Mathematicians Prove Jessica Alba’s Perfection


The right wing rejects mathematical models which demonstrate climate change, but here’s some findings which they might not question. A group of Cambridge mathematicians have created a model which explains why Jessica Alba’s walk is so sexy:

The academics found that it is the ratio between hips and waist that puts the sway into a woman’s walk – and the nearer that ratio is to 0.7, the better.

This ratio provides the body with the right torso strength to produce a more angular swing and bounce to the hips during the walking motion.

Therefore, a woman with a 25in waist and 36in hips would have just the right proportions to carry off a sexy swagger as she walks.

The Jessica Alba sashay beat off competition from Kate Moss, Angelina Jolie and even Marilyn Monroe, whose walk along a railway platform in Some Like It Hot is one of the most famous in film history.

While Monroe was a fraction off the target ratio with 0.69, the Cambridge team said that Alba had the perfect proportions.

Could Jessica Alba’s perfect proportions have anything to do with that genetic enhancement she received in Dark Angel?

Gay Marriage in Medieval France

Here’s a story which Mitt Romney might really find of value for his anti-France campaign. He’s already attacked France with untrue claims about marriage practices there which probably came either from a 1993 comedy or a science fiction story about Mormon practices in space. Now we have a report which argues that there was legalized same-sex marriage in medieval France:

“Western family structures have been much more varied than many people today seem to realize,” Tulchin writes in the September issue of the Journal of Modern History. “And Western legal systems have in the past made provisions for a variety of household structures.”

For example, he found legal contracts from late medieval France that referred to the term “affrèrement,” roughly translated as brotherment. Similar contracts existed elsewhere in Mediterranean Europe, Tulchin said.

In the contract, the “brothers” pledged to live together sharing “un pain, un vin, et une bourse,” (that’s French for one bread, one wine and one purse). The “one purse” referred to the idea that all of the couple’s goods became joint property. Like marriage contracts, the “brotherments” had to be sworn before a notary and witnesses, Tulchin explained.

The same type of legal contract of the time also could provide the foundation for a variety of non-nuclear households, including arrangements in which two or more biological brothers inherited the family home from their parents and would continue to live together, Tulchin said.

But non-relatives also used the contracts. In cases that involved single, unrelated men, Tulchin argues, these contracts provide “considerable evidence that the affrèrés were using affrèrements to formalize same-sex loving relationships.”

This is far from conclusive evidence, and there is also plenty of historical evidence of persecution of gay couples, but even the possibility of this should be enough to start another France-bashing campaign on the right.

Obama and Coburn’s Joint Effort

Barack Obama raised questions over the weekend when asked to name Republicans that he would work with as president in an AP interview. He mentioned Dick Lugar and John Warner, but the name which created the most controversy was Tom Coburn.

I would also seek out people like Tom Coburn, who is probably the most conservative member of the U.S. Senate. He has become a friend of mine.

There was a time when having friendships and working with people from the other side of the Senate aisle was commonplace. Still, initially it was hard to see where Coburn and Obama might share common ground. One answer came in an article in The Washington Post yesterday on Obama’s chief of staff Pete Rouse:

Under Rouse’s guidance, Obama built close relations with one of the most conservative members of the Senate, Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), working with him to pass a bill that creates a Google-like search system and database to help Americans easily search government spending. He worked with another Republican, Sen. Richard G. Lugar (Ind.), to increase U.S. funding to find and dispose of loose antiaircraft missiles and other weapons in the former Soviet Union.

While Obama’s mention of Coburn brought attacks from supporters of some of the other candidates, showing such an ability to work with any Republican, even Coburn, will come as a welcome sign of reversing the hyper-partisanship of recent years to many voters.

Liberal Values Is Back Up and Running

After being down for over twenty-four hours we’re back up. Actually this entire week or so appears fated to be a period of reduced posting. The cable service to my home went out for much of Sunday but I did get by primarily by using a computer outside of the home during that period. I also attempted dial up but that didn’t work very well. Tomorrow I’ll be leaving for my annual trip to the Labor Day Jazz Festival at Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island which will also reduce posting.

Being down most of yesterday might have left me as the only political blog not to have commented on the Gonzales resignation. As Dana Milbank wrote, he dug his own grave and everyone seemed happy to dance on it.

The other major news while the blog was down was yet another sex scandal from the party of family values. As David Kurtz also writes, I’m not sure that what Senator Larry Craig did justified prosecution.On the other hand, his behavior sure was suspicious, both in the men’s room and in how he handled it afterwards.

Next I’ll have to go back over the items I’ve flagged in my RSS reader and decide which are still worth posting (as time allows while I get ready to leave town for an extended holiday weekend).

Update: It looks like not everything was recovered correctly so far. At present it is not possible to read comments. The old comments are still present through the control panel, so hopefully it will only be a minor fix to make the comment section viewable again.

Update II:  Comments are back working. There are still some minor problems like comment preview is not working correctly but it looks like the blog is workable until I get back from vacation. Then I’ll probably have to give in and install the latest WordPress upgrade which will hopefully resolve the remaining issues.