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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.

Plastic bag walks across the road – video

I say, I say, i say, how did the plastic bag cross the road? First insert a frozen chicken, then warm in the sun and wait.

Posted: 16th, March 2019 | In: Gifs, Key Posts, Strange But True | Comment


Woman offers umbrella to Python eating a wallaby

Woman offers umbrella to Python eating a wallaby

“I was driving back up the drive and glanced back across the paddock and saw something big and thought ‘oh no, I don’t like the look of this’,” says Miss Lisa Delany, of Queensland, Australia.

“I parked the car and had a look and from a distance I could see that it was a python. It was starting to get quite hot and I felt kind of sorry for the snake because it was going to all this effort. I went and got a really big umbrella and sort of laid it so it was casting some shade on it.

“I went back later and had a look and it had sort of regurgitated a bit of [it] and was trying to work its way back up the body. Whether it got too hot or it felt threatened, it had just given up … I’ve just been keeping an eye out in the meantime.”

Spotter: ABC

Posted: 11th, March 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Strange But True | Comment


Found: the first recorded use of the word ‘Fuck’

Fuck monk first recorded word english language

“It would be impossible to imagine going through life without swearing, and without enjoying swearing,” says Stephen Fry.  What’s good for him was good, too, for a 1528 monk., whose line “O D fuckin abbot” is the earliest recorded use of the word ‘fuck’ in the English language.

Spotter: Flashbak

Posted: 11th, March 2019 | In: Key Posts, Strange But True | Comment


Billionaire with Short Man Syndrome dies in penis enlargement operation

penis operation enlargement

Sometimes enough is enough. He was 65. What a schmuck. Not a big one – well, not as big as he wanted to be. But rest well Ehud Arye Laniado, a billionaire diamond trader who reportedly died during penis enlargement surgery that triggered a “heart attack’ at a Paris clinic for big swinging dicks.

The Sun’s obituary is choice:

According to media reports, Laniado suffered from a so-called Napoleon complex due his short stature. The old friend [no that ‘old friend’] said that Laniado was “always focused on his appearance and how others perceived him”. According to Laniado’s friends, the only time he forgot about his short height was when he asked his accountant to read out his bank statement, something which he did multiple times a day, it was reported.

You can argue about why he grew big in diamonds – rock-hard diamonds prized for quality over size – amongst yourselves.

Posted: 7th, March 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Strange But True | Comment


TSA stops man with rocket-propelled grenade launcher in bags

TSA rocket-propelled grenade

To Pennsylvania airport, where a traveller is being met by the traditional refrain “Anything to declare, sir?” Yes and no. He does have a rocket-propelled grenade launcher in his bags. But it’s not working. But it looks as though it might.

The AP:

The Transportation and Security Administration says the unassembled parts of the launcher and a replica grenade were found on Monday when an alarm went off as the bag passed through security equipment at Lehigh Valley International Airport in Allentown, about 60 miles north of Philadelphia.

The man, from St. Augustine, was stopped by police and told officials he thought he could bring the non-functioning launcher onboard in a checked bag.

The items were confiscated and he was able to catch his flight to Orlando.

Rocket-propelled grenade launchers are not yet Government issue in Florida. But give it time.

Posted: 6th, March 2019 | In: Key Posts, Strange But True | Comment


Man escapes guilty verdict by not swearing an oath on the Bible

Flashbak to a courtroom in Camden County, New Jersey. It’s 2011. Dr. Abbas Husain is being found guilty of sexual harassment. He’s a Hindu and didn’t place his hand on the Bible when making his oath to tell the truth. A juror, described as being “very passionate” about Bible matters, complained. And then the law grinds. The NJ.com:

“The juror’s comment regarding the Bible raises the specter of religious bigotry,” the court’s ruling said.

The decision reversed a Camden County Superior Court judge’s denial of a new trial for Husain in 2016. A jury in 2011 found Husain created a hostile work environment, sexually harassed and retaliated against a then-part time office employee, who was awarded $12,500 in the civil case…

“The Law Division judge said the juror who made the observation was only concerned with Husain’s credibility, i.e. that a person who refused to place his hand on the Bible was incapable of taking the oath seriously and was therefore incredible,” the decision said. “He contrasted this with out-and-out religious bigotry. But if he was correct, that too is simply impermissible. The exercise of a person’s religion should not make him or her per se incredible.”

“Only a new trial would ensure that the outcome was untainted,” the decision continued. “The possibility that the verdict was a miscarriage of justice is too great for us to decide otherwise.”

What should he put his hand on? And, note, he is accused of having wandering hands…

Image: Shortly after US president John F. Kennedy was shot dead, Lyndon Johnson was sworn in as the new president on board Air Force One.

