Sunday Salon: The Score for pickup artists

TSSbadge3 My review of “The Score: How the Quest for Sex Has Shaped the Modern Man”,  by Faye Flam, appears today in the Philadelphia Inquirer.



Why does someone who admits to sleeping with 200 women consider himself in need of techniques to find even more of them? That’s one of the questions asked by Ms Flam, who attends a “Seduction Boot Camp” to find out. From my review:


“The answer, according to Flam, lies in science. Underlying bizarre enterprises such as the Mystery Method are the biological reasons for the differences between men and women, and the ways in which the billions of species of animals, plants and microorganisms have adapted to reproduce and survive. Flam follows up this thesis with an idiosyncratic whistle-stop tour of biology. Evolution of the sexes, the Y (male) chromosome, peacock tails, monkey behavior, and more are all breezily described in a framework of analogies with pornography, fidelity, homosexuality, and many other variants on male-female (or same-sex) human relations.”

You can read some of the lurid examples that Ms Flam has collected in the full review. My verdict? The book is a funny, light-hearted read, but not a scientifically robust document ;-).
(Archived version of the review is here.)

Sunday Salon: Friendfeed reading group

TSSbadge3 For a few weeks, I have been checking out FriendFeed, a newish service which is easy to use: you can do lots of things, for example post links to articles you’ve read to share with others, and say whether or not you liked them, too, if you want. In addition, the user interface sure beats the commenting system on most blogging platforms, as once you are a member of FriendFeed (a Google application) you don’t have to authenticate yourself every time you want to comment on someone’s blog post, or use anti-spam codes (which often take several goes to get right, if your eyes are like mine). As well as posting links and commenting on them, you can import your blog and other Internet subscriptions (eg Twitter, Flickr) into FriendFeed, so all your related Internet activity is in one place.


FriendFeed also features “rooms”, for people who share interests. I have just set up a room for people who like reading crime and mystery fiction. If this sounds like you, please do check it out*; I hope you will join the group. I look forward to seeing you there for some discussions about books, questions related to the genre, and so on.


Friendfeed crime and mystery fiction group (click on the link).


* But you won’t be the first: Norm, of Crime Scraps and of legendary detective skills, gets the prize for first to spot the group, about 10 seconds after I set it up.