Sex and Ice Cream: Your Guide to Better Health?

Sunday is National Ice Cream Day, and not a moment too soon. In these turbulent times, the simple pleasures of life can offer us sweet relief, and the creamy treat is near the top of most everyone’s list.

In 1984, when President Ronald Reagan declared the third Sunday of July as National Ice Cream Day, he once again proved that the way to our hearts is through our stomachs, winning re-election later that year in a landslide.

While ice cream has gotten a reputation as being bad for you, it also brings some surprising health benefits. For starters, it’s loaded with calcium, which strengthens teeth and bones. It may also enhance the possibility of a woman getting pregnant.

You read that right. According to newhealthadvisor.com, consuming full-fat ice cream improves a woman’s chances of having a baby, and that “women who eat it at least two or more times every week have a lower risk of suffering ovulation-related infertility.”

But wait, there’s more good news. Studies show that men who have frequent sex are benefiting their prostate gland. According to a report in The Telegraph, having one orgasm a day could significantly reduce a man’s chance of developing prostate cancer.

A Harvard Medical School study reveals that those who have sex more than 21 times a month are at a 22 percent lower risk of getting the disease. “The results of this study are particularly encouraging,” Jennifer Rider of Harvard Medical School told The Telegraph. I’ll say!

Sex is also aerobic, and can add years to your life. Or maybe life just seems longer without it?

So my take-away from these studies is, if sex and ice cream are pretty much all you think about, you are admirably health-minded and a role model for us all.

Of course, ice cream is also loaded with fats and sugar, and can help make you obese, increase your cholesterol, give you diabetes and heart disease. And yes, too much sex could bloat a man’s prostate to the size of a cantaloupe. So there’s that.

But both also can do you some good. In moderation. So why not focus on the positive?

Hey, it’s summer!

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Trump Meets Putin: The Secret Tapes

Down in Times Square over the weekend, I was lucky enough to obtain a pirated tape of the Trump-Putin meeting from a street vendor dressed as Jack Sparrow. Here are the highlights:

Trump: “Wow, you’re short! If you had run against me in the Republican primaries, I would have called you Tiny Vlad.”

Putin: “Cute. I would have called you “Tiny Hands.”

Trump: “Then I would have called you—“

Putin (cuts him off) “Okay, why don’t we talk about the issues between our nations?”

Trump: “Issues? Oh sure! But first I want to thank you for your help in the 2016 election. I couldn’t have won it without you. You’re not taping this, are you?”

Putin: “Would I do that to my great comrade Donald? Never!” By the way, your son Donald Jr. was a delight to work with.”

Trump: “Terrific. I’ve already declared for 2020, and would love your assistance.”

Putin: “No problem. But I’d have to ask for something in return.”

Trump: “Of course. I’m the best negotiator in history, so ask away.”

Putin: “I’d like you to end the sanctions you put on my country for invading Ukraine, then interfering in your American democracy.”

Trump: “That’s it? Done.”

Putin: “Really?”

Trump: “Yes. Why wouldn’t I trust you? When I saw that photo of you preening bare-chested and riding a horse, I said, that’s my kind of leader. So, anything else I can do for you, my friend?”

Putin: “Uhm, sure. That Alaska deal we made with you in 1867? It always stuck in my craw. We’d like it back.”

Trump: “You want Alaska back? It’s freezing there!”

Putin: “I’m well aware.”

Trump: “Let me check with Sarah Palin. She can see you guys from her house, you know. But now I need something else from you.”

Putin: “Do you now?”

Trump: “Yep. You didn’t think you’d get off just helping me win the next election, did you?”

Putin: “You are an incredible deal-maker. So what else would you like?”

Trump: “I’ve always wanted to meet Nikita Khrushchev and Joseph Stalin. Could you arrange that?”

Putin: “Nikita–? Uhm, sure, maybe next time.”

Trump: “It was a real pleasure meeting you.”

Putin: “Believe me, the pleasure was all mine. And I’d like to move quickly on that Alaska deal.”

Trump “What’s the rush? You don’t think I’ll be running in 2020?”

Putin: “Oh, I think you’ll be running alright.”

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My Musicals That Didn’t Make the Cut

The New York Music Festival kicks off its annual launch of 30 new musicals on Monday at venues around town. Despite the selection of such shows as “Numbers Nerds” (about an all-girl math team from Wisconsin) and “Backbeard: The Musical” (about the hairiest pirate who ever lived), somehow all of my submissions were rejected.

Here’s what you will miss:

–You Ain’t Going Nowhere: A jukebox musical about subway riders who’ve lost jobs, friends and eventually, their minds due to subway delays. Songs include “Uptown (and Downtown) Funk”, “Stuck in the Middle With You”, and “By the Time I Get to Midtown (I’ll Be Jobless).”

