Watercooler Stories

Aug. 5, 2008 at 6:30 AM
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Naked cyclists protest oil dependence

ST. LOUIS, Aug. 5 (UPI) -- Hundreds of nearly-nude bikers and curious onlookers have descended on St. Louis for a 10-mile ride protesting U.S. dependence on oil, participants said.

The World Naked Bike Ride, which has been held in about 70 cities across the globe since 2004, came to St. Louis for the first time Saturday night as nude and nearly-nude cyclists rode their bikes from the city's Tower Grove Park to the Grove neighborhood, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Spectators said many of the riders got creative, strategically covering up certain body parts with thongs, pasties and body paint.

Onlooker Don Biekert, 50, of Centralia, Ill., said the ride made for an amusing spectacle, but "this ain't nothing like Mardi Gras."

Caught! ESPN drops cheaters ad

NEW YORK, Aug. 5 (UPI) -- Listen up rogues: Sports channel ESPN asked its local affiliates to stop airing an ad for a Web site that makes a love connection with would-be cheaters.

Amy Phillips, a spokeswoman for the Disney-owned ESPN confirmed that the sports channel has asked that its affiliates stop running an ad for AshleyMadison.com, but wouldn't say why, said ABC News, also owned by Disney.

Noel Biderman, the president of AshleyMadison.com, said he thought "a double standard" was applied to his company, ABC reported. He said ESPN is "inundated" with ads for alcohol, which he said was "responsible for health issues and ultimately death."

"Somehow I'm immoral and everything else is OK," said Biderman, who said the company, based in Toronto, was spending more than $1 million this summer to run the ad on channels, including CNN, MSNBC, Fox, Fox News Channel and Spike.

For $49, AshleyMadison.com members create profiles and send e-mails and instant messages to each other.

While AshleyMadison.com's frequently asked questions says the company doesn't encourage straying, it exhorts on his home page: "Life is Short. Have an Affair."

Tights for men a hit in Britain

LONDON, Aug. 5 (UPI) -- British tights manufacturers say sales of sheer, patterned and support tights for men have ballooned in recent months.

Kieran Hughes, director of the tights maker Precious Collections, said men are increasingly saying they find the products to be practical and comfortable additions to their wardrobes, The Daily Telegraph reported.

"I don't know what is going on -- sales have gone mad," Hughes said. "In the past two months we have gone from selling 300 pairs of tights a month to men in the U.K., to selling more than 1,000."

"German men have been wearing them for years. More than 50 percent of German men wear tights, including famous German football players. I can't imagine many footballers here doing that," Hughes said.

Trash violators may face serious fines

LONDON, Aug. 5 (UPI) -- British homeowners who overfill garbage cans could be punished more severely than shoplifters under proposed new standards, a member of Parliament said.

The Fly-capture Enforcement manual, written by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, says fines for "waste receptacle" violations should be set anywhere from about $150 to $220, The Times of London reported Sunday.

Residents could be penalized for a variety of garbage offenses such as forgetting to put a lid on trash cans, putting a can out too early or leaving it in the wrong spot, the newspaper said.

The Times said the suggested garbage fines can be more severe than the $160 penalties given out by law enforcement officers for public drunkenness or stealing.

"It is fundamentally unfair that householders are now getting hammered with larger fines than shoplifters get for stealing," Conservative Party Member of Parliament Eric Pickles said.

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