Short Takes: News From All Over

Tee Season
By Paul Collins, Village Voice
When encountering a shirt screen-printed with ‘What About All the Good Things Hitler Did?’ or ‘Oh No! There’s Blood in My Urine!’ you wouldn’t be blamed for wishing for the bygone days of word-free T-shirts. But you wouldn’t be correct, either. Sloganeering on clothing predates the T-shirt, and both the shirt slogan and its personal billboard predecessor the pin-back button boast a rich history of rankling authority. Paul Collins explores this perennial fad, starting in the late 1800s when ‘There Are No Flies on Me’ made sense, and ‘I Make My Own Ice’ was lecherous (no, we don’t get it either). — Meg Holle,essay,67069,15.html

At One Swedish Library, You Can Borrow Books — and a Lesbian
By The Associated Press via The Advocate
For a recent city festival in Malmo, Sweden, the public library was set to add extra features to the shelves. Patrons were to be able to check out stereotyped and often misunderstood people including a lesbian, a Dane, a Romany, a Muslim, and a journalist. The library’s hope was that giving local residents access to people with whom they may not come into contact would help fight common prejudices. Libraries in Denmark, Hungry, and Portugal also have featured the Living Library project. — Rose Miller

By Staff, Alonovo
Alonovo, a recently launched internet shopping site, promotes responsible consumption. While hunting for anything from DVDs to baby toys to cell phones, customers can view companies’ social responsibility ratings and values in more than 40 different categories. Shoppers also can experience a little more satisfaction when making their purchases because Alonovo donates a portion of its revenue to customer-designated nonprofit organizations. — Rose Miller

Foraging For Profit
By Ari Levaux, Eugene Weekly
After raging forest fires incinerate a tract of woods, tasty wild mushrooms known as morels pop up in droves, creating a cash crop in the wake of destruction. Ari Levaux tags along with a tight-knit crew of mostly Mexican morel pickers who slog through recently charred Alaskan terrain, reap hundreds of pounds of fungi, and then schlep their harvest to a market full of eager buyers. — Archie Ingersoll

Is Staying Together the New Breaking Up?
By Molly Thomas, Kitchen Sink
More frequently than ever before, younger people maintain close friendships even after breaking romantic ties. After looking around at her friends, Molly Thomas realized that this romantic evolution may be unprecedented, but it makes sense. She concludes that unless someone brutally breaks your heart or you are in an abusive relationship, maintaining friendship with someone who has been a significant part of your life is a very good idea. — Rose Miller

By Staff, medGadget
Scientists at Vestergaard Frandsen, a company that makes disease-fighting textiles, have developed a straw that turns non-potable water from lakes and rivers into clean drinking water. LifeStraw, still a prototype, uses filters made of fabric, ‘iodine-impregnated beads,’ and active carbon to produce water with less bacteria than what flows from the tap in many developed countries. One device lasts one person a year. At less than $2, LifeStraw could save lives for those without access to safe drinking water, but campers beware — LifeStraw’s filters aren’t fine enough to protect against the common ‘beaver fever’ in the North America. — Morgon Mae Schultz

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