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Heidi Pelkola goes through her basket of gifts as the Operation Showers of Appreciation threw a baby shower Saturday, July 30, 2011, at the Eastside Cannery for more than 100 new and expecting mothers who have deployed partners or are active-duty servicewomen.

Heidi Pelkola and her husband are getting ready for one of the biggest days of their lives.

But when that big day — the birth of their child — comes, Pelkola, who is five months pregnant, will be without her husband. A member of the Air Force, he is scheduled to deploy a month before the baby is due.

“It’s very difficult,” Pelkola said. “You just try to do the best you can to get through it and stay positive for him.”

Fortunately, Pelkola and other expectant mothers whose spouses and partners are in the armed services, have their military family to fall back on.

On Saturday, more than 125 women got together at the Eastside Cannery for a baby shower sponsored by Operation Showers of Appreciation, a nonprofit group that has helped 3,700 military families since 2006.

The women enjoyed lunch, gifts, massages and the chance to have professional photographs taken to send to spouses and partners serving around the world.

The event’s coordinator, Jody Shervanick, said that the organization tries to make things easier on moms left to care for children on their own.

“So many of these moms are going to unfortunately give birth alone, with no one in the hospital room with them [and] we want to support them,” Shervanick said.

So for the last month, she has collected donations at the Cannery, Rampart and Eastside Cannery casinos. Each mother-to-be received a laundry basket filled with gifts and one large item, such as a crib or a car seat.

“We forget that the entire family serves,” Shervanick said. “These spouses are serving as well, even though they don’t get the uniforms, they sacrifice a lot.”

 

10 illegal baby names

These baby names have all been banned around the world for reasons of taste, decency or just plain daftness.…

This week the Pope declared war on parents naming babies after celebrities, fruit or popular sports cars. In an address to parents, the ever-progressive pontiff pleaded with worshipers to ‘give your children names that are in the Christian calendar‘. So Apple, Brooklyn and Ferrari are out, Francisco and Giulia are in.

But Benedict’s not the only authority figure to stamp down on one of the sillier by-products of celebrity culture. The following names have all been banned around the world for reasons of taste, decency or just plain daftness.

1) Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii (New Zealand)

New Zealand law bans names which could cause offence to a ‘reasonable’ person. Good thing too – the country is a stupid name hotspot. We found a couple from the islands who tried and failed to call their son ‘4Real’, but nothing beats the ridiculous moniker above. It belonged to a 9-year-old girl before a judge had her renamed during a custody battle. ‘It makes a fool of the child,’ he said. It certainly made application forms a pain in the butt.

Has New Zealand banned any other names? Oh yes. The judge listed some that were also blocked: Fish and Chips (twins), Yeah Detroit, Keenan Got Lucy and Sex Fruit. Number 16 Bus Shelter and Violence were allowed.

2) Venerdi AKA ‘Friday’ (Italy)

Maybe this is what the Pope was talking about. Back in 2008 a court banned an Italian couple from calling their child Venerdi (translation: Friday). The judges reckoned the name – taken from ‘Robinson Crusoe’ – would expose the boy to ‘mockery’ and was associated with ‘subservience and insecurity’. The parents, however, might have the last laugh; they threatened to call their next child Mercoledi (Wednesday).

Has Italy banned any other names? Italian courts can step in ‘when the child’s name is likely to limit social interaction and create insecurity’. In Turin, Andrea was rejected (and changed to Emma) as it’s a boy’s name in Italy. Dalmata has also been rejected, as it means Dalmatian.

3) Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116 (Sweden) 
No, we didn’t fall asleep on the keyboard. That is an actual name a Swedish couple tried to inflict on their son back in 1996. Apparently the name is pronounced ‘Albin’ (we’re not sure how), and the parents chose it as a protest against Sweden’s admittedly strict naming laws. Tax authorities must give their blessing to both first and surnames before they can be used.

Has Sweden banned any other names? Oh yes. Some favourites include Metallica, IKEA, Veranda and Q. Google was OK though.

