Britain's ITV1 television network announced plans in April to accept "prop placements" to blend into production of its new reality talent show in which actors compete for the lead role in the musical "Jesus Christ Superstar." The network said, for example, that it was seeking coffee machines, which piqued the interest of the De'Longhi brand manager, who offered its top-of-the-line Magnifica ESAM4200 and, according to its public relations firm, suggested perhaps interrupting the play's climactic song "The Crucifixion" while Jesus savors a cup brewed from the Magnifica. An April report in London's The Independent noted that the opera's composer, LordAndrew Lloyd Webber, was on board with the idea, but that the original lyricist, SirTim Rice, called it "tacky."
What Goes Around
NOTE: From time to time, News of the Weird reminds readers that bizarre human adventures repeat themselves again and again. Here are some choice selections of previous themes coming around again:
-Each spring in Dongyang, China, the aroma of urine is in the air — specifically, the town's specialty of eggs boiled in the discharge of young boys (under age 10, typically gathered "fresh" from toilets at local schools). Townspeople have believed for centuries that the eggs, properly cooked, bring health and prosperity. "By eating these eggs," one shopper told a Reuters reporter in March, "we will not have any pain in our waists, legs and joints. Also, you will have more energy when you work." In fact, Dongyang officials have proclaimed "virgin boy eggs" as an "intangible cultural heritage."
-And this spring, the Chinese marked the Qingming holiday with celebrations honoring the dead by making offerings to their deceased relatives. At the "tomb-sweeping" festival, people present paper replicas of items their ancestors are believed to need in the afterlife. Uncreative relatives give play money, but the offerings can be elaborate, such as shoes, cars and TV sets, or this year's hot item — paper iPads, which were selling in Hong Kong for the equivalent of about $3.
-Sound Familiar? McDonald's still proudly serves its coffee hot, notwithstanding the notorious 1992 lawsuit for burns suffered by Stella Liebeck. In March 2012, Mona Abdelal filed a lawsuit in Cook County, Ill., over burns that her granddaughter, 4, suffered when fetching Abdelal's coffee order from a McDonald's server. According to the suit, the server violated company policy that requires tightly closed lids on coffee cups and prohibits handing the cups to children.
-More and more newspapers are assigning reporters to pore through local birth records to sample the diversity of names parents are giving their kids these days. An Edmonton Journal reporter noted in March that the nearly 51,000 babies born in the province of Alberta in 2011 included a boy named Moo, two girls named Unique, an Einstein, a Messiah, a J-Cub, a Smiley, a Tuff, a Tuba, a Jazz, a Camry, an Andromeda and an Xxavier (sic), and a boy named R and a girl named J.
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