In what's likely tragic news to the people of Brooklyn and hipsters everywhere, researchers said that as facial hair becomes increasingly commonplace, the less people are likely to find it attractive. In other words, we're close to reaching "peak beard."
Researchers from the University of New South Wales in Australia polled 1,600 people — a mix of straight males and bisexual and heterosexual women — and discovered that clean-shaven men were more attractive to them after they saw a series of photos featuring scruffy men. However, the same process also worked in reverse, leading researchers to hypothesize that when a trend becomes mainstream, it becomes less attractive.
"It appears that beards gain an advantage when rare, but when they are in fashion and common, they are declared trendy and that attractiveness is over," said researcher Robert Brooks. With beards their peak popularity in popular culture, it might be time for a shave, he said. "The bigger the trend gets, the weaker the preference for beards and the tide will go out again." Jordan Valinsky
Ben Stiller made a commercial for the Super Bowl, he told Jimmy Fallon on Monday's Tonight Show. Well, it's really "more like a public service announcement," Stiller said, but much to his chagrin, CBS didn't broadcast it. The ad was for Female Viagra, and Fallon just happened to have the clip to show the world. It features Stiller on a bed in a football jersey, and it paints a pretty bleak portrait of post-marital bedroom vibrancy. "The thing is, even though 0 percent of women suffer from erectile dysfunction, over 98 percent of women over 30 suffer from another condition, called Not Being Turned On By Their Husband Anymore," Stiller said. And Female Viagra is just the thing to light that spark again, at least when necessary and for a few minutes. Watch the decidedly unromantic PSA below. Peter Weber
At midnight Tuesday, the first ballots of the New Hampshire primary were cast in the hamlets of Dixville Notch, Millsfield, and Hart's Location.
Dozens of residents hit the polls, and Dixville Notch has already announced its results: Three votes for John Kasich and two votes for Donald Trump among the Republicans, and four votes for Bernie Sanders and none for Hillary Clinton on the Democratic side.
Why are these voters able to cast their ballots so early? Under New Hampshire law, communities that have fewer than 100 voters can open their polls at midnight and close them once registered voters have cast their ballots, The Boston Globe reports. All nine voters in Dixville Notch are employees of the Balsams Grand Resort Hotel, and they voted inside a building on the property. Catherine Garcia
Artur Fischer, a German inventor trained as a locksmith, held more patents than Thomas Edison, and among his more than 1,100 patents are the wall anchor you have probably used to hang pictures and mirrors and the first synchronized camera flash. Fischer died Jan. 27 at his home in Waldachtal, Germany, The New York Times reported Monday. He was 96.
"What Bill Gates was to the personal computer, Artur Fischer is to do-it-yourself home repair," German magazine Der Spiegel said in 1915, a year after Fischer won the prestigious European Inventor Award, a lifetime achievement prize from the European Patent Office. His first big breakthrough was the flash, purchased by the camera company Agfa, inspired by his inability to photograph his young daughter indoors — his insight was to synchronize an electric flash with the camera shutter. In 1958, he patented the expanding wall anchor, allowing people to hang heavy objects on plaster and drywall. Today, his company, the Fischer Group, produces more than 14 million of those anchors every day at factories around the world.
Fischer's last big commercial hit was the Fischertechnik kit, an electrical model set used by German kids and hobbyists alike to create machines and robots — he started off giving the kits as Christmas gifts to clients in 1964, then brought them to market when they proved a hit. You can learn more about Fischer, who tinkered until the end, in this short film from the European Patent Office. Peter Weber
The satellite launched by North Korea on Saturday is tumbling in orbit, rendering it useless, a U.S. official said Monday.
Although the payload of the Unha 3 rocket made it into orbit, it has been tumbling ever since, the official told ABC News. North Korea still views the launch as a success, and the official said the fact that the payload was able to make it into orbit is troubling — the technology needed to make that happen is the same necessary to get a ballistic nuclear armed intercontinental missile to the United States, ABC News reports.
