Oddly Enough

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The Independent Online
Brazil nuts: A Rio de Janeiro judge has banned steamy school supplies depicting sado-masochistic sex symbol Tiazinha, calling her photos obscene and pornographic. The Tiazinha notebooks and stickers have been hugely popular with children, but Siro Dalan, a state infant and juvenile court judge, ruled that they violate a law prohibiting the sale of "improper" material to minors.

"If we find any bookstores selling the notebooks to children, we will confiscate them and prosecute the store owners," said the court officer, Valeria Fernandes.

The seductive Tiazinha - "Auntie" in English - rose to fame on a television show, where she paraded in thong underwear, a bustier, high heels and a Zorro mask. If her teenage male volunteers on the show failed to answer a current events question correctly, Tiazinha would rip off their leg or chest hair with strips of wax and hit them playfully with a riding crop.

The 20-year-old model's popularity fuelled a multi-million-dollar marketing frenzy in Tiazinha merchandising. She broke the sales record for the Brazilian edition of Playboy with her March spread, selling 1.2 million copies and guaranteeing her the cover for the millennium edition.

Prehistoric caveboy: According to French researchers, a child who skidded in the mud in a cave in southern France as much as 30,000 years ago left behind what is believed to be the world's oldest imprint of any part of a human body.

Michel Garcia, a spokesman, said that the 81/2-inch footprints, left in the Chauvet cave in the Ardeche region, belonged to a child aged between eight and 10.

"He slipped," said Jean-Luc Guadelli, a palaeontologist. "The footprint in the clay is extremely clear. You can see the five toes, the sole and a skid-mark," he explained.

The regional Culture Ministry office said the footprints were between 20,000 and 30,000 years old, making them the oldest Homo sapiens body prints discovered.

10,000 school runs: After 41 years of packing lunches and supervising homework, the 14 children of the McManus family of Kingsley, Michigan, are finally all out of school. "It'll take a while to get used to it," their mother, Carol McManus said. "It's been interesting."

The saga started in 1958 when Mrs McManus, now 64, and her husband, Lyle, 65, sent their first daughter, Bonnie, to kindergarten. Their youngest, Andrew, recently finished secondary school.

In between came Johnny, Connie, Ronnie, Vonnie, Donny, Timothy - they say they ran out of rhyming options - Christina, Thomas, Pamela, Christopher, Elizabeth and James.

Ten of the children completed their secondary school studies. Timothy and Christopher died in childhood and two did not complete their education. Connie, Elizabeth and James went to college.

"I thought I'd be really sad when Andy finished school, but I said `Amen' and `Hallelujah'," said Mrs McManus.

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