–OMG, I’m Sick!: A heart-tugging musical about The American Health Care Act. Songs Include “A Million Reasons (You’re Not Covered)”; “I Don’t Want to Live Forever (but Not Die This Early!)” and “I Took a Pill in Ibiza (Because it was too Expensive in New York)”

–Adios Mr. Met: A frustrated mascot of a baseball team in freefall loses his job when he flips off booing fans. Songs include “I’m a Loser”, “We Aren’t the Champions”, and “That’s What Happens When Your Head Gets Too Big.”

–A Horse’s Tale: A mayor pretends to care about the welfare of carriage horses in Central Park, until the man behind the reform effort stops giving him money. He then reverses field and uses one of these same horses to take him from his gym in Park Slope to Gracie Mansion each morning. Songs include “Take the Money and Run”, “Horse With No Name” and “Whip It!”

–Hot Hot Hot!: A newly appointed EPA director laughs at climate change, then changes his tune when he finds his Florida vacation home 20 feet under water. Songs include “It Will Rain (Really Hard)”: “Cake By the Ocean (Now Flooding My Condo)”; and “Goodbye Florida!”

–Can’t Get Uber You: When a young Uber driver picks up a gorgeous model on Madison Avenue, more than his prices surge. She casually mentions Per Se as her favorite restaurant, and he takes her to dinner at the $500-a-meal food mecca. When she won’t return his texts afterward, Uber-guy realizes he’s the one who’s been taken for a ride. Songs: “I Knew You Were Trouble When You Walked In”, and “Forget You!”

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Fourth of July: What Are We Really Celebrating?

What are your plans for the upcoming Fourth of July weekend? Most celebrations involve the five F’s: fireworks, frankfurters, family, friends, freedom.

Maybe you’ll watch the fireworks at Macy’s East River extravaganza. You might enjoy grilled franks at a barbeque with family and friends.

But freedom? We use that word a lot. Americans have fought and died to defend our freedom. But how many understand what it really means, and why we celebrate this holiday?

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” Know the origin of that sentence? Right, the Declaration of Independence. But do we really believe and live it?

How about the Constitution? Founding Father James Madison might not have a hit musical written about him, but his Bill of Rights forms the heart of our democracy. Are you familiar with its First Amendment? “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press . . .”

Separation of church and state was vitally important to our Founding Fathers. Blurring that line would be a big mistake and, in fact, would threaten our religious freedoms. Want to live in Iran, Saudi Arabia or other nations where church and state are not separate? Not me!

Don’t like what you see in the media? Some hate Fox News, others The New York Times. One of the first things Hitler did was crush the press for daring to criticize him. We celebrate the fact that we live in a country where people can express viewpoints on all sides of the political spectrum.

Although the occupant of the White House is not the first to be at odds with the media, he should remember Thomas Jefferson’s words: “Were it left for me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”

I’ll be at a barbecue this weekend eating franks and ribs, drinking beer, then watching the fireworks with family and friends. Some will see eye to eye with me politically, some won’t, but we all agree on one thing: America’s freedom is something to celebrate.

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Dating in the Age of Trump

Three little words have always made the difference between romance and rejection: Do you smoke? That was the big question, the dealbreaker — no matter how attractive you found someone, if he or she smoked and you didn’t, game over.

Now four little words are being asked earlier and earlier in a relationship: Do you like Trump?

A friend recently met a woman online. They exchanged witty messages, and when they spoke on the phone, hit it off, joking and laughing. Until the toxic T-word came up.

My friend asked whether she could believe President Donald Trump’s latest lie. The woman said Trump never lies. My friend gave five examples. The woman asked where he read those, “the lying New York Times?”

She then said “Killary” Clinton is not only a bigger liar, but had people killed. My friend said, “Since we’re screaming at each other already, perhaps we shouldn’t meet.”

Hello? Hello?

I’ve heard stories like this, some from people looking for love, others from those already in relationships. What to do if you discover to your dismay that your partner absolutely loves — or hates — Trump?

According to a recent study by Wakefield Research, 24 percent of Americans who are married or dating (and a whopping 42 percent of millennials in that category) report that “since President Trump was elected, they and their partner have disagreed or argued about politics more than ever,” according to the Washington Examiner.

Among those who didn’t vote for Trump, 33 percent would consider divorce if they discovered their spouse voted for the president, according to Wakefield. That number rises to 43 percent of millennials with a spouse or partner they discover voted for him.

So it appears Trump has not just wreaked havoc on our relations with allies worldwide and our national politics, but in our bedrooms and on dating sites. It seems there is faint hope for those in relationships in which one can’t stand Trump and the other supports him. But take heart, it might not be a lost cause.

