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Strange But True | Anorak - Part 6

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.

Forever Young: why adults still sleep with cuddly toys

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

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

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

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

Soft Toys Become Forever Friends

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

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

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

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

Why Is It Happening?

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

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

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

Entertainment Connections

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

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

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

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

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


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

deke duncan stevenage

 

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

 

 

Spotter: Flashbak

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


Ping Pong the panda bear is racist – Derby school’s stuffed toy in race storm

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.

 

Posted: 18th, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Strange But True, Tabloids | Comment


Boys on bicycles fight with town crier fo his tricorn hat

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. 

Posted: 15th, November 2018 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment


Freshly divorced texan blows up her wedding dress

 

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.

 

wedding dress explosion

…something borrowed…something blew up…

 

Spotter: Star-Telegram

Posted: 14th, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Strange But True | Comment


UFOs spotted over Ireland: little green men sought

UFo irelandIreland’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…

Posted: 13th, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Strange But True, Technology | Comment


Newspaper says Spike Lee not Stan Lee is dead

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 stan lee

Mr Lee is dead

 

Spike Lee is away:

 

via GIPHY

 

Spotter: @HuwZat

Posted: 13th, November 2018 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, News, Strange But True | Comment


Statue of anti-fascist hero breaks leg of ‘fascist’ trying to destroy it

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.

 

 

It’s what Mr Končar would have wanted.

 

Posted: 10th, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, Strange But True | Comment


Jesus Christ drives an Uber: driver’s message goes viral

Uber Christ I have arrived

 

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”.

Praise be!

 

How did the trip go?

 

Uber Christ I have arrived

 

Was it really him?
 


 

Amen.

Posted: 3rd, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, Strange But True | Comment


Accountant who pretended house was his gets to keep it

Bill Gertos squatter australia

 

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.

The BBC:

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..?

Posted: 2nd, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, Strange But True | Comment


US Marine Corps draws huge Sky Penis

Chocolate Mountain Aerial Gunnery Range

 

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.”

Knobs away!

Posted: 25th, October 2018 | In: Key Posts, Strange But True | Comment


There’s erotic, kinky then perversion – man has sex with a car exhaust

There’s an old joke about the difference between kinky and erotic – using the chicken or the feather. It is though possible to go beyond these shores and deeper into the ocean of perversion. For there’s pretty much nothing at all about sex that some human being, sometime, hasn’t either tried or enjoyed. Yea, even unto the very limits of what we might think physically possible:

Ryan Malek, 24, was arrested for ‘lewd and lascivious’ behaviour after he was caught trying to have sex with a car’s exhaust

Well, actually, it’s worse than that, goes further.

A 24-year-old man was caught by the police having sex with a car exhaust in Newton, U.S.

Well, there’s an advance. He’s moved from trying to to actually having sex with a car exhaust. The mind slightly boggles at the mechanics of it but still. It’s just about possible to see how the phantasy works, here’s a hole and….

Malek was reportedly ‘oblivious’ to what he was doing as he was four times over the legal alcohol limit so police had to taser him,

Ah, OK, yes, matters become clearer. Four times over the limit isn’t that far off the sort of level that will kill. So, mental confusion, hole, drink taken, ideas of sex – and all so strong that he had to be tasered to get him to stop. These Americans, eh?

Quite the most horrifying thought here though is that this having sex with cars’n’stuff is common enough that we’ve actually got a name for it:

Last year a motorist told of his horror after catching another “car rapist” allegedly having an auto-erotic encounter with his beloved Skoda.

A sexual attraction to cars or other vehicles is known as mechanophilia, which is classed as a crime in countries including Britain.

No, really, it’s that common that we’ve a special word for it.

Posted: 15th, October 2018 | In: Strange But True | Comment


Revolutionary War commander Nathaniel Greene gets googly eyes in Savannah

Revolutionary War commander Nathaniel Greene

 

Googly eyes are never not funny. you can stuck them on fresh-ish fish, books, anything in store and statues of Revolutionary War commander Nathaniel Greene. But the City of Savannah is the exception to the tule. The city is unimpressed, by Google Greene, ruling the eyes as “not funny” and “vandalism” on its Facebook page. Police have been called. Forensics are on the case. CCTV is bing monitored in the hope of prosecuting the miscreant for trespassing.

