Category Archives: Cover Stories

8 Weeks to Cardio Fitness

Hooray to JockBoy for this article:

If you would like a challenge and want to lose fat while gaining strength to get your ultimate Beach Body, we offer this day-by-day, step-by-step workout that can get you there quickly.

As with all workouts, this one should be done at your own risk with a doctor or trainer consult if you have any doubts about doing strenuous activity. I have been doing it now for four weeks, and I have seen incredible results.

This program consists of a lot of running and swimming, so be sure to prepare yourself mentally for long, hard cardio workouts. I recommend that you take it one day at a time and always remember: don’t give up!

Mondays: Back and Abs
One-arm Dumbbell Row: 4 sets of 6 to 10 reps
Machine Row: 4 sets of 6 to 10 reps
Lat Pull-down: 3 sets of 6 to 10 reps
Dumbbell Shrugs: 3 sets of 6 to 10 reps
Pull-ups: 3 sets to maximum # of reps
Sit-ups: 3 sets to exhaustion
Hanging Leg Raises: 3 sets to exhaustion
Twisting Crunches: 3 sets to exhaustion

imageTuesdays: Shoulder, Triceps and Abs
Military Press: 4 sets of 6 to 10 reps
Shoulder Press: 4 sets of 6 to 10 reps
Dumbbell Front Raise: 3 sets of 6 to 10 reps
Dumbbell Side Raise: 3 sets of 6 to 10 reps
Narrow Grip Bench Press: 4 sets of 6 to 10 reps
Rope Pull-down: 3 sets of 6 to 10 reps
Dips: 3 sets to exhaustion
Crunches: 3 sets to exhaustion
Leg Raises (Bench): 3 sets to exhaustion
Crunches (Machine): 3 sets to exhaustion

Wednesdays: OFF

Thursdays: Legs
Squat: 4 sets of 6 to 10 reps
Leg Press: 4 sets of 6 to 10 reps
Leg Extension: 3 sets of 6 to 10 reps
Leg Curl: 3 sets of 6 to 10 reps
Standing Calf Raise: 4 sets of 6 to 10 reps
Seated Calf Raise: 3 sets of 6 to 10 reps

imageFridays: Chest, Biceps and Abs
Bench Press: 4 sets of 6 to 10 reps
Incline Press: 4 sets of 6 to 10 reps
Decline Fly: 3 sets of 6 to 10 reps
Pec Dec Fly: 3 sets of 6 to 10 reps
Push-ups: 3 sets to exhaustion
Barbell Curl: 4 sets of 6 to 10 reps
Hammer Curl: 3 sets of 6 to 10 repsReverse Barbell Curl: 3 sets of 6 to 10 reps
Decline Crunch: 3 sets to exhaustion
Knee Raise: 3 sets to exhaustion
Hanging Leg Raise: 3 sets to exhaustion

Weekends: Cardio as you go
The weekends are yours to go to the beach, run, swim. Cardio is important in order to get ripped, and although I’m not giving you a set cardio routine, you should make sure that you are getting an adequate amount of cardio done.

Check out more of Troy’s fitness articles at ProjectQ Atlanta

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Coupling Reduces Stress

Newswise — Being married has often been associated with improving people’s health, but a new study suggests that having that long-term bond also alters hormones in a way that reduces stress.
Unmarried people in a committed, romantic relationship show the same reduced responses to stress as do married people, said Dario Maestripieri, Professor in Comparative Human Development at the University of Chicago and lead author of the study, published in the current issue of the journal Stress.
“These results suggest that single and unpaired individuals are more responsive to psychological stress than married individuals, a finding consistent with a growing body of evidence showing that marriage and social support can buffer against stress,” Maestripieri writes in the article, “Between- and Within-sex Variations in Hormonal Responses to Psychological Stress in a Large Sample of College Students.”
The team of researchers from the University of Chicago and Northwestern University studied 500 masters’ degree students at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. About 40 percent of the men and 53 percent of the women were married or in relationships. The group included 348 men with a mean age of 29 and 153 women with a mean age of 27.
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The students were asked to play a series of computer games that tested economic behaviors, and saliva samples were taken before and after to measure hormone levels and changes.
Each student was told that the test was a course requirement, and it would impact their future career placement. That made the test a potentially stressful experience that could affect levels of cortisol, known as the stress hormone.
The researchers found cortisol concentrations increased in all participants, but that females experienced a higher average increase than males. The exercise also decreased testosterone in male subjects, but not in females, a stress effect previously observed in humans and animals.
But a piece of personal information collected before the test provided another interesting difference within the subjects. “We found that unpaired individuals of both sexes had higher cortisol levels than married individuals,” Maestripieri said.
“Although marriage can be pretty stressful, it should make it easier for people to handle other stressors in their lives,” Maestripieri said. “What we found is that marriage has a dampening effect on cortisol responses to psychological stress, and that is very new.”
The study also found that single business school students also displayed higher baseline testosterone levels than their married or committed colleagues, a finding that mirrors previous human research as well as animal observations.
Maestripieri, who conducts the majority of his research on monkeys in Puerto Rico, said that in species of primates and birds where males assist females with rearing offspring show similar changes. In species that show monogamous pairing and shared rearing of offspring, testosterone levels in males drop as they engage in more fatherly behavior.
Maestripieri’s co-authors are former University of Chicago student Nicole Baran, AB ’09, now a graduate student at Cornell University; Luigi Zingales, the Robert C. McCormack Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance, University of Chicago Booth School of Business; and Paola Sapienza, Professor of Finance at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management.
The Templeton Foundation helped support the study with a grant.

