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WiGWag: News with a twist | Dec. 17, 2015

Lisa Neff and Louis Weisberg, Staff writers

Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman

It’s expensive to have a uterus in the United States. Currently 40 states, including Wisconsin, impose a tax — either a regular sales or gross receipts tax or a luxury tax — on tampons and other menstrual products. In some states, such taxes are categorized as “sin taxes.”

All lit up 

At a promotional event for the new Star Wars film, Lupita Nyong’o, who plays Maz Kanata in the movie, wore a dress equipped with blinking LED lights. The dress is part of the Made With Code initiative launched by designer Zax Posen and Google to encourage girls to embrace computer science. The dress fits perfectly with the #AskHerMore project, which encourages red carpet reporters to ask actresses questions about more than their gowns and jewelry. 

Potty mouth is the least of their troubles

Two Fox commentators were given two weeks to cool their heels after crossing the network’s line for criticism of President Barack Obama. Fox Business Network’s strategic analyst Ralph Peters was suspended for calling the president a “total pu**y” on the air during a discussion of an Oval Office speech on terrorism. Fox contributor Stacey Dash was suspended for saying Obama “didn’t give a sh*t” about the speech during a morning broadcast. Fox said in a statement the two men “made comments on different programs that were completely inappropriate and unacceptable for our air.”

A green tradition that’s survived Republicans

Wisconsin is ranks No. 5 in the U.S. for love of green-bean casseroles, according to the Del Monte Green Bean Index. Interestingly, Wisconsin was the only state in the northern half of the country to make the top five. Ranking above Wisconsin, in order, are Louisiana, Oklahoma, Kentucky and Florida. Del Monte estimates 30 million green-bean casseroles were served on Thanksgiving tables this year. Now we’re wondering how much Beano was sold in the state during the holiday.

What art thou smoking, Romeo?

He’s considered Western literature’s premier genius and maybe researchers have discovered at least part of his inspiration. A team from a South African university was loaned 24 “tobacco pipe” fragments from Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon property. Eight tested positive for cannabis residue and two had remnants of Peruvian cocaine.

Leo doesn’t bear it

There’s a rumor circulating that the character played by Leonardo DiCaprio is raped by a bear in the critically acclaimed film The Revenant. Twentieth Century Fox, which is releasing the film, has made public statements denying that such a scene exists.

Going pro-life

Missouri State Rep. Stacey Newman, D, has proposed a way of curbing the high rate of gun violence in her state: regulate gun purchases as tightly as abortion services. Newman pre-filed a bill that would make it just as difficult to buy a weapon as to get an abortion — including imposing a 72-hour waiting period for prospective gun buyers and requiring them to receive information about alternatives to guns, like “peaceful and nonviolent conflict resolution.”

Boasting burglar

A Pennsylvania man is facing charges of burglary and theft after allegedly breaking into a taxicab company where he once worked. Investigators followed an obvious clue — the burglar was seen on security video wearing a sweatshirt stenciled with his name. The shirt and the stolen goods were found in his home.

Lighting sparks

A councilwoman in Roselle Park, New Jersey, walked out of a meeting and resigned her post after learning that the city would call a “tree lighting” ceremony a “Christmas tree lighting” ceremony. Charlene Storey later rescinded her resignation but she skipped the ceremony, which she said cut “non-Christians out of the loop.”

‘See my new gun?’

The Arizona Department of Public Safety says a man accidentally shot his friend with a semi-automatic handgun at a gun show in Phoenix. At the Crossroads of the West Gun Show, where loaded firearms are prohibited, the shooter was looking at his recent purchase when it discharged.

Oh deer

A Roman Catholic diocese in Pennsylvania removed a Facebook photo of a nun with a 10-point buck she bagged after the post drew criticism from anti-hunting and animal rights activists. The diocese removed the image, complaining that animal rights activists responded with “vulgar comments, using profanity and even an obscene photograph.”

On the books

Students at Newport Middle High School have won a contest that challenged them to find “New Hampshire’s Dumbest Law.” The winning entry was a 40-year-old ban on harvesting seaweed at night. A GOP state representative has filed a bill to repeal it. 

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