Fun_People Archive
31 Oct
Weirdness [502] - 19Sep97

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Fri, 31 Oct 97 23:30:37 -0800
To: Fun_People
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Subject: Weirdness [502] - 19Sep97

Excerpted-from: WEIRDNUZ.502 (News of the Weird, September 19, 1997)
		by Chuck Shepherd

* Doctors writing in the Journal of the American Medical Association in
August on a salmonella incident confirmed that the 751 people who became
ill in 1984 after eating in one of the 10 restaurants of The Dalles, Ore.,
were intentionally poisoned, as criminal investigators suspected in 1986.
Investigators had found that disciples of the late Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh
deliberately poured the bacteria on restaurant salad bars to test their plan
to incapacitate voters opposed to Rajneesh in an upcoming election so that
their own slate would win.  The lead JAMA author said the case has been
largely unpublicized since then because the government feared copycat

* In June, voter officials in the state of Andhra Pradesh, in India,
validated ballots for 10,000 gods and goddesses to somehow vote in upcoming
plebiscites on water usage.  (Those deities are listed on deeds as land
owners and are thus entitled to elect their own representatives.)

* In August, the Boston Globe profiled the Taiwan National Assembly (which
specializes in constitutional issues), where it is fairly common for the
minority New Party to filibuster by merely grabbing the microphone and
physically restraining majority-party members so that they cannot call for
votes.  Fights break out, sometimes bloody ones.  Said a local political
science professor, "It may not be civilized, but it's efficient" because
citizens respond by re-electing the aggressive legislators.

* In July, the Berkeley (Calif.) City Council announced a politically
inspired boycott that critics say will make it difficult to buy gasoline
for municipally-owned cars on official business.  A new resolution prohibits
the city from doing business with firms that do business in Nigeria
(including Arco, Unocal, Texaco, Chevron, Mobil, and Shell); Exxon has long
been off-limits because the city didn't like its casual response to the 1989
Exxon Valdez oil spill.

* Among the recent rules established by the Afghanistan Taliban office
formerly known as the Department for Promoting Virtue and Preventing Vice:
No paper bags (because the paper possibly could have been recycled from
discarded Korans); no kite-flying; no clean-shaven men (unless they are
prepared for a career of street- sweeping); no women employed in senior
positions in hospitals, or seated in the front seats of ambulances, or
riding with foreign citizens; women visiting hospitals must refrain from
making noise with their shoes while walking; athletes must grow beards and
wear full Islamic dress in the field; and sports-event spectators must not
clap.  However, the ban on watching television was lifted.

* The New York Post reported in June that 580,000 prescriptions for Prozac
and similar antidepressants were written last year for minors.   That number
was achieved despite a government restriction that those drugs cannot be
marketed for children, but the Food and Drug Administration might soon lift
the ban.  In any event, Prozac's maker, Eli Lilly, has recently introduced
peppermint-flavored Prozac.

* Prostitutes in Antwerp, Belgium, held an open-house day in May to promote
their trade and to persuade potential customers that the town's red-light
"Skippers' Quarter" district is safe.  Bands and acrobats performed, coffee
and sodas were served, and visitors were allowed inside to see for
themselves whether the houses' repute was ill or not.

	Copyright 1997 by Universal Press Syndicate.

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