Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Et Cetera

Faith in the Flesh

They're nude, not lewd, and imbued with the spirit of the Lord. They're the Christian nudists of North Carolina, and they aim to air their bodily tabernacles without shame or fear of temptation.

Harking back to the example of pre-serpentine Adam and Eve, fundamentalists Jerry Love and his wife, Carol, are putting together a weekend retreat at the Whispering Pines family nudist resort at Ocean Isle Beach. The religious conclave will feature hot-tubbing, karaoke and fervent Bible-reading in the raw.

At least 60 people have already signed up for the event, which will be guided by two Baptist ministers, instructing the faithful how they can be "positive influences in the nudist movement." Clothing will be optional for all activities except the hot-tub and the swimming pool.

"We believe you can be a nudist and religious too," said Love. "We aren't going to allow any open sex, drugs, or parties. We're just a very conservative group of Christians who don't like to wear clothes."

Gators and Gladiators

As Yahweh grappled with Behemoth and did likewise quell the mighty Leviathan, so too can Israeli showmen continue their practice of wrestling, flipping, and knocking unconscious small alligators, a Tel Aviv court has decreed.

Despite protests by animal rights' activists and government environmental officials, Judge Varda Elshiekh ruled that alligator wrestling was no different than circus shows and refused to ban the man-on-beast matches.

Gila Linton of the Hamat Gader alligator farm said the venue's 30-minute wrestling shows will resume in the near future. Members of the rights group, Let The Animals Live, said they would appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court.

Dining Companion

Was it a prank, a security breach -- or haute cuisine gone awry? Whatever the reason, the sudden appearance of a rat on board a Canadian Airlines flight from Hong Kong to Vancouver threw a planeload of passengers into a panic and forced an emergency landing in Tokyo.

The rat scurried out of a catering container not long after the DC-10 took flight with a load of Hong Kong merrymakers off to celebrate, yes, the lunar Year of the Rat.

The passengers balked at a transoceanic journey with their new companion, so the pilot re-routed to Tokyo, where the humans were put on another plane to Vancouver.

Airline spokesman Richard Peter said he suspected a prank connected to holiday hijinks. "I guess we should be grateful it wasn't the Year of the Horse," he said, adding that the airline's Hong Kong catering company is being questioned about the incident.

Pulp Lessons

Well, it does have all those Bible verses.

Ruling that the movie "Pulp Fiction" has great "educational value," Italy's high court has lifted a ban that prevented minors from seeing the film.

"Pulp Fiction" took the cinema world by storm with its trendsetting blend of highly aestheticized lowlife, including John Travolta as a hip-shaking hit man and Samuel L. Jackson as his Bible-spouting partner. Munching burgers, talking philosophy, and wiping bits of blown-out brain from their retro threads, they move in a world of stylized violence, corruption and drug use which the court said could "act as a deterrent against certain negative role models."

Especially enlightening for the kids, the court said, was a scene in which narcotics are injected into an addict's arm and the blood is shown flowing into the syringe. Such a vivid image could illustrate the destructive nature of drugs, said the judges.

Next up for the court: a ruling on the suitability of De Sade's "Justine" as a primer on the do's and don'ts of premarital sex.

The Fateful Fungi

The lads from wild Wales went to a pub darts match and suddenly found themselves in a surrealistic scene: The target was melting, the bottles were throbbing, and visions of Avalon danced in their heads.

The entire 10-man Caerphilly darts team had to be hospitalized after eating home-made cakes laced with hallucinogenic "magic mushrooms," police said.

Emma Cannon, bartender at the Fox and Hounds in Llanharry, said it all started when one young player took aim with his dart then doubled over in a fit of laughter. "That set the rest of them off," she said. "All the younger men were helpless with it, but the older men burst into tears."

Two youngsters had passed the cakes in their hometown club before the team set out for the Llanharry tournament, according to captain Dennis Morgan. "My lads just started going down like ninepins," he said. Seven of the members were soon released from the hospital, but three known to have heart conditions were kept for observation.

-- Compiled by

Chris Floyd