Museum invites public criticism
NEW YORK, Dec. 26 (UPI) -- The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York is offering the Average Joe a chance to weigh in with criticism of its new fashion exhibit.
The museum's Costume Institute has set up a special online site -- blog.metmuseum.org/blogmode -- on which anyone can comment about 65 items included in its "blog.mode: addressing fashion" exhibit, The New York Post reported Wednesday.
"While painting and sculpture can sometimes seem to be an intimidating conceptual remove, fashion is so familiar, so ubiquitous to our experience, that it is inherently and immediately accessible," said Harold Koda, curator in charge of the Costume Institute. "Individuals who might shy away from commenting on the merits of a Juan Gris or Henry Moore will readily disclose their thoughts on a gown by John Galliano or a mule by Manolo Blahnik."
The exhibit, which runs until April 13, includes items from the 18th century to today -- such as 1920s Parisian thigh-high leather boots and a Simon Costin 1987 necklace containing five vials of human sperm.
Baby Jesus statue reappears after a year
NEWPORT NEWS, Va., Dec. 26 (UPI) -- A statue of an infant Jesus that went missing a year ago in Newport News, Va., reappeared recently with an odd note of explanation attached.
The statue's owner, 60-year-old Pam Heise, said that when the plastic baby Jesus disappeared last year, she never expected it or an odd note to appear on her doorstep in the future, the Newport News (Va.) Daily Press reported Wednesday.
But surprisingly, the statue did appear at her door wrapped in a green towel and accompanied by a quirky note.
"Hello there," the note said. "My name is Adam. (Maybe). Last year, (oh, this is funny), I was being driven to Wendy's to get me a burger, and I saw this Mary and Joseph thing in your yard, so I asked my Great Uncle Sam to pull over, so I could go up and worship that little boy, and to my surprise, HE was floating in water."
Heise said that while the entire situation may simply be a holiday prank, she prefers to think better of people.
"I don't know if it's a gimmick or real," Heise said. "But I'd rather take it that it really meant something to someone."
Sewage dip likely not on man's Xmas list
DES MOINES, Iowa, Dec. 26 (UPI) -- An Iowa man probably would rather have gotten coal in his stocking this holiday season rather than end up as he did, head-first in a hole full of sewage.
Des Moines resident Toni Shoff said that her husband somehow managed to end up trapped in a hole headfirst while working on their septic tank on Christmas Eve, Iowa's KCCI-TV, Des Moines, reported Wednesday.
"It plugged up apparently and he was trying to unplug it and I don't know if he did or not," Shoff said.
Firefighters were immediately rushed to the scene and were eventually able to free Robert Shoff, albeit after an hour and once he was already coated with sewage.
While the unfortunate man was not injured in his unusual accident, firefighter Matt McBride said it was unlikely that Shoff had planned to spend a portion of the holiday season covered in sewage.
"Not where you want to be on Christmas Eve," McBride told KCCI-TV.
'Inverted Jenny' bought for $825,000
NEW YORK, Dec. 26 (UPI) -- A Wall Street executive in New York fulfilled a childhood dream for Christmas, buying a rare stamp known as the "Inverted Jenny" for $825,000.
Heritage Auction Galleries in Dallas said in a news release Wednesday it obtained the stamp from Sonny Hagendorf of Scarsdale, N.Y., for $750,000, then sold it to the businessman, whose name was not released.
"This is the first rare stamp he's ever purchased," Heritage President Greg Rohan said.
The 24-cent U.S. airmail stamp is called the "Inverted Jenny" because when it was printed in 1918 the image of a Jenny biplane, a Curtis JN-4, was mistakenly printed upside-down. The one that just changed hands, which originally came from a sheet of 100, is in mint condition, Rohan said.
"Since I was a kid I have wanted to own an 'Inverted Jenny,'" the buyer said in a statement released through Heritage. "I consider it to be a cultural icon, and to have the opportunity to buy one is the realization of a lifelong dream come true."