My Bloody Valentine

Joined
Aug 18, 2002
Messages
19,437
Likes
65
Points
129
#1
Similar to the Xmas thread - for anything unusual that is Valentine-related (not just bloody new either ;) The alternative was "My Funny Valentine" so.....).

UPDATED AT 6:33 AM EST
Thursday, Feb. 12, 2004

No love in the air

Associated Press



Lucknow, Indai — Hindu nationalists who claim they are fighting against Western cultural influence have threatened to shave young lovers' heads and beat them if they exchange Valentine's Day cards and gifts.

Valentine's Day, which falls on Saturday, has in recent years gained popularity in India, a predominantly Hindu nation whose constitution nonetheless guarantee freedom of religion.

“The faces of those not heeding our request will be blackened and their heads will be shaved,” Ved Prakash Sachchan, of the militant Hindu organization Bajrang Dal, said Thursday in Lucknow, capital of Uttar Pradesh state.

“We will not allow any foreign festival which is a violation of Indian culture.”

On Wednesday, another Hindu hard-line group, the Shiv Sena, which is a part of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, waved bamboo sticks at a rally in Lucknow threatening to beat people who observe Valentine's Day.

“We will not allow westernization of Indian culture as St. Valentine was a Christian and celebrating Valentine's Day would be a violation of Indian culture,” Mr. Sachchan said.

In the past, Hindu nationalists have accosted young couples and vandalized shops selling Valentine cards and gifts in Indian cities, while police have stood by taking no action.

Traditional Indian society does not approve of public displays of affection between the sexes, including hand-holding, and police often interrupt couples strolling or sitting together in public.

Despite the threats, some people said they would not be dissuaded from celebrating Valentine's Day.

“Such celebrations are not against Hinduism,” Gujarat University student Anish Patel said. “I will definitely celebrate Valentine's Day along with my girlfriends.”
http://www.globeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20040212.wlove0212/BNStory/Front/
 
Joined
Aug 18, 2002
Messages
19,437
Likes
65
Points
129
#2
Not quite a Valentine's Day story but..... oh the timing!!!

I assume the statuesque blonde got tired of being the beard for the stumpy dark-haired chap *


It's splitsville for Barbie and Ken

Couple 'will remain friends,' says Mattel

Friday, February 13, 2004 Posted: 0035 GMT ( 8:35 AM HKT)



NEW YORK (AP) -- Just like J.Lo and Ben, the romance is over for Barbie and Ken.

After 43 years as one of the world's prettiest pairs, the perfect plastic couple is breaking up. The couple's "business manager," Russell Arons, vice president of marketing at Mattel, said that Barbie and Ken "feel it's time to spend some quality time -- apart."

"Like other celebrity couples, their Hollywood romance has come to an end," said Arons, who quickly added that the duo "will remain friends."

Arons denied that there was any truth to rumors that the breakup was linked to the Cali (as in California) Girl Barbie, arriving in stores now. To better reflect her single status, Cali Barbie will wear board shorts and a bikini top, metal hoop earrings, and have a deeper tan.

This new style already has attracted a new admirer, Blaine the Australian boogie boarder.

Barbie -- the most popular fashion doll in the world, according to toy maker Mattel -- met Ken on the set of a TV commercial in 1961, and they have been inseparable ever since.

Arons hinted Wednesday that the separation may be partially due to Ken's reluctance to getting married. All those bridal Barbie dolls in toy chests around the globe are really just examples of Barbie's wishful thinking, she explained.

Another possible factor is Barbie's career. The doll who was "born" Barbie Millicent Roberts in 1959 has been everything from a rock star to military medic, and she's currently marketed in more than 150 countries. According to Mattel, every second, three Barbie dolls are sold somewhere in the world.

So where does that leave Ken? Said Arons: "He will head for other waves."
http://edition.cnn.com/2004/US/02/12/offbeat.barbie.breakup.ap/index.html

* Ooops sorry I was thinking of Tom Cruise.

Emps
 

river_styx

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Feb 8, 2002
Messages
1,838
Likes
6
Points
69
#3
Maybe Ken finally realised what a superficial whore Barbie is?
Perhaps he woke up and realised she'd been sleeping in somebody elses bed when she'd promised him true love and he's finally had enough of swallowing her tired, pathetic excuses about love and loss. Now all he really wants is to see the bitch melt inside a giant microwave as she squeals in pain and begs for mercy.
Maybe Ken has his balls back.
 

SoundDust

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Mar 17, 2002
Messages
1,688
Likes
11
Points
69
#4
I was hoping this thread was going to be about Kevin Sheilds' latest whereabouts:( (apparently on the soundtrack to Lost in Translation)

. . . ah well
 

river_styx

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Feb 8, 2002
Messages
1,838
Likes
6
Points
69
#5
I thought it was about ripping out hearts and nailing them to peoples foreheads in a rage of suffering and misery drenched in blood with a side order of pain.
I have many toys in my torture box and am willing to use them all.
 
Joined
Aug 18, 2002
Messages
19,437
Likes
65
Points
129
#6
As I always like to say: No fighting ladies there is enough

Well how about this for timing:

Release No.: 04-07

For Immediate Release: Friday, February 13, 2004

Note to Editors: An image to accompany this release is online at: http://cfa-www.harvard.edu/press/pr0407image.html

This Valentine's Day, Give The Woman Who Has Everything The Galaxy's Largest Diamond

Cambridge, MA -- When choosing a Valentine's Day gift for a wife or girlfriend, you can't go wrong with diamonds. If you really want to impress your favorite lady this Valentine's Day, get her the galaxy's largest diamond. But you'd better carry a deep wallet, because this 10 billion trillion trillion carat monster has a cost that's literally astronomical!

"You would need a jeweler's loupe the size of the Sun to grade this diamond!" says astronomer Travis Metcalfe (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics), who leads a team of researchers that discovered the giant gem. "Bill Gates and Donald Trump together couldn't begin to afford it."

When asked to estimate the value of the cosmic jewel, Ronald Winston, CEO of Harry Winston Inc., indicated that such a large diamond probably would depress the value of the market, stating, "Who knows? It may be a self-deflating prophecy because there is so much of it." He added, "It is definitely too big to wear!"

The newly discovered cosmic diamond is a chunk of crystallized carbon 50 light-years from the Earth in the constellation Centaurus. (A light-year is the distance light travels in a year, or about 6 trillion miles.) It is 2,500 miles across and weighs 5 million trillion trillion pounds, which translates to approximately 10 billion trillion trillion carats, or a one followed by 34 zeros.

