Beard goggles: Why a fuzzy face is attractive only when it is rare

The less popular beards are in society, the more attractive they appear to women, according to a new study, the results of which could also go some way to explain why fashions change.
"When a fashion goes mainstream it loses the advantage of rarity. And so it begins to subside," one of the authors of the research wrote on the academic news site The Conversation. “Innovative new styles,” he said, “may enjoy a premium while they are still rare.”
This means as the lumberjack look becomes increasingly conventional, it may be time for a shave. Beards are sexy only before they are cool, is the implication.

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Beard goggles: Why a fuzzy face is attractive only when it is rare

The less popular beards are in society, the more attractive they appear to women, according to a new study, the results of which could also go some way to explain why fashions change.

"When a fashion goes mainstream it loses the advantage of rarity. And so it begins to subside," one of the authors of the research wrote on the academic news site The Conversation. “Innovative new styles,” he said, “may enjoy a premium while they are still rare.”

This means as the lumberjack look becomes increasingly conventional, it may be time for a shave. Beards are sexy only before they are cool, is the implication.

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Effort to protect farmworkers from sexual assault gaining momentum 

Isabel, 30, has been working on Florida tomato farms for many years since she arrived from Guatemala. Her experience in the sun-soaked fields has brought a steady paycheck, but she has also seen co-workers experience sexual abuse and sexual violence.
“Before, we would hear about a contractor or supervisor who would take women to a private place, to the edge of the field, and we understood that sexual assault is what was happening,” she said. “Now, we aren’t hearing these stories in the same way we used to.”

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Effort to protect farmworkers from sexual assault gaining momentum 

Isabel, 30, has been working on Florida tomato farms for many years since she arrived from Guatemala. Her experience in the sun-soaked fields has brought a steady paycheck, but she has also seen co-workers experience sexual abuse and sexual violence.

“Before, we would hear about a contractor or supervisor who would take women to a private place, to the edge of the field, and we understood that sexual assault is what was happening,” she said. “Now, we aren’t hearing these stories in the same way we used to.”

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Living in fear: LGBTs in India

LUCKNOW, India — On April 15, India’s Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling allowing transgender people to identify as a third gender. The judgment directs the central and state governments to give them full legal recognition, including allotting them similar educational and job quotas as other minorities categorized as socially or economically disadvantaged. To date, transgender Indians — also known as hijras — were forced to select either “male” or “female” on all government forms and routinely faced ostracization due to their gender identity.
While gay rights activists and the LGBT community welcomed the decision, it flies in the face of a December 2013 Supreme Court ruling that recriminalized homosexuality. That ruling — which was criticized by two out of the three national parties contesting India’s general elections, currently underway — overturned a 2009 high court judgment that declared Section 377 of the Indian penal code unconstitutional. The British colonial law, dating back more than 150 years, criminalized sexual activities “against the order of nature” and had long been used to harass gay people.

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Living in fear: LGBTs in India

LUCKNOW, India — On April 15, India’s Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling allowing transgender people to identify as a third gender. The judgment directs the central and state governments to give them full legal recognition, including allotting them similar educational and job quotas as other minorities categorized as socially or economically disadvantaged. To date, transgender Indians — also known as hijras — were forced to select either “male” or “female” on all government forms and routinely faced ostracization due to their gender identity.

While gay rights activists and the LGBT community welcomed the decision, it flies in the face of a December 2013 Supreme Court ruling that recriminalized homosexuality. That ruling — which was criticized by two out of the three national parties contesting India’s general elections, currently underway — overturned a 2009 high court judgment that declared Section 377 of the Indian penal code unconstitutional. The British colonial law, dating back more than 150 years, criminalized sexual activities “against the order of nature” and had long been used to harass gay people.

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Abu Ghraib closes, bitter memories of torture remain

The prison at Abu Ghraib was notorious for its treatment of those confined within its walls long before U.S. Army Private Lynndie England dragged a naked Iraqi prisoner around on a dog leash.
Located some nine miles west of Baghdad in the Abu Ghraib district, Iraqis steered clear of the huge prison complex where, for decades, political prisoners brought there would disappear, and only wails of torture could be heard through the metal bars that covered its high windows. Executions ran into the hundreds per year. Relatives coming to find even the bodies of their loved ones often left with nothing.
Now, after struggling to maintain order over a system that houses over two thousand detainees, the Iraqi government has announced it is closing Abu Ghraib’s doors and transferring its inmates to other prisons throughout the country.