Says the official voice of the city:

“It may look funny but harming our historic monuments and public property is no laughing matter. In fact, it’s a crime… We are hoping to find the person responsible!”

Although sources says Mr Greene’s new look is more authentic, and if if teenage acne would be added, it wold be more accurate representation of the great man.

Via: Buzzfeed

Posted: 14th, October 2018 | In: Strange But True | Comment


TV reporter Gustavo Almadovar is signing off

Gustavo Almodovar, a one-time reporter for Channel 9 eyewitness news, can’t say his last name without moving his head. “I’m not so sure it’s worthy of the attention it has received,” said Almodovar, who left the Florida station in 2008. “Aside from friends and a few co-workers teasing me about the video, life has been quite ordinary. It’s like bubble gum. People will chew it for a little while, toss it and move on.”

 

 

The Internet got to work. Here’s the disco remix:

Posted: 14th, October 2018 | In: Strange But True, TV & Radio | Comment


Rick Stein is missing: the greatest obituary to a man of mystery

The News Journal’s obituary for Rick Stein is something to remember. Mr Stein was a cancer patient at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

rick stein obituary

 

When medics went to check on him, they discovered him gone. CCTV footage shows him leaving the hospital at 3:30pm – “but then the video feed mysteriously cuts off. Authorities say they believe Stein took an Uber to the Philadelphia airport where they assume he somehow gained access to the aircraft…

“Rick Stein, 71, of Wilmington was reported missing and presumed dead on September 27, 2018 when investigators say the single-engine plane he was piloting, The Northrop, suddenly lost communication with air traffic control and disappeared over the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Rehoboth Beach.”

“The sea was angry that day,” says NTSB lead investigator Greg Fields in a press conference. “We have no idea where Mr. Stein may be, but any hope for a rescue is unlikely.”

And then it gets spellbindingly brilliant:

His daughter, Alex Walsh of Wilmington appeared shocked by the news. “My dad couldn’t even fly a plane. He owned restaurants in Boulder, Colorado and knew every answer on Jeopardy. He did the New York Times crossword in pen. I talked to him that day and he told me he was going out to get some grappa. All he ever wanted was a glass of grappa.”

Stein’s brother, Jim echoed similar confusion. “Rick and I owned Stuart Kingston Galleries together. He was a jeweler and oriental rug dealer, not a pilot.” Meanwhile, Missel Leddington of Charlottesville claimed her brother was a cartoonist and freelance television critic for the New Yorker.

David Walsh, Stein’s son-in-law, said he was certain Stein was a political satirist for the Huffington Post while grandsons Drake and Sam said they believed Stein wrote an internet sports column for ESPN covering Duke basketball, FC Barcelona soccer, the Denver Broncos and the Tour de France. Stein’s granddaughter Evangeline claims he was a YouTube sensation who had just signed a seven-figure deal with Netflix.

When told of his uncle’s disappearance, Edward Stein said he was baffled since he believed Stein worked as a trail guide in Rocky Mountain National Park. “He took me on a hike up the Lily Peak Trail back in the 90s. He knew every berry, bush and tree on that trail.” Nephew James Stein of Los Angeles claimed his uncle was an A&R consultant for Bad Boy records and ran a chain of legal recreational marijuana dispensaries in Colorado called Casablunta. Niece Courtney Stein, a former Hollywood agent, said her uncle had worked as a contributing writer for Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm and was currently consulting on a new series with Larry David.

People who knew Stein have reported his occupation as everything from gourmet chef and sommelier to botanist, electrician, mechanic and even spy novelist. Police say the volume of contradictory information will make it nearly impossible to pinpoint Stein’s exact location.

In fact, the only person who might be able to answer the question, who is the real Rick Stein is his wife and constant companion for the past 14 years, Susan Stein. Detectives say they were unable to interview Mrs. Stein, however neighbors say they witnessed her leaving the home the couple shared wearing dark sunglasses and a fedora, loading multiple suitcases into her car. FAA records show she purchased a pair of one-way tickets to Rome which was Mr. Stein’s favorite city. An anonymous source with the airline reports the name used to book the other ticket was Juan Morefore DeRoad, which, according to the FBI, was an alias Stein used for many years.

And: “That is one story”:

Another story is that Rick never left the hospital and died peacefully with his wife and his daughter holding tightly to his hands.

