Short Takes: News From All Over

January 19, 2006

| January 2006

Women Say No To War
Women of the world are on the march. The organization CODEPINK has launched a new website and a fresh campaign to mobilize women against the war in Iraq (Utne Editor in Chief Nina Utne is an original signatory). The group is hoping to gain more than 100,000 signatures in time for International Women's Day on March 8, when supporters will march on Washington and deliver the petition to world leaders. A note of caution: If you pass this link on to friends, make sure to keep the '.org' top-level domain. Some web-savvy trickster is routing to conservative icon Bill O'Reilly's site. -- Bennett Gordon

Drug Bust: A $100 Million Anti-Drug Ad Campaign was a Complete Waste
By Vince Beiser, The American Prospect Online
The ad war on drugs may be de-escalating. Though proponents of the current anti-drug advertising blitz are fighting hard to keep it, Republican congressional members are pushing to cut the program, citing a lack of evidence that such campaigns actually reduce drug use among youth. Some even feel that the anti-drug spots actually promote drug use by acclimatizing young people to the idea of drugs. -- Nick Rose

Sweden Develops First Female Crash Test Dummy
By Staff, Reuters
Leave it to those crazy Scandinavians to make women's safety a priority. Researchers in Sweden are developing a female crash-test dummy, and get this: It's the world's first. Scientists have always based dummies exclusively on how men's bodies react to crashes. Now, thanks to the National Road and Transport Research Institute, which is partnering with Chalmers University of Technology to begin studying female movement, women might gain equality behind the wheel just in time for the imminent decline of auto culture. (Thanks, -- Morgon Mae Schultz

Why Gaia is Wreaking Revenge on our Abuse of the Environment
By Michael McCarthy, The Independent
With the recent hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, and bird flu, many have concluded that humans have worn out their welcome on Earth. James Lovelock, the scientist who conceived the idea of Earth as a living organism known as Gaia, is one of them. In his newest book, The Revenge of Gaia, Lovelock explains why the planet's immune system is actively rejecting human kind. -- Bennett Gordon

Classic Literature, Starring You!
By Ty Otis,
'O Whiskers, Whiskers! wherefore art thou Whiskers?' That's how Romeo and Juliet might read if you wanted to splurge for your cats and had Customized Classics replace Shakespeare's names with those of your furry companions. The company is reinventing the classics with personalized editions for just under 30 bucks. For an extra $15 you can even have a photo of the purring bust of Mr. Meowsy on the cover, and if the thought of him poisoned is too much to bear, the happy ending option is available in both 'irreverent' and 'classic' styles. (Thanks, Cabinet)

Al Gore Speaks Out and Washington is Too Afraid to Listen
By Staff, BuzzFlash
Al Gore, speaking in Washington on Martin Luther King Day, stirred a roomful of listeners with a succinct yet powerful overview of what the Bush administration has done to our Constitution. Unfortunately, Gore seems to be one of the only Democrats in the capital with the wherewithal to make such honest assertions. Unfortunate, also, that the stiff coat hanger didn't leave Gore's shirt until just now, and not six years ago. -- Nick Rose

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