A Little Friday File Fun

In Templin, Germany, a court has ruled that local authorities are entitled to prevent a group calling itself the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster from advertising its “noodle Masses” at the entrance to town. According to the Associated Press, it’s standard practice in Germany for small signs at the entrance to towns to announce there’s a Lutheran or Catholic church and detail when it holds services. News agency dpa reported that the court ruled the group can’t claim the rights of a religious or philosophical community, and judges said its criticism of others’ beliefs doesn’t constitute a philosophy.

In Pelham, New Hampshire, witnesses reported a car crash and the car was burning. However, when police and firefighters arrived, the driver refused to get out of the car, telling officers he was a mechanic. Police dragged him out. He was later charged with driving under the influence.

In Wuhan, China, a woman took drastic measures to avoid paying back 25 million yuan ($3.71 million) of personal debts. News agency Xinhua said the woman fled to the southeastern Chinese city of Shenzhen after a court ordered her to pay off her debt. There she underwent plastic surgery to transform her appearance. Police caught up with her, and the news report cites a police officer as saying, “We were very surprised at the scene. She looked in her thirties and was different from the photos we had.”

In McIntire, Iowa, a special election was held Tuesday asking whether the term of the mayor should be raised to four years from two, and whether the terms of council members should be raised to four years, staggered, from two years. However, a decision is not known since not one of the town’s 70 registered voters turned out to vote. A Mitchell County deputy auditor told the Mason City Globe Gazette this is a first in her 28 years of service.

In Ile de Re, France, people can now get fresh oysters from a vending machine. An oyster farmer’s automatic dispenser of live oysters offers a range of quantities, types and sizes 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The refrigerated dispenser has glass panels so customers can see what they are buying. Customers use their bank card for access, opening the door of their choice from a range of carton sizes and oyster types. The oyster breeder sees it as an extra source of revenue. “We felt as though we were losing lots of sales when we are closed,” he said, according to Reuters.