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Wednesday, May 25, 2005

wednesday weirdness version 3.0

This week on... wednesday weirdness!
In Seoul, it is just like the Sixties - all over again! (Hey - you gotta have Seoul! lol).
Bogota, meanwhile, bans bad-mouthing - so there! (You foul-mouthed brats out there better shut your damn mouth...!!! lol).
Moscow (or the neighboring village of your choice) sees a lake vanish into thin air! (Wow - shades of Shmalayan's lame Village...! lol).
Police lands in jail for turning a deaf ear! (Justice - at last!).
Plus - robotic medics... free bus rides if you're THIS high... and Wendy's finger mystery solved! (No - it isn't Wendy's... nor is it THE finger... lol).

It's like the 60s, all over again... May 18, 12:29 PM (ET) By Kim Yoo-chul

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korean high school students plan to hold more rallies to protest restrictions on hair length and style in the country's notoriously regimented education system, an organizer said Wednesday.

Students often face enormous pressure and grueling hours in the South Korean school system, where failure to get into a handful of prestigious colleges can shatter career prospects.

But in a rare outburst in this Confucian society, some normally deferential high-school students have tried to draw the line at hair.

"Teachers apply standardized rules to students and that results in harsh measures from teachers," said Lee Jun-haeng, 20, an organizer of a recent protest in the capital Seoul.

In some cases teachers have even forcibly cut a student's hair in the classroom when their locks were deemed too long.

Lee, who runs a Web site ( on the issue that he says get more than 200,000 visitors a day, termed a protest last weekend in central Seoul a success.

Media reports said about 70 students took part in the protest and many students hid their faces to avoid being identified. Riot police flanked the demonstrators.

Lee said further protests were planned for the cities of Taegu and Kwangju Saturday.

The protesters appear to be having some impact.

Education Minister Kim Jin-pyo has said he would ask schools to revise the rules to ensure they were not too harsh, Yonhap News agency reported.

One government agency, the National Human Rights Commission in Korea, also said it would look into petitions from students to see whether the rules violated human rights.

But some teachers have expressed concern that loosening the rules could lead to a deterioration in discipline and suggested the students should focus their energies on studying.
Pssst! Did you hear what this town did?' May 18, 12:35 PM (ET)

BOGOTA, Colombia (Reuters) - Bad-mouthing your neighbors can land you in jail in one Colombian town after the mayor banned gossip.

Ignacio Jimenez, mayor of Icononzo, southwest of Bogota, told El Tiempo newspaper he decreed the ban because loose tongues can cost lives in Colombia, which is in the grips of a guerrilla war involving Marxist rebels and far-right paramilitary outlaws.

Justifying his decree, the mayor said at least eight people were in the local prison accused "purely by gossip" of being members of the outlawed, Marxist-inspired Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

People could also be killed just due to rumors they sympathize with one of the illegal armed groups, he said.

He and other backers of the decree, which went into effect this week, say people need to think hard before making unfounded allegations. Failing to do so in Icononzo can now result in fines or up to four year behind bars.
Lake disappears, baffling villagers May 19, 1:15 PM (ET)

MOSCOW (Reuters) - A Russian village was left baffled Thursday after its lake disappeared overnight.

NTV television showed pictures of a giant muddy hole bathed in summer sun, while fishermen from the village of Bolotnikovo looked on disconsolately.

"It is very dangerous. If a person had been in this disaster, he would have had almost no chance of survival. The trees flew downwards, under the ground," said Dmitry Zaitsev, a local Emergencies Ministry official interviewed by the channel.

Officials in Nizhegorodskaya region, on the Volga river east of Moscow, said water in the lake might have been sucked down into an underground water-course or cave system, but some villagers had more sinister explanations.

"I am thinking, well, America has finally got to us," said one old woman, as she sat on the ground outside her house.
Wendy's finger given by man to settle debt - May 19, 1:11 PM (ET)

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (Reuters) - The man whose severed finger was planted in a bowl of Wendy's chili in an apparent scheme to swindle the company had given the digit to a co-worker to settle a $50 debt, the San Francisco Chronicle reported on Wednesday.

Brian Paul Rossiter, 36, of Las Vegas lost part of a finger when his hand got caught in a truck lift in December at the paving company where he worked with the husband of Anna Ayala, the newspaper said.

Ayala has denied that she planted the finger. Her claim that she found part of a finger in a bowl of Wendy's chili drew nationwide attention and hurt the burger chain's sales.

Rossiter's mother Brenda Shouey told the Chronicle in a telephone interview from Pennsylvania that her son was broke after the accident.

"He had a money problem. He owed $50 to this character (Ayala's husband)," said Shouey, who declined to say more about the case. "My son is a happy-go-lucky guy. He thought it was cute to show" the severed finger.

A San Jose Police Department spokesman would not comment on the newspaper's account and declined to discuss the identity of the man who lost his finger. However, he said the man was cooperating with the department's investigation.

Separately, a California court declined to lower Ayala's $500,000 bail.

