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The News You May Have Missed

December 2005By Michael S. Rose

Michael S. Rose is Web Editor of New Oxford Review.

"New txtament"

The Bible Society in Australia has translated the Old and New Testaments into text message language, the form of shorthand communication made popular on the Internet and cell phones. "In da Bginnin God cre8ed da heavens & da earth," the SMS (short message service) version begins. "Da earth waz barren, wit no 4m of life; it waz unda a roaring ocean cuvred wit dRkness." A spokesman for the Society commented, "The old days when the Bible was available only in a sombre black cover with a cross on it are long gone" (London Telegraph, Oct. 7).

Operation Pagan

The Kent police force in England has renamed its latest crime crackdown to avoid offending heathens. The six-week campaign to tackle autumn vandalism and violence had been named Operation Pagan since it coincided with Halloween. After vehement objections from the Pagan Federation, the campaign was renamed Excalibur. A police spokesman said, "We're waiting for some Arthurian society to complain that we're besmirching Camelot."

Disabilities Act

Danish activists for the disabled are defending a government campaign that pays prostitutes to provide sex once a month for handicapped persons. Stig Langvad of the Disabled Association explained: "The disabled must have the same possibilities as other people" (National Post, Sept. 19).

Hetero Defender

Dave Allen, 22, is the newly elected "Heterosexuality Officer" at Australia's University of New England to defend the rights of straight students. The new post was created by the University's Student Union in response to the special-rights initiatives that pervade Australia's 38 universities. Allen, a third-year law student and rugby player, told The Australian (Sept. 28) he did not give "a rat's arse" about homosexuals as long as they were not being given special treatment. The University's "Queer Officer" said the appointment of a heterosexuality officer was "crazy" and "antagonistic."


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