NewsQuirks

If Looks Could Kill Angry employees of Greece's Olympic Airways vowed in May to fight a government decision to no longer require physical beauty as a requirement for flight attendants. Their union said the move would adversely affect the airline's competitiveness. Still Clucking Farmer Janet Bonney found one of her chickens frozen under her porch in Harpswell, Maine. She tried to put the bird's body in a shoe box for burial, but its frozen legs wouldn't bend. When she used hot water to thaw the bird enough to make it fit, she heard it breathe and used mouth-to-beak resuscitation to revive it. Captive Audiences Sheriff's Department officials in Dallas County, Texas, complained about the efficiency of the smoke-removal system at the new 3,300-bed jail that opened in 1993. About 40 times a day, prisoners set off the highly sensitive system, by blowing cigarette smoke at detectors. In sealing off areas, it causes doors to slam so quickly that two guards have been injured. Indiana approved a measure to discourage prisoners from suing the state over petty grievances by allowing prison officials to take away credit for good time that could be used to shorten sentences. Inmates have sued over disrupted cable TV service and meat and vegetables being mixed on a plate. Besides reviving the chain gang, Alabama corrections officials came up with a novel approach to male inmates who habitually expose themselves to female guards. They ordered offenders to be dressed in pink prison uniforms, hoping that ridicule by non-exhibitionist inmates will deter them from exposing themselves. Nothing else has worked, according to one prison spokesperson, who explained, "We've even taken disposable cameras and taken a picture of them and told them we were going to send it to their mothers. They don't care. Wretched Excess Very Special Chocolats Inc. of Azusa, Calif., had to recall its liquor-filled candies from North Carolina for exceeding the state limit of 0.5 percent permitted in confections. The department said the candies contained as much as 10 times that amount. When Guns Are Outlawed Carl Rankin, 35, was charged with holding up a store near Trenton, N.J., using a cup of hot coffee as a weapon. Police said Rankin threw the coffee at a convenience store clerk, then reached into the cash register. Ties That Bind Since 1987, bolos have been New Mexico's official neckwear, "welcomed at all events or occasions when the wearing of a tie is considered, if not mandatory, then at least appropriate." In February, Sante Fe Police Chief Don Grady II banned plainsclothes officers from wearing the traditional Southwestern stringneckwear. "If I allow bolos," he explained, "the next thing you know they'll start showing up in multicolored shirts and blue jeans." Thanks a Bunch Rwandan Joseph Christophe, 18, stowed away on a Russian ship in Tanzania, not knowing it was bound for the Antarctic. He was discovered and dumped into the Indian Ocean but was able to make it to an island in the Seychelles by strapping a bunch of bananas to his body. Disorder in the Court N. Somashekar, superintendent of the police fingerprints bureau in the Indian city of Bangalore, was in court for divorce proceedings when he pounced on his wife's lawyer and tried to punch him. The Press Trust of India reported that other lawyers, irate that one of their colleagues had been attacked, stormed the courtroom, dragged the policeman out, and kicked and punched him until he bled. He was hospitalized in serious condition. Land of the Sinking Sun Seven women were hospitalized with alcohol poisoning after a drinking match during a Japanese television game show. Almost 20 other women needed medical attention after slapping each other's faces on camera until a winner was declared for the top prize of about $5,500. According to psychologists and sociologists, game shows appear to be more vulgar and cruder in Japan because they serve as a safety valve for monotony, stress and conformity in people's working lives by allowing contestants to let off steam and for once stand out from the crowd. Although most Japanese people don't practice any religion, Japan has some 200,000 religious sects, including Aum Shinrikyo, suspected of the subway nerve-gas attack in March. Because all can use various tax breaks, Far Eastern Economic Review reports, critics charge that the latest wave of spiritual organizations are in it for the money. Two former TV comedians running as independents embarrassed established political parties in April by winning mayoral races in the major cities of Tokyo and Osaka. Tokyo's Yukio Aoshima, 62, who wore a kimono and wig to portray "Nasty Grandma" in a popular 1960s show, and Osaka's Isamu Yokoyama, 63, who ran using his stage name, Nokku (Knock), and campaigned by bicycle to save money, were the first candidates elected in their cities without party support. Odd Endings A Norwegian woman seeking a cure for muscle pain bled to death, the British medical journal Lancet reported, after an acupuncturist's needle went through a hole in her breast bone and pierced her heart. In Lake Ronkonkoma, N.Y., Chester Vesloski, 21, died when an empty beer keg thrown into a bonfire at a party exploded. One of the pieces of metal severed his arm, and the bulk of the keg was found 250 feet from the fire, according to Suffolk County Detective Sgt. Kevin Cronin, who observed, "We've had some bizarre occurrences before, but I've never heard of anyone being killed by a keg." Compiled by Roland Sweet from the nation's press. Send clippings, citing source and date, to POB 8130, Alexandria VA 22306.

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