Float through any social event with M's fast facts. This week, John Mather explains Cupid.
The grind of the 21st century throws up obstacles at every turn. Nikolaus Oliver is on hand with advice to guide you through. This week: Why make-up matters for one-third of men. THE BASICS The mythical Roman god of love, now the symbol of Valentine's Day THE ANCIENT Also known as Amor, Cupid was the son of Venus and Mercury. He was essentially a knock-off of the Greek mythical god Eros. Both winged man-boys shot people with golden arrows, forcing couples to fall in love. When the beautiful princess Psyche started attracting more attention than Venus, she ordered her son to make Psyche fall in love with the ugliest creature in the land. Instead, Cupid fell in love with her himself after he scratched himself with his own arrow. They were married on condition that Cupid remained invisible. This worked out until Psyche - now pregnant and under pressure from her sisters - snuck a peek at the future father of her child. While looking, she accidently woke Cupid up by burning him with hot wax. Cupid then ran off. Don't worry, they eventually patched things up - he is Cupid, after all.
THE MODERN Cupid has traded in his armour and golden arrows for nappies and heart-tipped arrows. As the spokesman for Valentine's Day, he is popular on cards, cakes and boxes of chocolates - probably not what he had in mind for his retirement. THE CONVERSATION Think up new jobs for Cupid now that the internet has eliminated any need for his services. A reality show, perhaps, where he makes mismatched celebrities fall in love. Think Oprah Winfrey falls for Johnny Rotten.