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Can't Possibly Be True



After officials in Batu, a tourist town in East Java in Indonesia, asked its massage parlors to make clear to customers that they are not houses of prostitution, one parlor owner created uniform pants for his women with a padlockable zipper, and "locks in" each masseuse in front of the client at the beginning of a session. Other parlor owners have followed along. A local women's group representative complained that it is the customers, not the women, who need restraining.

In April the Swiss watchmaker Romain Jerome (which last year created a watch made from remnants of the Titanic) introduced the "Day&Night" watch, which unfortunately does not provide a reading of the hour or the minute. Though it retails for about $300,000, it tells only whether it is "day" or "night" (using a complex measurement of the Earth's gravity). CEO Yvan Arpa said studies show that two-thirds of rich people "don't (use) their watch to tell what time it is" anyway. Anyone can buy a watch that tells time, he told a Reuters reporter, but only a "truly discerning customer" can buy one that doesn't.

Progressive Mullahs: The Iranian government, treating addicts as people who need help rather than as criminals, agreed in April to install vending machines offering inexpensive syringes (at about 5 cents each) in five city welfare shelters in order to keep addicts from sharing needles and spreading AIDS and hepatitis. Iran blames its festering drug problem on its common border with opium-producing Afghanistan. 

Women Certainly Are Different From Men: Sara Tucholsky, all 5-foot-2 of her, marshaled her strength for her first-ever fence-clearing home run in April, which would have given her Western Oregon University softball team the lead against favored Central Washington, except that she tore a ligament rounding first base. Since she was unable to move, by rule she (actually, a pinch-runner) would have had to remain at first base instead of circling the bases, but two Central Washington players picked Tucholsky up and carried her around the bases to allow her to get credit for the home run. "You deserve it," one opponent said. "You hit it over the fence." Kindness hurt; Central Washington lost, 4-2, and was eliminated from the playoffs.

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