The Washington state Democratic Party has had to literally change its tune. The party was criticized for an attack ad on Republican gubernatorial candidate and Italian-American Dino Rossi that played the theme song to "The Sopranos," the hit show about an Italian-American mafia family (see video here ). The Italian Club of Seattle called the ad "racist" and "beyond offensive," The Seattle Times reports. The party apologized and re-released the ad to different music (see video here ).
Call it especially urgent legislation. The Patriot-News (Harrisburg) reports that the Pennsylvania Senate is considering a bill to require retail stores to open their bathrooms, even if they're not for public use, to people with bowel disorders, including Crohn's disease - also known as inflammatory bowel disease. Somebody has to stand up for this silent, embarrassed minority. "How many people do you know who are going to sit around and want to tell you, 'I had this accident in my pants' - that's not exactly cocktail or dinner conversation," said Karen Gioffre, who is working for the bill's passage and whose son has the disease.
OMG. The North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles was quick to notify 10,000 drivers whose license plates included the letters WTF - text slang for "What the (expletive)?" - that they could get replacement licenses for free. But the agency forgot to check its own Web site, which displayed "WTF-5505" as a sample personalized plate, according to The News & Observer (Raleigh) . Though the plates have been around for a year now, the gaffe was discovered only a few weeks ago when a 60-year-old technology teacher caught her grandchildren giggling at her license plate.
Speaking of teachers, one Denver teacher wants to inspire students to enjoy the great outdoors - by getting high in all 50 states. Mike Haugen's goal is to reach the highest peaks of every state in 50 days or less in his campaign to fight what he calls "nature deficit disorder," or young people's tendency to stay indoors, the Bangor Daily News writes. But all state peaks are not created equal. While it took eight days to climb Alaska's majestic Mount McKinley - at 20,320-feet the highest point on U.S. soil - Florida's 345-foot Britton Hill is just a few feet from a parking lot.
Christopher Columbus, an Italian, may get all the credit for discovering America, but Florida was founded by Juan Ponce de Leon, a Spaniard. The National Hispanic Corporate Achievers hopes to parlay that into a new specialty plate that would bear the inscription, "Hispanics Discovered Florida, 1513." The Orlando Sentinel reports that if the plate is approved, it would join the ranks of Florida's 109 specialty plates, including ones that encourage saving the manatees, conserving wildlife and donating organs (the plate's inscription: "Donate organs. Pass it on.").