R is for:

Rainbow Flags Who would have guessed an oblong of multicoloured fabric could raise such a fuss?

Despite its proud place in world gay rights history, the Rainbow Flag had one vocal group of Sydneysiders on the offensive last June after Town Hall announced plans to fly banners based on the iconic emblem on Oxford Street.

The Pride History Group accused the City of missing the point by plumping for an all-American icon over a tribute to local lore.

History Group secretary John Witte said the iconic banner was most often used by straight businesses trying to attract the pink dollar and urged council to build a lasting monument to Sydney gay rights struggles.

But the City was undeterred. Later in the year it sent its ever gay-friendly leader Clover Moore to pose with Mardi Gras delegates as the rainbow banners made their Taylor Square debut. Town Hall trotted the flags out again during Mardi Gras -“ with nary a whimper of protest.

The City wasn’t the only one to make a rainbow-tinged statement last year. Coffee retailer Gloria Jean’s capped off a big year for the gay pride emblems by flying one in its Darlinghurst store -“ in an apparent bid to tout its queer credentials after accusations it backed an anti-gay charity.

Redheads Why do people always pick on redheads? They say terrible things like, All redheads smell, You can’t trust a redhead, They’re all bad-tempered, or call them Ginge Minge or Ginga.

How did this happen? Is it a recent thing? Is Nicole Kidman to blame?

No, for throughout time redheads have been ridiculed and even killed. It goes back to when they were sacrificed to Egyptian gods, burned in Europe because they were thought to be witches and vampires, and condemned as being insane.

Redheads certainly are rare, making up only around one percent of the world’s population, according to a report on Radio Netherlands.

The gene which causes red hair is recessive, which means it’s easily dominated by genes which make other hair colours. So if one parent is a redhead and the other brunette, the child is more likely to be brunette.

Both parents must carry the redhead gene for a redhead to be born (and you don’t have to have red hair to carry the gene).

According to a recent report by the Oxford Hair Foundation in England, numbers of redheads are dwindling and they may in fact be extinct by 2060.

That’s right, they may be bred out of the human race altogether. So next time you feel like slagging off your ginger mates, just remember they may not be long for this world, and be nice.

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