The Joint Space Operations Center is tracking the satellite and a rocket booster stage also in orbit, and it could take years for the payload to re-enter the Earth's atmosphere; the JSPOC is still tracking the payload and debris items from a North Korean missile launched in December 2012, ABC News says. No transmission signals were ever detected coming from that satellite. Catherine Garcia
Demonstrators and police clashed in Hong Kong Monday night and early Tuesday morning after authorities started to crack down on unlicensed food vendors in the Mong Kok district.
It's become a tradition in the area for the street hawkers to sell fish balls and other items during the Lunar New Year, and activists were upset that police tried to shut the vendors down, saying an important part of the area's culture was under attack, The Associated Press reports. Protesters threw bottles, trash, and pieces of wood, and set fires in the street. In a statement, local police said demonstrators refused to get out of the street and shoved officers. In turn, authorities used batons and pepper spray against the protesters.
Three men were arrested and three injured officers were treated at area hospitals. This was the worst violence in Hong Kong since 2014's pro-democracy protests, AP reports. Catherine Garcia
This one's for you, Chris Christie: On the eve of the New Hampshire primary, Marco Rubio gave the New Jersey governor plenty of fodder for his next campaign ad by repeating himself during a speech.
Rubio came under fire Saturday night at the ABC News Republican Presidential Debate, after he brought up the same talking point about President Obama multiple times. Christie called him out, saying, "See, there it is, the memorized 25-second speech," with Rubio responding by repeating himself again.
On Monday night in Nashua, Rubio launched into a speech about how "families are struggling to raise their children in the 21st century." Rubio lamented how difficult it was for him and his wife to "instill our values in our kids instead of the values they try to ram down our throats." Not two seconds later, he started in again, saying: "In the 21st century, it's become harder than ever to instill in your children the values they teach in our homes and in our church, instead of the values they try to ram down our throats in the movies, in music, in popular culture." Rubio paused after the second time he said "ram down our," likely due to a severe case of déjà vu. Watch the video below. Watch the video below. Catherine Garcia
U.S. federal prosecutors filed charges on Monday against the Iraqi wife of a high-ranking Islamic State official accused of holding Kayla Mueller hostage in Syria.
— BBC News US (@BBCNewsUS) February 9, 2016
Mueller, an aid worker from Prescott, Arizona, was abducted from Damascus, Syria, in 2013. She was killed in Syria in February 2015; ISIS claims she died after a Jordanian fighter jet dropped a bomb on the building she was in, while U.S. intelligence officials have said they still do not know how she was killed. Umm Sayyaf, also known as Nisreen Assad Ibrahim Bahar, was charged in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, with conspiring to provide material support to a designated terrorist organization resulting in death. Her husband, Fathi ben Awn ben Jildi Murad al-Tunisi, also known as Abu Sayyaf, was killed during a raid in eastern Syria last May. Umm Sayyaf was captured and taken to Irbil, where she was questioned by the FBI-led High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group, The Washington Post reports.
An affidavit by FBI Special Agent William H. Heaney gives more insight into what life was like for Mueller as a hostage. Umm Sayyaf said she was responsible, along with her husband, for Mueller beginning in September 2014, and she suspected Mueller was either being held for ransom or a prisoner exchange. Her home was used to store money ISIS made from oil and firearms, and sometimes ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi stayed there. Mueller was abused and raped by al-Baghdadi, the affidavit says, and forced to watch ISIS propaganda videos. Along with other captives, she was at times handcuffed and kept in locked rooms, the affidavit states, and called an "infidel" by Umm Sayyaf.
The Iraqis took custody of Umm Sayyaf in August, and while it's unlikely she will ever be brought to the United States, officials say if she is ever part of a prisoner exchange, she can be arrested by the FBI on the federal charges, the Post reports. Catherine Garcia