September 15, 2006

LinkNews Digest [09/15/2006]

Controversial Ban On Skinny Models Continues

MADRID (Reuters) - The world's first ban on overly thin models at a top-level fashion show in Madrid has caused outrage among modeling agencies and raised the prospect of restrictions at other venues.

Madrid's fashion week has turned away underweight models after protests that girls and young women were trying to copy their rail-thin looks and developing eating disorders. Organizers say they want to project an image of beauty and health, rather than a waif-like, or heroin chic look.

But Cathy Gould, of New York's Elite modeling agency, said the fashion industry was being used as a scapegoat for illnesses like anorexia and bulimia. "I think its outrageous, I understand they want to set this tone of healthy beautiful women, but what about discrimination against the model and what about the freedom of the designer," said Gould, Elite's North America director, adding that the move could harm careers of naturally "gazelle-like" models.

The Madrid show is using the body mass index or BMI -- based on weight and height -- to measure models. It has turned away 30 percent of women who took part in the previous event. Medics will be on hand at the September 18-22 show to check models. (LINK )

"The New 'Dog Ate It' Excuse

LARGO, Fla. - Stephanie King had to tell her music teacher that a raccoon was to blame for her missing homework. "I explained that the raccoon fell from the ceiling in my bathroom and it ran into my bedroom," the 13-year-old seventh grader at Osceola Middle School told the St. Petersburg Times.

"Animal control came out to get it and they couldn't catch it and they said we couldn't go in my room."

Stephanie's grandmother vouched for her story Friday with school officials. "I told them she can't get her homework, her books, because everything is locked in the bedroom," Natalie King said.

The female raccoon and its babies crashed to the Kings' bathroom floor Wednesday night. Until that moment, the family didn't know the roof was leaking, much less that a family of raccoons was living in their ceiling.

The mother raccoon escaped into Stephanie's room. It finally made its way Thursday night into the trap set by Pinellas County Animal Services officers, who picked up the critter the next morning. (LINK )

Artist Draws "Clean" Graffiti on Dirty Walls

A British street artist known as Moose creates graffiti by cleaning dirt from sidewalks and tunnels -- sometimes for money when the images are used as advertising. But some authorities call it vandalism.

Moose, whose real name is Paul Curtis, tells NPR's Steve Inskeep that he got the idea when he saw that people had written their names with their fingers on dirty tunnel walls in his hometown of Leeds. Moose does some freehand drawing, but also uses the grid from wall tiles to create perfect shapes and letters.

The tools are simple: A shoe brush, water and elbow grease, he says.

British authorities aren't sure what to make of the artist who is creating graffiti by cleaning the grime of urban life. The Leeds City Council has been considering what to do with Moose. "I'm waiting for the kind of Monty Python court case where exhibit A is a pot of cleaning fluid and exhibit B is a pair of my old socks," he jokes. (LINK )



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