Parlor Spider...Step In, Little Fly

Insightful thoughts and/or rants from atop the soapbox from one who wishes to share the "right" opinion with everyone.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

To The Pitch for Women!

Cultural or Religious?

More than 29 million women are playing futbol (soccer to us in N. America), according to FIFA the international governing body of the sport. Sadly, to this point, many Muslim girls/women were unable to play because FIFA has declared that no person should play wearing a religious article of clothing or an article that infringes upon the possible safety of the player...and, apparently, the hijab was and did those things.
After watching the video last year of the girl from BYU jerk down another girl by her ponytail, I have a hard time understanding why the original version of the hajib could be construed as a safety issue. Because it was attached with bobby pins and knots of various kinds, it was thought that the mostly flowing headgear (designed to hide a woman's hair completely but allow the face to be seen) could be extremely dangerous if jerked on from behind. It would seem that such an action would be punishable by a card of one color or the other, but I digress.
Also problematic until last year was the impression that said garment was an Islamic religious piece of apparel. Prince Ali Bin al-Hussein of Jordan was finally able to convince FIFA that the garment was a cultural thing, NOT a religious thing. FIFA accepted his argument, but there was still the safety issue. Until now. Cindy van den Bremen of Holland is a designer who came up with something better. She designed the "Capster," a stretchy, slip-over-and-cover-your-hair version of the hijab that she says will completely eradicate any argument about safety. The one-piece item slips over the head and is secured at the neck with velcro. If it is yanked on from behind ("Ladies, PLEASE!") it will simply fall away, leaving the attacking player with a hunk of polyester and a few strands of hair while the player attacked would merely be racing down the pitch covering her hair with her hands (since they don't use them for anything else in soccer, er, futbol).
Truly this is an idea whose time has come. Girls and women around the world have begun to enter all sorts of male bastions, and while I suspect the Islamic cultural ban on women as anything but wives and mothers might take a bit of a hit now that females can kick a ball with a clear conscience, the guys must have known that it would only be a matter of time.
Capsters today, driving tomorrow.
It's too bad there is no snow in most of these countries...they would already have discovered the stocking hat/mask that we wear all the time for snowmobiling.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Bombastic? Not-so Fantastic

so long again

One of my favorite personalities has overstepped someone else's boundaries again. As a result, Keith Olbermann is out of work (though I suspect NOT out of money).
When ESPN was in its infancy, Olbermann was one of the co-anchors of the evening SportsCenter. His teammate was Dan Patrick, and the two of them were simply incredible together: witty, insightful, and playful. They were unafraid to show the sporting world in something less than the straitjacket seriousness that sport has always taken upon itself; yet, they were incredibly knowledgeable, which created a bromance for every sports junkie of the male persuasion.
Somewhere along the line, though, Olbermann ran afoul of something or someone at ESPN and left under something of a vindictive cloud, landing on his feet at MSNBC where he made "Countdown" a staple for everyone not madly in love with "Bill-O the Clown" or anyone else vaguely associated with the more conservative talk show network. He was golden during the last presidential campaign even though I though he was also a bit too snarky for my tastes.
About the time "news" came to mean "one particular point of view, like it or leave it," Olbermann was at his peak. Then, abruptly he left to take over special duties at a new network: Current TV which was owned by Joel Hyatt and Al Gore. Certainly, Olbermann could coexist peacefully with someone the right made out to be a Commie who made up the whole "global warming" thing! Not so much.
Eleven months after he began, even resurrecting "Countdown" on Current TV, Olbermann is again off the air. A dispute with the owners seems to have been long-simmering, and there is acrimony on both sides, one suspects. While I don't get that channel, I can imagine the heated rhetoric Olbermann produced might have been too much for Gore and Hyatt, and I probably would not have tuned in.
At any rate, he's gone.
Maybe ESPN is hiring. for my money, the "old" Keith Olbermann would be a welcome addition.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What's In A Name? a Lot, Apparently