"It's the mother of all diamonds!" says Metcalfe. "Some people refer to it as 'Lucy' in a tribute to the Beatles song 'Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds.'"

The diamond star completely outclasses the largest diamond on Earth, the 530-carat Star of Africa which resides in the Crown Jewels of England. The Star of Africa was cut from the largest diamond ever found on Earth, a 3,100-carat gem.

The huge cosmic gem (technically known as BPM 37093) is actually a crystallized white dwarf. A white dwarf is the hot core of a star, left over after the star uses up its nuclear fuel and dies. It is made mostly of carbon and is coated by a thin layer of hydrogen and helium gases.

For more than four decades, astronomers have thought that the interiors of white dwarfs crystallized, but obtaining direct evidence became possible only recently.

"The hunt for the crystal core of this white dwarf has been like the search for the Lost Dutchman's Mine. It was thought to exist for decades, but only now has it been located," says co-author Michael Montgomery (University of Cambridge).

The white dwarf studied by Metcalfe, Montgomery, and Antonio Kanaan (UFSC Brazil), is not only radiant but also harmonious. It rings like a gigantic gong, undergoing constant pulsations.

"By measuring those pulsations, we were able to study the hidden interior of the white dwarf, just like seismograph measurements of earthquakes allow geologists to study the interior of the Earth. We figured out that the carbon interior of this white dwarf has solidified to form the galaxy's largest diamond," says Metcalfe.

Our Sun will become a white dwarf when it dies 5 billion years from now. Some two billion years after that, the Sun's ember core will crystallize as well, leaving a giant diamond in the center of our solar system.

"Our Sun will become a diamond that truly is forever," says Metcalfe.

A paper announcing this discovery has been submitted to The Astrophysical Journal Letters for publication.

Headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics is a joint collaboration between the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and the Harvard College Observatory. CfA scientists, organized into six research divisions, study the origin, evolution and ultimate fate of the universe.

For more information, contact:

David Aguilar, Director of Public Affairs
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
Phone: 617-495-7462 Fax: 617-495-7468
[email protected]

Christine Pulliam
Public Affairs Specialist
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
Phone: 617-495-7463, Fax: 617-495-7016
[email protected]

Last modified on Friday, 13-Feb-2004 09:53:40 EST
Comments or Questions? Contact [email protected]
http://cfa-www.harvard.edu/press/pr0407.html
 

CygnusRex

Abominable Snowman
Joined
Jan 4, 2002
Messages
533
Likes
1
Points
49
#8
Valentines planetoid

Astronomers Find a Huge Diamond in Space
Feb 13, 2004


Image credit: CfA
When choosing a Valentine's Day gift for a wife or girlfriend, you can't go wrong with diamonds. If you really want to impress your favorite lady this Valentine's Day, get her the galaxy's largest diamond. But you'd better carry a deep wallet, because this 10 billion trillion trillion carat monster has a cost that's literally astronomical!

"You would need a jeweler's loupe the size of the Sun to grade this diamond!" says astronomer Travis Metcalfe (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics), who leads a team of researchers that discovered the giant gem. "Bill Gates and Donald Trump together couldn't begin to afford it."

When asked to estimate the value of the cosmic jewel, Ronald Winston, CEO of Harry Winston Inc., indicated that such a large diamond probably would depress the value of the market, stating, "Who knows? It may be a self-deflating prophecy because there is so much of it." He added, "It is definitely too big to wear!"

The newly discovered cosmic diamond is a chunk of crystallized carbon 50 light-years from the Earth in the constellation Centaurus. (A light-year is the distance light travels in a year, or about 6 trillion miles.) It is 2,500 miles across and weighs 5 million trillion trillion pounds, which translates to approximately 10 billion trillion trillion carats, or a one followed by 34 zeros.

"It's the mother of all diamonds!" says Metcalfe. "Some people refer to it as 'Lucy' in a tribute to the Beatles song 'Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds.'"

The diamond star completely outclasses the largest diamond on Earth, the 530-carat Star of Africa which resides in the Crown Jewels of England. The Star of Africa was cut from the largest diamond ever found on Earth, a 3,100-carat gem.

The huge cosmic gem (technically known as BPM 37093) is actually a crystallized white dwarf. A white dwarf is the hot core of a star, left over after the star uses up its nuclear fuel and dies. It is made mostly of carbon and is coated by a thin layer of hydrogen and helium gases.

For more than four decades, astronomers have thought that the interiors of white dwarfs crystallized, but obtaining direct evidence became possible only recently.

"The hunt for the crystal core of this white dwarf has been like the search for the Lost Dutchman's Mine. It was thought to exist for decades, but only now has it been located," says co-author Michael Montgomery (University of Cambridge).

The white dwarf studied by Metcalfe, Montgomery, and Antonio Kanaan (UFSC Brazil), is not only radiant but also harmonious. It rings like a gigantic gong, undergoing constant pulsations.

"By measuring those pulsations, we were able to study the hidden interior of the white dwarf, just like seismograph measurements of earthquakes allow geologists to study the interior of the Earth. We figured out that the carbon interior of this white dwarf has solidified to form the galaxy's largest diamond," says Metcalfe.

Our Sun will become a white dwarf when it dies 5 billion years from now. Some two billion years after that, the Sun's ember core will crystallize as well, leaving a giant diamond in the center of our solar system.

"Our Sun will become a diamond that truly is forever," says Metcalfe.

A paper announcing this discovery has been submitted to The Astrophysical Journal Letters for publication.


Original Story
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#9
Lovely thought;

but these diamonds have another disadvantage, beside their size; all the energy of the dying star is packed into a diamond the size of the Moon or thereabouts; the surface area of such an object is so small that, even radiating at white heat it will take billions of years for these objects to cool down.
Oh and the surface gravity is a hundred gee or so.
 
Joined
Aug 18, 2002
Messages
19,437
Likes
65
Points
129
#11
sunsplash said:
Bloody astrophysicists!:p
LOL they just won't stop!!

Spitzer Telescope Sends a Rose for Valentine's Day

February 12, 2004

Out of the dark and dusty cosmos comes an unusual valentine — a stellar nursery resembling a shimmering pink rosebud. This cluster of newborn stars, called a reflection nebula, was captured by state-of-the-art infrared detectors onboard NASA's new Spitzer Space Telescope, formerly known as the Space Infrared Telescope Facility.

The Valentine's Day image is available online at http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu and http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA05266.

"The picture is more than just pretty," said Dr. Thomas Megeath, principal investigator for the latest observations and an astronomer at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, Mass. "It helps us understand how stars form in the crowded environments of stellar nurseries."

