Watercooler Stories

Dec. 10, 2012 at 6:30 AM
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Woman fined for renting shed to homeless

KELOWNA, British Columbia, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- A Canadian woman has been fined $500 for renting out her garden shed out to a homeless couple and their three dogs for $200 a month, officials said.

The woman was warned by the city of Kelowna, British Columbia, two weeks ago that the shed was not suitable for habitation, CBC News reported Friday.

City spokesman Stephen Fleming described the small building as "a standard type of metal garden shed that you'd get at your local hardware store. It certainly doesn't look like a place for people to be living in."

The woman ran an electric power cord from her house to the shed.

"We didn't want anything to happen to the occupants because of where they were living, because it was substandard," Fleming said.

The homeowner, whose name was not reported, was told she could rent a room in her home to the couple, or they could go to a homeless shelter that has room for their dogs, Fleming said.

Nazi-tinged nostalgia cruise ads dropped

GOTHENBURG, Sweden, Dec. 9 (UPI) -- A Swedish ferry line pledged to revamp an advertising campaign for nostalgic visits to the Germany and Poland of the 1940s.

A number of potential customers have expressed doubts about just how fun the era of the Nazis really would be and whether those supposed good old days were an appropriate sales pitch.

Executives at Stena Lines agreed and said they would rewrite their direct-mail campaign, The Local.se said Sunday.

Stena's advertising campaign targeted potential customers according to the decade of their birth, including the 1960s, 1950s and 1940s. The pitch to the generation born during and right after World War II started out, "Hooray, you were born in the 1940s."

Things went downhill from there when the ad continued, "This was a delightful decade when lots of fun things happened -- and then you were born in the middle of it all!"

The idea was to encourage vacationers to bring the whole family for a pleasant voyage to ports in Germany or Poland; however the cruise line said it needed to change "an unfortunate wording."

Underwear company unveils 'pixel pants'

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- Swedish underwear company Bjorn Borg turned heads with its new line of long underwear that makes the wearer appear to be nude with pixelated privates.

The company unveiled the new line Friday with a video that features a couple stripping nude on the streets of Stockholm, The Local.se reported.

At the end of the video, it is revealed that they are actually wearing Bjorn Borg's "Pixel Pants".

"They're a bit provocative," said one central Stockholm shop assistant. "It's typical of Bjorn Borg and the customers love it. They had another joke once on some boxer shorts saying 'Keep your balls in place.'"

U.K. scientists parody sexy video

BRISTOL, England, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- A group of young British women say their spoof of a racy recruitment video for female scientists was "mainly for fun" but also made a serious point.

"We made the video mainly for fun, but also because the original was so awful," said Suzi Gage, a PhD candidate in neuropsychology at the University of Bristol. "It was really demeaning to women, and contained no science at all -- just make-up."

The European Commission released the video this summer in an effort to attract more women into what The Daily Telegraph called the male-dominated science profession.

The commission's off-the-wall video included women in alluring makeup and high heels plus a male-model lab technician.

The ad was dismissed as offensive, but Gage and her colleague decided to respond in kind with a goofy production to the song "I'm Sexy and I Know It."

The video features party girls rocking out and otherwise bumbling around a laboratory but Gage told the newspaper the issues were serious.

"There are big problems regarding women in science," Gage said.

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