My Ashley Madison

Lady
So Ashley Madison is now a well-known adulterous website, particularly after hackers stole 37 million records on the site participants, and have released that information to the public.


These tens of millions of users seek companionship for loveless or sexless marriages or perhaps are just plain liars and cheaters–who knows? 


But yikes, now everyone knows!


Huffington reports that divorce lawyers are anticipating a deluge of new clients seeking divorces


And BBC reports that two people have already taken their lives in Canada as a result of the release. 


What is incredible as well are the 15,000 people who used their .gov or .mil accounts presumably to hide their infidelity from their spouses, but now are in potentially huge trouble with their government agencies.


I assume that Ashley Madison prided themselves on their discretion in handling their clients accounts, but lo’ and behold the discretion is for naught compliments of some very naughty hackers. 


Privacy is becoming a very lonely and meaningless word whether you are faithful or a cheater–it’s all open fodder on the net. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Big Data, Small Moments

Days Of Our Lives

There is a definite rhythm to our lives. 

And by analyzing the peak times of Google search terms, we can get a good picture of what it is (as Seth Stephens-Davidowitz notes in the New York Times Sunday Review).

– From starting a new day to taking care of bathroom business, looking for healing, and even goofing off. 

– Midday is some personal time for shopping, travel plans, and a news update. 

– The evening is a nice dinner and maybe some sexual intimacy.

– The night time is scariest with anxiety about health, leading to panic and thoughts of suicide, and easing off with drugs and pornography. 

– As we roll towards the early hours of the next day, we have a philosophical reawakening with contemplation about the meaning of life and our place in it. 

If we can get all this just from some data analytics of Google search terms, can you imagine what else we can learn about the masses and YOU, the individuals that make it up. 😉

(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)

Size And Smell

Sex
So apparently data mining can be used for all sorts of research…



In the New York Times today, Seth Stephens-Davidowitz tries his hand with google search results to better understand people’s feelings about sex. 



Though Stephens-Davidowitz doesn’t explain how he gets these google statistics…here are some standouts:



As you might have guessed, the biggest complaint from men–and women–is that they don’t get/have enough sex. 



For both (as you might imagine in a primarily–95%–heterosexual world), traditional surveys show that it’s about once a week.



However, the author says this is exaggerated (yeah, is it surprising that people exaggerate about this?) and it’s actually only about 30 times a year–or once every 12 days.



So there are a lot of search on “sexless” or “won’t have sex with me.”



Observing that “sex can be quite fun,” he questions, “why do we have so little of it?”



And he concludes that it’s because we have “enormous anxiety” and insecurity about our bodies and sexuality.



Again, you probably wouldn’t need data mining to guess the results, but men’s biggest worry is about their penis size, and one of women’s most toxic worries–a “strikingly common concern”–is about the smell of their vagina.



For men, they actually google questions about genital size more often than they have questions about any other body part; in fact, more than “about their lungs, liver, feet, ears, nose, throat, and brain combined.”



So much for health consciousness versus machismo pride. 



The funny thing is apparently women don’t seem to care so much about this with only about 1 search on this topic for every 170 searches that men do on this. 



Surprising to most men, about 40% of the searches women do conduct on this topic is “complaints” that it is too big!



Not that size doesn’t matter to women, but for them it’s about the size of their breasts and butts–and again, bigger being generally considered better.



In this case, most men seem to agree. 



Another issue men are concerned about is premature ejaculation and how to make the experience last longer.



However, here women seem to be looking for information about half and half on how to make men climax more quickly on one hand, and more slowly on the other. 



Overall, men are from Mars and women from Venus, with lot’s of misunderstanding between the sexes.



The conclusion from this big data study…everyone calm down and just try to enjoy each other more.



Amazing the insights we can get from data mining! 😉



(Source Photo: here with attribution to Daniel)

Temptation Or Accusation?

Temptress
So on the way home from synagogue today, my wife and I are talking about what happened to the renown Harvard constitutional and criminal lawyer, Alan Dershowitz.



He was accused of having repeatedly had sex with an underage woman (while he was married with children and grandchildren).



