Watercooler Stories

By ALEX CUKAN, United Press International  |  Jan. 2, 2004 at 6:53 AM
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The Lake Superior State University word banishment selection committee released its annual "List of Words Banished" from the Queen's English with metrosexual topping the list.

Metrosexual, defined as an urban heterosexual male who is interested in shopping and beauty treatments, seemed to get the most flack from the 5,000 people who submitted nominations for banned words.

"Aren't there enough words to describe men who spend too much time in front of the mirror?" asked Fred Bernardin of Arlington, Mass.

Also on he list are: "punked," "companion animals" and "bling bling."

LSSU has been compiling the list since 1976, choosing from nominations sent in from around the world.


Some Germans would not believe another year had past without viewing "Dinner for One" on television, a New Year's tradition dating 40 years.

The 15-minute, black-and-white sketch originated in British cabarets in the 1920s and was filmed for German public television in Hamburg in 1963, the Deutsche Welle reports.

The plot has an elderly women inviting her four best friends to celebrate her 90th birthday, but since all are dead her butler impersonates the quartet and toasts the woman.

While largely unknown in the English-speaking world, "Dinner for One" has been acknowledged by Guinness as the most repeated TV show in Germany with 230 showings and shown in 20 other countries.


Starting Jan. 1 the youngest of the baby boomers celebrated their 40th birthdays and the official entrance to "middle age."

Boomers -- those born between 1946 and 1964 -- have an average life expectancy for men now at 74.1 years and for women, 79.5 years.

"No one wants to admit they are going to slow down as they age, but the baby boomers surveyed have unbridled optimism about life, with 50 percent planning to make it beyond age 80 without serious limitation on their activities," says Dr. James Sliwa, of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.

The RIC survey finds 79 percent of boomers feel they will not experience serious problems until beyond age 70.


For people with HIV, having a stable partner is associated with a slower rate of progression to AIDS or death, according to a study published in the British Medical Journal.

Researchers in Switzerland followed 3,736 adults with HIV who had started highly active antiretroviral therapy before 2002.

A stable partnership was associated with a slower rate of disease progression.

The authors say they the reason is unknown, but they speculate that people with a stable partner may have less depression.

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