Tuesday roundup: Nuns, grammar outlaws, Battling Olympians

I’m going to unplug and write (the book. I have a book to write. I can’t just blog all day.) until I head to the crime authors’ talk this evening. Before I go, here are some links for you.

Both Kate and Rich alerted me to this story: Priest to hold nun beauty pageant.

An Italian priest says he is organising the world’s first beauty pageant for nuns to erase a stereotype of them as being old and dour.
Antonio Rungi says The Miss Sister Italy online contest will start on his blog in September.
“Nuns are above all women and beauty is a gift from God,” he told Italy’s Corriere della Sera newspaper.
He is asking nuns to send their photos to him, saying that internet users will then choose the winner.

Because internet users always have the highest standards of taste, beauty, and spirituality. Let’s see if the Fighting Nuns of Harrogate enter their contender in the novice category, Sister Agnes Fabulosa.

UPDATE: The Miss Sister pageant has been cancelled. Too many nuns were performing miracles in the talent competition, and it sent people into a frenzy. (No. I’m joking. Don’t send hate mail.) (Thanks to Kate for the update.)

Next, Werner sends this link, writing, “When I read this article I immediately thought of you.”

“Vandals in hot water for ‘fixing’ typo on historic Grand Canyon sign.”

Two self-styled vigilantes against typos who defaced a more than 60-year-old, hand-painted sign at Grand Canyon National Park were sentenced to probation and banned from national parks for a year.

Jeff Deck and Benjamin Herson pleaded guilty Aug. 11 for the damage done March 28 at the park’s Desert View Watchtower. The sign was made by Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter, the architect who designed the rustic 1930s watchtower and other Grand Canyon-area landmarks.

Deck and Herson, both 28, toured the United States this spring, wiping out errors on government and private signs. They were interviewed by NPR and the Chicago Tribune, which called them “a pair of Kerouacs armed with Sharpies and erasers and righteous indignation.”

An affidavit by National Park Service agent Christopher A. Smith said investigators learned of the vandalism from an Internet site operated by Deck on behalf of the Typo Eradication Advancement League, or TEAL.

Dumb, guys; dumb. Earlier this year I cheerled for the Typo Eradication Advancement League. But there’s a difference between adding discreet apostrophes and commas to modern, grammatically mangled signs mass-produced by ignorant bureaucrats, and permanently defacing an old, irreplaceable handwritten sign. We need grammar rangers, not a grammar Taliban.

Bonus: Scroll past the story on the grammar bust for more weird headlines, including “Florida Cops Taser Plop-Plop, Escaped Emu Who ‘Went Crazy'” and “Wisconsin Woman Arrested for Ignoring Library Fines.”

And, finally: “It’s Time to Kick Out Some Olympic Sports.” Time magazine wants rhythmic gymnastics and synchronized swimming to get the heave-ho. I have to agree that sports which “involve such copious amounts of cosmetics that they make a Texas beauty pageant look sedate” are inherently suspect. Plus, I think some of the synchro swimmers have been genetically modified with dolphin DNA. Did you see that Russian squad tail-walking backwards across the pool, squeaking at each other like Flipper? But if these sports are dropped, what should replace them? My kids suggest modifying two existing sports. (1) Get rid of sailing. Make it piracy. ( “The French boat has been boarded. The British skipper has a knife in her teeth! And… the Spanish boat is now flying the Union Jack. And its crew have been made galley slaves!”) (2) Turn track and field into a Battle Royale. Javelin throwers against hammer throwers. Spikes against shot put. Attack!

You can tell I have teenagers.

Alternately, there’s extreme ironing.

See you later.

7 responses to “Tuesday roundup: Nuns, grammar outlaws, Battling Olympians

  1. Extreme ironing–Yes!

    And for piracy, shall we do a demonstration sport in London in 2012, my kids against yours?

  2. Yar. Aye. Winner gets a bottle of rum.

  3. Extreme ironing–isn’t that the same as curling, just on ice? A sport I’ve never understood…

  4. Curling! It’s incomprehensible unless you’ve studied it for years, or you’re Canadian. Yet it exerts a mesmerizing pull on spectators. I watch, and watch, hypnotized, thinking, “WHAT are they DOING??”

    Canada, if you ever want to invade the US, just get us to tune in to the World Curling Championships. We’ll never see you sneaking across the border.

  5. Curling is a brilliant game. Ok, I’m Canadian and now living in a part of the country where everyone, including me, curls. My son was on his school’s curling team last year–there’s not much funnier than grade-school kids yelling “hurry! hurry!” to the sweepers, unless it’s a grade-school kid not quite letting go of the rock and doing a superman slide down the ice.

    Re: invasion, given the size of our armed forces, you probably wouldn’t notice anyway.

    Now, could you explain football (the pointy-ball kind) to me? That one I just don’t get.

  6. Patti, I propose an exchange program. If you and your son help teach me to curl so that I can fulfill my Olympic dream, I’ll explain “American” football to you.

  7. Kate, you’re on.

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