The undead

February 23, 2013 at 2:55 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

The ‘leftover’ women: China defines official age for females being left on the shelf as 27: “China has upset its young female population by labelling those who fail to marry by the time they are 30 as ‘left over woman’. The Communist government ordered its feminist All-China Women’s Federation to use the derogatory term in several stinging articles about the growing number of educated, professional, urban and single females aged 27-30 who have ‘failed’ to find a husband and are now deemed ‘undesirable’. ‘Pretty girls do not need a lot of education to marry into a rich and powerful family. But girls with an average or ugly appearance will find it difficult,’ reads one article titled ‘Leftover Women Do Not Deserve Our Sympathy’. The derogatory name has been picked up by the state media and stuck, causing an outcry among millions of ambitious young and educated females who claim they have been thrown on the scrap heap – and who bemoan the low quality of suitors.”

The Norwegian version of excitement: Watching wood burn: “In most places across the world, the topic of firewood would hardly be expected to set the nation’s imagination alight. But in Norway, a television programme on the subject of wood caused quite a stir, after splitting the country straight down the middle on how it should be stacked. Nearly a million people, 20 per cent of the Norwegian population, tuned in to the programme when it was aired during prime time on Friday night. But the angry responses started almost as soon as it had begun. According to the New York Times, he said: ‘We received about 60 text messages from people complaining about the stacking in the programme. ‘Fifty per cent complained the bark was facing up, and the rest complained that the bark was facing down. One thing that really divides Norway is bark.’ One viewer, niesa36, wrote on the Dagbladet newspaper website: ‘I couldn’t go to bed because I was so excited.'”

Oddest book titles: “The announcement of the shortlist for the Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title is a humorous reminder of just how inventive, not to mention downright bizarre, authors can be. While the first winner in 1978 – Proceedings of the Second International Workshop on Nude Mice – takes some beating, this year’s six nominees have certainly done their best to stay esoteric and baffling, with titles including God’s Doodle: The Life and Times of the Penis and the wonderfully British How Tea Cosies Changed The World. Previous winners such as Estonian Sock Patterns All Around the World by Aino Praakli and The Great Singapore Penis Panic and the Future of American Mass Hysteria by Scott D Mendelson show that we’re spoiled for choice when it comes to book titles that raise a snigger or a quizzical eyebrow.”

The driver who failed their test 107 times: Hapless learner sets new record for flunking the theory test: “Many of us know someone who has struggled to pass their driving test. But spare a thought for the hapless learner who has set a record for failure. The unnamed 28-year-old, from London, has flunked the car theory test 107 times and is still yet to pass. They have so far spent £3,317 trying to pass the exam, which costs £31 a time. The test includes a 57-minute multiple choice exam, with a pass mark of 43 out of 50, and a hazard perception test with a pass mark of 44 out of 75. Once you’ve passed both parts of the theory, there’s still the practical to overcome. One determined 40-year-old logged a record number of practical driving tests – passing on his 37th attempt. The unnamed man, from Stoke-on-Trent, forked out at least £2,294 trying to pass – which could have paid for a reasonable second-hand car. An AA Driving School spokesman said: ‘This is an unusually high number of test attempts, but it is important to remember that everyone learns at their own pace. Their determination to pass highlights how important learning to drive is to most people.”

Sperm donor mum tracks down her son’s ‘global family’ as she goes online to find six-year-old’s 11 lookalike siblings: “With their similarly shaped faces and shared blond hair and blue eyes, it’s easy to guess that the three boys are brothers. But Max Silverwood and half-brothers Liam and Grant come from three different families – and have nine other siblings around the world. Their remarkable global ‘family’ has emerged after six-year-old Max’s mother Ellie Silverwood tracked down the other offspring of the sperm donor she used. The only information she had for the anonymous man was that he is Danish and had the donor alias ‘Dane 1421’. Miss Silverwood, from Oxford, conceived Max with a donor because her now ex-husband was unable to have children. As her son grew, she began to wonder more and more about what Max’s siblings might look like if he had any. She joined the Donor Sibling Registry, a US-based website which allows families of donor children to locate each other, registering her interest in contacting anyone related to Dane 1421.”

And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.

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