Slipped through the cracks

Roundup: Is porn ditching narrative? Plus romance novels, eating placenta and more

By Joe Coscarelli
Published July 10, 2009 10:11PM (EDT)

As you may have heard, Michael Jackson died and Sarah Palin resigned. Here at Broadsheet we could not resist these two mega stories: we wondered what example Gov. Palin was setting for her children, but were fascinated by her maternal instincts, while a teary goodbye from Jackson's young daughter left us contemplating exploitation. Also in the news, Ruth Madoff continued to avoid prosecution but faces an ongoing trial of public opinion, a porn actress lost her visitation rights and Miley Cyrus continued to grow up too fast. There was enough time this week for a lyrical take on "chick food," but here are some stories that got lost in the shuffle:

Porn sans storyline: Only a few years ago, most adult films contained scripted scenes surrounding the sex, while today only loose themes connect the naughty bits. In this illuminating New York Times feature, adult film stars and producers mourn the death of dialogue, as porn's primary medium shifts from DVD to online. "On the Internet, the average attention span is three to five minutes," says the co-chairman of Vivid Entertainment. And classy as always, the Times leaves it to the reader to connect those dirty dots.

Accelerated IVF proved effective: A new scientific trial supports the success of today's infertility technology when couples opt for quicker in-vitro fertilization methods, which tend to offer "a shorter time to pregnancy, cost savings of nearly $10,000, and a lowered risk of multiple births," according to Science Daily. The study investigated the effectiveness of current treatment plans and found that a "shortened protocol" and insurance coverage for fertility care will most often lead to a baby.

Women painted ancient caves, too: New evidence indicates that female artists contributed to some of the most well-known cave paintings previously thought to have been completed only by men. Using detailed measurements of hand sizes, Penn State professor Dean Snow examined cave art in France and Spain, concluding that though the role of artists in societies up to 40,000 years old remains mysterious, "it is a step forward to be able to say that a strong majority of them were women."

Where's your loyalty?: A new marketing study is adding some caveats to the accepted belief that women are the most loyal customer base. As it turns out, women tend to be loyal to "individual service providers" such as hairdressers, while men stick with companies or groups like hospitals or barbershops.

The romance novel lives on: Women ages 45 to 60 prefer the "titillating" genre of romantic fiction -- sex scenes and all -- to any other, according to a new poll of 2,000 ladies.

A placenta a day keeps the doctor away: When Time contributor Joel Stein's wife gave birth, he saved the placenta, and then paid $275 to have it cooked, freeze-dried and turned it into capsules "to help ward off postpartum depression and increase milk supply." Whatever works.

Joe Coscarelli

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