Friday, June 20, 2008

10 quirky facts about kissing

By Laura Schaefer

Think you know a thing or two about kissing? You probably do. But the facts below are so off the beaten path, we’ll bet you don’t know them all—and they could come in handy. Not only could they provide some steamy “Did you know…?” chit chat, but they’ll help you see all the benefits a satisfying lip lock can bring into your life. Happy smooching!

1. Two out of every three couples turn their heads to the right when they kiss.

2. A simple peck uses two muscles; a passionate kiss, on the other hand, uses all 34 muscles in your face. Now that’s a rigorous workout!

3. Like fingerprints or snowflakes, no two lip impressions are alike.

4. Kissing is good for what ails you. Research shows that the act of smooching improves our skin, helps circulation, prevents tooth decay, and can even relieve headaches.

5. The average person spends 336 hours of his or her life kissing.
6. Ever wonder how an “X” came to represent a kiss? Starting in the Middle Ages, people who could not read used an X as a signature. They would kiss this mark as a sign of sincerity. Eventually, the X came to represent the kiss itself.

7. Talk about a rush! Kissing releases the same neurotransmitters in our brains as parachuting, bungee jumping, and running.

8. The average woman kisses 29 men before she gets married.

9. Men who kiss their partners before leaving for work average higher incomes than those who don’t.

10. The longest kiss in movie history was between Jane Wyman and Regis Tommey in the 1941 film, You’re in the Army Now. It lasted 3 minutes and 5 seconds. So if you’ve beaten that record, it’s time to celebrate!

Laura Schaefer is the author of Man with Farm Seeks Woman with Tractor: The Best and Worst Personal Ads of All Time.

Kissing secrets by sign

By Barrie Dolnick

The first kiss… The first time you ask “Wanna come back to my place?” These are moments so fraught with what-ifs and am-I-doing-it-rights that pretty much every single person out there could use some success strategies. Well, why not get some astrological guidance on how to pull it off? Each horoscope sign responds best to a certain sort of woo; here’s which tactics are tops based on the person you’re dating.

Aries man:
Likes to be in control. Show you’re game, but don’t jump his bones. You can lead an Aries to romance but you can’t make him kiss.

Aries woman:
Likes a strong demonstration of your interest, no pussy-footing around. Go for sparks—candles, a roaring fire, and clear clues that you’re ready to pounce. She’ll respond with an enthusiastic yes.

Taurus man:
Loves subtlety, hates the direct approach. He’ll respond to a gentle touch of your hand or the gift of a soft, pink cashmere sweater—then wrap your arms around him as if to say, “I’m a gift, too.”

Taurus woman:
Finds fine dining, a sexy car or, of course, a good piece of jewelry a big turn-on. Say it with taste and a spare-no-expense attitude and she will find your advances are worthy of her.

Gemini man:
Lights up with great conversation and tunes out to endless, self-absorbed anecdotes. Set the tone for romance by asking him questions, really listening to him, and leaning in to show how his mouth can communicate without words.

Gemini woman:
Loves to be amused and numbs out when things are dull. Keep her interested and romanced by planning a fun date with at least three parts—drinks, dinner, and a walk. Keep her moving and talking, and soon she’ll be smooching.

Cancer man:
Needs his own timing. Put the Crab in a pinch, and romance will crack. Let him signal that he’s at ease and ready. Find a balance between best friend and sex goddess, and you’ll hit his comfort zone.

Cancer woman:
Needs to trust you first. You won’t earn that by flirting with her friends or telling stories about fun you had without her. Sidle up to her slowly, keep her warm, put your arm around her, and her shell will slowly soften.

Leo man:
Is by definition romantic and fun. He is confident of his charms, so make him work for you. Set a scene for all-out romance and play hard to get. Give him the thrill of the chase as well as the rewards of romance.

Leo woman:
Knows she’s a catch and enjoys the game. Anyone too sensitive, too slow or too dull will not win. Throw some curve balls, entertain her, and go for the trophy when you see she’s laughing with you, not at you.

Virgo man:
Gets in his own way. He’ll be the first to help you, teach you and guide you in romance, but he may forget to participate in it for himself. Ask him about good wine, good food and find a nice night to share it. He’ll get the message—or you can explain it to him after you’ve led him back to your place (think: bedroom).

Virgo woman:
Loves to give—but she’s going to be wooed and wowed by being the receiver. Show her that you know her favorite movies, food and flowers and she’ll give you a lot of kisses to show you her thanks.

