Weird, offbeat and bizarre news from around the world. Funny, strange & odd news stories that make you wince, laugh and fear for humanity.
Shall we unpack the story of the poacher killed by an elephant then eaten by lions? Do you want to hear about the dead man’s impoverished, brutal life, his dear relative’s cancer diagnosis and her urgent need to pay for life-saving treatment, and how having already sold all his duplicate organs, a Chinese investor offered the man a few rand and a gun loaded with a single bullet to slaughter a rhino in a region patrolled by massive elephants and man-eating lions?
Up in the chap seats at the Twitter Colosseum, there’s much baying for blood:
Let’s just smile at events in South Africa’s Kruger National Park, and display the human skull and a pair of trousers (very possibly soiled) found after story of death-by safari park hit the police radios as a triumph of animal wit over human greed. Human death and misery is ok by us. One man’s hideous death might even be a sign of God’s love:
“Entering Kruger National Park illegally and on foot is not wise,” says the park’s MD. said. “It holds many dangers and this incident is evidence of that. It is very sad to see the daughters of the diseased mourning the loss of their father, and worse still, only being able to recover very little of his remains.”
Note to poachers: steal a van.
Anyone buying cannabis in Madrid should know that it contains “dangerous levels of faecal matter”. What safe levels of human shit are in your good shit is unsaid. But the fact is that traces of e.coli bacteria and the Aspergillus fungus were spotted in cannabis tested by experts in such things. Apparently the poo is a byproduct of how the cannabis is brought into the country – the smuggler swallows the stuff and then once in Spain takes laxatives to enact a dose of Montezuma’s revenge. Drugs runners, indeed.
Spotter: Forensic Science International
Hold the internet. You can ban routine porn but the niche stuff you’ll never catch. Bearskins doffed to Peta, then, for their latest drive to be noticed, which features a cartoon cow breastfeeding a Joe Biden look-alike. CILF porn is proper dark web content, down there with SILF, GILF and for Australians who can find one DBPILF.
Renowned spoon bender Uri Geller says he can stop Brexit with the power of this mind – just as he’s stopped Jeremy Corbyn becoming Prime Minister.
Geller’s powers are mighty but, alas, he has been unable to prevent his old mucker Michael Jackson from being dug up and beaten with sticks:
Jean-Claude Junker dines with the long spoon.
“He stated that had he known it was illegal, he would never have had the procedure because he certainly was not that desperate to have his ear removed,” Mr Grieves-Smith QC told Wolverhampton Crown court.
The man was only moderately desperate? It should be stated that as far as we know the ear was in fine working order when the man hired Brendan McCarthy, owner of Dr Evil’s Body Modification Emporium in Princess Alley, Wolverhampton, to remove it.
Other customers of Dr Evil’s shop gave written consent for tongue splitting and nipple removal procedures. No anaesthetic was used.
Mr McCarthy has pleaded guilty to three counts of grievous bodily harm and was jailed at Wolverhampton Crown Court for three years and four months.
Which begs the question: whose body is it?
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.
“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.”
“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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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:
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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…
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.
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.
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!
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…
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
Rob Beschizza shares this video of police in Asia using pikes to cut down on knife crime. Meanwhile…in the UK:
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
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