Strange But True | Anorak - Part 9

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.

Megarectum! British man’s colon was so full of poo it burst

If you need the toilet, then for the love of god, go! Via Ars Technica comes news of a 24-year-old British man whose colon  was so full of poo it burst. This caused “reduced consciousness”, much pain and his kidneys to fail. The case features in the latest BMJ Case Reports, in which we learn that the man’s plight it called ‘megacolon’ or ‘megarectum’. (Call me Marvel, I have ideas.)



A megarectum


The man, who had a deep history of constipation, arrived at hospital complaining of severe pain. He was given laxatives and a home enemas kit and sent on his way. Some days passed. He returned to hospital, where medics cut into him to scoop out the excess poo.

And how was your day?

Posted: 27th, August 2018 | In: Strange But True | Comment

Plane ride to spread father’s ashes ends in tragedy

ashes  HANSON, MA Site of plane crash after two brothers scattered their father's ashes from the plane, Friday August 24, 2018 Photo courtesy Massachusetts State Police


This is one of those stories that we really, no really, shouldn’t giggle about. And yet it’s also one of those stories that it is impossible not to giggle about, at least a little.

So, the background. A few weeks back the father of these two brothers dies. No, that’s not funny. So, they have the funeral, the body is cremated and they take delivery of the ashes. No, that’s not funny either. Then the idea is that they fly up in a small plane so that they can spread the ashes over the countryide. Hey, if that’s what makes all happy why not?

Well, here’s why not:

One of two brothers on a flight to spread their father’s ashes died on Saturday after their small plane crashed in a pond in Massachusetts.

That’s really not a good outcome to this process:

Scott Landis, a National Guardsman from Hanson, was piloting a single-engine plane, ready to sprinkle his father’s ashes with his brother, when the plane’s engine lost power on takeoff and crashed into a pond, killing him and severely injuring his brother, according to friends and officials.

Yep, the brother who died was the pilot.

Don Conway, the Landis brothers’ uncle, told CBS Boston that the pair’s father died two weeks ago after battling cancer [agh!]. Scott Landis had apparently been on leave from the Army to memorialize his father by scattering his ashes when his untimely death occurred.

Nope, that’s not funny either, is it? Army pilot takes leave to sort out his father’s dying wish to spread his ashes and….well, yes, that does raise a giggle. Perhaps not a funny ha ha one but there’s something so dreadfully inapposite about it all that a snort of laughter at least is just what is going to happen. Yes, obviously, we feel for the rest of the family but still, it’s a punchline, isn’t it?

Posted: 27th, August 2018 | In: Strange But True | Comment

NBC announces death of Senator John McCain with mating human dolphins


RIP John McCain (August 29, 1936 – August 25, 2018). Victor in six elections to the US Senate, McCain was the US navy pilot who crashed twice. He was was on the aircraft carrier USS Forrestal when his A-4 Skyhawk jet caught fire. He was hit by shrapnel by the plane’s exploding bombs. The accident cost 134 men their lives. He was shot down during the Vietnam War, bayonetted, beaten badly and held for five-and-a-half years as a prisoner in inhuman conditions at the infamous Hoa Lo prison. The admiral’s son survived months in solitary confinement and torture. When he ran for Congress in Arizona, he told a journalist who accused him of not being local:

“Listen pal. I spent 22 years in the Navy. My father was in the Navy. My grandfather was in the Navy. We in the military service tend to move a lot. We have to live in all parts of the country, all parts of the world. I wish I could have had the luxury, like you, of growing up and living and spending my entire life in a nice place like the First District of Arizona, but I was doing other things… The place I lived longest in my life was Hanoi.”

And on CNN

Posted: 26th, August 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians, Strange But True, TV & Radio | Comment

Giza’s Great Pyramid and those Electromagnetic Secrets

Yes, it’s officially here, silly season for the newspapers. The entire Northern world is off on their holibubs and there’s near nothing to write about. Therefore near nothing does get written about. For example, this story that the Great Pyramid at Giza has some special electromagnetic energy thing going on. That it concentrates waves in secret chambers. That this can all be used to make better solar cells and the like.

