News of the Weird
Bizarre but true stories about real people collected by syndicated columnist Chuck Shepherd.
In 2001, News of the Weird noted a U.S. tour by the Indian spiritual leader “Amma” (Mata Amritanandamayi), whose mission in life is to dispense random hugs in her attempt to calm the world’s stresses, sometimes putting in 20-hour days of straight hugging. In some countries, however, public hugging has not taken hold. Random huggers working the streets in three Chinese cities in October found that most people ignored them, and in Beijing, police detained the huggers for questioning. In north London in October, two New York coaches staged the country’s first (non-sexual) “cuddle party” to a slowly warming group of Brits that eventually loosened up and hugged. (A recent study cited by London’s Daily Telegraph reported that at a Puerto Rican cafe, diners touched each other 180 times per hour, vs. zero in a British cafe.)
In October, a judge freed Tammy Skinner, 22, of Suffolk, Va., who had been charged with killing her unborn, third-trimester child by shooting herself in the abdomen. The judge said Virginia’s anti-abortion law, like those of other states, makes criminals of doctors and others who abort third-trimester fetuses (absent special medical circumstances) but exempt the mother herself.
(Send your Weird News to Chuck Shepherd, P.O. Box 18737, Tampa FL 33679 or [email protected] or go to www.NewsoftheWeird.com.) NEWS OF THE WEIRD