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Strange But True Category

Weird, offbeat and bizarre news from around the world. Funny, strange & odd news stories that make you wince, laugh and fear for humanity.

‘Satan Lives’ in my toaster – a classic TV news clip

To Boca Raton, Florida, where Satan has taken refuge in a toaster. “SATAN LIVES,” says the message on the toast. “When all said and done,” reasons the keeper of Hell’s flame, “it makes good toast.”

Spotter: flashbak

Posted: 12th, February 2019 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment


Writer turns sleep apnea mask into an Alien Facehugger

CPAP Mask  Alien Facehugger

Who says you can’t have fun with sleep apnea? Not Jared Grey, who fashioned his Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) mask into an Alien life-size foam Facehugger. And here’s how he did it, telling us:

I’ve been joking for years that if I ever ended up needing a CPAP mask, I’d incorporate it into a facehugger. Because obviously. …I was recently diagnosed with sleep apnea, and now have my own CPAP torture machine. Seriously, these things are awful and create as much discomfort as they prevent. So I may as well have some fun with this thing while it’s intruding on my life.

CPAP Mask  Alien Facehugger
CPAP Mask  Alien Facehugger
CPAP Mask  Alien Facehugger

Spotter:  Jared Greyvia Technabob

Posted: 31st, January 2019 | In: Key Posts, Strange But True | Comment


Casey Hathaway: 3-year-old lost in woods was raided by a bear

Casey Hathaway has a story to tell. The three-year-old was lost for three days in the freezing cold woods of Craven County, North Carolina. Found by police, Casey told them he’d survived with the help of a bear:

“He made a comment about having a friend while he was in the woods – his friend was a bear,” Maj. David McFadyen of the Craven County Sheriff’s Office told CNN. “In the emergency room he started talking about what happened in the woods and he said he had a friend that was a bear with him while he was in the woods.”

An actual bear or a picnicking teddy bear? We cannot be certain. But we should know soon enough when it’s toilet time. It’s a long, long dash to the woods…

Posted: 30th, January 2019 | In: Strange But True | Comment


Thailand fires water canon to clear Bangkok smog; London learns

smog pollution london

You know you’re in Bangkok, Thailand, because you can see the air moving. But worry not. The Thais are defeating the smoggy pea-soupers with water cannon.

Global News has more:

Thai authorities used water cannons on Monday in an effort to combat Bangkok’s air pollution. Masks were also provided after hazardous dust particles reportedly reached an Air Quality Index (AQI) of 180.

Any level above 150 is considered unhealthy and Bangkok ranked in the top 10 of polluted cities worldwide on Monday.

The particles, known as PM 2.5, are a mixture of liquid droplets and solid particles that can include dust, soot and smoke.

Diesel fumes contributed up to 60 per cent of the pollution while burning rubbish and crops attributed about 35 per cent.

The Straits Times says the “PM2.5 air-quality index (AQI) in Bangkok on [last] Sunday reached a peak of 195, an unhealthy level, while some areas such as Bang Khen district were at hazardous levels, with PM2.5 AQI at 394 on Sunday morning”. That’s way over the target of 50.

The Mail:

Stagnant weather conditions mean it is unlikely to clear quickly own its own. But the government is set to deploy rainmaking planes to seed clouds by dispersing chemicals into the air to aid condensation. 
The weather modification technique should in theory result in rain, which would help to clear the skies.

‘The Department of Royal Rainmaking and Agricultural Aviation… expects the rainmaking to be done tomorrow but it depends on wind and humidity levels,’ Pralong Dumrongthai, director-general of Thailand’s Pollution Control Department, told reporters. 

Waiting for rain is dull – as is cutting the reliance on pollutants. Better to fire up the water canon. But the water don’t taste like what it outta:

Thai media reported that in a desperate attempt to bring down critical air pollution levels in Bangkok, local authorities started experimenting with sweetened water, instead of regular one. The idea behind the bizarre pollution-fighting strategy is that by increasing the viscosity of the water using sugar will allow it to trap more dangerous particles when sprayed into the air. However, some experts believe that the unconventional approach could do more harm than good.

Dr. Weerachai Putthawong, a professor of organic chemistry at Kasetsart University, told Workingpoint News that he has serious doubts that the sweetened water will yield better results than regular water. He claims that the increased viscosity of the liquid won’t make much of a difference, because the equipment used to spray it isn’t powerful enough to pulverize it into small enough droplets to catch dust and particulate matter as small as 2.5 microns in size. The current machines used to spray the water can only catch particles down to 10 microns.