Posted: 6th, March 2019 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment


I’m not just masturbating in the mirror – I’m being autosexual with my selfie stick

A question for readers The Metro: “What’s it like being autosexual, when you’re attracted to yourself?” Is it a bit like being a wanker, only with more mirrors, a selfie stick and an Instagram account? It’s just Me, Myself & O:

Auosexual

The story, such as it is, is choice. It is, of course, written in the first person:

“My earliest memories of checking myself out in the mirror and feeling attraction happened at around age seven. I didn’t learn the term “autosexual” until after I graduated from college in 2013. My attraction to myself made me confused at times, but once I learned about autosexuality, I was glad there was a word for my experience. I’ve recognised myself as being in a relationship with myself since I was in college. I just didn’t have the vocabulary to express my experiences.”

Are there other words to define such grinding narcissism?

Posted: 4th, March 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Strange But True, Tabloids | Comment


MOMO ate my videos nasties

MOMO May

Did you take the “momo challenge”? Did you see the hacker, a woman with bulging eyes and superior facelift who sneaks into your WhatsApp account and demands children do dangerous “challenges”, like self-harming and other violent stuff? If you did, you’re the only person on planet Earth who did.

“News coverage of the momo challenge is prompting schools or the police to warn about the supposed risks posed by the momo challenge, which has in turn produced more news stories warning about the challenge,” says Jim Waterson. Momo is not a real person. It’s just a photo created by a Japanese special-effects company called Link Factory a few years ago.

Although the Momo challenge has been circulating on social media and among schoolchildren in various forms since last year, the recent coverage appears to have started with a single warning posted by a mother on a Facebook group for residents of Westhoughton, a small Lancashire town on the edge of Bolton. This post, based on an anecdote she had heard from her son at school, went viral before being picked up by her local newspaper and then covered by outlets from around the world…

Hundreds of separate articles have been written on the topic by British news websites in the last three days, dominating the most-read lists on tabloid news sites…. Celebrities such as Stacey Solomon have weighed in and expressed their concerns, creating even more justifications for headlines.

Multiple police forces have issued formal warnings about the supposed risks of the Momo challenge, in addition to hundreds of schools. In one example, a Hull primary school posted on its Facebook page an unsourced claim that clips of the Momo challenge image are “hacking into children’s programmes”, with no evidence of what is meant by this claim.

It’s a moral panic! Like video nasties and the Gorbals Vampire.

MOMO
New X-Factor judge revealed

The pick of the bollocks was in the Sun: “ABSOLUTELY DEVASTATED’ Boy, 5, threatened to stab classmates ‘after Momo Challenge appeared on screen’, reveals horrified mother.”

Blimey! Mum Elli Spicer has a story to tell. Light the campfire. Hold the torch under your chin. They say…

“Four weeks ago I was called into his school because he’d said to two children he was going to “stab them” – I was devastated and it’s been dealt with accordingly. (Bare in mind he turned five in January!). He’s been wetting the bed & he’s been coming into my bedroom early hours because of scary dreams! I am absolutely gutted, I honestly thought my children were quite sheltered. This freak scares me let alone my kids.

“He refused to tell me at first not taking his eyes off me in the mirror and was completely in denial about ever seeing this ugly c***. Finally when I told him the silly ‘Person’ who made this fake creepy looking creature was in jail with all the other bad guys and that the YouTube police are hunting down all the Momo videos and deleting them, he told me he’d seen it loads of times!”…

“I’m not sure if this influenced (his) behaviour at school, his bed wetting and his bad dreams but nearly two weeks of certain apps being uninstalled on their tablets, extreme parental controls activated and YouTube totally banned because of Momo NOT them, he’s had more good days at school than bad, hasn’t woke once complaining of a bad dream & has been dry for almost a week.”

Mummy. What’s a c***? I saw it on the Internet.

Katie Notopoulos  tweets: “The Momo panic works bc it taps into parents’ guilt that the demands of modern parenting require sometimes just letting kids watch YouTube videos on the phone. The real Momo is the lack of social services in the US like paid maternity leave/affordable childcare.”

They says the real Momo voted for Brexit.

Posted: 1st, March 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Strange But True | Comment


Radioactive man cremated in Arizona

Cremation radiotherapy

A man treated with a radioactive compound to fight his tumour died two days after treatment. The bright minds then cremated him, releasing Lutetium 177 into the environment. A month after the cremation, a Geiger detected radiation levels inside the cremation chamber, on the oven and over the bone crusher. Just over 50% of all American opt for cremation. A public health story looms:

This alarming case, reported in a new research letter this week, illustrates the collateral risks potentially posed by on average 18.6 million nuclear medicine procedures involving radiopharmaceuticals performed in the US every year.

While rules regulate how these drugs are administered to living patients, the picture can become less clear when those patients die, thanks to a patchwork of different laws and standards in each state – not to mention situations like the 69-year-old man, whose radioactive status simply slipped through the cracks.

“Radiopharmaceuticals present a unique and often overlooked postmortem safety challenge,” researchers from the Mayo Clinic explain in a case note.

“Cremating an exposed patient volatilises the radiopharmaceutical, which can then be inhaled by workers (or released into the adjacent community) and result in greater exposure than from a living patient.”

A scare story brews…

Image: William Price helped to legalize cremation and was himself cremated after his death in 1893.

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


‘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