Why do things sound scary? It's Okay to Be Smart's Joe Hanson explains why some vibrations that enter your ear make your mind react differently than others.
A tale of sound, science and fear, AFTER THE JUMP...
Chris Brown's felony assault charges have been reduced to a simple misdemeanor.
Brown was charged with felony assault after allegedly punching a man who photobombed a picture he was taking with a female fan. Brown reportedly told the man "I'm not down with that gay s--t" before assaulting him.
The charges against singer Chris Brown and his bodyguard stemming from a weekend fight were reduced to simple assault misdemeanors Monday.
The two men, who had spent the previous 36 hours in a Washington jail, entered a packed courtroom in leg irons and handcuffs, but at the end they were unshackled and released without bail Monday afternoon.
Brown, 24, was ordered to report to his California probation officer within 48 hours and to stay at least 100 yards away from the man he is accused of assaulting early Sunday. Both men must return to court on November 24.
On Thursday, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter (pictured right) signed into law legislation that he hopes will make The City of Brotherly Love "the most LGBT-friendly" city in the world. NBC 10 reports:
Nutter, city and state lawmakers and gay rights advocates said the legislation makes Philadelphia the first city in the U.S. to offer tax credits to companies that extend the same health care coverage to LGBT employees' domestic partners and their children as they provide to heterosexual spouses and their children.
Officials said the legislation also makes Philadelphia the first city to offer businesses tax credits as a way to encourage providing transgender-specific health benefits.
"My goal is for Philadelphia to be one of, if not the most, LGBT-friendly cities in the world and a leader on equality issues," said Nutter, adding that the signing struck a personal note because his friend, the late City Councilman John Anderson, was a gay man and a mentor who inspired him 30 years ago to pursue a life of public service.
In addition to the business tax incentives, which were backed by the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce as well as LGBT advocacy groups, and the gender-neutral restrooms (required in all new or renovated city-owned buildings), the legislation revises Philadelphia's anti-discrimination law to include transgender people, extends decision-making rights to life partners on medical and other issues, and changes city forms and websites to offer options for same-sex couples and transgender people.
State Rep. Brian Sims (pictured right), Pennsylvania's first openly gay lawmaker, helped draft the law's language. In a statement, Sims applauded the bills passage: "This is a city that is truly respecting all its citizens...It is because of that respect that we are indeed a first-class city and we will continue to shine."
Earlier this month, Sims introduced marriage equality legislation for the Keystone State. Pennsylvania remains the only northeastern state without same-sex marriage.
Back in June, we reported on a Chicago cabbie who tried to force Steven White and his boyfriend Matt McCrea from his cab on the side of the rain-drenched Kennedy Expressway after they kissed briefly in the back seat. CBS Chicago reported then:
During the ride, McCrea "leaned over to look at something on the phone and then he leaned in to kiss me," White recalls.
McCrea says it was a closed-mouth kiss that lasted all of a second. It did not go over well with their cab driver, the two men say. "He indicated that it was a public mode of transportation and we shouldn't kiss in his cab," White says. "He pulled the cab over and stopped and wanted us to get out - on the Kennedy."
Now, Lambda Legal has filed a complaint on behalf of the couple:
"A taxi-cab company, like any other business in Illinois that offers services to the public, is bound by the Illinois Human Rights Act to not discriminate based on sexual orientation, among other protected categories," said Christopher Clark, Senior Staff Attorney for Lambda Legal. "What happened to Steven and Matthew was not only hurtful and unlawful, it illustrates exactly why Illinois' citizens need the state's long-standing Human Rights Act to protect them against dangerous situations like this."
At the time, the cab driver claimed the couple was "making sex," but police found no evidence to support that claim.
As the TV season gets into full swing, check out our new weekly guide to make sure you're catching the big premieres, crucial episodes and the stuff you won't admit you watch when no one's looking.
— American Horror Story: Coven gets an early jump on Halloween Wednesday at 10 p.m. Eastern on FX. If you thought the camp factor couldn't get any higher, don't miss Leslie Jordan joining the fun this week. (Catch up on last week's episode with our recap!)
More picks and clips, including Big Freedia's plans for a children's show, an SNL spooktacular and the return of the Atlanta Housewives, AFTER THE JUMP...
— Big Freedia has to prepare a show for children, while cleaning up the signature dirty dancing. See if the Queen Diva can pull it off on Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce, Wednesday at 11 p.m. Eastern on Fuse.
— Relive your favorite Halloween-themed Saturday Night Live skits Thursday at 8 p.m. Eastern on NBC. It's probably a safe bet to expect at least one reappearance of the recurring Vincent Price Halloween Special sketch, but we wouldn't mind revisiting Ed Norton's bizarre character from last weekend's episode, either.
— Gareth Malone has been spreading real-life glee overseas by turning military wives, celebrity chefs and children into choirs. It Takes A Choir brings his schtick to the States, as he transforms towns with the gift of choral song. Sing your heart out Saturday at 11 p.m. Eastern on USA.
— If I Dream of NeNe still left you wanting more of the biggest Housewives star, watch her return on Real Housewives of Atlanta alongside Kandi, Phaedra, Porsha and Kenya. Sadly, Kim Zolciak is not returning this season, which premieres Sunday at 8 p.m. on Bravo.
What will you be watching this week?
As lawmakers gather in Honolulu for a special session to consider marriage equality legislation, Hawaiian news outlets are reporting that both chambers have secured the votes necessary for passage.
Check out a news report of the vote breakdown, AFTER THE JUMP...
Senate leadership expects the bill to pass 21-4, but securing the 26 necessary votes in the House has been a trickier task. Hawaii News Now surveyed lawmakers last week and found 27 Representatives now plan to vote yes, 17 plan to vote no, and 7 remain undecided.
Meanwhile, advocates on both sides of the issue have been rallying at the state capitol today to voice their concerns. The first public hearing has begun before the Senate's Judiciary and Labor committee. 1,800 people have reportedly signed up to testify.
You can WATCH on a livestream HERE.
Testimony will be limited to 1 minute a person, in an effort to accommodate as many speakers as possible. A second public hearing is scheduled before the House committees on Judiciary and Finance this Thursday.
If lawmakers make any amendments to the bill, the earliest final vote on it is expected Wednesday, November 6. If the bill passes, same-sex marriage licenses and ceremonies will be effective November 18.
Hawaii is expected to become the 15th state to legalize gay marriage.Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL