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Fun condom facts in honor of National Condom Week (Feb. 13-17): Roman soldiers were reputed to have worn condoms made from the muscle tissue of vanquished foes! (Stringy!)

Casanova used linen condoms (he called them "English riding coats") as a means of birth control!

In the 1940s and '50s, condoms made out of sheep's intestines (still available today, by the way) were often washed, smeared with petroleum jelly and reused!

A condom inflated like a balloon can get as big as 3 feet tall and a foot wide before it bursts! It'll also hold almost four quarts of milk!

Charles Goodyear, the tire guy, obtained the first patent for a rubber condom way back in 1844!

Also in honor of National Condom Week, the fine folks at Planned Parenthood of Greater Orlando are sponsoring a pub crawl Feb. 17, from 10 p.m. to midnight. PPGO volunteers will be visiting bars and nightclubs downtown handing out free wee little raincoats to all who would like to receive them. What better place to spread the word (but not your disease)?

So if you're downtown Feb. 11 and someone offers you a condom, it's not that your butt looks that good in those pants or you're having a really good hair day; they just want you to be safe. (Your butt, however, really does look that good in those pants.)

In the Feb. 9 Police Beat, we reported on a gentleman getting jumped by three thugs who hit him in the head with a gun, punched him in the face, stole his bike and took $600 in rent money. As if that weren't bad enough, the victim in question is hearing- and speech-impaired, police reports noted.

In response to this sad tale, a reader who wanted to be identified only as "Van" decided to take action. Van is in town after being "hurricaned out of New Orleans." He called us to find out where he could donate a bike to the mugging victim. He also says he's willing to pony up to help the victim raise rent money, should anyone else in town want to help coordinate the effort.

Van's given O-Town's karmic wheel a big spin. Anybody else want to try?

GREASE IS THE WORD: Jackson Goss and his BenzThe crude oil-free future is here today and it smells a lot like … Chick-Fil-A! (Damn, that's catchy.)

True, too. Remember when the Oilman-in-Chief shocked the pants off everybody Jan. 31 by announcing that America is ADDICTED TO OIL (and then he left everybody scratching their heads with an oblique reference to "switchgrass")? Well, the fine folks at LYNX are already on the alt-fueled-bus bus. They recently announced that they will add hybrid buses to the fleet in the next five years.

Four hybrid-bus manufacturers hoping to get a piece of that business were in town peddling their wares Feb. 7, while another showed up on the University of Central Florida campus Feb. 8. That was pretty cool and all, but it was Jackson Goss, 19, who stole the show. Goss noticed the prototype bus as he was topping off his bio-diesel Mercedes at the nearby Chick-Fil-A restaurant and cruised over to show off his ride.

Goss retrofitted his '86 Benz with a $900 kit a year and a half ago. Now he fills his tank with waste vegetable oil from the fast food restaurant on campus. Normally, they'd have to pay to get rid of the used oil; Goss takes it off their hands for free and cruises around town on it, leaving those behind him in traffic mysteriously hungry for fast food ….

And that may help explain our next item: We've always known that Orlando is a tight-sphinctered town, but we had no idea just how stopped-up we really were until we got a press release from Dannon Yogurt naming Orlando the most "irregular" city in the nation. In other words, we're constipated.

In the survey, which is pimping a new brand of yogurt that Dannon claims "help`s` reduce long intestinal transit time," Orlando topped the list of cities whose residents can't seem to squeeze it out of their bottoms. Reasons? We're fat, lazy, don't drink enough water, don't get off our asses and out of our cars, we eat the wrong foods and we don't get enough fiber.

All of which may be true, but it doesn't take into account the subliminal suggestive power of Goss' grease-powered Benz. One whiff of his tailpipe and the next thing you know you're at the counter biggie-sizing it. Food for thought.

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This week's report by Emily Ruff, Issac Stolzenbach and Bob Whitby.


WHAT: PETA and ARFF's "Avoid Poultry Like the Plague" protest

WHERE: Corner of Hollywood Way and Universal Boulevard

CauseActivists were picketing the National Turkey Federation's annual convention, being held nearby, because eating birds is cruel. Also trying to establish a link between eating fowl and bird flu.

SignageSigns rated an "A" for alarmism ("Payback time: Bird flu kills"), but the sparse turnout was a minus.

TheatricsOnce again, PETA shows us how street theater is done: a semi-nude woman in a coffin! Are you taking notes, CodePink?

Ben MarkesonOrlando's favorite anarchist, Ben Markeson, was not in attendance.

RageNot much rage; more of a suggestion that if you eat poultry, you die.


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