Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Zing! Still got it, Nicholas.

Nicholas Kristof has an interesting op-ed in today's Times about the LoJack device on cars. In Massachusetts, there has been a significant decrease in auto theft because insurance companies up there give incentives for installing the anti-theft device. The thing about LoJack is that it actually has a deterrent effect, unlike the Club, which merely shifts the risk of theft onto other vehicles. Nick thinks the LoJack should be considered for homes as well (silent alarm that would allow coppers to catch a thief), and as he states: "Then many people would choose the silent alarms, more burglars would get caught, and many of the criminally inclined would choose a new line of work, perhaps becoming chief executives." Oh that Nicholas Kristof. He's a funny one. And because Nicholas is secretly a bleeding heart on domestic issues (not so secretly when it comes to Cambodian prositutes and Darfur), he mentions that programs like JobCorps for at-risk teens have been shown effective in reducing criminal activity in participants.

In other news, I was listening to Wait wait... Don't Tell Me (The NPR news quiz) this weekend. Wait wait is so much fun because they will inevitably tell you an interesting news story that was buried or missed by the mainsteam media. According to a study that came out last week, both men and women were more likely to enjoy sex, i.e., have an orgasm (measured by brain scans) when they kept their socks on during intercourse. Seriously. The London Times wrote: "The scientists found the male brain harder to study during orgasm because of its shorter duration in men. " Zing! Oh man, the media is on a tear. The study also showed: "The scans show that while women may be able to fool their partners with a fake orgasm, the difference is obvious in the brain. "

Meanwhile, the media is back to talking about shark attacks and what not. I'm not complaining - I find these stories scary and fascinating. But the last time we faced a glut of stories like this (and that was also the Chandra Levy summer) was the summer before 9/11. In other words, we're spacing out on Iraq, can't be bothered with other news around the world, so let's talk about Natalee Holloway! I suppose I'm hypocritical because I eat up celeb gossip, which is hardly newsworthy. But I do find myself frustrated with news sources that really ought to be giving top of the fold treatment to stuff other than the BTK murderer. Isn't that what the tabs are for? Shouldn't I be able to find out about the massive French nuclear fusion plant which might change the way we think about energy? Or Mukhtar Mai's brave court appearance? Thank goodness for BBC World Service.

And for women everywhere, this is excellent news. Really, it's excellent news for anyone who loves justice.

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