News: Teaching boys to be men. And to iron.

Boys at one school learn how to iron. Photo: Toby Zerna

Grooming and etiquette classes for boys

At least one school in Sydney has decided its Year Nine boys need a touch of civility drilled into them so St Augustine’s College has introduced classes which teach the teenagers how to iron, sew, make the bed, shake hands properly and who should pay for dinner on a first date.

The Daily Telegraph reported:

Middle School dean Peter Nolan created the Unitas program of 10 subjects to give students something exciting and different.

“We often find that boys lose their way at school – the novelty of Year 7 has worn off and the focus of the senior years isn’t quite in their reach yet,” he said. “Education is about opening doors. It’s not just about getting a great result at the end of Year 12. It’s about developing character and building individuals.”

The classes also include lessons about ‘healthy relationships’, positive psychology to identify their strengths and a ‘taste of TAFE’ classes like motor mechanics. Great idea, or role for parents? Should it catch on elsewhere?
Fathers and non-primary-care partners will be able to access two weeks’ paid parental leave to help look after their new child next year. The money will be paid at the weekly minimum wage as per the parental leave scheme currently in place for mothers. The same work requirements will also have to be met. The leave will mean partners won’t need to take annual leave from work and will also apply to adopting parents and same-sex couples.
The scheme was to have started this July.

Now there’s a marijuana vending machine

But it’s in just so no-one gets charged with dealing, so it’s totally OK. A New Zealand club has installed a pot vending machine (just converted a regular kind) after its founder Dakta Green was jailed in June 2011 for possessing, selling and allowing the warehouse to be used for drug taking.

Cannabis clubs are set up as places where marijuana is sold to people for medicinal purposes.

Police said they were ‘monitoring’ the club.

Models wearing fake bumps to model maternity clothes


Actually pregnant women aren’t good enough to model maternity clothes if you take an industry snub as evidence. ‘Regular’ models are hired in states like Victoria and fitted with a baby bump under their clothes and sent to work.

Maternity wear retailer Kelly Tredwell, from, said she was concerned to learn some maternity models were not pregnant.

“If you shove a bump or cushion up your top then you are not really showing how women really look,” she said.

Melbourne-based Soon Maternity features Chloe Cameron, a slim, 26-year-old non-pregnant woman, as the face of its autumn/winter range.

Cameron, who has never had children, is wearing a prosthetic belly, but this is not disclosed on the company’s website.

A spokeswoman for Soon Maternity said the company preferred to use pregnant models, but they were not always around on the time and day it needed them.

Elite French police in raid on suspected Al-Qaeda serial killer

Some of France’s best police launched a pre-dawn raid in Toulouse on the home of the man suspected of shooting dead three Jewish school children, a Rabbi and three off-duty soldiers in separate attacks.

Two officers were wounded as the police specials weapons squad cornered the 24-year-old French national in a house in the southern French city. His name is Mohammed Merah. His mother was brought in to help negotiate but said she ‘had no influence over him’.

French police during the raid

Hours later and it appears the stand-off continues with French police refusing to confirm the suspect has been arrested and France’s interior Minister Claude Gueant also denying the rumours.

Gueant said Merah was an Islamic extremist.

“This person has made trips to Afghanistan and Pakistan in the past … and says he belongs to al-Qaeda and says he wanted to avenge Palestinian children and to attack the French Army,” Gueant said.

“He has links with people involved in jihadism and salafism.”

Don’t come house-knocking

Federal MP Steve Georganas wants to introduce laws that would prevent door-to-door salesman approaching homes directly for business. But, of course, politicians, religious people and charities would be exempt.

Mr Georganas said the Do Not Knock Register would cost little to set up and would be modelled on the Do Not Call Register.

“My mother, for example, says ‘my telephone bill is so expensive now’, and I say ‘when did you change company?’,” he said.

“She says ‘there was a lovely young lady who came and told me I should’.”

The ad

Shoe ad under fire for being in favour of cheating

Shoe brand Reebok, owned by Adidas, said it would not defend advertisements that appeared telling men to ‘cheat on your girlfriend, not on your workout’. Adidas said it did not condone the message, or cheating of any sort, and the ads had only appeared in Germany. Perhaps the greatest surprise here is that Reebok are advertising at all.

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