Category:
Law

Beyond Belief – Weirdness in Religion

First up, a UK judge has spoken out to say children should be allowed to take knives to school. Not all children mind you, just Sikh children. Justice Mota Singh, a Sikh himself, is talking about the kirpan, a ceremonial three-inch knife worn as a show of faith by devout Sikhs, the wearing of which by one boy was banned by a North London school earlier this year. Singh later supported the boy's family's decision to withdraw him rather than accept their compromise offer that he carry a 'disabled' equivalent claiming the school's refusal was discriminatory (BBC News).

Meanwhile another UK court last week ruled that particularly pious Hindu Davender Kumar Ghai can have the open-air cremation he fervently desires. It's been a long battle for Ghai, who found his proposal to site traditional funeral pyres on land outside Newcastle blocked by the city council in a decision later upheld by England's High Court. Now the UK Court of Appeal has said that the open-air ceremonies can go ahead, and that the requirement that all cremations occur 'within a building' could be met by any reasonable structure and did not dictate that structure have walls or a roof. Davenda Kumar Ghai, who is 76 and in poor health, can now go ahead and build his roofless crematorium, once he gets planning permission to do so, from Newcastle City Council (Times).

And in yet another landmark decision, the councillors in Reading, England have given the local Muslim community permission to carry out their own burials in the borough's cemeteries at weekends, which council gravediggers do not work. Many Islamic traditions favour burial very soon after death, and the delays caused by the weekend closures was cited as a significant cause of stress for relatives. In response, the council have agreed to dig some graves beforehand for later use in a pilot scheme expected to last one year, or until the first Saturday night drunk falls in one and sues (GetReading).

Mind you, even once you're in the ground you're not always safe. A row over the siting of a new museum on a Muslim cemetery in Jerusalen has boiled over this week with families who claim to have relatives buried there petitioning the UN. The cemetery, which dates back several hundred years, is due to be excavated to make was for a new “Center for Human Dignity – Museum of Tolerance” being built by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, who dispute the families' claims. “The Museum of Tolerance project is not being built on the Mamilla Cemetery. It is being built on Jerusalem’s former municipal car park, where every day for nearly half a century, thousands of Muslims, Christians and Jews parked their cars without any protest whatsoever from the Muslim community,” said founder Rabbi Marvin Hier (Telegraph).



More in extended >>

Posted By: Dumbfounded - Sun Feb 14, 2010 - Comments (12)
Category: Ceremonies, Customs, Death, Government, Regulations, Law, Judges, Philosophy, Religion

Dreaming Of A Weird Christmas!

Christmas is nearly upon us, so the time is at hand where every mall has a Santa in residence, waiting for America’s boys and girls to sit on his knee and make their demands known. But while our own little angels are of course clean and fragrant, who knows what those grubby urchins in front of you are spreading! So this year several professional Santa associations are calling for hand-sanitizer to be installed at grotto entrances and have asked congress to put “Santa” on the priority list for H1N1 vaccinations. After all, you have to look after your elf (Telegraph).

Not requiring a flu jab, but in need of a facelift, was the 66’ fibreglass Santa that has been the centrepiece of Auckland, New Zealand’s Christmas pageant for nearly 50 years. With a droopy winking eye and a gesturing mechanical finger, the jolly red giant was beginning, in the words of one local, to “look a little creepy.” But not anymore, as NZ$100,000 have been spent refurbishing the big guy ahead of this Sunday’s grand unveiling (Reuters).

Someone definitely not in need of a facelift is the recently announced “Hunky Santa of 2009.” Los Angeles mall the Beverley Center first introduced their hunky Santas nine years ago, swapping abs and pecs for the beard and britches. This year north-pole toting poseur is James Ellis, who hopes to encourage people to live more healthily and wants to be a role model for kids by parading his festive physique in a fur-trimmed red vest (LA Times).

All of which is not the sort of thing you’re likely to see during Raleigh, North Carolina’s Christmas parade. So worried are parade organisers that the little ones might be confused by two people dressed in red that they have banned “Mrs. Claus” from participating in costume. They have even asked attendees not to wear Santa-hats in case it distracts attention from the “real” St. Nick (WXII12).

And further killjoyery (?) this week from the Employers Forum on Belief, which has advised company bosses that to close their office over Christmas might be construed as discriminatory, since non-Christian employees must use annual leave for their religious holidays. Instead of emphasising the holiday’s religious nature, say the EFB, management should focus on the cost-effectiveness of the closure as a majority of staff would be absent anyway (ILM).



