Saturday, January 23, 2010

Good night, sweet prince.

Whenever I’m asked who I think is (or was) the most beautiful movie star ever, I usually say Jean Simmons.

And then I usually have to explain that I mean the English actress who starred in Great Expectations, Guys and Dolls and Spartacus, not that guy from KISS with the long tongue.

Alas, today’s news brings word of the death of 80-year-old Jean Simmons, Laurence Olivier’s choice for the film role of Ophelia when she was only in her teens. A sad end to a week that also unexpectedly took Robert B. Parker. Mind you, he went at his desk.
However, as I’m looking at the brief tribute to Ms. Simmons on the BBC News website, I notice there’s a box showing the current ranking of the most popular stories. The latest from Haiti is number one, Venuzuelan oil number two, Jean Simmons’ passing number three, some fresh horror story from Nigeria, number four . . .  All with today’s dateline.

But at number five, a report headed “Bed Sharing Drains Men’s Brains.” From 2006.

Intrigued, I click and discover that for men, but not for women, the sleep interruptions that come from a partner’s movements in the night is enough to impair their mental ability the next day and increases stress hormones, at least according to an article in New Scientist based on research at the University of Vienna. And a sleep expert from an English University comments: "Historically, we have never been meant to sleep in the same bed as each other. It is a bizarre thing to do.”

Perhaps what’s even more bizarre, though, is the fact that this is currently the number one shared story for BBC News, four years after its first appearance.

Why do I think most of the sharing is between husbands and wives? But which direction?

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