A World Apart: Officials pull ‘Don’t Jerk and Drive’ adverts

USA: South Dakota officials have cancelled a public safety campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of jerking the steering wheel on icy roads, saying it’s too risqué.

The Department of Public Safety has pulled the “Don’t Jerk and Drive” adverts, which played on the double-meaning of the word “jerk”.

Highway safety director Lee Axdahl said the double meaning was intentional and aimed at grabbing people’s attention.

He says the message is that the department would prefer drivers keep their cars out of the ditch and their mind out of the gutter.

But his boss, public safety director Trevor Jones, says he is pulling the social media and television ads. He says he doesn’t want innuendo to distract from the goal of saving lives on the road.

Negative numeracy

ENGLAND:

People who have trouble understanding numbers are more likely to feel negative about bowel cancer screening, fear the tests, or find them embarrassing, research suggests.

Scientists sent information about the screening programme to 1,269 people in the north of England aged 45 to 59, along with a questionnaire that assessed their numeracy and attitudes to the test, which involves taking stool samples.

Nearly half returned a wrong answer to the question: “Which of the following numbers represents the biggest risk of getting a disease, one in 100, one in 1000, or one in 10?” These individuals turned out to be more negative about bowel cancer tests and were less inclined to take part in screening.

Numbers align

USA:

The time and date aligned for a baby girl born in Montana, and the infant’s weight came close to making the event even more unique.

Quincy Kessler was born at St Vincent Healthcare in Billings at 10.11am on 12/13/14.

Even more remarkable, her birth weight, at 7.84lb (3.55kg), almost aligned with the other numbers. A fraction of an ounce more, and she would have weighed 7.89lb.

The baby is the second daughter born to Trenton and Melida Kessler.

Melida told The Billings Gazette that nurses in the hospital room noted around 10:05am that the 10:11am time might work out.

At that point, she says she started to push and Quincy came out at 10:11am.

Buddha blow

NEW ZEALAND:

A New Zealand bar manager in Burma has been arrested and accused of insulting Buddhism after posting an online advert showing a psychedelic image of Buddha wearing headphones.

Philip Blackwood and two Burmese nationals, including bar owner Tun Thurein, were arrested and authorities shut the V Gastro Bar, a tapas bar and lounge open for just two weeks in an upmarket Rangoon area.

The image was posted on the bar’s Facebook page and quickly spread online. It has been removed and replaced with an apology that says “our ignorance is embarrassing”.

Imperfect portraits

USA:

George W Bush doesn’t readily offer political opinions, but when it comes to portraits, he has some broad-brush advice: “Never paint your wife or your mother.”

Bush’s new book about his father includes a portrait he painted of his dad, the 41st president. Bush tells CNN’s State of the Union that “I think it’s nice,” but his tough-to-please mother “kind of wasn’t” happy with it.

The 43rd president also painted his wife, Laura. The verdict?

She didn’t like it and neither did one of their daughters, “so I just scrapped it”, said the former president, who served as US president from 2001 to 2009.

Well, maybe not.

“I may have saved it although they probably think I destroyed it.”

Bush has said that an essay by Winston Churchill on painting inspired him to take lessons after leaving office.

Transport dilemma

ENGLAND:

The Cambridgeshire city of Peterborough is the hardest place in England to live without a car, according to a survey.

People in Colchester in Essex and Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire are also particularly up against it if they have no access to a motor, the survey by the Campaign for Better Transport found.

Other places where not having a car can be a real disadvantage include Swindon, Wigan, Bradford, Derby, and Dudley in Worcestershire.

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