To make matters worse, the added sugar could cause the surfaces the mixture lands on to develop dangerous mold, as the organic additive would allow bacteria and fungi to develop.

Back in the UK, London just sold its convoy of three water canon. “Although London’s air often appears clear to the naked eye, the city has suffered from illegal levels  of air pollution since 2010,” says the FT. Recall the canon. Fire at will!

Posted: 30th, January 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Strange But True, Technology | Comment


Unicorn robber captured

unicorn thief

Police in Spain have captured a unicorn who allegedly robbed several stores in Malaga. The unicorn is said to be a man dressed in a soft onsie with a unicorn-style horn on his head. Well, so they say. What price the real thief – the nefarious and prolific unicorn – prompted a desperate man into a copy-cat crime? If this poor soul needs a defence, call me. The truth is out there. I have books…

Posted: 28th, January 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Strange But True | Comment


The court calls Mr Farrelly of Muff Crescent, Nobber

Ireland’s Ardee District Court calls Mr Conor Farrelly, 22, who stands accused of driving a 2011 BMW car into a wall in Ardee, fleeing the scene and heading into a pub. Mr Farrelly of Muff Crescent, Nobber… Pardon me? No giggling in court. You there! I’ll have you removed.

Mr Farrelly offered guilty pleas to dangerous driving and not being insured. Judge Coughlan banned Mr Farrelly from driving for two years. He also sought a probation report in respect of the defendant doing 240 hours community service in lieu of five months in jail.

The matter will return to court on May 13 when final sentencing will be passed. In the meantime, Mr Farrelly will reside at the property in Muff Crescent in Nobber… Enough! Dismissed!!!

Spotter: Dundalk Democrat

Posted: 24th, January 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Strange But True | Comment


Police use pikes to stop knife crime

Rob Beschizza shares this video of police in Asia using pikes to cut down on knife crime. Meanwhile…in the UK:

Spotter: BB, Reddit

Posted: 22nd, January 2019 | In: Key Posts, Strange But True | Comment


What happens when you try to drive through a huge snowman built on a tree stump

Tree snowman stump car

To St, Petersburg, Kentucky, where Cody Lutz, his fiancee, and her sister have been hard at work building a huge 9-foot tall snowman in their garden. Someone else liked it too – they liked it enough to try to drive straight through it. When Cody returned home from work the spotted that the snowman was wearing a car bumper. WLWThas more:

There’s now a massive stump now exposed, with a snowy imprint of a bumper stuck to it.

“You reap what you sow,” Lutz said. “Still standing and still smiling, Frosty certainly had the last laugh!”

It reminds me of when me and a friend used to build sandcastles on the top of dog turds. We’d wait for someone to kick down our castle.

Spotter: Under the Weather

Posted: 18th, January 2019 | In: Strange But True | Comment


The CIA emergency tool kit spies hid inside their rectums

Old spies never die- but they do pass interesting stools. Atlas Obscura shows us the emergency spy kit CIA operatives in the Cold War stored in their rectums:

This CIA-issued tool kit was issued to CIA officers during the height of the Cold War. It was a way for spies to get themselves out of sticky situations: to pick a lock, carve a tunnel, etc. Watch the video above to learn more about the tool kit from historian and curator of the International Spy Museum, Dr. Vince Houghton.

Anyone else miss the Cold War?

Spotter: Boing Boing

Posted: 17th, January 2019 | In: Key Posts, Strange But True, Technology | Comment


Woman can only hear female voices and Michael Jackson

ear deaf

To China – I said, ‘To China!’ – where a woman says she can’t hear male voices. Either that or she has trouble detecting lower frequencies. LiveScience has more:

At the hospital, Chen was treated by Dr. Lin Xiaoqing — a woman — who noted that while Chen was able to hear Xiaoqing’s voice, she couldn’t hear the voice of a nearby male patient “at all,” according to Newsweek. Xiaoqing diagnosed Chen with reverse-slope hearing loss, a rare type of low-frequency hearing loss that likely impaired her ability to hear deep male voices….

Loss of hearing of lower-pitched sounds (which is what Chen experienced) is… less common because the bass-processing portion of the cochlea — a snail-shaped structure deep in the inner ear — is very well protected, said Jackie Clark, a clinical professor with the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences at the University of Texas at Dallas, who also wasn’t involved with Chen’s case…

“Most studies have shown that if you catch it within 48 hours, you have the best chance for recovery,” (Clark) said.

