More than 500 people are now known to have died in floods in south-eastern Brazil, the country’s worst natural disaster for several decades.
Heavy rain has led to massive mudslides hitting several towns, resulting in thousands being made homeless.
Police say the number of dead is likely to rise further.
The death toll has now surpassed the devastating 1967 mudslides in Caraguatatuba, Sao Paulo state, in which up to 430 people perished.
Rescue workers will resume searching for survivors in the mountainous Serrana region, north of Rio de Janeiro, later on Friday.
Many spent Thursday scrabbling with their bare hands through debris.
On her visit to the area, President Dilma Rousseff promised a shipment of seven tonnes of medicines.
In the Campo Grande area of Teresopolis, which was earlier cut off, rescuers found people pulling bodies from the mud.
In the neighbouring town of Petropolis, local resident Nelson Toledo told the BBC that some areas “had been completely devastated” by the floods and mudslides.
He said “thousands” of people remained trapped in their homes.
Thousands of demonstrators are staging an unprecedented protest in central Tunis, calling on President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali to quit immediately.
Between 6,000 and 7,000 people joined a demonstration outside the interior ministry.
On Thursday night, Mr Ben Ali – who has governed Tunisia since 1987 – announced he would stand down in 2014.
His speech came after weeks of protests that have left at least 23 dead.
A BBC correspondent in Tunis says security forces have surrounded protesters there but have not intervened.
The numbers are unprecedented, says the BBC’s Adam Mynott, who is at the scene. Tunisia has not seen such protests in the 23 years since Mr Ben Ali came to power.
The power of smell in picking sex partners
Ladies, be honest: When it comes sexual attraction, how important is a guy’s smell? Not just his cologne or deodorant, but his natural scent? At Good in Bed, we believe that a woman should “follow her nose—it always knows.”
Research supports this idea: In two large studies led by Brown University olfactory expert Dr. Rachel Herz, women ranked a man’s scent as the most important feature for determining whether she would be sexually interested in him.
As it turns out, scent may be the main way in which women literally sniff out genetic compatibility with a potential mate. How we smell is an external expression of the genes that make up our immune system.
Like fingerprints, each of us has our own unique “odor print,” which is part of a region of genes known as the major histocompatibility complex (MHC). Women prefer the scent of men whose MHCs are different from their own.
So when we say that opposites attract, we may not be talking about differences in personality, but rather differences in immune systems. This is one of Nature’s ways of ensuring that we produce the healthiest offspring. No wonder that a woman’s sense of smell is at its peak when she’s ovulating and most likely to get pregnant.
In one study, a wide variety of men were each asked to wear the same T-shirt for two days in a row, after which the shirts were put into identical boxes. Various women were then asked to smell the shirts and to indicate which they thought would have the most sexually attractive wearers, based on the smell. The results showed that women were most attracted to men with an MHC most dissimilar from their own, while T-shirts worn by guys with similar MHC profiles tended to be rated as “fatherly” or “brotherly” but not sexually attractive. And in a survey conducted by the research firm Strategy One, 56 percent of women said they wouldn’t date a guy who smells like their dad.
So what about that cup of joe? Dr. Alan Hirsch, director of the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation, conducted research on behalf of AXE body products to determine women’s scent preferences in 10 different cities. “In each city we tested, women reported different scent preferences,” he says, “indicating that geography has a direct correlation to what scents women find attractive.”
Here are the scents that women found most preferable by region:
1. New York – coffee
2. Los Angeles – lavender
3. Chicago – vanilla
4. Houston – barbeque
5. Atlanta – cherry
6. Phoenix – eucalyptus
7. Philadelphia – clean laundry
8. Dallas – smoke/fireplace
9. San Diego – suntan lotion/ocean
10. Minneapolis-St. Paul – cut grass
I know what you’re thinking: Cut grass? Clean laundry? What the…?!
But there’s a science to these preferences. Scent can trigger powerful memories, especially from our childhoods, which is why these scents may still exert a hold on us years later. And according to Hirsch, “Research has shown that when women are in the presence of a preferred scent, they are more likely to project positive feelings on those around them, which can lead to increased attraction.”
While there is little to evidence to suggest that scent plays as powerful a role for men in sexual attraction, another study by Hirsch found that the scents of lavender, pumpkin pie, donuts, and black licorice increased blood flow to the penis by nearly 40 Percent. And as I discuss in my book 52 Weeks of Amazing Sex, “Certain scents increase oxygen in the brain, which in turn affects emotion, attitude, hormone levels, and energy. Both men and women respond positively to scents such as vanilla, black pepper and cinnamon. Other scents that are supposed to have libido-boosting qualities include frankincense, ginger, lavender, lime, orange, patchouli, and rose.”
So, enjoy that cup of coffee, mow the lawn, or fire up the grill—you never know what will happen!
* Surgeon says Gabrielle Giffords responded to request to squeeze his hand before surgery
* Doctor: Giffords’ eye movements suggest “glimmers of recognition”
* Giffords’ husband: “I think she realized the president” visited her