Nerds' pinup calendar
"A bizarre calendar for nerds who find old computers a turn-on has been created by technology fans in Germany," reports Orange Co. U.K. "The Nerd Calendar features ancient technology being fondled by models dressed as gorgeous geeks. One blonde is seen lovingly caressing the joystick of a classic Atari games computer during the photo session in Frankfurt. Other models get to grips with 1970s and 1980s computers like the original Apple Macs, Commodores and the Sinclair ZX81. Classic-computer fan Jan Kaufmann – who dreamed up the calendar – explained: 'I just wanted to make the kind of calendar I'd always dreamed about when I was a boy.'"
Which way to the future?
"That you're reading this sentence from left to right is an arbitrary feature of your being an English-speaker, but you'd be surprised how much it can affect your judgment," writes Kevin Lewis in The Boston Globe. "In one experiment, English-speakers evaluated a weight-loss advertisement more favourably if the 'before' and 'after' pictures were arranged from left to right rather than right to left. … In another experiment, people shopping for antique-style furniture evaluated a lamp more favourably when it was on the left side of an advertisement, but when shopping for modern-style furniture evaluated the same lamp more favourably on the right side. The preference was reversed for Hebrew speakers, who read from right to left."
The happiest few
"Who among us are the most happy?" asks Pacific Standard magazine. "Newly published research suggests it is those fortunate folks who have little or no excess time, and yet seldom feel rushed. This busy but blissful group comprises 8 to 12 per cent of Americans, making it 'a small and unusual minority within the general population,' writes University of Maryland sociologist John P. Robinson. According to his analysis, the happiness level of this group is 12 to 25 per cent higher than that of most Americans."
Making dad photogenic
"We all want to look flawless on our wedding days, but three New Jersey sisters wanted someone else in their life to look flawless, too: their dad," says The Huffington Post. "After sisters Jennifer, Jackie and Nicole Sherman decided they would all tie the knot within seven months of each other, they told their father, John, that his wrinkles had to go – and asked him to get Botox. The sisters told Good Morning America … that they wanted their truck driver dad to look good for their wedding photos. 'We have pictures where you can see [our dad's wrinkles] really bad,' said Nicole, who was married in July. John agreed to his daughters' request and before Nicole's wedding, he got Botox around his eyes and mouth. Jackie, who married in September, said: '[He looks] fresh and rejuvenated.'"
Fewer U.S. women dieting
"[Americans'] perceptions about dieting and attitudes about overweight people are shifting, according to a new survey by the NPD Group," writes Allison Aubrey for U.S. National Public Radio. " 'Women are leading the decline in dieting,' according to Harry Balzer, NPD's chief food industry analyst. In a survey of 3,800 adults, he found that about 23 per cent of women reported being on a diet in 2012. That's a significant drop from the 35 per cent who said they were dieting back in 1992. … In 1985, the majority of Americans surveyed – 55 per cent – agreed that being thin was a lot more attractive than being heavy. But now? Fewer than one in four agree. It seems that as more of us became a little heavier, we changed our views."
Thought du jour
"No man thinks there is much ado about nothing when the ado is about himself."
English novelist (1815-82)