Friday, July 25, 2008

Weird News

I had a English project a long while back where I had to gather certain news stories and put them into my own words in headline-main paragraph form (which explains the reason some don't explain too much). I decided to have some fun with it and got a few strange stories. The first news bulletin about Barbie wasn't on the project and I didn't write it, although I forgot who did. Just found it on Yahoo News one day and decided to save the information since it was very unusual. That one's just for fun.


2003: Saudi Arabia's Committee for the Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (the muttawa or religious police) declares that Barbie's provocative clothing is offensive to Islam, saying that "Jewish Barbie dolls, with their revealing clothes and shameful postures, accessories and tools are a symbol of decadence to the perverted West. Let us beware of her dangers and be careful."

The doll is already banned in the kingdom as a "Jewish" toy, but are available as contraband. Mattel loses a legal battle against American artist Tom Forsythe. Forsythe had made images of Barbie showing her nude and in sexual and other situations. The court decided that the images qualified as satire, and were thus legal.


And these are from me:

A Chinese couple from Beijing sought for a unique name for their child. They chose "@."

The couple was cited by a government official as an example of citizens bringing "...bizarre names into the Chinese language." Government officials found it "annoying" for the couple to call their child such an "unorthodox" name as the emailing internet symbol, "at." Li Yuming, vice director of the State Language Commission, said at a news conference that the father "...said 'the whole world uses it to write e-mails and, translated into Chinese, it means 'love him.'"


An Indonesian bearded baby attracts hundreds to a small town in Central Sulawesi where he was born.

"I hope my son grows up to have a special gift," 16-year-old mother Mitra told the English Language Daily. The baby was born Monday, July 9th with, according to the Indonesian News Blog, "a tuft of soft whiskers flowing from his chin." Doctors said, "This is a strange baby." Central Sulawesi Health Office head, Abdullah, told The Jakarta Post, "I don't have the medical explanation for the beard and whiskers on this baby." Stranger yet, the baby's father, 20 year-old Rifai, said the placenta to be extraordinary, colored red, white, and blue. The baby's beard was grey in color, and measured at 3 centimeters.


An unlikely object exploded, destroying a Georgia home: a lawnmower.

Danny Fendley just wanted the grass to be cut, but instead burned down his house. It occured on a hot Tuesday in Johns Creek, Georgia. Inside his garage, Fendley said he was tugging at his mower's pull-chord, when the machine suddenly burst into flames. Before he could extinguish the fire the entire garage was blazing. His wife then tried tossing a gasoline can out a window but missed, spreading the fuel "everywhere" he explained. In less than a minute the entire house was engulfed with flames, but the couple escaped with no serious injuries.


A lucky cat hides in a loveseat from a fire, giving it only 8 lives to live.

In West Orange, New Jersey a fire broke out Saturday night in a two-story house. No one was injured, but the tenant's cat was thought by firefighters to have been killed by the flames and smoke. "To our amazement, it had survived," Fire Chief Peter Smeraldo told The Star-Ledger of Newark. "They should change that cat's name to Lucky." The thrilled owner took the cat with him to reside at a relative's home for the time.


After 55 years of torment, a German woman has a pencil removed from her brain.

As a child, Margaret Wegner was carrying a 3.15 inch-long pencil and fell, boring it through her check and into her brain. According to Wegner it went, "...right through the skin and disappeared into my head. It hurt like crazy," she told Germany's best-selling newspaper, Bild. She lived with it since there was no safe way to remove it at the time. Chronic nosebleeds, headaches, and the loss of her sense of smell were the results of the incident. Doctor Hans Behrbohm, however, was able to pinpoint the exact location of the pencil using modern techniques, so that he could determine the risks of removing it, and then take most of it out. The operation was successful, with the exception of a small piece that could not be removed, but poses no danger, says Dr. Behrbohm.

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