Oddly Enough

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The Independent Online
In your face: A school bus route in Shelton, Connecticut was changed to spare a little girl's blushes as her bus passed a local artwork. The route had involved passing right by a 15ft replica of Michelangelo's nude statue "David" which stands in a private office park. Mark DelVecchio said his 10-year-old daughter told him that she was offended by the statue, so he asked officials to change the route. "You've got to remember how tall a school bus is," said her father. "The view you actually get from the bus window is from the navel down." The bus now passes out of sight of the statue. DelVecchio said he has been unfairly accused of depriving children of art. "I'm glad the guy bought it. I'll probably never make it to Italy to see it," he said. "But you have to look at it through my daughter's eyes. If they were looking at the guy's face, it would've been a different story."

Class clowns: Would-be performers are being offered the chance to take a two-year course which will lead to a degree in Circus Arts. Circus Space, a London circus school, and the Central School of Speech and Drama have designed a course for 20 students which will offer clowning, highwire, trapeze, juggling and other skills. But it will not offer training in the controversial area of performing animals, following lobbying by animal welfare groups. Course organisers are anticipating a big response to the degree, after more than 1,000 people applied to do a year-long higher education certificate in circus - partly lured by the chance of a place in the Millennium Dome show.

Rock around the doc: A Princeton University music professor claims his hearing was damaged by an ear-splitting performance by the rock band Smashing Pumpkins, even though he was wearing earplugs. Peter Jeffrey, 45, is suing the members of the million-album-selling alternative rock band, the city of New Haven, and the New Haven Coliseum, where the concert took place in January 1997. Also named in the suit, filed in New Haven Superior Court, are the bands Fountains of Wayne and the Frogs, and earplug maker Siebe North Inc. Jeffrey "has chronic tinnitus and also suffers from sleep deprivation", said his lawyer, Anthony Wallace. "He's a music professor at Princeton, so the effect on his research is severe." Jeffrey reportedly hopes his suit will make young people more aware of the dangers of loud music.