Weird, offbeat and bizarre news from around the world. Funny, strange & odd news stories that make you wince, laugh and fear for humanity.
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.
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…
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”:
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.
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.
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:
When I die, you’re going to realize that you are immediately financially independent. If not, reading this will teach that to you.
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.”
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.
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.
Your lesser half
Spotter: Nicole Cliffe
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.
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’:
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
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.
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.
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’…
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.
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…
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
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.
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.
“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.
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 pic.twitter.com/One7dMM1Zr
— Jon Morter (@JonMorter) November 19, 2018
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.
Back in 1974, Deke Duncan ran a radio studio in his garden shed which broadcast to just one person – his wife. His lifelong ambition was to broadcast to the whole of Stevenage 📻
— BBC Three Counties (@BBC3CR) November 18, 2018
You can tell a fair bit about someone’s convictions by the form their apology takes. Kevin Gaiderman has been invited to apologise for naming a stuffed toy he brought back from a school trip to China ‘Ping Pong’. Gaiderman is head teacher at Chellaston Academy in Derby. Some parents say the name is “offensive” and “racist”, as reported in the Sun and Daily Mail. The stuffed cloth’s full title is ‘Ping Pong the Panda of Perseverance’.
Having upset a few parents with a name inspired by his enjoyment of table-tennis, Gaiderman said: “We told leaders of the Chinese school this was what we were calling our panda due to the resilience and sporting connection we enjoyed.” What screams resilience better than a stuffed panda? Get a load of that steely, unblinking gaze.
Mr Gaiderman has published a fulsome response on the school’s website:
I am taking this opportunity to write to you and thank you for the overwhelming support I have received in what has been an incredibly challenging week for myself personally, my family and our school community.
On Wednesday this week, an article appeared on the Derby Telegraph website, relating to the naming of a panda bear brought back from our recent trip to China. The article subsequently appeared in the next day’s edition of the paper and in some national publications.
Whilst on the trip we witnessed great determination and resilience from our students who were experiencing a whole new culture and were involved in a significant amount of travel around China including visiting Beijing, Hefei and Shanghai.
Two of our students had disabilities but coped brilliantly with what was asked of them. Many of the students themselves bought gifts including cuddly toys and gave names to them. Whilst in Hefei 50, our partner school, our students played several sports with students and indeed my Head of PE and I played ping pong (table tennis) against their students. Reference was made to the work we do here at Chellaston on growth mindset and resilience with reference to Matthew Syed’s book ‘Bounce’ and his work nationally in this field which we refer to with staff and students. Matthew being a former international table tennis player (ping pong).
During the trip the panda we purchased was then referred to as ‘Ping Pong’ and it was agreed that on return each week staff could nominate a student who would receive the panda as a simple recognition for their own resilience.
I take great inspiration from my students and staff and my intention was to capture the nature of the amazing young people we are privileged to work alongside, by awarding this token on a weekly basis.
Pandas are synonymous with China as we know – our partnership and friendship with staff and students at Hefei 50 is developing and growing since my visit last year. Indeed, we told the leaders of the school that was what we were calling our panda, due to the resilience and sporting connection we had enjoyed. We have an equal award we give to staff on a Friday briefing which is always received with delight and staff express how much it means to them to receive it. We also sent a full summary of our “first of its kind within the City” visit to China to the DET which, as yet, has not been published.
Once again thank you for your support and enjoy the weekend.
Kevin J Gaiderman – Executive Principal
If you want to show real resilience, next time being back a real panda bear and try to get it to mate.
In yer face, all you fear-mongers with your dystopian stories of youths lost to drugs, iPhones and sexting. In Gloucester a town crier hurled his bell at boys getting some fresh air and exercise on bicycles. Alan Myatt, a town crier in Gloucester for 30 years, survived a confrontation with a gang of keep-fit enthusiasts on bikes who tried to nick his fantastic tricorn hat as he made his way from the suggestively named Gloucester Stroke Club.
Gloucestershire Live says Myatt (pronounced: ‘My ‘at’, as in “Gimme back My ‘at!”) defended himself by chucking his hailing bell at them. “I thought I’ll get [them] and I hurled my bell… cracking it in the process,” he says. His bell is now only “fit for a doorstop”.
The boys have yet to be identified. But given their lust for tricorn hats, an advert for a job with the promise of Rum, Sodomy and The Lash should bring them running.
Kimberly Santleben-Stiteler celebrated her divorce by detonating her wedding dress. Santleben-Stiteler, from near San Antonio, Texas, laced her gown with 20 pounds of Tannerite, stood pretty well back and shot the dress. If you’re in the area and hear the pitter-patter of something falling on your roof, those are rhinestones.
Ms Santleben-Stiteler is single.
