The Sideshow
  • A new billboard in San Diego stirs debate over whether it is creative or offensive. (Spyoptic.com)
    A billboard in San Diego that read, "Happy to sit on your face" has been removed after stirring debate over advertising content.

    Despite its sexually suggestive overtones, the billboard itself referred to a brand of sunglasses produced by Carlsbad, Calif.-based Spy Optic.

    "Upon receiving feedback from a few local citizens about SPY's new Hwy 101 billboard—that has been widely enjoyed and celebrated by the community—the advertising space's management company has decided to remove it permanently," according to a statement from Spy Optic, the sunglasses manufacturing company that produced the billboard. "Despite the billboard's positive reception, an underwhelming minority made enough noise that the management company decided this afternoon to remove it first thing Thursday morning."

    Before being taken down, the billboard was generating some controversy, and bemused support, from local residents.

    "I thought that I read it wrong," Moonlight Hair Design owner Sarita Mihaly, whose shop sits directly below the billboard, told 10News. "I thought that it was a joke."

    Still, Spy Optic insists that most of the response has been positive. "You know, it seemed fun, seemed like a way to sort of embrace 'let's have a good time with this thing,'" Spy Optic Marketing Director Devon Howard told the station. "We didn't expect the response we've gotten. A lot of the response has been pretty good," he added.

    Still, Howard doesn't deny that some viewers may be offended. "'Hey, if you'd just put the sunglasses up, we would have got what you meant by it.' I think that's fair criticism," he said.

    Read More »from Sunglasses manufacturer’s controversial billboard removed
  • Former first lady Mary Todd Lincoln will get a new trial to decide whether she was actually insane. (Wikicommons)One hundred and 30 years after her death, Mary Todd Lincoln will be retried for insanity.

    The former first lady was declared insane 10 years after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln in 1865, when her son Robert Todd Lincoln had her committed.

    "Even today, historians disagree whether the evidence against the First Lady was 'trumped up,' whether the procedures used constituted due process, and what would occur if today's modernized health laws were applied to the same facts," reads a statement from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

    Lincoln's mental stability was called into question after she suffered from depression following the deaths of not only her husband but also two of her young children. She allegedly spent the years after President Lincoln's death attempting to communicate with him via seance.

    But the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Illinois Supreme Court Historic Preservation Commission and the Lincoln Museum are set to give Mary Todd Lincoln a new trial, starting in October.

    The dueling legal teams will dress in period clothes from the era but will argue their case relying on current law. Actors will play the roles of Mary Todd Lincoln and Robert Todd Lincoln, but real-life judges will serve as lawyers for each side in the re-creation of the case. Former Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar will narrate the trial.

    And adding more theatricality to the performance, members of the audience will reportedly serve as jury.

    Mary Todd Lincoln spent about four months in the Bellevue Place sanitarium after being declared insane in 1875. However, after secretly communicating with her lawyer and writing a letter to the Chicago Times, she was eventually released. In a letter written in August 1875, Lincoln wondered why her son Robert had seemingly turned on her. She later came to believe that her son's actions were an attempt to take control of her finances:

    "It does not appear that God is good, to have placed me here. I endeavor to read my Bible and offer up my petitions three times a day," Lincoln wrote. "But my afflicted heart fails me and my voice often falters in prayer. I have worshipped my son and no unpleasant word ever passed between us, yet I cannot understand why I should have been brought out here."

    Read More »from Mary Todd Lincoln to be retried for insanity
  • South Korean artist Psy in his "Gangnam Style" video. (YouTube)When in less than two months you have one of the most popular YouTube videos in history, you're bound to generate some imitators. The Psy "Gangnam Style" clip has already surpassed 100 million views since its debut on July 15.

    The wacky song and video by South Korean rap artist Psy is described on his official page as "characterized by its strongly addictive beats and lyrics, and is thus certain to penetrate the foundations of modern philosophy."

    "Gangnam Style" is a term used to describe the luxurious life inside South Korea's Gangnam District, an upper-income area in Seoul.

    The song itself is said to be a parody of the trendy, affluent style in the Gangnam District. Los Angeles Times tech columnist Deborah Netburn has called it "one of the greatest videos ever to be uploaded to YouTube."

    So, naturally, we came across this parody video from the Pet Collective, featuring a goldfish, cat and rabbit:

    Read More »from Gangnam—goldfish style (VIDEO)

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