In comedy, as everyone knows, timing is everything, so if you really want to silence a stand-up, cut him off before he even launches into his first joke. That’s what Aklavya Gaur, a Hindu nationalist, did to Munawar Faruqui, a Muslim comedian, in January. Citing India’s blasphemy laws, Gaur, son of Indore’s mayor, had Faruqui arrested as he took the stage at a club because of the jokes he was presumed to be about to tell. “[Faruqui] was jailed for 38 days, despite the lack of evidence against him,” reported the South China Morning Post. Still, under this kind of preemptive-censorship arrangement, Faruqui stands to save untold time and effort he’d otherwise have to spend polishing and honing—or, for that matter, writing—his material.
The birth announcement from Hugo and Olivia von Halle in The Times of London read, “A daughter, Triptych Alabama Bliss, sister to Hieronymus and Dionysus.” There was a stir on social media. “When it was discovered that her brothers’ full names were Dionysus Cosmo Chaos and Hieronymus Vladimir Azax, people speculated that either the parents were unspeakably cruel or enacting some strange form of performance art,” reported the newspaper, upon investigating the situation. “I’ve got the most common name in Britain,” explained Olivia. “I wanted my children to have something unusual.”