CARBONDALE, Ill., Sept. 20 (UPI) -- International Talk Like a Pirate Day dawned Monday, a day when it's deemed alright to affectionately call co-workers scurvied sea-bags.
The day has roots back to 1995, but officially started in 2002 when syndicated columnist Dave Barry was enlisted to give the concept national publicity, the Southern (Illinoisan) reports.
Since 2002, founders John "Ol' Chumbucket" Baur and Mark "Cap'n Slappy" Summers have written "Talk Like a Pirate Day" guides and host the talklikeapirate.com Web site.
The pair encourage frequent use of such terms as "Arrr," "Aye," "Avast" and calling others mateys or beauties.
Author and leadership trainer Bob Garrow, whose book "Ahoy Mates! Leadership Lessons from Successful Pirates," uses pirate metaphors to illustrate concepts he says can be beneficial to modern businesspeople.
He said the whimsical holiday is a welcome bit of silliness in an otherwise very serious world.
"Why not have a bit of fun? Life is too serious" he said.
Paralyzed girl duped by fake NHL player
TORONTO, Sept. 20 (UPI) -- A 12-year-old girl was duped into believing a man who visited her in the hospital used to play in the NHL.
The man who visited Rachel Shepp last month at the Hospital for Sick Children allegedly said he could get jerseys for patients and tickets to games. Police say he even posed for pictures with Rachel, signed autographs and took $40 from the family, the Toronto Star reported.
Christopher John Richer, 39, was arrested over the weekend and faces fraud charges.
Police allege he had been at the hospital, posing as a former Montreal Canadiens player from the 1970s raising money on behalf of children.
Officials for the Ottawa Senators heard Shepp's story and arranged for her to get VIP treatment for the exhibition opener against the Toronto Maple Leafs Sunday night.
The St. Catharines girl has been paralyzed from the waist down since she suffered a broken neck and bruised spinal cord after being thrown from an ATV in July.
Beer-flavored soda headed for Europe
NEW YORK, Sept. 20 (UPI) -- A Japanese soft drink bottled and formulated to look like beer may soon be available throughout Europe.
Watchdogs of underage drinking say they will fight any effort to ship it to the United States, the New York Times reported.
Kidsbeer, which comes in a brown bottle and is advertised with the slogan "Even kids cannot stand life unless they have a drink," is lager-colored and foams like beer but tastes like cola.
Tomomasu, the smaller bottler that makes the beverage, said Kidsbeer is sold by more than 150 restaurants and supermarkets in Japan.
Beer is widely available in vending machines in Japan, where the legal drinking age is 20.
An article in August in The Sunday Telegraph in London about plans to introduce Kidsbeer in Britain upset alcohol industry critics and government officials.
Amon Rappaport, a spokesman for the Marin Institute, an alcohol industry watchdog based in California, said Kidsbeer would "unwittingly play into the alcohol industry's efforts to glamorize drinking and introduce kids to beer."
Latest buzz: Sex toys no longer novel
NEW YORK, Sept. 20 (UPI) -- Condom manufacturer Trojan is expecting "good vibrations" as their new line of sex toys goes mainstream into Wal-Mart stores and on Amazon.com.
This month, Trojan is shipping subtle black boxes containing so-called "intimacy care" products, including a warming gel, vibrating ring and vibrators, destined for the feminine-hygiene sections of major pharmacies.
Competitors Durex and Ansell are also on the bandwagon, the New York Daily News said Monday.
In their ads and packaging, the companies are looking to bring women of all ages into their typically young, male customer base, said Stephen Mare, brand manager for Durex's Play line.
"Has it been a long time coming? I suppose you could say that," Mare said.
Boston schools pull out free condoms over wrapping complaints
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