Marriage Spells Death to the Lady's Libido

Hey ladies, if you want to keep the passion alive with your man, it's a good idea to hold off on marriage.

Greek researchers found that married women are more likely to complain about lack of libido than their single counterparts, according to a report in Greece's Kathimerini newspaper.

The figures, released Tuesday by the Center for Sexual and Reproductive Health (KESAY) in Thessaloniki found that married women complained about their diminished sex drive 40 percent more than single gals.

The center used data from some 3,500 phone calls made to its helpline since 1998 for the study. KESAY also found that only a third of the women who complained about a low sex drive told their doctor about the problem.

Here's My Two Cents and Then Some

CARTERVILLE, Ill. (AP) — A southern Illinois man who's fed up with higher Ameren electricity rates has come up with a way to pay his bill and show his displeasure.

Robert Hancock of Carterville said his monthly power bill jumped nearly 200 percent — to $526.62.

So he's going to send Ameren 52,662 pennies.

Hancock said he's worked things out with a local bank to get the coins and with the post office to mail the money.

It will cost about $50 extra for postage. But Hancock says that if he can cause Ameren a little inconvenience, it's worth it to him.

Sweet Science for the Geriatric Set

LEWISTON, Maine (AP) — All of that Florida sun must be getting to Maine snowbird Roland Fortin. The 91-year-old has laid down a challenge to box fitness guru Jack LaLanne, who's 92.

Fortin, former "cut man" for retired boxing champ Joey Gamache, said the idea for the four-round bout was hatched at the Tropical Gym in Pompano Beach, where Fortin works out during the winter in Florida.

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale ran the challenge in a half-page ad that gym owner Troy Eckonen took out for Super Bowl Sunday. The purpose, he said, was to let seniors know it's not too late to get in great shape like Fortin.

"Florida is like the waiting room to the casket," Eckonen said.

So far, the publicity stunt is working for the Tropical Gym, where membership is up. But LaLanne hasn't taken Fortin up on the challenge to enter the ring.

LaLanne's spokeswoman learned of the boxing challenge when she was contacted Tuesday by a reporter from the Sun Journal newspaper in Lewiston.

"That's not quite his cup of tea," Liz Cardenas said Wednesday from California. Besides, she said, LaLanne is too busy traveling for public appearances, and he no longer performs athletic feats for which he was known earlier in his career.

Despite the rebuff, Eckonen has not abandoned the idea. He said he plans to deliver the ad to fight promoter Don King to see if he's interested.

"It'd be a gentleman's fight, obviously," Eckonen said.

Fortin, a widower who has wintered in Florida since retiring from the funeral business decades ago, doesn't think either man would get hurt in a brief square-off. "He'd knock me down, I'd knock him down," he said.

Fortin works out an hour a day while in Florida, lifting up to 200 pounds. The rest of the year, he keeps fit by riding an exercise bike and carrying caskets in Lewiston.

"I feel it keeps me healthy and limber for my age," he said of his exercise regimen. "It's not always pleasant," he said, but he does it anyway.

Divine Typo? You Decide

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Most people who call the Legislative Information Center at the state Capitol are looking for their district's lawmakers, not advice on the afterlife.

But that's what they get if they dial the number for the center listed in the 2007 legislative directory.

The helpful 78-page booklet includes information on all 105 lawmakers in the Idaho House and Senate, support staff, legislative procedures — and the wrong number for the center.

In a roughly 30-second message callers hear after dialing the bum number, a bubbly woman's voice begins, "Hi, there. If today were the last day of your life, would you be ready to meet God?"

She goes on to ask callers to consider what Jesus Christ has done on their behalf, "so that when your last day comes, you'll be ready."

A reverse directory shows the number, which differs from the correct one by one digit, belongs to someone named "D Shurtz." Messages left after an answering machine kicked in weren't immediately returned.

It's Not K2, but It'll Do

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) — Mountain climbers who live amid the prairies and farm fields have found a way to practice despite the lack of rocky peaks: Scaling grain silos that have been coated in ice.

Don Briggs sprays the silos with water during the winter, turning them into glistening towers of ice that draw hundreds of climbers from across the Midwest, as well as China, Canada and Alaska.

"When we first started doing this, everyone in the county thought I was crazy," said Briggs, a physical education teacher at the University of Northern Iowa, who came up with the idea after noticing that silos are the tallest structures to be found across much of Iowa's agricultural landscape.

Briggs, 57, began the project several years ago on a farm owned by a friend. Each winter, he hoists hundreds of feet of garden hose to the top of four empty grain bins, supplying water that cascades down the silos.

It eventually freezes into a craggy sheet resembling a 70-foot frozen waterfall. The ice is up to four feet thick and constantly changes shape as it melts and refreezes. Briggs can also replenish the ice by pouring another layer of water over the silo on a cold night.

Briggs converted one of the farm's outbuildings into an equipment shed, and a cattle barn became the climbers' lounge. The university contributed $10,000 to buy ropes, helmets, hand axes and boots.

During most weekends between November and March, Briggs can be found at the silos, scaling the ice and helping others learn to climb. He has written a book on ice climbing and been featured in climbing magazines. He also teaches a course on the sport at the university.

There is no fee to climb, but climbers' donations buy fuel for portable heaters and new parts for the water sprayers.

University student Laura Edwards struggled recently during her fifth attempt to climb the ice. Just 15 feet from the top, her arms were weary and her feet cramped.

After taking a short break, she made a final push, driving her ax into the ice and pulling her body up the last few feet. She celebrated by ringing the cow bell that awaits climbers at the top.

"That's my first bell," she said.

Compiled by's Sara Bonisteel.

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