The Null Device

2001/6/30

EvoPsych: Research in the UK has shown that appearance is more important than youth when men evaluate women's attractiveness; namely, that men find attractive older women more subjectively desirable than healthy but otherwise average-looking younger women. Why is this important? Well, for one, it suggests that the human sexual urge is based on aesthetic pleasure rather than reproductive fitness (as evolutionary psychology would hold that an average-looking yet fertile younger woman would be a better reproductive investment than a highly attractive, but less fertile, older woman).

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2001/6/29

More doom and gloom: Police in Sweden raided a video store, seizing around 500 illegal DVDs. Not pirated DVDs, mind you; perfectly original DVDs which happened to be Region 1 titles, apparently illegal in Sweden and/or the EU. Such things are all the more reason to write to the ACCC and urge them to rule against the DVD region system; if they don't, these kinds of raids could end up happening in Australia as well. (via Lev)

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An American couple who booked a flight online to the picturesque Spanish city of Gerona were surprised when they were thrown out of a bus for attempting to pay in pesetas, and then realised that they had mistakenly booked a flight to the Italian industrial city of Genoa:

On leaving Genoa airport the couple still hadn't noticed their mistake. In fact they remained in blissful ignorance for several hours - even assuming the Italian flags that adorned the local buildings were evidence of a proliferation of ice cream parlours.

Michael Brown and Kate Rogers' mistake was confirmed when they two other tourists -- an English couple -- which country they were in. (via Techdirt)

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The next genetically modified animals have been announced: a US company plans to offer allergy-proof cats for people with cat allergies; the cats will be available in 2003, or so it is hoped, and will sell for $1,000. (Wonder if they'll be pre-sterilised to protect Transgenic Pets' intellectual property.) The announcement has been condemned by animal-rights groups opposed to Man tampering with God's handiwork.

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Quelle surprise: A US appeals court has overturned the break-up ruling against software monopolist and Bush campaign donor Microsoft. That and the recent commercial death of Linux-on-the-desktop as a viable alternative does make one worry for the future.

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Former Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic has been extradited to The Hague, to face trial on charges of crimes against humanity. Milosevic will become the first foreign head of state to be tried by the war crimes tribunal.

(Does the UN still have the death penalty for crimes against humanity, as was handed out to Nazi criminals after the war, or is the current practice locking them up for life, Rudolf Hess-fashion?)

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