– A fan of right-wing faux-historian David Barton Godwins himself, and not even subtly (cf. Godwin’s Law.)
– A lost parakeet in Japan named Piko-chan is reunited with his owner after telling police its address.
– Authorities in Kazan, capital of Tatarstan, Russia, have found a Muslim sect (some might say “cult”) literally underground:
Seventy members of an Islamist sect have been discovered living in an eight-level underground bunker without heat for more than a decade, just outside the city of Kazan, Russia.
The BBC says four members of a breakaway Muslim sect have been charged with cruelty against children for keeping them underground in catacomb-like cells without heat. Many had never seen sunlight.
Police discovered the sub-terranean community in the Tatarstan region, a mainly Muslim area on the Volga River, during an investigation into recent attacks on Muslim clerics in the region.
Some of the children, aged between one and seventeen had never left the compound, gone to school or treated by a doctor.
A more nuanced view of the compound, suggesting (or hinting) that Russian authorities have exaggerated the conditions in order “to show they are cracking down on radical Islamic groups” comes from The Blaze, of all places.
– Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men in Israel have the latest cutting-edge technology to protect them from seeing hotties out on the street:
New prescription glasses that blur out temptress daughters of Eve are now available for ultra-Orthodox Jewish men in Israel whose religious beliefs require that they strictly avoid contact with women in public, especially “immodestly” dressed women.
The new glasses allow ultra-Orthodox men to maintain a strictly devout lifestyle that prescribes segregation of the sexes on buses, streets, restaurants, parks and other public spaces. According to the ultra-Orthodox interpretation of Jewish law, all contact between unmarried men and women is forbidden.
The Associated Press reports that the ultra-Orthodox community’s “modesty patrols” are selling the glasses equipped with special blur-inducing stickers on their lenses. The glasses allow for clear vision only up to a few meters but all objects beyond that range are blurry.
I have two thoughts on this: (1) This is a far preferable solution, as opposed to trying to dictate what Israeli women must wear or where they can sit. (2) It is very hard not to point out the symbolism of special glasses for ultra-religious individuals that only allow them to see a few feet in front of themselves.
– A newfangled 3D printer in Japan will create a replica of your unborn fetus. As Allegra Tepper at Mashable notes, “It’s kind of like a snow globe — of your unborn child.” So, uh, not creepy at all…
– A civilian contractor, with the oddly-appropriate surname Fury, faces two federal counts of arson for allegedly setting two fires on or near the nuclear submarine USS Miami. The fire on board the sub reportedly caused $400 million in damage and took twelve hours to extinguish. The prosecution is claiming that he set at least one of the fires so he could leave work early. The judge is keeping him in jail until trial.
– Medical marijuana activists sent fake letters, purporting to be from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, to pharmacies in San Diego warning them that they would be shut down within forty-five days. The point of the hoax, apparently, was to highlight U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy’s mission to shut down medical marijuana dispensaries around California (presumably because drugs are bad, mmmkay?), and the disparate treatment pharmacies receive from federal authorities compared to dispensaries. Hard to argue with the message, but the tactic seems very junior high.
Photo credit: Godwin Cat, via dollymix.tv.