Israeli kids hurt by teachers' name-calling
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Students at an Israeli high school were in an uproar on Monday after a teacher mistakenly sent them an internal email that spelled out what faculty members really thought about them. "Not too bright", "Liar", "Tactless", "Big Baby", "Anti-social", "Has a thing for boys" and "Sick-o" were some of the descriptions on an Excel spreadsheet that landed in students' email boxes.
Cannabis-smoking ascetics light up Nepal festival
KATHMANDU (Reuters) - Ringed by an endless stream of pilgrims at an ancient temple in Kathmandu, Hindu holy man Mahant Ramnaresh Giri sat naked and puffed on a pipe filled with cannabis, his body smeared with ash as he took part in Nepal's biggest annual religious event. Giri was one of more than a hundred such naked ascetics at the ancient Shivaratri festival, which brings an estimated one million devout Hindus flocking to Kathmandu's Pashupatinath temple each year for rituals to cleanse them of sin and earn a place in heaven.
China's heavy-handed censors will now have to endure Ai Weiwei's heavy metal
BEIJING (Reuters) - Dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei announced plans on Monday to release a heavy-metal album that he said would "express his opinion" just as he does with his art. The burly and bearded Ai said 81 days in secretive detention in 2011, which sparked an international outcry, triggered his foray into music.
Let them eat cake later - Americans hosting "fitness parties"
NEW YORK (Reuters) - From spinning birthday celebrations to pole dancing bachelorette bashes, U.S. gyms are offering fitness parties as new way to mark life's milestones - with a few friends and a good sweat. Gyms and fitness studios are often eager to host the festivities, which light up darkened rooms after hours and expose potential new members to their services.
Erin go bragh maybe, but no flag for Irish pub in Florida
(Reuters) - The owners of an Irish pub in northeast Florida said they were shocked to receive a citation for flying the Irish flag but have removed it to comply with a local ordinance banning commercial display of non-U.S. flags. The four sisters who own Culhane's Irish Pub in Atlantic Beach said Friday they would apply for a temporary permit allowing them to at least fly the green, white and orange Irish flag on St. Patrick's Day, March 17.
Even for sperm, there is a season
(Reuters) - Autumn is the time of year most associated with bumper crops of new babies, and according to an Israeli study there may be a scientific reason for it: human sperm are generally at their healthiest in winter and early spring. Based on samples from more than 6,000 men treated for infertility, researchers writing in American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology found sperm in greater numbers, with faster swimming speeds and fewer abnormalities in semen made during the winter, with a steady decline in quality from spring onward.
Europe explores how to define the "green fairy"
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - It's the green-hued fuel that has fired flights of poetic fancy since the 1800s, but now the European Union is examining whether to change how absinthe is defined. The intensely alcoholic spirit, dubbed "la fee verte" (the green fairy) by Parisian writers in reference to its reputed psychoactive properties, has been a fixture amongst artists and Europe's bohemians since the 1850s, with Oscar Wilde and Charles Baudelaire among the famous devotees.
Norway teacher fired after children taste her blood
OSLO (Reuters) - A Norwegian kindergarten teacher was fired this week after she brought a vial of her own blood to class and allowed children to touch and taste it, the head teacher of the kindergarten said on Friday. The teacher in Sola, on Norway's western coast, brought in a blood sample that was taken earlier in the day and poured it on a plate for the children, aged between 3 and 6, to see.
New York mother arraigned for hiring strippers for teen's party
(Reuters) - An upstate New York woman pleaded not guilty on Thursday to five counts of child endangerment after other parents complained that she hired female strippers for her son's 16th birthday party. Judy Viger, 33, of Gansevoort, New York, denied the charges of endangering the welfare of a child at her arraignment in the Town of Moreau Court, according to a court spokesperson. If convicted, she would face up to one year in jail.
Pro wrestling manager known as 'Paul Bearer' dies in Alabama
MOBILE, Alabama (Reuters) - The professional wrestling community on Wednesday mourned the death of William Moody, a real-life undertaker who gained fame as a wrestling manager with the ring name Paul Bearer. Moody, 58, who managed the entertainment sport's champion The Undertaker and helped launch the careers of wrestlers Kane and Mankind, died Tuesday night at a hospital in his hometown of Mobile, Alabama, according to a hospital employee. The hospital did not release a cause of death.