Blog Posts by Sarah B. Weir, Shine Senior Writer

  • Urban Outfitters' St. Patrick’s Day Merchandise Offends Irish

    Urban Outfitter's St. Paddy's T-shirtUrban Outfitters has stepped into controversy again with its new St. Patrick's Day themed merchandise. Last fall, the retailer was criticized for its "Navajo Collection" of clothing and accessories and the Navajo Nation filed suit on February 29, 2011 for trademark violation. Now, Congressman Tim Crowley, head of the Congressional Ad Hoc Committee on Irish Affairs, has written to CEO Richard Hayne asking him to pull products which has says are offense to the Irish. "By selling and promoting these items, Urban Outfitters is only fueling stereotypes that many Irish Americans, as well as the people of Ireland, work so hard to dispel," stated Crowley's letter.

    Related: Navajo Nation Sues Urban Outfitters

    The items in question include a t-shirt that proclaims, "Kiss me, I'm drunk, Irish, or whatever" and a trucker's style hat that pictures a figure on all fours vomiting and reads, "Irish Yoga." While the designers behind the crass products might have had some yukks creating them,

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  • Women’s Status Worldwide: Best and Worst Places

    Celebrate Women's History MonthIn honor of the 101 st International Women's Day on Thursday, March 8, The Independent analyzed women's status around the world based on 20 criteria. Some of the results are brutal: in South Sudan, the worst place to give birth, there are fewer than 20 midwives to serve the entire country. Other statistics offer hope for women as they advance in the 21st Century. Women's literacy in Lesotho outpaces men's and women have served as head of state in Sri Lanka for 23 years.

    VIDEO: Documentary "Saving Face": Horrific Acid Attacks Target Women in Pakistan

    At the 2011 session of the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations, Michelle Bachelet, the head of UN Women, pointed out in her closing remarks: "Education and equal access and participation in science and technology for women of all ages are not only imperative for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women -- they are also an economic necessity, providing women with the knowledge and understanding

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  • Worst Parent of the Week: Mom Jailed for Making 10-Year-Old Daughter Pose Nude for Skype Scam

    Twisted skype scamShine's Worst Parent of the Week award goes to the 41-year-old mom from Attleboro, Massachusetts who forced her 10-year-old daughter to pose naked for a stranger to win $20,000 in a sham bikini contest.

    The Attleboro Sun Chronicle reports that the mother (who wasn't named in order to protect the identity of her daughter) was sentenced to serving three months of a maximum two and a half year sentence after pleading guilty to a reduced charge of misdemeanor assault and battery. The alleged perv, 30-year-old Joshua Dunfee of Oxford Junction, Iowa, faces 15-30 years in prison if convicted. A number of sexually explicit photos of female minors were found on his confiscated computer.

    The sorry tale began back in September of 2011 when Dunfee met the mother-in-question on Facebook. (Hello? Privacy Settings….) Promising an all-expenses paid trip to Florida and a bikini-modeling job for her and the daughter, he convinced her to disrobe herself and the kid in front of a webcam so he

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  • Female Bonobo Apes Brag About Sexual Conquests of Males and Other Females

    Why is this bonobo smiling? Bonobo apes, sometimes referred to as the "make love not war" ape, are known for their high octane sex lives. Similar to humans (with whom they share 98% of their DNA) and different from other primates, "hooking up" is more than procreation; the species uses sex to show affection, relieve stress, thwart conflict, and simply for fun. Researchers have now observed that bonobo females also have sex for bragging rights.

    Like a bunch of boys in a high school locker room, bonobo females broadcast their conquests to enhance their social status. When love locked with a high-ranking male, saucy lady apes shout out characteristic "copulation calls" so others will know exactly who is zooming whom. A new study reveals that females also cry out when having sex with other gals-but only alpha females. "These females are climbing social ladders," Zanna Clay, a postdoctoral researcher at Emory University who worked on the study, explained to LiveScience.

    Eminent anthropologist Frans de Waal

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  • Lady Gaga Video Made by Kids Protested: Anti-Bullying Message Questioned

    Lady Gaga arrives at HarvardDozens of kids in baggy pink t-shirts emblazoned with the word "acceptance" bob up and down to Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" in a flash-mob style video, but a civic group from British Columbia called Burnaby Parents' Voice isn't buying the message. According to the Burnaby News Leader, they are challenging the "legality and the educational purpose of posting students' images on the Internet, as well as the appropriateness of Lady Gaga as a learning resource in public schools." Parents' Voice was in the news last spring for its opposition to a school policy that was enacted to protect gay, lesbian, and transgendered students from bullying.