Ireland’s reputation as a haven for little green men has reached far into the cosmos. UFOS have been spotted over the Emerald Isle. The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) is investigating the strange flying objects.
The BBC takes up the story:
(A British Airways) pilot, flying from the Canadian city of Montreal to Heathrow, said there was a “very bright light” and the object had come up along the left side of the aircraft before it “rapidly veered to the north…”(Another Virgin pilot said) there were “multiple objects following the same sort of trajectory” and that they were very bright.
A shooting star, perhaps?
The pilot said he saw “two bright lights” over to the right which climbed away at speed. One pilot said the speed was “astronomical, it was like Mach 2” – which is twice the speed of sound.
The IAA says things will be “investigated under the normal confidential occurrence investigation process”. In the meanwhile, round up the usual suspects and tell RyanAir some new competition has arrived…
Stan Lee, fabled comic book storyteller, is not dead. Well, he’s not if you get your news from this paper, which declares: “Spike Lee Dies at 95.” A grinning Stan Lee seems to enjoy the news in New Zealand’s Gisborne Herald:
Spike Lee is away:
To Split, Croatia, where a man broke his leg when a statue to an anti-fascist fell on him after he pushed it over. Centrist Croatian politician Krešo Beljak quipped on Twitter: “Rade Končar breaks the legs of fascists 76 years after they shot him.”
Rade Končar was a Yugoslav resistance fighter who took on Croatia’s pro-Nazi Ustasha regime.
Milost ne tražim niti bih vam je dao!Rade Končar lomi noge fašistima i 76 godina nakon što su ga strijeljali! 💪💪💪https://t.co/cdhBScboVW
— Krešo Beljak (@KBeljak) November 7, 2018
It’s what Mr Končar would have wanted.
Uber driver Chris has a message: “I have arrived.” On Twitter, Daniel Powell shared the incredible news that Christ is “arriving soon in a Hyundai Elantra”.
Not how I expected him to come back but okay. pic.twitter.com/dW0IdMZnNF
— Daniel Powell (@danieljpowell) October 26, 2018
How did the trip go?
Was it really him?
No, no, no, Jesus drives a Honda but doesn’t brag about it. “For I did not speak of my own accord” John 12:49.
— teedubya101 (@teedubya101) October 26, 2018
To Sydney, Australia, where Bill Gertos is the owner of a new home in Sydney, Australia. Twenty years ago, Mr Gertos was working as a tax accountant. (Just as all lawyers should be called Sue, all accountants must be called Bill.) He spotted a tired looking house. No-one was living there. He discovered that the last resident had died. They’d been renting the home since the 1940s. Mr Gertos moved in. He changed the locks. And he rented it out. The actual owners – descendants of the previous owner, who died in 1947 – took Mr Gertos to court. And lost. He got to keep the house.
In New South Wales, squatters can be awarded ownership if they have occupied a property for more than 12 years.
The court granted Mr Gertos those rights because he had repaired and maintained the property since 1998.
Australian media outlets described the case as “bizarre” because the relevant law is typically used by those who move into a property themselves.
Wonder if the current lodgers begrudge paying Mr Gertos any rent – and how many landlords are looking at their accountants with renewed interest..?
Did a pilot with the U.S. Marine Corps trade the outline of massive penis in the sky? It’s hard to tell because you can’t see the huge bellend. But give a man a joy stick, loads of thrust under his pants and watch his mind wander. USA Today has more on going on by the Chocolate Mountain Aerial Gunnery Range:
Maj. Josef Patterson, spokesman for 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, told the Marine Corps Times that the aircraft in question belongs to Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 101. Patterson could not say whether the pilot was an instructor or in training.
The teach you to draw knobs in the sky?
“Obscene or inappropriate actions, flight or not, do not reflect the core values we hold as Marines,” Patterson told NBC 7 San Diego.
Dreaming of huge knobs being more akin to side issues. The Marine Times is appreciative:
As Claude Monet applied soft, surgically meticulous brush strokes to his iconic paintings, so did the pilot of the T-34C deftly weave the aircraft through the sky, cutting like a knife through hot butter to reveal their atmospheric tour de force.
Radar readings first picked up the masterpiece — a sky penis, appearing to nestle over the ancient salt deposits of the Salton Sea, in the bosom of the Chocolate Mountains.
A press release is released by the MAW:
“A T-34C aircraft assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 101, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, flew an irregular flight pattern over the Salton Sea that resembled a phallic image. An investigation to uncover the facts and circumstances surrounding the incident is ongoing. The aircrew’s chain of command are committed to maintaining an environment of professionalism, dignity and respect. The Marines and Sailors of 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing will perform at the highest levels expected of professional war fighters, and uphold our core values of honor, courage and commitment.”