Germany denies Pastafarians religious rights

All the prayers in the world to the Flying Spaghetti Monster probably won't help.

(Public Domain)
  • The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster has been denied the rights of a religion in Germany.
  • Church members were seeking permission to erect public signage.
  • Are views of opposition expressed as satire less valid than the ideas they oppose?
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The most culturally chauvinist people in Europe? Greeks, new research suggests

Meanwhile, Spaniards are the least likely to say their culture is superior to others.

Image: Pew Research Center
  • Survey by Pew Research Center shows great variation in chauvinism across Europe.
  • Eight most chauvinist countries are in the east, and include Russia.
  • British much more likely than French (and slightly more likely than Germans) to say their culture is "superior" to others.
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10 of Europe's weirdest laws

Amongst other things, you can't get away with handling a salmon suspiciously in Scotland.

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  • While a few of the laws on this list are holdovers from long ago, some laws are as recent as 2011.
  • While marrying a dead person or handling salmon suspiciously might sound morbid or hilarious, these laws have historical context.
  • Some of today's laws might seem as antiquated as these in 100 years, too.
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Map shows U.S. effort to feed Europe after WWI

This 100-year-old map, originally made for American consumption, highlights the famines that swept across Europe after WWI.

Image: University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries
  • Exactly a century ago, a massive U.S. relief effort kept Europe, including communist Russia, from starving to death.
  • This map shows the areas worst affected by famine, but ignores the food emergency in Germany.
  • Drawn up between the Armistice and the Treaty of Versailles, it also shows a few intriguing countries and borders, never seen since.
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Nearly every country wants universal healthcare (except for one)

Most other countries don't have universal healthcare because of poverty or war. Why does the U.S. keep clinging to a bad system?

(Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)
  • It's long been known that the U.S. is the only wealthy country without universal healthcare. But even significantly poorer countries also have some kind of universal healthcare system.
  • The reasons why the U.S. doesn't have a universal healthcare system are unique in the world but aren't insurmountable.
  • In order to join the rest of the developed world, the U.S. needs to realize that not having universal healthcare is something countries do out of necessity, not out of choice.
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