Inmate seeking kosher meals cites Festivus
An inmate in California who disliked salami was able to receive kosher meals after his attorney cited the Seinfeld holiday Festivus as his religious belief. The Orange County Register reported Monday that convicted drug dealer Malcolm Alarmo King, 38, asked for kosher meals at the Theo Lacy jail to maintain his physique. Orange County sheriff's officials reserve such meals for inmates with religious needs, so a judge demanded a religious reason. King's defense attorney, Fred Thiagarajah, cited his client's adherence to Festivus — the holiday celebrated on the hit TV show with an aluminum pole and the airing of grievances. Sheriff's spokesman Ryan Burris says King got salami-free meals for two months before the county got the order thrown out in court.
Photographer gets into the spirit
A man caught naked in a south Mississippi church cemetery said he was trying to take photographs of spirits. Robert Hurst told the Picayune Item newspaper that he shed his clothes because he believes skin is the best canvas to show spirits' orbs of energy. He says he only intended to remove his shirt, but he took off all his clothes — a move he now calls "stupid." Authorities had set up a motion-activated camera to try to catch vandals. Shane Tucker, the chief deputy in Pearl River County, said Hurst, 47, is not accused of vandalism, but the camera caught an unexpected image of Hurst, who faces a misdemeanor charge of indecent exposure.
not a party animal
To shy panda cub, the place is a zoo
Austria's panda cub snubbed a celebration in his honor Monday, preferring to remain in the cozy hideaway where he was born instead of basking in the limelight. He missed quite a party. Amid much fanfare, the furry creature, who was born Aug. 23, was officially named Fu Hu — Mandarin for "Lucky Tiger" — at festivities in Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo. Fu Hu is a sensation because he was conceived naturally. He follows in the footsteps of his older brother, 3-year-old Fu Long, who charmed Austrians before leaving for China last year. The siblings share the same birthday.
Kids' imagination fuels this flight
What was billed as a flight to the North Pole never left the ground, but that didn't matter to about 50 children and their families in Cleveland. Most of the kids who took part in the weekend adventure at Hopkins airport were ailing patients from two hospitals. Many had never been on an airplane. The Plain Dealer newspaper reported they were guided onto a Continental Airlines jet Saturday by elves wearing candy cane-striped tights and green, curly toed shoes. Crew members lowered the shades inside the cabin so the inside lights wouldn't hurt the eyes of reindeer. Then the engines roared for the fantasy journey. The children deplaned to find Santa, Christmas trees and gifts.
Compiled from Times wires.