If said to you, "I think I would like to spend the afternoon noynoying," what would you think I meant? It turns out that it could mean any number of things, depending on who's doing the listening or speaking.
In a somewhat useless takeoff on the long-gone (albeit fun) activity of "planking," it would seem that "noynoying" involves simply lounging about while affecting a bored look. I had not heard of the term nor its other potential meanings until today.
Apparently, the fad has caught on big-time in the Philippines; political activists are making headlines everywhere as they "noynoy" in public to protest what they feel is inactivity by their president Benigno Aquino III. These folks think he has been doing little if anything to solve the most pressing problems in the country so they are "voicing" their displeasure at rallies in which they all lounge about looking bored. Not everyone, however, sees the term in that light.
One cabinet minister said he thought that "noynoying" meant "always tells the truth" while yet another politco described it as "careful with others' money." So, you can see why it might be confusing! Still, it has to be rankling when you political opponents stir up a controversy by simply sitting around! I think that's something that we might try in this country!
Think about's perfect. There would be no more talking heads to harangues us endlessly about the evils of the other person or party: they'd simply be sitting around in lounge chairs!
On the other hand, how could anyone tell that I was spending my summer NOT protesting anything...merely relaxing?

Monday, March 26, 2012

March Annoyedness

I cannot use the term "March Madness" without infringing on the copyrighted catch phrase...just who has the rights is unknown to me. It seems logical that the NCAA would own that catch phrase since they own thousands of collegiate athletes and athletic programs throughout the country, shamelessly profiting millions while doling out thousands. Besides, I'm not really "mad," just annoyed.
I have been (justifiably, I think) proud of my accomplishment this year: with the exception of a handful of days, I was able to ride my bike to work every single day. Recognizing the fact that there was a month from mid-December to mid-January in which school was not in session, it was an amazing ride this year (so to speak). Though the hardest part seems to have been survived, I had to look outside today and say to myself, "What the hell is this?" Though not freezing, the climatalogical atmosphere left a lot to be desired.
I had to go back in for a long-sleeved sweatshirt and a windbreaker. I had to search for a stocking hat small enough to cover my ears but not too bulky so I could not wear my helmet. Then, I had to dig out my winter helmet that was especially unpadded to accommodate the hat. To put on those 180 degrees ear muff things was a decision as well. Gloves, of course, had to be retrieved from the basket in the hallway: and all of this decision-making was occurring at 5:45 in the morning...and I am NOT a morning person to begin with.
The ride home was no better in the afternoon, and the return trip for study table tonight offered more of the same Chill. Really. Annoying.
the irony, of course, is that the temp today was STILL above the daytime normal for this time of year. That's what a week of 40 degrees above normal will do to me. I now have more sympathy with the folks in warm-weather climes when we go to visit and observe them wearing goose-down jackets in 45-degree weather.
Now, I have to go to storage a dig out MY winter riding coat.
Fickle temperature, foolish rider...but I WILL be back on the bike tomorrow. With all the money I'm saving on gas, I can retire again in a few years.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

An Anachronism

What began as a simple surprise birthday party for someone as far on the other end of the political spectrum as I could imagine (albeit a neighbor) turned into an interesting experience.
I had always noticed this small building on the street that passed in front of the yard waste facility. It looked commercial since there was a big exhaust fan sticking out of the side. Occasionally, there would be a mass of vehicles gathered, but more often than not, it was deserted. I was curious though never consumed with it. Tonight, I had my chance to enter.
It turns out that this is a "members only" clubhouse, but even more startling is the fact that it's a "men only" clubhouse! Originated in 1930, this place became a venue for solitude among a group of males who used it, I guess, just to get away from the ret of their lives. Engaging the bartender in conversation while awaiting the birthday person, I discovered a few interesting facts.
1. There are openings for seven new members, but one must be recommended by a current member in order to gain admission.
2. Meetings are held on the third Tuesday of every month and are dedicated to paying the bills then socializing. When I asked about specific bills, the barkeep said," Mostly, how to pay for the alcohol we drink and the utilities."
3. There is no community service performed by the group; each member merely has his own key to the place and is free to hang out with friends and/or fellow club members. Hence, no real reason to exist other than to get away from the world, and, one would suspect, the female of the species.
4. There are special food nights, like "Reuben Night" and "Steak Night," but no further information was forthcoming about either, though I did find out that some of the older members assemble on Tuesdays and Thursdays at noon to play cards and drink. sounds like an idyllic life. No word on a secret handshake, either, but then, it was apparent by my questions that I was merely curious.
5. The place is an historical landmark of some sort, at least according to the marker outside.

