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Wed, 11 Dec 2019
The World for People who Think

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Cingular Pulls Offensive Ringtone

BROWNSVILLE, Texas -- Cingular Wireless LLC pulled a ringtone from its Web site Tuesday after learning that it carried a message the company called "blatantly offensive."

The cell phone company became aware of the ringtone, which uses mixed English and Spanish and threatens deportation, after an inquiry from a reporter for The Brownsville Herald.

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Rome tourist parched after $1,200 beer

ROME - He had heard Rome was expensive but nothing prepared the Hong Kong tourist for a 990 euro ($1,251) beer.

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Air Force One Subject of Internet Hoax

WASHINGTON - A startling Internet video that shows someone spraying graffiti on President Bush's jet looked so authentic that the Air Force wasn't immediately certain whether the plane had been targeted.

It was all a hoax. No one actually sprayed the slogan "Still Free" on the cowling of Air Force One.

The pranksters responsible for the grainy, two-minute Web video - employed by a New York fashion company - revealed Friday how they pulled it off: a rented 747 in California painted to look almost exactly like Air Force One.

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Crazy Cat Terrorizes Connecticut Town

FAIRFIELD, Conn. - Residents of the neighborhood of Sunset Circle say they have been terrorized by a crazy cat named Lewis. Lewis for his part has been uniquely cited, personally issued a restraining order by the town's animal control officer.

"He looks like Felix the Cat and has six toes on each foot, each with a long claw," Janet Kettman, a neighbor said Monday. "They are formidable weapons."

Toys

Actor Sean Penn has torture doll of right-wing conservative Ann Coulter!

Hollywood activist Sean Penn has a plastic doll of conservative US columnist Ann Coulter that he likes to abuse when angry. The Oscar-winner actor has hated Coulter ever since she blacklisted his director father Leo Penn in her book Treason. And he takes out his frustrations with Coulter, who is a best-selling author, lawyer and television pundit, on the Barbie-like doll. In an interview with The New Yorker magazine, Penn reveals, "We violate her. There are cigarette burns in some funny places. She's a pure snake-oil salesman. She doesn't believe a word she says."

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The Spell-Breaker - Daniel Dennett on why faith should be investigated scientifically, and why he's coming out of the closet as a nonbeliever.

Philosopher Daniel C. Dennett is accustomed to creating media firestorms. His 2003 op-ed in the New York Times launched a heated debate over the use of the term "Bright" to describe nonbelievers. His latest contribution to the discussion of belief and nonbelief, is no different: the controversial book "Breaking the Spell" has been continuously hailed and criticized in newspapers and weblogs since its release in February 2006. Dennett suggests that many religious adherents are more loyal to "faith" than to God. He spoke recently with Beliefnet about why he has taken on the role of 'village atheist,' and why, though he thinks belief in God is irrational, he thinks religion can occasionally do good.

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Is this a bleeding miracle?

THE Catholic Church claims a modern-day miracle is unfolding in Rockingham.

It says that a 50-year-old father of three, whose identity is being kept secret, is displaying stigmata on his hands and feet � wounds that appear to be similar to those on the crucified body of Christ.

The Rev Father Finbarr Walsh told The Sunday Times this week that he had witnessed the phenomena, which lasted 24 hours and included visions of and messages from the Virgin Mary.

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This is your life (if you are a woman)

1% of the titled land in the world is owned by women

A baby girl born in the UK is likely to live to 81 - but if she is born in Swaziland, she is likely to die at 39

70% of the 1.2 bn people living in poverty are women and children

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Digital Hype

As each new season brings more waves of higher-tech digital products, I often think of Mark Twain. Along with being a brilliant writer, he was also an ill-fated investor -- fascinated with the latest technical innovations, including the strides toward functional typewriters and typesetting equipment as the 19th century neared its close.

Twain would have marveled at the standard PC that we take for granted now. But what would he have made of the intrusiveness of present-day media technology -- let alone its recurring content?

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Authors claim Brown 'stole' Da Vinci Code plot

Some might say it is a court case worthy of its subject matter: impenetrable, verging on the farcical and wrapped up in the minutiae of Christian theology.

Amid the appropriately neo-gothic setting of the High Court in London, two British-based writers yesterday claimed that The Da Vinci Code, the loosely historical murder mystery, plagiarises a book they published more than 20 years earlier.

The two, who specialise in historical conjecture, claim that its author, Dan Brown, cannibalised their text, The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, to give his book plausibility and to save himself "time and effort" in independent research.