She is in jail awaiting trial on attempted grand theft charges for the millions of dollars Wendy's International Inc. lost as a result of the negative publicity after her claim.

Prosecutors added a new charge against Ayala on Wednesday of conspiracy to present a false or fraudulent insurance claim. If convicted of all charges, she faces a maximum penalty of nine years and eight months in state prison.
Medical robots start work at London hospital - May 18, 12:31 PM (ET)

LONDON (Reuters) - Science-fiction moved a step closer to reality Wednesday when robots nicknamed "Sister Mary" and "Doctor Robbie" started work at a London hospital.

The pair allow doctors to visually examine and communicate with patients, whether they are in another part of the hospital or even another part of the world.

"This is a revolutionary concept which opens new avenues in telemedicine research and integrates technology with healthcare," said Professor Sir Ara Darzi in a statement.

Darzi, head of surgery, anesthetics and intensive care at London's prestigious Imperial College is also a practicing surgeon at St Mary's hospital in Paddington, west London.

The 5-foot (1.5 meter) high robots are controlled remotely by a doctor via a joystick.

Doctors can look at patients thanks to a camera mounted on top of the robot while patients can see their doctors via a screen on the robots' "face."

Patients can be asked questions and medical records -- such as X-rays and test results -- can be read.

As part of a pilot study, patients will be assessed as to how they respond to the robots' metallic ministrations.
Raising the bar on free bus rides - May 19, 1:14 PM (ET)

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's capital is considering raising the height allowance for free bus rides for children, because improved nutrition has resulted in taller young passengers, Xinhua news agency said Thursday.

Current rules allow any child under three feet, seven inches to travel free, but the city is planning now to increase that level to four feet.

"The ... standard is outdated in the light of our children's physical development status," Quan Zhongmin, a member of the Beijing Municipal Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, was quoted as saying.

"It is not known when the decision will be implemented in Beijing," Xinhua said. "The adjustment won't apply to parks, cinemas and theaters."
Police jailed for ignoring rape alarm - May 19, 1:20 PM (ET)

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - A Swedish court jailed two police officers Thursday for ignoring a woman's telephone plea for help for a friend who was being raped.

A 19-year-old woman being subjected to a three-hour rape in the Stockholm suburb of Taby managed to alert a friend by phone and the friend dialed the police emergency number, but the communications center did not send anyone to investigate.

The officer in charge and policeman who took the call in April last year were jailed for a month and a third was fined. Their lawyers said it was a "misunderstanding" and that the call did not make it clear exactly where the rape was taking place.

You found some great articles for weirdness wednesday!!

I am not sure what the rights of the South Korean's are, but I hope that the students at least are able to get the teachers to NOT cut their hair themselves! They should be at least warned to get a hair cut before being given any drastic mesures are taken. The leangth of the hair does not make someone learn any differernt!
That is scary that people could be killed in BOGOTA, Colombia for someone starting a rumor about them being sympathizers to that group! I am glad I do NOT live there! Anyone who has a griveance against someone else can start a rumor about them being sympathizers to that group of outlaws and get them killed! That is Harsh!


What? A whole lake disappeared? Was there a tormado that sucked up the lake? That would have to be one or several Majorly HUGE tornado's to do that! For a lake to just disappear like that is so weird! That sure is perfect for weirdness wednesday! lol I would have liked to see a picture of that whole that was left!! lol Poor fishermen! No lake to fish in anymore! What about the people who depended on that lake for food and income on sellng the fish! That has got to be hard on everyone! It seems funny to us, but to them it must be devistating to those who depended on that lake!


A finger in the chili! That is just so Wrong!! No matter who did it! That is gross! A picture of that would be Great for shock value, but not when it is real!!
I hope the person didn't actually eat any of the chili before finding the finger! Eeeewww!!


Robots in a hospital! That is so cool! I wonder how the patients will take to them! I think I would like to have a visit from a robot if I was in the hospital. lol Of course I am a big Sci-Fi fan so it is very interestint to me!
If you find any more info about this later please share it with us!
I would like to know what happens next!


Chineese children are actually getting taller? I wonder if that means they will continue to be taller as they grow up?
It probably isn't happening as fast as it has in the US though! It seems to me that with each generation of children they end up taller faster than the generation before! 14 year old guys now (thinking of my cousins as well as others) are taller than me now! When I was 14 I was the tallest in my class and some of the older classes too! lol Now I am always surprised when I learn the age of a young teenager! They look much older than they are because of their height! Even girls are taller than genrations before! In my Grandparents gerneration most of the women I have known are short! Then my Mom's generation was taller. Now I am taller than my Mom. Just an observation I have had for a while, that this article made me thik of. The same thing must be happening over in China now, but I don't know if it will happen as quickly there as it did here.


Justice is Served! Police are there to protect not to ignore emergency calls!

Well I did it again. I had a long post. If you would like me not to comment like this again, just let me know. Then I will just comment on one thing instead of all.

Thanks for posting these articles!
They are very interesting!

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