News From Elsewhere That's Probably News To You

Many female legislators walked out of Kenya's parliament during recent debate over a bill to toughen penalties for sex crimes, when male representative Paddy Ahenda objected to the law. As part of his objection, Ahenda noted, "In our culture, when women say 'no,' they mean 'yes' unless it's a prostitute." (News24.com/South Africa)

Job Cohen, the mayor of Amsterdam, has written a letter to the mayors of eight other major European cities urging them to "to do everything in your political power to open up marriage for same-sex couples and safeguard the right of [gay] public demonstrations in your city." (BBC)

The Holocaust Survivors' Welfare Fund has complained that some 80,000 Holocaust survivors living in Israel are scraping by in poverty, thanks to insufficient government aid. (Reuters)

A 36-year-old artist was arrested after she placed five pieces of her artwork in various public places around two West London neighborhoods. Police mistook the works, which included nail-studded cardboard boxes, for possible bombs; authorities cordoned off the areas and evacuated several buildings for several hours. (The Guardian/U.K.)

A conference recently took place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to address issues facing Muslim space travelers. Issues to be considered included figuring out how to face Mecca from orbit and coordinating prayer times in an environment without the usual earthly cycle of sunrise and sunset. (BBC)

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have determined that squirrels who live near windmill-studded "wind farms" are more cautious and likely to bolt for cover, because the noise of the windmills makes it harder for them to communicate potential threats and hear approaching predators. The researchers theorize that this could negatively affect other animals that depend on the squirrel, including golden eagles, which eat them. (NewScientist.com)

Canadian Home Depots now offer a rebate program of up to $100 on "eco-friendly" lawn mowers. U.S. Home Depots, apparently, do not. (Treehugger.com)

Tennessee state legislators recently introduced a bill that would make it illegal to sell, make, or show to anyone else "any three-dimensional device designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs"—aka a dildo. (The Nashville Scene)


Survey Says

Readers of Baltimore-based American Style craft-art magazine (not to be confused with Baltimore-based Style magazine) have named Charm City the nation's seventh-best "art destination," out of 25 cities with populations of more than 500,000. That puts us behind New York City (No. 1), San Francisco (No. 4), and Boston (No. 5), but ahead of such higher-profile destinations as Philadelphia (No. 8) and Los Angeles (No. 12). The happy designation comes on the heels of other unlikely superlatives recently awarded a metropolis better known for grit than glitz, including "Fittest City" by Men's Health magazine and a Top 10 global summer destination in 2005 by travel-guide publisher Frommer's. A spokesman for American Style, which claims 60,000 subscribers and a readership of 100,000, declined to reveal the number of poll respondents. But we here at Baltimore's Most Superlative-Lovin' Alternative Weekly know a thing or two about the scientifical merit of such surveys, and it's only right we let you in on the secret. Of the 458,000 weekly City Paper readers (an audited figure deduced from a weekly circulation of 89,000), only 953 voted in our last annual Best of Baltimore readers' poll. And that's assuming we caught all you dirty ballot-stuffers. Still, Baltimore moved up from 11th place in last year's American Style poll, so that's something. And it's not too early to start thinking about your pick for Baltimore's Best Crab Cake: You have more influence than you know.