Watercooler Stories

April 21, 2008 at 6:30 AM
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Morgue forklift used for heavy bodies

SYDNEY, April 21 (UPI) -- An Australian morgue has bought a forklift to help its staff handle the increasing number of very heavy bodies.

Matthew Orde, the forensic pathologist at the Glebe Morgue in Sydney, said morbidly obese corpses need special handling, The Sydney Morning Herald reported. The forklift will help with moving them, although it will not solve another problem, that soft tissue like fat tends to putrefy more quickly.

"A fat person will go off more quickly than a skinny person," he said, putting the problem delicately.

About half of the population of New South Wales is considered obese.

"The deceased persons we get reflect the growing obesity of the community," he said.

Exxxotica event includes religious lesson

MIAMI BEACH, Fla., April 21 (UPI) -- This year's Exxxotica adult-entertainment event in Miami Beach, Fla., was a perfect site to fight against online pornography, a former youth pastor said.

Craig Gross, a youth minister from Southern California, said he and several volunteers used this weekend's event to spread information about the growth of pornography on the Internet, The Miami Herald reported.

"It's a little light in a dark room," the 32-year-old said. "I feel like we're planting a lot of seeds."

Gross, who has earned the nickname the Porn Pastor in certain circles, has been spearheading the fight against online pornography across the United States.

In addition to appearances at events such as the Exxxotica convention, Gross engages in scheduled debates with noted porn star Ron Jeremy at U.S. colleges.

The former pastor said he decided to fight the increased mainstream growth of pornography after he recognized how little traditional religion was doing to stem such growth.

'"They've never gotten on the field,'' Gross told the Herald about his fellow religious leaders. "Shouldn't we go where the problem's at?''

Man sees Jesus on hospital ceiling

NEW YORK, April 21 (UPI) -- As Pope Benedict XVI spent time in New York, a local hospital was getting attention for a water mark on a ceiling that some think looks like Jesus.

Junior Rodriguez, 31, a cab driver receiving care for anemia, said he noticed the quarter-sized face of Jesus when he looked up from his bed one day in St. John's Queens Hospital, the New York Post reported.

"I was freaking out. There was Jesus looking down on me. This room is blessed," Rodriguez said of his April 10 discovery.

Hospital employees reportedly dubbed Room 232 the "Jesus room."

Hundreds of patients and workers piled into the room to catch a glimpse of the brown mark.

"Everyone was screaming and running around. Everyone was coming in to see it," said Pedro Agreda, 47, who was sharing the room with Rodriguez.

Old-fashioned baby names back in style

WASHINGTON, April 21 (UPI) -- Old-fashioned names such as Abigail and Sadie have become popular once again for U.S. babies, author Laura Wattenberg says.

Wattenberg, author of "The Baby Name Wizard: A Magical Guide to Finding the Perfect Name for Your Baby," said people are more open to choosing these types of names because they are old enough to have fresh new meaning, The Washington Times reported.

"Old names -- like Emma -- are definitely coming back. It's made the perfect 'U' (graph). There is typically a 90-year or so period before we're willing to revive names again," Wattenberg said.

The old names have also become popular because they remind parents of a seemingly simpler time, said Nancy Schlossberg, a retired counseling psychology professor at the University of Maryland.

"We idealize previous generations especially at a nervous time like this. Picking an old name is a way to connect to what we think was a more stable time," Schlossberg told the newspaper.

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