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    Hundreds Flock to New 'Speed-Dating' Singles Night
    Thu Jan 30, 9:50 AM ET Add Oddly Enough - Reuters (rooters??)

    LONDON (Rooters) - Hundreds of love-hungry singles flocked to London's biggest night of "speed-dating" -- the new craze for brief encounters sweeping the British capital.

    The aim is simple: boost the chances of dating success by getting a three-minute preview.

    Drawn by the excitement of a mass blind-date in a nation known for its reserve, nearly 1,000 young singles turned up at Wednesday night's sold-out event.

    Speed-dating brings production line techniques to the field of romance. Singles are seated at tables around a room and for three minutes try to make an impression on their "date."

    When time is up, an adjudicator blows a whistle and one group, usually the men, moves to the next table in a process that is repeated many times. Players tick the names of those they want to meet for a real date, and the organizers put them in contact later.

    "Three minutes goes really fast," said 33-year-old Caroline Earl. "It was easy to talk to each other, though."

    The idea started in the U.S. in the late 1990s as a way of helping young Jewish men and women meet spouses of their faith.

    Its popularity soared after one of the characters on cult television show "Sex and the City (news - Y! TV)" tried it out -- albeit with little success.

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