Huh?
July 15, 2014
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Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi had an interesting idea for an art project: She wanted to create a kayak modeled on her vagina. But when Igarashi emailed images of her vagina to her supporters for 3D printing, she was arrested in Tokyo on grounds of obscenity.

Igarashi, 42, started a crowd-funding project for the kayak under the name Rokudenashiko — which roughly translates to "good-for-nothing girl" — and wrote on her campaign's page that she wanted the boat to be anatomically accurate. She wrote that silicone molds will "gradually deteriorate, which makes mass production difficult," requiring monetary support. According to Japan's Kyodo news agency, Igarashi received roughly one million yen to fund the project.

Igarashi ran into legal trouble when she emailed design files to those who had donated money to the project, asking them to print 3D renderings of her genitalia. The Tokyo Metropolitan Police arrested her for breaking obscenity laws in sending the files, according to Kyodo. "I cannot understand why the police recognize the 3D data as obscene material," Igarashi reportedly told police.

This isn't Igarashi's first genitalia-inspired art project — she's previously created comic books, dioramas, and even a remote-control car based on her vagina. She's already built quite a fan following, too: There's a Change.org petition to protest Igarashi's arrest, and it's already garnered more than 10,000 signatures.

And as for Igarashi's opinion? "My work is against discriminative, ignorant treatment of the vagina," Igarashi wrote on her website, translated by Wired. "I thought it was just funny to decorate my vagina and make it into a diorama, but I was very surprised to see how upset people get when they see my works." Meghan DeMaria

Baltimore
12:10 p.m. ET

As the riots in Baltimore raged on Monday, police officers were alerted to a "credible threat" of disparate gang members collaborating to attack law enforcement. But in a video by The Baltimore Sun, two members of rival gang members embraced and called the claim false.

"We don't want nobody to get hurt," said Crips gang member Charles Shelley, while embracing a member of the Bloods gang. "All that about the police getting hurt about certain gangs — that's false. We're not here for that. We're here to protect our community and that's it." Watch the whole video over at The Baltimore Sun. Kimberly Alters

campaign 2016
12:03 p.m. ET

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, a contender for the GOP nomination for president, offered his take on the Baltimore riots on Laura Ingraham's show this morning, saying a "lack of fathers" and a "lack of a moral code in our society" were responsible for the "thievery and thuggery."

He also said, "I came through the train on Baltimore last night, I'm glad the train didn't stop."

Listen to his comments here, via Media Matters: —Ryu Spaeth

This just in
11:40 a.m. ET

The Baltimore Orioles announced Tuesday they would postpone the night's scheduled game against the Chicago White Sox due to the ongoing unrest in Baltimore.

The Orioles and Major League Baseball postponed Monday night's game as well after rioting broke out across the city, resulting in widespread damage and around 200 arrests. And on Saturday, Baltimore officials broadcast a message into Camden Yards asking fans to stay inside the venue as protests raged outside.

Baltimore is scheduled to play at home through Sunday, though some of those games could be postponed as well because of the city's newly imposed 10 p.m. curfew. Jon Terbush

Tax Day
11:30 a.m. ET
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

While tax prep giant H&R Block initially estimated that half of ObamaCare (ACA) subsidy recipients would have to pay money back to the IRS, the final tally is even worse:

Almost two-thirds of tax filers who received insurance via the state or federal insurance marketplaces had to pay back an average of $729 of the Advance Premium Tax Credit (APTC), cutting their potential refund by almost one-third, according to analysis of filing data by H&R Block. [H&R Block]

For the rest of H&R Block customers, tax season was a little less traumatic: About one quarter of insurance subsidy recipients saw an increase in their tax refunds, while 13 percent saw no change.

The confusion has occurred because — on top of the complexity the ACA adds to the tax code — estimating income in advance to calculate how big an insurance subsidy should be is difficult for non-salaried workers. As Timothy Jost, a Washington and Lee University law professor, explains, "If you’re a person who is a waitress or worked for a landscape company and you're asked how much money you're going to make, you're really just throwing a dart at the board." Bonnie Kristian

Numbers don't lie
11:23 a.m. ET
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

If your application to one of America's top 40 colleges and universities is waitlisted, don't hold your breath.

New data from U.S. News and World Report found that a number of selective schools, including Johns Hopkins, MIT, Princeton, Middlebury College, and Bucknell, have each accepted less than four percent of waitlisted applicants since 2011.

Stanford has the lowest acceptance rate for waitlisted applicants — in 2014, just one percent of those waitlisted at Stanford were eventually accepted.

The data isn't exhaustive — some colleges, including Harvard, Brown, and Yale, didn't release figures about their waitlist acceptance rates. Still, admissions officers admitted to Bloomberg that most students who are placed on waitlists don't have very good odds of being accepted. "There are students who might think the wait list is a neat way to know they were close to getting admitted," Jim Rawlins, admissions director at the University of Oregon, told Bloomberg, "but there's others who will wish they'd just been denied." Meghan DeMaria

Quotables
10:48 a.m. ET

President Obama on Tuesday hosted Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the White House, and he used the occasion to thank the island nation for its greatest exports. No, Obama did not extol Japan's vaunted cars or technology, but rather its contributions to art and drunken office bonding experiences.

"Today is also a chance for Americans, especially our young people, to say thank you for all the things we love from Japan," Obama said. "Like karate, karaoke, manga, and anime — and of course, emojis."

Obama has hinted in the past he's a closet karaoke aficionado. —Jon Terbush

Discoveries
10:25 a.m. ET

London archaeologists have made quite a gruesome discovery.

Researchers found a 2,000-year-old cooking pot near the Walbrook river — and it was filled with human bones. The area had previously yielded 40 human skulls, but the new find adds another layer of intrigue to the mix. Archaeologists found the pot while excavating the site to make way for London's Crossrail Project, a new railway line in the city.

The site, known as Londinium in the Roman world, was the capital of a Roman province, Ancient Origins explains. The archaeologists suspect that the skulls belong to rebels who were slaughtered during the rebellion of the Celtic Queen Boudicca. Boudicca, queen of the Iceni tribe, led a revolt of British forces against the Roman empire in 60-61 C.E.

Before the cooking pot was discovered, historians believed the skulls had landed in the river bank accidentally, washed there from another civilization. But the new find suggests the skulls were placed there on purpose, since the bone-filled pot was no accident. The skulls also showed signs of trauma from weapons, suggesting they belonged to Romans who were killed by Boudicca's forces. Meghan DeMaria

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