The Null Device
Authorities in the Falkland Islands, one of the most highly militarised areas in the world, have found an Argentine dinghy containing military rations and other equipment; it is believed that the occupants are at large in the Falklands, no doubt seducing all the womenfolk.
Idoru update: A French company has created a computer-generated star with a difference. Attitude Studio's Eve Solal is intended to be realistically imperfect, and is said to be an out-of-work actress/singer, working as a barmaid and fighting to lose weight. (I hope they've done their market research; is there really a market for computer-generated celebrities whose distinguishing feature is their physical plausibility, and if so, will it survive once the novelty wears off?)
I went to see Dancer in the Dark tonight. It was quite good; somewhat dispiriting, though with the proper amount of detachment, I can see the ironic appeal of placing such a depressing story in the format of a carefully choreographed musical. The musical numbers, in particular, carried the film, lifting it above what would have been just another depressing low-budget realist film.
My spam filter recently caught a spam with the subject line "Receive your Horoscope for $1 one whole year!!". Why does this look like a "market research" attempt at getting the email addresses of unusually gullible people?
(Insert topical Morrissey lyric here) The institution of marriage, once nigh-mandatory for all not sworn to religious solitude, is in decline; according to Peter McDonald of the Australian National University, one in four young people today will never marry, mostly out of choice. This is partly because of the trend towards postponement of marriage; however, even counting de facto relationships, long-term coupling is also in decline.
Professor McDonald said coupling trends in Australia had changed drastically but had now settled and were expected to stay put. This allowed the ANU to estimate Australia's future marital make-up. "It's extremely unlikely we'll go back to the extremely early marriages that we had in the '50s and '60s, when women were married as teenagers, which is pretty amazing now," he said. "People just got married, very often, to the first person they went out with. They didn't think about it very much. These days, people often have several partners before they get married."
That probably won't stop our back-to-the-1950s federal politicos; how much do you want to bet that tax breaks towards early marriage (i.e., punitive taxation for single people) or some similar social engineering scheme will be floated in Federal Parliament...