What else we're reading

Fossilized female hominids, Maxim on TV, embryo-selection controversy, and more!

Published September 22, 2006 12:00AM (EDT)

Washington Post: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends routine HIV tests for all Americans ages 13 to 64. Hallelujah.

Washington Post, again: Always lowering the bar, Maxim has put up a slide show of "TV's Least Appealing Women," citing Christiane Amanpour's "boxy haircut" and Pam Grier's "keg-shaped frame" as examples of crimes against straight dudes' retinas. The whole thing seems like kind of a reach, though -- when you have to list fictional characters like Calamity Jane from "Deadwood" and the mom from "King of the Hill" to get 10 unappealing women, it rather underscores the point that women on TV are pretty male-friendly.

San Francisco Chronicle: Scientists in Ethiopia have discovered fossils of a prehistoric female hominid. Catchy headline: "It's a girl -- she's 3.3 million years old, almost human." People say that about me all the time.

Bloomberg: Happily, Turkish prosecutors have dropped their case against popular novelist Elif Shafak, who was charged with "insulting Turkishness" after she referred to the killing of Armenians as genocide in her novel "The Bastard of Istanbul."

San Jose Mercury News: Eighty-four-year-old immigrant and longtime U.S. resident Elfriede Lina Rinkel has been deported to Germany after admitting she'd served as a guard at Ravensbrück from 1944 to 1945. The woman's lawyer says she never told her German Jewish husband about her Nazi past "because all these years she was totally embarrassed," which seems a little inadequate.

Slate: There's a good "Human Nature" column on embryo selection that we overlooked last weekend, tackling potential abuses like chucking male embryos because male children are more likely to develop autism, selecting damaged embryos so children will have the same disabilities as their parents, and selecting embryos for genetic material that would be useful to older siblings. "Once you start treating a child as a tissue bank, it's hard to stop," writer William Saletan observes.

By Page Rockwell

Page Rockwell is Salon's editorial project manager.

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