Weird News

Here are a few Odd stories I found while surfing the net this morning, and I thought they were worth sharing. Enjoy!

(1) Sarah Yule was fired as a receptionist at St. Mary’s Hospital in Troy, N.Y., earlier this year because she refused to remove her lip ring at work, which she said was integral to her religion, the Church of Body Modification. Yule insisted that her several piercings are spiritual, giving her control over her body, and she declined to accept an alternate job at St. Mary’s, away from public contact. [Times Union (Albany), 8-10-06]

(2)Chinese in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia still celebrate a lunar-calendar oddity termed the “hungry ghost” month, during which the gates of hell supposedly open and create widespread fear. Many Buddhists seek to appease the ghosts (and acquire lucky lottery numbers) by offering them food and paper models of items they can use when they resume being dead. [Reuters, 7-31-06]

(3)Carry-on Blues: Just after the Aug. 10 restrictions were imposed, British Airways refused to allow disabled New Zealand runner Kate Horan (on her way to the paralympic world championships in the Netherlands) to carry on her prosthetic leg, as she had long been allowed to do. Her checked-baggage leg was then lost in the chaos at Heathrow airport, and the prosthetic’s manufacturer scrambled to make Horan a new one. (The leg was found a week later, and at press time, Horan had won at least one medal.) (Australia), 8-29-06

(4)A Connecticut company (454 Life Sciences) and Germany’s Max Planck Institute have made recent breakthroughs in developing the genome of a Neanderthal man, which shows a 99 percent-plus similarity with that of humans, according to a July New York Times report. If they succeed, it might be possible to bring the species back to life by implanting the genes into a human egg (provided, of course, that some woman volunteers to bear a Neanderthal baby). [Austin American-Statesman-New York Times, 7-21-06]

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