You can choose which version you want to believe or share your own story about Rick with us at the Greenville Country Club on Friday, November 9, 2018 from 3:00-6:00pm.

For online condolences, please visit www.chandlerfuneralhome.com.

Posted: 13th, October 2018 | In: Key Posts, Strange But True | Comment


Womxn replaces womyn replaces women at Wellcome show for people who identify as women

womxn

 

Wellcome Collection, the “free museum for the incurably curious, exploring health and what it means to be human through medicine, art and science” has renamed women as “womxn”. Men remain as they were, but women are now womxn because, well, you can dick around with women and not worry about the consequences. This earnest rebranding comes with a supporting show:

Typeset women back into history with #Daylighting our four-day programme of letter printing presses, zine workshops, discussions on how womxn can challenge existing archives, wikipedia 101 & more. 18-21 Oct. Explore the programme: ow.ly/sXTm30m7g98 #free

Wellcome explains:

We’ve had some questions about why we’re using the word womxn for this event. We’re using it because we feel that it is important to create a space/venue that includes diverse perspectives. It was agreed during our conversations with collaborators as the programme developed.

Oh, what utter twxts.

Replies are fruity:

 

 

Adding:

 

Look out for womin; for women who ‘i’-dentify as women; woden, for women with a god complex; and woken for the kind of bellends who use the word womxn.

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


What the ‘hateful octogenarian’ did to get 40 days in jail

Watford easter eggs shit

 

The greatest Easter story of all time? Maybe:

WATFORD – Justice prevails. Harry Brenton, the hateful octogenarian, who patiently filled chocolate eggs with dog faeces before planting them in the village green where the Easter egg hunt was meant to take place, has been jailed for 40 days.

Patiently.

Posted: 6th, October 2018 | In: Strange But True | Comment


Anyone lose a pink dildo at the Brighton v West Ham match?

Good on twitter for making an amusing story more suggestive. During Brighton’s home win over West Ham in the Premier League, the Sun tweets: “Brighton’s win over West Ham interrupted by ref picking up sex toy.” 30,000 people look on as the the old “w**ker in the back” blows his whistle to signal a break in play fore hailing a taxi to the local ‘marital aides shop’, or maybe picked something up online?

 

 

The story is less bizarre, as ref Kevin Friend picked up a neat, pink set of plastic cock and balls lobbed on to the pitch by a fan in the throes of ecstasy.

 

dildo football

 

They do get so very excited:

 

Posted: 6th, October 2018 | In: Back pages, Sports, Strange But True, The Consumer | Comment


Ohio bar accepts food stamps for lap dances and drugs

This is a rather joyous affirmation of everything the right thinks is true about welfare more generally. That the amount people gain in welfare is vastly too high, that the rest of us are taxed at heinous rates so that the welfare queens can live in the lap of luxury without having to do a damn thing. That it might only be true at the margin doesn’t make it less true as a story:

Ohio bar loses alcohol licence after accepting food stamps for lap-dances – Undercover agents bought heroine, cocaine and lap-dances during 5-month investigation

Ah, no, that’s the well known reality curvature at The Independent which confuses strong independent women with a street drug that kills. Easy enough mistake to make, obviously.

An Ohio bar has been forced to shut down after authorities discovered they were allowing customers to buy drugs and lap dances using food stamps.

Allowing customers to buy drugs isn’t normally on the list of things a bar should do anyway:

Over nearly a half-year span, police say, undercover agents from the Ohio Investigative Unit were able use nearly US$2,500 worth of food stamps to buy dances and drugs, including heroin, fentanyl, cocaine and methamphetamines, from Sharkey’s, an adult entertainment lounge in a neighbourhood north of downtown.

And isn’t that cool? It took half a year of observing the naked ladies and consuming the booze ‘n’ drugs before it was possible to bring the investigation to an end?

But just to explain. In the American system instead of getting child tax credits and the like you get food stamps. This is a card, charged up with near money, which can only be used to buy food at certain stores. And what sort of food you can buy is pretty strictly controlled. They’re not like Green Shield stamps any more, the shop needs a special card reader.

So, the bar had to have the card reader. So it’s not just buying all these things, it’s buying them on a debit card, a special one that supposedly only works to buy food. They must have been properly set up to do this, not just some occasional possibility.