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Who Wrote “Leviticus Ridiculous”?

Surely you have seen this letter we are calling Leviticus Ridiculous which demonstrates how the rules of ancient times may not apply.
In her radio show, Dr Laura Schlesinger said that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22, and cannot be condoned under any circumstance.  The following response is an open letter to Dr. Laura, written by a US man, and posted on the Internet.  But who wrote it?  Here it is:
In her radio show, Dr Laura Schlesinger said that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22, and cannot be condoned under any circumstance.  The following response is an open letter to Dr. Laura, written by a US man, and posted on the Internet. It’s funny, as well as informative:

Dear Dr. Laura:Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can.  When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination … End of debate.
I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God’s Laws and how to follow them.

1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations.  A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians.  Can you clarify? Why can’t I own Canadians?

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7.  In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of Menstrual uncleanliness – Lev.15: 19-24.  The problem is how do I tell?  I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord – Lev.1:9.  The problem is my neighbors.  They claim the odor is not pleasing to them.  Should I smite them?

5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath.  Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death.  Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination, Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality.  I don’t agree.  Can you settle this? Are there ‘degrees’ of abomination?

7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight.  I have to admit that I wear reading glasses.  Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?

8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27.  How should they die?

9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

10. My uncle has a farm.  He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester  blend).  He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot.  Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town  together to stone them? Lev.24:10-

16. Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I’m confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is eternal and unchanging.

Your adoring fan.

So here is the real question, who wrote this letter?  Read the story at Snopes.  Nobody is sure, like Desiderata, where the original sprang forth, yet the material rings true nevertheless.

You might also enjoy how a professor who did NOT write the letter got fame, flame and whole lot more by reading this site.

Photo compliments of the Brick Testament.

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Ask Amanda: Construction Site Concerns

Dear Amanda,

I work for a construction company and work with mostly straight guys.  They know I am gay, and for years it has not been an issue. Recently a very handsome and young new employee was hired and somebody joked asking “Would that work for you?” I agreed that it would.

Now there are stories going around regarding proctology exams performed  by me on the new employee. I am used to being the butt of jokes (sic)
however, I feel bad for the new guy and feel partly responsible for the teasing he is now getting, and of course he is not happy with me either.

What can or should I do?
Not-In-the-Closet Carpenter

My Dear Mr. Carpenter:

Goodness, how butch – a real carpenter. But Amanda digresses.

You are in a difficult spot and the solution might not be much fun at first but will, in the long run, work out very well.

First of all, I hope you now realize what you can say in response to stupid questions from your co-workers and what you cannot say. They sound pretty evolved if they accept you as you are but some of their red-necks are showing in the fact that they would take the response to the next level and put you and the newbie into the situation they have. Trust seems to have been eroded and Amanda hopes you have learned from that.

Secondly, Amanda would sit down with the new guy and explain exactly what happened and make sure he knows you didn’t mean any harm by what has transpired. He may not wish to hear what you have to say at first but it would be a very good way to mend the fence with him. At least you will have tried. Make sure he knows that what has turned into something uncomfortable really began as a compliment to him and assure him that you are not looking for anything from him except a good working relationship (and certainly not a proctology exam).

If you can pinpoint one of the ring-leaders of the rumor, Amanda would also talk with him and let him know how uncomfortable things have become for you and that it was not really fair what happened.

From this point on Amanda would recommend never talking about anyone within reach of your tacky co-workers.