Go figure: an institution like a "men's only" club in my neighborhood (roughly), and I never even knew about it. It certainly has to be an relic seen only in the movies featuring Sherlock Holmes: men swishing brandy in snifters as they sit around in smoking jackets and decry the women's place in the modern world, harrumphing should anyone crinkle a newspaper or have the audacity to escort a female into the sanctum sanctorum.
Just for a second, I thought it would be interesting to pay the dues and join, but then I remembered the Mark Twain (I think it was...or maybe Groucho Marx...or Karl Marx) quote:
I wouldn't belong to any organization that would have me,"
We left early since there was no food apparent. I'm sure we weren't missed.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Seriously, Pat, What WOULD Jesus do?

Pat Robertson, televangelist and a leader in the Christian Right movement, said the Denver Broncos treated Tim Tebow "shabbily," adding an injury to the team's new quarterback Peyton Manning "would serve them right."

It always makes me a little crazy when people offer "expert" opinion on subjects on which they have very little expertise. The "Birthers" come immediately to mind, but there are other examples. Geraldo Rivera saying that Latino and African-American parents should not let their kids wear hooded sweatshirts because that's just asking to get shot...or the legal geniuses who imply that a woman shouldn't wear provocative clothing if she didn't want to get raped. Even on Facebook the other day, I noted that someone blamed Al Gore for the weather being too hot in Green Bay. Really. Get serious, folks. Stick to what you know...not what the spin doctors want you to say or something you heard on the "news" in talk radio in order to grab the headlines. Al Sharpton has seemingly come out of nowhere in many instances as well. And, of course, there was the "nappy-headed ho's" discussion of a woman's college basketball team and Rush's now-infamous discussion of what constitutes a slut. The latest from Pat Robertson may just be the icing on the cake for years to come.
Hiding behind the guise of religion, his quote about Peyton Manning is decidedly UN-Jesus-like, if I have any conception (immaculate or otherwise) of what Jesus stood for and what the whole religion thing is about.
Wishing bad things to other people because they dared to trade your spokesperson for Christianity? In a dog-eat-dog world like professional sports? Not. Even. Partly. christian. (again, that assessment is totally dependent on what I perceive Christianity, and Islam, for that matter, are about)
Admittedly, Robertson doesn't go so far as to put a bounty on Manning or scroll a target on his image (as politicians sometimes do), but to make this pronouncement on television (even if it IS cable) to literally dozens of believers smacks me as just a bit un-Jesus-like.
Not that I am exempt from judgment, but holier-than-thou people should be AT LEAST holier than I am.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Random Acts of Forehead Slapping

Carefully avoiding the mirror!

I am definitely not above making the occasional less-than-cogent-thought response. Often, I do it without paying attention to the conversation stream which forces the conversation to go backwards to the point at which I wandered off the trail. As such, have not set myself up as a critical observer just because I can pronounce "jewelry," "nuclear," and the elongated form of "etc." correctly. However, there are times that I have serious doubts about people in general...and today seemed to be one of those days. The following is a list of things I heard today that gave me great pause when I considered that people were serious.

1. "It's too hot." Of course, it was almost 40 degrees above normal for this time of year, but can anyone seriously doubt that the recent heat is merely an aberration, soon to be replaced by cold rain? Even saying something like this in jest makes me think it really IS too hot, and the speaker has been out in it far too long.

2. "I had to come out today to vote in this primary election in order to protect the constitution and eliminate anarchy." In this country. anarchy. And I think the constitution is safe enough with the panel of judges we have now (as well as the security shown on National Treasure!)

3. "Businesses need to send more mailers out so the USPS can keep going." More. junk. mail. That's JUST what this country if spam wasn't enough. What this country really needs is more elections: candidates and special interest groups of all ilk seem to boost the economy incredibly during an election cycle. Heck, let's do this ALL the time.

4. "America is just not ready for a white First Lady" Robert DeNiro said this today. And you doubt that this nation has become one of total intolerance? Maybe the constitution DOES need protecting.

5. "I forgot." Having gone to some extent to set up a meeting between two of my students and the director of a nursing home for an extra credit project, the student a) on the first possible day, called almost eight hours after the arranged time to call, promising to call the next day and b) simply "forgot" to call the next day in order to set up something if administrators have absolutely nothing to do all day but wait for someone to call. This student was not 75, either, but memory loss excuse. Well, no excuse at all, really.

