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Only in America
February 7, 2013

What could possibly say "I love you" better than a firearm? As part of a Valentine's Day promotion, North Carolina jeweler Chris Snowden is giving customers who spend more than $1,500 at his store a $300 voucher for a gun at a nearby arms store. "It's purely business," Snowden said. "I just want people to come in and get things that they want." Samantha Rollins

brrrrr
12:54 p.m. ET
Facebook.com/Mad Men

If you're a woman who is often cold at work, science now officially has your back. In a study published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change, the two male authors suggest most office thermostat temperatures are set in a gender-biased fashion.

In what The New York Times calls "the Great Arctic Office Conspiracy," most office thermostats use a formula developed in the 1960s — a time when women didn't make up half the work force — to regulate the temperature. The only problem is that the formula caters to the metabolic of a 40-year-old, 154-lb. man. Most women are smaller then men and have more body fat, which lends itself to a slower metabolic rate. The slower a body's metabolic rate, the harder it is to produce heat. What's also not factored into the standard formula is that women sometimes work in skirts and sandals, which widens the gap.

For the men who aren't sold on raising the temperature to give their coworkers a break, consider the effect on global warming. If buildings warm up just a little to appropriately count for their occupants' comfort, they'll waste less energy and emit less carbon dioxide, the researchers argue.

Ladies, please use this study as an excuse to ditch your blankets and fight the patriarchy. Julie Kliegman

trump nation
12:14 p.m. ET
Christopher Gregory/Getty Images

Donald Trump is back on top in the latest Monmouth University poll — and this time his lead is bigger than ever. A survey of Republican voters released Monday found that Trump "now holds a more than 2-to-1 advantage over his nearest rivals, Jeb Bush and Scott Walker." Trump comes in first with 26 percent, followed by Bush (12 percent) and Walker (11 percent).

Monmouth reports that Trump's support has increased by 13 percentage points in the span of just three weeks, when the last Monmouth University Poll was conducted, and is growing across "nearly all demographic groups."

"Republican support for Donald Trump just continues to grow with no clear sense of who his constituency really is," said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute. "This makes it very difficult for his opponents to figure out how to take him in the upcoming debate."

The first Republican primary debate is scheduled for Thursday. Becca Stanek

they're cousins
11:34 a.m. ET
Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

During a joint news conference, comedian Amy Schumer joined forces with her cousin, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), to call for tougher restrictions on guns in light of recent mass shootings.

Amy Schumer was compelled to speak out after a screening of the film Trainwreck, which she wrote and starred in, was broken up by a fatal shooting of two women in July. The male shooter was reportedly anti-feminist. When the daughter of a Sandy Hook shooting survivor wrote an open letter to Schumer urging her to do more about gun violence and specifically the danger women face, the comedian replied on Twitter, "Don't worry I'm on it. You'll see."

Colin Daileda at Mashable reports Schumer & Schumer, as they referred to themselves Monday, proposed three main ideas during their conference: rewards and penalties enticing states to comply with submitting background-check records, full funding from Congress of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and a Department of Justice report comparing state standards on involuntary commitment to mental health facilities.

"I have a lot of press conferences, but I almost never get this much attention," the senator joked, thanking his celebrity cousin. Julie Kliegman

please leave a message after the beep
10:49 a.m. ET
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

It's 2015 and most of us have long been tired of checking our voicemail — what kind of monster even leaves one instead of sending a text, anyway? Good thing Apple employees are apparently testing a major upgrade to Siri that would let her field your calls and transcribe your messages, unnamed sources told Business Insider on Monday.

The new iCloud Voicemail system could mean Apple does away with the cell phone carrier's traditional voicemail system. Apple's system reportedly may even be able to provide the caller with information about why you can't pick up the phone (you're too busy watching Netflix, obviously).

Apple Insider reports the company first filed a patent for such a voicemail system back in 2012, and Business Insider says the new feature could be unveiled as early as 2016, as part of iOS 10. Julie Kliegman

Ongoing investigation
10:38 a.m. ET
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Leaked data from the results of 12,000 blood tests taken between 2001 and 2012 from 5,000 athletes allegedly reveal the "extraordinary extent of cheating" occurring at some of the world's top sporting events, according to a report released by The Sunday Times and the German broadcaster ARD/WDR. The Sunday Times and ARD/WRD allegedly obtained access to the files belonging to the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) "without consent," and proceeded to use two of the world's "foremost anti-doping experts" to analyze the data, revealing some potentially shocking findings.

The experts say at least one in seven athletes in the files had blood test results that were "highly suggestive of doping or at least very abnormal." Doping was found to be particularly prevalent among endurance athletes. The BBC reports that "a third of medals (146, including 55 golds) in endurance events at the Olympics and World Championships between 2001 and 2012 were won by athletes who have recorded suspicious tests."

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is creating an independent commission to further investigate these claims. Since the information was leaked, the International Olympic Committee announced it would punish any athletes found guilty of doping in WADA's investigation. Becca Stanek

baaahh!
10:12 a.m. ET
iStock

The ricotta was not really ricotta, if you catch my drift.

The BBC reports that 11 men were arrested in Italy for their connections to the fugitive head of the Sicilian mafia, Matteo Messina Denaro. Denaro, who has been on the run since 1993 and is the successor of two jailed godfathers, once boasted he could "fill a cemetery" with his victims.

As much as this sounds like a scene from The Godfather, one detail was, well, less Hollywood-ready than the others: The mafia boss reportedly communicated with his henchmen using sheep-related codes. By leaving scraps of paper on a farm in western Sicily, Denaro transmitted messages to his followers such as, "the sheep need shearing," or "the hay is ready," or "I've put the ricotta cheese aside for you, will you come by later?"

The BBC reports that "officers do not believe that the alleged criminals were really discussing agricultural matters." Jeva Lange

Awkward
10:11 a.m. ET

Triple Crown winner American Pharoah got plenty of cheers at Monmouth Park in New Jersey, as a crowd of more than 60,000 celebrated his latest triumph at the 2015 Haskell Invitational race. Republican presidential candidate and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who was on site to present the trophy in the winner's circle, received no such warm welcome.

As Christie came into view, he was met with long, loud booing from the tens of thousands of New Jerseyans in the audience. Booing subsided as others took the mic, only to resume once Christie's name was brought up again.

A June poll found that Christie's approval rating is at a dismal 30 percent in his home state, a figure the governor says will improve after he wins the presidency. Bonnie Kristian

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