• "Sack-tapping" games, in which boys hit each other's testicles, sometimes until they burst, are allegedly the latest trend in bullying. Doctors blame South Park for popularizing the activity, which is also known as "nut tag" or "Roshambo." •
• 2009 was a good year for China's female infants: For the first time in decades, the gap between male and female newborns shrunk. In 2008, there were 120.56 boys born for every 100 girl, but in 2009, the number went down to 119.45. Although it is not a huge change, it could signal the beginning of a positive trend. • While most normal people find Sarah Palin odious, a group of die hard fans, who call themselves Palin-Heads, may have the feverish zeal, if not the numbers, to fuel a presidential run. Surprisingly, the Palin-Head name was coined by five gay men from Chicago, who switched to Palin after Clinton's presidential dreams were dashed. "I wish that we had started in 2006 for Hillary and had groundwork in place and really had our teams together," says Kevin DuJan, who started counter-intuitive the Pro-Palin thing. "There's only one other person I would do this for again, and it's Sarah. I'll go all in for her, too, in any way that I can." • A survey conducted by the Egyptian Center for Women's Rights found that 83% of women polled had experienced some form of sexual harassment. Furthermore, most of the women who responded reported that they were wearing a veil at the time, which leads the center's chairwoman, Nahid abul Khomsan, to argue, "there is no relation with what type of dress you have." • Decades of research have suggested that girls who go through puberty before their peers are more likely to engage in high-risk behavior, but a new report finds that although early-maturing girls may have more problems in adolescence, these disappear in young adulthood. Girls who hit puberty a few years early tend to act out earlier, but they also make it through the "high-risk" phase of teenage experimenting earlier than their "on-time peers." • A 15-year-old Liberian refugee who pleaded guilty to participating and possibly leading the gang rape of an eight-year-old girl in Phoenix was sentenced to probation yesterday afternoon. He was originally charged as an adult, but he was later transferred to juvenile court, where he pleaded guilty to sexual assault, kidnapping, and three counts of sexual conduct with a minor. He will be on probation until he is 18. • Antidepressants could be useful in cooling severe hot flashes, according to data from a recent clinical trial. Certain SSRIs were found to reduce the reported number of "bothersome" hot flashes among the 254 postmenopausal participants. • And they're off! The 83rd National Spelling Bee has begun, and the first word went to 14-year-old Allison Black, who correctly spelled "serendipity," (which, embarrassingly, I did not spell correctly the first time I typed it). Other early words included "hippopotamus" (which Clark Hubbard jokingly asked the judges to define) and "raita." •
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