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Of Human Interest: News-lite

By PENNY NELSON BARTHOLOMEW, United Press International   |   Feb. 26, 2002 at 4:45 AM   |   Comments

PEEPING TOMS

The operators of a Web site that continuously shows young women -- sometimes scantily clad -- living in a house don't have to turn off their Web-cams.

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court left in place a lower-court ruling in favor of VoyeurDorm.com.

Subscribers pay a fee of $34.95 a month to watch the women and an added fee of $16 a month to "chat" with them. But in 1998, the zoning board in Tampa, Fla. -- where the house is located -- took a peek and decided it was an adult business operating in an area zoned single-family residential. It sued to shut down the place.

A federal judge ruled for Tampa. However, a federal appeals court reversed the judge last September. The Supreme Court declined to review that decision.


TAKING THE BULL BY THE HORN

Remember President Bush's Sept. 14 visit to Ground Zero, when he used a bullhorn to address the rescue crews searching for survivors and victims of the World Trade Center attacks?

On Monday, the bullhorn he used was given to him by the retired New York firefighter and the New York State police officer who were with him that day.

The presentation -- by Bob Beckwith and Daniel Wiese -- took place in the Oval Office. Bush said the bullhorn would be kept for his presidential library and also put on display an exhibit at Texas A&M.


SPACE CADETS

The four surviving members of the original corps of seven Mercury astronauts went back to Cape Canaveral, Fla., last weekend to observe the 40th anniversary of the first orbital flight.

While Alan Shepherd and Gus Grissom (the country's first and second men in space) only went up and down to test takeoff and re-entry, John Glenn was the first American to go into space, orbit and return. ("God speed, John Glenn.") That was on Feb. 20, 1962.

Glenn met with Scott Carpenter, Wally Schirra and Gordon Cooper to remember the flight. Addressing the crowd, Glenn -- now 80 -- remarked that his flight seemed more like 40 days ago than 40 years in the past. The four spoke on an outdoor platform with American rockets in the background -- one an unused Mercury Atlas, the kind that took them into orbit.

By the way, Glenn took no credit for that first flight and said that any of his colleagues could have been the first. The timing was just in his favor.

(Thanks to UPI's Dennis Daily)


LES MIZ

Victor Hugo was born 200 years ago Tuesday. To commemorate the event, Musical Theatre International (MTI) is launching a special edition of "Les Miserables" for school productions this summer. The idea, says producer Cameron Mackintosh, is to "provide a thrilling theatrical learning experience for teenagers across the U.S."

"The future of the theater is all about developing and nurturing a passion for musicals and plays among the youth," Mackintosh said. "This is where the new composers, actors, designers and writers will come from; this is where the new audiences will come from."

With input from Mackintosh, the musical has been adapted for high school students and abridged to a running time of just over two hours. Educational groups that license the special school edition will also receive a package of theatrical resources designed to help both cast and crew adapt the show for their school auditorium.

"Les Miserables" recently surpassed "A Chorus Line" to become the second longest running show in Broadway history.


REASONS TO CELEBRATE TODAY:

TUESDAY: This is For Pete's Sake Day. Who is Pete, and why are we always concerned about his sake, anyway? (Web site: wellcat.com)

Today is Spay Day USA, an annual event designed to end the tragedy of pet overpopulation by encouraging people to neuter their animals. (Web site: ddaf.org)

And the Lantern Festival, a traditional Chinese celebration, is today.

(Thanks to Chase's 2002 Calendar of Events)


BY THE WAY...

Bavarian immigrant Levi Strauss created the first pair of jeans in 1850. For who?

Strauss -- born on this date in 1829 -- created the jeans for California gold miners.

© 2002 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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