Located 3,330 light-years away in the constellation Cepheus and spanning 10 light-years across, the rosebud-shaped nebula, numbered NGC 7129, is home to some 130 young stars. Our own Sun is believed to have grown up in a similar family setting.

Previous images of NGC 7129 taken by visible telescopes show a smattering of hazy stars spotted against a luminescent cloud. Spitzer, by sensing the infrared radiation or heat of the cluster, produces a much more detailed snapshot. Highlighted in false colors are the hot dust particles and gases, respectively, which form a nest around the stars. The pink rosebud contains adolescent stars that blew away blankets of hot dust, while the green stem holds newborn stars whose jets torched surrounding gases.

Outside of the primary nebula, younger proto-stars can also be seen for the first time. "We can now see a few stars beyond the nebula that were previously hidden in the dark cloud," said Megeath.

In addition, the findings go beyond what can be seen in the image. By analyzing the amount and type of infrared light emitted by nearly every star in the cluster, scientists were able to determine which ones support the swirling rings of debris, called circumstellar discs, which eventually coalesce to form planets. Roughly half of the stars observed were found to harbor discs.

These observations will ultimately help astronomers determine how stellar nurseries shape the development of planetary systems similar to our own.

Launched on August 25, 2003, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, the Spitzer Space Telescope is the fourth of NASA’s Great Observatories, a program that also includes the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, Chandra X-ray Observatory and Hubble Space Telescope.

JPL manages the Spitzer Space Telescope mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. Science operations are conducted at the Spitzer Science Center at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. JPL is a division of Caltech.

Additional information about the Spitzer Space Telescope is available at http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu.
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/releases/2004/57.cfm

Image attached.

Well there you are the biggest diamond and the largest rose - who needs cards?

Emps
 
Joined
Aug 18, 2002
Messages
19,437
Likes
65
Points
129
#12
Romance is dead

Valentine's Day lures more Chinese to investigate spouse's fidelity

http://www.chinaview.cn 2004-02-14 21:38:53


BEIJING, Feb. 14 (Xinhuanet) -- Valentine's day, originally a sweet time for lovers, has turned into a time to investigate marital faithfulness for some suspicious wives and husbands in China, who hire people to find evidence of extramarital affairs.

The Wanma Law Firm based in Hangzhou City, east China's Zhejiang Province, saw a peak business season again this year several days before Valentine's Day, with more married persons asking for help in investigating their partner's fidelity.

Xu Min, Wanma's director in charge of such investigations, said male customers have risen from the previous 30 to 40 percent of the total, but refused to give the specific number because of the private nature of the business.

Cases accepted by his firm show that husbands under suspicion were usually beyond 35 years old and the target wives were often between 30 to 35 years old.

"The customer group has expanded from wealthy bosses to ordinary people with average incomes, which now take up 70 percent of the total," Xu said, noting each investigation takes 7 to 10 days and costs about 20,000 yuan (2,418 US dollars), five to six times an ordinary person's monthly pay.

Though the newly-emerged business is thriving and highly profitable, private investigators are still reluctant to accept such cases due to the toil of 24-hour catlike tailings and the risk of being beaten up if discovered by some vigilant spouses under investigation.

Some unmarried young people involved in such investigations have lost their confidence in marriage.

"The results confirm over 80 percent of the surveyed have extramarital affairs," Xu said.

The love affairs outside marriage have stirred loyalty crises among some Chinese couples in recent years. Suspicious wives and husbands find it a good opportunity to catch their spouses with their other lovers on Valentine's Day, which will win them an upper hand in dividing property in divorce, if necessary.

Last year, Beijing saw 53,000 couples divorced and Shanghai hadover four couples out of every 1,000 divorced, the highest divorcerate in the country and 20 times more than 20 years ago.

Wu Qiantao, an ethics professor with the People's University ofChina, considered the loyalty crisis a result of weakening sense of family responsibility.

"Great changes have taken place in people's mentality in the past two decades since China carried out the reform and opening uppolicy," he said.

"Many Chinese have misunderstood the Western style of romance. The swelling self-centered values in today's utilitarian society also makes people more willing to indulge in their own emotions rather than focusing on their family duties," Wu said.

The doubt over marital fidelity can also be traced to the increasing cases of paternity tests recently reported by the Jiangsu Provincial Hospital in east China.

In the week following the traditional Spring Festival ending onJan. 28, the paternity test center under the hospital received nearly 20 families requiring a DNA check.

Since its establishment in May 2001, the center has handled some 300 such cases and is expected to accept 500 cases this year alone.

Dr. Su Enben with the center revealed that over 90 percent of applicants were suspicious fathers and the majority of them are wealthy people as well as migrant rural workers, who are usually away from home for long lengths of time to take up urban jobs.

Rich men having kids with their mistresses wanted to confirm the blood relationship so that they could bequeath property to the kids securely, Su said.

Many migrant rural workers also doubted the fidelity of their wives, thinking a DNA test would be more accurate than just judging from the physical resemblance between them and their children, he said.

Though 85 percent of the tests have confirmed the legitimacy of the kids, experts still consider it a reflection of unstable family relationships.

The majority chose divorce after the kids were found to be not their own. "It's understandable. It shows they value the pureness of marriage and their choice should be respected," said Li Yinhe, an expert on marriage problems with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

"But kids are left as the last and bitterest victims of the waning loyalty to marriage," Li said. Enditem
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2004-02/14/content_1314389.htm
 
Joined
Aug 18, 2002
Messages
19,437
Likes
65
Points
129
#13
Filipinos kiss and make up record

Thousands of people have shown Philippine passion in the hopes of sealing a new world record with a kiss.

Some 5,122 couples gathered on the Manila waterfront to pucker up for the challenge and to greet Valentine's Day.

As the clock struck midnight, lips joined for the 10 seconds necessary to beat the kissing record set by 4,445 couples last month in Santiago, Chile.

Spectators cheered on the participants, all of whom were supposed to be married or engaged to each other.

Manila Mayor Lito Atienza called on the couples to join him and his wife in the simultaneous smooch.

"Let's take a break from the troubles we have been having, from our work, from political bickerings," he said. "After all, it's Valentine's Day."

'Happy events'

One kisser, Menchu Cueto agreed that the event was a welcome relief from the hard times Filipinos are suffering because of political bickering ahead of elections in May and economic difficulties.

"It's a good feeling that we're part of something this big for the Philippines," he said.

The co-ordinated clinch was followed by fireworks of a different kind, with a pyrotechnic display over the bay.

The crowds were not told if their efforts would be recognised by Guinness World Records.