No, really, just no. This is getting much too close to the idea that you sharpen your razor blades by putting them under a cardboard pyramid:

The Great Pyramid of Giza can focus electromagnetic energy through its hidden chambers

No, this isn’t what is being said at all. At least, not by the researchers it ain’t:

The Great Pyramid of Giza may be able to focus electromagnetic radiation into pockets of energy inside its network of internal chambers and underneath its base, a new study has suggested.

Theoretical research by a team of Russian scientists aimed to understand how the pyramid would respond to radio waves directed at it, with the goal of recreating its shape at a nanoscale.

That’s getting closer but the initial claim is still wrong.

Its ability to concentrate electric and magnetic energy was discovered by a team of researchers led by scientists from ITMO University in the Russian city of St Petersburg.

No, the whole thing works the other way around. Assume that the shape of a pyramid can concentrate electromagnetic radiation. Then look at the size of the Great Pyramid. So, what sort of electromagnetic radiation would be concentrated by it? Radio waves of a particular wavelength.

OK, good, now we want to go play with light. How big should our pyramid be? Nanoscale, that’s how big. We’re not actually saying anything at all about what the Great Pyramid can do. We’re saying that this shape can, in certain circumstances, now, given the wavelength we want to play with how big should the pyramid be?

And we already know that the shape can indeed filter and concentrate electromagnetic spectrum. What does anyone think a prism it? That white light in, rainbow out – and the rainbow in, white light out as Newton showed – is exactly that. This is all science that’s been known for hundreds of years. It’s only the details of size that are being worked out now.

So, no, it’s still true that you’re going to need new razor blades, that pyramid won’t sharpen them.

Posted: 1st, August 2018 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment

This is how you sell a house – just ask the T-Rex

This is definitely the way to sell a house. Just ask the T-Rex, if you don’t believe me…

Trex house Texas

The blurb on the home in Granbury, TX:

Charming 2 bed 1 bath lake house comes fully furnished. Enjoy a great lake side view with room to fish and play outside. 2 storage buildings, 2 car carport, indoor fireplace, screened in patio, 2 porches, a deck. Community has its own boat slip just around the corner. All furniture, dishes, and appliances stay with the property!

Trex house Texas

Trex house Texas

Trex house Texas

Trex house Texas

Trex house Texas

Spotter: Realtor, Paul Gallagher

Posted: 24th, July 2018 | In: Strange But True, The Consumer | Comment

British police hunt fried egg bandit

fried egg police cornwall

To the Isles of Scilly, where police are pointing at a fried egg found close to a crime scene. A shed owned by a local football club had been forced open. An egg is in the vicinity. the obvious culprit has to be feral chickens.

Colin tells readers of the Force’s Facebook page:

“Somebody has forced open the door to the Football Club shed at the playing field next to the school. It is fairly evident that this was done sometime over Tuesday evening and most probably to get a football out for a kick around. Regrettably however the door was damaged in the process as can be seen in the picture with the bottom of the door split. There are few clues as to how this came to happen other than a fried egg was left at the scene.

“I will be attending school tomorrow to ask at assembly if anyone knows anything about this. We are just looking for the person responsible to own up and this can all be dealt with quite amicably which is the request of the shed owners.

In case you missed any of the salient points above I’ll summarise:

– Low key investigation with amicable resolution if admitted.

– A fried egg was left at the scene.”

Not exactly, no. A fried egg was found at the scene. How it got there is a matter of speculation. But police have scrambled and are on the look out for a hard boiled criminal.

Posted: 23rd, July 2018 | In: Strange But True | Comment

The secret of longevity: fat, sugar and booze

NHS booze alcohol


Eileen Maher is “30 years older than the NHS” says the Indy. We like a new measurement – length measured in football pitches and double-decker buses, height in St Paul’s Cathedral and weight in Victoria Beckhams are old hat. So it is that the planet is about 6,000 years old than the NHS (source: Creationists), Brexit is 68 years younger than the NHS and Eileen Maher is celebrating her 100th birthday. And according to the Indy, shecredits custard creams and Stella for her long life.”

