Poe's Law, loosely paraphrased, states that it can be very difficult to tell the difference between parodies of extreme beliefs and sincere expressions of those beliefs.
Confusion of this kind occurred with the 1976 cookbook Cooking With God. The authors, Lori David and Robert Robb, intended it to be, in all seriousness, a religious-themed cookbook. But due to the title, many people apparently assumed it was some kind of joke.
Recipes included Manna Honey Bread, Oasis Stuffed Eggs, Caravan Sweet Potatoes, and Eggs Bathsheba.
Richard Manderson first created a series of small raspberry fondant filled chocolate Jesuses that were sold for consumption to visitors of Gorman House Arts Centre in Canberra, an Australian cultural centre and heritage site that runs theatres, workshops, exhibition space, artists' studios, offices and a café.
When a US newspaper condemned his act of depicting Jesus on a chocolate, Manderson decided in answer to create an actual life-size chocolate Jesus he called Trans-substantiation 2. He did so by filling a plaster mold with fifty-five pounds of melted chocolate. He used chocolate-dipped strings for hair and plastic Easter wrap for a loincloth. Manderson's work was exhibited in public around Easter in 1994, with Manderson inviting the public to come and eat his chocolate Jesus work after the exhibition.
In 1979, researcher Sandra Lenington of the University of Santa Clara set out to answer this question. Her curiosity had been sparked by learning that Canon William V. Rauscher had reported that “canna plants given holy water left over from use in religious services grew more than three times higher than canna plants which were not given holy water.” She decided to try to duplicate his observations under more rigorous conditions.
She watered one group of radishes with regular water, and a second group with holy water. After three weeks, she concluded that there was “no significant difference in the growth rates of these radish plants given holy water versus radish plants given tap water.” She published her results in the journal Psychological Reports (1979, 45, 381-382).
However, she noted that Canon Rauscher believed in the power of holy water, whereas she didn’t, and this may have affected the outcome of her study: “There are numerous documented studies showing that positive or negative belief will either benefit or adversely affect plant growth.” She suggested that future studies might try to better control for this variable.
On his website, Hank Kunneman describes himself as the senior pastor of Lord of Hosts Church and founder of One Voice Ministries. He also notes that he occasionally performs “prophetic demonstrations including tongues and interpretation.”
I guess that’s what we’re seeing in the video below. I wish the video had subtitles. At one point I could swear he’s saying “prosciutto, prosciutto, prosciutto…”
Created by British artist Andy Hazell circa 2010 for a New Year's parade in Newcastle. It's street legal and uses more than 4000 LEDs. He says, "I tried to imagine what Barbie and Ken would use for wedding transport."
The fact that Hindus consider cows to be sacred has led to the odd situation in India in which millions of cows freely roam the streets, and all efforts to control their numbers are stymied by cow-rights groups.
That's an interesting topic (more info here), but the 1961 headline below implies an entirely different, and somewhat messier kind of problem.
November 1969: The fact that Sister Joann Malone of the Order of Loreto was protesting wasn't particularly big news, but the fact that she was wearing a miniskirt as she did so was front-page news.
Sydney Morning Herald - Nov 21, 1969
Decatur Herald - Nov 20, 1969
Her superior, Sister Rose Maureen Sanders, head of the St. Louis province of the Sisters of Loreto, wasn’t too happy about the fashion decision. From a follow-up article:
Sister Rose said she feels that Sister Joanne, from her earnings on speaking engagements, could have paid to purchase a longer skirt.
“I regretted the photo when I saw it in newspapers here and thought her wearing a miniskirt was ridiculous,” said the provincial superior.
“It’s an aberration on her part. Many, many sisters are wearing modern clothes but would not choose a miniskirt. Why do the newspapers print things like that?”
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.