4) Gesher AKA ‘Bridge’ (Norway)
Back in 1998 those nasty Norwegians threw a woman in jail (admittedly for only two days) when she failed to pay a fine for giving her son an ‘unapproved’ name. Eccentric Kristi Larsen said she was instructed in a dream to name her son Gesher (Hebrew for ‘Bridge’), but the court were having none of it. Kristi did have 13 children already though, so maybe she had just run out of ideas.

Has Norway banned any other names? Undoubtedly, though in recent times they have replaced their list of officially sanctioned names with a general ban on monikers featuring swearing, sex and illnesses.

5) Chow Tow AKA ‘Smelly Head’ (Malaysia)
Unlike many countries which are gradually relaxing name laws, Malaysian authorities have cracked down on unsuitable titles in recent years. In 2006 government killjoys published a list of undesirable names that weren’t in keeping with the religious traditions of the country – such as Cantonese moniker Chow Tow – which means ‘Smelly Head’.

Has Malaysia banned any other names? Lots more Chinese efforts such as Ah Chwar (‘Snake’), Khiow Khoo (‘Hunchback’), Sor Chai (‘Insane’). Malays should also steer clear of Woti, which means ‘Sexual Intercourse‘.

6) @ (China)
With more than a billion fellow countrymen, finding a unique name in China is difficult. Perhaps that’s why one couple called their baby the ‘@’ symbol – in Chinese characters it apparently looks a bit like ‘love him’. Bless. Unsurprisingly, however, the authorities were less sentimental and publicised the moniker as an example of citizens bringing bizarre names into the Chinese language.

Has China banned any other names? The police have control over all names given to children because they issue identity cards, but details of rejections are not widely circulated.

7) Miatt (Germany)
Country living up to stereotype alert! Surprise, surprise the Germans are somewhat officious when it comes to baby naming laws. Regulation-loving Deutschland has an entire department (the Standesamt) which decides if names are suitable. Miatt was rejected because it didn’t clearly show whether the child was a boy or a girl, but sometimes the decisions are somewhat arbitrary…

Has Germany banned any other names? The likes of Stompie, Woodstock and Grammophon were turned down, whereas the similarly strange Speedy, Lafayette and Jazz were allowed.

8) Anus (Denmark)

What is it about Scandinavian countries and name laws? The Danes are even tougher than the Swedes in this regard, with parents given 7,000-odd names to choose from by the government. Special permission is needed to deviate from the list, with ethnic names, odd spellings and even compound surnames forbidden. Luckily for him (we assume it’s a ‘he’), Anus was one of 250-odd names rejected each year.

Has Denmark banned any other names? Well, Pluto and Monkey had lucky escapes…

9) Ovnis (Portugal)

Before naming your child in Portugal, best consult this mammoth, 80-page government doc(and have it translated to English) that tells you which names you can and can’t use. It’s pretty strict (and random) – Tomás is OK but Tom isn’t – and celebs can forget about the likes of Apple and Brooklyn, which aren’t even on the banned list. Essex girls rejoice, however – Mercedes is allowed!

Has Portugal banned any other names? There are more than 2,000 names on the reject list, including Ovnis – Portuguese for UFO.

10) Akuma AKA Devil (Japan)
Here’s a name the Pope definitely wouldn’t approve of. In 1993 a Japanese parent called his son Akuma (which literally means Devil). The authorities decided this was an abuse of the parent’s rights to decide a child’s name and a lengthy court battle ensued. Eventually the father backed down and junior got a new, less demonic name.

Has Japan banned any other names? Lots. Names must use one of the 2,232 ‘name kanji’ characters decided by the government.

Source:http://uk.lifestyle.yahoo.com/family…ifestyles.html

Don’t even think about naming your newborn “Lucifer” if you are a parent in New Zealand.

The devilish name has been effectively banned by the New Zealand names registrar after three sets of parents had the name denied, says The West Australian.

The Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages seems to be trying to curb a lifetime of inevitable taunting for the children of parents who wanted to rather than give them names, give them punctuation symbols like:

. (Full Stop), * (Asterisk) and / (presumably “Slash“)

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In the past two years there have been 102 rejected names, including Baron, Bishop, Duke, General, Judge, Justice, King, Knight and Mr, all deemed too similar to titles. Messiah also got the thumbs down. The number 89, and the letters, C, D, I and T saw the same fate, reports the Herald Sun.

