Wednesday, June 29, 2005
wednesday weirdness version 7.0
Another slow week for weirdness & things... lest it really, truly is the sweltering heat that has me too weary to look for weirdness anymore...?!? In any case, here are still a few strange cases submitted for your... ah... incredulous non-approval - hopefully!
London Pubs turning into unhappy places... A Taiwan stock exchange was, basically, a typo...?!? Some ladies -oddly enough... Hindu women?- have taken to become rather special decoys / sources of distraction for the police; and all for the benefit of the wrong crowd too! Ganesh would not be pleased... Boy Scouts want to be like Sgt. Slaughter now - not like Smokey The Bear... A little (apparent) murder mystery worthy of an Hitchcock film; headline reads like North By Northwest, but the actual story has a little bit of Frenzy and Psycho in it as well... Saddam, the author - yes, no mistake; not Saldam Rushdie but Saddam Hussein! Maybe that is what made Tom Cruise go... mental? Or is that... medieval on the mentals?!? Hmm... how mean!
All the lurid details -
in the comments & cornucopia section! ;)
Pubs call time on 'Happy Hour' promotions - May 23, 11:59 AM (ET)
LONDON (Reuters) - British pubs are to ban "Happy Hour" drinking promotions which allow people to consume large amounts of alcohol cheaply and quickly, in an attempt to tackle alcohol-fueled violence.
The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) said in a statement that its 32,000 members would adhere to the ban on Happy Hours and drink-all-you-can schemes with immediate effect.
Binge drinking has become a major problem in Britain over the last few years and has turned many town centers into virtual no-go areas Friday and Saturday nights.
"Offers like pay 10 pounds ($18.40) on the door and all drinks are free; drinking games and schemes that encourage people to drink too much too quickly have no place in our sector and we are determined to stamp them out," said Mark Hastings of the BBPA.
"With the backing of the government, the police and licensing authorities across the UK, we aim to ensure that all pubs operate to these standards of corporate and community social responsibility."
The BBPA owns nearly two thirds of Britain's 59,000 pubs.
The All Bar One, Slug & Lettuce and Pitcher & Piano pub groups are all taking part in the ban.
The move to curb Happy Hour schemes comes ahead of a change in the licensing laws across England and Wales and a plan to allow some bars to stay open 24 hours a day.
Scotland already has extended drinking hours.
The government has said the old system, under which drinkers all spilled out onto the street at the same time as the pubs closed, fueled drunken fights, vandalism and vomiting in public.
But alcohol experts, doctors and police officers say later hours will exacerbate binge drinking, liver disease and anti-social behavior.
The BBPA has also called on supermarkets which sell cheap alcohol to follow its lead.
Jun 28, 10:42 AM (ET)
TAIPEI (Reuters) - A Taiwan stock trader mistakenly bought T$7.9 billion ($251 million) worth of shares with a mis-stroke of her computer, meaning her company is looking at a paper loss of more than $12 million and she is looking for a new job.
The trader with Fubon Securities mis-keyed in a small order from Merrill Lynch Monday, creating confusion when many small firms inexplicably surged the 7 percent trading limit.
"Something like this is difficult to explain to superiors," a Fubon executive said Tuesday.
Fubon said that the trader was unfamiliar with new computer systems and would be fired.
"There is a paper loss of more than T$400 million," said the executive.
"However, with a good outlook for stocks in the second half, there are no plans to sell the shares in the near term."
Jun 28, 10:41 AM (ET)
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Women in an eastern Indian forest are stripping naked to distract police and to help a criminal gang avoid arrest while illegally chopping down trees, the Hindustan Times reported Tuesday.
Some of the women belong to a timber mafia in the heavily-forested state of Jharkhand while others are paid to strip in front of the police, who are too embarrassed to arrest them or too distracted to hunt the gang down, the daily said.
"It is proving tough to deal with these women," Jharkhand forest official B.K. Singh said. "It has almost become a regular practice for them to strip."
India's forest cover has fallen due to illegal cutting of trees in the past few decades. Anyone felling a tree faces up to a year in prison, a fine of up to 5,000 rupees ($115) or both.
Only 21 percent of India is covered by forests compared with a recommended 33 percent by the federal government.
Jun 28, 10:43 AM (ET)
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Belgium plans to stop Boy Scouts from slaughtering chickens and other small animals at summer camp, despite Scout leaders' defense of the practice as a lesson in wilderness survival.
The Health Ministry said in a statement issued Monday that one Scout group had refused to stop teaching its lads how to carry out the bloody task even after complaints from parents.