Honestly, in many ways, it would be a blessing if the Mayans were long as the world ended on time and not three or four days later.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Education Irony in Wisconsin

The latest study dealing with graduation rates in this country indicates that the national graduation rate has improved by 3.5% since 2001. Like every bit of silver lining, there is a background of ominous cloud. The increased graduation rate is a good thing, but the numbers show that nearly one in four high school students in this country still fail to make it to graduation: twenty-five percent seems awfully high to me.
The numbers were presented Monday at the Grad Nation educational summit in Washington, D.C. and show that there is definitely room for improvement. While 24 states showed an increase in graduation rates, 10 saw their numbers fall. While the report didn't mention WHY numbers rose or fell, the fact that some states still cannot graduate students shows a dire need for a national policy that is NOT connected to the misguided "No Child Left Behind." It is also not (in my opinion) a clear mandate for charter schools that have no restrictions or standard educational guidelines. But...that's for someone else to decipher.
Twelve states saw dramatic increases in graduation rates, headed by Tennessee with an increase of 17.3% and New York which elevated its graduation rate by 13%. The remainder of the top twelve includes the following, in no particular order: Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Texas, South Carolina, Missouri, alabama, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, and Kentucky. The ten states whose rates dropped will be embarrassed enough without my calling them out here.
Only one state in this country achieved a graduation rate of 90% or better.
Given the vitriolic attack on the teaching profession lately, I wonder how much longer educators in the Badger state can maintain the energy and resolve to maintain that lofty standard.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Fake Donuts!

I cannot do better today than some anonymous 12-year-old's school essay about donuts.
The internet is an amazing venue sometimes!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Casual Observations

I've always been a somewhat casual spectator when it comes to sports. I like sports but would much rather play than watch. Super Bowl? NBA Finals? I'd just as soon do something other than watch...after all, the commercials are online long before the games start. World Series...well, depending on who's playing, I might give that some attention. NASCAR? uh, no. Thus, when March Madness comes around, and everyone goes ga-ga (and NOT in a Ladylike fashion, either) over college basketball, I'll read about the results but seldom watch more than a few minutes before venturing off to read or, on days like today, get outside, even if it just means doing basic yard work. There are some observations I have made about March Madness, though...not good, bad or indifferent...just observations.

1. The NCAA must make billions of dollars on merchandising alone during this time (while the players get virtually nothing).

2. When four national networks can agree to SHARE the income, you know they are raking it in as well.

3. Racial disparity that is so evident in men's basketball is not quite as disparate in the women's game.

4. There is NO racial diversity apparent among the cheerleading/dance teams or in pep bands.

5. It only takes three talking heads to discuss basketball while pro football needs five for every game.

6. About half of the talking heads cannot correctly pronounce the word "tournament," pronouncing it like "torenament." Seriously, would you say "The Tore de France"? or "Let me give a tore of my new place"? Of course not. This irritating affectation of East Coastese is simply too irritating.

All in all, I suspect that many people cannot wait to watch college basketball for the underdog/upset factor, just like they love hockey for the fights or car racing for the crashes, but when teams like UConn can play despite failing to graduate its players for four years in a row (until next year when they are forbidden far...we'll see what kind of cojones the NCAA has) one realizes that all is not pristine in this world of "amateur" athletics.
So, I'll go outside tomorrow for more yard work and read the synopses online.
Jaded...that's me.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Never Thought I'd See...

I've always found it ironically funny (and I'm probably the only one who does) that sports need people to lead the fans in cheers. This is true since most fans already scream invectives, boo the officials, though generally know when something good has happened. The organized cheering featured every year that North America gets to watch the World Cup futbol matches or gets a glimpse into Japanese baseball always makes me think that the fans are bored and feel like they need to do something other than the wave. After all, aren't athletes trained to block out noise and distraction and replace it with an iron-willed focus? Well, that's just me, perhaps. But there is one more thing that puzzles me about cheer people in this country.
The female cheer people always wear skimpy clothing...ostensibly to free them for the gymnastic movements they carry out as they jump, fly and cartwheel themselves around as inspiration for...somebody or other. Every time one of the invariably lithe young women does something that propels her body up or over or anything of a radical type movement, at the end, she pushes her skirt back down. Seriously? It's already so short that the imagination can take a break (if that's why people watch them). Smoothing the skirt down only calls attention to will fall by itself in microseconds based on Newton's theory (figs between cake cookies are good). Modesty? uh, hardly. But that's not what startled me tonight while watching a college basketball game.
The team our team was playing had one guy cheer person who did more than hold the females up in the air using questionable handholds. He actually did a series of backflips followed by a roundoff--quite athletic, actually, and equal to many of the great female cheer people I've seen complete that particular set of gymnastic contortions.
And, at the conclusion of his gyrations, HE PULLED HIS SWEATER DOWN TOWARD HIS WAIST! I almost burst out laughing. What were we going to see? It wasn't like it was flopping around his ears, but he did the same thing that the women cheer people always do! I was flabbergasted. For athletic people like that to be conscious about something so trivial surprises me every time I see it.
Oh yeah, there was also a basketball game...I think we won.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

"Just Sit Right Back, and You'll Hear a Tale..."