The event was organised by the city government and a toothpaste maker.
Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/asia-pacific/3488313.stm

Published: 2004/02/14 11:23:48 GMT

© BBC MMIV
 
Joined
Aug 18, 2002
Messages
19,437
Likes
65
Points
129
#14
Banned in Saudi Arabia

Valentine's Day banned by Saudis

Reuters, Riyadh
Saturday February 14, 2004
The Guardian

Saudi Arabia's religious authorities have ordered Muslims to shun the "pagan" holiday of Valentine's Day so as not to incur God's wrath, the newspaper al-Riyadh reported yesterday.

"It is a pagan Christian holiday and Muslims who believe in God and judgment day should not celebrate or acknowledge it or congratulate [people on it]. It is a duty to shun it to avoid God's anger and punishment," said an edict issued by the fatwa committee and published in the Arabic-language daily.

"There are only two holidays in Islam - Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha - and any other holidays ... are inventions which Muslims are banned from."

About seven million foreigners live in Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam. Many are from Asian countries where Valentine's Day is celebrated.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/saudi/story/0,11599,1148068,00.html

Saturday, 14, February, 2004 (23, Dhul Hijjah, 1424)


People Warned Against Celebrating Valentine’s Day


Khaled Al-Awadh, Special to Arab News


BURAIDAH, 14 February 2004 — Saudi religious authorities have warned the public against celebrating Valentine’s Day or selling gifts related to the feast, Al-Riyadh reported yesterday.

“It is a pagan Christian holiday and Muslims who believe in God and Judgment Day should not celebrate or acknowledge it or congratulate people on it,” an edict issued by the Fatwa Committee said.

“There are only two holidays in Islam — Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha — and any other holidays, whether to celebrate an individual, group or event, are inventions which Muslims are banned from,” said the committee, headed by Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Sheikh.

Some Friday prayer leaders gave sermons warning of the dangerous effects of the day on young Muslims.

“Celebrating such an event will create an identity crisis in the minds of our youngsters,” said one religious leader.

“Any Muslim who celebrates this day is not fully aware of the first chapter of the Holy Qur’an we read in every prayer,” he added.

“A Muslim is prohibited from celebrating, approving or congratulating on this occasion,” said the ruling issued by the Fatwa Committee. Supporting others to celebrate the day such as buying or selling Valentine’s items, presenting gifts or making festival food falls in the category of approval.

Sheikh Ibrahim Al-Ghaith, president of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, has also issued a warning against celebrating Valentine’s Day or the ‘feast of love.’

Al-Ghaith has instructed his officials all over the Kingdom to keep a watch on shops selling roses and other gift items to celebrate the occasion.

“You should also enlighten Saudi citizens on the danger of this custom, which is alien to our society, and make them aware of its negative effect,” Al-Madinah daily quoted the religious police chief as saying.

The late Sheikh Muhammad Al-Othaimeen had issued an edict against celebrating the day and the edict had been widely circulated among Muslims. “A Muslim should be proud of his religion and do not imitate others blindly,” Al-Othaimeen said.

The occasion seems trivial to youths in Qasim. “I know it but I disdain it,” said a 23-year-old Ahmad Al-Mutairy. “The Internet is full of such triviality. Only fools will fall into such traps,” he added.

“Our religion is very clear in this matter. We only celebrate two occasions every year at the end of Ramadan and during pilgrimage. Anyone who adopts another culture is very weak and misguided,” said another young man.

Waleed Al-Anazi attributed the spread of such un-Islamic attitudes to the information age such as the Internet and satellite television. “We have a great need to create an awareness of the importance of identity and self-respect among the young,” he said adding it is the responsibility of parents and schools.
http://www.arabnews.com/?page=1&section=0&article=39498&d=14&m=2&y=2004
 
Joined
Aug 18, 2002
Messages
19,437
Likes
65
Points
129
#15
Is 'underground railroad' a euphemism I'm not aware of?

Underground Railroad Leads Gay Couples To Canada

by Jan Prout
365Gay.com Newscenter
Toronto Bureau


Posted: February 13, 2004 8:02 p.m. ET

(Toronto, Ontario) Taking a page out of African American history, five same-sex couples are traveling the Freedom Trail, the route taken by former slaves, to Toronto and "marriage freedom".

The couples, who come from California, Florida, Missouri, New York and Illinois, are using the same route that the slaves took and will arrive in Toronto Saturday.

Same-sex marriage has been legal in Ontario since last summer. Toronto city hall's marriage license bureau will remain open Saturday for Valentines Day.

Called the "Civil Marriage Trail," it was organized by gay activist Brendan Fay of New York City, who came up with the idea after he and his partner, Tom Moulton, married in Toronto last summer.
"The couples are making the journey to Canada in memory of the historic Freedom Trail route. Slaves made their way to Canada and found freedom and equality denied to them in the U.S.," said Fay,

Mr. Justice Harvey Brownstone, the first openly gay judge appointed in Canada, will preside over the Valentine's Day ceremonies. The judge has already performed dozens of same-sex marriages since last June's landmark ruling by the Ontario Court of Appeal.

"Toronto is becoming a major destination for same-sex couples," said Brownstone. "Those who wouldn't have thought of Toronto as a vacation spot are coming to get married."

Since the court ruling, the City of Toronto has issued 11,668 marriage licenses. Of those, 1,114 have been given to same-sex couples, a third of them from the United States.

"I want other couples to have the same experience, the joy of equality," Fay said, adding he now sees the maple leaf as a symbol of liberation. "The joy of standing before a judge and having our relationship respected and celebrated in an equal fashion was an incredible moment for us that many people don't understand."
Frank Jump and Vincenzo Aiosa of New York will be one of the couples to tie the knot Saturday at a restaurant in Toronto's gay district.

"It's great that Canada has a marriage law that enables same-sex couples to get married," said Jump, 43, a teacher. "It is unfortunate that it is not accepted here in America, that claims to stand for freedom and democracy. ... But getting married in Canada gives us international recognition."

Jump and Aiosa, 43, who owns a remodeling company, met 14 years ago over a heated conversation about a bounced check. That led to dinner and they've been together ever since.

Brownstone, who will personalize each of the five ceremonies this weekend, was asked to officiate after marrying Fay and Moulton last year.

"These couples will be just as married as any other couple. That's the challenge that we face, getting growing acceptance," he said.
http://www.365gay.com/newscon04/02/021304toiRail.htm
 
Joined
Aug 18, 2002
Messages
19,437
Likes
65
Points
129
#16
A bit of background

The perpetual mystery of St. Valentine’s Day

Historians dispute whether festival has roots in Christian, Roman, Greek or pagan practices

Daryl Champion
Daily Star staff

The day of St. Valentine has become associated with bunches of flowers, boxes of chocolates, romantic dinners and, even, love. A bastion of popular culture, yes.

