Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre most recently made News of the Weird in 2004 because of continued petty territorial fighting among the six Christian denominations that share management of the church, which is home to some of Christianity’s holiest sites, including that of Christ’s resurrection. As Easter approached this year, three of the groups that control one 10-stall restroom could not agree how to divide responsibility for repairing it, leading to a pervasive stench in the building. Furthermore, the path of the outflow sewage pipe (which needed enlarging) passes under property of a fourth denomination, which has resisted helping unless it is granted control of one of the 10 stalls.
WOULD BE GREAT BRITAIN
Britain’s General Dental Council found dentist Alan Hutchinson guilty in April of several hygiene violations, including frequent hand-washing lapses, failure to sterilize instruments that he had taken off treatment trays to clean his own ears and fingernails with, and, more than once, urinating in his surgery sink. The council said it needed another hearing to decide whether Hutchinson’s habits impaired his treatment of patients.
FUN IN THE OC
Following a three-year investigation by federal and local authorities in Orange County, Calif., the owners of at least 10 massage parlors were arrested in March and accused of running prostitution establishments. Among the investigators’ findings was that, to reduce the cost of supplying condoms, the salons urged customers to use plastic food wrap, which management bought in large quantities. Said District Attorney Tom Rackauckas, “I really don’t think about [plastic food wrap] in the same way anymore.”
The Scandia Family Fun Center, which operates a super thrill ride (168 feet high, spinning at 60 miles an hour, pulling 3.5 g’s) called the Screamer, in Sacramento, Calif., decided in March that because of neighborhood residents’ noise complaints, riders would be prohibited from screaming (and subject to ejection from the park).
The latest National Assessment of Educational Progress, released in February, revealed that 12th graders’ reading ability is at an all-time low, yet their grades for English class are at an all-time high (averaging 2.82 on a 4.0 scale, up from 2.52 15 years ago). Also, Washington state legislators, faced with 10th graders’ declining achievement test scores in math and science, are poised to just eliminate the tests altogether—while retaining those for reading and writing, which do not show declines—according to a March Seattle Times report. Some math and science would still be tested, but only right after math and science classes, when memories are fresher and, presumably, scores would be higher.
According to the manager of BJ’s Pawn Shop in Gretna, La., a customer came in with his diaper-clad boy of about two in April and handed the kid an AK-47 from the store’s shelf, instructed him how to hold it in order to “mow [people] down, kill everybody,” and told him that “Daddy’s going to buy you this chopper.” The manager, incredulous, said he took the gun back and shooed the pair out. MTW