She does? We hope so because if true Jamie Oliver and the moralists running the NHS will be having a fit. “Eileen’s not big on bubbly so her favourite tipple was on tap – Stella Artois,” says a woman at the care home where Eileen lives.


sugar NHS

NHS says stop eating biscuits and boozing.


For her birthday bash, Eileen topped off the lager and biscuits with some cake and sherry. Meanwhile… over in the NHS, fat, sugar and booze are off the menu…

Posted: 23rd, July 2018 | In: Strange But True | Comment

Chicken ‘gangs’ terrorise Jersey

Gangs of chickens are terrorising Jersey. The Jersey Evening Post says feral chickens are “marauding” over the island leaving locals “too scared to leave” their homes after dark. Eat them before they eat you!

The Environmental Health Department fields reports of cockerels waking people up at ungodly hours and chickens pecking at flower beds and lawns.


chicken gangs jersey

Nobody likes tough chicken


“What happens is someone might buy a fluffy, cute little chick but when they start defecating everywhere or grow up into a rooster and start waking them up at 3 o’clock in the morning they want to get rid of them,” says Stewart Petrie, head of Environmental Health. “They don’t want to kill them by wringing their necks, so what they do is liberate them. We have also had another case where the keeper died and the chickens and cockerels have gone feral with no one to look after them.”

How the keeper died, we do not know. And reports that this is ends of days stuff remain unsubstantiated. The Rue de L’etau brand of KFC is not yet on lock down and remains opens for business.

Posted: 22nd, July 2018 | In: Strange But True | Comment

Life imitates Scarfolk: Civil Service tells parents to shoot rabid children

“Wow! This has made my week,” says Richard Littler. “This is from the government’s *own* publication about the history of government communications. They mistakenly included a Scarfolk poster which encourages the killing of children. Clearly, nobody thought it was too extreme.”


government scarfolk

The original Government pamphlet


rabiesshoot scarfolk government

UK Government says ‘shoot yer kids’


“You can download your own copy of this Scarfolk/UK government ‘collaboration’ from the government’s own site:… (Hurry before they realise!).” They did realise that the fictional town of Scarfolk created by Richard as “a dystopian satire of the 1970s that somehow leaks into and reflects on current affairs” had become Government approved. And chances are whoever compiled the collection realised, too. The image has now been removed.


scarfolk shoot children cabinet office


The advice to shoot your children appears in the July edition of Civil Service Quarterly. Produced by the Cabinet Office ‘A century of government communications’ , the publication tells us that top-down communiqués have “helped to shape modern Britain and have themselves been shaped by the changing media landscape and changes in society”.

We are warned:

In an era when the spread of social media and the proliferation of digital information sources makes us question the very nature of news and what constitutes a ‘fact’, it is worth remembering two things. First, we have been here before: communications can, often deliberately, distort and mislead. A royal proclamation in 1688 specifically referred to tackling the spread of ‘false news’ (echoing the ‘fake news’ of today). And, second, at their best – honest, open, informative and effective – communications can help to shape, improve and even save lives.


As we continue to listen, we are more likely to act appropriately on what people are telling us about what they need – and earn their trust – if we understand the public we serve. The Civil Service’s ambition to be the most diverse and inclusive employer in the UK by 2020 supports this aspiration.

Excellent communication that people trust is essential to a properly functioning democracy. That trust, built on the dialogue between public and state, is the touchstone of modern government communications.

It’s all about trust.


Detail from James II's 1688 proclamation "to restrain the spreading of false news"

Detail from James II’s 1688 proclamation “to restrain the spreading of false news”


“I have never seen the government move so quickly in my life (and certainly not because of me)!” says Richard. ‘From my announcement of their error to them deleting and editing the documents was about 5 mins.”

Richard adds: “On the last page of Discovering Scarfolk (2014), I warned about the dangers of a Scarfolk-based, apocalyptic cult infiltrating the civil service… You’re welcome.”


government scarfolk

The original Government pamphlet


rabiesshoot scarfolk government

Discovering Scarfolk – 2014


To prevent unnecessary bloodshed, Scarfolk Council has issued the following cease and desist letter to HM Government:


scarfolk shoot children



“The Government has tried replacing the Scarfolk poster with something patriotic. Is this some kind of photoshop challenge?”


scarfolk government

Now updated – don’t shoot yer kids; shoot Germans instead


But it’s not gone. You can download the original pamphlet here.


