Thongs for peace

Maybe it was bound to happen. The Save Darfur Coalition says its mission is "inspiring action, raising awareness and speaking truth to power on behalf of the people of Darfur."

You'll be relieved to find out that this $12.00 thong is not an official product of the Coalition, but the sales description promises that it can be used to do all of these things:

"Toss these message panties onstage at your favorite rock star or share a surprise message with someone special ... later."  

Admittedly, this description is the same for the thong regardless of which logo is chosen. But I'm still cringing.

The dealer, CafePress, gurantees that "100% of the profits will be dontated directly to the Save Darfur Coalition (" And the deal goes beyond just thongs. Save Darfur pet bowls and beer steins are among the other items on offer. 

Judging by some early reactions, raising funds or awareness like this might not exactly help mend divisions among Darfur activists or get policymakers to take them seriously.

In fact, even though they didn't make it, I'll be surprised if the Save Darfur Coalition doesn't distance themselves, given that they are featured as the recipient. On the other hand, if the Save Darfur Coalition's "millions of everyday citizens" all sent a thong to the White House, someone would have to pay attention. 


Lance Armstrong no longer riding for Kazakhstan

Lance Armstrong has announced he'll be launching a new U.S. cycling team once the Tour de France concludes on July 26. Which means he won't be riding for Kazakhstan again.

Dubbed "Team RadioShack," the new group is sponsored by the electronics giant and expects to compete in the 2010 Tour de France. It's probably fitting that Armstrong is looking ahead. His position in the current Tour might be enviable by any other standard, but the 37-year-old admits he'll be lucky to take second-place in Paris:

'Yes, it's still my goal, I think it's possible," Armstrong said. "I just need to work hard on the time-trial tomorrow. ... We still have two big days.' "

The announcement came after Armstrong's Astana teammate Alberto Contador broke away from the pack Wednesday, in the last alpine stage of the race. And while Contador has upped his chances of winning the Tour (he leads the next closest challenger by more than two minutes), he's all but left the rest of his team in the dust. So much for cameraderie.