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November 19th, 2018

Diversions

It's definitely NOT 'one world'

News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

By News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

Published Jan., 18, 2017

It's definitely NOT 'one world'


In September, a court in Paris upheld France's government ban on people smiling for their passport and identity photos. One official had challenged the required straightforward pose ("neutral," "mouth closed"), lamenting that the French should be encouraged to smile to overcome the perpetual "national depression" that supposedly permeates the country's psyche. [The Guardian (London), 9-29-2016]


The baseball-like "pesapallo" might be Finland's national game, reported The New York Times in September, despite its differences from the American pastime. The ball is pitched to the batter -- but vertically, by a pitcher standing next to the batter -- and the batter runs the bases after hitting it, though not counterclockwise but zigzag style, to a base on the left, then one on the right, then back to the left. The game was invented in Finland in 1920 and has achieved minor notoriety, with teams from Germany, Switzerland, Sweden and Australia vying for a "world cup" that so far none has been able to wrest from Finland. (Reassuringly, however, "three strikes" is an out in Finland, too.) [New York Times, 9-27-2016]

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