Posted: 21st, July 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians, Strange But True | Comment

Police log: man arrested for driving with monkey on his back

You can’t drink and drink, toke a spliff and drive, hold an apple and drive, eat a Pot Noodle and drive and more but you can be in possession of a monkey and drive. In the US an alleged car thief was accompanied by a monkey in a nappy sat on his back. Which of the two is the brains is not said, but the monkey doesn’t need a licence to dive so as far as the law is concerned, it’s blameless:


monkey driver cam

Hitching a ride


The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office arrested Cody Blake Hession for auto theft after he reportedly drove a stolen vehicle into a ditch in Holiday. Body camera footage showed Hession stepping out of the back of a sheriff’s patrol vehicle with Monk, his pet Capuchin monkey. Monk, wearing a leash and a diaper, clung to Hession’s shirt as officers spoke to him. The sheriff’s department said Monk was taken to the nearby Suncoast Primate Sanctuary because Hession did not yet have a permit for the monkey, which could potentially warrant additional charges. Responding officers gave Hession the opportunity to say his goodbyes to Monk before the monkey was loaded into an animal carrier. Hession can be heard telling officers that he’s had Monk for three years since the monkey was three days old. He said he got the animal from a breeder in South Carolina and told officers that there was no licensing or permitting required in that state. Hession implied he had recently moved back to Florida. At one point in the eight-minute clip, a woman approached Hession and accused him of stealing her car.

The monkey has been taken to a sanctuary.

Spotter: Boing Boing, Bodycam Shows Monkey Clinging to Man During Stolen Car Arrest

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

Cancerians win more awards than any other star sign

This infographic below shows winning trends for 236 celebrated individuals in film, music, sport and more. If you’re going to play online slots check out if the planets are aligned.

Betway looked at the star signs of winners of the world’s most prestigious awards in TV and film, music and sports, theatre and literature. Can a trend be found? Are Leos as successful as they think they are? Or are we living in the age of the crab?



cancer star sign winning


Posted: 17th, July 2018 | In: Online-PR, Strange But True | Comment

The Aubergene Revolution – Cheltenham protests over lack of veg at Tescos

The normally staid – even respectable – town of Cheltenham is apparently in uproar over the lack of aubergines for sale in the town’s Tesco supermarket. To the point of, whisper it softly, actual complaints out loud and even tweets. Thus, to follow the Orange Revolution in Ukraine which overthrew the corrupt oligarchs we have the Aubergine one to demand their return to the fruitnveg racks.

The things is, it’s true:

Those stewing over their loss have launched an online protest and even told the police of their upset.

The furore started when an aubergine fan tweeted Tesco to ask where the veg — which cost 70p each — had gone in the town’s superstore.

A customer services rep said they’d been discontinued, adding: “I wouldn’t be too happy about this myself.”

Shocked shoppers vented their rage on the Twitter page “Bring Back Our Aubergines”.

We could make a comment or two about this. I’ve lived in the place myself and I’m just absolutely certain that it had more than one food shop. Meaning that those essential Moussaka supplies are undoubtedly available somewhere. But there’s something else, too:

SHOPPERS in a posh English town say they are outraged after its Tesco pulled AUBERGINES from the shelves.

Customers at the branch in Cheltenham were told the superstore would only restock the velvety-soft vegetable on request from customers.

Well, why would a supermarket stop stocking something? They are in the business of trying to make a profit by selling things, aren’t they? The answer – obviously enough – being that people weren’t buying them. Or not enough of them to make it worthwhile stocking them.

At which point, those complaining. Why are you complaining, given that people weren’t buying them?

Posted: 17th, July 2018 | In: News, Strange But True, The Consumer | Comment

Don’t mess with ma – US woman shoots son dead for trying to put her in a rest home

The combination of the general availability of guns and ‘ornery old women hasn’t worked out well for one man in Arizona. He suggested that perhaps, at the age of 92, she might want to think about, well, to, umm:

A 92-year-old woman has been charged with the murder of her son after allegedly telling him “you took my life, so I’m taking yours” over his decision to place her in a care home.