I explained to my wife not to believe these accusations, that in my mind, Dershowitz was upstanding and completely innocent, and that this could happen to anyone.



And I went on to tell a funny story from a day earlier…



I was at a retirement party for one of my staff who served the country for 51 years.



At the party, I am going around talking with people and helping to make everyone comfortable–until I didn’t.



One guy who was a retired manager and had come back to work as a contractor calls me over to his table to introduce me to his wife. 



He’s motioning to her and saying how she is his most beloved wife.



And just joking around trying to keep a straight face, I say, “Hmm, she’s a lot different than the other woman I see you with every day.”



[Yeah, I don’t know what came over me (maybe a little too much drink–any drink is too much for this dry mouth).]



His wife, is like, “Ah ha! Some other woman in the office…”



And he’s leaning back, waving his hands and mouthing to me, “Shut up Andy!”



He goes, “Okay Andy, you just wait until I meet your wife!”



Then, we all broke out laughing…just Andy being a wise guy again!



So, I said to my wife, you see how easy it is for someone to make a false accusation (and how quickly people can be to think the worst of others).



It really is important to treat people as “innocent until proven guilty.”



As for Andy’s hijinks…I’m banned from any more parties for the next few weeks. 😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Something Everyone Cares About

Funny Face
This was a funny Facebook post by someone from Las Vegas.



He bemoans that there are no virgins left in Vegas.



I tell my wife what he said.



And she says, “Well what does he expect in Vegas?”



I say, “I’m not sure, but I think he might be married and has kids.”



So my wife says, “Then why does he care?”



I think for a second and answer, “It’s someone everyone cares about like global warming.”



And we both started to crack up laughing.  



My wife ends the conversation with, “Andy, you are a funny guy!”  😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

For The Love Of Animals

For The Love Of Animals

I read this incredible story in the Jerusalem Post about Denmark prohibiting Shechita (the Jewish kosher way to slaughter animals for food).

What is amazing about this is:

1) Shechita is known as one of the most humane ways to slaughter animals for food. It involves a single rapid uninterrupted stroke across the throat with a super sharp knife. One of the reasons this method is used is precisely so that the animal does not feel any pain. This is unlike other common practices for slaughtering animals which include clubbing, electrifying, shooting, suffocation, and more.

2) Denmark while prohibiting Shechita, permits bestiality/Zoophilia (human sex with animals). So bestiality, a very pagan-like practice, is legal in Denmark, even though it is prohibited under the penalty of death (for the person and the animal) in the Bible.

So animal rape is okay in Denmark. And Judeo Christian laws and beliefs are not, especially when they actually protect the animals. Uh, something is rotten in the barn here. Or put another way:

Animals in the bedroom–Oh, no, no, no.

Animals ritually slaughtered for dinner–moo, moo, moo. 😉

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Ed Schipul)

Addictions R Us

Addictions R Us

I was having an really interesting conversation with a friend–okay, and it got a little deep.

He said something fascinating to me–which is that everyone is addicted to something.

Think about it–some are addicted to the hard stuff…drugs, alcohol, smoking.

Others are addicted to sex, work, shopping, exercise, even religion.

In modern times, there are new addictions to technology, gaming, and social media.

My friend is smart and we discussed or alluded to a number of reasons for the addictive nature of all people.

1) Meaning – Many people have a tough time dealing with the seemingly meaningless, mortal nature of their lives. Without a strong purpose and meaning, we can sort of float through every day looking for some anchor, stability, or rhythm. Addictions, for better or worse, can provide that habit or repetition compulsion. While not very meaningful itself, these addictions help people forget–temporarily, during their high or while they are being kept busy–that they are perhaps lost amidst it all.

2) Pain – Everyone has pain–emotional, physical, mental–these cause stress on people and their ability to deal or cope can be stretched thin, and they turn to some sort of addiction as a “crutch” to help them get through the day. It reminds me of a very crude song that I overheard years ago, called “F*ck the pain away” (excuse the language here, please). Anyway, simply replace the first word, with “work, shop, drink, and so on and poof, you have opiates (i.e. pain relief) for the masses.

