Of Human Interest: News lite

By ELLEN BECK, United Press International  |  Feb. 4, 2003 at 4:30 AM
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Diamonds are a girl's best friend all year around but selecting a gemstone this Valentine's Day can send a specific message.

The American Gem Trade Association says long before gems were worn as jewelry they were revered for their mystical attributes.

The ruby is believed to attract and maintain love. A sign of passion and virility, the ruby arouses sexual desire.

Pearls also are considered an aphrodisiac. Cleopatra was said to have dissolved a pearl in wine to seduce Mark Antony.

Sapphires inspire sincerity, faithfulness and truth; an emerald protects relationships; the garnet reinforces true devotion; and, an aquamarine reawakens love in long-married couples.


A new impotence drug, Cialis, which hit the market in the United Kingdom this week, lasts 24 hours -- beating out the popular Viagra, which lasts up to 4 hours.

Pharmaceutical giant Lilly makes Cialis and says the goal is to allow couples to be more spontaneous, the British Broadcasting Corp. reports.

While the effects of the drug last all day, men will only achieve an erection when they are sexually aroused.

Cynthia McVey, a psychologist at Glasgow Caledonian University, says the drug give couples the opportunity to rebuild their relationship. "It allows time for a romantic meal or a walk in the park," she says.


A satellite control system that slows speeding cars will be tested in France, Le Figaro newspaper reports.

The Self-Adapting Speed Restriction Limiter -- LIVIA -- will be tried in a Renault and a Peugeot this spring on roads in the Yvelines region west of Paris.

The cars will have beacons so the satellite can locate them and match them up to different speed zones. If the vehicle is speeding, the satellite issues a command to restrict the fuel supply so the accelerator does not work.

The system comes with an over-ride so a driver can hit the gas to escape from a dangerous situation.


Theaters in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, are welcoming the very patrons that irritate moviegoers the most -- babies.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. says "Reel Babies," run by Empire Theatres, offers an environment for mothers and babies -- including bottle warmers, change tables, a microwave, toys and rocking chairs.

New mom Ingrid Brody told the CBC she hasn't been to a movie since her daughter Olivia was born 3 1/2 months ago and she's thrilled to take advantage of the program.

The concept was created by Stacia Hatherly, manager of business development for Empire Theatres, and a mother of two.

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