Maine Will Vote On Gay Marriage • Miss Universe Pageant Adds "Condom Olympics"

Illustration for article titled Maine Will Vote On Gay Marriage • Miss Universe Pageant Adds "Condom Olympics"

• Maine officials announced today that opponents of the state legalizing gay marriage have gathered enough signatures to put the issue to a vote in November. Expect a heated battle in the next two months. •

• In this video, Miss Universe contestants are shown participating in the "Condom Olympics" three days before the pageant on August 23. The event was sponsored by the AIDS prevention group Population Services International, and the women were asked to blow up condoms until they burst, fill them with water, and conduct condom demonstrations. A representative for the group says they were preparing the new Miss Universe to be an Ambassador for Youth AIDS and "Often times, target populations are illiterate or of low literacy and we need to find ways to reach them through engaging activities that don't rely on written materials." Conservative groups are upset that the activities didn't promote abstinence and PSI was founded by pornographer Phil Harvey. • Amber Alerts were created for stranger abductions in which a child is in danger, but LiveScience columnist Benjamin Radford argues that there are too many false alarms. Most abductions are committed by a non-custodial parent or family member and don't qualify for the notification. One study found that of all the Amber Alerts issued in 2004, police had violated protocol by issuing the alert in 70 percent of the cases. • Australian Tegan Leach, 19, is waiting to see if she'll have to stand trial for giving herself an abortion at home. Her boyfriend may be charged with supplying a drug to procure an abortion and both have been charged with procuring an abortion, which carries a maximum sentence of seven years. Police found empty Ukrainian blister packs they say may have contained pills that induce abortion. Abortion laws in Australia vary by state, but they are illegal in Queensland, where she lives, unless the mother's life is in jeopardy. • Iranian MPs have approved the the first female minister in the republic's 30-year history. Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi, who will be the health minister, is a hard-line conservative who has proposed introducing gender-segregated health care in Iran in the past. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad nominated three women for cabinet positions but MPs rejected the other two women he picked to be social security minister and education minister. • A study of 1,000 Iranian high school students suggests family history may determine whether or not teens get severe acne. Of the teens whose parents or siblings had moderate to severe acne, 20 percent had the same problem, compared to only 10 percent of those teen with no family history. • Russia's supreme court has cancelled the retrial of four men accused of being involved in the murder of investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya in 2006. Prosecutors have been ordered to begin a new investigation into the involvement of the suspected gunman as well as the four men. In the decision the court sided with the journalist's family, who argued a retrial would take attention away from finding who planned the murder. • Primatologists at New York's Stony Brook University have found that pregnant female gorillas continue mating with males to prevent other females from mating with him. "It seems to us that mating is another tactic that females use to compete with each other – in this case to gain favour with another male," said one researcher, who believes this behavior may help explain how humans evolved into a generally monogamous species. • People have continued secretly visiting Neda Agha-Soltan's grave in Behesht-e Zahra cemetery even though Basij paramilitary vigilantes have threatened to harass or arrest mourners. Authorities may have decided to bury her and other opposition martyrs there because the cemetery is large and located an hour outside Tehran, but people have figured out where Neda's grave is and leave flower petals on the site. • Researchers studied 32 women with postpartum depression and found that 17 of the mothers, or 53%, felt suicidal. This group was also felt they were less prepared for motherhood and had greater difficulty responding to their infant's needs than those who were not suicidal. • Australian scientists tested cancerous breast cells and found several strains of HPVs known to have a high risk of initiating cervical cancer. "The finding that high risk HPV is present in a significant number of breast cancers indicates they may have a causal role in many breast cancers," said one researcher. "Confirming a cancer-causing role for HPV in some breast cancers establishes the possibility of preventing some breast cancers by vaccination against HPV. • Dirty Diaries, a collection of 12 short pornographic films shot by a feminist documentary maker Mia Engberg and funded by taxpayers is premiering in Sweden tonight. "Porn has always been made by men for men," said Engberg, "Above all, it's about showing sexuality through a female's perspective. It's not made to please a male audience and it's not made to make money," she added. • A 68-year-old nun was arrested for drunk driving on Long Island, New York on Tuesday after crashing into a tree. She was driving a car that belonged to the church and almost hit a group of children playing on their lawn. Police found a water bottle filled with alcohol in the car and say her blood-alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit. • A 68-year-old Salt Lake City woman who held the Guinness World Record for her long fingernails lost them in February when they broke during a car crash. She says it's much easier to move her hands now without the weight of her fingernails, which measured as long as 2 feet, 11 inches. She's not going to try to grow them out again because it took her 30 years to get them to that length and she doesn't think she'll live that long. •

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That’s it. *I* want to start gathering signatures to put to a vote something that in no way affects me but could make other people miserable.

Who has ideas? What should we ruin for someone? What group should we target? The possibilities are endless…