What was that? ‘Pass the grapes… Pass. The. Grapes. ‘Eh?” says Chen popping the last one into her mouth.

Posted: 16th, January 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Strange But True | Comment


Police seek man who stole blue siren from police car

Amanda Nunn, a journalist at ITN, alerts us to the police hunt. Does this man know anything about a blue siren lights allegedly stolen from the top of the police car parked outside Sunderland railway station on December 26 2018? Officer “believe” he may know something…

Blue siren police sunderland
Carry a torch : Be seen – be safe

Posted: 12th, January 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Strange But True | Comment


Passenger turns her airport purgatory into a 1980s-style pop video

Tweeter @katiemgould kept her blood moving as she waited four hours for a plane by making this video to You Make My Dreams by Hall & Oates. The cat in the video is “my travel buddy Bowie”:

Posted: 11th, January 2019 | In: Music, Strange But True, The Consumer | Comment


Salinas doorbell licker caught on camera

To Salinas, California, Roberto Daniel Arroyo, 33, has allegedly one filmed licking a the Dungan family’s doorbell. Arroyo allegedly also nicked extension cords from the Dungan’s Christmas decorations. David Dungan tells the Salinas Californian, the family have disinfected their front porch and “bleached the doorknobs”, We learn:

Officers knew Arroyo because they have encountered him several times previously, (Salinas Police spokesperson Miguel) Cabrera said…

The case has been sent to the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office, which will decide whether to file charges. Police are seeking misdemeanor prowling, theft and violation of probation charges, Cabrera said. 

File under: you should see what they do to door knobs and knockers.

Spotter: The Salinas Californiani

Posted: 9th, January 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Strange But True | Comment


The oh deer hunter – Spotlighting killer accidentally grasses up herself

katerina-plotnikova deer

The woman was chuffed to have shot dead a “bigo buck,” a large deer. It was dark, see, and she was testing his skills in killing an unarmed vegetarian. The hunter was boasting about her kill on the Bumble dating app. She sent fellow user Cannon Harrison, 24, a photo of her posed with the dead animal. She told him she’s evened up the fight by “spotlighting” – shining a bright light at the deer so as not to miss and take out a defenceless tree. What the woman did not know was that Harrison is a warden with Oklahoma’s Department of Wildlife Conservation. Spotlighting is illegal. And the season for hunting deer with rifles had ended before she hit her target. Whoops! The Washington Post has more:

“Honestly, the first thing I thought was that it was someone who was messing with me because they knew who I was,” he told The Washington Post. “It seemed too good to be true.”

Armed only with the woman’s first name, a photo and a rough sense of her location, Harrison searched through social media until he had figured out her identity. The next morning, game wardens showed up at her home…

The woman ultimately pleaded guilty to hunting deer out of season and possessing game that was taken illegally, Harrison said…

(She received a fine of) $2,400, according to the Tulsa World — a total that also includes the fines incurred by a man who had been out hunting with her and took home the buck’s head afterward. Because the woman has agreed to pay her share of the fines, she will not face jail time, Harrison said.

Why do people shoot dumb animals? Hunting for sport is pretty much the most politically incorrect thing a human can do. Maybe you can circumvent he outrage by calling yourself an enthusiastic locavore? Get a lod of that delicious organic, free-range, grass-fed, local meat.

It can’t just be about a new ways to enliven the shopping, a bloody reworking of a moribund trip to Asda. Are we after the thrill of a kill? Mark Jenkins took a ride with the hunter-skiers of the Chinese Altay Mountains:

Serik describes a hunt when Tursen skied down on a bounding deer, leaped on its back, grabbed its antlers, and wrestled it down into the snow, the animal kicking and biting. It is a scene that has been repeated for thousands of years in these mountains. Within the Altay, a handful of petroglyphs have been discovered depicting archaic skiing scenes, including one of a human figure on skis chasing an ibex. Since petroglyphs are notoriously hard to date, it remains a controversial clue in the debate over where skiing was born. Chinese archaeologists contend it was carved 5,000 years ago. Others say it is probably only 3,000 years old. The oldest written record that alludes to skiing, a Chinese text, also points to the Altay but dates to the Western Han dynasty, which began in 206 B.C.

Norwegian archaeologists also have found ski petroglyphs, and in Russia, what appears to be a ski tip, carbon-dated to 8,000 years ago, was excavated from a peat bog. Each nation stakes its own claim to the first skiers. What is widely accepted, however, is that whoever first strapped on a pair of skis likely did so to hunt animals.

