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 V.17 No.35 | August 28 - September 3, 2008 

Odds & Ends

Eric J. Garcia

Dateline: Australia—A bizarre batch of garlic bread that mysteriously turns blue in the oven has sparked a nationwide recall by Australia’s biggest supplier. The recall of 13 brands made by Capalaba-based AGB International has left Australia’s top pizza chain, Domino’s, temporarily out-of-stock on its most popular side dish. A spokesperson for AGB said the company did not believe the breads were a danger to the public but was issuing the recall in the interest of quality control. AGB did not yet know why the bread turned blue when baked but believed the problem was “isolated to a batch of garlic we are no longer using.” Domino’s, meanwhile, said they would be replacing the dish with “cheesy herb pizza bread” for the time being.

Dateline: Nepal—Thanks to the country’s supreme court, Nepal’s “living goddess” is renouncing her divinity and going to school. The centuries-old religious custom entails choosing a girl at the age of 3, locking her in a palace and worshipping her until she starts menstruating—at which point a new goddess is chosen. But Nepal’s current prepubescent deity will be retiring at the end of the year after the country’s supreme court ruled that 9-year-old Preeti Shakya has the right to go to school. The verdict was prompted by a complaint from local lawyers that keeping the young girl cooped up in an ornate but decrepit palace in Kathmandu’s medieval quarter was a violation of her rights. “The court ruled there were no historic or religious documents that state the child should be denied the rights of education, movement, etc.,” said the supreme court’s spokesperson, Hemanta Rawal. Many observers expect the “living goddess” concept to be abandoned entirely now that Nepal is officially a secular republic run by ultra-leftist ex-rebel Maoists keen to abolish the country’s “feudal” practices.

Dateline: Germany—A hiker jailed for walking naked across Germany has been given special permission to go nude in jail because prison clothes depress him. Siegfried Grawert was sentenced to 10 weeks in Nuremberg prison for failing to pay fines for walking around natural beauty spots in the buff. Now guards have given him a single cell so he can sit out his sentence starkers. “I do not want to offend anyone,” said Grawert. “Being naked is the most natural thing in the world.”

Dateline: England—A 12-year-old boy attempting to ignite his farts ended up in the hospital after accidentally blowing up a gas can with his fiery flatulence. The boy and his cousin were in the garden of a house in Tipton when the accident occurred. Firefighters were called to the address but the small blaze had already burned itself out when the crew arrived. Officers administered first aid until an ambulance showed up. The victim was taken to Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley, suffering from 18 percent burns to the backs of his legs and his thumb. “The boy had been pranking around in the garden having a competition with his cousin, when they were breaking wind and lighting it. Right behind him was a petrol can and that just flashed,” Watch Commander Paul Harpin of Tipton station told the U.K.’s Telegraph. “I think he must have won the competition, but he will have some nasty burns now.”

Dateline: Mexico—An apparent drunk was torn to pieces in front of tourists when he tried to pet some crocodiles at a wildlife park. The man was dragged into the water at the Laguna del Carpintero sanctuary near Tampico by one of the resident crocs after he leaned over a rail to stroke it. A total of eight crocodiles attacked the man after he fell. “It’s unheard of for eight crocodiles to join forces in killing a man,” fire department spokesperson Ramiro Alos told England’s The Sun. “There are no remains and we can’t identify him.”

Dateline: Washington—City officials in Seattle have finally unloaded a batch of high-tech self-cleaning toilets, selling the $5 million port-a-potties for a mere $12,549 on eBay. The city installed the five modernistic, stand-alone toilets just four years ago, hoping they would provide tourists and the homeless a place to do their business while downtown. Unfortunately, the automated crappers became better known for drug use and prostitution. Earlier attempts to sell off the toilets failed. This time, with low minimum bids in place, all five were sold off to Racecar Supply, a Rochester, Wash., business. Owner Butch Behn plans to use two of the units at the South Sound Speedway and possibly sell the others. “It’d probably be good to have a couple around for spares,” said Behn. “We get pretty busy at the track sometimes.” Pat Miller, Seattle’s surplus manager, said the city will recover barely $2,080 per unit after Bidadoo, the company that listed and sold the units online, takes its cut.

Compiled by Devin D. O'Leary. E-mail your weird news to devin@alibi.com.

 

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