Libra man:
Is all about peace, love and understanding. He’ll respond to even-tempered sweetness way better than a ha-cha-cha over-the-top lip lock. Be a girl, let him be a guy, and he’ll find it easy to share a great kiss.

Libra woman:
Needs to know her guy is there for her. Focus on her, notice her outfit, and listen to what she says. She’s smart, but she wants you to love her for more than her mind. Embrace traditional romance, and you’ll be embraced right back.

Scorpio man:
Intense, passionate and totally suspicious. Give him your rapt attention and absolutely no reason to stress about your loyalty. Beckon him gently into your arms, and he’ll take it from there.

Scorpio woman:
A Bond girl in real life. You can praise her beauty, worship her shape, and still fear her just a little bit. That combination of attention will intoxicate her. She’ll give you what she can—at the very least, a kiss you’ll never forget.

Sagittarian man:
Can get claustrophobic with any kind of formulaic romance. Give him something unexpected — maybe a ride on a rollercoaster — and don’t look him straight in the eye until you’re ready. Keeping him guessing will keep him wanting more.

Sagittarian woman:
Is riveted by wisdom and adventure. But wander carefully down this road. Phony smarts are a huge turn-off. Be the wittiest version of yourself, channel a little Indiana Jones, and put her in a situation where she has to hang on tight.

Capricorn man:
Is quiet, capable and tricky. He needs to take the lead in a very 1950’s sort of way. Think old movies, low tones, and no pressure. Wear a fetching, non-staining lipstick and gaze up at him with slightly anxious wide eyes. He’ll slip into a Cary Grant role soon enough.

Capricorn woman:
Won’t give herself away. You have to take it slowly and purposefully. Demonstrate that you’re not just going through the motions or pulling some tried-and-true romantic routine. If she sees your focus is all on her, she’ll cooperate.

Aquarian man:
Hard to read. He’s quirky, a little preoccupied and will not take hints very well. You might have to do the whole dressed-to-kill/“let’s head back to my place” routine to get his attention. Then press your lips on his. He’ll pick up on that.

Aquarian woman:
Very intuitive, but hard to romance. She’s smart and deeply focused on whatever is buzzing through her brain. To get her on track, brush her hair away from her face. With the simple motion and light touch, she’ll feel your interest and focus on your gaze. You can take it from there.

Pisces man:
A softy with a gruff exterior. He’s a man’s man except when he’s with you. Give him the subtle go-ahead to curl up with you by being relaxed, feminine, and captivated. He’ll purr like a pussycat if you don’t approach him too roughly.

Pisces woman:
Embodies the definition of romance. Woo away as long as you’re serious. She likes the whole shebang — flowers, candles, wine, music — as long as you can follow through for a long while. She hopes to mate for life.

Astro-coach Barrie Dolnick helps people find love and happiness by understanding their stars and their karmic energy. She is the author of 12 books, including Simple Spells for Success, now in paperback. Her website is

Monday, June 9, 2008

Austria kicks off Euro 2008 health website

09 Jun 2008

The Austrian social security system, Sozialversicherung, has launched a new website to provide football fans with information on how to seek health advice in the country, during the
three-week Euro 2008 tournament.

The tournament, which kicked off on Saturday, will see fans from 16 European nations, following their teams in Austria and in neighbouring Switzerland over the course of June.

Sozialversicherung’s website is available to all fans by logging onto The website is available in 34 European languages.

The website aims to ensure that all fans know how to seek healthcare advice for any potential injury or sickness they may suffer on their travels.

Questions covered on the website include will I be treated during my stay in Austria?, what is my legal insurance status?, which documents should I take with me as a precaution? And whom can I contact in Austria immediately in an emergency?

The website also includes a first aid dictionary for the most important health phrases and questions fans may have. With England not involved in the tournament “sick as a parrot” is not included in the phrasebook.

The website also features general information about the Euro 2008 tournament and the host regions in Austria (Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck, Klagenfurt).

A Sozialversicherung spokesperson said: “The guidebook is exceptionally easy to use and adapts personally to the user. Upon answering a few questions, it presents the visitor with information precisely tailored to his or her needs - and that in 34 European languages, from Icelandic to Greek, Russian to Montenegrin.

The spokesperson added: “Austria’s Sozialversicherung is the foundation of social security in Austria. It is a legally established organization without commercial interests. With the introduction of the e-card for all Austrian insured persons, the Austrian social security system has earned a leading international role in the country-wide adoption and further development of e-health.”