Strange News from Around the World

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Strange News from Around the World

How Could We Have Lived Without It?

Making its appearance three or four years ago was the Wasp. What’s a Wasp you ask? Well, it’s a large (5.25-inch blade), hunting knife-looking, er … hunting knife - with a twist. At the press of a button it lets loose a 25-gram cartridge of compressed gas that freezes everything around the injection site. Designed for use against sharks and large land mammals, it retails for just under $500. We’re wondering: a) when is it going to appear on CSI [name-a-city]; and, b) how come it hasn’t already? —Reuters, January 2009

Bringing the Mountain to …

With the economy such as it is, the – ahem – “flowers” of the night in Conisbrough, UK, are branching out. They’re going door-to-door selling sex in what we on this side of the Atlantic might call retirement communities. Price? About $4 (£2.50) at today’s rates. One man told a reporter: “The old blokes round here think all their birthdays have come at once. They’re all checking their pensions to see if they have got £2.50 left, just in case.” A female resident was more practical: “I just hope we can be rid of these vultures before the men get their winter fuel allowance.” — The Mirror (UK), mirror.co.uk, September 21, 2012

Rice on the Left, Soup on the Right

The above title, from a South Korean government handbook on how to become a perfect Korean wife, is a best seller in Vietnam for women planning on joining — or finding — their mates in South Korea. International marriages have septupled in Korea since 1990, and have been accompanied by an equally high divorce rate and domestic violence cases. The number of Vietnamese wives in Korea has exploded hundred-fold since 1990 (77 vs. 7,636). The book, and classes to go along with it, are financed partially by a $100,000 (US) grant from Korea’s Ministry of Gender Equality and Family. — Aljazeera, December 4, 2012

We’ll Stay with the Pink Flamingos

Fortunately, as far as we know, gnome-napping hasn’t caught on in the US yet, although we guess it’s only a matter of time. Making gnome “gardens” at deep-water dive sites is a fairly popular sideline for scuba divers in England. And the little fellows are now appearing in sites that are safer for average divers. At one dive site in England, a gnome garden, complete with picket fence, was removed after several diver deaths were attributed to the depth of the site. Gnomes are “kidnapped” from sites and appear in others, and, yes, divers take them on vacation, and photograph them in different underwater locations. — BBC News, October 25, 2012

We Have Lightning McQueen, They Have … Drones

The Study Center for the Cultural Front of the Islamic Revolution commemorated the first anniversary of the shooting down of a US spy drone by featuring six animated films with titles such as, This Disruptive Mosquito, Iranian Kids, and Qandahar Monster, which were unveiled on the website (ammarfilm.ir) of the Ammar Film Festival in December 2012. In This Disruptive Mosquito, the US is pictured as a maniacal mosquito constantly foiled by a peacefully-sleeping cat. Very subtle. — The Teheran Time, December 3, 2012

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