Making that 5 months to investigate rather interesting, no? I wonder how much the investigators had to pay their boss to get assigned to the case?

Posted: 25th, September 2018 | In: Money, News, Strange But True | Comment


Miniature horse-eating gator banned from flights and shot dead

gator horse

 

Americans love miniature horses. Southwest Airlines allows them onboard commercial flights as emotional support animals. Pigs, ferrets, spiders, peacocks and hedgehogs are on the no-fly list. But L’il Sebastian made the cut. Alligators did not – which is good because gators and miniature horses don’t mix, not unless the reptile is hungry. To Texas, then, where an 11ft alligator devoured a little horse owned by Judy Cochran, 73, mayor of the rural town of Livingston. She caught the killer and shot it dead.

For 20 days a year alligator hunting is permitted on public land in Livingstone and greater Polk County. The only rule is that alligators must be caught first before they can be killed. Ms Cochran’s son-in-law, Scott Hughes, tempted the horse-eating gator with a dead raccoon he found by a roadside and “seasoned”. The bait was laced with a large hook and tied to a line over a lake. When the alligator took the meal, Cochran despatched it with a single shot from her Winchester .22 Magnum.

“One shot in the head, and he went under,” boasts Mrs Cochran, who plans to eat the gator meat and make some gator-skin boots. “Typically the gators don’t bother us, but we’ve been looking for this one. We think that this is the gator that ate one of our miniature horses several years ago.”

You’ve got feel sorry for the gator – if people bought normal sized horses, he’d have had no need for that racoon pudding.

 

Posted: 20th, September 2018 | In: Strange But True, The Consumer | Comment


Look what the cat dragged In – a bag of cocaine and heroin

Cats can be useful creatures – clearing the barn of rats, the larder of mice perhaps. This over and above their providing companionship for ladies who don’t marry. But it’s rare for them to bring in the party supplies. Then again, it’s not everywhere that’s like parts of Bristol either:

A cat has apparently found and brought home a bag of what are suspected to be class A drugs.

Good Kitty, eh? And none of that M-cat or meow-meow rubbish. Assuming that those two are part of your normal party supplies, which being out-of-yer-brain, middle-class sorts they most probably are:.

Avon and Somerset Police said the bag was found in the cat’s bed at its home in St Pauls in Bristol, with the animal “curled up next to it”. It said the owner contacted officers immediately.

As the police themselves said, this might lead to a change in force tactics:

 

This does sound rather more fun than the usual present we get – the gall bladder bits of a shrew that the cats don’t like eating. Carefully left as little presents on a pillow often enough.

There are about 30 wraps of what appears to be crack cocaine and heroin in the bag, which would have a street value of hundreds of pounds.

It might not quite work in all areas of the country, it should be said. Don’t go out and get a cat because you think it might lead to a party. The St Paul’s area of Bristol is really rather different to much of the rest of the country.

Actually, this is rather more to do with St Paul’s than it is a cat. That one took it home is surprising; that it was found in this area rather less so.

Posted: 18th, September 2018 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment


Random chance: why a Brazilian town has a phenomenal number of twin births

The BBC wants us all to consider a real puzzler- why does one little town in Brazil have such a vast number of twins? The answer being, well, random chance actually. Not that we’d really expect the arts graduates at the Beeb to quite get such a thing. Reality is that somewhere is going to be like that so why not this town?

Cândido Godói is a village of 7,000 inhabitants in the south of Brazil that has a phenomenal number of twin births. The rate is ten times higher than the national average, and no one knows why.

It might strike you that they’re all looking a little Germanic rather than Brazilian and that’s fair enough – they are pretty much all descended from German and Polish immigrants. This also gives us one idea as to why it is happening:

A team of geneticists have been working with the community for a number of years, sampling DNA and learning about families, in an effort to solve the mystery.

A reasonable explanation of the why being that those immigrants generally came from an area where the twin rate is high already. And it’s a known phenomenon that such genetic attributes can be sharpened in a small population. So, that’s that then.

However, there’s a more prosaic explanation available which is that it was going to happen somewhere. The normal rate of twins is about 0.5% of all pregnancies. That rises a bit in certain communities. And all such occurrences are going to be distributed on a Bell or normal curve. Like with height or intelligence, similarly genetically determined things. The twinning rate here is that 10%, about 20 times that in the general population. But then there are 2.5 million or so towns and cities around the world. That’s a large enough number that we would be surprised if one of them didn’t have 20 times the twinning rate.

