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How bizarre!
by Thanos Kalamidas
2011-12-18 10:30:38
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Indian student Jyoti Amge named world's shortest woman

bizarres001_400An Indian student measuring just a little over two feet has been confirmed as the world's shortest living woman by Guinness World Records. Jyoti Amge, at 62.8cm (24.7in), is 7cm shorter than previous title holder, American Bridgette Jordan. Ms Amge was conferred the title on Friday as she celebrated her 18th birthday in the city of Nagpur. Ms Amge has a condition called achondroplasia, a form of dwarfism, and is not expected to grow further.

In 2009, she was named the world's shortest teenager at 61.95cm.  The shortest woman ever recorded was Pauline Musters (1876-1895) of the Netherlands, who stood at 61 cm. Ms Amge, was presented with a certificate, watched by her parents in Nagpur. "It is wonderful to celebrate my 18th birthday with a new world record, it's like an added birthday present," she said.

"I feel grateful to be this size, after all if I weren't small and had not achieved these world records I might never have been able to visit Japan and Europe, and many other wonderful countries," she said. Dressed in a traditional sari, she stood on a chair next to a seated Rob Molloy, official adjudicator for Guinness World Records, to cut her birthday cake. "In accordance with our guidelines, Jyoti was measured three times in 24 hours by a doctor," Guinness World Records said. Ms Amge has attended regular school since she was four and has just finished her high school exams. She plans to undertake a university degree.


Atheist, agnostic group launches holiday-season billboards in Utah

bizarres002_400While driving to the mall or grandma’s house this holiday season, Utahns might notice some unusual holiday messages on billboards. Like "Imagine No Religion" or "Reason’s Greetings." The Freedom From Religion Foundation, an association of atheists and agnostics that works to ensure separation of church and state, has for the first time extended its national holiday season billboard campaign to Utah. Its four Beehive State billboards aim to let "nonbelievers" know they’re not alone this time of year. They also are meant to celebrate reason and remind everyone of what the foundations sees as the true meaning behind the season: the winter solstice.

"We’re glad to share the Christmas season with Christians, but they have stolen Christmas, and it is not the birthday of Jesus," said Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the Wisconsin-based organization. "It’s a natural event, the winter solstice. ... The shortest day of the year has been celebrated for millennia in the Northern Hemisphere with decorations and lights and celebrations. We just think it’s important to celebrate reason and celebrate reality." She added that the foundation has heard there’s a feeling of claustrophobia among non-Mormons and nonbelievers in Salt Lake City. "There’s a great dominance there, so we want to be there, too."

Gaylor said the group wanted to put up signs in Utah several years ago but, at the time, billboard companies refused. The foundation claims about 17,000 dues-paying members nationwide and about 102 in Utah. Bernie Anderson, pastor at Wasatch Hills Seventh-day Adventist Church in Salt Lake City, said the foundation is free, like anyone else, to express a viewpoint. But he sees a little irony in the way they’re doing it.


Students told to leave the Christmas cookies at home

bizarres003Westford school officials are getting tough on classroom holiday parties. They’re banning sugary snacks and sweetened beverages from the celebrations this year. Students are being told to leave the Christmas cookies, cakes, candy bars, and soda at home and to bring fruits, unsweetened juices, popcorn and raisins instead.

Superintendent Everett Olsen says the ban on holiday sweets has nothing to do with being politically correct; rather, his motive is simply promoting a healthy lifestyle. “We aren’t trying to take the Christmas out of Christmas. We’re not trying to take the enjoyment out of children’s lives. We’re just trying to act responsible,” he said. The school’s goal is to avoid the types of sweets that pile on empty calories and contribute to childhood obesity.


Apparent Meth Lab Found Outside Hospital

A local hospital has reopened to the public after having been blocked off for over an hour Sunday night. That was due to an apparent meth lab being found by police. It started as a disturbance at Wal-Mart, with a man yelling at customers. He was brought to Fairmont General Hospital to get checked. Police then searched the car his girlfriend was driving, and allegedly found a working meth lab.

Fairmont General Hospital was blocked off to the public between 11:45 Sunday night and 1:00 Monday morning, while all of the officers who responded were decontaminated. The Marion County Sheriff's Department is handling the investigation.

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Emanuel Paparella2011-12-18 14:55:42
Some musings on the above described the atheists’ celebration of “the season.” They are quite right in claiming that they are celebrating the ancient Roman winter solstice but then they get it all confused and garbled when they insist that theirs is the right celebration and Christmas is illegitimate and a usurper of sort. The question arises: why the resentment and the slavish imitation in the greetings’ form? Epicureans and hedonists will inevitable express in their particular way their celebration of pleasures and materialism. Christians, on the other hand, will express their celebration of Christmas in a different way and remind the world of the true meaning of the season. If a hedonist begins to imitate what a Christian does (exchange greetings and gifts to celebrated a particular significant event in human history) then he is no longer honest. The other side of that coin applies as well: if a Christian says he is commemorating and celebrating the birth of a Savior, a supremely spiritual event within human history, but then hypocritically acts like the hedonist and transforms the season in the winter solstice of ancient Rome, he is also not being honest and authentic. I suppose it all comes down to honesty, the first essential virtue on the long journey to find what is true, good and beautiful.

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