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CIVIC LESSON Yesterday at 12:00 AM
North Hempstead, New York, enforces its dog-littering ordinance with steep $250 fines and street-sign warnings displaying the amount. However, insiders have long known that the signs are wrong — that the written regulation calls for fines of only …
SO NOT PUNNY Yesterday at 12:00 AM
A November order from China's State Administration for Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television appears to impose a ban on the use of all idioms — including puns — as part of the government's crackdown on nonstandard language, especially …
UNCLEAR ON THE CONCEPT Yesterday at 12:00 AM
A 34-year-old man was arrested at a Tesco supermarket in Bar Hill, England, on Nov. 12 when he entered the store and threatened employees by showing them a photograph of a gun.
FARM-TO-TABLE-TO-MORTUARY Yesterday at 12:00 AM
As young professionals have embraced urban neighborhoods, locally grown produce has proliferated in community (and even backyard) gardens and is thought to be healthier than pesticide-laden commercial produce. However, the New York Post revealed in …
NEW FRONTIERS IN VACUOUSNESS Wednesday, September 24
In August, WE cable network disclosed it ordered a nine-episode adaptation of a British series, “Sex Box,” in which a couple enters a large opaque chamber on stage and has sex. The pair, pre- and post-coitally, are clothed and seated before a panel of lesser celebrities, and will respond to questions and comment on their feelings and techniques (likely enduring praise and criticisms about their “work”).
FILET OF DOG Yesterday at 12:00 AM
A passerby shooting video in November outside Lucky River Chinese restaurant in San Francisco caught an employee banging large slabs of frozen meat on the sidewalk, an effort, said the manager, to defrost them. A KPIX-TV reporter, visiting the …
THE ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT Wednesday, September 24
The “trendy” 25hours Hotel Bikini Berlin, beside the Berlin Zoo and with some of the best views of the city from its floor-to-ceiling windows, has famously positioned the restrooms of its Monkey Bar in front of the windows, also, and those heeding nature’s call are clearly visible to gawkers. Guests are merely warned, by the Trip Advisor website and by the hotel itself, with the admonition, “Please be careful. Not only the monkeys are watching.”
SIGNS OF THE TIMES Wednesday, October 22
“Selfie fever” has begun to sully the sacred Islamic pilgrimages to Mecca, according to scholars who complained to Arab News in September. What for centuries has been a hallowed journey intended to renew the spirit of Islam (that all Muslims are called upon to experience at least once) has come, for some in the so-called “Facebook era,” to resemble a trip to Disneyland, with visitors to the Sacred Mosque texting friends the “evidence” of their piety.
WAIT, WHAT? Yesterday at 12:00 AM
In November, a clothing store on Yabao Road in Beijing was criticized for posting a sign, "Chinese Not Admitted," on its door. An employee told Beijing Youth Daily newspaper that no one should believe "we Chinese look down upon ourselves. But some …
JUST IN CASE Wednesday, September 24
China’s insurance companies offer some of the world’s quirkiest policies, according to a September Reuters item from Hong Kong. People’s Insurance Group, for example, will pay out in case a customer’s children display disappointingly “mischievous and destructive” habits. The Ancheng company offers a policy protecting a customer in case his mouth is burned eating “hotpot.”
 
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