Because it’s Thursday

Posted on April 30, 2009 by


I’m going to try and start a new tradition around here. Every Thursday we’re going to post random links to strange tid-bits in the news that you may have missed, may have seen elsewhere, or may know more about than any of us could begin to.

I’ll need your help to keep on task.

Sometimes there will be a theme. If I can’t come up with a cohesive theme, it’ll just be random. The point is, here are some weird things that I don’t have the time or inclination to write a full article about, but they’re interesting.

Hope you enjoy:

We’ll start with a little news of feng-shui impeding international relations in Hong Kong. These sorts of beliefs, straddling a line between sciences and superstitions, have always fascinated me. Asian traditional medicine is full of this. The Doctrine of Signatures, for instance, that says because a food is kidney shaped it is good for the kidneys, colon shaped it is good for the colon, etc. These ideas were abandoned in the west long ago, and while we may at times scoff at macrobiotic classification of foods as yin and yang, the healing aspects of such diets are well-documented, as are the effects of ayurvedic remedies, acupuncture, etc.  It’s also interesting to note that “pseudo-sciences”, such as dowsing, are considered legitimate means of scientific investigation in eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union (see Jacques Vallée’s Ufo Chronicles of the Soviet Union : A Cosmic Samidzat for examples).

In the same vein of superstition, but on the more primitive end of the spectrum, we have this report of a witch/goat accused of armed robbery in Nigeria. Naturally, culture dictating norms, the goat is being held in custody until the story can be confirmed.

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Jumping back to the former Soviet Union, we have this story, one some western scientist are sure to raise an eyebrow at, of a man with a tree found growing inside his lung.

And finally, just because I thought it was adorably hillarious (and because I have a weak spot for facial hair) we have this story of a finely mustachioed horse from Gloucestershire in the UK.