November 20, 2014
Flying Spaghetti Monster Devotee Sports Colander On License
Salt Lake City (AP) A Utah woman says she encountered only brief resistance when she recently had her driver’s license photo taken while wearing a colander on her head as a religious statement.
Asia Lemmon, whose legal name appears on her driver’s license as Jessica Steinhauser, said the pasta strainer represents her beliefs in the satirical Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
The Flying Spaghetti Monster movement, also known as “Pastafarianism,” started in 2005 as a protest against teaching intelligent design as an alternative to evolution in Kansas schools.
When she had the photo taken Sept. 29, Lemmon said she wasn’t sure if officials at the Division of Motor Vehicles office in Hurricane would allow her to wear the headgear, but “it was surprisingly really, really easy.”
Nannette Rolfe, the director of Utah’s Driver License Division, said about a dozen Pastafarians have had their state driver’s license photos taken with a similar colander or pasta strainer on their heads in recent years.
“As long as we can get a visual of the face, we’re fine if they choose to wear the headgear,” she said.
Hats and headgear are not allowed for driver’s license photos unless they’re religious garments, Rolfe said. After the first few Pastafarians came in about two years ago, state officials determined the church is a recognized religion and its members don’t require any special paperwork, she said.
She said she wanted to make a statement with the photo. “I’m a really proud, outspoken atheist,” she said. “I am proud of Utah for allowing freedom of all religions in what is considered by many to be a one-religion state.”
Ireland’s Gay Bull Benjy Saved From Slaughterhouse
Dublin (AP) He faced execution for failure to perform. But Benjy, the gay bull of Ireland, has been saved following a worldwide appeal backed by “The Simpsons” co-creator Sam Simon.
Ireland’s Animal Rights Action Network said Tuesday that Simon is paying for Benjy’s transportation to an animal sanctuary in England. Simon, who is battling colon cancer, has been giving away much of the fortune from his television career and is a leading donor to animal welfare causes.
Benjy, a Charlerois bull, failed this year to impregnate any heifers at a County Mayo farm in western Ireland. Veterinarians determined he was fertile, but was more attracted to the bull that replaced him.
Simon, who funds a Malibu dog shelter and many other animal rights projects, said he heard about Benjy’s case through friends at the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals pressure group. He said he was happy to donate the full original cash target to buy Benjy and ship him to England.
“All animals have a dire destiny in the meat trade, but to kill this bull because he’s gay would’ve been a double tragedy,” Simon said in a statement. “It thrills me to help PETA and ARAN make Benjy’s fate a sanctuary rather than a sandwich.”
Not Feeling Sexy? Frog Juice May Be The Answer!
LIMA, Peru (AP) Suffering from stress? Not feeling sexy? High in the Andean mountains, some locals believe putting frogs in a blender is the answer. Unfortunately, there is no scientific evidence confirming any medicinal benefits from frog juice. And the frogs that Peruvians use are from the Telmatobius culeus species, a water frog from remote Lake Titicaca that is listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Entire frogs are the main ingredient in a juice blend some people in Peru and Bolivia believe can cure asthma, bronchitis, sluggishness and a low sex drive. To make the mix at her food stand in Peru’s capital, vendor Maria Elena Cruz grabs a frog from a small aquarium, and whacks its head on the countertop until it’s dead.
Then she peels off its skin and drops the frog into a blender with carrots, the Peruvian maca root and honey. The juice comes out light green in color. Cruz serves it in glasses to her customers.
“Frog juice is good for anemia, bronchitis, bones, the brain, fatigue, stress and it is mostly children, adults, persons with anemia, respiratory issues and sometimes tuberculosis” who come to her stand, Cruz claims. Customer Cecilia Cahuana, 35, believes this.
Aggressive Groundhog Charges New Hampshire Man
Hampton, NH (AP) A New Hampshire man says he was working in his garage when a groundhog he had seen in his backyard charged at him.
Gary McGrath of Hampton tells WMUR-TV the groundhog got close, so he pushed him back with his foot Tuesday. But the animal returned. McGrath said he gave him a harder kick and closed the garage door.
But the groundhog sneaked through another opening - and McGrath ended up running to the front door.
His wife called an animal control officer, who got back into his truck for a short time when confronted by the groundhog.
The animal was later put down in the yard. It will be tested for rabies.
McGrath said he didn’t know what the groundhog was thinking, “but it was not nice.”
TV Anchor Wears Suit For A Year To Make A Point About Women
Sydney (AP) The male co-host of an Australian TV program is finally getting some attention for his fashion sense. And that’s his point.
Karl Stefanovic wore the same blue suit every day for a year on Channel Nine’s “Today” program. And no one noticed until he went public with his hidden-in-plain-sight experiment.
He told Australia’s Fairfax Media that while no one asked about his suit, people regularly commented about and criticized the outfits worn by co-host Lisa Wilkinson. Stefanovic says, “I’m judged on my interviews, my appalling sense of humor - on how I do my job, basically. Whereas women are quite often judged on what they’re wearing or how their hair is.” The Age newspaper says he’s still wearing the same blue suit, and only Wilkinson and another “Today” colleague knew about his experiment. “They often remark that it’s getting a bit stinky,” he said in the paper’s weekend edition. “I’m hoping to get it into the dry cleaners at the end of the year.”