Children for sale in Chicago, 1948. Some parents sold their children due to poverty

April 17, 2014 at 8:47 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Indian top court recognises third sex: “India’s top court has recognised the country’s long marginalised transgender community as a third gender and, in a landmark judgment lauded by human rights groups, called on the government to ensure their equal treatment. There are hundreds of thousands of transgenders in India, say activists, but because they are not legally recognised, they are ostracised, discriminated against, abused and often forced into prostitution. The court ruling – which came after hearing a petition filed by a group of transgenders demanding equal rights – recognised the community as a marginalised group and directed authorities to implement policies to improve their socioeconomic status. Due to their lack of access to jobs and education, many male-to-female transgenders – also known as “hijras” – are forced to work as sex workers or move around in organised groups begging or demanding money. [This is a bit misreported. It was eunuchs who were recognized. Eunuchs are a traditional group in India]

Ornament used as a doorstop for 40 years turns out to be a precious Quinlong vase worth £250,000: “An intricate wooden ornament used as a doorstop for 40 years has turned out to be a Chinese relic worth over £250,000. The nine-inch-tall item is a carved brush pot dating back to the late 18th century when it would have been used to store calligraphers’ brushes. It was handed down generations until it reached the unnamed husband and wife, who used it to prop open their living room door. Hoping to buy a car, the pair invited an auctioneer to their cottage home in Hertfordshire to value some other ornaments. But expert Richard Harrison was stunned when he spotted the brush pot on the floor, instantly recognising it as a Chinese masterpiece. ‘As soon as we were able to share the details of this brush pot with our network in China, it became clear that interest in this piece was going to be phenomenal.’ The brush pot, which is 12 inches wide, is a rare example of Zitan artwork and is carved from a single piece of wood.”

Hi-tech ‘super loo’ leaves locals terrified as it unpredicably BLASTS water at them, locks them inside and pushes them off the toilet: “Women are terrified to use a town centre public toilet because they fear the door swinging open while they are perched on the loo. And an automatic ‘arm’ reaches out when it flushes which has already knocked one young woman off the toilet seat. More than four hundred people have signed a petition calling on the council to replace the button-operated WC in Woking, Surrey, with a ‘less frightening’ loo. ‘The risk of the door opening unexpectedly while it is in use, and the toilet’s unisex nature and conspicuous position puts people off visiting it’ she said. ‘And it has an unpredictable cleaning system – people are frightened of it going into a wash cycle and them not being able to get out.”

Pensioner who bought Austin Seven for £140 as a teenager restores it to its former glory 61 years on after finding it in a dusty barn: “After saving for months, 17-year-old Brian Rollings bought the car of his dreams in 1953 – a 1936 Austin Opal Tourer. The young engineer bought the second-hand car for £140, and spent hours polishing the bright red convertible, which even helped him woo his wife-to-be. The famous model – known as the ‘baby Austin’ – was wildly popular when first manufactured, and remains much-loved today. In 1955 Mr Rollings reluctantly traded the car in for a larger alternative, but never forgot about his first ride. Decades after the fateful sale his passion for classic cars led him to strike up a search to see whether he could track down the old car and buy it back. Miraculously, the search was successful and, aged 77, Mr Rollings was able to buy the Austin 7 back for £4,000. In the 56 years since he had seen it the car had decayed considerably, but after three years of loving attention, it has been restored to its formerly glory.

It’s the start of the year 2071 in Nepal: “Their faces covered in colourful powder, this is how Nepalese revellers celebrate the New Year – marking the start of 2071. The Bisket Jatra festival takes place over nine days in Bhaktapur, Nepal, with rituals and dancing – as well as symbolic offerings to god-like figures. During the celebrations, a three-storey wooden chariot carrying the revered idol of Bhairab is pulled through the narrow streets by local men, before a huge tree trunk is erected – representing the union of man and woman. The pole is then torn down in a tug of war during the celebrations, which are also known as Sindoor Jatra. The religious festival – which marks the year 2071 in the Bikram calendar – also sees locals sacrificing chickens for a statue of god-figure Lingam. Bhaktapur is one of three ancient settlements in the Kathmandu Valley, the other two being Kathmandu, the country’s capital, and Patan.”

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

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