Things to say to a homeless person—and my own conversation on a corner in Queens

It happened a few weeks ago. For several days, I’d been walking by a morbidly obese homeless guy who was sitting on a crate by the subway entrance just a couple blocks from our apartment in Queens.  One afternoon, I decided to strike up a conversation with him. “What can I do for you?,” I asked [Read More...]

Holy penguin, Batman: priest blesses bird in Manila

Take a look: The story:  Kaya the Humboldt penguin is just four months old — so young its gender is still unknown. But Wednesday marked the big day that Kaya, whose name means competence or ability in Tagalog, separated from its parents and took its first swim at the Manila Ocean Park in the Philippines. [Read More...]

How adorable: an Ebola plush toy

Yep:  OK, we thought we’d seen and heard weird when it comes to Ebola, but this takes the deadly, virus-frosted cake: According to a story in Reuters by Barbara Goldberg, a Connecticut company called GIANTmicrobes Inc., which makes a line of plush toys based on viruses and other microscopic organisms, says it has completely sold out of its [Read More...]

Proof of virgin birth—in a python?

Details:   A reticulated python (the world’s largest species of snake) gave birth to six babies without the help of a male partner. The birth actually occurred in 2012. But it was only a few months ago that researchers published DNA evidence that Thelma — an 11-year-old, 200 pound, 20-foot-long female at the Louisville Zoo — was the sole genetic parent. [Read More...]

Despite decline in Catholicism, millions turn out for Brazilian celebration of Mary

RNS reports:  More than 2 million worshippers, pilgrims and onlookers poured around an 11-inch wooden figure of the Virgin Mary as it made its way through the streets. A crush of the faithful heaved and hauled away at a rope that stretched over a thousand feet from the cart that bore the beloved statue, dragging [Read More...]

“Pumpkin Spice is eggnog for morning people”

I forgive you, John Oliver, for disliking All Things Pumpkin because you’re just so damn funny. [Read more...]

Barbie-as-Virgin-Mary art exhibit cancelled

You may remember this item from a couple weeks back. Now, the exhibit has been nixed. From the AP:  A provocative art exhibit featuring Barbie fashion dolls as religious figures such as the Virgin Mary and her boyfriend Ken as a crucified Jesus Christ has been canceled amid complaints and threats by angry believers, the artists [Read More...]

Diner owner turns over the cash register to God

How’s this for trust?  Details:  When the going got tough at her Dallas restaurant, Dana Parris decided to turn the cash register over to God. Roger Self was at lunch last week when he discovered the unique pricing policy at East Main Street’s Just Cookin diner. When he went to settle his tab for a [Read More...]

Suddenly, with no warning, the Pumpkin Spice craze jumps the shark

I am a man deeply devoted to autumn, in part because it brings pumpkin-flavored food back into my life for a couple months.  Bagels, donuts, muffins, cheesecake—my heart leaps! But I fear the good people who feed my habit have finally gone too far. Ladies and gentlemen: pumpkin spice chewing gum. And pumpkin spice Pringles. [Read More...]

Archbishop performed exorcism after Black Mass in Oklahoma

Details:  Satan has left the building. Roman Catholic Archbishop Paul S. Coakley and a priest performed “prayers of exorcism” to rid the Civic Center Music Hall of evil spirits that may have lingered after a satanic “black mass” was held there, The Oklahoman has learned. Diane Clay, spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, said on Wednesday [Read More...]