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I've heard some say Milwaukee is a great city for lesbians. Is this true?

The great author of the contemporary American West, Edward Abbey, once said women who love women might not have the wrong idea.

Apparently, some national publications think Milwaukee is a great city for just that. Like Passport Magazine, America's leading gay and lesbian travel magazine. It published the following quote in its June 2003 issue.

"Milwaukee is surprisingly queer-friendly. It's the biggest city in the first state in the country (1982) to pass a gay rights law. In October 2001, Girlfriends Magazine rated Milwaukee the best place in the country to live if you're a lesbian…"

As for the Oct. 2001 Girlfriends Magazine article, it considered factors such as housing costs, public transportation lesbian bars and other entertainment and support resources when crowning the Brew City No. 1. Milwaukee's smaller population also makes it easier for the lesbian community to organize.

I bet you didn't know this, but there are more gay and lesbian bars in Milwaukee per capita than in San Francisco, which undoubtedly lends to the lesbian-friendly atmosphere. Most of the clubs are located just south of downtown in Walker's Point.

What is the shelf life of a Twinkie? If I found a Twinkle packed way with my college stuff from 15 years ago, can I still eat it?

I suggest you run if you find a Twinkie next to your "Top Gun" poster and lava lamp in the dusty box marked "College" that's sat behind the water heater in your basement's nether region since the Reagan administration.

It's not going to be pretty.

"The preservatives in Twinkies prohibit mold growth for about 21 days," said a spokesman for Hostess, who wished to not be identified. "Contrary to the popular myth out there, Twinkies don't last for years and years."

I don't understand why the spokesperson didn't want to be identified. He - oops! did I reveal too much? - didn't reveal launch codes for our nuclear warheads. Maybe there's a larger conspiracy at work regarding the life of a Twinkie.

Some believe it. All sorts of myths and urban legends abound about Twinkies lasting for years. Some hint the scrumptious yellow snack has a half-life and could survive nuclear fallout.

There is no good reason to keep a Twinkie any longer than about five minutes. Eat it, or give it away and make someone's day.

You can always get more.

According to http: / /, the official Web site of Hostess Twinkies, Hostess Bakeries produces up to 1,000 Twinkies each minute and injects 52,000 an hour with its gooey white mystery frosting.

The snack cake is baked in more than 17 bakeries nationwide, and we as a nation eat more than 500 million each year.

Incidentally, the White House millennium time capsule includes a Twinkie, which it trumpets as "an object of enduring American symbolism."

Former President and first lady Bill and Hillary Clinton dedicated and sealed the time capsule on Dec. 31, 1999. It's to be opened in 100 years.

And just what do you think that Twinkie will look like? Check the Jan. 1, 2100, edition of "Glad You Asked" and you'll know.

Can you explain what a cousin, first removed and second removed means? I don't know how they are related. Can you explain? provided the answer.

Let's first discuss what cousins are.

First cousins are those family members with whom you share two of the same grandparents. They're the children of your aunts and uncles.

Second cousins share the same great-grandparents, but not the same grandparents. This applies to the children of your cousins.

"Removed," when used to discuss relationships, refers to different generations.

You and your first cousins are in the same generation.

"Once removed" implies a difference of one generation. Your mother's first cousin is your first cousin, once removed.

Your mother's first cousin is one generation younger than your grandparents and you are two generations younger than your grandparents. This generation difference means the two of you are "once removed."

"Twice removed" is a difference of two generations. You are two generations younger than a first cousin of your grandmother, so you and your grandmother's first cousin are first cousins, twice removed.

Glad You Asked finds answers to questions. Selected questions and their answers will be published in this column.

Call (262) 631-1758 to submit a question, or do so by e-mail:

You may also submit questions online at:

http: / /

The Journal Times and the Racine Public Library are partners on research. For more information, call the library's reference desk at (262) 636-9217 or query their Web site at:

http: / / /emailr.htm

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