I think I see an earworm in there!

It's happened to you. You know it has, and like a nasty mosquito or your least favorite relative, you cannot seem to get away from it. Called "cognitive itch" by some, "involuntary musical imagery" by the more erudite, or simply "earworm" (most commonly), that helplessly irritating feeling one gets when a song gets stuck in his or her head and WILL NOT LEAVE has beleaguered us all. And, like the common cold, the causes are somewhat varied and mysterious, but not as difficult to decipher as the remedy.
Psychologist and memory expert Victoria Williamson has been doing memory research for a very long time, especially in the area of "involuntary musical imagery." She has catalogued more than 2500 songs that have been reported to her as getting stuck in people's noggins for a maddeningly long time. Ironically, among the songs on her record (so to speak), almost none of them have been reported more than indication that this malady, while afflicting everyone, has no central theme. Williamson solicited reports from people through (you can add your story or read others' there as well).
While speculative, the supposed causes seem to make sense to me:
1. music exposure. The more one hears a song, the more likely the song will get wedged in the cranium at some point. This is why I do not like "Glee:" they do a song on the show, and it is replayed a million times on the radio as the newest hit. Madonna was like that for a it might be Katy Perry or Lady GaGa. The only one I really remember getting stuck over and over in my head was Mendelsshon's Italian Symphony. I heard that every school day for three years at 9:15 in the evening during study hall.

2. Environment. This,too, seems obvious. Remember where you were when you heard "your" song with that special someone (or someones)? This happened to me just the other day as my sweetie and i were driving with the radio on, and "This guy's In Love With You" from back in the day came on. We actually BOTH started singing since it was "our" song...though I knew all the words and she knew the first couple of verses.

3. Stress. Odd how this might trigger a rewind, but Williamson indicates that it seems likely that we are more attuned to memory relapses during times of stress. Maybe it's something like a soothing mantra that we repeat when we want to calm down.

There is no know "cure" for this malfunction, though Williamson suggests thinking of another song and singing or humming it might do the trick. But, of course, you see the slippery slope in that suggestion: replacing one song with another is senseless. one point, I heard that the ONE SONG that would work but NOT get stuck in one's head as a replacement tune was the "Theme From Gilligan's Island." Why that one, I don't remember, but it seems to work for me on occasion.
So, the next time you get frustrated with recurring music, just sit right back and remember that fateful trip with Gilligan, the Skipper, too; the millionaire and his wife; the movie star, the Professor and Mary Ann, and you'll be rid of that earworm in no time.

Monday, March 05, 2012

No Ushers? Snack Away!

Visa or Mastercard, sir?

We had a drive-in theater in my hometown, and the stories of all the hormone-pulsing "action" were well-advertised, though a good portion of the stories were probably fabricated. However, in the days before any of us had a driver's license, our only choice was the darkened back rows of the inside movie theater. Not the most comfortable passion pit, I'll admit, but where else could we get away from our parents and be left (mostly) alone in the quasi-dark for a couple of hours (counting the cartoons)? So it was that our most enticing dream was to spend a few hours parked legally (and safely) in the dark with no armrests as inhibitors...or ushers.
The ushers were the bane of movie-going lovers at the time: always shining the flashlight around and breaking up the clinches in the back. Help somebody find a seat? No way...they were sent there by our parents to continue the vigilance in loco parentis...or at least it seemed that way.
But, eventually, we got the drive-in experience and now NetFlix and movies on demand...the thrill is mostly gone at the theater. Plus...almost nobody makes fresh popcorn anymore: it all comes bagged to be reheated in an attempt to pass for the real thing. And that's part of what triggered Joshua Thompson's legal ire.
Thompson, of Livonia, Michigan, decided that he was mad as hell and not about to take it any longer: "it" being the exorbitant price gouging that goes on at movie theaters for the snacks folks ingest while watching ads to get more snacks instead of the aforementioned cartoons we used to get.
Thompson did what many of us might do: he brought his own treats in protest of the steep prices for snacks...until the theater he attends put up a sign forbidding such a practice. That made him angry, so he did what everybody seems to do at the slightest provocation: he called a lawyer who made him aware of Michigan's Consumer Protection Act that was implemented to halt price gouging. Thus, a class action suit has been initiated against AMC Theatres in Michigan.
While this may seem like a) a great idea or b) another frivolous waste of time suited only to enrich lawyers, I must admit that the prices seem really steep for something I can purchase or make for a fraction of the cost.
Naturally, sneaking popcorn into the theater in a huge tub would be conspicuous, but a pocketful of Junior Mints or a Slo-Poke would be easy enough(just don't forget they're secreted away in a pocket!). After all, there are no more ushers so nobody would be frisking you at the door. And, given the increase in DVDs and other movie outlet sources, the darkened back rows of the theater are once again available.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Sleep Issues? Try the Bi-Modal Approach.

