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UPI NewsTrack Quirks in the News

Aug. 31, 2012 at 6:07 PM   |   Comments

Vatican plans Latin academy

VATICAN CITY, Aug. 31 (UPI) -- The Vatican said Pope Benedict XVI will establish a pontifical academy for the study and promotion of the Latin language.

Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, the president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, said the Pontificia Academia Latinitatis will employ a staff of "eminent academics of various nationalities, whose aim it will be to promote the use and knowledge of the Latin language in both ecclesiastical and civil contexts, including schools," the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph reported Friday.

Ravasi said the academy is part of the Vatican's aim to increase the popularity of Latin, which is the official language of the Roman Catholic Church.


School breaks cowbell record

TORONTO, Aug. 31 (UPI) -- Ryerson University in Toronto said a group of 1,003 students, faculty and staff broke the world record for the largest cowbell ensemble.

The event, organized by the school's orientation team, university staff and Ryerson Students' Union, involved participants playing the cowbell part to Blue Oyster Cult's "Don't Fear the Reaper" while local rock band SEAM handled the rest of the song, the school said.

Organizers said the 1,003 participants beat the record of a 640-strong cowbell ensemble set by a Boswil, Switzerland, group in September 2009.

The record has been submitted to Guinness World Records for certification, organizers said.


Purdue team builds drum for Flugtag

CHICAGO, Aug. 31 (UPI) -- Purdue University said its marching band will participate in the Red Bull Flugtag in Chicago by flying the world's largest drum into Lake Michigan.

Chris Tamamoto, team captain for the "All American" Marching Band and a senior in aeronautical engineering at the Indiana school, said the "Dropping the Bass" glider will be a life-sized replica of the world's largest drum with wings and a tail attached to allow it to glide, Purdue University News reported Friday.

"Purdue students have a long history of pushing the frontiers of flight," Yamamoto said. "None is more well known than Purdue band alumnus Neil Armstrong. Of course, he flew farther than we will."

Yamamoto, who will pilot the craft at the Sept. 8 event, said he previously served as chief engineer for a team that finished second at the 2010 Flugtag in Florida.

"I hope to use that experience and my now-increased aerospace engineering education to propel us to victory," Yamamoto said. "Of course, my thrust is completely dependent on the muscles of bandmates. Unfortunately, all of the football players are busy that day pushing people around at Notre Dame."


Paper lunch bag sells for $290

NEW YORK, Aug. 31 (UPI) -- A New York Jil Sander store said it is already sold out of its latest fashion accessory -- a brown paper lunch bag with a $290 price tag.

The store and the designer's online store said they are sold out of the Vasari sack, which consists of coated paper with brown stitching along the seams and a pair of metal eyelets near the base, the New York Daily News reported Friday.

The designer also markets a black leather version of the bag for $630.

Mildred Fabian, regional director of the design house, said she does not believe the prices for the items are too high.

"You have to get a collector's piece," she said.

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