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'Pastafarian' headgear a coup for kitchen gadgets

Austrian man and devotee of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti monster is allowed to wear a pasta strainer in his driver's license photo, claiming it as "religious headgear."

Niko Alm, via BBC

Looks like we may have finally found the ultimate gearhead.

An Austrian man has scored a point for freedom of religion, or at least for the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, as well as for kitchen gadgets. Niko Alm was allowed to wear a pasta strainer on his head for his driver's license photo by claiming it as a piece of "religious headgear," according to the BBC.

Alm planned the stunt after reading that Austrian authorities prohibit wearing of headgear in official photographs except for religious reasons.

Alm claimed the strainer was a requirement of his religion, pastafarianism, which is tied to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. The tongue-in-cheek organization is a mostly satirical take on religion with roots in a letter sent to the Kansas Board of Education five years ago.

Alm's headgear makes sure the body of his savior is always served al dente. Niko Alm, via BBC

The letter was in response to a proposal to teach intelligent design in schools and requests that the pastafarian version be offered as an alternative. The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster became an Internet meme and began crossing over into the real world, with spaghetti monster sightings cropping up worldwide.

According to the BBC, an Austrian police spokesperson denied that the pastafarian headpiece was allowed for Alm's photo on religious grounds, explaining instead that the only requirement is that the person's full face be showing in the picture. Police also said the license has been ready for almost two years but was never picked up.

Alm tells a slightly different story--he claims it took three years for the license to come through and that he was asked to submit to an exam to determine if he was mentally fit to drive, which he passed.

Alm now plans to petition Austrian authorities to recognize pastafarianism as an official religion. At last, accepting the blood and body of the Lord could become a lot more delicious, not to mention laden with carbs.

In the meantime, might we suggest that Alm try donning some higher-tech gear to honor his faith? A Perfect Pasta Timer around his neck perhaps?