Dispatches > Quick Takes

Quick Takes

Quick Takes

Issue: "Darwin's meltdown," April 3, 2004

Knock 'em dead

Two London performance artists are hoping to find someone who will donate his body not to science or medicine, but to art. Matthew Scott and Jo Dagless say they need a real corpse for an upcoming production called &quotDead ... You Will Be." But letters to 70 hospices have failed to unearth a single terminal patient who is willing to give his body to the production, reports the Reuters news service.

So now the pair is appealing to healthy persons to donate their bodies in the event that they die before the production's May 11 opening. So far, the opportunity to help &quotreawaken a collective response to the reality of death," the production's stated goal, has not drawn any takers.

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Mr. Scott, however, doesn't seem worried about finding people &quotwho would be willing to share themselves with the audience."

Very superstitious

No longer believing in an all-powerful state or in God, many post-communist Bulgarians are apparently ready to believe in just about anything. A Gallup Poll for Jenata Dnes, a women's magazine, found that half of Bulgarians believe in black magic and telepathy and a third believe in horoscopes, that broken mirrors bring bad luck, and that the number 13 has special powers.

Strawberry tallcake

Citizens of La Trinidad, Philippines, should be able to have their cake and eat it, too. That's because their cake weighs 24,572 pounds, has a 16-foot-by-24-foot base, and stands over 8 feet tall. La Trinidad mayor Nestor Fongwan says he hopes the town will gain entry into the Guinness Book of Records for making the world's largest strawberry buttercake. The cake's ingredients include three tons of strawberries, a ton of flour, and a thousand eggs.

Birds and the bears

Hua Mei, a panda born in San Diego and sent to China in February, is almost ready to mate. But Chinese veterinarians, concerned that the young bear's instincts might fail her, have begun showing her panda &quotsex-education" videos, designed to prepare Hua Mei for &quotblind dates" with Chinese suitors. &quotWe hope she can get pregnant by the end of March," said veterinarian Wei Rongping. &quotBut first of all, she should have some sexual education."

Catch of the day

A Dutch burglar apparently worked up an appetite as he robbed a home in Amsterdam last month. So he decided to fry up some fish. Police told the Reuters news service that the smell woke up the homeowner, who &quotwent to investigate [and] found the man standing at the oven." The intruder told authorities that he had a special fondness for fish and beer.

A house divided against itself

Sean and Melissa Davidson of Statesboro, Ga., were confused but definitely passionate about The Passion of the Christ. They left the theater on March 11 arguing about the nature of God the Father (reportedly whether He was human or symbolic), and when they arrived home the debate turned violent-to the point that they both called the police.

Both were mistaken about God (He is a Spirit and He is real); both suffered injuries (Mrs. Davidson to her arm and face and Mr. Davidson to his hand, with a stab wound from scissors); and both were placed under arrest for simple battery.

&quotReally, it was kind of a pitiful thing, to go to a movie like that and fight about it," said Gene McDaniel, chief sheriff's deputy. &quotI think they missed the point."

Name dropper

Add Terry Lee Romine to the list of alleged robbers who not only carry personal identification during robberies but then leave it at the scene of the crime (see WORLD, Oct. 25, 2003). After ordering a slice of pizza at the V-Mart in Comfort, W.Va., on March 19, Mr. Romine allegedly demanded cash from the register. But in his rush to leave, he left some of his own money on the counter-along with the rest of the contents of his wallet, which police used to track down the hapless accused thief. He was arrested and then freed on $50,000 bond.

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