Technology tags towel thieves

IF YOU'VE ever stolen a towel from a hotel, beware, technology is catching up with you.

One hotel in Hawaii has seen a massive reduction in linen theft after introducing washable radio-frequency tags.

The tags are stitched into the towels - and sheets and bathrobes just in case you were wondering - and trigger an alarm when they are taken from the premises.

According to Florida-based Linen Technology Tracking, hotels expect to lose up to 20% of their towels, sheets and robes each month to light-fingered guests, so the tags could save the typical hotel thousands of dollars a year.

Although I am hopeless with all technology invented after 1976, I am not usually against gadgets which improve our daily lives.

But I can't get enthusiastic about the latest dating development in Munich, Germany, where biology students have set up a service which tests the DNA of potential partners to find the most compatible gene pools.

For $200 a throw the dating service uses saliva samples to test whether potential partners are well suited, and claims a better success rate than any other matchmaking website.

Founder, 25-year-old Sarah Port, said the ultra-modern technique is based on one of the most ancient and fundamental human reflexes.

"When we meet someone for the first time, we know within seconds whether we're attracted to them or not,'' she said.

"Without realising it, the first thing we do when we meet someone is sniff them. It's all to do with the chemicals - or pheromones - that we give off."

Speak for yourself Sarah. I thought you could get arrested for inappropriate sniffing.

You can also get arrested for stabbing someone, as Faribah Maradiaga discovered.

According to The Seattle Times, Faribah has been charged with second-degree assault after stabbing another woman several times with a seven centimetre blade.

It's not the crime that is so unusual, but the circumstances of the attack.

Faribah and her victim were attending an anger management class at the time.

Looks like you flunked it Faribah.

Let's end on a happier note by heading to Romania where the long-suffering population has a new political hero - 40-year-old Edmond Talmacean.

The Bucharest-based MP has shot to prominence with his impersonations of former dictator Nicolae Ceausescu in the national parliament, moonwalking like Michael Jackson on television, bursting into song and doing a credible impersonation of a well-known sports commentator.

Romania's grey politicians are not impressed and he's been ordered to tone-down the whole showbiz thing.

But the entertainment-starved electorate is lapping it up.

Perhaps Julia could boost her ratings by perfecting a Peter Garrett dance routine.

Alternative Universe is a weekly humour column by Adrian Taylor.

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