Office workers asked to go naked
NEWCASTLE, England, July 3 (UPI) -- A British business consultant said he was able to improve a firm's productivity by convincing office staff to work for one day in the nude.
David Taylor, a self-proclaimed "business psychologist," said he was called in to help onebestway, a design and marketing company in Newcastle, England, after the company began losing money and had to fire six workers this spring, The Sun reported.
"Inviting an organization to go naked is the most extreme technique I've used," Taylor said. "It may seem weird but it works. It's the ultimate expression of trust in yourself and each other."
Managing Director Mike Owen, 40, and his employees said the company has vastly improved since the experiment, which was filmed for cable channel Virgin 1's July 9 special, "Naked Office."
"We're either brave or mad. But I did tell everyone they didn't have to do it -- only if it felt right," Owen said. "As a creative company, we persuade our clients to be brave, and this was about taking on some of the braveness ourselves."
The employees eased in to the challenge, performing tasks such as photocopying parts of their bodies and drawing a nude model. On the big day, all but three went naked, while one man wore a posing pouch and two women drew the line at black underwear.
That left Sam Jackson, 23, as the only woman to take it all off.
"It was brilliant," she said. "Now that we've seen each other naked, there are no barriers."
T-shirts demand Pitt for New Orleans mayor
NEW ORLEANS, July 3 (UPI) -- The owner of a New Orleans T-shirt shop said the grassroots movement to elect actor Brad Pitt as the city's next mayor is sounding "less and less crazy."
Josh Harvey, owner of shirt shop Storyville, said the first "Brad Pitt for Mayor" T-shirt was made by a Tulane University professor who invited the store to use his design, WSDU-TV, New Orleans, reported.
Harvey said the T-shirts have some people thinking Pitt -- who filmed "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" in the city and runs a non-profit dedicated to the post-Katrina rebuilding effort -- would actually make a good mayor for New Orleans.
"Brad Pitt is someone who's really done a lot for the City of New Orleans and the more people are talking about it. It sounds less and less crazy, especially with Gov. Schwarzenegger and Al Franken about to be sworn in as the U.S. Senator from Minnesota," Harvey said.
He said a portion of the proceeds from the T-shirts goes toward the actor's Make It Right Foundation.
The foundation already sells a line of T-shirts, baseball caps and other items, with 100 percent of net proceeds going to "exclusively to the process of building new Make It Right homes," the organization says on its Web site.
U.K. police chiefs wrote 102-word sentence
LONDON, July 3 (UPI) -- A British group that lobbies for clear use of language has slammed a 102-word sentence in a letter by the country's police chiefs as "gobbledygook."
The Plain English Campaign said the sentence -- composed by the Association of Chief Police Officers in response to the British government's Green Paper on policing -- stands a good chance of winning the campaign's Golden Bull award in December, the Daily Mail reported.
"This sort of business gobbledygook is pretty much inexcusable now," said Marie Claire, a spokeswoman for the Plain English Campaign. "What excuse is there for this single sentence?"
Claire said she fell asleep while reading the sentence "and consequently did not have cause to ponder upon the meanings of 'centrally-engineered one size fits all initiatives' or 'amorphous challenges' -- that is wrestling with a jellyfish, right?"
More to the point, she said the sentence "is ridiculous."
"What are ACPO doing? Who are they trying to kid? I have got qualifications, I understand language, but I cannot understand this."
Gas sold for $1.49 for two hours
NEW YORK, July 3 (UPI) -- A New York gas station attracted a 3-block-long line of motorists with a promotion offering regular unleaded gas for $1.49 per gallon.
The BP station in Queens sold gas at the discounted price from noon to 2 p.m. Wednesday while gasoline elsewhere in the city sold for about $3 a gallon, the New York Daily News reported.
Witnesses said the line for the pumps had grown to about one third of a mile in length by the time the promotional pricing ended.
The promotion was carried out in partnership with automaker Hyundai, which is publicizing its offer of a year's worth of $1.49 gas for new buyers.