That escalated quickly then, didn’t it?

Anna Mae Blessing allegedly told the 72 year-old ‘You took my life, so I’m taking yours’ before blasting him to death Monday morning. She allegedly hid two pistols in the pocket of her robe, and fired one at her son – whose name has not been released – as he lay sleeping at his apartment in Phoenix, Az.

Perhaps trying to put her away wasn’t the wisest of decisions or attempts.

Anna Mae Blessing, of Fountain Hills, Arizona, appeared in court, in a wheelchair and orange jumpsuit, to face charges of first-degree murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and kidnapping.

OK, so, lesson learnt – even if a little late for him – that annoying old women is one of those things to avoid. But the interesting thing here is that there certainly seems to be some premeditation. She’s charged with first degree, which is what we here would call murder too. And assuming she’s convicted then she’s going to end up being put away, isn’t she? Even if she’s let off on grounds of incompetence by senility or age or something, it’s still going to be a care home at least, isn’t it? The only question left being how secure it is, somewhere on that spectrum from assisted living to prison.

So, despite dying, he’s just won.

Posted: 4th, July 2018 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment

Shark bites woman feeding it by hand on the hand shocker

It was “shocking” says ABC News. You wonder how easily shocked ABC News is. Is it shocked by finding meat in a beefburger, spotting that the Pope wears a funny shaped hat and how Kim Kardashian can find her arse with her hands? This shock involves a woman getting her hand bitten – while hand feeding sharks.


Posted: 3rd, July 2018 | In: Strange But True | Comment

Spain restores a 16th century relic and the result is unusual

To Estella, Spain, where a local expert is undertaking the “restoration” of the five centuries old painted wooden effigy of St. George at the Church of St Michael.

“The parish decided on its own to take action to restore the statue and gave the job to a local handicrafts teacher,” Mayor Koldo Leoz tells The Guardian. “The council wasn’t told and neither was the regional government of Navarre… It’s not been the kind of restoration that it should have been for this 16th-century statue. They’ve used plaster and the wrong kind of paint and it’s possible that the original layers of paint have been lost.”

You an blame the tools, but leave the artisan out of it:


Church Spain restoration St George

Original: Right; Restored version: Left. Or is it the other way around?


Spanish restorers have a rich history of this sort of thing.

Posted: 27th, June 2018 | In: Key Posts, Strange But True | Comment

Man at Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden is ‘Spit’ intolerant

spit in food Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden

Everyone has special dietary request these days


To Queens, New York, where a man marking Father’s Day at the Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden with his daughter and granddaughter is chewing on his grub. Yum. That mayo and onions on his burger a scrumptious. And it’s juicy too, what with the added ingredient: spit.

Curtis Mays noticed that his bill included the direction: “PLEASE SPIT IN IT TOO.” Mays complained. He’s no picky eater asking for this and that. Just serve the dead cow as it comes.

The manager was called. The waitress was fired. Mays got a free meal. If you don’t want spit in your meal, please ask:


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

Indonesian man killed by own mother’s coffin falling on him

It’s quite clear – snigger – that we shouldn’t – gurgle, snort – laugh at this – tee hee – but a bloke in Indonesia – guffaw – has just been killed by his own mother’s coffin falling upon him at her funeral.


Err, yes, we really shouldn’t laugh at this:

An Indonesian man has died after his mother’s coffin fell from a funeral tower and crushed him during a service on the island of Sulawesi, police said on Sunday.

Funeral rites do change as we move around the world. We tend to fire the corpse or stick it in a hole in the ground. Parsis have been known to practice sky burial – chop the body up and feed it, quite literally, to the birds. Vikings stuck the body on a boat and burnt both.

So, sticking the coffin on a tower isn’t all that odd:

Samen Kondorura, 40, died when pallbearers lost their footing carrying the coffin up a bamboo ladder in the Parinding valley in North Toraja district.

The casket fell as the group hoisted it onto a lakkian – an ornately carved tower where the dead are placed before elaborate traditional funeral rites.