"These kids have to be taught how to kill an animal in order to feed themselves," the ministry quoted one of the group's respresentatives as saying.
However, the ministry took the view that the Scouts learned nothing from using animals in this way.
soon to be shown at FantAsia, I'm sure...
Woman in car crash already dead?
Jun 28, 10:44 AM (ET)
TOKYO (Reuters) - A young mother found at the scene of a car crash near Tokyo in which her husband and infant son were killed had already been dead for at least a day before the accident happened, police were quoted as saying Sunday.
The bizarre discovery was made after emergency crews who rushed to the scene found the body of Rie Ishikawa, 28, already in a state of rigor mortis, Kyodo news agency reported.
The family car crashed early Sunday on a highway in Sawara, Chiba Prefecture.
Ishikawa's husband, Masayuki, 32, survived the initial crash after the car hit a concrete wall then rebounded and hit the lane divider in the center of the highway, Kyodo said.
But the impact threw the couple's three-year-old son Masamune out of the car from the front passenger seat.
When the father got out of the car to find him, both he and the child were struck by oncoming vehicles and killed, police were quoted as saying.
The woman, who was in the back seat of the car, was believed to have died one or two days before the accident, police were quoted as saying. There was no immediate explanation of how she died.
Jun 28, 10:47 AM (ET)
By Ibon Villelabeitia and Dina Wakeel
AMMAN (Reuters) - Jordan has banned Saddam Hussein's new novel on the grounds the tale of an Arab tribesman who defeats a foreign intruder could hurt relations between the two countries, censors and the publisher said Sunday.
"Get out of here, curse you!," believed to have been penned by the ousted Iraqi leader before the U.S.-led war, was set to be released in Jordan and other Arab countries Thursday by a Jordanian company with the permission of Saddam's family.
"Publishing this novel will harm the Iraqi-Jordanian relationship and we are keen to have the best relations with Iraq. Jordan will not approve its publication. If they want to publish it they have to do it abroad," Ahmad al-Qudah, head of the government's Press and Publication Department, told Reuters.
The publisher said he had printed 10,000 copies for distribution in Jordan and other Arab countries, including Iraq, after winning initial permission. He said censors changed their mind after a local newspaper reported the upcoming launch.
"They gave us the okay from day one, but with all this publicity the censors called and told us to stop everything," the publisher told Reuters, asking his name and his company not be printed for fear of government reprisals.
"I will change the cover and publish it abroad. This book is going to be published in the Arab world, I tell you that."
Under Jordanian law, the department has authority to censor books published in Jordan, a close U.S. ally.
Relations between Jordan and Iraq were strained after reports that a Jordanian was behind a suicide bombing which killed 125 people south of Baghdad in February, prompting Iraqi protesters to break into the embassy. The two countries briefly recalled their envoys over the incident.
The publisher said Saddam's daughter Raghad, who lives in Amman, had given him permission to publish the book, in which the daughter writes a dedication to her jailed father.
A copy of the book was stored in Baghdad's Information Ministry ready for publication when the war broke out in 2003.
SADDAM THE AUTHOR
Saddam, facing war crime charges, was credited with writing other books including "Zabiba and the King" -- later made into a musical -- and "Men and a City."
Following his overthrow, however, Iraqi writers and intellectuals said Saddam did not write the books himself but got a committee to do it for him.
His latest book tells the story of Salem, a noble Arab tribesman who represents righteousness and Arab nationalism, and defeats his American and Jewish enemies. Illegal copies of the book have circulated in Amman.
The tale describes how Salem unites divided Arab tribes in Iraq to defeat Hisquel, a foreign intruder who represents evil.
A publisher for a London-based publishing house who was offered the rights to print an English translation by the Jordanian publisher said they turned it down.
"We read it but thought it had very little literary value," Hesperus Press publisher Alessandro Gallenzi told Reuters from London.
"We publish classics. I'm afraid this one does not make it."
Psychiatrists condemn Cruise mental health remarks
Jun 28, 10:37 AM (ET)
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The American Psychiatric Association on Monday sharply criticized actor Tom Cruise for televised remarks in which he called psychiatry a "pseudo science" and disputed the value of antidepressant drugs.
"It is irresponsible for Mr. Cruise to use his movie publicity tour to promote his own ideological views and deter people with mental illness from getting the care they need," APA President Dr. Steven Sharfstein said in a statement.
During interviews promoting his latest film, "War of the Worlds," Cruise has discussed his deep skepticism of psychiatry to explain his belief in the teachings of the Church of Scientology, founded by science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard.
