It’s official: Women Are Getting More Beautiful

A hot woman from Finland, yesterday.
According to some researchers
at the University of Helskinki, evolution is making more and more hot women.

FOR the female half of the population, it may bring a satisfied smile. Scientists have found that evolution is driving women to become ever more beautiful, while men remain as aesthetically unappealing as their caveman ancestors.

The researchers have found beautiful women have more children than their plainer counterparts and that a higher proportion of those children are female. Those daughters, once adult, also tend to be attractive and so repeat the pattern.

Over generations, the scientists argue, this has led to women becoming steadily more aesthetically pleasing, a “beauty race” that is still on. The findings have emerged from a series of studies of physical attractiveness and its links to reproductive success in humans.

I took a walk down State Street the other day and confirmed this. Then I spent the next day walking about K-Mart and the theory was disproven aisle after aisle. My Ten Favorite Festishes

Above: The best orgasm I’ve ever had.
Lifelong sex researcher Kris Saknussemm tells us about his favorite festishes, most of which, even though I spend way too much time on the web, I have never heard of.

Chremastistophilia — Excitement at being robbed or held up
One British gentleman proudly displayed the scar he received from a knife wound in the course of a mugging — an event which he said led to a spontaneous ejaculation, the most powerful and substantial he’d ever experienced. (While the sight of the knife wound continues to unhinge me.)

The others are just as strange.

Krugman lays it down: Why the “free market” can’t fix healthcare

We’re living in the reasons why, but still, some people seem to think “competition” will give us all affordable (hahahahahahaha) healthcare. And Paul Krugman is here to tell us why not.

There are two strongly distinctive aspects of health care. One is that you don’t know when or whether you’ll need care — but if you do, the care can be extremely expensive. The big bucks are in triple coronary bypass surgery, not routine visits to the doctor’s office; and very, very few people can afford to pay major medical costs out of pocket.
This tells you right away that health care can’t be sold like bread. It must be largely paid for by some kind of insurance. And this in turn means that someone other than the patient ends up making decisions about what to buy. Consumer choice is nonsense when it comes to health care. And you can’t just trust insurance companies either — they’re not in business for their health, or yours.

Read the whole thing, it’s quite short.

David Foster Wallace on Roger Federer

David Foster Wallace had a great article in 2006 on tennis player Roger Federer. This is one of those essays that make you feel way more knowledgeable about a subject you may not know anything about once you finish. And suddenly you look at that subject in a completely different way.

Interestingly, what is less obscured in TV coverage is Federer’s intelligence, since this intelligence often manifests as angle. Federer is able to see, or create, gaps and angles for winners that no one else can envision, and television’s perspective is perfect for viewing and reviewing these Federer Moments. What’s harder to appreciate on TV is that these spectacular-looking angles and winners are not coming from nowhere — they’re often set up several shots ahead, and depend as much on Federer’s manipulation of opponents’ positions as they do on the pace or placement of the coup de grâce. And understanding how and why Federer is able to move other world-class athletes around this way requires, in turn, a better technical understanding of the modern power-baseline game than TV — again — is set up to provide.

The whole article is great, read it.

Beck chats with Tom Waits

Beck’s current revamp of his site
is all sorts of awesome. First we get the weekly cover versions (they’re making their way through “Velvet Underground and Nico”), then we get a mp3 mix, and now we get part one of a conversation between Tom Waits and Beck. Too too cool.

BH: There’s something about that awkwardness of being bereft of a sound system and that volume you’re used to. You’re stripped of that and suddenly you have to make due with almost nothing. And the people were crowded in there. They were about two inches from your face. That’s another thing. You’re singing right into people’s faces, which is another interesting thing. (Laughs.)