So, while we can search for the specific answer the general answer is that somewhere was going to do this and it just turns out to be this place in Brazil.

Posted: 17th, September 2018 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment


if you want to see panda bears in Scotland take off your hi-vis jacket

Doggers, voyeurs, badger enthusiasts and other people who like to watch live, al fresco sex acts, listen up: remove the high visibility jackets. Edinburgh Zoo has banned staff from wearing hi-vis jackets in case they are putting mating pandas off their stroke. Sunshine and Sweetie, two pandas on loan to the zoo from China, have yet to produce an heir. With names like Jaffas, you might suppose the clue to their lack of little pandas is in the name. But you’d be wrong. It’s more likely because the bright colours on the watching humans are distracting. It is also nothing to do with being flown to Scotland to have your genitals tampered with in public.

Breaking: Meanwhile, eight out of ten doggers says they are put off by bright yellow AA service vehicles arriving in the car park, with the other two telling our game pollsters, ‘It’s only Ed and Kirstin.’

Posted: 17th, September 2018 | In: Strange But True | Comment


Tour of Britain now features a huge penis at Capstone Hill and a ride into Cockermouth

penis tour of britain

 

It might not have the Alpine peaks, history and drugs history, but the Tour of Britain bike race does feature a massive penis. Helping sell the Tour to a new audience, Capstone Hill in Ilfracombe, Devon, has been enlivened by the presence of a huge, proud penis. The hill artwork – an installation made of cardboard and plastic – was initially styled to look like a massive bicycle. So far, so predictable. But now race fans following the Cranbrook to Barnstaple section have got a proper landmark that should reverberate down the ages.

Project co-ordinator Seth Conway is impressed: “Ilfracombe had a rude awakening this morning. Some people obviously thought it would be fun to rearrange the spokes and the wheels.It’s created quite a bit of a buzz and it’s shone a bit more attention on to what the bike was there for.”

It’s still some way off until this refashioned knob matches the member attached to the chalk giant at Cerne Abbas for sightseeing value. But let’s hope this is the start of a movement to put the Tour of Britain on the map by adding a few surprises. The Tour’s reaches Cockermouth tomorrow. No time to waste…

Image via BBC.

Posted: 5th, September 2018 | In: Sports, Strange But True | Comment


There’s Costa Coffee machine that plays creepy coffee shop noises

“I’ve found the worst thing in the world,” tweets Alistair Coleman. “It’s a Costa coffee machine that plays coffee shop noises while it makes your drink, so you can pretend you’re not all alone at the 3rd floor coffee machine… There’s no fanfare at the end. The music and sound effects just stop abruptly, and you are alone with your paper cup coffee.”

Presenting the Marlow coffee machine, with noises which, according to Costa, “recreate the atmosphere of one of our lively high-street coffee shops”:

 

 

What noises made the cut was something most likely picked by Atomhawk, the company hired to make the vending machines. Do you go with the clutter of knives and spoons, the gurgle and grind, or include a choice bit of gossip from parents grabbing a cup of coffee and spite on the school run? According to the Atomhawk website, it’s created “a next-generation self-service coffee experience”.

Costa approached Atomhawk to help define the technology, customer experience and branding for this unique coffee machine, as well as to design the UI and UX for the machine’s 28″ capacitive touchscreen; delivering an intuitive interface and a catalogue of dynamic branding animations that attract users to the machine from afar.

The machine also contains a sophisticated sound system and facial recognition technology powered by Intel’s AIM Suite…

Atomhawk has a wealth of experience developing UI for games on all platforms, and that experience was brought to bear on a new audience with the CEM-200.

You want more? You used to just be able to see your face reflected in the kettle. Now you can see the future. This is intelligent coffee – and it’s not a little bit creepy:

Atomhawk went to Costa’s Flagship store in Kensington to film footage for the ‘attract mode’ video that plays whenever the machine senses a user is not present.

This dreamlike sequence mixes diverse themes; Costa’s Italian heritage, gourmet coffee, the true café experience and more, into a video that draws users to the machine.

Is that what you dream about?

Posted: 3rd, September 2018 | In: Strange But True, The Consumer | Comment