In one such interview last Friday on NBC's "Today" show, Cruise was asked about his recent criticism of actress Brooke Shields for revealing that she had taken the antidepressant Paxil to cope with postpartum depression.
"Before I was a Scientologist, I never agreed with psychiatry," Cruise said. "And when I started studying the history of psychiatry, I understood more and more why I didn't believe in psychology. ... And I know that psychiatry is a pseudo science."
Disputing the effectiveness of antidepressants generally, Cruise said, "all it does is mask the problem." He added, "There is no such thing as a chemical imbalance."
Cruise also singled out drugs, such as Ritalin, that are used to treat children for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, calling Ritalin "a street drug."
As "Today" host Matt Lauer pressed the 42-year-old actor on his views, Cruise said, "Here's the problem. You don't know the history of psychiatry. I do."
The rebuke from the APA, which represents nearly 36,000 physicians specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness, challenged Cruise's assertion that psychiatry lacks scientific merit.
"Rigorous, published, peer-reviewed research clearly demonstrates that treatment (of mental illness) works," the APA statement said. "It is unfortunate that in the face of this remarkable scientific and clinical progress that a small number of individuals and groups persist in questioning its legitimacy."
Actually I don't think they go to bars much. They get drunk at home alone! lol At least that way they don't cause any trouble for anyone else!
Sounds like a good policy to me about banning the Happy Hour!
Whoever Coined that anyway! When people go to drink to get drunk they sure are NOT Happy!! Most get into fights etc.. once they are Drunk! Maybe it is just the Bar tenders and owners of the bar that get the money from all the drunks that are Happy!
Wow what a HUGE little mistake that woman made on the computer!
Making THAT kind of mistake can't look good on her resume for the future! Would she even get a good reference at all?
LOL Women stripping in the forest!
Maybe some of the women Treehuggers should try that one to distract the guys who are cutting down our forests, instead of spiking the trees!
I might understand if the kids were being taught to hunt for survival purposes ONLY! Teaching kids to slaughter chickens is no survival skill!! It only teaches them that they can kill helpless animals for no purpose, but to kill! Some might even get a thrill out of it and become serial killers as adults!! Most serial killers started off killing and mutalating animals as a kid!!
Sounds like they need to investigate that Boy Scout leaders real motives for wanting to kill animals! Is he wanting to turn those kids into killers?? He is sick!!!
That woman already being dead one or two days BEFORE the car crash is Creepy!! I wonder if they will investigate that further since the husband is already dead too?
I sure hope NOBODY will publish Saddam's book's!! If they do get published I hope they are burned!!
He shouldn't be allowed to profit from teaching terrorism and tyrany!
I do agree that some Docs to go the meds route too fast for some people. There are people out there that do need it though. It isn't good for everyone, but Cruise shouldn't be so against it for everyone! Some people do need it just to function.
Those were some good weird topics for weirdness wednesday!! Very interesting reading.
"Sorry, but I don't have much time to comment too deeply-I had to laugh at the Hindu Stripping Mafia-that is ABSOLUTELY FUNNY AND DOWNRIGHT BIZARRE!(Of course, maddens me a bit, too!) I personally feel that India should charge more than $115 for bail and certainly keep these mafia men/women in jail for well over a year! I mean, India is certainly a big country-with a HUGE population, and they are only protecting 21% of the forest? C'mon! Obviously these police have SEX on the brains and must not care too much about their goal to reach up to 33% of the forest they want! Not too bright, I say! I mean, seriously...India's forests must have some very special natural medicines...and if they do, they need to be protected as well as the trees themselves for future generations.
Thumbs up for Tom Cruise! I'm glad a celebrity is speaking out against mental health medicines. Yes, some of it is helpful, I will say, but only for superficial reasons. These modern medicines only MASK the true issues. One needs to search deeper as to what the true problems are and it can be foods, stress, people, your environment-home and outdoors, your daily choices and situations...spiritual dispositions...and so much more! It is due to unelightenment and spiritual ignorance! It takes more than just medicine of any kind-naturopathic or allopathic. It takes eating right, weeding out stressful situations and detrimental people, excersize, meditation, spiritual study and serious time to oneself, and of course soul searching to get one back on their feet. Medicine can help out a little bit...but the rest is SERIOUS SOUL WORK! There's a little saying..."KNOW THYSELF"! But then again...I can't speak for everybody...someone may totally disagree with me on this-which is quite okay!