UPI NewsTrack Quirks in the News

Jan. 11, 2008 at 4:58 PM
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Immodest Jesus statue riles Christians

GATESHEAD, England, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- A statue of Jesus with an erect penis on display in England is drawing fire from outraged Christian critics.

The work by sculptor Terence Koh is on display at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead.

The Sun reported Friday that Christian groups have been horrified at the image, one of 74 works in Koh's exhibit titled "Gone, Yet Still."

"It's the Lord Jesus Christ being humiliated, ridiculed and vilified," declared Stephen Green, national director of Christian Voice.

Green told the Sun he not only demanded the gallery take the statue down but also destroy it for good measure.

Its not clear what the statue was meant to be, but a gallery spokesman said the Chinese-born artist was apparently "trying to explain all the things which have meant something to him."


U.S. 'clubs' for pampered tots on rise

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- An organic cafe, hair salon and a padded play area will soon be available at San Francisco's first "pay-to-play" club for children.

Finishing touches are being put on the Peekadoodle Kidsclub co-founded by attorney Ellen Park and former Chicago schoolteacher Kayla Lee, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The club will charge $2,000 per year per family and, in addition to the padded and supervised play area, will feature a daily Victorian tea party, a replica of the Golden Gate Bridge with an aquarium underneath and a fire station, Lee said.

A hairstylist will also be available to trim locks as club members sit in a miniature Mercedes convertible, the report said.

Cooking lessons and science courses will also be available for an extra $500, Lee said.

"We want to make life easier for moms," said Lee.

Sociology Professor Paula England at Stanford University and co-author of "Unmarried Couples with Children" said the club reflected a shift in upscale mentality.

"There has been a cultural change to what's called 'intensive mothering,'" she told the Tribune.


School may open without senior class

WOODBURY, Minn., Jan. 11 (UPI) -- A St. Paul, Minn., suburban high school scheduled to open in 2009 may not have to worry about a senior-skip day because it may not have a senior class.

School officials said they want to allow seniors -- this year's 10th graders -- to stay and graduate at the high school where they started instead of being shifted to the new school, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported Friday. That means affected high school would house grades nine through 12, while the as-yet unopened East Ridge High School in Woodbury, Minn., would start up with ninth- through 11th-graders.

"We all felt that it was in everyone's best interest to allow seniors to finish up at existing schools," said Randy Zipf, assistant superintendent of secondary education.

Board members are scheduled to vote on the proposal at their Jan. 24 meeting.

Zipf told the Pioneer Press that allowing all seniors to stay at Park and Woodbury high schools during the 2009-10 school year wouldn't cause overcrowding issues. Projected enrollment would be 1,855 students at Park and 1,995 at Woodbury. East Ridge, which would take in students from both schools, would have about 1,226 students that year.


Boy spots stolen yacht from kitchen window

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- The observant teenage son of a Swedish insurance claims examiner spotted a stolen yacht by looking out his kitchen window.

The 35-foot motor yacht was stolen early Wednesday from the Gashaga Marina in Stockholm, The Local reported. The insurance company If offered a reward for recovery of the vessel, valued at $425,500.

The next day, an If claims examiner was making waffles in his kitchen when he told his 15-year-old son about the case. While his father continued cooking, the boy looked on the Web and found a picture of the same make of boat.

"Then the son said 'Dad, look out the window. There's a boat like that down in the harbor,'" Caroline Uliana, a spokeswoman for the insurance company, told the TT news agency.

Marine police examined the boat and determined it was the stolen one. Uliana said that the teen will get "a handsome sum for a 15-year-old."

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