More in extended >>

Posted By: Dumbfounded - Tue Nov 24, 2009 - Comments (2)
Category: Business, Exercise and Fitness, Feminism, Health, Holidays, Hygiene, Law, Religion, Bodybuilding

Two Girl Hitchhikers

Posted By: Paul - Tue Oct 27, 2009 - Comments (5)
Category: Fashion, Underwear, Law, Sexuality, 1940s, Cars

A Little Light Weirdness - 3

Brazilian TV presenter, Wallace Souza, has brought a whole new meaning to the term "hit show", by allegedly arranging the deaths of at least four people to boost the ratings of his mid-day real crime show. Souza, a former policeman and prominent politician, is accused of being behind a criminal drug network with an estimated turnover of $25m a month, while the murder victims were all either partners who had fallen from favour or from rival outfits. Once the hit had been set up, it is claimed Souza would receive a tip-off so that camera crews for his program could reach the scene before even the police (Guardian).

Someone else who may be meeting with an "accident" pretty soon is Ginger the kune-kune pig, who is not in pensioner Anne Moon's best books after swallowing her $2500 dollar diamond engagement ring right off her hand. Mrs. Moon, who had gone to pet the pig just prior to the impromptu a-la-main meal, immediately alerted the pig's owner, farmer Paul Caygill, and hopes to be reunited with the ring given to her 30 years ago once nature takes its course (Fox News).

And while Anne Moon is left hanging around dumb animals, in the Norwegian town of Helgoysund, it is the dumb animals that are hanging around. For it is there that a ram managed to get its horns entangled in one of the town's overhead electric cables, before losing its footing, astonishing onlookers as it subsequently abseiled down the hill towards the next pole. Locals suspect that this may have been caused by an over rambitious attempt to reach the ewes in a lower field, and after the ram was eventually towed back to higher ground and released unharmed, he was allowed access by way of compensation for his ordeal (Daily Mail).

Still on the subject of dumb animals, that is presumably what one Parisian store is hoping to attract with its latest creation, a fusball table populated entirely by Barbies. The "Barbie Foot", by French "concept-store" Colette, uses 22 of the ubiquitous dolls, in contrasting uniforms of pink and white in its limited edition table football game, which it hopes to sell for 10,000 euros, that is $14,000, each (Guardian).



More in extended >>

Posted By: Dumbfounded - Wed Aug 12, 2009 - Comments (4)
Category: Animals, Crime, Death, Exercise and Fitness, Furniture, Government, Law, Television, Goofs and Screw-ups

Weird Florida: Inglis

The Town of Inglis is famous for 2 things: It was the filming location for the Elvis movie Follow That Dream, and in 2001 the Mayor officially banned Satan.(Chuck may have covered this already, I haven't had time to look through his archives)

Posted By: fyshstyxx - Sat Jul 04, 2009 - Comments (1)
Category: Armageddon and Apocalypses, Government, Law, Movies, Politics

Weird Britannia!

Time to point our telescopes of weirdness at "the old country", methinks.

image
Speaking of old, recent research carried out by the University of Michigan has revealed that US seniors are smarter than their UK counterparts. The study, lead in the US by Kenneth Langa, measured the recall abilities of over 8000 elderly Americans and over 5000 elderly Brits, and found that the yanks scored 1.4 more on the memory tests, out of a possible 24. Langa suggests that part of the difference was due to higher average levels of education and income in the US group, and higher levels of depression in the UK sample, but points out that nothing is certain at the moment. "It's like a view from 30,000 feet" said Langa (New Scientist).

And it's not just British brains that are shrinking, the UK's sheep are getting smaller as well. Because of a trend towards milder weather believed to be due to climate change, Sheep on the Outer Hebridean island of Soay are getting smaller at the rate of 100g/year, say researchers from Imperial College, London. Though it might seem that warmer winters and a greater abundance of food might make for bigger sheep, Tim Coulson, the professor leading the study, points out that fewer weaker and smaller lambs will die over winter, bringing down the average size (Telegraph).

Now, in some good news, UK campaigners have won a second victory in a three-year battle... to bring back a chocolate bar. The "Wispa Bar", made by European confectioners Cadbury, was introduced in 1995 along with a caramel laced version called the "Wispa Gold", only for both to be discontinued in 2003. This prompted some die-hard fans of the bubbly chocolate bar to start a petition to have it go into production again, resulting in a "limited edition" run of the original Wispa last year. When the 40 million bars produced sold out in just 18 weeks, Cadbury decided to relaunch the brand. Not satisfied with just one bar, campaigners have kept up the pressure, causing Cadbury to start producing Wispa Golds "for a limited period," as before. However to some commentators, this latest move looks more like slick PR than grassroots victory (Sky News).



