- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 19, 2009

Some new research from Australia shows that tall people typically earn more than short people.

The study shows that a man who is 6 feet tall on average earns almost $1,000 a year more than a man who’s 5-foot-10.

“Taller people are perceived to be more intelligent and powerful,” according to the study, published recently in the Economic Record.

You know, that height-equals-intelligence thing is just an illusion. Trust me. I’m tall.

I’m 6-foot-2, but I carry myself as if I were 5-foot-10. So I’m earning well below my means.

Personally, I think taller people earn more because it’s easier for them to put the ball in the basket.

•••


Have you seen the new Harry Potter film yet? Well, there’s some good news out of the Vatican about it.

The Vatican has praised “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” saying it makes the age-old debate over good vs. evil crystal clear.

The Associated Press said the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano even gave two thumbs up to the film’s treatment of adolescent love, saying it achieved the “correct balance” and made the stars more credible to the general audience.

The newspaper said the film is the best adaptation yet of the J.K. Rowling series about the adventures of child wizard Harry Potter and his chums as they battle the evil sorcerer Voldemort.

However, I heard that the Vatican thought the film’s sound editing could have been a little tighter and the foley mixing was completely off.

The Vatican said the new Harry Potter movie shows that good always conquers evil, just like in real life. … Eventually.

If you think the Vatican gave a great review of Harry Potter, you should see the one it gave for “The Hangover.” Boffo!

Still, I think you need to take the Vatican’s movie reviews with a grain of salt, because I read its review of “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” — and I think they missed the point.

•••


The Hill newspaper recently reported that the White House misspelled President Obama’s first name in a press release this month.

The release said an arms-related agreement between Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev was signed by “Barak Obama.”

When asked about the misspelling, the president said his White House had inherited the error from the previous administration.

The misspelling leaves out a “c.” However, in using fewer letters, it leaves a smaller carbon footprint.

Now there’s talk of dropping the “O” in the president’s name, but Alabama might have something to say about that.

•••


I saw a report last week at LiveScience.com that did not surprise me one bit: A new study shows that household cats control their owners.

Cats can exert this control with a high-pitched, urgent-sounding meowing that indicates they want to be fed, according to the University of Sussex study.

The meow is a purr mixed with a high-pitched cry that humans find annoying and hard to ignore.

For me, this is just one more reason dogs are better than cats.

If you have a dog, you have a friend for life. If you have a cat, you have a haughty, annoying fur ball that orders you around and looks at you as if you’re wearing a clown suit at a wedding.

Some people admire cats, saying that they’re independent and free-spirited. But I say I don’t need any animals in my house that ignore me and disobey me. I’ve already got kids.

Besides, cats are always planning what they’re going to do when you’re out of the picture. For cats, it’s all about regime change and Meow Mix.

•••


AskMen.com has done a big favor for dudes by creating a top 10 list of things you shouldn’t say to a woman on a date.

The Web site’s don’t-say-this list includes:

• “Can I kiss you?” (It shows that you’re a boy, not a man.)

• “Can I take you out on a date sometime?” (It shows you lack confidence.)

• “Do you like me?” (If you have to ask, the answer’s “no.”)

That’s a fine start, and I’d like to add a few my own field-tested lines on which guys should bite their tongues:

• “Yes, those jeans make you look fat.” (Honesty is NOT the best policy, especially on a date.)

• “Your sister’s hot, but your mom’s hotter.” (See the above explanation — and a therapist.)

• “Let’s go Dutch.” (This works only if you’re talking about a trip to Amsterdam.)

• “You smell that? Was that you?” (Even if it was her, don’t say this. Curiosity killed the cat — and the mood.)

• “My doctor said …” (Whatever comes next is irrelevant. If you mention your medical history on a date, you’re Dead Man Talking.)

You can reach Carleton Bryant at 202/636-3218 and cbryant@washingtontimes.com — but only if you’re THIS tall.

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