Brian Wins Big Brother

Here's something you won't read on separtist/hatred-inciting/racist sites like - a black man has just won Big Brother. Twenty year-old Brian Belo was voted as winner of the reality series by a massive 60.3% of the British public (headline on "39.7% of British Public Are Racist"). Let's put this in context: the last four contestants in the house consisted of down-to-earth, earnestly nice Northern lad Liam (white), vain ex-boyband member Ziggy (white) and Aryan princesses Amanda and Sam (twins, blonde and white). What this says about the media, modern Britain, and any old bollocks really, remains to be seen, and obviously a black male could never win the American version of Big Brother, but it's all terribly insightful - or maybe I've just had to much chardonnay tonight? Answers on a postcard.

No Underwear In Atlanta, Please

You either love it or hate it, and really, it's only acceptable on teens and guys with substantial booty and a V on their stomach. Yup, the jeans halfway to the knees look, beloved of rappers and flaming queens alike (who'd have thought they had so much in common...)

The fashion trend isn't much liked by officials in the city of Atlanta, Georgia, who want to introduce a new indecency law that specifically targets low-slung jeans, which is described as being of 'epidemic' proportions and a 'major concern'. Counciller CT Martin, who's behind the legislation, believes the look is corrupting youth: "Little children see it and want to adopt it, thinking it's the in thing."

The draft law dictates that the indecent exposure of his or her undergarments in a public place would be unlawful.

A quick browse through profiles on or proves that Atlanta has a higher proportion of drop dead sexy men than anywhere else in the world, with booty around 30% bigger than in other states. Maybe Counciller Martin has a point - or maybe he just can't control himself.

Savage Garden Singer Arrested For Alleged Racist Attack

Darren Hayes, formerly that warbler out of Savage Garden (he's the camp one who had the sham marriage with some poor cow) has been arrested following an alleged racist attack on a waiter in a restaurant in London.

An Australian uttering racist slurs? Surely not!
Of course the cheerful fair-go Aussie (they're such a sunny people, so they keep telling everyone) denies the charge, but I'm with the police and the Australian's victim on this one - no smoke without fire, eh?
Back to the colony with him, I say, where racism is the national sport.

Gays vs The Lesbians

I don't have any female friends, which is a great shame, because women can sometimes be fascinating creatures, albeit of no use sexually. I once had a female friend, in New York, called Mistress Chloe. She was a psychotic Jewish dance music singer.

In any case, one of my favourite sites, the ever-fascinating, had a bit about the "largest-ever survey of gays and lesbians and their consumer spending habits." No laughing at the back about dildos and what-not, this is serious stuff (left).

Of course, advertising, marketing and capitalism are the great ills of modern society, and those of you involved in the former should be strung up by the balls, but it's all interesting, never-the-less. Surprisingly, more gay men voted in the 2006 mid-term elections (the majority of respondents were American) than lesbians did. Who would have thought?

More can be learnt at the Community Marketing page.

Web Trend Map

The boffins at Information Architects have come up with this jolly clever tool, which throws the top 200 websites ("ordered by category, proximity, success, popularity and perspective") together and makes a map out of them. Worth a look on a dull Sunday afternoon, what.

How Gay Do You Sound?

The boffins have been at it again, with researchers tackling the thorny issue of "gay-sounding" speech, and what makes it that way. Apparently, there's been at least three studies conducted, according to The Guardian; the first it mentions comes from Stanford University, who came up with a paper called Sounding Gay: Pitch Properties in the Speech of Gay and Straight Men. The men in white coats listened to a bunch of openly gay white American men and some "openly straight" white American men. (Openly straight? No, I'll leave that one alone...) The result of this was the realisation that the problem required more research, particularly into things like the pronunciation of sibilants, duration of vowels and voice equality.

Acoustic Correlates of Less-Masculine Sounding Speech is the next study, and it tagged two types of speech: LMS (less-masculine-sounding male speech) and MMS (more-masculine-sounding male speech). The boffins behind this research thought that the discovery of LMS and MMS "may have clinical relevance for patients wishing to modify the perception of masculinity invoked by their speech."

Last year, a team at the University of Minnesota published The Influence of Sexual Orientation on Vowel Production. It concluded that "gay men produced a more expanded vowel space than heterosexual men."

It's an interesting subject - who genuinely believes there's a gay sound of speech? Certainly, a lot of us sound gay, but is it universal? Are there degrees of gay speech, from Alex-out-of-Noah's Arc-obvious, to something more subtle only the trained ear picks up on. Do you think you sound gay? And how many of your friends sounds gay - and do you have any straight friends who speak LMS?

Answers on a postcard.
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