Ryan and Ricky

March 31, 2011

Two unrelated videos that made me laugh tonight:

OKCupid blog – dispatches from the field of online dating

February 17, 2010

The OKCupid blog, you guys (OKC is an online dating site). Off the hook. A really interesting, statistically-supported, and very modern look at human sexual psychology.

Older women are very attractive, put-together, GGG, and overall dateable.
What types of photos are most compelling?.
How race affects success in online dating (ouch)

Man, this blog is fascinating.

Atlantic blogger extraordinaire Ta-Nehisi Coates rebuts OKC’s conclusions about black women being treated as undesirable in online dating.

Elliott Malkin – Mother’s History of Birds

January 19, 2010

My friend Elliott made a really great documentary short (7.5 minutes) about his mother, Roberta Malkin, and her pet birds. I really like it. It’s online here.

Parrot loves Bunny

November 24, 2009

Funny 90-second video of a parrot who’s infatuated with a stuffed bunny toy. I like his weird squeaky autotune voice.

Gorillas in love: so dreamy

September 4, 2009

A new male gorilla is due to arrive at the London zoo later this year. To prepare them, the keepers gave each of the zoo’s three adult female gorillas a picture of their pending paramour, and the gorillas went, uh, ape.


One female gorilla shrieked in delight, while another wedged the poster in a tree to stare at it. A third, clearly overcome by emotion, held the photo close to her chest — then ate it.


This made me very happy.
Via Zeldalily.

Diamonds: how a marketing company rewrote our definition of love

May 22, 2009

Interesting article about how De Beer$ monopolizes the diamond trade.

Think about this: pretty much every single jewellery-grade diamond that has ever been mined currently exists on a piece of jewellery somewhere, on someone’s hand or in their safety deposit box.

But new diamonds are still being mined every day.

If everyone tried to re-sell their own diamonds, the supply would outweigh demand, and the lucrative diamond market would collapse. De Beer$ is well aware of this, so they’ve deliberately campaigned for decades to make diamonds as sentimental as possible, so we’d all be disinclined to sell them. How to do that?

Well, first of all, establish a tradition whereby diamonds are a shorthand for “love”, so that selling a diamond feels like desecrating that love. That strategy worked well in North America. Japan was the next marketing target:

Until the mid-1960s, [Japanese marriages] were consummated… by the bride and groom drinking rice wine from the same wooden bowl. There was no tradition of romance, courtship, seduction, or prenuptial love in Japan; and none that required the gift of a diamond engagement ring.

[DeBeer$] began its campaign [with] a series of color advertisements in Japanese magazines showing beautiful women displaying their diamond rings. All the women had Western facial features and wore European clothes. Moreover, the women in most of the advertisements were involved in some activity — such as bicycling, camping, yachting, ocean swimming, or mountain climbing — that defied Japanese traditions. In the background, there usually stood a Japanese man, also attired in fashionable European clothes. In addition, almost all of the automobiles, sporting equipment, and other artifacts in the picture were conspicuous foreign imports. The message was clear: diamonds represent a sharp break with the Oriental past and a sign of entry into modern life.

The campaign was remarkably successful. Until 1959, the importation of diamonds had not even been permitted by the postwar Japanese government. When the campaign began, in 1967, not quite 5 percent of engaged Japanese women received a diamond engagement ring. By 1972, the proportion had risen to 27 percent. By 1978, half of all Japanese women who were married wore a diamond; by 1981, some 60 percent of Japanese brides wore diamonds. In a mere fourteen years, the 1,500-year Japanese tradition had been radically revised. Diamonds became a staple of the Japanese marriage. Japan became the second largest market, after the United States, for the sale of diamond engagement rings.

Wowsers, insidious, huh? Full article here. It’s from 1982 and it’s long, but it’s a good read. Via Metafilter.

More on diamonds: De Beer$ sponsored the recent diamond exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum- you can read my review of that exhibit here.

Young love

April 30, 2009

The little boy is Tan Hong Ming. The little girl is Omi Kazrina. This video is rated A for adorable.

I think the final message is supposed to be like OMG, Malaysia, little kids from different ethnic groups can get along!!11! But it’s kind of confusing if you don’t pay attention to the names or look too closely; you might not notice that the kids are so “different”. I just want to pay for them to have a romantic dinner (pizza and chicken nuggets by candlelight, maybe) and record the whole thing for cuteness posterity. Is that wrong?