But before the next swoon, the next meeting of lips this Valentine’s Day, spare a thought for the mysterious nuances of history and the bizarre tangents of contemporary culture.

To begin with, who was Mar (Saint) Valentine? The day is, after all, named after him. The question is an easy and obvious one, the answer not so.

The early martyrologies of the Christian Church refer to at least three different Saint Valentines (or Valentinus), all of whom allegedly met their celestial maker after great suffering at the hands of their fellow man at some stage in history on a day of Feb. 14. Two are relevant to contemporary tradition.

One is thought to have been a priest at Rome, the other a bishop of Interamna (modern Terni, central Italy north of Rome) both in the second half of the 3rd century AD, before the Roman Emperor Constantine I issued, in 313 AD, the Edict of Milan which established toleration for all religions, including Christianity.

The stories are set during the reign of Emperor Claudius II (268-270 AD), the simplest being that the unfortunate Valentine, not necessarily the priest or bishop, was martyred for refusing to renounce his Christian faith.

Valentine the priest or bishop is said to have defied an imperial edict banning marriage. This story has it that Claudius II, then fighting many wars against the Germanic tribes threatening the empire, needed more, or better, soldiers and that single men rose to the occasion above their married counterparts. An adjunct to this version also has him aiding persecuted Christians.

Valentine continued to perform marriages and for this he was imprisoned and condemned to death. While jailed, his guard’s daughter is rumored to have visited him frequently and, on the day of his execution on Feb. 14, 269 AD or 270 AD, left his female friend a letter signed “from your Valentine.”

What is undoubtedly more interesting for some of us is the way these Christianized stories are linked with pagan Roman religious rites.

In ancient Rome, according to some sources, Feb. 14 was a holiday to honor Juno, the Roman equivalent of the Greek goddess Hera. Juno, after whom the month of June is named, was both the sister and the wife of Jupiter, the head of the Roman pantheon. She was the patron of marriage and the protector of women, concerned especially with sex and reproduction. She represented, in a sense, the female principle of life.

Testifying to evolving roles and concepts, Juno was worshiped in different guises. As Juno Lucina, goddess of childbirth, she had a temple on Rome’s Esquiline hill from the 4th century BC.

As Juno Moneta (she who warns) she guarded over the finances of the empire and had a temple on the Capitoline hill close to where the Roman mint would later be located (“mint” and “money” are derived from this persona of Juno).

In later religion she migrated from being the savior of women to the savior of the state and was worshiped, in conjunction with Jupiter and Minerva (identified with the Greek Athena, goddess of wisdom, war and crafts), at the temple on the Capitol, where the Senate met.

Juno’s historical origins are associated with the Middle Eastern fertility goddess Astarte, the Greek name for the Ashtoreth of the Bible and the chief deity of Tyre and Sidon. She was, in fact, the main goddess of ancient Canaan, and she was the Ishtar of the Assyrians and Babylonians.

More reliable historical sources, however, put the feast of Juno the Matronalia as celebrated annually on March 1. The festival is reported to have consisted of a procession of married women to the temple of Juno to make offerings to the goddess. At home, offerings were supplemented by prayers for marital bliss. Wives received gifts from their husbands and gave a feast for their female slaves.

Leading up to the Matronalia on March 1 or, alternatively, after the feast of Juno on Feb. 14, was the fertility feast of Lupercalia that celebrated Lupercus the god of agriculture and shepherds and Faunus (the Greek Pan), and the arrival of spring. The Matronalia and Lupercalia appear to have been connected with each other as rites of spring, fertility and femininity.

Lupercalia began on Feb. 15; goats and dogs were sacrificed and, smeared with their blood and wearing only a loincloth or fragments of goatskin in imitation of Faunus, youths would run around the seven hills of Rome. They would symbolically lash with an instrument of purification a februa, from which the month of February is derived in this case a length of fresh goat leather, everyone they passed, especially women.

Perhaps a romantic projection of the modern Valentine’s Day upon history, some accounts state that on the eve of the Lupercalia the names of Roman girls were written on paper and placed in jars, to be drawn by Roman youths. Thus would the paired-off young men and women become partners for the festival. Orgiastic rites are suspected to have developed over time during the Lupercalia.

Pope Gelasius (papacy 492-496 AD) finally suppressed the 1,000-year-old Lupercalia after a long struggle with its advocates. With its abolition, the pagan rite is reported in some sources to have been replaced with a festival celebrating the purification and fertility of the Virgin Mary.

According to other sources, Gelasius, in 496 AD, is accredited with nominating the eve of the Lupercalia, that is, Feb. 14, to honor St. Valentine. It was common early Church practice to substitute Christian events for pagan ones so there would be a certain cultural continuity at the popular level.

But, it appears the ancient feast is not yet forgotten. In the city of Edmonton, Canada, the fifth annual Lupercalia “a weekend of fetish fun with a taste of ancient Rome” will this year be held Feb. 20-22. There is little that is reminiscent of St. Valentine in the event’s publicity blurb:

“The marketplace is buzzing. Throngs of citizens and slaves mill about in the square. Vendors hawking their wares. The din is deafening. This is Rome, 79 BC. This is the feast of Lupercalia. All are waiting for the festival to begin … to be blessed by the Priest of Lupercal … and then … perhaps to find true love, or at least a play partner for the night ahead.

“Fast forward to Lupercalia 2004. Torches blazing, Caesar presiding, the military on the prowl for runaway slaves and unruly citizens, slaves for the auction penned off to the side of the square, under the discipline of the overseer. Togas, tunics, everyone is in their very best Roman finery.

“In every corner of the square, you will find different stations, demonstrations of flogging, knives, needles, whips and electric toys … watch, learn and marvel! Adventurous master-slave couples can join in the scavenger hunt … rich prizes to be won! A lavish banquet will be served; slaves will pamper and tend to your every need. And finally, the priest of the Lupercal will bless and make fecund, all who desire it.”

Unprecedented demand for tickets to the event ensured an early sell-out.

And then there are other tributes to the bizarre, such as is found in the 1974 Italian film by director Sergio Grieco, The Sinful Nuns of St. Valentine.

Returning to the mainstream and the origins of today’s St. Valentine’s Day, during the Middle Ages it was believed that around mid-February, the birds partnered. Later, in the Parliament of Foules, by the medieval English poet Geoffrey Chaucer (1343?-1400), we read: “For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne’s day/Whan every foul cometh ther to choose his mate.”

