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This Just In

BEIJING, CHINA — The 2018 Disney movie “Christopher Robin” has been banned in China, reportedly because President Xi Jinping is sensitive about his resemblance to Winnie the Pooh.

The ban follows a series of recent restrictions that block most references to Winnie the Pooh on Chinese social media. China’s internet filtering and censorship system is one of the most restrictive in the world.

Because Xi is sensitive about his perceived resemblance to Pooh, dissidents and critics bring it up at every opportunity. Winnie the Pooh coffee mugs have become popular, and side-by-side photos of Xi and Pooh appear regularly.

xi-pooh

BELLEVILLE, ILLINOIS — A team of firefighters rescued a Belleville man last month who became stuck in quicksand while pursuing his pet parrot.

The rescue took place at a city park after visitors reported the man calling for help.

A lake at the park was being dredged, and the mud became liquefied, forming the quicksand. Firefighters extended ladders across the mud and hauled the man to safety.

Ironically, the parrot returned and perched on the man’s shoulder during the rescue.

No injuries were reported to man, bird, or firefighters.

parrot rescue

KRATIÉ, CAMBODIA — Khim Hang, a 74-year-old widow, shares her home with a five-month-old calf she believes is a reincarnation of her husband Tol Khut, who died a year ago.

“I believe that the calf is my husband because whatever he does … is in exactly the same way as my husband did when he was alive,” she said.

The calf enters the woman’s home freely, where it is fed, washed, and put to bed on a pillow once used by Tol Khut.

The calf was born in March and has become a Cambodian social media sensation with a strong following on Facebook. As many as 100 people a day visit Khim Hang’s house to see the calf.

reincarnation

 

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anti-theft

Print

tacos

redundancy

 

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The Questions…

1. In 1892, English writer Rudyard Kipling married an American woman and settled in Vermont, where he introduced a new sport to America. What was it?

2. What is the unusual connection between Napoleon Bonaparte, who died in 1821, and the FBI, which was formed a century later?

3. What is a flexitarian?

4. What, exactly, is a Mexican jumping bean?

5. In 1910, Nathaniel Baldwin got tired of not being able to hear the sermons inside Salt Lake City’s Mormon Tabernacle, a cavernous place that seats 7,000. What did Baldwin do about it?

The Answers…

1. Snow golf, which was a popular winter pastime in Europe. Kipling, an avid golfer, reportedly came up with the idea of using red golf balls and red cups for better visibility in the snow.

2. Charles Bonaparte, Napoleon’s great-nephew, served as Attorney General under President Theodore Roosevelt. In 1909, Charles formed a unit of special agents within the Justice Department that evolved into the FBI.

3. A flexitarian is a “flexible vegetarian” who isn’t above eating meat on occasion.

4. A seed pod from a mountain shrub that is inhabited by a moth larva. When the bean is warmed (e.g., in the hand), the larva spasms, trying to avoid the heat, and the bean jumps. If the bean has a hole in it, the larva has gone forth into the world.

5. Baldwin, an electrical engineer, invented headphones. His device consisted of a compressed-air amplifier, two receivers (the earpieces), and a connecting headband.

snow golf

baldwin headphones

 

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Tune o’ the Day

In the early 1960s, Ed Cobb of the pop group The Four Preps wrote “Tainted Love,” a song about, what else, love gone bad.

In 1965, a high-energy version of the song was recorded by soul singer Gloria Jones as the B-side of her latest single. Both sides bombed. Ms. Jones recorded “Tainted Love” again in 1974, and it bombed again.

Then in 1981, the English duo Soft Cell released a slower, synth-pop version of “Tainted Love.” For reasons every musician salivates to understand, it hit a sweet spot with the public. Even today, turn on an 80s Alternative music station, and you’ll hear “Tainted Love” within the hour.

Soft Cell has remained active over the years, apparently making a living on tour. But nothing they wrote attained the success of “Tainted Love.” Which they greatly improved upon, but didn’t write.

soft cell

Vocalist Mark Almond (left) and instrumentalist David Ball.

Tainted Love

By Soft Cell, 1981
Written by Ed Cobb

Sometimes, I feel I’ve got to
Run away. I’ve got to
Get away
From the pain you drive into the heart of me.

The love we share
Seems to go nowhere,
And I’ve lost my light,
For I toss and turn, I can’t sleep at night.

Once, I ran to you (I ran).
Now I’ll run from you.
This tainted love you’ve given,
I give you all a boy could give you.
Take my tears, and that’s not nearly all.

Tainted love (oh).
Tainted love (oh).

Now I know I’ve got to
Run away. I’ve got to
Get away.
You don’t really want any more from me.

To make things right,
You need someone to hold you tight.
And you think love is to pray.
But I’m sorry, I don’t pray that way.

Once, I ran to you (I ran).
Now I’ll run from you.
This tainted love you’ve given.
I give you all a boy could give you.
Take my tears, and that’s not nearly all.

Tainted love (oh).
Tainted love (oh).


Don’t touch me, please.
I cannot stand the way you tease.
I love you, though you hurt me so.
Now I’m gonna pack my things and go.

Tainted love (oh).
Tainted love (oh).
Tainted love (oh).
Tainted love (oh).

Touch me, baby, tainted love.
Touch me, baby, tainted love.
Tainted love (oh).
Tainted love (oh).

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He, who will not reason, is a bigot; he, who cannot, is a fool; and he, who dares not, is a slave.

— Sir William Drummond

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Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.

Blaise Pascal

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They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.

— Carl W. Buehner

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Patriotism is being proud of a country’s virtues and eager to correct its deficiencies; it also acknowledges the legitimate patriotism of other countries, with their own specific virtues. The pride of nationalism, however, trumpets its country’s virtues and denies its deficiencies, while it is contemptuous toward the virtues of other countries. It wants to be, and proclaims itself to be, “the greatest,” but greatness is not required of a country; only goodness is.

— Sydney J. Harris

Drummond W

Drummond

Harris SJ

Harris

 

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Old-young

blank

Former

Kessel run

 

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Tune o’ the Day

In the closing scene of the 1984 John Hughes movie “Sixteen Candles,” Jake and Samantha are together at last in a fairy-tale ending. And one of the reasons that schmaltzy scene worked so well was “If You Were Here” by the Thompson Twins” playing in the background.

Technically, “If You Were Here” was all wrong for the situation. It’s no happy love song. It’s about a guy who wants out of a bad relationship.

Maybe Hughes ignored the disconnect because the song sounds so good. Lyrics? What lyrics? Or maybe he rationalized that the song refers to Jake’s fizzled relationship with the school prom queen.

Yeah, the second one. That’s probably it.

Thompson Twins

If You Were Here

By The Thompson Twins
Written by Tom Bailey, Alannah Joy Currie, and Joe Leeway.

If you were here,
I could deceive you.
And if you were here,
You would believe.
But would you suspect
My emotion wandering, yeah.
Do not want a part of this anymore.

The rain water drips
Through a crack in the ceiling.
I’ll have to spend
My time on repair.
But just like the rain,
I’ll be always falling, yeah,
Only to rise and fall again.

If you were here,
I could deceive you.
And if you were here,
You would believe.
But would you suspect
My emotion wandering, yeah.
Do not want a part of this anymore.

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