More in extended >>

Posted By: Dumbfounded - Fri Jul 03, 2009 - Comments (5)
Category: Animals, Food, Candy, Law, Judges, Nature, Weather, Political Correctness, Religion, Products

Weird… Handbags?

Handbags (from Wikimedia Commons)
New research out this week says that women's handbags are getting bigger, and so are providing bigger rewards for criminals. Most worryingly, according to ID fraud experts CPP, these larger bags are encouraging women to carry around personal documents such as their passport, bank statements or payslips that are indispensable to an identity thief, leading to an increase in cases of bag theft. And it's not just women at risk, the same research also reveals that 1-in-10 men now tote a "man-bag", most with personal documents inside (Telegraph).

Unfortunately, the advice to keep an eye on your handbag came too late for one member of the UK's "Serious Organised Crime Agency" (a sort of British FBI). On arriving at the main airport in Bogota, Colombia, to gather information on the drug cartels there, the unnamed agent managed to lose her handbag, and with it the memory-stick she was carrying containing the names and addresses of dozens of SOCA's informants and operatives. According to sources the agent is "a lovely girl but a bit daft and scatterbrained", just the sort of person to be transporting information vital to your country's war on drugs then (The Australian).

Of course, it's not always what's taken out of your handbag that can get you into trouble. A Melbourne woman faces five years in a Thailand jail for stealing a beermat, even though two people have come forward and testified that she is innocent and they hid the mat in her handbag. The woman's lawyer has appealed to the Prime Minister of Thailand to intervene in the case (ABC News).

Somehow I don't think the same excuse would work for Teresa Tambunting though. Tambunting, who worked for Jacmel Jewelry in New York, is alleged to have fashioned a hidden pocket in the lining of her handbag and smuggled out over $12 million in gold over the course of 5 years. Surprisingly, money doesn't seem to have been the motive, and soon after the company began an investigation into the higher than expected "manufacturing losses", Tambunting returned a suitcase containing 66lbs of gold pellets. Police later recovered another 447lbs from her Scarsdale home (The Times).

But even loaded with gold, Mrs Tambunting's handbags would fare a poor second in value to those of a certain Mrs Beckham. Victoria "Posh" Beckham, perhaps in a bid to be to handbags what Imelda Marcos was to shoes, has amassed an incredible collection of over 100 designer handbags. Specifically, they are all by one designer, Hermès, and all of one design, his extremely desirable (apparently) "Birkin" model, named for actress Jane Birkin, which start from around $7000 a piece. Beckham's entire collection, which she refers to as "an investment", is worth an estimated $2.3 million (Female First).

Posted By: Dumbfounded - Tue May 19, 2009 - Comments (5)
Category: Crime, Fashion, Law, Diplomacy and Foreign Relations, Goofs and Screw-ups

One For You, One Hundred For Me…

The justice system in Lancashire UK have struck a blow for the consumer by jailing a prolific eBay scammer and fining him over £100,000, but just one thousand of this will be used to pay back his victims. Jonathan Hartley was jailed for 18 months after a Police investigation looked into complaints going back over six years. In court Hartley pleaded guilty to multiple counts of fraud (and one of money laundering), which are believed to have netted him over £140,000.

Taking into account the money he has already spent, Lancashire Crown Court have ordered he raise the £102,000 fine by August or face another 12 months on his sentence and the £102k fine (plus interest). Because only 34 victims have been positively identified, less than a thousand of this 'restitution' will be paid out in compensation. The rest will be split equally between the prosecutors (government), the courts and the police (Pendle Today).

Posted By: Dumbfounded - Tue May 19, 2009 - Comments (4)
Category: Cops, Crime, Frauds, Cons and Scams, Government, Law

Midwest Crime Round Up

Out of Work Teachers Sell Meth; South Bend, Ind: Twin sisters and out of work school teachers, Maria and Michelle Stancati, have plead guilty to dealing methamphetamine within 1,000 feet of a school. Indy Star

Ex-Public Defender Busted in Child Sex Internet Sting;
Marion County, Ind: Ryan W. Snyder, former Marion County Public Defender, was caught in an internet sex sting in February 2008. He has been sentenced to two years in prison. Indy Star