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Abu Ghraib closes, bitter memories of torture remain

The prison at Abu Ghraib was notorious for its treatment of those confined within its walls long before U.S. Army Private Lynndie England dragged a naked Iraqi prisoner around on a dog leash.

Located some nine miles west of Baghdad in the Abu Ghraib district, Iraqis steered clear of the huge prison complex where, for decades, political prisoners brought there would disappear, and only wails of torture could be heard through the metal bars that covered its high windows. Executions ran into the hundreds per year. Relatives coming to find even the bodies of their loved ones often left with nothing.

Now, after struggling to maintain order over a system that houses over two thousand detainees, the Iraqi government has announced it is closing Abu Ghraib’s doors and transferring its inmates to other prisons throughout the country.

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Life in the shadow of an oil refinery 

SHREVEPORT, La. — On the blocks surrounding Calumet Specialty Products’ Shreveport Refinery the stench of rotten eggs is nearly constant. It’s a sign that hydrogen sulfide is in the air, and residents say the chemicals they’ve come to associate with that smell are responsible for a host of health issues — from cancers to lung disease to nerve damage — that plague families in the area.
Still, hundreds of little wooden houses on small plots of grass dot the blocks surrounding the plant, in the Ingleside neighborhood of Louisiana’s third largest city.
Some houses are so close that their backyards end where the Calumet’s chain link fence begins. The plant’s smokestacks are the skyline. It’s not that people don’t mind the smell, but they say there’s little they can do.

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Life in the shadow of an oil refinery 

SHREVEPORT, La. — On the blocks surrounding Calumet Specialty Products’ Shreveport Refinery the stench of rotten eggs is nearly constant. It’s a sign that hydrogen sulfide is in the air, and residents say the chemicals they’ve come to associate with that smell are responsible for a host of health issues — from cancers to lung disease to nerve damage — that plague families in the area.

Still, hundreds of little wooden houses on small plots of grass dot the blocks surrounding the plant, in the Ingleside neighborhood of Louisiana’s third largest city.

Some houses are so close that their backyards end where the Calumet’s chain link fence begins. The plant’s smokestacks are the skyline. It’s not that people don’t mind the smell, but they say there’s little they can do.

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Housing shortage grips São Paulo as Brazil spends billions on World Cup

SÃO PAULO — Inside a makeshift tent of plastic sheets and timber, lying with the debris of unkempt bedding and a wooden chair, was a motorcycle helmet. It was the only sign of any kind of mobility for 21-year-old Fernando da Nunciação and his girlfriend, Juliana Perreira da Silva.

Like many young couples, they would like a place of their own, but instead they are living like refugees with 8,000 other families in a camp known as New Palestine in southwest São Paulo.

“There is no help — rent is just so expensive,” Juliana said. “We lived with our families and couldn’t afford our own place.”

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Lined up on “La Parada”: Advocating for NYC’s day laborers 

Every day is a new beginning for Israel Sislema, a 43-year-old immigrant from Ecuador. By 5 a.m., he is usually waiting at the corner of Roosevelt Avenue and 69th Street in Queens, N.Y., hoping to find work.
One day recently, hundreds of other immigrants stood for hours along the sidewalk with him. Some leaned against a church wall, hands in pockets, trying to stay warm. Others sat on the cold pavement. When a truck pulled up, the men sprang to life and dashed toward it. The lucky few jumped in the back, and the truck pulled away.
Sislema did not make it. It was Friday, and he hadn’t found any work all week. “That’s just how it goes,” he said.
Such is the life of the day laborer. It’s a grim existence for the more than 100,000 men and women who show up at selected street corners (“paradas” in Spanish) around the United States on any given day. Many are undocumented immigrants waiting patiently for the long-promised immigration reform that would allow them to emerge from the shadows. For these willing workers, finding a job is just the beginning.

