Friskies Best Cat Video Award
The first-ever Friskies cat video awards were held in Los Angeles Wednesday (November 14th), a tribute to the online appeal of cat videos, which are the third most-searched items on YouTube. More than 1,400 entries were submitted, with the grand prize awarded to the video called, “Oskar’s First Toys,” starring a blind kitten named Oskar who was born without eyes. Mick Szydlowski and his girlfriend, Bethany, filmed the video the day after they adopted Oskar, and it shows the blind kitten playing with his new toys, balls with bells inside that he can hear. Szydlowski received a $15,000 prize and a year’s supply of cat food.
New Additions To The Toy Hall Of Fame
Star Wars action figures and dominoes are the latest toys to be inducted into the Toy Hall of Fame in Rochester, New York. The action figures were released in 1978 and reportedly sparked a trend in selling toys as a tie-in with movies and TV shows. The two inductions beat out the Magic 8 Ball, Simon, Twister, Lite-Brite, the Fisher-Price corn popper and the tea set, which were all on a shortlist for consideration. (NBC)
What Lives In Your Belly Button
Researchers have been analyzing what lurks in the human belly button. Dr. Rob Dunn of North Carolina State University and his team say they found over two-thousand species of bacteria in the navels they sampled from, with nearly one-thousand-five-hundred of those species being new to science. Dunn says part of the reason researchers launched this project was to investigate claims made in recent years that the organisms on human skin form the first line of defense against pathogens. Dunn says the next step for scientists will be trying to figure out why certain bacteria live in certain people’s belly buttons. (Daily Mail)
U.N. Agency Says Access to Birth Control is a Human Right
The United Nations Population Fund has released its annual report in which it says for the first time that access to birth control is a human right. The agency states that the lives of women around the world will improve if they are ensured access to contraceptives, so legal, cultural and financial barriers to it violate their basic rights. The U.N. agency’s conclusions aren’t binding, and don’t advocate abortion, but some critics say the Population Fund is trying to pave the way to declare that access to abortion is a basic right too. Among those backing the agency’s statement, The Week cites Amanda Marcotte of Slate, who says that women who use contraception are healthier, better educated and more empowered, and blogger Taylor Marsh, who states that for women to be able to decide how to manage their lives, they must have control of their bodies. But The Week also cites critic Brian Clowes of Human Life International, who said that if birth control is declared a right, everybody will have to pay to make sure people get it, quote, “even if those forced to pay for it may object to it on moral grounds.” He says that would violate, quote, “the more basic human right of freedom of conscience.”
Poll: More Americans Support Marijuana Legalization Than Don’t for First Time
A Gallup poll has found for the first time that more Americans now support the legalization of marijuana than don’t. The polling organization’s latest annual crime survey found that a record high of 50 percent of Americans back legalization, compared to 46 percent who don’t. When Gallup first began polling this issue back in 1969, just 12 percent supported legalization. This latest survey was taken in early October, a month before last week’s election in which voters in Washington and Colorado approved the legalization of marijuana for recreational use. Those more likely in the Gallup poll to favor legalization were young adults, liberals, Democrats and independents.