Odd News round-up

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These old stories are too weird not to make a note of them:

An artist-inventor working at MIT created a leg band that punishes you for using too much electricity by driving stainless-steel thorns into your thigh. Inspired by the self-mortification bands worn by the Opus Dei monk in The DaVinci Code, inventor Annina Rust calls it “therapy for environmental guilt,” though she says it doesn’t work that well yet. (Thanks to a web reader for the tip to the New York Times story.)

Oxford University Press has eliminated many Christian words—such as altar, monk, nun, parish, and even devil—from its junior dictionary. Society is more multicultural and people don’t go to church as often, a representative said, according to Catholic News. So apparently kids don’t need to know these words anymore. Regardless, it is an interesting reflection on our society that celebrity and mp3 player could replace minister and monastery.

As if Playboy isn’t insulting enough as it is, the Mexican edition published a cover that said, “We love you, Maria” with model Maria Florencia Onori wearing only a veil in front of a stained glass window, El Paso’s ABC-7 news reports. While the publisher claims it wasn’t supposed to portray the Virgin, the cover suspiciously appeared in the December issue, the month of the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe. One Guadalupe expert isn’t threatened: "It gives me the opportunity to evangelize and to explain to people that our lady really appeared in Mexico City," said Jorge Weisenger.

On a happier note, an advertising blog posted this story about a former ad man turned Catholic priest. “For all of those who have been laid off recently... Okay. Maybe you won't go join a seminary, but perhaps there's a whole different life just waiting for you right outside your resume's door,” the blog reads. Could we see vocations rise along with the unemployment numbers? I doubt it. If you are called you are called, even if it takes years working in advertising to figure it out.