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The FREAKest Links: From Arm Touches Straight to Three-Carat Pacifiers Edition

Nicolas Gueguen, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Bretagne-Sud, performed a study in which his male research assistants approached 240 women in the street and asked for their phone numbers. Half of the women were asked the question accompanied by a light touch on the arm; the other half received no physical contact. Of those touched, 19% gave a phone number; only 10% of the non-touched said yes.

Courtesy of Harvard economics professor Roland Fryer: profiles the newest trends in ultra-expensive baby gear, including a pacifier made of gold and three carats worth of pave-cut white diamonds. Better hope you don’t have twins: it costs $17,000.

On the subject of babies: University of Wisconsin political science professor and blogger Charles H. Franklin has tracked the number of girls named “Monica” born each year since 1970, finding that the name was on a downswing until a certain scandal became public in 1998, after which it tanked. As we’ve discussed, “Katrina” namings went in the opposite direction in some states after the hurricane — an indicator, perhaps, that people are more willing to name their baby after a natural disaster than a man-made one. (Hat tip: B. Cline.)