For this reason the day of Saint Valentine was viewed as consecrated to lovers and as an occasion for love letters and sending lovers’ tokens. Both the English and French literatures of the 14th and 15th centuries allude to the practice. Those who chose each other under these circumstances appear to have called each other their Valentines.

The apocryphal nature of many of these accounts, however, ensures mystery continues shrouding the persona of Saint Valentine and the development of the Valentine’s Day tradition as we know it. But whatever the truth, gradually, Feb. 14 became the date for exchanging love messages and Saint Valentine became the patron saint of lovers. Commercial valentines were introduced in the 19th century and now the date is supremely commercialized.

So this Valentine’s Day when you act locally by giving flowers and chocolates, think globally and remember that there is, actually, much more to the occasion than the trite commerciality of the present day.

Remember too that the roots of the occasion lie in paganism. So, if you cannot afford a ticket to Edmonton, why not draw some inspiration from the Lupercalia and put those flowers and chocolates to some imaginative use. Enjoy.
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/14_02_04/art3.asp

Lovers Brace Up For Valentine's Day



Cameroon Tribune (Yaoundé)

February 13, 2004
Posted to the web February 13, 2004

Brenda Yufeh


Despite the controversy surrounding the origin of the day, lovers will celebrate tomorrow.

Saint Valentine's feast is one of the most popular church feasts. This is simply because most hearts unite around love. Such feeling is represented by Saint Valentine. The feast has over the years lost its religious verve to take on a pagan connotation. People hardly think about the love of God. What most people consider is love between people of the opposite sex. There is therefore a big gap between the motives of celebrating and the significance of the day. But how did people start commemorating the day? This can be seen in history. There are several great men named Valentine who were honoured with feasts on February 14th. There are varying incidents as to the origin of Valentine's Day. Some experts state that it originated from St. Valentine, a Roman who was martyred for refusing to give up Christianity. He died on February 14, 269 A.D., the same day that had been devoted to love lotteries.


Legend also says that St. Valentine left a farewell note for the jailer's daughter, who had become his friend, and signed it "From Your Valentine". Other aspects of the story say that Saint Valentine served as a priest at the temple during the reign of Emperor Claudius. Claudius II had a difficult time getting soldiers to join his military leagues. He believed roman men did not want to leave their loves or families. As a result, Claudius cancelled all marriages and engagements in Rome. The good Saint Valentine and Saint Marius aided the Christian martyrs and secretly married couples, and for this kind deed Saint Valentine was apprehended and dragged before the Prefect of Rome, who condemned him to be beaten to death with clubs and to have his head cut off. He suffered martyrdom on the 14th day of February, about the year 270. In 496 A.D. Pope Gelasius set aside February 14th to honour St. Valentine.

Another story traces Saint Valentine's Day to a pagan feast. It holds that Valentine originated from the feast of Luberous, a protector of flock of Romans from wolves. On every February 14th Romans celebrated a feast called Lupercalia to honour Luberous.

February 14th is Valentine's Day. Although it is celebrated as a lovers' holiday today, characterised by the exchange of candy, flowers, or other gifts between couples, it originated in 5th Century Rome as a tribute to St. Valentine, a Catholic bishop.

Notwithstanding the controversy surrounding the origin of the day, lovers all over the world will tomorrow celebrate Lovers Day. The day is mostly characterised by the exchange of love messages, sending love poems, letters and simple gifts such as flowers. Though no official programme of celebration exists, there has been an unprecedented rush for Valentine's cards and gifts in markets found in Yaounde. Many young people have been seen of late purchasing gifts for their Valentines. Words such as "I love you", "Be my Valentine" will be very common these days. While couples are making serious plans on how to have a cosy V-Day as fondly called by youths, others are hoping to find those who will tell them, "Be my Valentine". Happy Valentine's Day!
http://allafrica.com/stories/200402130415.html

Saturday February 14, 2004



A heart-filled history

By Karen Wilson / Hi-Desert Star

February is the month for sweethearts and love. Over 800 years ago, Romans practiced a feast celebrating young mens' rites of passage and the god Lupercus. According to one story, teen-age girls' names were placed in an urn. The young men drew out a name and that young girl became his sexual companion for the remainder of the year.

Another variation of the story is kinder to women. A pagan fertility celebration honored Juno, the queen of Roman gods and goddess. It was held on Feb. 14. Women wrote love letters (billets) and left them in a large urn. Men would pick a letter and then vigorously pursue the writer.

Pope Gelasius wanted to be rid of pagan celebrations. The church needed a saint to replace Lupercus. Valentine was chosen as the patron of love. The Catholic church has three martyred saints named Valentine or Valentinus. Early Christians liked the idea of a holiday honoring a saint rather than recognizing a pagan festival. Pope Gelasius selected Feb. 14 as the day for St. Valentine's feast day.

One of the stories of St. Valentine tells that in the third century, Emperor Claudius II decided single men were better soldiers and outlawed marriage for the young men.

Valentine, a Roman priest, defied the decree and continued performing the marriage ceremony for young men.

Claudius II imprisoned Valentine for his activities. In prison Valentine fell in love with his jailer's blind daughter. His love and great faith restored her sight. He signed his letters to her, "From your Valentine."
http://www.hidesertstar.com/articles/2004/02/13/features/feature2.txt
 
Joined
Aug 18, 2002
Messages
19,437
Likes
65
Points
129
#17
AN UN-FUNNY VALENTINE: Greeting card picture evokes race stereotype

February 13, 2004




BY JIM SCHAEFER
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER




American Greetings Corp. calls it a regrettable printing error.

Somehow, boxes of SpongeBob SquarePants Valentine's Day cards are popping up in local Wal-Mart stores -- but the popular cartoon character found inside isn't his traditional yellow color.

He's black. And with his trademark big teeth and wide eyes, this SpongeBob seems similar to offensive images of African Americans portrayed in minstrel shows decades ago.

American Greetings officials said Thursday they were surprised and puzzled when the Free Press made them aware of a complaint about the product.

"We absolutely fell out of our chairs when we saw it," said Carol Miller, director of business development for the Cleveland-based company. "We're obviously going to be talking to Wal-Mart as well as Nickelodeon . . . to offer our sincere apologies for this product making it to market."

Miller said the cards, which were printed and packaged in China, are mistakes, but she and other officials said they were trying to determine how that happened.

David Blinderman, director of global product development for the company, said the printing facility is one of the company's most reliable.

"Culturally, the guys on press in China wouldn't have the faintest idea of who a SpongeBob was or who a black SpongeBob was," Blinderman said.

