Odds & Ends for December 22
Pranksters stop tram to film Tolkien scene
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — It’s almost like in J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Fellowship of The Ring:” Gandalf stands in the way of Balrog and tells him to “go back to the shadow” to buy time for fleeing Frodo Baggins and his companions.
But the scene is Warsaw, not the Mines of Moria. A Polish prankster dressed as Gandalf stops a city tram, which represents Balrog, and recreates the scene with several others dressed as Middle-earth characters.
Tolkien’s Gandalf almost died in the confrontation, but the Warsaw practical joker, called SA Wardega, just irritated the tram driver.
A YouTube video of the prank posted last week has gone viral with nearly 3 million views by Saturday.
France: It’s not sexting, it’s textopornographie
PARIS (AP) — France, a nation with a centuries-old reputation for seduction, now has a word for sexting.
If you want to send sexually explicit photos or text messages to your lover in France, it’s called “textopornographie.” That’s the term recently chosen by the Academie Francaise, the respected institution that watches over the French language and regularly invents French terms for English or other expressions that have gone global.
The academy’s Sophie Tonolo, a dictionary editor, said it was approached by the Justice Ministry for a proper term for sexting because the phenomenon often comes up in legal cases.
Basketball wheelchairs stolen at Iowa YMCA
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Wheelchairs used for basketball games were stolen from a trailer at a Cedar Rapids YMCA parking lot.
More than a dozen wheelchairs belonging to SportAbility of Iowa were in the trailer, which was taken during the weekend from the Stoney Point YMCA lot. The wheelchairs are used by the Iowa Chariots, whose team members have little or no use of their legs. Jayden Barrett is a director of SportAbility, and said the wheelchairs were bought with donated money. The chairs cost $3,000 to $5,000 each.
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