Greeson: A royal tribute to smarter condoms and terrible typos

Jay Greeson

And here we go again.

The University of Minnesota, in a grand effort to protect the delicate sensibilities of the ever-frail future leaders of our world, has come up with this glorious idea of gender neutrality:

photo Staff Photo by Dan Henry / The Chattanooga Times Free Press- 4/15/14. Staff Mugs

To not offend anyone on any perch on any part of any planet, instead of having the traditional "Homecoming King" and "Homecoming Queen" titles, the annual titles will be known simply as Homecoming Royals.


Forget graduation rates, job placements, advanced studies or preparing students for a virtually unknown virtual world, we have too many college leaders concerned with the ever-expanding fear of the catastrophic offense of offending someone.

Safe spaces. Safe spaces.

And the sad fact is that the over-correcting of the non- offensive dilutes and discredits the merits and the importance of the truly offensive things out there.

But what do we know? We're not a King or a Queen. Maybe, though, we could give this a royal flush.

Too smart?

It's official, our society has now become too smart.

How do we know this? Well, because we now have smart condoms. Yes, smart condoms.

There was a proposed version of a more educated condom a couple of years ago that might have been helpful. The goal there was hopefully to provide information if a partner potentially had a sexually transmitted disease.

But the latest latex revelation this week is a condom that measures, shall we say, various "performance" numbers, and gives guys a chance to gauge their stats.


First, know this fellows. If you have to check an app for your "performance" in that arena, well, you are probably not doing it right.

Second, how can our bright minds out there create a condom like this and we still have not made meaningful medical strides in our fight against, say, ALS?

Finally, if we insist on measuring performance like this, then this has to be ultimate definition of the great line that there are three kinds of lies: "lies, damned lies, and statistics."

What's in a letter?

I have written before about my first week on the job in the newspaper business.

Writing about a high school basketball practice two decades ago, I described the scene as "the shirts vs. the skins." Sadly, I left the 'r' out of that, and well, you can re-read it.

Surprisingly, I was not fired, but that was before the internet.

In today's world, the internet and a terrible typo have far bigger ramifications.

Did you suffer online angst this week? It was likely caused by a missed keystroke by some dude doing his best on Amazon's Web team.

Amazon Web Services released a statement this week that explained someone on its S3 team was trying to correct a billing issue a little after lunch on Tuesday. Something went terribly wrong.

"Unfortunately, one of the inputs to the command was entered incorrectly and a larger set of servers was removed than intended," Amazon's statement read. "The servers that were inadvertently removed supported two other S3 subsystems."

That typo was finally made right more than four hours later.

Man, that's the shirt hitting the fan, huh?

Saturday stars

We're going to go with a big group of folks who have contributed and followed the great details of April the giraffe as she is preparing to give birth to her fourth baby.

Bringing new life into this world is a great thing. My good friend David Barker gets to do that for human babies as his day job, and that's awesome.

April, though, has become something of a celebrity. She has her own webcast, a GoFundMe page and clothing donations as people across the country want to be part of the new giraffe, who will be welcomed into the New York Zoo.

And most of those folks are still waiting.

"The timeline is obviously a little wrong at this point," zoo owner Jordan Patch said in a video update posted Wednesday on YouTube.

OK. But in a sad statement of the handwringing and hunger for attention by the PETA folks, there actually are folks who are upset and feel April is exploited.

Oh well. Here's hoping no one has violated April's HIPPA rights - or would that be Hippo rights here - and a grateful thanks to Dr. Barker and the rest of the medical world who bring new life into the world.

Until next time.

Contact Jay Greeson at or 423-757-6343.