It doesn't take a lot to capture my mind with a bit of quirky news, and there's really never quite enough of the world. The first thing catching my mind today was from the BBC, which reported that the Russian Orthodox Church had found one of its churches stolen sometime in the past two months. The stolen Church of the Resurrection was, apparently, near the village of Komarovo, around 300 kilometers northeast of Moscow, and it had been there since 1809. They hadn't been using it at the time and last saw it about two months ago. So if someone's approached you since September asking if you wanted to buy a Russian Orthodox Church no questions asked, these may be the guys.
There's another report that an inmate in Willich, near Düsseldorf, Germany, escaped from jail using an approach I'd only seen working in Tex Avery cartoons. He'd gotten a cardboard box --- one that was ``about 150 cm by 120 cm'' --- and hidden inside it and simply mailed himself out with the packages being taken by express courier. The chief warden, Beate Peters, said this was embarrassing, which shows that German technology has managed to recreate British comical understatement. It's suspected that he had accomplices within the prison. I'd imagine he needed them at least to finish taping up the box once he was inside, although I wonder if there'd be some Mythbusters-esque way to make do without that. The BBC's report on this says he had been making stationery along with other prisoners, which I hadn't thought of as traditional prison work, but why not?
And Reuters had a slightly confusing piece about an ancient Greek joke book, Philogelos:The Laugh Addict, although what I can't figure out is if this is a new discovery or if they're just moving a puff piece about a new English-language edition of it. Some of the sample ones work pretty well to my tastes: a guy comes back to the slave seller complaining the slave he just bought has died. ``By the gods, when he was with me, he never did any such thing!'' You could still get variants of that into .sig files the Internet over.
Trivia: The inaugural broadcast of the National Broadcasting Corporation, on 15 November 1926, included the Edwin Franko Goldman band, a large brass band which gave free summer concerts in New York City's Central Park. Source: On The Air: The Encyclopedia Of Old-Time Radio, John Dunning.
Currently Reading: Ship Ablaze: The Tragedy Of The Steamboat General Slocum, Edward T O'Donnell.