The Rock in the House

From AtlasObscura:

Fountain City’ Wisconsin’s Rock in the House is exactly what it sounds like: a massive boulder embedded in the side of an otherwise unremarkable lakeside residence. Renovations on the small house on North Shore Drive had just finished in April of 1995 when calamity struck. The home sat at the base of a steep hillside and on April 24th of that year, a two-story tall boulder weighing 55-tons came careening down the slope, colliding right into the back of the back of the building. The couple that owned the place were home at the time of the impact and were almost crushed by the rolling stone. Luckily both were physically uninjured, although both had been sufficiently rattled to abandon the house almost immediately.

The next owner of the property, instead of paying to have the boulder removed (no small feat since it was lodged almost entirely into the house), simply decided to shore up the residence around the new addition, and make it an attraction. Renaming the property the “Rock in the House,” playing off the name of the larger attraction, the boulder was opened for visitors.

De Blasio to end Metzitzah consent forms


The de Blasio administration will do away with the policy that required a mohel to obtain a written consent form from parents before performing Metzitzah B’Peh, the circumcision ritual that involves the mohel sucking blood from the wounded penis.

The city’s health department has for years linked the practice to neonatal herpes, citing four cases in 2014.

But the consent forms, which were put in place in 2012, offended members of certain Orthodox Jewish sects who rejected the link and found the forms to be an impingement on their religious freedom.

During the campaign, Mayor Bill de Blasio promised to address the consent form and find a new way that respected religious freedom.

In exchange for abandoning the consent forms, the coalition of rabbis negotiating with City Hall agreed that if a baby is diagnosed with HSV-1, the community would identify the mohel in question and ask him to undergo testing. If the mohel tests positive for HSV-1, the city’s health department will test the DNA of the strain to see if it matches the infant’s.