From the Department of “Are you absolutely sure about that?”, evolutionary psychology once more is on the march:

Love songs may rhapsodise “something in the way she moves”, but a sexy walk is not a sign that a woman is ready to become pregnant. In fact, a new study suggests that the way a woman walks changes during her monthly cycle, and that the most seductive wiggle occurs when she is least fertile.[…]

For the latest study, Dr Provost and her team dressed female volunteers in suits adorned with light markers, as used in Hollywood special effects departments, along the joints and limbs.

This allowed them to film each woman as she walked and then analyse her gait. They also collected saliva samples to find out whether each woman was in the more or less fertile phase of her menstrual cycle.

The women who were ovulating walked with smaller hip movements and with their knees closer together, New Scientist magazine reported. When 40 men were shown the images of the women walking they rated those in the less fertile part of their cycle as having the sexiest walks. […]

That makes evolutionary sense, because it would benefit a woman to advertise her fertility only to those men she believes would make a suitable mate. In contrast, men can pick up on the attractiveness of a woman’s walk from long distance, and it can therefore act as an unwitting signal to less appealing males whom she might not want to choose.

Hmmm. I think the best you can say about this is at least they did the right thing and went ahead and published these desperately unconvincing results rather than sweeping them under a rug.

Credit where credit due

by Henry on November 8, 2007

Over the last few years, Crooked Timberites, myself included, have given some grief to Jonathan Adler both under his own name and his ‘Juan non-Volokh’ pre-tenure pseudonym for failing to say very much about torture, abuse of state power etc. So it’s only fair to note that he has recently been much more willing to “directly”:http://volokh.com/archives/archive_2007_11_04-2007_11_10.shtml#1194490360 “criticize”:http://volokh.com/archives/archive_2007_11_04-2007_11_10.shtml#1194537717 Bush administration overreach than in the past and seems to be “moving”:http://volokh.com/archives/archive_2007_11_04-2007_11_10.shtml#1194453946 “towards”:http://volokh.com/posts/1194103751.shtml saying that waterboarding is indeed torture. Unfortunately, Alan ‘if torture was good enough for the Nazis, it’s good enough for us‘ Dershowitz seems, if anything, to be getting “worse”:http://blogs.ft.com/crookblog/2007/11/derschowitz-on-.html.

The Great Gravy Train Robbery

by Michael Bérubé on November 8, 2007

Well, it looks like <a href=”http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2007_11/012454.php”>everyone’s</a> making <a href=”http://www.sadlyno.com/archives/7789.html”>popcorn</a> for <a href=”http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/07/books/07cons.html?ex=1352091600&en=ee37f9bbfe3bf306&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss”>the big Regnery suit</a>, looking forward eagerly to the discovery phase in which we may finally learn just how many copies of Regnery books are “sold” by being shipped from one wingnut outfit to another. As the <i>New York Times</i> reports:

<blockquote>The authors also say in the lawsuit that Regnery donates books to nonprofit groups affiliated with Eagle Publishing and gives the books as incentives to subscribers to newsletters published by Eagle. The authors say they do not receive royalties for these books.

“You get 10 per cent of nothing because they basically give them away,” Mr. Patterson said in an interview.</blockquote>

<a href=http://www.firedoglake.com/2007/11/07/more-regnery-hilarity/>Jane Hamsher asks</a>, “Do these authors really not understand that it takes incredibly deep pockets to do what they’re accusing Regnery of doing, and that they are the beneficiaries of it?” Since the answer to this question is something like, “sadly, no,” it appears that this lawsuit might also suggest an answer to a question that has long vexed the philosophy of wingnuttery: <i>can there be a group of Regnery authors so stupid that other Regnery authors would notice?</i>

Elsewhere, in other wingnut welfare news, <i>New Criterion</i> editor/publisher Roger Kimball has <a href=”http://pajamasmedia.com/xpress/rogerkimball/”>donned pajamas</a> and is now <a href=”http://pajamasmedia.com/xpress/rogerkimball/2007/11/03/the_groves_of_academe_or_you_c.php”>complaining</a> that NYU is having a one-day conference about public toilets. No, you really can’t make this stuff up. (And the comments are priceless! –though some of them are probably subsidized by Regnery.)