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Lined up on “La Parada”: Advocating for NYC’s day laborers 

Every day is a new beginning for Israel Sislema, a 43-year-old immigrant from Ecuador. By 5 a.m., he is usually waiting at the corner of Roosevelt Avenue and 69th Street in Queens, N.Y., hoping to find work.

One day recently, hundreds of other immigrants stood for hours along the sidewalk with him. Some leaned against a church wall, hands in pockets, trying to stay warm. Others sat on the cold pavement. When a truck pulled up, the men sprang to life and dashed toward it. The lucky few jumped in the back, and the truck pulled away.

Sislema did not make it. It was Friday, and he hadn’t found any work all week. “That’s just how it goes,” he said.

Such is the life of the day laborer. It’s a grim existence for the more than 100,000 men and women who show up at selected street corners (“paradas” in Spanish) around the United States on any given day. Many are undocumented immigrants waiting patiently for the long-promised immigration reform that would allow them to emerge from the shadows. For these willing workers, finding a job is just the beginning.

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'Never again', again and again

Twenty years ago this week, a small and then relatively unknown country in East Africa erupted into a paroxysm of violence. In the roughly 100 days between early April and mid-July 1994, the Rwandan army, government-backed militias and Hutu civilians slaughtered ethnic Tutsi and moderate Hutu in a shocking display of human savagery. Between 800,000 and 1 million people were killed.As the killing unfolded the world stood silent, its attention elsewhere. That month, the American news cycle was flooded with coverage of rock singer Kurt Cobain’s suicide. In Africa, an ecstatic South Africa was about to elect Nelson Mandela as its first black president. In the shadow of global media attention, national capitals avoided reference to “genocide” for the moral and legal requirements it demanded. Though the United Nations had more than 2,000 peacekeeping troops in Rwanda, the Security Council ignored repeated requests by the force commander to be given the mandate to intervene. As the bloodshed escalated, peacekeeping troops were withdrawn, and Rwanda was left to its fate.

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'Never again', again and again

Twenty years ago this week, a small and then relatively unknown country in East Africa erupted into a paroxysm of violence. In the roughly 100 days between early April and mid-July 1994, the Rwandan army, government-backed militias and Hutu civilians slaughtered ethnic Tutsi and moderate Hutu in a shocking display of human savagery. Between 800,000 and 1 million people were killed.

As the killing unfolded the world stood silent, its attention elsewhere. That month, the American news cycle was flooded with coverage of rock singer Kurt Cobain’s suicide. In Africa, an ecstatic South Africa was about to elect Nelson Mandela as its first black president. In the shadow of global media attention, national capitals avoided reference to “genocide” for the moral and legal requirements it demanded. Though the United Nations had more than 2,000 peacekeeping troops in Rwanda, the Security Council ignored repeated requests by the force commander to be given the mandate to intervene. As the bloodshed escalated, peacekeeping troops were withdrawn, and Rwanda was left to its fate.

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Russian reboot of Crimea bring rubles and confusion 

SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine — When his university stipend finally arrived, several days late, Anton Zavalii was unquestionably relieved and also a bit puzzled.
A doctor at a city hospital also studying for his doctoral degree, he was accustomed to getting Ukrainian currency by debit card. Instead, he had to line up at a small window at the university bookkeeper’s office to get a thick stack of crisp, new Russian rubles, untouched by human hands. The bills were in precise numeric sequence.
Then he started trying to use the rubles around Simferopol, capital city of the Crimean peninsula. Taxi drivers looked baffled. Grocery store clerks were exasperated. No one knew exactly what to do with a currency that seemed to appear just overnight.

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Russian reboot of Crimea bring rubles and confusion 

SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine — When his university stipend finally arrived, several days late, Anton Zavalii was unquestionably relieved and also a bit puzzled.

A doctor at a city hospital also studying for his doctoral degree, he was accustomed to getting Ukrainian currency by debit card. Instead, he had to line up at a small window at the university bookkeeper’s office to get a thick stack of crisp, new Russian rubles, untouched by human hands. The bills were in precise numeric sequence.

Then he started trying to use the rubles around Simferopol, capital city of the Crimean peninsula. Taxi drivers looked baffled. Grocery store clerks were exasperated. No one knew exactly what to do with a currency that seemed to appear just overnight.

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