Fun_People Archive
5 May
Weirdness #376

Date: Fri,  5 May 95 19:06:44 PDT
From: Peter Langston <psl>
To: Fun_People
Subject: Weirdness #376

Excerpted-from: WEIRDNUZ.376 (News of the Weird, April 21, 1995)
by: Chuck Shepherd

* At a booksigning appearance in Tampa, Fla., in July, astronaut Alan
Shepard refused the request of John Williams, 55, to sign a photograph,
telling the man he would sign only purchased copies of his new book on the
space program.  The photograph Shepard refused to sign was a 1961 shot of
Williams, then a helicopter crewman, pulling Shepard out of the Atlantic
Ocean after his Mercury capsule splashed down on America's first manned
space mission.  [St. Petersburg Times, 7-22-94]

* In March, U.S. astronaut Norman Thagard agreed to follow Russian cosmonaut
customs in their joint mission to dock with a Russian space station.  Among
the customs was one established by the first cosmonaut, Yuri Gagarin, and
followed by all subsequent cosmonauts--men and women:  to urinate on a tire
of the bus that takes them to the launch pad.  [Boston Herald, 3-14- 95]

* Last fall, the resume of the newly appointed Mexican secretary of
education, Fausto Alzati, was challenged in the press.   Alzati claimed to
have a doctorate from Harvard, but his office later conceded that he had
only a master's degree in public administration from Harvard.  A month
later, his office said that actually, he did not have even a bachelor's
degree.  In January, Alzati resigned, admitting that he was expelled from
the second grade for bad behavior. [Globe and Mail-N. Y. Times, 1-24-95]

* In February, in Islamabad, Pakistan, a Christian boy, 14, and his uncle
were convicted of blaspheming Islam and given the traditional mandatory
death sentences.  The boy had written an anti-Islam message in chalk on a
wall and then had immediately erased it.  The next week, another court
overturned the conviction because no evidence existed against the two--since
the words had been erased, and all eyewitnesses feared repeating the words,
even in court.  [Washington Times-AP, 2-24-95]

* In September, a Rotterdam businessman announced his company would start
local home delivery of up to 30 grams of hashish and marijuana (which are
legal in the Netherlands).  In July, a political organization in Amsterdam
called the Interest Group for Drug Users reported that it had received about
$120,000 from the government to support its work, which includes lobbying
for liberalization of drug laws and providing counseling for drug abusers.
[Fairfax Journal, 9-2-94; Chicago Tribune, 7-15-94]

* According to a report in the Toledo (Ohio) Blade in October, some parents
who are deaf rejoice in the news that their children have been born deaf
because they see themselves not as handicapped but merely as a linguistic
minority.  Last spring, about 20 deaf protestors demonstrated in front of
Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (Canada) against the use of bionic
ear implants for children.  Said one protester, "I've grown up being deaf,
and I haven't missed anything." [St. Petersburg Times- Toledo Blade,
10-11-94; Ottawa Citizen, 5-28-94]

Copyright 1995, Universal Press Syndicate.  All rights reserved.
Released for the entertainment of readers.  No commercial use may
be made of the material or of the name News of the Weird.

[=] © 1995 Peter Langston []