Boston drivers urged to 'use yah blinkah'
Perhaps the reason notoriously aggressive Boston drivers don't use their turn signals is that no one has ever put it in terms they understand. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation on Friday changed that by posting messages on electronic highway signs around the city that read: "Changing Lanes? Use Yah Blinkah." Drivers who fail to use their blinker, or turn signal, are subject to a fine. The signs are to stay up through Mother's Day on Sunday, which state officials say is one of the busiest traffic days of the year.
It's a WAshout
Detergent pulled over neo-Nazi code
Procter & Gamble has apologized after stirring anger in Germany for unintentionally placing a neo-Nazi code on promotional packages for its Ariel laundry detergent. Outraged shoppers posted pictures online of Ariel powder boxes featuring a white soccer jersey with a large number "88." The number is sensitive because far-right extremists in Germany often use it as a code to skirt a ban on the use of Nazi slogans in public: since "H" is the eighth letter of the alphabet, "88" represents the phrase "Heil Hitler." Similarly, "18" is used to stand for "A.H." or Adolf Hitler. P&G says the number "88" was intended to show how many loads of laundry buyers can do with one package. "We very much regret if there are any false associations and distance ourselves clearly from any far-right ideology," company spokeswoman Gabi Hassig said.
Horse race to stay ahead of Sheep
Officials say many couples in China have been trying desperately to conceive, racing against time to have a baby in the fortuitous Year of the Horse. Their reasoning: No one wants a baby born in 2015, the dreaded Year of the Sheep. Sheep are meek creatures and babies born in the Year of the Sheep, therefore, will grow up to be followers rather than leaders, according to some superstitions. The children are destined for heartbreak and failed marriages, and will be unlucky in business, many Chinese believe. Health professionals say fertility consultations have spiked in recent months. According to the Chinese lunar calendar, the Year of the Sheep (also called goat or ram) begins Feb. 19.
Last call for NYC area train bar cars
The bar cars on trains between Manhattan and Connecticut were making their final run Friday after decades as a gathering place for commuters who played dice, found jobs and had annual Christmas parties with a jazz band. With their faux-wood paneling on the walls and red leather lounges, the bar cars that have run on the Metro-North Railroad for at least a half-century evoke New York's Mad Men era of martini lunches. "It's a sad day for all of us," said commuter Nan Buziak Lexow.
Compiled from wire services and other sources.