Ski bores and asinine hunters. Those delicious deer have much to answer for. We ride at dawn.

Posted: 9th, January 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Strange But True | Comment


‘A physician’s letter to his wife’ – the most condescending letter ever written?

In “A physician’s letter to his wife” the self-styled “The Physician Philosopher” – an  “anesthesiologist who blogs at his self-titled site, The Physician Philosopher” – writes an open letter to his wife. It looks like an online public display of affection, which, to my mind, are often precursors to divorce. You know, those irritating Facebook posts between husband and wife played out because a private conversation is too intimate for such kismet-kissed souls. He calls her “gorgeous”, “talented”  and, in an egomaniacal bid at self-deprecation, “long suffering”. She laughs at his jokes. Narcissism rules. 

And so to “The Physician Philosopher” who schools his wife what to do should he die before her. She should not punch the air, whoop, use bunting nor should she exclaim, “I pity anyone in the hereafter listening to that bore’s preachy horse shit”. He begins, as he must, at the beginning:

Let’s just start at the beginning.

If you’ve made it past that without rolling your eyes into your skull, read on…

When we first met, you thought I was arrogant and prideful. For two and a half years we would rarely talk while we walked past each other in our small college town. At the time, we never could have imagined that one day we would get married. In a twist of irony, two weeks before we started dating you still didn’t know as you told one of your best friends, “I could never date a guy like him. He is too sure of himself.”

Then something changed.

You wanted to talk late one night outside of your dorm. We even got yelled at for talking too late into the night. We first became friends, then we became best friends, and then you become the love of my life. Ten years of marriage and three kids later, you still have my heart and always will.

You made me a better me. 

You are the most caring, compassionate, and forgiving person that I’ve ever met. I guess God knew that you’d need those qualities in order to be married to me – particularly that forgiveness part. When you make as many mistakes as I do, a lot of forgiveness is required.

I tell everyone every day that you are a better person than me, and I’ll continue to say that to the grave. But if I should make it to the grave prematurely, I want you to have this letter to guide you on exactly what you should do for our family.

And now it gets fist-bitingly awful:

Financial plan

When I die, you’re going to realize that you are immediately financially independent. If not, reading this will teach that to you.

Do one! 

With the money, you’ll be able to pay off all of our debts and have more than enough to last as long as you and the kids live. That said, you are likely to have no idea what to do with it given that you’ve always trusted me with the big picture of our finances. (We need more money dates, apparently).

So, I’m going to walk you through exactly what you should do with it.

Furs. Diamonds. Unsuitable Men?

Cash in my life insurance

You need to get my term life insurance policy. It’s in the folder in my desk.

Call the insurance company up and tell them the bad news. And then call my workplace and do the same thing (I have a life insurance policy at work, too). Tell them you’d like to collect the full sum of money. I’ve done the math and this amount of money should allow you to do whatever you want to do with your life.

After you realize your awesome financial situation, make sure to change all the beneficiaries on your estate planning documents to the kids. I won’t need to be your beneficiary anymore for obvious reasons.

You still there? He hasn’t finished. 

Cash in my life insurance

After you get the money in hand, you will be able to pay off all of our debt with ease, including our house. Hopefully, we’ve done well enough by the time that you need this that the mortgage is all that is left.

It’s worth saying twice: pay off the debt before you do anything else.

It will make life easier for you and the kids. Also, consider fully funding our kids college education by putting $100,000 into each kid’s 529 plan and letting it grow until they need it.

Nicole Cliff interjects: “If Steve left me a letter this condescending in his effects I would liquidate every single account and give all of it to lesbians. Just random lesbians. Then I would eat my children.”

You have to do some math

I know that you don’t like math, but you’ll have to do some.

I’m rich! I’ll hire a mathematician. Then shag him to deathbed on the solid gold sun lounger I bought.

After paying off all of our debt, you’ll have a certain amount of money left. If you multiply that number by 3% (Total money x 0.03), that is the amount of money that you can spend annually and rest assured it’ll last as long as you need it.

It should be a lot more than you need.

If you decide to keep working, because I know you – and that’s what you’ll likely do – just subtract your annual income from that number above and draw less out of the account. It’ll give you an even better chance that it’ll last long enough and you can give what is left to the kids someday.

