Hospitals are being urged not to decorate children's wards with paintings of clowns in case they upset young patients. State-funded research has found that in a survey of more than 250 children aged four to 16, all disliked the use of clowns in hospital decor, with even the teenagers seeing them as "scary." "Given that children and young people do not find hospitals frightening per se - and only express fear about those spaces associated with needles - this finding is somewhat ironic," said Dr Penny Curtis of Sheffield University. The fear of clowns, known as coulrophobia, can cause panic attacks, shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat, sweating, nausea and feelings of dread. It is one of the 10 most searched-for phobias on Yahoo! search engine.
It was the day after Christmas at a church in San Francisco. The pastor of the church was looking over the cradle when he noticed that the baby Jesus was missing from among the figures of the nativity set. Immediately he turned and went outside and saw a little boy with a red wagon and in the wagon was the figure of the little infant, Jesus. So he walked up to the boy and said, "Well, where did you get him?"
The little boy replied, "I got him from the church."
"And why did you take him?"
The boy said, "Well, about a week before Christmas I prayed to Jesus and I told him if he would bring me a red wagon for Christmas I would give him a ride around the block in it."
Man spent Christmas Eve trapped upside down in a septic tank
77-year-old Des Moines, Iowa man Robert Schoff began his holiday with a toilet problem. So he went out to his septic tank and tried to remove the clog. Instead, it removed him. The senior lost his balance and fell into the slop, with his head trapped inside and his feet kicking wildly in the air. The 5'5", 135-lbs. man tried yelling for help at the top of his lungs but no one heard him. He stayed that way for about an hour unable to escape his smelly predicament until his wife began to wonder where her husband disappeared to. Toni Schoff walked by a window, saw his feet emerging from the opening and quickly rushed outside. But even that didn't help. "I saw these kicking feet and ran out, but couldn't get him out," she recalls. Eventually 911 and fire officials rushed to the scene and pulled him to safety. A long shower followed. "I thought it was the end of my life," he reflects. "Thank God my wife saw me. I don't think I could have stood staying in there much more."