This seems fairly reasonable, but what the registrar’s standard is for an acceptable name is quite unclear. In 2008 it approved the names Benson and Hedges for a pair of twin boys, and also allowed parents to bestow the names Violence and Number 16 Bus Shelter to their offspring.

Perhaps, thankfully, New Zealand isn’t the only country cracking down on awful baby names.

“In 2007, a judge in the Dominican Republic submitted a proposal to ban names that are either confusing or gave no indication of gender, such as the names Qeurida Pina (Dear Pineapple) and Tonton Ruiz (Dummy Ruiz), both of which appear in the country’s civil registry,” reports The Globe and Mail.

The paper also noted that Sweden has a naming law that decides exactly what parents can call their children: Lego, Google, Superman, Metallica, Elvis, and Albin won’t cut it in Sweden.

Most Fingers And Toes

 

Count’em up. This young man born with 34 fingers and toes set a Guinness World Record for most digits.

Akshat Saxena had seven fingers on each hand and 10 toes on each foot when he was born in India in 2010., a Guinness spokeswoman told The Huffington Post.

“I was so happy to see my baby as it was our first child,” his mother Amrita Saxena told NDTV. “But later, when I saw his fingers, I was shocked and surprised,”

Doctors recently amputated the excess appendages in a series of surgeries and now Saxena has the typical five digits per limb, the Guinness spokeswoman said.

This prodigious polydactyl wasn’t born with thumbs, but doctors planned to create them with pieces of the extra figners, The Hindustan Times reported.

Asparagus Cocaine

UK Company Creates Powdered Asparagus With Plating That Mimics Cocaine Snorting

First Posted: 7/18/11 11:49 AM ET Updated: 7/19/11 01:15 PM ET

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Asparagus Cocaine

London-based caterers Bubble Foods recently served powdered asparagus, meant for sniffing rather than eating, to a group of designers. The boundary-pushing plating mimicked how a cocaine user snorts the drug.

The off-white powder was served to each diner on a small rectangular mirror. The powder was formed in a straight line, with a rolled up bill next to it. According to Bubble Foods, the suggestive plating and dish itself was meant to serve as a tongue-in-cheek presentation about stimulating the different senses while eating, rather than glamorize drug use.

The asparagus is available for about $80 per gram, which, based on some estimates [pdf], makes it roughly the same price as actual cocaine.

Powdered asparagus

Not surprisingly, there have been accusations that the powdered asparagus is glamorising drugs, but the company insists it is all ‘tongue in cheek’.

Mr Collins said: ‘I don’t think it’s going to be on every dinner party menu we design but we’ve started to do molecular gastronomy to make events more fun and interactive.

‘It’s about deconstructing and reconstructing food to stimulate all the different senses: smell, taste and vision.’

However, the dish was called ‘deeply irresponsible’ by drugs campaigner Lucy Dawe, from Cannabis Skunk Sense. ‘This helps in no way whatsoever with educating people about the dangers of these drugs,’ she said.

‘It risks drawing more and more people into a world where there’s nothing but misery waiting for them.’

Molecular gastronomy was pioneered by TV chef Heston Blumenthal, who put dishes such as egg and bacon ice cream and snail porridge on the menu.

Bubble Food also produces an exploding liquid-filled olive and a green tea mousse that uses liquid nitrogen to send vapour from your nostrils. And if you want to try the powdered asparagus, start saving: it’s £50 a gramme.

The Redneck Chronicles

Zachary Woody, 21, of Calhoun, Ga., was charged with aggravated assault in May after stabbing a friend. Allegedly, Woody had escalated what was initially just a fistfight over whether Fords are better than Chevrolets

Joseph Hayes, 48, was arrested in South Memphis, Tenn., in June after allegedly threatening (with a gun in his waistband) the hostess of a birthday party to which his kids had been invited but which ran out of cake and ice cream. “Y’all didn’t save my kids no damn ice cream and cake,” he was heard to say, and “I ain’t scared to go to jail.

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