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UPI NewsTrack Quirks in the News

  |   March 26, 2013 at 5:00 PM
School apologizes for 'Jesus' stomping

DAVIE, Fla., March 26 (UPI) -- Florida Atlantic University issued an apology for a class exercise that involved Intercultural Communications students stomping on "Jesus."

The school issued an apology for the March 4 assignment in Deandre Poole's Davie classroom, which involved students being asked to write "Jesus" on a piece of paper then stomp on the paper, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported Tuesday.

"This exercise will not be used again," FAU officials said in a statement. "We sincerely apologize for any offense this caused. Florida Atlantic University respects all religions and welcomes people of all faiths, backgrounds and beliefs."

Communications department director Noemi Marin had earlier defended the assignment, saying, "while at times the topics discussed may be sensitive, a university environment is a venue for such dialogue and debate."

The exercise came from an instructor's manual written by St. Norbert College communications professor Jim Neuliep. The assignment was part of a chapter about dealing with the power of certain words.

"This exercise is a bit sensitive, but really drives home the point that even though symbols are arbitrary, they take on very strong and emotional meanings," the exercise states. "Most will hesitate. Ask why they can't step on the paper. Discuss the importance of symbols in culture."

Poole, who has been on the instructing staff since 2010, could not be reached for comment, the Sun Sentinel said.


Woman fined for slapping butt grabber

LUND, Sweden, March 26 (UPI) -- A Swedish woman who slapped a man she accused of grabbing her read end was convicted on an assault charge.

The 23-year-old woman, who said she only slapped the man because he grabbed her rear end at the Glorias nightclub in Lund during the summer, said the verdict "goes to show that it's OK for guys to grab girls any way they want," The Local.se reported Tuesday.

The court said the woman was subject to "serious provocation," but the slap, which broke the man's nose, did not qualify as self-defense.

The woman had attempted to press sexual assault charges against the man, but the complaint was dropped by police due to a lack of evidence.

The woman was given a suspended sentence and a $380 fine. She was also ordered to pay $286 in damages to the man.


Woman outraged by 'whale bone porn'

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, March 26 (UPI) -- A British Columbia woman said she wants the Vancouver Maritime Museum to deep six a display of whale bones with sexually explicit 19th century engravings.

Ann Pimentel, a mother and school teacher, said her 2- and 3-year-old children were needlessly exposed to the "whale bone porn" without any warnings that the scrimshaw -- etchings on hard surfaces from the bodies of sea creatures -- would include sexually explicit images, the National Post reported Tuesday.

Museum curator Patricia Owen said the pieces, part of the "Tattoo and Scrimshaw: The Art of the Sailor" exhibit, went on display last week and will remain until mid-October.

The museum said Pimentel is the only person to have complained about the display, which is raised high off the ground, far above toddler height, and placed under a sign reading, "Hide Your Eyes! These pieces of scrimshaw are not intended for children."


Longest dodgeball game lasts 43 hours

HALFMOON, N.Y., March 26 (UPI) -- An upstate New York club may have set a world record for the longest game of dodgeball -- an astonishing 43 hours consecutively.

Officials from the Guinness Book of World Records were reviewing logs and tapes of the affair, which took place in an outdoor sports complex in Halfmoon, N.Y., north of Albany. But participants -- shoulders and feet swollen, knuckles cracked, bodies bruised from all the thumps and thwacks -- celebrated the feat just the same.

The man behind the dodgeball marathon was Rob Immel, a 31-year-old gym teacher from Ballston Spa, N.Y. He founded Halfmoon's Hometown Dodgeball league in 2005 and has been a regular player in the National Dodgeball League World Championships.

The Halfmoon club had previously held the world record for longest game at 31 hours, playing against Albany Dodgeball. That was until a group of college students from Castleton State College in Vermont bested their time by 10 full hours, playing 41 hours, 3 minutes, 17 seconds.

In response, Immel and a group totaling 18 players total set out to reclaim their record -- by playing 43 hours in a row.

For every hour played a player earned a 5-minute break. They banked the breaks and took 45-minute stoppages until they reached their goal Sunday, Immel told The New York Times.

"It's an incredible sport and I want as many people to know about it as possible," Immel said. "I obviously love it if I'm motivated to go out and put myself through this for 43 hours."

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