some 9-11 revelations, wooden walkway, beauty propagates

looking up

Former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds – Bin Laden worked for US till 9/11. Because there are so many links within the original post its difficult to get an excerpt that stands on its own, but this makes a fair teaser,

Sibel has famously been dubbed the most gagged woman in America, having the State Secrets Privilege imposed on her twice. Her 3.5 hour testimony to the 9/11 Commission has been entirely suppressed, reduced to a single footnote which refers readers to her classified testimony. In the interview, she says that the information that was classified in her case specifically identifies that the US was using Bin Laden and the Taliban in Central Asia, including Xinjiang.

In this report by the Office of the Inspector General – A Review of the FBI’s Actions in Connection With Allegations Raised By Contract Linguist Sibel Edmonds published in January 2005, they found that in the allegations the OIG investigated that many of Edmund’s allegations were credible.

wooden walkway

Gallery: the broke-down steampunk dystopian Magic Kingdom of Epic Mickey – worth it for the Goofy made from scraps of junk.

Women are getting more beautiful

In a study released last week, Markus Jokela, a researcher at the University of Helsinki, found beautiful women had up to 16% more children than their plainer counterparts. He used data gathered in America, in which 1,244 women and 997 men were followed through four decades of life. Their attractiveness was assessed from photographs taken during the study, which also collected data on the number of children they had.

This builds on previous work by Satoshi Kanazawa, an evolutionary psychologist at the London School of Economics, who found that good-looking parents were far more likely to conceive daughters. He suggested this was an evolutionary strategy subtly programmed into human DNA.

He cited two findings from the Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, a US government-backed study that is monitoring more than 15,000 Americans. The measurements include objective assessments of physical attractiveness.

One finding was that women were generally regarded by both sexes as more aesthetically appealing than men. The other was that the most attractive parents were 26% less likely to have sons.

Its interesting to find 122 comments on this story at The Times(UK). Beauty isn’t as subjective as some people would like to think. Though we’re studying trends in large groups there is bound to quite a bit of variance from one individual to the next. According to this report men tend to have a narrower definition of beauty then women, Rating Attractiveness: Consensus Among Men, Not Women, Study Finds. While there is always the few that would like to dismiss all of this an shallow and unimportant. Such considerations play a role in how happy people are with themselves and their lives. If a person thinks of themselves as attractive and gets cultural reinforcement for that perception that is at least one less source of self esteem issues. Some people are obviously not happy because they cannot get a mate as attractive as they feel they deserve. Those of us who listen to some blues and jazz occasionally know that being with someone thought to be very attractive can have its own burdens – you have something many others desire. Though there is something called the matching hypothesis – where its thought that those looking for a mate are drawn toward those of equal attractiveness. I tend to think its a combination of matching hypothesis and seeking the best of what is available according to geography, income, personality and opportunity. People seem happy to make trade-offs. Someone a little less attractive for someone that is easier to get along with, have more in common with etc.