Tom Jamieson interjects: “Teach the children how to make that lovely tea you insisted I drink every night before bed. The one that tasted faintly of burnt almonds my dearest, as each day I grew weaker and weaker until near the end, you had to hold the cup to my lips in your kind sweet uncomplicated way.”

You have to do some math

Take $100,000 of the money and put it into a Money Market Account for an emergency fund. This should cover any unexpected expenses that arise. Also, feel free to give me the cheapest funeral possible. No one will be looking at my casket when it’s underground ten years after I die. A wooden box will be just fine.

Put all of the rest of the money into a taxable account at Vanguard. Put 50% into the total stock market index fund (VTSAX), 25% into the total international stock market index fund (VTIAX), and 25% of the money into the tax-exempt bond index fund (VTEAX).

Take any money I have in my work retirement plans and simply roll it over into an IRA at Vanguard. Since the money in this account will hopefully be dwarfed by the money from my death that you’ve placed into a taxable account, you can put 100% of this money into the Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund (VBMFX).

If you need help, call Vanguard. They are great. If you still need help, call a fee-only financial advisor who operates as a fiduciary for a flat-fee.

Tom Jamieson has a word: “look after our children. You’ll find them in the smaller rooms adjacent to our master bedroom, They are called children’s bedrooms and that is where they sleep.”

Speaking of help

Ask our lawyer friend at church to help you make a trust for the kids and plan for our estate. Your money will likely grow while you are taking it out at 3%, and so you want to make sure that the kids won’t get hammered by massive estate taxes.

If you need help with the financial stuff, feel free to look at my recommended financial advisors list (coming soon!). I’ve vetted them myself. Or, I am sure, that many of my financial advisor friends will reach out to you to offer help.

Jennifer Van Goethem interjects: “So, looks like the lesson here is trust your first impressions.”

Speaking of help

You know one of my favorite things to do is to give to other people. And I know you’ll do the same. But it would make my heart happy if you found some people who really needed help and gave them a leg up in life.

Oh, and pay for the medical school to support someone who will start a curriculum to teach the students about money. It’s important stuff, and it just may save them from burnout so that they can save you and our kids someday.

Verity Reynolds interjects: “There are three children. That is more than two and less than four. I know how you hate math.”

Life plan

First of all, recognize that my death wasn’t too soon. It was right when it was supposed to be. You and I both know that there is a bigger calling in this life, and I hope that you continue to teach our kids the selfless love of Jesus.

I also hope that you find love again. This life is too short to live it alone. Just make sure he loves you, and loves our kids. (Also, make sure he signs a prenuptial agreement given all that money stuff we just talked about. 🙂 )

Continue to teach our kids to be selfless, respectful, and to put others first. Spend time with them and support their passions.

Brian Roemer interjects: “There’s not a jury in the world that would convict her.”

You may not realize this, but families who have money usually lose it by the third generation. So, don’t let our kids touch any of their non-college money until they are 24 at the youngest. Continue to teach them about money. Make sure they associate hard work with earning money. And make them give you a plan for what they want to do with it.

Tell our oldest little philosopher that she is brave, inquisitive, and sweet. I pray that she always continues to stay that way. And tell her that I am proud of the little woman she has become. My hope is that she stands up for those who can’t.

Hillary Rowe interjects: “Dear wife, I’m writing you this open letter to make sure the whole world knows that I (appear to be) financially controlling you, and I demand that same level of control after my untimely death.”

Tell our only son that, while I wasn’t always the best at understanding his emotions, I love his empathy. That is his gift – understanding others. Help him use it to serve others well. Make sure he knows that I am proud of him, and will always be proud of him no matter what he chooses to do with his life.

And to our fiesty Jack-Jack, teach her to harness all of that charisma and fervor. Teach her to love others with just as much passion. I hope that she always possesses a jealous and fierce love for her family.

Take home

To end this open letter to my wife – I want to point out that a chapter of our life has finished. We are selling the first home we had after getting married. The one where we brought home all three of our children, and created our life together over the past nine years. While this is bittersweet, I cannot wait for the memories that we have to come in our new house.

Know that I love you and that, if I die before you, I have cherished every moment we had together, even if I wasn’t always the best at showing it. Continue to love the kids the same way you loved me – unconditionally.

Love,

Your lesser half

Spotter: Nicole Cliffe 

Posted: 15th, December 2018 | In: Key Posts, Money, Strange But True | Comment


When squirrels attacks: critter jumps on delivery drivers head

If a squirrel jumped on your head, what would you do? They have big teeth and sharp nails. They pick out bad nuts and destroy them. But when this squirl jumped on a delivery driver, he took it in his stride:

 

 

PS: if you pull squirrels, get a grey hat and drum your fingers.

