Follow that dreamer
"Why are we drawn to one person and not another? Physical attractiveness is one obvious ingredient, but researchers have identified another, quite different factor that heightens one's personal appeal," Tom Jacobs writes for Miller-McCune magazine. "It seems we enjoy socializing with people who have found meaning in their lives. 'Meaning is a powerful and independent predictor of interpersonal appeal,' reports a study titled Meaning as Magnetic Force, just published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science. 'People seek interpersonal connections with those who have found meaning in life.' The idea that the search for meaning in life is a basic human drive was famously articulated by psychologist Viktor Frankl in 1946, not long after he was liberated from a Nazi concentration camp. According to the team behind this new research, 'a natural extension' of this idea 'is that people will seek to affiliate with those who have a strong sense of meaning.' "
"A German bank robber led his pursuers straight to him after taunting police in an e-mail over their efforts to catch him," Reuters reports. "Authorities in the southern city of Wuerzburg said [last week]the 19-year-old sent e-mails to police and two newspapers to point out factual errors in the report of his bank raid in the town of Roettingen.… According to daily Bild, he mocked police for getting his age, height and accent wrong, then pointed out he escaped in a car, not on foot."
A window on dating
"Research presented last week at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association found that 22 per cent of heterosexual couples surveyed met online, and researchers believe the Web could soon eclipse friends as the primary means of finding mates," The Boston Globe reports. "As dating interactions have moved from the privacy of bars and social gatherings to the digital world of websites and e-mails, they are generating an unprecedented trove of data about how the initial phases of romance unfold. … This mountain of information is beginning to yield intriguing findings. The dating website OkCupid has begun publishing statistics about its users' behaviour on its blog, and using the numbers to generate real-world advice. For example: Men get more responses from women if they don't smile in their profile pictures, and women find most men below average in attractiveness - but write to them anyway. … Researchers have found, for example, that a man needs to make several extra tens of thousands of dollars to compensate for being an inch shorter, and that race matters more than people admit."
Proud of facial hair
About 40 per cent of women naturally have hair growing on their faces. Perhaps they should celebrate it instead of trying to get rid of it, Julie Bindel suggests in The Guardian. "A whiskers-pride movement has been growing in recent years. Across the Web, there are women writing about their heartfelt acceptance of their mustaches and beards, including Debra Anne Beechy, who has written a doctoral thesis on the topic. 'My mornings used to involve at least an hour of plucking in front of a lighted, magnified mirror,' she writes. 'Now I do not have to get up early to pluck. Elation!' Over the past two months, a feminist activist in Bristol called Jessica Burton has been running a campaign called Hairy Awarey, asking women all over the land to go natural."
Tattoos for Mimi
"It took a while to get going, but 101-year-old Mimi Rosenthal now has her third tattoo, courtesy of a Florida tattoo artist," United Press International reports. "This one went on her left arm, and next time she might get one on her butt, she said in an interview in the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times. The first tattoo came at 99 … 'Her skin is so fragile, it's like uncharted territory,' said Spring Hill, Fla., tattoo artist Michelle Gallo-Kohlas, who is responsible for all of Ms. Rosenthal's inkings."
Thought du jour
"It's so simple to be wise. Just think of something stupid to say, and then don't say it."
- Sam Levenson