The BBC News group has been running something of a series on sleep patterns, and a startling development has arisen from research: it seems that, prior to the 1700s, people used to sleep twice every night, punctuated by a couple of hours of activity in the middle! Really! n addition, it appeared to be the norm rather than the exception to sleep patterns. Here's the skinny:
In 2001, researcher Roger Ekirch from Virginia Tech published At Day's Close: Night in Times Past a book that contained more than 500 historical references to the fact that folks went to bed at dusk, slept for four hours or so, got up and did active things for an hour or two, then returned to bed for another four hours of shuteye.
His information came from a variety of sources, including diaries, court records, medical books, an anthropological study of a tribe in Nigeria, and even literature like Homer's Odyssey.
Activities between the "first sleep" and "second sleep" included visiting neighbors, going to the bathroom (which, of course, was not exactly in the adjoining room), smoking, and praying. In fact, entire prayer books were written that contained nothing but prayers for that specific waking time. Oh, and they had sex as well.
In fact, a doctor's manual in 16th century France specified that the BEST time to conceive was during this particular time of night, reasoning that the participants were less likely to be tired from the arduous work of the day and more willing to engage in amour. sounds like it was a male doctor who made that one up!
References to this sleep pattern began to disappear in the 17th century for a variety of reasons: night time was no longer the domain of criminals and ne'er-do-wells, and street lights after a fashion were becoming more plentiful. Apparently, then, technology reversed a long-standing sleep arrangement, and now we expect eight hours of uninterrupted snoozing...though we seldom get it.
In fact, some pundits have recently begun to think that those with "sleep maintenance insomnia" might well be returning to this prior pattern. Heck, I know a LOT of people who do this on a regular basis:
new parents!

Friday, March 02, 2012

It's Manteresting for Me!

18,000 Women Like This

Coming out of the cave yet again...I saw something on a social networking site the other day about something called "Pinterest," and I had no idea what the heck THAT was. Now I know and probably wish I didn't, in some ways. For me, anything that 12 million people like means that it's become "trendy," and I want no part of it. Oh sure, I have a social network account though I tell myself it's just to keep track of the kids. Finding out about this site just renews my idea that I am hopelessly out of the loop when the internet is concerned.
For the one or two others out there who have been as sequestered as I have been, this site is devoted to pictures (I think) of interest to women (mostly) and fall into one of the following categories: fashion, arts and crafts, recipes, seasonal events and interior design. My guess is that you won't find many guys posting pictures of the greatest dunk of all time ot the closest NASCAR finish ever.
According to estimates, 85% of site users are female, and they go to get ideas about certain things and to find out what's going on in other parts of the world, I think. The snowman cookie pictured above was "repinned" (posted by another user who liked it) more than 18,000 times, illustrating the point of the site: if someone has an interesting idea, others will like it as well.
Not to be overdone by the distaff set, it appears that there are now sites arising that aim for the male viewer: "Gentlemint" and "Manteresting" are the two I've read about. I have some suggestions for the "boards" (categories of photos) for the guys' version:

"Clothing" (styles newer than 10 years ago)
"Auto Accessories"
"Buffet Restaurants"
"Man Cave Accessories"
"Best Remote Controls"
(sadly) "Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issues"

Not saying that I would pin pictures in ANY of those categories, it's just what I see as the equivalent categories for men.
I'll stick with Spotify for my interests.