Spotter: Mashable

Posted: 11th, December 2018 | In: Key Posts, Strange But True | Comment


Terrified hang glider student hangs on with one hand over beautiful scenery

To Switzerland, where a hang glider instructor has such faith in his student (or burning hatred – ed), he didn’t properly attach him to the glider. Try not to look down – but if you must, enjoy the scenery. It is the ‘Swiss Mishap’:

 

Posted: 10th, December 2018 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment


Patient coughs up lung-shaped blood clot

blood clot

 

The New England Journal of Medicine reports on a patient suffering from heart failure who reportedly coughed up a huge blood clot. That’s it in the photo. It looks a lot like a mould of the lung and its tributaries. The Atlantic’s Haley Weiss notes: “Doctors Aren’t Sure How This Even Came Out of a Patient”:

In Wieselthaler’s case, blood eventually broke out of his patient’s pulmonary network into the lower right lung, heading directly for the bronchial tree. After days of coughing up much smaller clots, Wieselthaler’s patient bore down on a longer, deeper cough and, relieved, spit out a large, oddly shaped clot, folded in on itself. Once Wieselthaler and his team carefully unfurled the bundle and laid it out, they found that the architecture of the airways had been retained so perfectly that they were able to identify it as the right bronchial tree based solely on the number of branches and their alignment.

Mr Wieselthaler died not long after.

Spotter: Boing Boing

Posted: 7th, December 2018 | In: Key Posts, Strange But True | Comment


Sweden campaigns for standardised sex toys as hospital cases of objects stuck up rectums grows

sex toy

 

The Swedish Standard institute is working towards increased security for users of sex toys. Anna Sjögren, project manager at SIS, Swedish Standards Institute, points to the peril of ineffective sex toys. The press release is informative:

The new standardization committee is working on a proposal for a global standard that will be sent to the ISO standardization organization hoping more countries will participate. The standard will benefit both consumers, manufacturers, retailers and purchasing managers.

Today there are no standards that directly affect the design or quality assurance of this kind of products, either in Sweden or internationally. If the product has a battery, that particular part falls under the EU Low Voltage Directive, but it does not say much about the design or risk analysis made by the manufacturer in the design stage or demanding information for the consumer.

But what about those perils? Sjögren points us to a study in the International Journal of Colorectal Disease. It looked at the rectums arriving at Stockholm South General Hospital.

Retained foreign rectal objects may require surgical removal. To estimate the magnitude of this problem, we report the incidence and treatment of retained rectal objects at a large emergency hospital, and calculate incidence rates at the national level in Sweden.

We show an increasing incidence in rectal foreign bodies in Swedish national data. The increase was most noticeable in men…To mitigate surgical cost and comorbidity, policies to decrease the risk of retained sex toys could be considered.

Objects like…

Median age was 41 years (range 15–92) and 65 (76%) were males. The majority of incidents were self-inflicted (72%)… The objects were sex toys (dildos and butt plugs) in 41% of cases. The other 59% consisted mostly of cans, bottles, candles, and eatables. We admitted 63 patients (74%) where bedside retrieval was unsuccessful. In 3 patients, the object spontaneously ejected while awaiting surgery.

The solution?

We hypothesize that a safety string or adequate-sized stopper potentially could have prevented retaining the dildos, since a recurring problem was difficulty in grasping the objects endoluminally.

And lighting candles before ‘digestion’…

 

electric-cord

Picture 1 of 7

Posted: 4th, December 2018 | In: Key Posts, Strange But True, The Consumer | Comment


Woman with fear of owls wins damages from religious quack

Book of the day : ‘Owls on My Hat’ - June 1975

 

Headline of the week appeared on the BBC News website: “Owl phobia woman wins damages from religious doctor.” Yep. Quack!

Meet Sally Brayshaw, 54, of Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. In pain following an operation, she was seeking relief. The Beeb says at a religious meeting locum doctor and Pentecostal Christian Thomas O’Brien told Sally the devil was “having a real go” at her. It was suggested she was possessed by demons. She was advised not to see a psychiatrist.

The pair met in August 2012: 

Over the next six months Dr O’Brien engaged Mrs Brayshaw in a number of religious activities, taking her to services, giving her religious gifts and setting her television to the Gospel channel to “soak” her in religious content. On one occasion, Mrs Brayshaw said she was taken to a meeting where a preacher spoke of sacrificing an owl…

This left her so terrified of the birds she could no longer look at a picture of one without becoming terrified.

