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June 10, 2010 at 6:00 AM
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Princess Di's little black dress sold

LONDON, June 10 (UPI) -- The strapless black taffeta dress worn by Lady Diana Spencer to her first soiree with Prince Charles after they were engaged sold at auction for $277,068.

The dress, with its form-fitting bodice and low-cut ruffled neckline, transformed the eventual princess of Wales from 19-year-old "Shy Di" in 1981 to one of the world's most influential fashion mavens, The Times of London reported.

The dress, which Kerry Taylor Auctions in London estimated would sell for about $72,000, was sold to Fundacion Museo de la Moda, a Chilean museum.

The garment was thought to have been destroyed but was found in the garage at the home of the dress's designers, David and Elizabeth Emanuel, The Times said.

The designers were asked to take the dress in, but it required so much work, they decided to make a smaller version for Princess Diana and stored the original, the auction house said.

Elizabeth Emanuel said she had no idea of the drama the dress would cause.

"She just looked fantastic," she said. "At that time, she was curvy. Not fat in any way, but she had cleavage -- we love cleavage. And she looked great in this dress. And I think from that moment on, Diana became a fashion icon."

The dress was one of 30 lots being sold by the Emanuels.

Perot gets surprise 80th birthday bash

DALLAS, June 10 (UPI) -- About 1,000 people turned out in Texas for a surprise 80th birthday party for H. Ross Perot -- held three weeks ahead to make sure he would be there.

The celebration was held Tuesday at the headquarters of Dell Services in Plano, The Dallas Morning News reported. Dell Inc. bought Perot Systems Corp. last year, but Perot still takes an active part in the business.

Perot's son took his father to the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas to get him off the premises while party preparations were under way.

Ebby Halliday, who at 99 is an old friend of Perot's in more ways than one, sang a song she had written for him, accompanying herself on the ukulele. Perot also received a flag and pole for the museum and an old newsreel that showed him shaking hands with President Eisenhower when he graduated first in his class from the Naval Academy and a book of birthday wishes from friends who included President George H.W. Bush and his wife, Barbara, and Barbara Walters.

Perot was born June 27 and likes to be out of town on that date to avoid surprises.

McDonald's offers $3 for recalled glasses

OAK PARK, Ill., June 10 (UPI) -- McDonald's, the fast-food chain based in Illinois, is offering $3 cash for the return of any recalled piece of "Shrek" glassware, but the items are selling for up to $5 on eBay.

McDonald's officials said Wednesday locations will pay $3 for the return of the recalled glasses, which the Consumer Product Safety Commission said contains toxic cadmium in the decorative paint, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported.

"Returns will only be accepted inside the restaurant. Customers will be instructed by a manager to sign a refund slip and will be refunded $3 for each glass returned. No receipt is necessary," McDonald's said in a statement.

However, the company could be facing competition for possession of the potentially toxic glasses from eBay buyers, who Wednesday were paying up to $5 for the collectibles.

The glasses were originally sold in the restaurants for $2.49 each or $1.99 if purchased with food.

Comfortable clothes go comforting

MONTREAL, June 10 (UPI) -- The 2010 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences featured clothing developed by Canadian and British scientists to respond to the wearer's mood.

The teams, led by Professor Barbara Layne of Montreal's Concordia University and Professor Janis Jefferies of the University of London, said the clothing uses wireless sensors and bio-sensing devices to assess the wearer's emotional state using readings of temperature, heart rate, skin moisture and breathing rate.

The garments, unveiled at the May 28-June 4 event at Concordia University, then send the information through an Internet database designed to come up with a solution to the wearer's emotional state, including music from speakers in the hood or shoulder seams or video, photographs and text messages made possible by an LED array woven into the fabric.

The designers said the clothing is designed to help the wearer by simulating the presence of an "absent" person to bring comfort.

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