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Masks scare away winter

People living in temperate climates have always attached great significance to the arrival of spring and have celebrated it with colourful traditions. In southern Hungary, in the town of Mohacs on the Danube bank, one of the strangest folk traditions attracts thousands of people every year.

Scary masked men wearing fur coats and wooden face . . . → Read More: Masks scare away winter

Microsoft plans new Windows products

The most common consumer version of Microsoft Corp.’s new Windows operating system will include tools for things like recording and watching television, along with other functions aimed at using the PC for entertainment purposes. Windows Vista Home Premium, due out in the second half of this year, will effectively bake in functions that were previously . . . → Read More: Microsoft plans new Windows products

Court spells it out to male witch

By Natalie Tkaczuk Sikora

A HIGH priestess of Melbourne’s pagan community appeared in court on Monday seeking a restraining order against a male witch who allegedly fired a gun through her children’s bedroom window.

Elizabeth Collins told the Broadmeadows Magistrates’ Court shots were fired at her home just a day after Ronald Sommerling allegedly threatened . . . → Read More: Court spells it out to male witch

Priests challenge Vatican on homosexuality

A group of 19 Roman Catholic priests from Quebec has published an open letter criticizing the church’s stand on homosexuality. The 980-word letter, published Sunday in the Montreal newspaper La Presse, is in response to two recent church decisions: the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops’ opposition to same-sex marriage and the Vatican’s refusal to ordain . . . → Read More: Priests challenge Vatican on homosexuality

The lore of witchcraft

Is there magic in a simple blancmange powder? The question is more suitable as the subject of a spoof and none-too-sober undergraduate debate than as a serious matter for the police and the Royal Court of Guernsey. But the last trial for witchcraft in the island took place only about 90 years ago and centred . . . → Read More: The lore of witchcraft

Wanted fortune teller a step ahead of police

By Hayley Mick

She is a fortune teller who reels in the broken-hearted with talk of evil spells and promises of rekindled romance. Then, police say, she takes their money and disappears. Last month, Sophie Evon, 76, pulled her best vanishing act on the Canadian authorities. She skipped town just before she was to be . . . → Read More: Wanted fortune teller a step ahead of police

Ancient Egyptians at home in Turin

By Ariel David

Although the Greeks invented the Olympics, the ancient Egyptians were no couch potatoes in athletic feats. Pharaoh Amenhotep II – an accomplished horse rider, runner and archer – bragged that he was the greatest sportsman of all time and made sure royal sculptors captured his massive biceps and pecs.

The granite colossus . . . → Read More: Ancient Egyptians at home in Turin

Spiritual healing: Inmates rehabilitate with faith

PHOENIX – Geoffrey Burbank knelt in the corner of a prison chow hall, a small silver hammer medallion on his right shoulder.Burbank, 32, has been in and out of prison in three states, but this time, he says he has found something that just may change the course of his life: faith. More specifically, Àsatrù, . . . → Read More: Spiritual healing: Inmates rehabilitate with faith

The Da Vinci Code’ taken to High Court

By Sarah Lyall Opening arguments began Monday in a case that sets the megaselling author Dan Brown against the authors of a nonfiction book who claim that he stole their ideas in writing “The Da Vinci Code.”Jonathan Rayner James, the lawyer for the aggrieved authors, Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh, said that Brown had “appropriated” . . . → Read More: The Da Vinci Code’ taken to High Court

Biological Bases for Religious Belief

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Jesse Bering, a cognitive psychologist in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Arkansas, has created one of the first experimental programs in the world that brings together three previously unconnected areas: cognitive science, evolutionary theory and existential psychology.His most recent research will soon be published . . . → Read More: Biological Bases for Religious Belief