Sex doesn’t sell after all

“Sex sells,” according to the conventional wisdom on Madison Avenue, a principle that has led advertisers to use sexual imagery to sell everything from automobiles to cleaning supplies.  But a new study shows that sex–or violence–doesn’t sell at all, that advertising with sexual or violent imagery tends to be ineffective.  That’s because the imagery distracts viewers so much that they don’t remember the actual product they are supposed to buy! [Read more...]

Sex selection at fertility clinics

Fertility clinics in the U.S. are offering a service beyond just helping infertile couples conceive a child.  They are also providing sex selection, doing in vitro fertilization and implanting only embryos of the preferred sex (nearly always male), throwing the other embryos (usually little girls) away. [Read more...]

Why Democrats hate you and Republicans are lousy politicians

Conservative satirist P. J. O’Rourke has written a devastating take-down of Democrats, though Republicans do not emerge unscathed.  You have got to read it.  Sample:

Democrats are in favor of abortion and against the death penalty. How could anyone possibly arrive at that pair of moral judgments? Republicans can, sometimes, understand the majesty of death—abortion as a matter of private conscience and evil paying the ultimate price. Republicans can, sometimes, understand the sacredness of life—each fetus as a being and how we must not take what we cannot give from any person, however bad. But no Republican understands the virtue of killing a baby too innocent to be born while sheltering and feeding a murderer until he gets fed up and tunnels out of Dannemora.

Read the whole thing, linked after the jump. [Read more...]

Retirees following the grandchildren?

As I said, we are retiring and have moved to be close to grandchildren.  The thing is, virtually everyone I know in my generation who has retired or who is planning to retire is doing the same thing.

My parents didn’t move to be closer to us when they retired.  They remained the family anchors, and during the holidays it was over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house we go.  And they were certainly good grandparents.

Is moving to be nearer one’s adult children and grandchildren a trend, or just my limited sampling and personal experience?  If it’s a new trend, how do you account for it?  I’ll offer some of my theories after the jump. [Read more...]

China causes stock market collapse

China’s attempt to combine capitalist growth with Communist controls–”Market Leninism” [get it? for Marxist-Leninism?]– has led that country to an economic crisis, which is pulling down the world’s stock markets and threatens the world’s economies.  The Dow-Jones industrial average fell over a thousand points over the last two days. [Read more...]

Hackers enforcing morality?

So the Ashley Madison site, designed to hook up people who want to commit adultery, was hacked, leading to the release of data about some of the website’s 30 million customers (including already disgraced “family values” activist Josh Duggar).

This has created some indignation about the hackers’ “public shaming” of would-be adulterers.  But the fear of public shaming has kept people in line across all cultures for millennia, enforcing the external morality that is necessary for social order (a.k.a. “the first use of the Law”).  The internet has promised to get around that with total secrecy and anonymity, but the web isn’t as secret and anonymous as people assume.

So do you consider the Ashley Madison hacks to be egregious violations of privacy, or a fitting outing of cheating husbands and wives? [Read more...]


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