Watercooler Stories

By United Press International  |  Feb. 15, 2006 at 6:30 AM
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NYC to name-brand free condoms

NEW YORK, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- The city of New York has been giving away free condoms for almost nine months, but now plans to give them away with a city logo on the packaging.

While the concept won't be ready for a few months, the city's Health Department made the announcement Monday, in time for Valentine's Day, the New York Daily News said.

Department spokeswoman Sandra Mullin told reporters the effort was more about packaging than branding.

"We wanted to develop condom packaging that was noticeable and memorable so that we can later track the effectiveness of our distribution," she said.

The city has handed out about 9 million free condoms at Health Department clinics since June.

City officials told The New York Times said that a "New York condom" was not a part of the branding campaign pushed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg since he was elected. Under his guidance, the city receives a royalty from the sale of products that legally use the Police and Fire Department logos

Pizza toppings predict romance's chances

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Feb. 14 (UPI) -- A new romance's chances of success can be forecast by the compatibility in a couple's choices of pizza toppings, a survey released Tuesday shows.

A study commissioned by Domino's Pizza conducted by Dr. Alan Hirsch of the Chicago-based Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation found personality traits are given away by the preference of pizza toppings.

Among the findings of more than 1,000 people surveyed, pizza eaters who prefer more non-traditional topping combinations, such as pineapple and onion, are most attracted to people who prefer similar non-traditional toppings.

But those who prefer traditional single-meat toppings like pepperoni, attraction is most likely for a person who likes a pizza loaded with meat toppings.

However, Hirsch found those who prefer single vegetables are attracted to just about everyone.

The survey was conducted in December among people who had previously participated in foundation studies.

The full study is available online at pizzaofyourdreams.com.

Romantic love seen as basic drive

NEW YORK, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- Romantic love is a drive as strong as thirst and hunger and a pleasure inducer as strong as drugs, money or chocolate, researchers say.

"Emotions come and go. We feel euphoria, but we feel anxiety, too," said Lucy Brown of New York's Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

"This core system that is driving the person who is in love toward their sweetheart, that is much more important in a sense than an emotion," Brown told CNN.

"Romantic love is not only an emotion, it's a basic mating drive, and it's stronger than the sex drive," said anthropologist Helen Fisher, author of "Why We Love."

"It became apparent to me that romantic love was a drive -- a drive as strong as thirst, as hunger," the researcher said.

Intense passion can strike at any age, Fisher said, noting she has seen 8-year-olds and 70-year-olds who are madly in love.

Man proposes in book form

HILLSBOROUGH, N.C., Feb. 14 (UPI) -- A North Carolina man's proposal took the form of a Valentine's Day breakfast in bed with a 113-page book listing reasons why for the marriage.

Cameron Kelly wrote "50 Reasons Why You Should Marry Me ... And 51 Reasons Why I Should Marry You" for Angie Kreimer. But he is also making the work available to the general public through the self-publishing Web site, Lulu.com, either as a printed book for $21.95 or as an e-book for free.

Kelly's reasons for Angie to marry him include his weekly bathroom cleaning and his promise that he will look like Sean Connery when he is 65. He also reminds her that she will not have to change her initials.

He tells Angie he wants to marry her because he is more in love with her than ever and he loves the way she says "crayons."

The couple are not hurrying into marriage. They already have a 2-year-old daughter and share a home.

Now, they plan to tie the knot officially in the fall since Angie said yes.

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