Mr Justice Martin Spencer said it was “foreseeable” Mrs Brayshaw might “react adversely”, adding: “By reason of his zealous promotion of the religious aspects, [Dr O’Brien] became blind to the medical aspects and thereby caused or contributed to the deterioration in the claimant’s mental health.” Ruling Dr O’Brien was “negligent”, Spencer said Mrs Brayshaw was entitled to more than £12,700 in compensation from the doctor. The BBC notes: “Dr O’Brien took no part in the case and his whereabouts are unknown.” He was struck off in 2015 after a General Medical Council investigation. 

Posted: 1st, December 2018 | In: Key Posts, Strange But True | Comment


Prisoner escapes jail thanks to the invisible cobra trick

To Thailand, where prisoner Anan Komolwanit, 23, is escaping jail by pretending there’s a cobra in his cell. Anan, who was pinched for allegedly holding dozens of illegal methamphetamine pills, told on-duty officer officer, Commander Ratchada Supawong, that a deadly snake had made its way into his cell. Anan slipped out the open door, locked the officer in the cell and ran. Stay tuned as another office gives chase. The pratfall completes the picture:

 

 

Anan was re-arrested after he approached a member of the public asking for help. The invisible snake remains at large…

Posted: 25th, November 2018 | In: Strange But True | Comment


Signal-Activated Lingerie: the clap-off bra is here

bra clap-off automatic patent

 

Tired women, adolescents and theatre-goers rejoice (and beware), the clap-off bra is upon us. Michael M. Ahmadshahi Ph.D., Esq. has invented and patented Signal-Activated Lingerie:

“Lingerie, such as bras which are worn by females, have a fastening mechanism, such as a hook-type fastener, which is difficult to open, especially for the male counterpart. A bra according to the present invention could be made using a signal-activated fastener such that the female’s boyfriend or husband could clap his hand and the bra would automatically open.”

The voice-activated bra, thought-activate bra and leering-activate bra all remain at the planning stages.  

Spotter: New Shelton

Posted: 23rd, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, Strange But True, Technology, The Consumer | Comment


Forever Young: why adults still sleep with cuddly toys

Forever Young: Why Do Adults Still Sleep With Cuddly Toys?

When you were very small, you probably had a teddy bear. It’s a rite of passage for every young child; some relative will buy one for us the moment we’re born, and it’s there by our side for the entire time we’re growing up. They get battered and beaten, an eye falls off, a parent has to do their best at stitching it up when a hole appears in it, and by the time you’re six or seven it looks like it’s survived a war. You love it, though. It’s been your constant companion for as long as you can remember. Getting rid of it can be quite a wrench.

It’s even more of a wrench if you have a whole fleet of the things surrounding you. Having one teddy bear can lead to a love of all things soft and cuddly, and your favourite bear might have a whole army of fluffy friends including hippos, gorillas, giraffes, penguins, and just about any other cute looking animal who can be rendered in a form you can snuggle up to. However, the day finally came where you were no longer a child. Even the Bible saw this day coming. To quote Corinthians 13:11, “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” The text seems to explicitly suggest that it’s men who should be putting the toys in the bin when they reach a certain age, but it’s generally expected of both sexes that eventually you’ll stop collecting toys and start worrying about getting a mortgage instead.

In the 21st Century, we don’t seem to be following that understanding anymore.

Soft Toys Become Forever Friends

A study conducted earlier on this year has revealed that a staggering forty three percent of Americans still sleep with a stuffed toy. It wasn’t a small survey either; over two thousand people were polled, and nearly half of them are still taking a teddy bear – or something very much like a teddy bear – to bed with them. You might look at that figure, smile to yourself, and think ‘typical Americans’, but this is not exclusively a British issue.

You have to go back a little further to find a reliable survey that was performed in the UK, but Travelodge asked six thousand people about it in 2010, and found that half of us at least own a teddy bear from childhood, and a third of them still go to bed with them. Even more amazingly, twenty five percent of the men who answered in the affirmative even said they go so far as to take their teddy bear away on business with them, because it ‘reminds them of home’.

The fact that we’re talking about men at all will come as a surprise to some. Many of you reading this article will have looked at the figures and presumed that the adults we’re talking about are mostly, if not all, women. Wrong again. Going back to the American study, eighty percent of all men still at least own at least one stuffed toy from childhood, even if they’re not going to bed with them. The figure for women is seventy seven percent.

