A round up of this weeks oddities in the news from Yahoo ....
Pork, doin well in Illinois:
In July, the National Institutes of Health awarded $3 million to the University of Illinois Chicago to identify the things that cause lesbians to drink alcohol. It will be very important, said research director Tonda Hughes, to compare why lesbians drink with why heterosexual women drink.
The thorns of juvenile justice:
Maryland corrections officials, hoping to improve juvenile rehabilitation by a kinder, gentler approach to incarceration, opened its New Beginnings Youth Center in May. The lockdown facility had declined to use razor wire, instead merely landscaping its chain-link fences with thorny rose bushes. After one inmate easily escaped on the second day of operation, razor wire was installed.
Please bless my gadgets :
The Shinto temple Kanda Shrine, near Tokyo's version of Silicon Valley, does a brisk business blessing electronic gadgets, according to a July dispatch in Wired magazine. Lucky charms go for the equivalent of about $8.50, but for a personal session, the temple expects an offering of the equivalent of at least $50. The Wired writer, carrying a potentially balky cell phone, approached the shrine with a tree branch as instructed, turned it 180 degrees clockwise, and laid it on the altar. After bowing twice and clapping his hands twice, he left, looking forward to a glitch-free phone.
Lonely Japanese men (and a few women) with rich imaginations have created a thriving subculture ("otaku"
in which they have all-consuming relationships with figurines that are based on popular anime characters. "The less extreme," reported a New York Times writer in July, obsessively collect the dolls. The hardcore otaku "actually believes that a lumpy pillow with a drawing of a (teenage character) is his girlfriend," and takes her out in public on romantic dates. "She has really changed my life," said "Nisan," 37, referring to his gal, Nemutan. (The otaku dolls are not to be confused with the life-size, anatomically-correct dolls that other lonely men use for sex.) One forlorn "2-D" (so named for preferring relationships with two-dimensionals) said he would like to marry a real, 3-D woman, "
b)ut look at me. How can someone who carries this (doll) around get married?"