Around the Web: Dirty dancing, kinky robots, fear of family spark changes

Every day I scour the Internet and my news feeds for story writing tips and advice. But every once in a while I come across some stranger than fiction articles that compel me to read further. You never know, some of the articles or ideas may just become fodder for a story later on.

Just when you thought you’d heard of everything…

A Gorham, Maine high school announced this week it will no longer hold student dances because of today’s tendency by students to participate in risqué dance moves, also known as grinding. The sexually suggestive dirty dance moves are making parents and dance chaperones uncomfortable. The ban follows on the heels of a similar ban by Hopkinton High School in Massachusetts last year.

As if that wasn’t enough, Disney-owned ABC Family is changing its name to Freeform, because it’s intended audience doesn’t like the word family. Apparently the word “family” is negatively associated with “family friendly” and “wholesome.” The word ‘Family’ sounds overly loud to their ears and that makes it a barrier to them coming into our ecosystem,” president Tom Ascheim explained to Entertainment Weekly. Freeform, on the other hand, sounds like fun. O-kay…

And for those of you who were looking forward to one day getting it on with a robot sex toy, Discover magazine reports there is a movement afoot to ban such shenanigans. According to the article, sex with robots is being compared to human prostitution by “reducing to a thing” the idea of sex in the minds of buyers. Robots have replaced a lot of human workers over the years, but the world’s oldest profession is still putting up a fight.

Robot software is also threatening another line of human jobs: script readers. Scriptonomics can reportedly analyze and grade your scripts. Movie studios and screenwriting competitions may someday rely on the technology in place of script readers. Hey, there are already programs out there in wide use that analyze and weed out resumes before sending them up the chain to human eyes, so why not? Geez.

For you crime aficionados, the Museum of London is set to debut artifacts in its Crime Museum this week. Previously the criminal evidence from 140 years of cases and detection have only been open for viewing by police professionals and invited guests. Some of the artifacts stem from such notorious crimes from Dr. Crippen to the Krays, the Great Train Robbery to the Millennium Dome diamond heist. Sounds like a great vacation getaway to me.

And finally — another sign of the apocalypse, perhaps? — after 62 years Playboy will stop publishing photographs of nude women beginning next year.

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