As with smoking, no matter which side you’re on, you might be able to make it work. Just hold your breath for the next few years.

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Cake, Lies and Audiotape

While a paltry 18 percent of his fellow New Yorkers voted for President Donald Trump, we are all thrilled to celebrate his birthday. Assuming his birth certificate is real, Trump turns 71 today.

What’s that? You’re not thrilled? What if I tell you wife Melania’s gift to him was moving into the White House Sunday?

Which means we can stop paying six figures daily to protect her and their son at Trump Tower. Yes, the government recently allocated $68 million to help repay us, but whether we will ever get fully reimbursed remains uncertain.

Meanwhile, it’s a good bet Trump will enjoy a royal chunk of chocolate cake today. When the U.S. military launched a missile strike on Syria while he ate dessert with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago, Trump seemed more excited about “the most beautiful piece of chocolate cake that you’ve ever seen.” Don’t be surprised if he has that same chef flown up to Washington to bake his favorite cake — hopefully not at taxpayers’ expense.

Unfortunately, Trump has bigger problems than cake on his birthday. He knows the story of his presidency has not been the majestic wall he promised, with Mexico paying for it (never will happen), or a Trumpcare health plan in which “no one will lose coverage” (24 million Americans could).

No, the constant theme of his presidency is unfulfilled promises and lies. Whether you believed James Comey last week when he said Trump told “lies, pure and simple,” or Trump when he insisted that it was Comey who lied under oath, we know that only one can be telling the truth.

Trump has now made a “100 percent” offer to testify under oath. If he does, he’ll be grilled about what he knew about secret contacts between his former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and Russia, as well as back-channel contacts between that nation and others on his team. Did he secretly tape Comey? Then let’s hear it! If Trump testifies and lies, it’s perjury — and the likely end to his presidency.

Mr. President, it was bold of you to put that offer out there. Unfortunately, birthday boy, you can’t have your cake and eat it. The time has come to put up or shut up. Happy birthday!

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Where Everybody Doesn’t Know Your Name

It takes all kinds, and that’s what makes New York great. At the same time, gentrification has created resentments that can bubble up without warning.

The corner of Prospect Park West and 16th Street in Brooklyn’s Windsor Terrace is a prime example.

On one corner sits Farrell’s, the legendary cop and working-class watering hole that opened in the 1930s and is reputed to serve more Budweiser than any NYC tavern.

Across the street is The Double Windsor, a more upscale neighborhood hipster tavern that launched in 2009, offering an extensive menu and microbrews.

Management at both establishments radiates good will. “Sure the neighborhood has changed, but still good people,” Farrell’s co-owner Jimmy Houlihan cheerfully told me.

At The Double Windsor, bartender Khara Gilvey agreed: “The owners and bartenders at Farrell’s are kind to me.”

But scratch just under the surface, and the picture becomes a bit less rosy.

“They call us leftovers,” said Ronnie Homan, a regular at Farrell’s. “I was brought up in this neighborhood, but some of the newcomers look down on us, like we don’t belong here.”

Nearby, Ann Marie Perry nodded her head. “I’ve been coming to Farrell’s for decades, since I was 16,” Perry said. “Oops, maybe I shouldn’t say that . . .

“This neighborhood has turned into Yuppieville, and I don’t mean that as a compliment,” Perry said. “No offense to that place across the street, but the real men drink here.”

In The Double Windsor, “that place across the street,” some regulars returned fire. “Who wants to hang out with a bunch of retired cops?” asked a young woman who identified herself only as Mel. “I don’t come to a bar to be policed. No thanks!”

Her friend June jumped in. “For years, the Farrell’s crowd would stand outside on the sidewalk and guzzle their containers of beer,” she said. “If we did that, we’d be busted. Double standard.”

When I told Mel that some Farrell’s regulars feel some of the new crowd look down on them, she said, “Maybe they have a complex.”

Call me cynical, but I don’t see these two taverns having joint picnics in Prospect Park anytime soon.

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No News Is Bad News

Donald Trump has called the news media “the enemy of the American people” and even banned major outlets from some press briefings. If the trend continues, here’s a peek at what a 2018 presidential news conference might look like:

Trump: “Good morning, media flunkies! I mean, fearless journalists. Now that I’ve gotten rid of the fake media, I’m open to discuss anything, including that Russian collaboration nonsense. OK, the gentleman from Tass.”

“Thank you, fearless leader. I notice the price of Russian vodka in America has gone way down. Did you have anything to do with this wonderful news?

Trump: “You bet — the art of the deal. I lift sanctions against Russia and cripple NATO, and you guys give us vodka at half price. A win-win! OK, the reporter wearing the Make America Great Again cap is next.”

“After you dumped Sean Spicer and named that congressman who body-slammed a reporter as your press secretary, some complained that you sent a chilling message to the media. Your response?”

