Tweens banned from kissing cardboad Robert Pattinson

The second movie in the Twilight series, New Moon, hit theatres last month and though ashamed to admit it, I went to see it. A friend asked me to go to the midnight screening, so I entered the tween-packed theatre (2 hours past my bedtime) and begrudgingly watched the hyped film into the wee hours of the morning. I would have rather just slept.

But Twilight tweens are crazy in love with Edward Cullen, the vampire played by actor Robert Pattinson. So in love, that some fans kiss the cardboard cut-outs of the vampire, requiring a UK cinema to ban the potentially disease spreading act.

This Is Staffordshire Online reports,

[The Reel Cinema] has banned fans from kissing the cardboard cutout of a film’s lead actor – because they might catch swine flu.

Teenage girls had been planting kisses on, or hugging, the cutout of Brit heartthrob Robert Pattinson, but the fun is now over after a warning was slapped across Robert’s face.

It reads: "Please help reduce the spread of germs by refraining from giving Edward, or any other character for that matter, a kiss or hug."

New Moon fan, James Meek, said,

"I understand why the cinema has put the sign up but we had a little bit of a chuckle at it. It’s a bit silly."

NYC: Apps in the Big Apple

Robert Pattinson, the dude from Twilight, is in NYC filming his latest flick and tweens from all over are flocking to the city to stalk him. Meanwhile, NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg has announced the start of 311-Online, a one-stop web portal for NYC services, and the Big App competition, reports the New York Times blog. Perhaps Mr. Pattinson (pictured right, scanning his phone) could use the application to find tween-less spots to enjoy a quiet meal.

In an effort to improve government transparency and accountability and stimulate development of the digital media industry, NYC is inviting software developers and related professionals to develop applications to help Internet users navigate vast stores of data in areas like citywide events, property sales, recreational facilities and restaurant inspections…

[P]lanned to become an annual competition known as NYC Big Apps, the city will make available about 80 data sets from 32 city agencies and commissions. The winners of the competition will get a cash prize, recognition at a dinner with the mayor, and marketing opportunities… City officials are particularly interested in receiving suggestions about how information could be used and how it could be presented electronically.

The mayor also announced the start of 311 Online — a one-stop, searchable Web portal on for thousands of New York City services — and said that the city would establish Skype and Twitter accounts for the 311 city services hot line.

Many applications already exist for phones, and countless cities are making restaurant inspection results available online; however, creating an application and website where consumers can access multiple agency information is smart. Consumers want this information, and they want it at their fingertips. I’d like to see a phone application that can give me the nearest pizza place, its restaurant inspection score, and the current location of Robert Pattinson (OK, that’s asking a lot).

KATIE FILION: Listeria, pregnancy and Robert Pattinson

Last night I watched The Bad Mother’s Handbook, a British made-for-TV drama starring Robert Pattinson. In it, Pattinson plays a lovable nerd, Daniel, who falls in love with pregnant teenager, Charlotte. 

Though Pattinson’s role is only supporting, he has a food safety moment when he runs to pregnant Charlotte, saving her from soft serve ice cream:

Daniel Gale (Pattinson): NO! Listeria can be present in soft cheese and squidgy ice cream, so you best get a Zoom instead.

What Pattinson’s character fails to mention is why the pregnant Charlotte should avoid indulging in this tasty treat.  Listeriosis, the illness associated with Listeria monocytogenes, can be passed from mother to unborn child causing premature delivery, miscarriage, stillbirth or serious health problems in newborns, even when the mother is not experiencing symptoms of illness.  The CDC has a list of foods to avoid while pregnant (

Foods on the list include luncheon meats and soft cheeses, and although the CDC list does not mention soft serve, several studies (Sydney 1996, Wisconsin 2003) have found soft serve to have dangerous levels of coliforms and other bacteria (associated with improper equipment sanitation and poor hygiene). Australia and New Zealand list soft serve ice cream as one of the foods pregnant women should avoid consuming.

So, like Daniel said, have a Zoom instead.