Three Arrested in BB Gun Home Invasion;
Wauwatosa, Wisc: Three high school students were arrested in a home invasion after demanding $1,200 at gunpoint. The suspect with the weapon brandished what looked like a handgun, but was really a BB gun. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Teen Declines Sex for Money, Utilities Shut Off;
Chicago, Ill: A West Side teen was solicited for sex for money by her landlord. When she turned him down, he shut off the gas and electric. He now faces charges for interfering with a public utility. Chicago Breaking News

Driver Painting Nails Kills Motorcyclist;
Lake Zurich, Ill: According the News Sun Sun Times News Group, Laura Hunt of Morris IL, “told police that she was painting her fingernails and did not notice the light was red.” According to one Officer her vehicle knocked the victim "a couple hundred feet." Sun Times News Group

Posted By: chris_cantwell - Wed May 06, 2009 - Comments (2)
Category: Addictions, Crime, Death, Drugs, Law, Weapons

Follies of the Mad Men #50

image
What image could possibly be great enough for our milestone fiftieth installment? Only this one!

At one time, during either the seventies or the eighties, I believe, this campaign was ubiquitous. I would run across OJ and his boots in every issue of Playboy I intended to cut up for collages, whereupon I would promptly rip out the page intact and mail it to a friend. That's why I had to find a scan on eBay, for this post, and can't tell you the exact provenance of the advertisement.

Of course, today we laugh because of OJ's appearance. "So that's how he was able to escape so fast after the murders! He deployed his third leg!"

But consider the campaign even without OJ.

First you get the off-color allusion to "third leg = penis." Then you get the Addams-Family-style associations of "Our boots are worn by mutants and freaks."

Brilliant!

Posted By: Paul - Wed Dec 10, 2008 - Comments (7)
Category: Business, Advertising, Products, Celebrities, Death, Fashion, Shoes, Law, Lawsuits, Sports, Scary Criminals, Stupid Criminals, 1970s, 1980s

Page 6 of 7 pages ‹ First  < 4 5 6 7 > 




weird universe thumbnail
Who We Are
Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

Contact Us
Monthly Archives
September 2020 •  August 2020 •  July 2020 •  June 2020 •  May 2020 •  April 2020 •  March 2020 •  February 2020 •  January 2020

December 2019 •  November 2019 •  October 2019 •  September 2019 •  August 2019 •  July 2019 •  June 2019 •  May 2019 •  April 2019 •  March 2019 •  February 2019 •  January 2019

December 2018 •  November 2018 •  October 2018 •  September 2018 •  August 2018 •  July 2018 •  June 2018 •  May 2018 •  April 2018 •  March 2018 •  February 2018 •  January 2018

December 2017 •  November 2017 •  October 2017 •  September 2017 •  August 2017 •  July 2017 •  June 2017 •  May 2017 •  April 2017 •  March 2017 •  February 2017 •  January 2017

December 2016 •  November 2016 •  October 2016 •  September 2016 •  August 2016 •  July 2016 •  June 2016 •  May 2016 •  April 2016 •  March 2016 •  February 2016 •  January 2016

December 2015 •  November 2015 •  October 2015 •  September 2015 •  August 2015 •  July 2015 •  June 2015 •  May 2015 •  April 2015 •  March 2015 •  February 2015 •  January 2015

December 2014 •  November 2014 •  October 2014 •  September 2014 •  August 2014 •  July 2014 •  June 2014 •  May 2014 •  April 2014 •  March 2014 •  February 2014 •  January 2014

December 2013 •  November 2013 •  October 2013 •  September 2013 •  August 2013 •  July 2013 •  June 2013 •  May 2013 •  April 2013 •  March 2013 •  February 2013 •  January 2013

December 2012 •  November 2012 •  October 2012 •  September 2012 •  August 2012 •  July 2012 •  June 2012 •  May 2012 •  April 2012 •  March 2012 •  February 2012 •  January 2012

December 2011 •  November 2011 •  October 2011 •  September 2011 •  August 2011 •  July 2011 •  June 2011 •  May 2011 •  April 2011 •  March 2011 •  February 2011 •  January 2011

December 2010 •  November 2010 •  October 2010 •  September 2010 •  August 2010 •  July 2010 •  June 2010 •  May 2010 •  April 2010 •  March 2010 •  February 2010 •  January 2010

December 2009 •  November 2009 •  October 2009 •  September 2009 •  August 2009 •  July 2009 •  June 2009 •  May 2009 •  April 2009 •  March 2009 •  February 2009 •  January 2009

December 2008 •  November 2008 •  October 2008 •  September 2008 •  August 2008 •  July 2008 •