Don't Panic! Lighten Up!


Harry Potter Lives!

Sometimes it's a hassle being Harry Potter.

Especially when you're a 78-year-old man who happens to share the name of a certain fictional boy wizard who is famous the world over.

Bizarro Earth

Battle of the titans: Jesus to battle Barbie on Wal-Mart shelves

A foot-high plastic Jesus doll that quotes Scripture and a three-inch Daniel in the lions' den are about to do battle with Barbie and Bratz in toy aisles across America.

The nation's largest retailer, Wal-Mart, has announced that it will start carrying a line of faith-based toys in 425 of its 3,376 stores later this month to see if characters such as Spirit Warrior Samson can rival the popularity of superhero figures like Spiderman.


Bush doesn't see a point in restraining himself and sneers at balding reporter

US President George Bush has poked fun at a balding BBC political editor in a press conference.

Nick Robinson asked Bush at a Camp David if he could trust Gordon Brown not to "cut and run" from Iraq, reports the Daily Mirror.


Society of Jesus calls missionaries to Second Life to save virtual souls from 'erotic simulation'

Jesuit missionaries may soon venture into Second Life, intent on saving virtual people from virtual sins.

Writing in the Italian Jesuit journal La Civilta Cattolica, whose contents are approved by the Vatican, Father Antonio Spadaro has told fellow Catholics that they shouldn't be wary of venturing into Second Life's virtual world, arguing that the online alternate universe might be the perfect place to land converts, Reuters reports.


Wash. City Using Classical Music To Chase Gangs From Bus Stop

City authorities, fed up with gang activity in public places, are taking Bach their bus stop.

Transit workers are installing speakers this week to pump classical music from Seattle's KING-FM into the Tacoma Mall Transit Center. The tactic is designed to disperse young criminals who make drug deals at the bus stop or use public transportation to circulate between the mall and other trouble-prone places.

The attack by Bach, Brahms and Beethoven follows the theory that prompted the city to stage pinochle games on dangerous street corners: Jolting the routine in such spots throws criminals off balance.

"It's based on routine activity theory and situational crime prevention. You mix different types of activities in locations that are crime-ridden to change the composition of the environment," said psychologist Jacqueline Helfgott, who chairs the Criminal Justice Department at Seattle University.

Skeptics include Tony Wilson, a bus driver for 18 years.


Man Sues Over McDonald's Receipt In English

Lawyer Wants 13 Cents

BEIJING -- A lawyer reportedly has sued McDonald's in China after he was given receipts that were printed mostly in English.

The state-run newspaper Beijing Youth Daily said the lawyer claims the use of English instead of Chinese "violates the consumers' right to know."


Prepare for a new round of crying game: Paris Hilton loses inheritance

Party princess Paris Hilton is $60 million out of pocket after her billionaire grandfather - appalled by her jail term for drink-driving offences - axed her inheritance.

Family patriarch Barron Hilton was already embarrassed by his granddaughter's wild behaviour - notably when her home sex video was leaked on the internet.

But the 79-year-old considered her 23-day sentence last month the last straw.


Meditators say vibrations will raise Dow, ward off hurricanes, create utopia

U.S. stocks had a tough week with the Dow Jones Industrial Average suffering its worst one-week point drop in five years, but a group of meditators promise their good vibrations will send the index past 17,000 within a year.

A group called the Invincible America Assembly made that claim and more Friday, insisting they have America's prosperity under control and their positive vibes will bring fewer hurricanes and better U.S.-North Korean relations.


Soliciting sex draws fowl sentence for 3

PAINESVILLE, Ohio - A judge known for giving unusual sentences has ordered three men who pleaded guilty to soliciting sex to take turns dressing in a bright yellow chicken costume.

Painesville Municipal Judge Michael Cicconetti agreed to suspend a 30-day jail sentence if they wear the costume between 4 and 7 p.m. Friday outside the court while carrying a sign that reads "No Chicken Ranch in Painesville."


Quit horsing around!

She may be standing in the shadows but one little horse is reaching heights of her own.

At a mere 17 inches, the miniature brown mare known as Thumbelina takes pride in the lofty title of the World's Smallest Living Horse.

Her companion, Radar, is a Belgian draught horse with his own big claim to fame - as the Worlds Tallest Living Horse.

Big heights: Radar, a Belgian draft horse towers over Thumbelina, a miniature who is the world's smallest living horse.