News of the Weird
Bizarre but true stories about real people collected by syndicated columnist Chuck Shepherd.
According to a report in the Asian Wall Street Journal, golf camps in China, Japan, South Korea and Singapore teach kids as young as 2, in many cases merely because parents are awed by the financially successful pro golfer Michelle Wie, who started at age 4. Some adult golfers in Thailand understand the obsession, such as those who play the Kantarat course in Bangkok, whose fairways are between active runways of Don Muang airport, with the “smell of kerosene on the first tee” and the occasional need to dodge planes to play a tough lie. And China’s Xiamen University recently began requiring that students majoring in management, law and software engineering take a course in golf, to round out a “socially elite” education.
Among the indigenous rituals that survive today in Madagascar is the quinquennial (or so) “turning of the bones,” when families dig up their ancestors’ remains, polish them, show them around the village (so the departed can see how things have changed), and re-dress and re-inter them. Not to partake is to show disrespect, bring bad luck, and risk one’s own unsatisfactory afterlife, according to an October Wall Street Journal dispatch from Antananarivo.
Frank Williams, 48, filed a lawsuit in Pittsburgh in August, accusing the state Department of Corrections of improperly punishing him four years ago when he was immediately ordered back to prison for missing a parole appointment. Williams said he was not able to contest the decision then because he was hospitalized, unconscious, having been shot on his way to the appointment, and in the intervening years, his medical condition has worsened because of inadequate medical care in prison.
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