    PHOTOS: Lady Gaga on Yahoo! OMG

    The video was produced for Canada's Pink Shirt Day, an annual event conceived in 2007 in response to a bullying incident in a rural Nova Scotia high school. When some students harassed a ninth grade boy and called him a "homosexual" for wearing a pink polo shirt, two seniors distributed 50 pink t-shirts for their

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  • Gay Marine’s Kiss Goes Viral: 10 More Iconic Kisses

    Albert Einstein said, "Any man who can safely drive while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves." May we add to that sweet sentiment, "man kissing a handsome guy and woman and kissing a beautiful gal?" When Marine Sgt. Brandon Morgan returned back to the U.S. from Afghanistan on February 22, 2012 he jumped into partner Dalan Wells' arms and planted his lips with a huge and spontaneous smackeroo. He was expressing, as he told NPR, "four years of pent-up emotion and secret love." A family friend snapped a picture of the embrace and it caused a swoon around the world. Their kiss will forever be one of history's most iconic smooches.

    Lady and the Tramp

    Copyright © 2012 Yahoo Inc

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  • Yoga’s Steamier Side (And that Doesn’t Mean Bikram)

    Yoga dateWhile some people think of yoga as a Spartan discipline practiced in the U.S. by pallid folks who avoid pleasures of the flesh, its earthy origins tell a different story. According to the NY Times, Hatha yoga, which is the most common form practiced here, began as a branch of Tantra. Reportedly, "in medieval India, Tantra devotees sought to fuse the male and female aspects of the cosmos into a blissful state of consciousness." Indian gurus who brought yoga to G-rated early 20th Century America, toned down many of Hatha's sensual messages and practices.

    Also on Shine: Rebecca Romijin's Yoga Work Out

    Apparently, a number of male yoga teachers stateside didn't get the memo. Over years, there have been many scandals involving charismatic leaders taking sexual advantage of their followers. Notably, John Friend, the founder of the popular form of Anusara Yoga, who allegedly expressed his surname a little too insistently with female students and employees, took a leave of absence this

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  • 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Risque Trilogy a Hit with Moms

    What's on your bedside table? Not since women were stealing their daughter's Twilight books for midnight reading binges, has a series of novels so steamed up the mommy set. The New York Post reports that the X-rated 'Fifty Shades' trilogy, by E.L. James, British television executive and mom of two, has already sold 250,000 copies and scored James the number one spot on the NY Times bestseller list.

    Related: Nixon Love Letters to his “Dearest Heart” Go On Display

    'Fifty Shades of Grey,' the first installment, has become know as "The Book" around school pick ups on New York City's Upper East Side. "I couldn't put it down," says NYC mom Michele Yogel, 33, "I'd be sitting on the couch at 7 a.m. with my two kids while they're watching cartoons and drinking milk and I'd be reading it on the Kindle app on my phone."

    While Stephanie Meyer's books were mainly about the thrill of the chase and the anticipation of the kill, James's series is more of a full frontal assault. Unabashedly not YA, these books are part of

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  • Women and the Oscars: 2012 Report Card

    During the run up to the Oscars, the LA Times reported on the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science's lack of diversity and its potential impact on the films that rise to the top. Yahoo! Shine caught up with Natalie Difford, Senior Production Officer at Chicken & Egg Pictures to get her take on where women stand in filmmaking today. Chicken & Egg is a hybrid film fund and non-profit production company. They executive produced the critically acclaimed Pariah which won an Indie Spirit award this year as well as Saving Face which won the Oscar for Best Documentary (short). Also nominated for Best Documentary (short) was The Barber of Birmingham. Chicken & Egg completed this film after its director, Gail Dolgin, succumbed to breast cancer.

    What's been happening with Chicken and Egg pictures this awards season?

    We're hot off the slopes from Sundance Film Festival where we annually throw a super fun networking party in honor of our filmmakers premiering there. This year we

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  • How Often Should You Wash Your Hair?

    Shampoo less, we dare you.About 90% of Americans shampoo daily. One hundred years ago, people only washed their hair monthly, and in the 1950s, it was customary for women to have their hair washed and set once a week at the salon.

    Related: Eight Things Your Hair Says About Your Health

    A clean head of hair feels fresh and smells great but over-washing can turn one's healthy locks into a pile of straw. The average person's hair grows less than half an inch per month so long strands that have been subjected to a lot of shampooing (as well as chemical treatments, blow drying, and the elements), tend to get dried out and dull at the ends and even break off. Dirtier hair-gasp-also holds a style better.

    How often you need to shampoo depends on how oily your scalp is and your hair's texture. Oil-known as sebum-travels more easily down smooth, straight hair, making it look greasier faster. Sounds a little gross, but sebum helps moisturize and waterproof the hair shaft. This is one reason why curly or coarse

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