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You're Lookin' Good!

My youngest critter has a great idea: a website that's just a mirror. It's like mirror dot com or whatever, and you click on it, and you see yourself! Because it's a mirror! And that way you don't have to ever leave your computer screen, even when the need for a mirror reaches desperate levels!

It is so good to have entrepreneurial thinkers in the house.

But perhaps we could take mirror-dot-com a step further: There should be a website called You're Looking Good Dot Com. The camera on your computer (surely you have one) takes an image of you and instantly transforms it into a better looking version of yourself, via a nip and a tuck and a gloss and a nudge and perhaps some emergency addition or subtraction of facial hair.

My middle critter says this already exists, and it's called PhotoShop. But I'm thinking more like an instant, automatic, live feed of your remade beauteousness, in which you don't have to do a thing, other than admire yourself, at that very moment, sitting at the computer being your better-looking self.

Vanity: It's not just for narcissists anymore.


From Neely Tucker's great story this morning on love:

"Love is a drug," says Helen Fisher, an anthropologist at Rutgers University and author of "Why We Love: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love." "The ventral tegmental area is a clump of cells that make dopamine, a natural stimulant, and sends it out to many brain regions" when one is in love. "It's the same region affected when you feel the rush of cocaine."

Really fun story. Inspired some rummaging through the Why Things Are archives, and I came up with this excerpt from an item on why people are obsessed with other people's sex lives:

'...scientists put forward a simpler explanation: Sex matters. Sex, in fact, is the most important thing we ever do, even more important than accumulating money and power. Sex is so important that not only do we need to be fascinated by our own sexuality but also by the sex lives of total strangers, because of the odd chance that some piece of knowledge will affect our reproductive success.

' "It's important who's doing what with whom. It matters whose children are whose. It matters which relationships might be ending. It matters which relationships might have powerful influence," says Randolph Nesse, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Michigan.

'Helen Fisher, anthropologist at the American Museum of Natural History, says, "We're interested in sex for our own competitive reasons, and we're interested in comparing our family values with the family values of everyone else, so we can see how we're doing, so we can measure our moral blood level with everyone else's moral blood level."

'Lionel Tiger, an anthropologist at Rutgers University, says this is an ancient trait: "Who the dominant males are having sex with is a matter of considerable concern in a primate community. Males compete among each other in order to acquire access to females and to the genetic future." '

And here's Helen Fisher on why couples stay together even when things aren't so hot:

' "There are two stages of love, the first being attraction. During that stage, you get a brain bath of three chemicals that are natural amphetamines. You can stay up all night, and talk till dawn, and feel giddy and euphoric.

' "In time, these wane, and the second stage of love kicks in, attachment, and that's associated with a different brain chemistry, the endorphins, which have natural narcotic-like qualities," she says.

'So over time, you become narcotized in a relationship. The cocaine buzz of infatuation gives way to a dull, blissed-out heroin addiction.'


Democracy at work: At you can vote on who is the father of Anna Nicole's baby. It is unclear to me at this moment if the vote is legally binding.

By Joel Achenbach  |  February 13, 2007; 10:22 AM ET
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Next: The Surge Debate, etc.

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