Many chilly to idea of topless rights for women [via The Berkshire Eagle]
Voters in Pittsfield, Mass. Tuesday voted down a non-binding referendum urging their state representative to introduce legislation to allow “females of any age may be unclothed from the waist up in public anywhere males may be, including in print and on film.” “I think the intent was to have areas, to have beaches, where people could do it if they wished,” resident Linda Rost said. “But that’s not the way [the question] was worded.” The referendum’s backer has worked previously to designate areas of a local park legal for topless sunbathing, a measure that was defeated by the city council.
1920s chocolate box model deemed to risqué [via The Daily Telegraph]
Betty’s Tea Room is launching a new line of vintage chocolates and wanted to use the woman modeling on the original tin from 90 years ago. What was appropriate in the ’20s, however, is apparently no longer appropriate today, and the company toned down the image for sale. The woman, a brunette, has received extra buttons on her top, smoothed-down hair and what once was a suggestively raised eyebrow is now lowered to normal height.
Coconuts removed in India ahead of Obama visit [via the BBC]
In order to provide maximum security during his visit tomorrow, Mumbai officials have reportedly removed all coconuts from trees around Mani Bhavan, a Gandhi museum, where President Barack Obama will appear. “We told the authorities to remove the dry coconuts from trees near the building. Why take a chance?” Mani Bhavan’s executive secretary, Meghshyam Ajgaonkar, told the BBC.
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India‘s richest man Mukesh Ambani moves into £630m home [via The Daily Telegraph]
Indian tycoon Mukesh Ambani has just moved into his new home, a 27-story Mumbai skyscraper that cost £630 million — just over $1 billion. It features a gym, dance studio, ballroom, a range of lounges, 50-seat cinema, elevated garden with high ceiling to accommodate trees, three helipads and underground parking for 160 cars, all in just under 400,000 square feet with a staff of 600. And no, that’s not a typo.
Whitney is ‘Whitey’ on some ballots [via The Chicago Sun-Times]
A Green Party candidate for governor in Illinois, Rich Whitney, has had his name unfortunately misspelled on some ballots in Chicago as “Rich Whitey.” The kicker is that half of the two dozen affected wards are in predominantly African American neighborhoods — and officials say there’s no way to update and test all of the electronic voting machines before Nov. 2. “I don’t want to be identified as ‘Whitey.’ If this is happening in primarily African-American wards, that’s an even bigger concern,” Whitney told the Chicago Sun-Times. “I don’t know if this is machine politics at play or why this happened.”
New species discovered on damaged Easter Island [via LiveScience]
“Scientists recently uncovered a new species of tiny insect in a cave on Easter Island. The find is exciting because most of the island’s native life has gone extinct, researchers said.” The island’s human population was ravaged in the 19th century by the arrival of European diseases; intense farming and the introduction of non-native species condemned most of Easter Island’s animal species. “That’s why this is really interesting from a scientific standpoint,” researcher Jut Wynne said. “Maybe we can find more organisms that are residual fauna that have been able to weather the environmental degradation on the island by retreating to caves.”
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Linguists uncover ‘hidden’ language in north India [via The Los Angeles Times]
Researchers announced yesterday that they had uncovered a rarity in today’s world: a previously unknown language, Koro, spoken by approximately 1,000 people in northeast India. Previously linguists had believed Koro to be a mere dialect of Aka, a regional language, especially because Koro speakers are culturally identical to Aka speakers. “There’s a sort of a cultural invisibility; they’re culturally identical in what they wear, what they eat, the houses they live in…. They just happen to have a different word for everything,” Swarthmore linguist K. David Harrison said.
Staten Island brutes busted in Stonewall gay bash [via The New York Post]
Two Staten Island men have been charged with attempted robbery and hate crimes after assaulting a gay man in the restroom of Manhattan’s Stonewall Inn, apparently unaware that the Stonewall is not only a gay bar but the “ground zero” of the gay rights movement. On June 28, 1969, police raided the Stonewall, a frequent bust in the gay community. That night, however, patrons fought back and rioted, becoming a catalyst for the burgeoning gay rights movement. Stonewall general manager Shawn Curran said, “That’s the thing — it’s not just ‘a’ gay bar, it’s ‘the’ gay bar.” The two men allegedly cornered the patron in the restroom, asked if the Stonewall is a gay bar, and attempted to rob him. The man escaped from the restroom and his assailants fled the bar, chased by several patrons and staff. The men were later caught by police.
Frito-Lay sends noisy, ‘green’ SunChips bag to the dump [via USA Today]
Frito-Lay is giving the pink slip to the new, biodegradable SunChips bag introduced just a year and a half ago. The bags, which were billed as 100 percent biodegradable, had an unusually rigid molecular structure that made them extremely loud when handled. SunChips sales dropped 11 percent in the last year, a market research group reported. “Everybody seems to be on the bandwagon for environmentally friendly packaging,” says JoAnn Hines, a packaging consultant. “But the problem is that bags like this come out without researching all the consequences.”
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