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Watercooler Stories

Company makes panties for 600-pound women

PENRYN, England, Dec. 2 (UPI) -- A British company known for making the world's largest panties announced the new "super-super size" range, for women with waistlines up to 105 inches.

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Dianne and Laura Mannering, the mother and daughter team behind the Big Bloomers Co. in Penryn, England, said they began selling size XXXXXXXXL underwear, catering to women weighing up to 490 pounds, this year and expanded the range to include XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXL sizes for women weighing up to 630 pounds, The Sun reported.

Dianne Mannering said they have sold about 100 pairs in the new sizes, including many orders from Australia, New Zealand and France.


'Christmas Village' sign removed

PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 2 (UPI) -- A Philadelphia city official says slicing the word "Christmas" from City Hall holiday bazaar sign was about "being inclusive," not "political correctness."

Managing Director Richard Negrin said the archway sign, which read "Christmas Village" until the name of the holiday was removed Monday, will be completely taken down at the German-style Christmas market, which features vendors in wooden booths selling festive goods and foods, the Philadelphia Daily News reported.

Negrin said the decision to remove the sign was made after people complained about the lack of inclusiveness in naming the bazaar after the Christian holiday. He said there are several Jewish and Muslim vendors at the event.

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However, Negrin said he is now receiving complaints about taking the word "Christmas" down, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

"This is about common sense," Negrin said Tuesday. "Look, I'm a preacher's kid. I love Christmas. This isn't about political correctness or trying to say something negative about Christmas. This is about being more inclusive. That's what this holiday is about."


Atheists, Christians have dueling signs

NEW YORK, Dec. 2 (UPI) -- Drivers heading into and out of New York through the Lincoln Tunnel now get an atheist billboard on the New Jersey side and a Christian one in Manhattan.

Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, told CNN his group's sign is a "counterpunch" to the Christmas message from American Atheists. He said David Silverman, president of the atheists group, is "denigrating" religion.

The American Atheists ad features a nativity scene with a simple message: "You know it's a myth. This season celebrate reason."

At the Manhattan end, drivers read: "You know it's real. This season celebrate Jesus."

Silverman said the atheist billboard cost $20,000, while Donohue said the $18,500 cost of the religious one was paid by a donor who wanted to respond. Silverman said he had not yet decided whether to keep his message up through Christmas or have it taken down Dec. 21.

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This year, the Catholic League has sent small one-piece nativity scenes showing Joseph, Mary, the infant Jesus with shepherds and magi to all 50 state governors. Accompanying letters urge them to display the nativity scenes in state houses.


Bees cross city for cherry juice

NEW YORK, Dec. 2 (UPI) -- A New York woman whose bees have been showing bright red coloring said she thinks they are traveling back to her old neighborhood for maraschino cherry juice.

Cerise Mayo, who lives on Governors Island in the city's Manhattan borough, said her bees have been showing bright red stripes and her honeycombs have been turning the same color, The New York Times reported.

Mayo said a friend jokingly suggested the bees were traveling to the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn -- where she previously kept the insects until moving in May -- to feed from the vats at Dell's Maraschino Cherries Co. However, she said the substance turning the bees red was later identified by an expert as Red Dye No. 40, the dye used for the cherries, and workers at the company reported seeing unusually large numbers of bees around the business.

Andrew Cote, the leader of the New York City Beekeepers Association, was hired by the factory's owner to help deal with the insect issue.

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"Bees will forage from any sweet liquid in their flight path for up to three miles," Cote said. He said solving the issue "could be as easy as putting up some screens, or providing a closer source of sweet nectar."

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