TIME Booze

New Hampshire Law May Deter D.C. Visitors From Buying Booze

Live free or die...sober?

New Hampshire’s alcohol law might at first look just like those around the country, in that one must be 21 to purchase booze. It differs, however, in its handling of how out-of-town visitors can buy booze.

Here’s the hitch: Because the law focuses on other states and countries, it excludes U.S. territories. Which means that anyone from Washington D.C. may run into some problems when dropping in to one of the Granite State’s fine package stores.

The Associated Press reports that the issue arose earlier this month, when a clerk refused to sell alcohol to a 25-year-old resident of the nation’s capital. After the incident was reported by the Concord Monitor, the New Hampshire Liquor Commission “told retailers they should accept Washington, D.C., driver’s licenses when determining a buyer’s age, even though state law does not explicitly include them,” the AP said.

Liquor Commission’s Executive Councilor, Colin Van Ostern’s statement is as follows:

Tourism is New Hampshire’s second-largest industry, and the state rakes in money from out-of-staters lured by its tax-free booze. It also prides itself on having the nation’s largest state Legislature and its first-in-the-nation presidential primary, which gives lesser-known candidates a fair shot and attracts political visitors from around the country.

Van Ostern said he believes new legislation will likely be needed to permanently fix the problem. As it stands, the commission’s clarification doesn’t take into account residents of U.S. territories, he noted.

“I have no doubt this was an oversight, and I do think a fair reading of legislative intent would be to allow all those IDs, but I don’t think we should be putting it on individual store clerks to be trying to decide what legislators meant 20 years ago when they passed a law,” he said.

As one might guess, the law on New Hampshire’s books regarding tobacco products contains the same wording as the alcohol law.

TIME

Congress Gets Banned from Editing Wikipedia

As Deadline On Debt Reduction Impasse Looms, Super Committee Meets Over Weekend
Brendan Hoffman—Getty Images

If you—like me—use Twitter religiously, you’ve probably noticed a new account popping up in and around your mentions: Congress Edits, a recently-created bot that tweets anonymous edits made from Congressional IP addresses. It’s a significant service, one that’s managed to throw a little more light onto the murky workings of government.

The folks at Wikipedia have noticed the editing and decided to put a 10-day ban on edits coming from offices within the U.S. House of Representatives, the BBC reports.

Among the edits that have originated from Congressional IP addresses in recent days are changes to everything from the Choco Taco Wikipedia page to a page on conspiracy theories about the original moon landing.

According to its own Wikipedia page, the bot, created by software developer Ed Summers, has been called a “watchdog” by NBC News. Hard to disagree.

TIME Parenting

Toyota Adds Minivan Feature Designed to Keep Kids Quiet in the Backseat

Just in time for summer road trips

The dawn of the minivan began in those halcyon days when vans were just that: large, unwieldy, and neither fashionable nor practical. They didn’t have the restrained elegance, beauty, or allure of, say, station wagons. Now over the last few decades, minivans have arguably become symbols of stability and family values – plus, the kids love the space for activities!

So if you’re in the market for a new minivan—and if the people you tote around in your backseat are usually unruly—Toyota has just announced a compelling feature for their newest iteration of the venerable Sienna. They call it Driver Easy Speak, and it’s a system intended to amplify the driver’s voice in the backseat via the vehicle’s own audio system “so parents don’t have to shout to passengers in the back,” according to Toyota, the Associated Press reports.

The feature will only appear in vans with Toyota’s premium audio option at the moment. For some parents, however, that might be a small price to pay to get their kids to buckle up and get to soccer practice on time. Plus, think of how much fun those kids will have with the system when they’re teens who let their friends bum rides! That in itself may be priceless.

TIME

Skateboarding Cop Gives Out the Gnarliest Tickets

Joel Zwicky aims to pull off some sick arrests, bro

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There’s a new sheriff in town. And it turns out he’s got a mean ollie.

Meet Joel Zwicky, the world’s first skateboarding cop. He’s based in Green Bay, Wisc. and started his skating patrols in March—already, they’ve been a huge success. In an interview with ABC News, he told reporters that he floated the idea in response to his department chief’s call for new ways to engage with the community. “I kind of had the idea, like, two years ago, just because I like to skate and I was trying to figure out how I can do it more at work so that I can – you know, if you do what you love, you don’t work a day in your life,” Zwicky told ABC.

His skate patrols have had two main benefits: First, he engages in more open conversation with the community (due to the unorthodox/slightly absurd sight of a policeman on a longboard); and second, the board allows him access to places he’d otherwise be unable to patrol. According to ABC News, he hopes other departments across the country implement skateboards into their stable of vehicles—if, of course, their officers are rad enough.