3) Fear – People are afraid–afraid of living, afraid of dying–and addictions take us away from having the time to stop, think, and have to deal with our fears. If every minute, I am running around doing a million things–then I don’t have the time to shut it all down and out, and deal with what’s really going on inside. In fact, some people credit the Holy Sabbath day, as being beneficial to us to just stopping all that daily stuff at least for one day a week!

We are all human, and there is no one who is immune to looking for meaning, avoiding pain, and dealing with their fears.

The question is do we just throw ourselves into something to keep going or do we take more of a Buddhist approach, accept that life is suffering and try to raise ourselves above it through healthy balance, contemplative meditation, compassion and thinking about others, doing good deeds, and so on.

Keeping busy is good too–but going through life in a drug or otherwise induced fugue is not–then we’ve lost ourselves, which is maybe the point for our crazy world where addictions abound and we are all too happy to dive right in. 😉

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Miles Cave)

PaRTy ANiMaL BeWaRe!

Party Animal Beware!

Just thought this was so cute.

Elephant with a jet pack, helmet, and goggles.

Looks like he’s ready for some fun.

Honestly, though I never understood the incessant party types.

Drinking, smoking, fooling around–basically, getting into trouble.

For a straight Jewish guy from the Bronx, I got enough with regular life stuff to keep me plenty busy.

It’s good to let loose a little, but party animal I am not.

On second thought, what have I been missing all these years. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Yes, I Mean No

This is a hilarious video of a social experiment.

This girl–a complete stranger–goes up to random guys and asks “Would you have sex with me?”

On the top there is a running counter–thumbs up or down–for how many of these guys say yes or no.

The final count for this girl and the complete strangers is 50-50!

The reactions of the guys who stumble all over themselves ranges from “Are you crazy?” and someone who actually calls the police on her to “Why not?” and “I will definitely have sex with you!” or how about this guy who offered up a middle of the road approach of “Would you like to hang out with us first?”

In a companion video, they reverse the social experiment, and a guy propositions random girls with the same cavalier question.

In 100 cases, he was rejected!

So are women more discriminating? Are they looking for intimacy while men are looking for a physical hookup? Or are men just driven by their chemistry, evolution, and species preservation to procreate far and wide?

While the girl chosen for this experiment is undeniably attractive, given the risk of STDs and AIDS and also broken relationships and even families, you still have to ask yourself are men’s brains fully wired on right? 😉

Needy And You Know It

Needy And You Know It

Some people are so needy–they are almost like children in adult’s clothing, while others are so distant they may as well be living on another planet–they are in there own world.

The Wall Street Journal (15 July 2013) asks why some people seem to demand so much?

It explains that there are three types of people:

1) Secure–these people were raised in a consistently caring and responsive manner and they become warm and loving people themselves able to form healthy balanced relationships–where they can be apart from and together with others and function well in both situations.

2) Avoidant/Dismissive–those who are raised in an environment where neediness was not tolerated and was seen as suffocating, and so they learn to minimize closeness to others–they are distant and detached.

3) Anxious/Needy–People raised in an inconsistent environment, where they got mixed messages about nurturing, and they end up constantly feeling insecure and needy, like they will get drawn in and then rejected again, so they smother other people with their neediness and don’t recognize and respect appropriate boundaries.

This third personality type, who is always needy and ends up pushing away other people, who feel suffocated, reminds me of a funny scene in Woody Allen’s “Annie Hall” where a couple visit the therapist, who asks each of them how often they have sex? The man says, “Hardly ever. Maybe three times a week.” But then the woman when asked the same question says, “Constantly. I’d say three times a week.”

Just like people can’t really change their basic sexual needs (men apparently wanting physical intimacy more often then women), so too people can’t change the home life they were raised in–good, bad or indifferent.

Whether people are needy and clingy, aloof and dismissive, or plays between hot and cold, we need to figure out how to care about and love them for whoever they are.

Boundaries are key. Taking some personal space is healthy. Together time and intimacy is critical.

It’s all about finding a balance–where each person has the time and space to be who they are, and then come back to a warm and caring relationship to share, rejuvenate, and laugh and cry together. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)