Parents Outraged Over Teacher Removing Word ‘Gay’ from ‘Deck the Halls’
Christmas carols help us get in the mood to celebrate the holidays. But would they have the same meaning if we changed a few words? Parents of students at an elementary school in Michigan say, "No." A music teacher at Cherry Knoll Elementary School in Traverse City decided to change the word "gay" to "bright" in "Deck the Halls" for the children's Christmas concert. Her reasoning for the switch? First- and second-graders would not stop giggling when they sang the word "gay." Several parents were so upset about the change they went to the school's Facebook page to express their opinions. One parent said, "By taking the word 'gay' out of 'Deck the Halls,' you are making it a big deal. One word can have different meanings." Another parent voiced, "Can one word in a 150-year-old classic Christmas carol really offend someone?" The negative comments have since been deleted from the school's Facebook page, and wall posts have been disabled. Cherry Knoll Principal Chris Parker is on the parents' side, saying, "This would have been a great opportunity to teach that 'gay' has more than one meaning and is not a bad word." In response to the controversy over the word change, the original lyrics have now been restored. READ MORE HERE
Astroglide Offers Tips for Getting Frisky Without Disturbing Holiday Houseguests
VISTA, Calif., Dec. 6, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The holidays are a festive time of gift giving and reflection where family members often gather to celebrate. It can also mean multiple houseguests. While it's important to bring family together, a group of people sharing your home can mean limited time for friskiness for you and your partner. However, the experts at Astroglide have advice on finding the time for making your own private holiday cheer.
Here are some tips for those individuals who want to enjoy the festive mood without waking up Aunt Edna and Uncle Joe sleeping down the hall: READ MORE HERE
World’s Oldest Dog Dies at Age 26
Pusuke, listed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s oldest-living dog, died in Japan on Monday. He was 26 years old — or somewhere between 117 and 185 in “human years,” according to various calculations. There is no official method for converting dog years to human years.
The dog’s owner, Yumiko Shinohara, said the male cross-breed died at Sakura in the Tochigi prefecture, north of Tokyo, according to the Kyodo news agency.
Pusuke was reportedly eating well and staying active until Monday, when he lost his appetite and had difficulty breathing. Pusuke died peacefully, minutes after his owner returned home from a walk.
“I think (Pusuke) waited for me to come home,” she said, according to Kyodo.
Born in April of 1985, Pusuke was recognized last December as the world’s oldest-living dog. READ MORE HERE
Amazon Will Pay Shoppers $5 to Walk Out of Stores Empty-Handed
DECEMBER 6, 2011 AT 9:04 AM PT
Amazon is offering consumers up to $5 off on purchases if they compare prices using the online giant’s mobile phone application in a store.
The promotion goes live Saturday and will serve as a way for Amazon to increase usage of its bar-code-scanning application, while also collecting intelligence on prices in the stores.
This holiday season, mobile commerce is surging as more people become comfortable using applications on their phone to compare prices or simply shop when not at home or at work.
On the Monday after Thanksgiving, the biggest online shopping day of the year so far, mobile sales reached 6.6 percent, jumping from 2.3 percent in 2010, according to IBM’s online retail study.
Amazon is not the only company hoping for a strong mobile Christmas. READ MORE HERE
Study: Students with smartphones study more often
Updated: Dec 06, 2011 1:55 PM
Based off a recent study from online student assistance site StudyBlue, students with access to smartphones study material for classes approximately 40 minutes more per week than students without access to a smartphone. This figure was tabulated from the combined data of nearly one million StudyBlue users over the Fall 2011 semester. Students are most likely to use the smartphone for studying while commuting or when at school or work. Approximately half the students use the application to study when going to bed or just waking up as well as when standing in line. Nineteen percent use a smartphone for studying while in the bathroom and 17 percent study while exercising.
While the study found no correlation to higher grades due to increased study time, students that use a study application on mobile devices are three times more likely to track progress of grades for tests and class assignments. The study also found that students with smartphones are less likely to pull an all-nighter and students are twice as likely to study between the hours of 6 and 8 a.m. prior to an upcoming test. READ MORE HERE
Home Invasion Robbery Happens During Xbox Live Match
BY EVAN NARCISSE DEC 6, 2011 1:40 PM
At 2 a.m. Tuesday morning, two criminals kicked in the door of an unidentified Pittsburgh man's home while he was playing an Xbox 360 game online. They then pistol-whipped the homeowner and threatened a woman who was also in the house at gunpoint. However, the victim was able to alert the person he was playing online with as to what was happening and the other gamer was able to call 911. Cops got to the house after the criminals fled with $100 and are investigating the case. Anyone with information is being encouraged to contact the police.
Two arrested for false kidnapping, said 'joke' was for $100 ransom
December 05, 2011 1:17 PM
SANTA ROSA BEACH — Two area residents were arrested Saturday for filing a false report.
Deputies were called in to investigate an alleged kidnapping of 21-year-old Sarah Zombori by 57-year-old Joseph Battista. She was being held on a $100 ransom.
Battista supposedly communicated to Zombori's boyfriend that she would be killed if law enforcement was contacted, according to a Walton County Sheriff's Office press release.
Deputies were dispatched to Battista's Somerset Bridge Road home where investigators determined that Battista and Zombori were working together to obtain money from Zombori's boyfriend.
Battista said the incident "was a joke," the release said. The investigation also revealed a plant on Battista’s patio appeared to be marijuana.
At the time of arrest, Zombori resisted arrest by kicking and striking a deputy.
Battista was charged with one count of marijuana production, a third-degree felony; and two counts of making a false report of a commission of a crime, a first-degree misdemeanor. READ MORE HERE
252 pound pole dancer takes on the competitive circuit
updated at 12:21 PM on 7th December 2011
Flicking her bright red hair back, she swings up onto the pole, her thighs gripping the metal while the the audience cheers in applause.
At 252 pounds, LuAyne Barber - stage name Lulu - is not your average pole dancer.
But her ample body, a U.S. size 22, does not hold her back from the lifts, spins, slides, stands and grips that define the dance form's athletic routines.
Instead, the 5'4" Hanover, Maryland local is perhaps one of the most active in her pole dancing community, regularly competing against the toned, lithe bodies of her peers, since joining the circuit three years ago.
The 26-year-old, who works at a car dealership by day, has been pole dancing for five years, having taken up the unusual hobby in 2006 after having a baby. READ and SEE MORE HERE
As a former competitive cheerleader and dance student, Ms Barber was no stranger to the stage - but she still had to sum up a lot of courage to strip off and take a pole dancing class.
Stuntman Li Xin balances on his head... on top of a SPIKE
updated at 2:04 AM on 7th December 2011
If you think your job gives you a headache, spare a thought for stuntman Li Xin.
The 47-year-old spends his days balancing on his head - on top of a spike.
The full weight of his 10st 7lb body bears down on the spike, putting intense pressure on his skull.
Li, from China, has been practising the stunt for more than 20 years.
He can hold the pose with his legs up against a bar for more than 10 seconds - far longer than most people would be able to do a simple headstand.
And he is left with just a small indentation on his head afterwards.
He was photographed showing off his skills at an event in Nanning, China. READ and SEE MORE HERE