All you gentlemen out there, stop what you are doing and read this column. Your manhood could depend on it.

Not that youíre paying attention, hereís the news: According to a recent study in the journal Human Reproduction, teenagers and young men should keep their laptops off their laps because

they could damage fertility.

Laptops, which reach high internal operating temperatures, can apparently heat up the scrotum, which in turn could affect the quality and quantity of men’s sperm.

Adolescents and young men who use laptops several times a day over many years face the greatest risk, the study said. There was no word on whether the news would spur changing the term laptop to another moniker, such as knee-top or vasecto-PC.

Master slave relationships

Score one for the IT industry: The high-tech term ìmaster/slave,î which was banned as racially offensive by a Los Angeles County purchasing department, was named the most politically incorrect term of the year recently.

Among other terms on the top-10 list of politically charged words and phrases, issued by the word usage group Global Language Monitor, were ìnon-same sex marriageî to describe heterosexual unions, ìwaitronî for waiter or waitress and ìhigher beingî for God, a term some people found too religious.

As many of you know, master/slave refers to primary and secondary hard disk drives. But a Los Angeles county purchasing department told vendors in late 2003 that the term was offensive and violated the regionís cultural diversity.

At last: A moral victory for secondary hard disk drives everywhere.

The truth about cats and birds.

Weíve all heard of ìbird coursesî at school — but a feline MBA? According to recent news reports, the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office has sued an on-line university for allegedly selling bogus academic degrees — including an MBA awarded to a cat.

Trinity Southern University in Texas is accused of misappropriating Internet addresses of the state Senate and more than 60 Pennsylvania businesses to sell fake degrees and prescription drugs by spam e-mail, according to the lawsuit.

Investigators paid US$299 for a bachelor’s degree for Colby Nolan — a deputy attorney generalís six-year-old black cat — claiming he had experience including baby-sitting and retail management.

The school allegedly determined Nolanís resume entitled him to a master of business administration degree. A transcript listed the catís course work and 3.5 grade-point average. Sounds like a reasonable candidate for The Apprentice.

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