TIME psychology

Study: Women View Other Women Wearing Red as a Sexual Threat

They believe scarlet-clad women are looking for a little romance, given half a chance

The ballad “The Lady in Red” was released in 1986 by the singer Chris de Burgh, to widespread acclaim; the pop ballad was massively successful, reaching the top position on the charts in Canada, the UK, Ireland, and Norway, while peaking at #3 in the U.S.

De Burgh’s lyrics—e.g., “I’ve never seen so many men ask you if you wanted to dance/They’re looking for a little romance, given half a chance/And I have never seen that dress you’re wearing”—depict a wonderfully special night, and he’s stated publicly that the song was inspired by the first time he saw his future wife.

In the past, psychological research has found that men perceive women wearing red (like de Burgh’s lady) as more sexually receptive, due to the “biologically based predisposition to receive red as a sexual signal”. Recently, a companion study has been published that documents how women perceive other women wearing red—as it turns out, the color has a similar effect.

The research team, led by University of Rochester psychologist Adam Pazda, conducted three experiments to find out how, exactly, women respond. Here’s how they did it, via Pacific Standard:

Pazda and his colleagues describe three experiments conducted on two different continents that provide evidence that wearing red sets off certain alarm bells. In the first, 196 women recruited online viewed a photo of “a moderately attractive women in her late 20s.”

Half saw an image of her wearing a white dress; the rest viewed an otherwise identical image of her in a red dress. Afterwards, all responded on a sliding scale to a series of statements such as “This person is interested in sex.”

As expected, the woman was seen as more sexually receptive if she was wearing red. This held true whether or not the study participants were in a committed relationship.

Fascinating stuff. Pazda and his colleagues found another effect—that the women who were exposed to the photo of the woman wearing red engaged in “mate-guarding” and “derogation”; in other words, they were more likely to speak negatively about the woman wearing red (“I would guess that this women cheats on men”, “I would guess that this woman has no money”, etc.) and more likely to protect their significant others from her. Here’s Pacific Standard:

Another experiment featured 143 women enrolled at two Slovakian universities. They, too, looked at a photo of a woman in her 20s; she was wearing either a red or green shirt. Afterwards, they were asked to rate not only her interest in sex, but were asked “How likely would you be to introduce this person to your boyfriend?”

Those who viewed her in the red shirt rated the woman as “more sexually receptive,” and “reported stronger intentions to guard their mate from the target,” the researchers report.

De Burgh’s song didn’t speak about the other women in the room—if it had, he might have told a different story.

 

TIME animal

Woman’s Pickup Truck Stalls Due to an Unexpected Case of Python

"How much horsepower you got?" "Nah, man. Pythons."

A woman in New Mexico found a surprise after her pickup truck stalled in Santa Fe. When she and local chef Jackson Ault (who stopped to help) popped the hood, they were greeted by a 20lb brown-and-yellow python in the engine block, the Associated Press reports:

The python was taken to the Santa Fe Animal Shelter, where spokesman Ben Swan says the reptile has minor injuries but otherwise is in good shape.

Police say the snake likely crawled into the pickup at the motorist’s home several blocks from where the vehicle stalled. And Ault says he thinks the truck stalled because the snake dislodged an electrical wire.

Authorities say the owner hasn’t turned up yet.

TIME animals

This Guy Went to Alaska and Caught a 482-Pound Halibut

An old man and the sea

After a 40-minute struggle, 76-year-old Californian Jack McGuire recently caught the world’s largest halibut, the Associated Press reports.

McGuire’s monster fish weighed a whopping 482 pounds and was 95 inches long, smashing the previous record set in 1996 (a very respectable 459lbs). Unfortunately his catch will go unrecognized by the International Game Fish Association, because McGuire’s boat captain shot the fish before it was brought onboard to keep it from flopping about and hurting someone.

According to the AP, McGuire “applauded the decision” to kill the fish despite his disqualification from record-holder status.

TIME Beer

Australia Has a ‘Beer Can Regatta’ Every Year

Check out those cans!

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Each year, Australia’s Mindil beach plays host to the Darwin Lions Beer Can Regatta, a waterborne festival that celebrates the virtues of charitable giving and one’s instinct for building seaworthy vessels out of improvised materials (as you can see from the video).

The event began on June 16, 1974, and has been held annually ever since. This year marks its 40th anniversary, and is irrefutable proof that Aussies are just better at having fun than the rest of us.

TIME animals

WATCH: A Ridiculous Number of Hummingbirds Just, Like, Hanging Out

I won't make an Angry Birds pun for you, dear reader

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I’ve never seen so many cute things at once. Have you?

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