Trump: “Of course it did! That’s why we’ve placed bouncers at the doors. I see the gentleman from Breitbart has a question.”

“Sir, how is your effort to repeal the First Amendment and end democracy as we know it coming along?”

Trump: “Splendidly and bigly! Since we put reporters from The New York Times, Washington Post, MSNBC and CNN in Guantánamo, you guys notice the difference, right? Who needs the First Amendment? Did a free press really keep us honest? Tell me the truth, do I sound more honest to you?”

“Not at all, sir!”

Trump: “Exactly! OK, the babe from Fox News in the tight red sweater has been patient. Oh, and you’re a ‘10,’ by the way.”

“Thank you, sir! My question is, are you really 72 years old? Because you look so youthful and virile!”

Trump: “So true. As my doctor verifies, I am in amazing shape. He’s never seen anything like it. And for those who want to see my medical records, I promise to release them very soon. Probably the day after I release my tax returns. Hah–kidding!

“OK, someone from the Trump Observer has a question. Mr. Kushner?”

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Obesity Gets a Boost From the White House

Americans love to chant, “We’re No. 1!” But sometimes that’s not a good thing — like being the fattest nation in the world. Yep, that’s us. USA! USA!

According to a recent survey from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the U.S. obesity rate has reached a frightening 38.2% of the population older than 15.

Our closest competitor in national chubbiness is Mexico, which owns a 32.4% obesity rate. Can it overtake us? Not if our fast-food loving president has anything to say about it.

President Donald Trump responded to the national crisis by putting the brakes on Michelle Obama’s program to fight childhood obesity. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Purdue has said we will be slowing her initiative aimed at improving school lunch nutrition.

But Trump isn’t the only politician who scoffs at such efforts. When running for president, Sen. Ted Cruz promised that “if [his wife] Heidi is first lady, French fries are coming back into the classroom.” The former first lady’s food program also angered New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (insert joke here). “It’s none of her business!” he thundered.

Do they care that childhood obesity has more than tripled in America since the 1970s, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention?

Meanwhile, fewer obese adult Americans are trying to lose weight. “Socially accepted normal body weight is shifting toward heavier weight,” Jian Zhang, a public health researcher at Georgia Southern University, told The Associated Press. “As more people around us are getting heavier, we simply believe we are fine, and no need to do anything with it.”

Except for the heart disease, diabetes and other life-shortening illnesses obesity causes. But hey, that’s what denial is for.

At least NYC does a bit better, with a 22% obesity rate. The fact that New Yorkers walk everywhere and climb subway steps daily plays no small role. Still, 22% is too high. In Japan, for example, only 3.7% of the population is obese.

It’s time to face reality. If you’re still not convinced being overweight shortens life, check out the seniors you see strolling around the city. Almost all of them are trim. Gee, where did all the obese ones go?

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All Of This For Only $2.75?

Is it me, or is the subway system out of control? Aggressive panhandlers and other miscreants are back in force, and delays are rampant.

This week I was affected by both. As the uptown 1 train thundered into the 23rd Street station, I spotted a few empty seats, and rushed to the door of that car. I should have known. Sprawled across the seats was a foul-smelling man spewing profanity and scratching like crazy.

At 59th Street, the guy rose and stood by the door, deciding whether to depart, stepping in and out. Since the train was frozen at the station for 10 minutes, he had plenty of time. Finally, the conductor barked, “Stand clear of the closing door!” as the entire car silently rooted for Mr. Itchy to get lost. I can’t say we breathed a sigh of relief when he departed, because the car still reeked too badly to breathe deeply, but we were relieved.

Temporarily.

Seconds later, a tall, lanky guy entered. He waited for the doors to shut before he started his all-too-familiar spiel: “Ladies and gentlemen, I don’t want to hurt anyone . . .”

Thanks!

“I’m not going to lie to you people. I recently was released from state prison . . .”

Please, lie to us.

The train ground to a halt again before the 72nd Street station, giving him ample opportunity to finish his bellowing speech, then berate us for being so cheap. Yet another subway delay. Meanwhile, from 23rd until I got off at 86th, not a single uniformed cop entered the car. We were on our own.

Yes, a typical day on the subway — and that’s the problem. Aggressive panhandlers have little fear of arrest. Train delays have tripled in the past five years because infrastructure is crumbling. Many blame Mayor Bill de Blasio for the increasingly inefficient service, but control rests with the state. Last week. subway riders, sick of the delays and disregard, protested outside of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s city office.

How do other nations manage to offer clean, safe and reliable subway service, while we can’t? Like the universal health care those nations provide, the solution is obvious — but our priorities clearly are not.

Federal funding would certainly help. Don’t hold your breath.

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