Now, with all that said, how does one keep their mind on driving nails, setting beams, and snapping plumb lines with all those hunky construction workers around? Not that Amanda has ever had a construction worker fantasy – but really?

Kiss, Kiss, Amanda

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The Cure?

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Framing Has Little Influence in Gay Marriage Debate

Rhetoric, Framing Efforts Have Little Influence in Same-Sex Marriage Debate
Newswise — A study by Indiana University researchers found that terminology and efforts to frame an issue — often effective in influencing public opinion — have no effect on public opinion concerning the ongoing debate in the U.S. over legalizing same-sex marriage.
Using an experimental approach involving a nationally representative sample, the researchers found that beliefs and values held sway, not rhetoric, such as the use of ‘same-sex couple’ instead of ‘homosexual couple’ or using the term ‘civil rights’ instead of ‘gay rights.’
“Framing, wording doesn’t matter,” said Oren Pizmony-Levy, a doctoral student in IU’s Department of Sociology. He discussed the study on Monday at the American Sociological Association 2010 Annual Meeting. “We need to stop trying to change the rhetoric and focus on the important issues, such as the benefits that children in same-sex families gain from the legalization of same-sex marriage.”
About the study: The researchers embedded their unique experiment — the first of its kind — in the 2009 Survey of American Social Policy Attitudes, designed by IU sociology professor Clem Brooks. The survey, which involved more than 1,400 respondents, included one of six versions of the question: “Should homosexual couples have the right to marry one another?” To test for framing effects, they manipulated the question by using different words to describe supporters of legalized same-sex marriage, using ‘civil rights activist,’ ‘gay rights activist’ or ‘some people.’ They also varied the term used for describing the social category of those who are subject of the debate, using ‘homosexual couples’ and ‘same-sex couples.’ Different versions of the question were randomly assigned to participants in the survey. A counter statement, “Family values activists argue that only heterosexual couples should have the right to marry,” appeared before the question. Pizmony-Levy said this is the first academic study with a national representative sample that tests whether frames and terminology used by interest groups on both sides of the debate really influence public opinion on this issue. The results apply to the same-sex marriage debate, however, and cannot be generalized to other issues involving sexual minorities. In the debate about whether gays and lesbians should be able to serve in the military, for example, terminology and framing have been shown to be influential.
Co-author Aaron Ponce, also a doctoral student in the Department of Sociology, said the findings are particularly interesting in light of the recent Proposition 8 decision in California. While certain frames don’t matter when it comes to public opinion about same-sex marriage, because beliefs and values tend to be strong, framing might matter when used in courts of law.
“Justice Walker framed the same-sex marriage issue as a failure of due process, that is, as the abridgment of a fundamental right for same-sex partners to marry,” Ponce said. “The way this issue has been framed may have repercussions for how the case is heard on appeal in higher courts. The question then becomes whether same-sex marriage frames function differently in the context of law and justice than they do with public opinion.”
The study, “Competing Frames and (Non) Effects on Public Support for Same-Sex Marriage,” will be presented on Monday, Aug. 16, between 8:30 a.m. and 10:10 a.m. at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis. Co-authors are Hubert Izienicki and Erick Anthony Grollman, Department of Sociology, IU College of Arts and Sciences.

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Adoptive Children of Lesbian and Gay Couples Developing Well

Newswise — Should the sexual orientation of prospective adoptive parents be considered when placing children in adoptive homes?
According to the results of a new University of Virginia study, the answer may be “no.”
In a sample of 106 adoptive children living in different parts of the United States, youngsters were developing well regardless of whether they were living with lesbian, gay or heterosexual parenting couples. The study found that whether or not adoptive children were developing in positive ways was unrelated to the sexual orientation of their adoptive parents.
The finding appears in the August issue of the journal Applied Developmental Science.
“We found that children adopted by lesbian and gay couples are thriving,” said U.Va. psychology professor Charlotte J. Patterson, who led the study. “Our results provide no justification for denying lesbian or gay prospective adoptive parents the opportunity to adopt children. With thousands of children in need of permanent homes in the United States alone, our findings suggest that outreach to lesbian and gay prospective adoptive parents might benefit children who are in need.”
The research assessed adjustment and development among preschool-aged children adopted at birth by lesbian, gay or heterosexual couples. Using standardized assessment procedures, researchers found that parents and teachers agreed, on average, that the children were developing in typical ways. Measures of children’s adjustment, as well as parenting practices and stress, were found to be unassociated with the parents’ sexual orientation. And, regardless of their parents’ sexual orientation, how well children were adjusted was significantly associated with how warmly their parents were oriented to them.
Adoption of minor children by same-sex couples has been a controversial topic. Same-sex couples are prohibited by law from adopting children in Florida, Mississippi and Utah. Voters in Arkansas passed a ban on adoptions by same- and opposite-sex unmarried couples in 2008, only to have it overturned by the courts. That case is currently on appeal.
In the last few years, legislatures in a number of other states have also debated proposals to prohibit adoptions by same-sex couples. On the other hand, joint adoptions by same-sex couples are permitted in many states, including California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Vermont.
The study was authored by Patterson, who also is a faculty member and research scientist at the Fenway Institute’s Center for Population Research in LGBT Health in Boston; Rachel H. Farr, a U.Va. doctoral candidate; and Stephen L. Forssell, a faculty member in psychology at George Washington University. It was funded by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law.

