The world’s oldest profession wants to finally go legit — the Erotic Service Providers Union (ESPU) in San Francisco is trying to protect their hard working membership, the Johns, and the Janes, by asking for the decriminalization of solicitation and prostitution. The city already has a unique First Offender Prostitution Program, which allows people arrested for soliciting sex the option to pay $1000 tuition fee for a graphic sexual health class. Frankly, it also has a pretty poor success rate for scaring attendees back into thinking the best things in life are free, but the ESPU is less concerned with curbing their clients’ desires. What the union really wants is to keep its workers safe, as many sex workers don’t report assaults or rapes because they’re afraid of being penalized for breaking the law with their profession. The ESPU has a bill on the ballot this fall that would decriminalize sex work in the city. They argue that when the pros have to sneak around to handle their business, it makes them exponentially more susceptible to abuse and exploitation. [Newsweek]
So what do you all think: should sex work be decriminalized (in San Francisco or anywhere else in the U.S.)? Keep reading »
France, bottled water’s native land, have started to drink tap water more regularly. According to The Guardian, more than 67 percent of French people say they regularly drink tap water “l’eau du robinet,” compared with 59 percent five years ago, and spring sales of bottled water like Evian, Volvic, and Vittel are down 6.7 percent from last spring. This is great considering how much energy and plastic is used to make water bottles, but can you imagine the chicest of the French carrying around aluminum water bottles? [The Guardian, U.K.] Keep reading »
1. Maggie Gyllenhaal Why She Made The List: After blowing everyone away in Secretary and Sherrybaby, she managed to save the role of Rachel Dawson in The Dark Knight from the hack job Katie Holmes did. Also, she named her daughter
Ruby Ramona, breast feeds in public and doesn’t care who complains, and is just generally bad ass.
2. Amanda Seyfried Why She Made The List: She’s adored as the oldest daughter on HBO’s Big Love, but who knew she could, you know, SING? She’s appearing as the lead in the movie version of the musical Mamma Mia!, singing all the tunes herself. Smashing, darling.
3. Liv Tyler Why She Made The List: Is there any actress more goddess-like than Liv? She’s been a favorite ever since she appeared in an Aerosmith music video, rocked the Italian countryside in Stealing Beauty, and warmed out hearts in Empire Records. Now she’s a big blockbuster draw in The Incredible Hulk.
4. Olivia Thirlby Why She Made The List: Easily one of the breakout stars of the year, Olivia portrayed the slang-smacking best friend in Juno and won the lead in the new movie The Wackness. She’s the next BIG THING, for sure. Keep reading »
More and more of us are studying math in college, and not just Stats 101 to fulfill a requirement. According to research released in the journal Science, women earned 48 percent of undergrad degrees in math. Sadly, we still lag behind in physics and engineering. Maybe the Nerd Girls will change that. [AP via WSJ]
Keep reading »
A 53-year-old mother and wife committed suicide in Taunton, Mass. soon after faxing a letter to her mortgage company saying by the time they foreclosed on her house later that day, she would be dead. After the mortgage company received the fax around 2:30 p.m., they called police, who found Carlene Balderrama’s body at 3:30 p.m. Keep reading »
Happy 30th Birthday in-vitro fertilization! That’s right, it’s a big b-day for anyone conceived via IVF, especially Louise Brown, the world’s first IVF baby. Her parents, Lesley and John, had tried for nine years to have a child (sounds like fun), when they heard about experimental fertility research being conducted at Cambridge University. Physiologist Robert Edwards and gynecologist Patrick Steptoe were pioneering the “test-tube” baby and the Brown’s volunteered to try the controversial method. Three decades later, they’re among many IVF success stories. Over the years, 115,000 babies have been born in the U.S. alone thanks to IVF and just this summer, the fertility miracle helped a 70-year old woman conceive in India! As for Louise, who works as a shipping company administrator, she is a mother herself, to a healthy 18-month-old boy, which she was able to conceive naturally. Her younger sister Natalie Brown is also a notable achievement — she was the first IVF baby to give birth and she too was able to conceive without medical aid. Needless to say, the Brown kids are so grateful to the groundbreaking scientists that they consider them to be their granddads. And thanks to them, now everyone can have eggs scrambled, sunny side up, and even fertilized! [AFP]
Keep reading »
The Amazing Hydration Diet sounds like an elixir an old timey quack doctor would sell out the back of his wagon at a carnival. However silly sounding, it’s really a trendy diet that was recently popular with folks in Britain. Licensed nutritionist Barbara Nash suggested her chubby client, Dawn Page, take a little bit off by drinking excessive amounts of water — nearly 10 glasses a day. Sure, it seems refreshingly healthy for a diet when compared to the all-you-can-eat-meat Atkins diet, the cabbage soup only diet, and prepackaged low fat foods, but in actuality life-giving water can also kill. Apparently, there is such a thing as water intoxication. Not as fun as plain intoxication and sadly, a Californian woman died last year from a water drinking contest to win a Nintendo Wii. Luckily, Dawn Page survived her hydration detox, including all of the vomiting and the epileptic fit it induced. Keep reading »
Hiring a hairstylist and a makeup artist used to be sufficient for the big day, but not anymore. Brides are increasingly demanding or strongly suggesting their bridesmaids, mothers and mothers-in-law get all types of cosmetic enhancements, like Botox, Restylane, and even breast implants. In most cases, the brides are replacing the customary mani/pedi bonding session with trips to an aesthetician, where she foots the bill, but some bridesmaids are actually willing to pay for these treatments themselves. I can understand a bride wanting everything to be perfect on her wedding day, but perfect to me means showing loved ones as themselves. The bride has the right to choose the bridesmaids’ dress, but she has no right to demand cosmetic enhancements. Why risk a friendship over a wrinkle, an acne scar or sun damage? The only way I’d get Botox for a demanding bride is if she paid for it and I could get it in my armpits, which I imagine is extremely painful, but I hate sweat stains. [New York Times] Keep reading »