Jemeka Garcia of Flint Township was skeptical of a mistake, in part because the cards appear to be well made. Garcia and her husband, Scott, complained to the Free Press earlier this week after their 6-year-old daughter discovered the different SpongeBob. The family purchased the cards at a Wal-Mart near their home so the girl could hand them out to her first-grade classmates.

"I want to know why the person did it," Jemeka Garcia said Thursday. "That's kind of a horrible prank. And what if some kid gets it" as a valentine?

A Wal-Mart official said customers who want refunds can have them, but there were no plans to take the boxes off shelves. "It was a very popular item, and there aren't very many left out there," said corporate spokeswoman Danette Thompson. She said the company had received no other complaints.

The cards -- branded as "Nickelodeon 34 Foil Valentines" and selling for .74 -- are exclusive to Wal-Mart. Officials said they were widely distributed across the country, but they would not say how many had been produced. The Free Press checked a Wal-Mart in Roseville and found the cards. There are 68 Wal-Mart stores in Michigan.

SpongeBob stars on the Nickelodeon cable channel. The show chronicles the cluelessly optimistic meanderings of a bright-eyed sponge, who lives in a pineapple in the underwater city of Bikini Bottom.

Jemeka Garcia said she's already gone out and replaced the offensive SpongeBobs for her daughter.

"I went and bought her some Scooby-Doos."
http://www.freep.com/features/living/sponge13_20040213.htm

Image attached.

Emps
 
Joined
Aug 18, 2002
Messages
19,437
Likes
65
Points
129
#18
Lewd chocolates making some officials bitter



February 12 2004 at 12:09PM


Seoul - South Korea's Food and Drug Administration on Thursday banned cheeky Valentine's Day chocolates shaped like genitals or couples making love.

The administration said 15 firms including an Internet shopping website were targeted by the ban on lewd candy that officials say could give the wrong idea to sweet-toothed youngsters.

"Ahead of the Valentine's Day, we cracked down on 15 firms which have produced or distributed illegal chocolate products," the administration said in a statement.

"Some of the chocolate candies depict couples engaged in sexual intercourse or were in the shape of the male genital," Park In-Won, an administration official told reporters.

The agency said the 15 firms would either receive official warnings to stop producing those products or face a two-month business suspension.

In South Korea, women are the givers and men the receivers on Valentine's Day, and candies are the gift of choice. On March 14, men return the favour.
http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?click_id=29&art_id=qw1076580540990B261&set_id=1
 
Joined
Aug 18, 2002
Messages
19,437
Likes
65
Points
129
#19
Last Update: Sunday, February 15, 2004. 8:00am (AEDT)

Valentine's Day arouses bizarre acts of love

Lovers around the world have found no end of bizarre ways to express their love this Valentine's Day.

In Thailand, 13 couples donned wetsuits and diving gear to exchange their vows in seas off the coast of southern Trang province.

In the Philippines, more than 5,000 couples set a new world record by kissing simultaneously for 10 seconds.

Almost 100 "runaway" couples from all over the world took the historic and well-beaten path to the small Scottish village of Gretna to take advantage of more relaxed rules to tie the knot.

In Ireland, star-struck lovers were handed a wedding carte blanche with a new law made public on Valentine's Day that enables them to marry whenever and wherever they wish.

"Under new laws ... lovers will be able to marry on any day of the week, at any time and if the location is dignified, even at the place where the question was popped," Social Affairs Minister Mary Coughlan said.

"Red tape that restricts civil marriages to weekdays and only in local registry offices are over 100 years old, antiquated and in need of modernisation," she said.

In Britain, there was a happy ending for two survivors of the Paddington train disaster which killed 31 people in 1999, with a Valentine's Day wedding for Janet Vaughan and Tony Jasper, both aged 52.

The couple met after the accident.

"Our marriage is the one good thing to come from that day," Mr Jasper told London's Evening Standard newspaper.

Valentine's Day took on a more controversial twist in the Chinese city of Shanghai, where free condoms were handed out to cinema-goers, raising eyebrows in conservative China.

In San Francisco, gay couples jostled to tie the knot over the weekend in the first officially sanctioned same-sex weddings in the United States.

More than 480 gay couples were married by the liberal city government over three days, after the mayor began openly defying California laws banning same-sex marriages by issuing marriage licences to gay couples.

But Valentine's Day was not all hearts and roses.

Celebrations were low-key in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, after a particularly deadly week for the country.

Fears of more attacks kept many lovers off the streets, despite red roses and romantic gifts spilling out of shops.

In the Zimbabwean capital, Harare, and other cities, police dispersed groups of women who had gathered for Valentine's Day "love" demonstrations.

"No reason was given despite the fact that we had earlier been given permission to hold it," a spokeswoman for the organisers Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA), Jenny Williams, said.

Police said a young woman was killed and two people injured in a fire that broke out at a Valentine's disco in eastern Slovakia.

Couples in India shrugged off threats by hardline Hindus to "blacken the faces" of people marking the festival of the Christian patron saint of lovers and celebrated with flowers and chocolates.

In Europe, Valentine's lovers were forced to pay over the odds for the traditional flower of romance, the red rose.

The bloom's price soared 30 per cent at one of the world's leading flower markets near Amsterdam.

"The week before Saint Valentine's Day, sales of red roses, the favourite flowers for lovers, increase by 60 per cent compared to a normal week," Lisette Bakker, a spokeswoman for the Aalsmeer international flower market, told AFP.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/s1045180.htm
 
Joined
Aug 18, 2002
Messages
19,437
Likes
65
Points
129
#20
And to round this one off for this year and to prove the threads title:

Woman who turned down proposal killed

Associated Press
Mar. 3, 2004 03:53 PM

NEW YORK - A 20-year-old woman who turned down her boyfriend's marriage proposal on Valentine's Day was found brutally stabbed to death. Police arrested the boyfriend a short time later.

The body of Betzaida Eva Madera was found Tuesday in the Bronx apartment she shared with her parents and sister.

An autopsy showed that she had been stabbed numerous times in her neck, heart and lungs, said Ellen Borakove, a spokeswoman for the medical examiner's office.

On Tuesday night, police reported that Madera's heart had been carved out. While her body was badly damaged, it was later determined that all her organs were intact, said a police source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Police were investigating where the erroneous information came from, the source added.

Wilfredo Lopez, 25, was arrested on suspicion of murder. Formal charges were not immediately filed because he remained hospitalized for psychiatric evaluation.
http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/0303womankilled03-ON.html

It would have been too 'ironic' if her heart had been cut out.