TW: You’d like to be raised up a little bit. I played the Roxy with Jimmy Witherspoon a long time ago, and somebody hit the telephone pole in front on Saturday. Knocked out all the power – this was like 5minutes before we went on. Place was in total darkness. People were lighting candles. Jimmy Witherspoon went and did a killer show. He just put his organist on a piano, and he has this big big, huge voice any way. Got right on the lip of this thing. I was freaked out. I didn’t know what to do. He killed. I guess you have to get reduced to that to find out the origin and basic building blocks of what you do are still in tact. Look under the building, make sure the supports are still there and haven’t been eaten through. (Laughs.) But, yeah, you can do a lot with a bullet mic and a wah-wah pedal. But before that there was changing your voice and raising your volume. I guess we’ve all gotten very lazy with all the toys that are available.

FlipCam’s software goes from awesome to ass in one fell swoop

I’m posting this hoping that other people come across it
and FlipCam gets shamed into fixing this problem, which it could do very simply.
My mom bought a FlipCam for her holiday in Italy and came back with about three hours of footage. Of course it was down to me to teach her how to use the software to then turn it into a DVD. I was initially surprised–FlipCam’s software was easy to use and even my mom got the hang of it. Very simple viewer, a bit like iPhoto, with all the videos in order, from first to last. All she had to do was select all, click make movie, and then the computer ground away, making all the little videos (from 1 second to 1 minute–Mom learned well to keep it short and sweet) into one long one. She started making one hour videos this way.
Two days later I get a call from my momz. Now all the videos are backwards, with the most recently-shot one being first in the list. So when you selected all and ran “make movie” it edited the films into a reverse order.
My first suspicion was my mom had clicked on something and omgmomyouscrewedeverythingup, but when I went to visit I found, no, the software now put the files in this order. And there was no way to simply view them the other way. The only way to make a movie now was to manually drag the files in order to an “assembly” video. When you have 150+ files, that sucks. Not to mention that each time I dragged a file, the assembly window snapped back to the top. Oh, awful. Turns out this was the result of a software update that my mom had installed.
I called FlipCam and got somebody on the line who said yes, she knows that the new version of the software does this, but “focus groups” had determined that this is the order people wanted their videos in. Really? Had anyone at the company tried this new version? No.
Other questions: can I just reinstall the software that comes with the camera? No, b/c the software is *on* the camera when you first plug it in and now that had been upgraded too.
Is there a section of the website with old versions of the software? No.
I sent in a complaint to FlipCam but got a patronizing “Here’s how to sort video for dummies” response in return. And this quote at the end: “There is no other way to sort your videos in the Flip Share program.”
Well, yeh, that’s the problem. Being able to sort both ways (earliest/latest, biggest/smallest, a-z/z-a) has been standard on pretty much every app since the ’80s. What kind of focus group fail did these guys have?
So that’s it. My mom went and returned the camera, bought a Sony instead…which has its own problems too. But that’s another post.
Hopefully FlipCam will realize what a complete ass piece of software they now have on their hands and will lose users until they fix it.
In the meantime: FAIL FAIL FAIL.

Galloway on McNamara: Reading an obit with great pleasure

Architect of the Vietnam War, enigmatic bean-counter, and war criminal Robert McNamara died on Monday, July 6. He was 93. What-was-I-thinking, former Bush supporter and ex-military op-edder Joe Galloway says good riddance and offers this anecdote.

The most bizarre incident involving McNamara occurred when he was president of the World Bank and, off on his summer holiday, he caught the Martha’s Vineyard ferry. It was a night crossing in bad weather. McNamara was in the salon, drink in hand, schmoozing with fellow passengers. On the deck outside a vineyard local, a hippie artist, glanced through the window and did a double-take. The artist was outraged to see McNamara, whom he viewed as a war criminal, so enjoying himself.
He immediately opened the door and told McNamara there was a radiophone call for him on the bridge. McNamara set down his drink and stepped outside. The artist immediately grabbed him, wrestled him to the railing and pushed him over the side. McNamara managed to get his fingers through the holes in the metal plate that ran from the top of the railing to the scuppers.
McNamara was screaming bloody murder; the artist was prying his fingers loose one at a time. Someone heard the racket and raced out and pulled the artist off.
By the time the ferry docked in the vineyard McNamara had decided against filing charges against the artist, and he was freed and walked away.