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The Sydney Morning Herald

REGULAR SHORTS

Author: Edited by LUIS M. GARCIA
Date: 19/10/1987
Words: 1173
          Publication: Sydney Morning Herald
Section: News and Features
Page: 24
MODERN MIRACLES

For the second time in 15 months, the people of Fostoria, Ohio, have witnessed a miracle. It's an image of Jesus Christ reflected on the side of a 12-metre-high soybean tank.

The first image, which appeared for some days in July last year, was of Jesus with a small child. This time, witnesses claim they can see Jesus in a long, flowing robe with a hand raised skyward, looking a little like the Statue of Liberty. One of the witnesses, a local artist called Dee Wager, said that the miracle was "for real". Ms Wager, who has conveniently set up a stand near the tank to sell postcards and paintings to pilgrims, said: "I think it's a sign that the second coming of Christ is at hand."

But the man who owns the soybean tank, Dick Burket, is not so sure. He told the Associated Press yesterday that the image was probably caused by shadows from the surrounding street lights.

WHAT THEY DID IN MACQUARIE STREET

There was much excitement at Darling Harbour yesterday when TNT held a press conference to mark the birth of the monorail. Apart from a large contingent of reporters, everyone remotely connected with the monorail was present, including several senior executives from TNT and from the Darling Harbour Authority. In fact, it soon became obvious that the only one missing was Laurie Brereton. His absence deeply disappointed photographers and television camera crews who wanted to get shots of Mr Brereton waving from inside a monorail car. The people from TNT didn't seem too impressed either. When Peter Baker, the general manager of TNT-Harbourlink, was asked why Mr Brereton wasn't present, he replied: "We did invite him but he's a busy man."

GREAT MOMENTS IN DOOM AND GLOOM

We don't want to alarm you but the world is running out of sunlight.

The latest issue of New Scientist magazine reports that a new theory on sunlight was discussed recently at a scientific meeting in Scotland. One of those present was Reed Bryson, from the University of Wisconsin, who believes that if the world's population continues to grow at the present rate, we will eventually run out of sunlight. Mr Bryson has calculated that sufficient sunlight reaches the Earth to sustain 5.56 people per hectare. The current world population density is 3 people per hectare, so there's plenty of sunlight for everyone. But when the global population hits the nine billion mark, we will run out of sunlight.

According to Mr Bryson, this will happen by the middle of next century. Perhaps you should start working on that suntan straight away.

EXPLANATIONS

The mystery of the Wild Man of China - a half-man, half-beast creature not unlike our very own yowie - has finally been solved.

A team of scientists from the Wild Man Study Society in the city of Hubei announced yesterday that the Wild Man does exist. According to the Wenhui Daily, a local newspaper, the scientists reached this conclusion after carrying out tests on strands of hair. They found that the hair didn't belong to either humans or animals. Therefore, they concluded, the hair must belong to the Wild Man. Aren't Chinese scientists clever?

GREAT MOMENTS IN LITERATURE

As promised, here are some of the best (or worst) endings to The Last Case

The story so far (for those of you with short memories): Debra Henderson, born on a sheep station back-of-Bourke, travels to England where she falls in love with Mark, a rising legal star. But Mark's father, Leslie, breaks up the romance. Debra, heartbroken, returns home to be told she has an incurable disease. She goes back to England, accidentally shoots Leslie, is charged with murder and is defended by Mark in what could be his last case. Now read on:

The bewigged judge had pronounced the verdict, "guilty", and Mark's legal reputation was also condemned. With nothing else to do, he had watched Debra die; watched as the translucent skin of her blue-veined wrists shrank on to the bones. He had carried her ashes from the prison back to her spirit country, where he scattered them on the wind which called her name. (Melody Lord of Glebe).

Debra is acquitted. Her disease turns out to be a computer error. Hours before their wedding, Debra and Mark discover they are brother and sister. Mark dies in a suicide pact. Debra changes her mind, returning home for the Bicentenary. (Kerri Sackville of Bellevue Hill).

Mark wins case. Debra and Mark move to Australia to live in a new Landcom estate only to find Laurie Brereton has built a casino in its place. In despair, they move to a disused monorail station. Unfortunately they are stoned to death by demonstrators who mistake them for TNT staff. (From Ross McAlpine of Hurstville).

More entries later this week.

WATER SAFETY

Peter Duncan just doesn't give up. In another attempt to get his name in the newspapers, Mr Duncan, the Minister for Land Transport, came to Sydney yesterday to launch Sea Safety Week at Fort Denison (no, we don't know why the Minister for Land Transport is responsible for safety at sea). As you may have read somewhere else in the Herald, the stunt - which involved setting fire to a bundle of make-believe dollar notes on a boat - didn't go exactly as planned.

But this didn't deter Mr Duncan, who issued a press release in Canberra later in which he lashed out at boat owners who go to sea unprepared. Sounding really cross, he described them as "Band-Aid boaties".

OPPORTUNITIES

Hey, kids, how would you like to win an all-expenses-paid trip to Canberra and $50 spending money? You are in luck.

Bob Woods, the Liberal Party MP for Lowe, has just announced a competition for Year 11 students in his electorate. All you have to do is write a five-minute speech on the environment. There's only one catch: when you get to Canberra, Dr Woods will introduce you to "prominent politicians". If you are still interested, send your speech to Dr Woods at 226 Burwood Road, Burwood 2134 by November 31.

MUSIC

Playing in Sydney tonight: Life Size - All Nations Club, Kings Cross, from 10 ($4); Vita Beats - Kardomah Cafe, Kings Cross, from 9 ($5); Big Swifty -Light Brigade Hotel, Paddington, from 8.30 (free); Chromatic Chips - Oz Rock Hotel, Kings Cross, from 10 (free); Pardon Me Boys - Regent Hotel's Don Burrows Supper Club, from 9 ($6); Twenty Clocks - Evening Star Hotel, Surry Hills, from 10 (free).

Also tonight: Kate Grenville, Gabrielle Lord, Faith Bandler and others raise funds for Amnesty International at Writers in the Park, Harold Park Hotel, Glebe, from 8 ($6 and $4).

 
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