This is so sad: Brandy Britton, the former University of Maryland professor accused of working as a call girl, committed suicide this weekend. Her trial date was coming up. I'm a little too stunned by the whole thing to be coherently angry about it, but to sum up: even if Britton was doing sex work, who was she hurting? What purpose was there to wasting tax dollars to ruin her life? Who would benefit from her being in jail? Who will benefit from her death? Not a damn soul. (NYTimes)
In other anger-provoking news: Did you see the Snickers superbowl commercial? In it, two men working on a car share an accidental kiss, are horrified, and "do something manly" (rip out hunks of chest hair) in order to counteract the kiss. That's homophobic enough, but Snickers featured different endings to the commercial on their website, including one in which the two men beat each other up. The Human Rights Campaign is not pleased:
“The makers of Snickers and its parent company at Mars should know better. If they have any questions about why the ad isn’t funny, we can help put them in touch with any number of GLBT Americans who have suffered hate crimes.”
The Snickers micro-site, which also featured footage of Bears and Colts team members watching the commercial and reacting to the kiss, has been taken down, but whether that's because the parent comapny got a grip or because the Superbowl was two days ago is unclear. There's no mention of it on the Mars website. In any case, I'm pretty sure someone in the advertising industry is going to get at least a talking-to over this.
Certain low-dose birth control pills, namely those containing a synthetic progestin called desogestrel, can double a woman's risk of potentially fatal blood clots. Public Citizen, an advocacy group, is urging the FDA to stop the sale of those newer pills. They've created an information-packed website that includes a list of pills that contain the problem hormone: Not My Pill. Check it out, and if you're on one of those pills talk to your doctor. Your risk of developing a blood clot because of your birth control is actually extremely low, but really, why double it when there are other options?
Finally, some levity: a ballot measure has been introduced in Washington (the state) that would require heterosexual couples to have a child within three years of their marriage, or it would be annulled. The measure is clearly a farce, but it's sure to start some discussion, and I bet same-sex marriage proponents all over the country are having a bit of a laugh over it.