11 Stories

Clinton Apparently Got Debate Handshake Protocol Changed

Campaign apparently wants to play it safe

(Newser) - Traditionally, the spouses and family members of the two presidential candidates shake hands as they enter the debates and cross each other's paths on their way to their seats. That could change tonight: Two sources tell the New York Times that after the last debate, when Donald Trump attempted... More »

$5K Fine for Students Who Won't Shake Teacher's Hand

Swiss authorities say handshake tradition outweighs freedom of religion

(Newser) - Swiss authorities ruled Wednesday that any student who refuses to shake a teacher's hand could earn their parents a stiff $5,000 fine, USA Today reports. Last month, two teenage Muslim students at a Swiss middle school refused to shake hands with female teachers, citing an interpretation of the... More »

The Hidden Reason People Shake Hands

We are subconsciously sniffing our own chemosignals

(Newser) - Signaling molecules called chemosignals have been implicated in everything from the conveyance of fear to the lure to mate, and even to the synchronizing of women's menstrual cycles. Now researchers out of Israel have written in the journal eLife that one of the reasons we shake hands is to... More »

Why Fist Bumps Trump Handshakes

Handshakes spread 20 times more germs, study says

(Newser) - A good, firm handshake is a great way to spread germs, according to researchers who say infections could be reduced if people adopted fist bumps instead. The researchers dipped gloved hands in bacteria and then shook hands with, high-fived, or fist-bumped sterile-gloved counterparts, the Los Angeles Times reports. They found... More »

Schools Forbid Postgame Handshakes: Too Many Fights

Handshake lines turning violent in Kentucky

(Newser) - Sportsmanship seems to be struggling in Kentucky: The governing body for high school sports in the state has told schools to stop having organized handshakes after games because the practice has led to dozens of fights over the last few years, the Lexington Herald-Leader reports. Students can still shake hands... More »

On Obama's Agenda: Historic Handshake?

It could happen today with Iranian President Hasan Rouhani

(Newser) - Today could bring what Time describes as the most historic handshake since "Nixon and Elvis" (or, more seriously, "Rabin and Arafat"): President Obama and new Iranian President Hasan Rouhani will meet for the first time at the UN General Assembly today, and everyone from government officials to... More »

UK to Olympians: Don't Shake Hands

Athletes urged to dodge bugs by shunning handshakes

(Newser) - Athletes at this summer's London Olympics may find their British counterparts a bit standoffish. The British Olympic Association's chief doctor has told the country's 550 athletes to avoid handshakes in order to minimize the risk of picking up bugs, AP reports. "The greatest threat to performance... More »

Strong Handshake = Long Life

Firm grip seems to correlate with longevity

(Newser) - Some researchers with perhaps a bit too much time on their, er, hands have correlated the strength of a person's handshake to longevity. In a study of 53,500 people under age 60, researchers found that those individuals with the weakest handshakes had a death rate 1.67 times higher... More »

Flu-Fearing Churches Ban Peace Handshakes

'Sign of peace,' prayer hand holding barred amid swine flu warnings

(Newser) - Churches nationwide are bracing for cases of swine flu, with one in Cincinnati banning peace handshakes during Mass, the Enquirer reports. The Catholic church passed out a flier telling parishioners not to shake with their neighbors during the “sign of peace” or clasp hands during the “Our Father”... More »

At Office, Anything Beyond Handshake Can be Touchy

(Newser) - After countless bear hugs, fist bumps, elbow grips, and pats-on-the-back, Elizabeth Bernstein realized that she is her office’s “touchee”—someone co-workers know will be receptive to physical demonstrations of support, she writes for the Wall Street Journal. That got her thinking: When is such touching OK, and... More »

White House Gets Greetings All Wrong

Egalitarian handshake better than hugs, curtsies: Miss Manners

(Newser) - After watching six presidents botch greetings with their global counterparts, Miss Manners has had it. “Where is the Office of Protocol, for goodness’ sake,” Judith Martin fumes in the Washington Post. Fifty years ago, “the American huggy movement” replaced the egalitarian handshake—a gesture that made Americans... More »

11 Stories