Ever use Post-Its around home or in the office? Sure you do, but I guarantee you'll never look at one the same way after you read some of the classic notes Chris Illuminati left for "permanent roommate" (his wife), when he became a stay-at-home dad in 2010.
To be fair, Illuminati is a writer and comic by trade, so when his witticisms turned to parenting, the result was bound to be hysterical.
And a cracking daddy blog, Message With a Bottle, was born.
Illuminati covers the usual daddy topics—from diaper disasters and housework—but in his own smart-aleck spin.
The notes started after his wife left him at home alone with his baby son for the first time, with a "lengthy list of instructions."
“I started writing down wise ass things like, ‘Feed baby. Change baby. Don't feed baby to cat.’ and hung it up on my bulletin board. I noticed it a few days later and laughed. I thought it would make a funny blog, dumb notes about my failures and observations as a father,” said Illuminati in an article on Today.
Of course, behind the funny lies the disgruntling truth: that we don't expect our men to be able to cope with raising children without that detailed list of instructions.
"People assume a man will be awful at it," says Illuminati, now at home with his second child, a daughter. "Or they assume he's out of work. Both were true for me at one point but I don't understand why people think men will be so bad. Are our parenting skills only good on weekends? ‘Well, I can control you on Sundays, but today is Tuesday, and I'm powerless!’"
So, so true. I still find myself issuing those commands (and my son is five!). I think he does for parenting what The Far Side did for pets. Would make a great daily desk calendar.
Care to share your favourite Illuminati-ism? Another stay-at-home dad whose creativity recently wowed us.
Women in India need to defend themselves. That much is clear after a student in Delhi was gang-raped and thrown out of a moving bus in December 2012. So what can be done to prevent such heinous crimes against women from being repeated? Stiffer penalties for perpetrators? Teaching men to respect women from the earliest age? No, get themselves a firearm, of course.
According to an article in the BBC, Nirbheek is the tiniest gun manufactured at the state-run Indian Ordnance Factory.
"It's small, it's lightweight, it weighs only 500g [1.1lb], and it can easily fit into a lady's purse," said the factory's GM, Abdul Hameed. Well, thank goodness for that. We wouldn't want to carry a bulky handgun with our lipstick, now would we?
The Nirbheek knows its target market: the gun comes "packaged in a deep maroon jewellery case."
"Indian women like their ornaments," said Hameed.
Manufacturers claim that women who tote this gun around are destined to become confident and fearless, as the Hindi name of the gun would suggest. At 122,360 rupees ($1,990), the Nirbheek costs more than the average annual income in India. Yet guns are popular, with the country second only to US in the number of privately owned guns—40 million.
Sadly women in India are afraid, and despite increased police presence on the streets, many fear that the "a largely corrupt and inefficient police force" will ultimately fail to protect them. Fear sells. Cue the increase in pepper spray sales and self-defence class enrollment. And for some, guns.
Of course anti-gun lobbyists stress that owning a gun only increases a woman's risk of coming to arm.
"Our research shows that a person is 12 times more likely to be shot dead if they are carrying a gun when attacked," said Binalakshmi Nepram, founder of the Women Gun Survivors Network.
Not least of which that the gun is an insult to the 23 year old rape victim's memory.
What do you think of India's initiative to arm its women?
Another misguided 'solution' to rape, which yet again puts the onus on women rather than men.
The fact that it's a Duracell battery endorsement notwithstanding, the commercial that tells the story, in Seahawks fullback Derrick Coleman's own words, is incredible and inspirational.
As the first deaf offensive player to ever play in the NFL, Coleman recalls the ups and downs of his career, and how persistence really paid off for him:
"They gave up on me. Told me I should just quit," he says in the commercial. "But I've been deaf since I was three, so I didn't listen. And now I'm here . . . with lots of fans cheering me on, and I can hear them all."
According to an article in USA Today, Coleman failed to make the draft in 2012 after his time at UCLA.
He amply made up for it in his first game with the Seahawks this season, with three catches for 30 yards and a touchdown pass against the Saints.