Slipped through the cracks

How much is love worth? Plus, recession dating, surrogates and more.

Published July 24, 2009 10:25PM (EDT)

With some dastardly things happening in the sports world, you could say it was the week that Broadsheet and ESPN collided. When "America's Sexiest Sportscaster" Erin Andrews was secretly taped changing in her hotel room, it set the internet ablaze and unfortunately was only a matter of time before some blamed the victim. The sports network hit our radars again when rape allegations surfaced in a civil suit against Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, sparking some warranted indignation about rape culture. Elsewhere, there was a website claiming to cure "feminist indoctrination" (we were skeptical), some debatable common ground on abortion (we were optimistic) and even more discussion about the proper way to give birth. Everyone should relax a bit and spend the weekend sunbathing -- topless or not! -- but first, here are a few stories we missed:

Obama's number two woman: This Sunday's New York Times Magazine features a lengthy profile of the president's senior advisor and assistant, Valerie Jarret, exploring her status as a Washington outsider and her power as an Obama insider. In illustrating Jarrett's sway, the article leads with an anecdote about the South Carolina primary and the then-candidate's reluctance to give one last speech the night before at a sorority gala. "If you want him to do something," a state political director explained, "there are two people he’s not going to say no to: Valerie Jarrett and Michelle Obama." After a day of resisting his staff, one sternly whispered piece of advice from Jarrett sent the future president back to the campaign bus without a word.

The price of love: A survey of 1,000 Brits put monetary values on human intangibles like health, love and sex by comparing the happiness generated by "significant life events" to the satisfaction of winning the lottery. The results? Good health charts highest with an estimated worth of £180,105, while vacation is worth £91,759. Sex apparently scores £105,210 worth of happiness, but that's nothing compared to the £163,424 ($268,505!) value assigned to hearing the words "I love you." Awww.

Surrogacy in 2009: With the topic back en vogue (or at least back in celeb weeklies) thanks to Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick's new twins, the New York Times examined changes in surrogate pregnancy, from the carrier's motives to the emotional consequences.

Generational feminism: Last week, we brought you the story of a new feminist blog founded by 16-year-old Julie Zeilinger. This week, the precocious F-Bomb blogger hit the idol jackpot, scoring an interview with seminal feminist icon Gloria Steinem.

Recession heartbreak: An amusing and detailed first-person account in the Daily Mail tells the story of a jet-setting journalist and how cutting back excess expenses as a result of the struggling economy ruined her romance. Remember to "recession-proof your relationship," folks!

Mary-Louise Parker's adoption daydreams: The "Weeds" star dishes to People at a Worldwide Orphans Foundation event about single-motherhood and her lifelong dream of adopting.

By Joe Coscarelli

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