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APA Praises Prop 8 Decision as Victory for Science, Human Dignity

Newswise — The American Psychological Association hailed Wednesday’s ruling overturning Proposition 8, in which voters had taken away the right of same-sex couples to marry in California.
“The U.S. District Court ruling today affirming the right of same-sex couples to marry in California is a victory for both science and basic human dignity,” said APA President Carol D. Goodheart, EdD. “The American Psychological Association is gratified that the court agreed that there is no justification for denying marriage equality to same-sex couples. The research shows that same-sex couples are similar to heterosexual couples in essential ways and that they are as likely as opposite-sex couples to raise mentally healthy, well-adjusted children. Thus, there is no scientific justification for denying marriage equality, when research indicates that marriage provides many important benefits.”

APA, the largest professional society representing psychology, has been a strong advocate for full equal rights for LGBT people for nearly 35 years, based on the social science research on sexual orientation. APA has supported legal benefits for same-sex couples since 1997 and civil marriage for same-sex couples since 2004. APA has adopted policy statements, lobbied Congress in opposition to the Defense of Marriage Act and the Federal Marriage Amendment, and filed amicus briefs supporting same-sex marriage in legal cases in Oregon, Washington, New Jersey, New York (three times), Maryland, Connecticut, Iowa, and California. In California, the APA brief (http://www.apa.org/about/offices/ogc/amicus/marriage.aspx) was cited by the state Supreme Court when it ruled that same-sex marriage was legal in May 2008.

APA holds its annual convention Aug. 12-15 in San Diego, where it will present a full program of sessions highlighting the latest and best research into same-sex couples and families. This research has been key in recent same-sex marriage court cases and other legal decisions supporting equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Sessions will feature the latest scientific research into same-sex couples’ relationships and family formation among lesbian, gay and bisexual people, as well as the effect of sexual stigma on individuals and families. Experts will explain how the most recent scientific evidence and legislation support same-sex marriage and adoption and counter prejudice and discrimination.
“The fact that we are meeting in California at this time has given us an unmatched opportunity to focus public attention on the scientific research into the benefits of marriage to mental health and, conversely, on the pernicious health effects of discrimination and stigma,” Goodheart said. “We hope that policymakers everywhere will avail themselves of this information as the issue of same-sex marriage continues to be considered in courts and legislatures across the country.”
The American Psychological Association, in Washington, D.C., is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States and is the world’s largest association of psychologists. APA’s membership includes more than 152,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance psychology as a science, as a profession and as a means of promoting health, education and human welfare.

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Whence Next, Best Men?

Two steps forward, one step back and then waiting in the wings may best describe the next moves for Proposition 8.

U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker ruled Aug. 4 that Prop 8, California’s ban on same-sex marriage, is unconstitutional. That led to hasty predictions that the issue was fast closing in on the U.S. Supreme Court.

But both sides may have to wait years for a final decision on the matter, according to Susan Frelich Appleton, JD, the Lemma Barkeloo and Phoebe Couzins Professor of Law at Washington University in St. Louis.

Supporters of the ban already have requested a stay, pending the outcome of another round of arguments before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. After a panel of three 9th Circuit judges decides the case, it could get reheard “en banc,” or by a larger group in the same circuit.

The next step after the 9th Circuit is the U.S. Supreme Court, and both sides have vowed to take Perry v. Schwarzenegger to the nation’s top judges.

But the U.S. Supreme Court may not agree to address the constitutionality of bans on same-sex marriage until the issue has been decided by one or more additional federal courts of law — which may produce different outcomes — Appleton says.

“Sometimes a division among the courts will occur, and such splits make an issue more likely to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court,” Appleton says.