That lakkian is performing the function of a bier for us. A nice position where we can all see the coffin while we sing the hymns and lament the departed. Theirs is just a little higher up than our:

Mobile phone footage showed the team of men laboriously carrying the coffin to the platform at the top. When it was all but secure the ladder slipped, dropping the bearers to the ground and the coffin on top of them, to screams of horror from the mourners. Mr Samen suffered severe head injuries and died on the way to hospital.

And no, really, we should not, must not, laugh about this. Certainly not. But we do have to try and work out why every damn paper in the country is carrying this story. After all, random Indonesian man dies isn’t something that normally comes to the attention of The Times, Daily Mail and Guardian. They don’t even print most such reports that do reach them.

They reason they have all printed the story? Because they know we’ll laugh about it.

Posted: 19th, June 2018 | In: Strange But True | Comment

Man jailed for pooing in hole on children’s golf course

To Wales, where a man was filmed on CCTV pooing into a hole on the children’s pitch-and-putt golf course, Parc Coed Helen in Caernarfon. The Cambrian News says Philip Blakemore, 22, “a plant machine operator”, was summoned to appear at a court hearing in Llandudno, where he admitted disorderly behaviour and shoplifting. Furthermore, Blakemore was in breach of a criminal behaviour order and suspended sentence.

For the defence, solicitor Dafydd Roberts said Blakemore behaved in a foolish manner when he had too much to drink.

Mr Blackmore was jailed for 28 weeks.

Posted: 31st, May 2018 | In: Strange But True | Comment

Russian damages painting of Ivan The Terrible in drunken rage

The one great finding of all the social sciences is that there’s a truth in a stereotype. There has to be, for no one would believe it, or even make it up, if there weren’t something there to note in the first place. So, that idea that all Russians get wildly drunk on vodka all the time – no, it’s not true of all Russians and not of all the time. But there’s a truth there all the same:

A vandal has seriously damaged “Ivan the Terrible and His Son Ivan,” one of the best-known paintings exhibited in Tretyakov Gallery’s main building on Lavrushinsky lane in Moscow, the press service of Tretyakov Gallery told Sputnik on Saturday.

Well, yes, a vandal. Seems that the bloke didn’t go to the gallery with this in mind, but the idea occurred to him while there:

In the interior ministry’s video, the man says he recognised the seriousness of his crime. “I came to look at the painting,” the man reportedly told police. “I wanted to leave, but then dropped into the


buffet and drank 100g of vodka. I don’t drink vodka and became overwhelmed by something.”

That’s about 4 ounces of vodka, call it 5 UK shots from a standard optic. And yes, that 100 grammes of vodka is an entirely normal, even a small, measure in Russia. So, there’s that part of the stereotype proven then.

The painting — titled “Ivan the Terrible and His Son Ivan on November 16, 1581,” depicts Russia’s first czar cradling his dying son after striking him in a fit of rage.

That’s what makes the story so wondrous. Man gets into a (drunken) rage and attacks painting. A painting of a man who has just been in a (non-drunken, so the story goes) rage.

Pretty good, no?

Posted: 30th, May 2018 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment

Things that exist: teeth nails

Teeth nails exist. Russian salon Nail Sunny has created fingers that can bite and scratch at the same time.


teeth nails


Spotter: BB

Posted: 13th, May 2018 | In: Fashion, Strange But True, The Consumer | Comment

The one about the man who died at Chichester Theatre

Sir – and Madam – I read with interest the letter penned by Johnny Cameron, Fyfield, Wiltshire. It appeared in The Spectator (April , 2018). It might be the most quintessentially British story of the year:


 Johnny Cameron, Fyfield, Wilts.

