Elder lament

October 15, 2014 at 12:17 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment




Odd news from around the world

High fashion? Customers return iconic Hermès Birkin bags worth $20,000 after leather starts to smell of marijuana: “Customers have returned bags worth almost $20,000 to iconic bag makers Hermès after complaining that the expensive accessories smell of marijuana. The bags have been returned from shops to boutiques in Paris after staff at the luxury fashion brand noticed there was a problem with a ‘badly tanned’ batch of leather from a supplier. It is believed that the tanning process can make the leather bags smell like cannabis when it is warmed up in a hot car or when left in direct sunlight. ‘The bags are being sent back to Paris as nobody knows quite how to deal with this embarrassing situation.’ The bags affected include the Birkin, which can cost up to $18,900 in leather, the Kelly, costing up to $9,250, and the Elan clutch, worth $4,580. Hermès has a reputation for making the best bags on the market. Customers have been told that the bags have to be returned to the company’s headquarters in Paris so the bad-smelling leather panels can be removed and the entire bag rebuilt.”

Young Balinese men dress in dried banana leaves to spread good luck and fertility: “It is a rarely performed ritual and then only in the Bali Aga village of Trunyan. The village people believe that they are the original Balinese as they were there before Majapahit migration from Java began in 1340. Only youths are allowed to participate in the dance and they have to be chosen, then purified and spend 42 days in quarantine. It is a rarely performed ritual and then only in the Bali Aga village of Trunyan and even then only by young men. The dancers wear a mask made from a coconut shell and ‘coats’ of keraras or banana leaves that have been dried. Each wears two or three sets of clothing from banana leaves, some hung on the waist and others partly on the shoulder, under the neck. As the youths run around the temple around passers-by attempt to steal the leaves while the young men carry whips to beat off their ‘assailants’. The Brutuk ceremony usually lasts for three consecutive days beginning at noon and ends around 5 pm

Obese minister for public health: “Some politicians come under fire for being corrupt or incompetent, but Belgium’s new Minister of Public Health is the first political figure to come under fire for being too fat for the job. Maggie De Block – who is Belgium’s most popular politician and was once tipped as a future premier – surprised many when it was announced she would take up the role of Health Minister in the centre-right coalition which has just taken office. The 52-year-old, who weighs in at more than 20 stone, was not considered to be exactly setting a good example in a country where obesity is a growing health problem. The anti-Maggie charge was led by Tom van de Weghe, a Washington-based correspondent for Belgium’s VRT television station. In a tweet he questioned whether she would be ‘credible’ in her new post. NOS, a top Dutch TV channel, likened her to a larger-than-life figure from a Rubens painting and said her ‘obvious corpulence’ would cause ‘sniggering.’ But Ms De Block, who practised medicine as a GP for 25 years, has shrugged off the criticism. ‘I know I’m not a model but you have to see what’s inside, not the packaging,’ she said.”

British parrot missing for four years returns speaking Spanish: “A pet parrot that spoke with a British accent when it disappeared from its home four years ago has been reunited with its owner – and the bird now speaks Spanish. The reunion was brought about by a Southern California veterinarian who mistook Nigel, an African gray parrot, for her own missing bird. Teresa Micco tracked Nigel’s microchip to Darren Chick, a Briton who lives in Torrance. When she verified Chick’s name and said she had his African grey parrot, “He looked at me like I was crazy.” He said his bird went missing four years earlier. Little is known about Nigel’s whereabouts the past four years, but Chick says the bird’s British accent is gone, and it now chatters in Spanish. Chick says last week’s reunion brought tears of joy to his eyes – despite the fact that Nigel bit him when he first tried to pick him up.”

World’s biggest cow: “A 6ft 4in cow from Pennsylvania has been named the tallest in the world. Blosom, a 13-year-old Holstein Friesian cow, is owned by Patty Hanson and lives on her farm in Orangeville. At the end of May, family and friends began documenting Blosom’s mass through photos and videos. Blosom reaches Hanson’s shoulder which is actually taller than Bulls star Derrick Rose. She is so big that Blosom barely fits in the chute for the foot trimmer. She says she knew Blosom was special when she was a calf. Hanson says she sought the record after veterinarians and the cow’s foot trimmer constantly noted the 2,000lb animal’s large size. After learning the cow couldn’t bear a calf, she decided to keep the tame animal as a pet instead of sending Blosom to slaughter, reports RRStar.com. ‘Blosom is the pride of the farm,’ Hanson said. ‘I love to share her with my guests and she loves to greet them. Blosom is so popular that she even has her own Facebook page.” Blosom turned 13 in July.”

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


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