By Chuck Shepherd
11:05 AM EDT, September 3, 2013
The conflicted double life of Israeli Orthodox Jew Shadar Hadar, 34, might be as formidable to manage as that of an international spy. Though deeply and defiantly religious, he typically around midnight "trades his knitted white yarmulke" for a "wavy blond wig and pink velvet dress" and takes the stage as a nascent drag queen, according to an August Associated Press dispatch from Jerusalem. His gayness has alienated his ex-wife (who bars him from seeing their daughter, now 11) and is only grudgingly accepted by his parents. As a bridge of sorts in his life, he has rejected the usual raunchy drag queen personas and adopted instead that of a female rabbinic adviser, musing from the stage on optimistic teachings of Breslov Hasidic ultra-Orthodox Judaism.
Fetishes on Parade
Finding an aberrant sexual behavior not previously mentioned in News of the Weird is an exhausting task, but British psychologist Mark Griffiths, of Nottingham Trent University, has succeeded: the eproctophile (a person sexually aroused by the passing of gas). Griffiths told LiveScience.com in July that he plans to study other rare "paraphilic disorders," including "fire fetish, a blindness fetish and dacryphilia, or arousal by tears, weeping or sobbing."
Government in Action
-Philadelphia's Veterans Stadium, whose construction was financed in 1964 by borrowing $25 million (and untold more as part of a subway expansion to service the stadium), was demolished in 2004 and is but a memory to the city's sports fans. However, nine years later, the city is still paying for it (though next year will retire the $25 million bond and nine years from now, the city hopes, will retire the stadium/subway bond). The city's deputy controller told PhillyMag.com in June, profoundly, "When issuing a bond to build a facility, the debt payment on that bond should not outlast the facility."
-Toronto is facing such a crippling backlog of challenges to parking tickets, reported the Toronto Star in August, that more than 73,000 citations from last year were still unresolved and that many cases were proceeding even less hurriedly. Mahmood-Reza Arab, a computer programmer who was ticketed for parking too close to a hydrant in 2005 and who has dutifully met all deadlines for making a proper challenge, was recently scheduled (again) for trial before a judge — this month (September 2013). A spokesman said the "normal" wait time for a court date is "only" 18 months.
Artist John Knuth creates "broad swaths of color that appear to be meticulous impressionistic abstractions," reported a Gizmodo.com writer in July, but in a video made for the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, Knuth revealed that he makes colors with paint harvested from the vomit of about 200,000 houseflies. Knuth raises the flies from maggots, then feeds them sugar mixed with watercolor pigments, then coaxes the flies to regurgitate -- and then captures and uses the result. Of Knuth's accompanying high-minded explanations of his purpose, Gizmodo wrote, "Once you decide to make paintings from fly barf, you pretty much forfeit any other subtext you'd like your audience to appreciate."
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