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It's Gettin' Hot In Here: Return of the Flat Earth Society, Barbie's revenge and more 

Maybe it was the hangover from an unusually cold or snowy winter, but the number of people who believe that the temperature of our planet

Maybe it was the hangover from an unusually cold or snowy winter, but the number of people who believe that the temperature of our planet is rising has dipped in the past year, according to a recent Pew Research Center study.

Roughly 71 percent of Americans believe in the theory of global warming, compared to 77 percent at the beginning of 2007, the study found. Not surprisingly the biggest dip came amongst Republicans. Those in the GOP who believe that global warming is real are now officially in the minority in the Flat Earth Party, down to 49 percent from 62 percent in 2007. Democrats also saw a small slip in their numbers dropping from 86 percent to 84 percent. Roughly 75 percent of Independents say they believe the Earth is growing hotter - down slightly from 78 percent.

 More frightening than those shifts is the fact that less than half of Americans believe that global warming is caused by human activity.

Among Republicans, only about one in four believe that global warming is caused by humans compared to almost sixty percent of Democrats and half of all Independents.

The study also found a measurable disparity based on the amount of education a person has. College graduates were more likely, no matter their party affiliation, to believe that the temperature on Earth is rising.

Among Dems, those with more education were also more likely to attribute global warming to human activity. Interestingly the opposite is true among Republicans where "higher education is associated with greater skepticism."

Only 19 percent of college educated Republicans said there is "solid" evidence that we are causing global warming, compared to 31 percent of those with less education.

Which proves that you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink. No matter how hot is.

click to enlarge Back off bratz!
  • Back off bratz!
Back off bratz!Don't Mess With Barbie

She's got looks, style, an anatomically impossible plastic body, a big house and a sweet Corvette.

On the outside, it seems that Barbie has it all. But all is not right in the doll house. Barbie's place as the doll diva has been challenged by the younger, hipper Bratz line.

In response, Mattel is suing the doll's maker, MGA Entertainment, claiming that the doll's creator, Carter Bryant, conceived of Bratz when he was still an employee at Mattel. If successful, MGA could be forced to fork over more than $350 million in damages and as much as $500 million in annual profits from sales.

The Barbie doll, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary next year, has seen its sales slip since the introduction of Bratz. Barbie sales were off about 12 percent last year with the biggest loses among "older" girls (aged 5-9), according to Bloomberg news.

Which leads Upfront to wonder why dolls can't settle this like real celebrities: with an overdose, a meltdown on Oprah's couch, or a shot to the knee caps of those pesky Bratz.

Whigging Out

The tradition of British judges in white wigs goes back some 300 years. But the judiciary is getting a makeover in Great Britain that includes losing the wigs, and the fashion police area already issuing strongly worded citations. Commentators have said the new gowns, which feature colored swatches down the front are more suitable for the set of Star Trek than the bench, or, as the London Guardian put it, the outfits look, "like something an alien android with menacing religious undertones would wear when waging war with Doctor Who."

We'd like to see that one on Masterpiece Theater.


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