STRATEGIC SCENARIO COULD MEAN QUICKER DECISION

On the other hand, it’s possible that the high court could take the case immediately after the 9th Circuit ruling. While Gregory Magarian, JD, Professor of Law at WUSTL, agrees that the U.S. Supreme Court may very well postpone a decision until further rulings are made, he says the justices could also proceed quickly as a strategic move.

“If we assume that the justices know their minds on this issue, then the justices who believe they will prevail may vote to take the case in order to resolve the issue now, while the numbers favor their preferred outcome,” Magarian says. “Supreme Court rules require only four votes to take a case.”

Whether it comes sooner or later, the issue warrants the U.S. Supreme Court’s attention, Magarian says.

Opponents of Walker’s ruling complain his decision amounts to “judicial activism” because it overturned an action approved by the democratic process. But Magarian points out that this argument dodges the substance of the issue.

He compares the voters’ opposition to same-sex marriage to the white majority “democratically” keeping black children in segregated schools, and the male majority “democratically” denying women equal treatment under the law.

“Often, the people ‘democratically’ deny dissidents and rabble-rousers the right to express themselves,” Magarian says. “In all of those circumstances, we welcome the courts’ intervention — at least in hindsight. “

RULING BOOSTS EQUALITY IN ALL MARRIAGES

In his decision, Walker called Prop 8 “unconstitutional under both the due process and equal protection clauses” of the 14th Amendment.

While it was two same-sex couples who filed the lawsuit, arguments against it invoked gender equality as well as gay and lesbian rights.

In his opinion, Walker made more than a dozen references to changes over time regarding gender roles in marriage. Noting that marriage once served to uphold strict gender roles such as women raising children and running a household, and men providing for the family, he pointed out that the state of California has abolished marital obligations based on gender — with no harm to the institution.

“One way to analyze Proposition 8 treats it as sexual-orientation discrimination; another way considers it as gender discrimination,” Appleton says. “Under Proposition 8, a man can marry only a woman but not a man, for example, so access to marriage turns on the combined genders of the would-be spouses.

“Judge Walker’s approach promotes marriage equality and equality in marriage, for all women and men, of any sexual orientation,” she says.

LENGTHY RULING EXPLORES SINGLE SENTENCE

Proposition 8 is only 14 words long: “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”

The measure landed on the ballot after the California Supreme Court decided in May 2008 that same-sex couples had a right to marry. Fifty-two percent of California voters voted for the proposition in November 2008.

Its approval prompted two couples to file a lawsuit, alleging Prop 8 violates their right to due process and equal protection guaranteed under the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Previous victories for same-sex marriage were decided under state constitutional provisions.

Walker’s 138-page ruling provides a comprehensive look at the federal constitutional issues involved, and is sure to be cited in cases even beyond the 9th Circuit.

“Judge Walker’s thorough review of the evidence and meticulous findings of fact leave Proposition 8 without a constitutionally permissible or legally justifiable foundation,” Appleton says.

Appleton is a nationally known expert on family law, and has written extensively about non-traditional families. Magarian has a primary focus on constitutional law in his research and teaching .

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The Good Men Project

What makes for a good man? That is the question asked by a book and now an online magazine. The Good Men Project: Real Stories from the Front Lines of Modern Manhood is an anthology of thirty-one essays by a broad range of men—rich, poor, black, white, gay, straight, urban, rural, famous, ordinary—all writing about the challenges, obstacles, triumphs, failures, and defining moments they encounter. Collectively, their experiences help to define what it means to be a man in America today.

The book launched on November 15, 2009, concurrently with the DVD of a documentary film of the same title, directed and produced by renowned filmmaker Matt Gannon. The book and DVD are available at Amazon.com, www.goodmenbook.org, and select independent bookshops.

Contributors to the book include Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Charlie LeDuff and Not That You Asked essayist Steve Almond. An NFL Hall of Famer, a former Sing Sing inmate, and a Pultizer Prize–nominated photojournalist in Iraq are among the other contributors. In addition, the book includes the winning essay from The Good Men Project’s national writing contest, Perry Glasser’s Iowa Black Dirt, about a man who unexpectedly gains full custody of his 8-year-old daughter.watch full Irrational Man film

“This all started with the idea that men of our generation have stories to tell,” notes Good Men Project co-founder James Houghton. “And what is striking about the stories in the book is not just the breadth of experience and shared humanity that is expressed, but also the desire for so many men to talk, given our cultural bias to put on the good face and hold it all together.”

FMI http://www.goodmenbook.org/index.php

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