finally allow openly gay teens to join, and it's about time. I say that as an Eagle Scout who doesn't want anyone to be excluded, because the organization can teach plenty of positive qualities that embody the spirit of Guy Code.
Yeah, wearing neckerchiefs isn't one of them, but the Scout Law ("A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent") should apply to every guy's life. Let's break those 12 points down...
Your friends have to know they can count on you. If a buddy leaves his girlfriend alone with you at the club, don't even think about dancing with her.
If your friend gets into a bar brawl, and there's no chance of breaking it up, you've got his back. Earning your first aid merit badge can also be quite handy here.