The letter in The Spectator


Sir: Following Toby Young’s article on funerals and the letter last week, I thought you might like to hear another example of British phlegm. My stepson, who is now a successful theatre director, was an assistant at Chichester Theatre. The audience tends to be predominantly pensioners. A few years ago when he was closing up the theatre, he noticed two people still in their seats. When he approached them the lady was very apologetic. ‘I think my husband died in the first act,’ she said, ‘but we didn’t want to cause a fuss.’ He was indeed declared dead on arrival at the hospital, and my stepson could not but admire her stoicism. I particularly admired the fact that she thought ‘we’ didn’t want to cause a fuss.
Johnny Cameron Fyfield, Wiltshire

Great letter. But is it true? In the 2016 book Stop the World, I Want to Get Off…: Unpublished Letters to the Telegraph, we read another letter from Johnny Cameron Fyfield:

Sir – I read with interest [in your review of Dan Jones’ book about King John] the views of Richard of Devizes following a visit to London in the 12th century. Apparently it was full of “actors, jesters, smooth-skinned lads, Moors, flatterers, pretty boys, effeminates, singing and dancing girls, quacks, beggars and buffoons”. I visited London last week …..
Johnny Cameron, Fyfield, Wilts.

You out there, Mr Cameron?

Posted: 7th, May 2018 | In: Broadsheets, Strange But True | Comment

Looking for the May Day girl

Lviv schoolgirl 1968

On the brilliant Flashbak site a search is underway for the girl in the photo from a May Day parade in Lviv, Ukraine in 1968, when it was part of Soviet Union.

If you know more, do tell them

Posted: 2nd, May 2018 | In: Photojournalism, Strange But True | Comment

Eurovision bans ladders and pliers but not Cliff Richard

banned eurovision


The Eurovision Song Contest is the trashsy, tacky music show that the UK never wins. Organisers of this year’s show in Portugal have produced a list of forbidden items.

Now take it away, Cliff Richard:



Spotter: BBC

Posted: 26th, April 2018 | In: Strange But True, TV & Radio | Comment

Pregnant woman trips boy and gives him a concussion (video)

Tally ho! When a woman deliberately tripped a 4-year-old boy who’d accidentally flicked her with a plastic door shield as he tore into a restaurant in China to fetch some chopsticks for his parents, people licked their lips and tucked in. The story got better when they learnt that the tripper was pregnant, the boy had an injury with a name (mild concussion) and the incident has been captured on film. Joyous!


china trip restaurant


Fair-minded people on the Internet have called for the woman to be stripped of her baby, raped, beaten, imprisoned and for her unborn child to be made motherless. Little has been said about the dangers of plastics so close to pregnant women and children running about in a place where hot food is served, but surely that will come. Later we can all turn on the lad’s parents for not instilling discipline in their unruly bairn, and debate the child’s lack of self-awareness and mental capacity. And what of the eatery, and its disregard for the health and safety of its clientele – the restaurant is owned by the child’s parents? They’ll keep for now. We know where they are.

Eventually, the hunt identified the woman with the trigger foot. She went to the law, which gave her a 10-day prison sentence and a fine of 1000 yuan ($160). Locking up a woman for a stupid trip was later viewed as being not all the great for mother and baby, so the authorities let her off.

Luckily the boy who got tripped up – just as we all have at play and at school many times – is okay. The rest of us are satisfied by a chance to display our moral superiority.


Spotter: The South China Morning Post

Posted: 26th, April 2018 | In: Strange But True | Comment

These standing seats are the plane travel of the grim future



No worries if you didn’t book a seat on your budget airline and don’t fancy the scramble to get one. This is the Skyrider 2.0 saddle seat, positioned by Italy’s Aviointeriors at “the new frontier of low-cost tickets”. The new frontier looks a lot like standing.

On the plus side, travellers sat on something that looks like those plastic mantlepieces you get to ‘rest’ on at bus stops need not worry about deep-vein thrombosis, biting their knees and asking other people to move. The Boston Globe says the Skyrider 2.0 (an upgrade on the Skyrider 0.0 (cross-legged on the floor) and the Skyrider 1.0 (tied by the wrists to the roof)) “makes perfect sense… the design allows a 20 percent increase in passengers per flight. It also weighs 50 percent less than a standard economy seat, lowering the fuel cost per passenger.”

Seats are now just 23 inches away from the row in front. More people can get on the same-sized plane.Smell that? That’s progress – and you stuck in an overstuffed flying tube like a flaying carcass.

Posted: 26th, April 2018 | In: News, Strange But True, Technology, The Consumer | Comment