The next supposition might be that it’s the Millennials, who are perceived as ‘soft’, who can’t bear to give their soft toys up. 30% of those 45-54 are apparently arctophiles, too. It’s not one age, or one gender, or one location. It’s all of us.

Why Is It Happening?

We’ll be careful with this question, because we’re very conscious that half of you reading this have a teddy bear and don’t believe there’s any issue with it, whereas the other half are stunned by the idea that there are so many people out there who have bedrooms that presumably look exactly the same way they did when they were ten.

For those who don’t go to bed with their teddy bears, the reasons for keeping them are usually sentimental. They’re often on shelves, or in unused parts of the house, gathering dust. As with many things we find when we go to cut down on clutter, coming across them again stirs memories, and when the nostalgia bites we can’t bring ourselves to throw them away. The fact it’s a teddy bear is immaterial; they’d feel the same about an old photo album. It’s just a reminder of happy times.

For the adults, the teddy is more likely to have become an ‘attachment object’. They’re go to items which we associate with reducing stress or anxiety. Perhaps it’s because they remind us of childhood, and a childhood was a safe place away from the strains and concerns of adult life. It’s a known phenomenon to psychologists, who say it’s a mostly harmless habit.

Entertainment Connections

It would seem that we have all been holding onto our teddy bears for decades, and not speaking to each other about it. The knowledge that so many other people out there are doing it is presumably comforting to those who do. If nearly half of the population have a teddy bear, then we certainly can’t call it weird. In fact, figures like that suggest there’s a vast swathe of the population who have an interest that isn’t being catered to.

That fact that this information is now known might explain the slow emergence of soft toys in the world of grown up entertainment. The popular online slot game Fluffy Favourites features a whole host of cuddly characters, with cute features designed to remind the player of childhood. It’s one of several games on the Money Reels website to contain features that remind us of childhood, but it’s by far and away the most popular. Something about the game obviously tapped into the preferences of casual gamblers, and made it a more attractive choice to play than the others games offered on the website.

Then there’s the ‘Ted’ movies, which if you haven’t seen, are the hilarious escapades of one man and his teddy bear, who’ve been friends since childhood. The bear, like his owner, has become sassy, foul mouthed and ill-behaved, but then it’s as old as he is, so why shouldn’t it? Both movies were a huge success, making massive amounts of money and suggesting there’s a definite audience out there for adult-and-bear stories.

So, then, here we are. We can no longer say that teddy bears are the preserve of childhood. They’re our friends for life, and may go on to outlast most of our adult relationships. How long before we see a teddy bear ‘walk someone up the aisle’, or serve as a groom’s ‘best man’? Should we start allowing new recruits to the army to bring them along to barracks? Time will tell. It always does.

Posted: 21st, November 2018 | In: Strange But True | Comment


Deke Duncan: DJ who broadcast to an audience of one gets BBC radio show

deke duncan stevenage

 

“I genuinely thought this was a well-crafted parody, something that the likes of @serafinowicz & @robertpopper would conjure up, but no…it’s 100% genuine – All hail Deke Duncan from Stevenage,” tweets John Morter. A video from the BBC archives takes us back to 1974. We meet Deke Duncan, the producer, presenter and pretty much most other things at Stevenage’s Radio 77 his wife Teresa can’t or won’t do. With no licence, Radio 77, based in a shed at 57 Gonville Crescent in Stevenage, can only be beamed through a speaker in his living room, where Teresa listens. It might be the most romantic thing ever. 

 

 

This week, Deke Duncan, now 73, was invited to present a show on BBC local radio. He fulfilled his “ultimate ambition” to broadcast to the rest of Stevenage.

“We used to record all the shows and play them back and think – that’s cool – but we couldn’t afford to keep buying spools of tape so recorded over them,” he said. “That house was our ship. We took the fantasy so far we said we must not go out the front or back door because you’ll fall in the sea.” The nautical theme followed his love of pirate station Radio Caroline, which broadcast from a boat off the coast of Essex in the 1960s.

Mr Duncan, who has since moved to Stockport, Greater Manchester, still broadcasts Radio 77 to “the smallest audience in the country” – his wife.

He said he felt “emotional” when station editor Laura Moss invited him to present his own one-hour special over Christmas.

 

 

Spotter: Flashbak

Posted: 21st, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Strange But True, TV & Radio | Comment