Emps
 
Joined
Aug 18, 2002
Messages
19,437
Likes
65
Points
129
#21
Oh that time of year approaches - the one where the postie steals all my valentines cards again :(

And the stories are starting early:

Strait-Jacketed Teddy Bear Brings Protests



Jan 12, 10:12 PM (ET)

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - The Vermont Teddy Bear Co. (BEAR) said Wednesday it would continue selling its strait-jacketed "Crazy for You Bear" through Valentine's Day, despite protests from mental health advocates.

"We recognize that this is a sensitive, human issue and sincerely apologize if we have offended anyone," the company said in a statement. "That was certainly not our intent.

"This bear was created in the spirit of Valentine's Day and as with all of our bears it was designed to be a light-hearted depiction of the sentiment of love," it added.

The bear, being marketed for Valentine's Day, comes with commitment papers and is meant to convey out-of-control love.

Mental health advocates believe the bear is "a tasteless use of marketing that stigmatizes persons with mental illness," Jerry Goessel, the executive director of the Vermont chapter of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, wrote to the Shelburne-based company.

"A strait jacket is not a symbol that we want to associate with sales of a teddy bear for loved ones over Valentine's Day," Goessel said. "And the use of commitment papers, legal documents committing an individual to involuntary treatment, is not something to be taken casually."

He asked that the $70 bear be pulled from the company's shelves. Goessel said he has support for removal of the bear from other mental health advocates.

The company said it would discontinue the bear, but not before Feb. 14.

"This bear was developed just for Valentine's Day and is not a permanent addition to our product line," the company statement said. "This bear will remain an offering for Valentine's Day."

The complaint is the first received by the company about the bear. It began selling the 15-inch creature days ago.
Source

The bear can be found here - nifty description:

15" Crazy for You Bear

Dressed in a white straight jacket embroidered with a red heart, this Bear is a great gift for someone you’re crazy about. He even comes with a “Commitment Report” stating “Can’t Eat, Can’t Sleep, My Heart’s Racing. Diagnosis – Crazy for You!” Trust us. She’ll go nuts over this Bear!
 
Joined
Aug 18, 2002
Messages
19,437
Likes
65
Points
129
#22
Company Won't Pull Straightjacketed Bear


Jan 29, 4:54 PM (ET)


SHELBURNE, Vt. (AP) - A straightjacketed "Crazy for You" teddy bear has drawn rebukes from the governor, mental health advocates and human rights groups - but it's a hit among shoppers. The $69.95 bear, which is accompanied by commitment papers, is selling well despite complaints that it insults and stigmatizes those with mental illness.

Vermont Teddy Bear Co. (BEAR) President Elisabeth Robert says the bear is meant as a funny Valentine's Day greeting and has been popular among customers.

"We made a very difficult decision not to withdraw it from the market," she said. "I listened to customers, from a lot of feedback from our employees. These people are Vermonters who really don't like to be told what to do."

Mental health advocates have called for the company to stop selling the bear, calling it "tasteless" and saying it stigmatized the mentally ill. Gov. Jim Douglas called the bear insensitive and inappropriate.

Robert said the company had planned the bear as a one-time offering for Valentine's Day, and that it will continue selling the bear until it is sold out.

She said the company is "truly sorry if we hurt anybody with this bear" but added that freedom of expression was at stake.

She said the bear got "the highest favorability rating" from customers and that she consulted with the Vermont Teddy Bear board of directors and radio stations that advertise the bear before deciding to keep it.

"We're not in a position to be told what we can and cannot sell," she said.
Source
 

elffriend

Abominable Snowman
Joined
Mar 31, 2004
Messages
829
Likes
12
Points
34
#25
I see you have the same postman as me Emps........Bloody Valentines Day.................wanders off muttering and waving hands
 

Mighty_Emperor

Beloved of Ra
Joined
Aug 18, 2002
Messages
19,437
Likes
65
Points
129
#26
Elffriend said:
I see you have the same postman as me Emps........Bloody Valentines Day.................wanders off muttering and waving hands
The thieving get clearly covers a lot of ground ;)

------------------
'Crazy' Bear Sells Out, No More to Be Made


Feb 3, 5:38 PM (ET)

By DAVID GRAM


MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - To the relief of advocates for the mentally ill, the Vermont Teddy Bear Co. (BEAR) said Thursday that its straitjacketed "Crazy For You" bears are sold out and that it will not make any more.

For weeks, advocates and Republican Gov. James Douglas have criticized the toy as insensitive. The $69.95 bear, marketed as a Valentine's Day gift, came with a straitjacket and commitment papers.

The company said it had decided weeks ago that it would stop manufacturing the bears but would continue selling them through Valentine's Day.

Company spokeswoman Nicole L'Huillier said the bear had sold unusually well, but would not release figures.

Mental health advocates claimed victory.

"We believe the Vermont Teddy Bear Co. has come to understand the harm caused by creating an image that trivialized the pain of people with severe mental illness, and that reinforced public stereotypes regarding appropriate treatment for such individuals," four advocacy groups said in a statement.

Last week, company President and CEO Elisabeth Robert had apologized to anyone offended by the bear but said it would not be taken off the market. "We're not in a position to be told what we can and cannot sell," she said.

On Tuesday, she met with representatives of the Vermont chapter of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill and three other groups.

"We sat around a Vermont kitchen table and talked," Robert said in a statement Thursday. "From the respectful, human discourse I learned a lot about the significance of stigma in the mental health community and the plight of real people who suffer from mental illness."

"Again, we are truly sorry if we hurt anyone with this bear," she said.

The bears were offered on eBay on Thursday for as much as $175.
Source
 

RainyOcean

Justified & Ancient
Joined
May 19, 2004
Messages
1,153
Likes
13
Points
54
#27
That is so silly. The 'N Sync video is ok, the Happy Bunny products are ok, but teddy bears? Out of the question.
 

SniperK2

Ephemeral Spectre
Joined
Mar 16, 2004
Messages
426
Likes
11
Points
34
#28
I used to dream of having Valentines Day cards, when I was younger, from the gogeous men I had my eyes on, I've never had any at all, only now, from bf
 

beakboo1

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Sep 20, 2001
Messages
2,313
Likes
23
Points
69
#29
Emperor said:
"I want to know why the person did it," Jemeka Garcia said Thursday. "That's kind of a horrible prank. And what if some kid gets it" as a valentine?
Well jeez, I guess they'll be in therapy for years :roll: I wish these morons would get a grip. There are worse things happening every day than a cartoon character that's been printed the wrong colour, and frankly I think it says more about the racist attitudes of the people who complained than anything else.
 
Top