Saturday, July 3, 2010


I have friends in town the next few days and plan to get caught up on my follow-ups as I have time. I will be adding to this post, so please keep checking back! Happy 4th!

Oil and turtles 6/30/10 A New York reporter nearly loses his nose when a snapping turtle does just that.

White elephants 6/29/10 An elephant given by Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to Yugoslavia has died and been recycled.

Weightless Hawking 6/28/10 A reader passed along this link about a series of anti-gravity monuments on East Coast college campuses.

Faux fur 6/14/10 The San Diego Zoo and the Scripps Research Institute have a plan to bring back endangered animals from near-extinction.

Fireflies 6/6/10 These photos reminded my former boss about the photos of Picasso drawing with light.

Freediver 6/4/10 My Mom thought this guy and this woman would make a good couple!

Swimming the English Channel 6/2/10 An armless woman in China is highly skilled at embroidering with her feet. The TSA is slammed for their shameful treatment of amputees. Police in Jacksonville, Florida, were looking for the owner of a prosthetic leg that washed up on the beach, and were successful at finding him. A motorcyclist lost his prosthetic leg while traveling a New Hampshire highway. Doctors replace a woman's missing thumb with her big toe.

Geronimo 5/16/10 I was contacted by the makers of this film who are fundraising to get the true story of the Trail of Tears told. A reader informed me of the story of Hannah Dustin, who was captured by Indians and is commemorated with a statue showing her with a tomahawk and a fistful of scalps.

Environmental disaster 4/20/10 Video footage of oil and gas leaks from cracks in the sea floor, which may affect BP's attempts to cap the gushing oil well. BP is also responsible for polluting the atmosphere this spring. Rachel Maddow has refuted this video from Louisiana by confirming with scientists that oil cannot fall as rain. However, this video shows that BP has purported covered up oil on the beach with sand they have trucked in. The New York Times points out that the Niger Delta has been spoiled by repeated massive oil spills.

We lost another munchkin 4/11/10 A tornado ripped through New York's Oz-Stravaganza, forcing the cancellation of many events.

Stomach growls 4/6/10 I recently learned that the origins of ventriloquism lie with the ancient Greek method of divination called gastromancy, in which the sounds emanating from the diviner's stomach were believed to be caused by the undead and could be interpreted to communicate with them and forecast the future.

Dwarfs on display 3/26/10 Little people have an issue with the use of the word "midget" in the new wrestling show "Half-Pint Brawlers." The world's smallest mother shows off her 3 children.

Napoleon's hair 3/5/10 A lock of Napoleon's hair has sold at auction for $13,000.

Jacques Cousteau 2/28/10 A compilation of some of his most memorable clips on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of his birth. A Russian man has taught his dachshund to scuba dive.

Ironic deaths 2/4/10 A man in India died of a heart attack after receiving a bill for his own cremation, which supposedly had occurred the week before. A singer in Mexico was killed hours after denying reports that he had been murdered. A woman was attacked by macaques when she went to a Thai island to confront her fear of monkeys.

Ancient Egyptian finds 1/30/10 A lost tomb has been rediscovered in Memphis.

Natural arch collapse
1/26/10 An arch in a national park in Nevada has collapsed.

Vivisection 1/22/10 A cannibal in the Ukraine did unspeakable things to his living victim (caution).

Gatorland! 1/21/10 Crocodiles body surf. A 9-year-old Colorado girl wrestles alligators.

Kite-fighting 1/19/10 A man in Oregon fell off a cliff and died chasing his kite.

Sinkholes 1/12/10 A deadly tropical storm in May opened a giant sinkhole in Guatemala that swallowed a 3-story hotel -although Discovery says technically it is not a sinkhole - and prompted National Geographic to do a slideshow of the most dramatic sinkholes. Meanwhile, a 5M-wide chasm opened up in Malaysia just last night.

Recent feral children 1/10/10 The Cambodian "jungle woman" has fled back into the forest.

Anatomy art 1/8/10 Lady Gaga is working with Gunther von Hagens to display some of his plastinates on stage during her next tour.

Snakes to the rescue 1/4/10 A flythrough of a python digesting a rat. A global study has found that 8 species of snakes are in decline.

Bushmeat 12/27/09 A Mesa, Arizona, restaurant owner has outraged many (including me) by serving burgers that include real lion meat, as confirmed by a reporter who did a little more fact-finding.

Secret rooms
12/25/09 New homeowners discover a secret room only to find it is filled with moldy garbage. Here is a very clever apartment in Hong Kong.

Octopus achievement 12/15/09 Octopuses can make their boneless arms rigid to form an "elbow" to get food to their mouths.

Aquaria 11/23/09 A beluga at the Vancouver Aquarium died after its airway became blocked by a penny.

Circus animals on the lam
11/13/09 The 1959 kidnapping of a chimpanzee from the St. Louis zoo's "Monkey Show." A man is caught attempting to smuggle 8 live foxes and 50 chameleons out of Cairo in a suitcase. A tiger and 2 camels went missing when a Canadian zoo's truck was stolen, and were later found safe and sound.

Birds in fable and fact
1o/22/09 The brighter a bird's feathers, the poorer its flying abilities. Songbirds learn while they are asleep. A grebe in Madagascar has been declared extinct.

The Mary Rose
10/15/09 A harsh winter has exposed the oldest shipwreck off the coast of North Carolina.

Glasswing butterflies
10/13/09 This is a microscopic image of a butterfly wing!

Anne Frank
10/7/09 A fictional diary of the boy who lived in the same building as Frank has been published.

Dinosaur eggs 10/3/09 Fossil beds in western Canada have been identified as evidence of a mass die-off. A Tennessee couple excavating their yard for a pool found a mastodon.

WWII photographs of "The Kiss" 9/13/09 Edith Shain has died at the age of 91.

Collyer brothers 9/9/09 A woman in Atlanta has been rescued from her trash-filled house, which has been condemned. The body of a Florida woman was recovered from beneath trash in the house she shared with her daughter. A California woman was found to have 100 dead cats in her freezer.

World's heaviest insects
8/28/09 My Mom and I get a big kick out of these Orkin commercials: "Broken down," "Hot Tub," and "Delivery."

Jaws in 1916 8/8/09 Recent findings indicate that as many as half of all shark species can emit a luminescence from their bodies (pictured) that can confuse both prey and predators. On the 35th anniversary of "Jaws," an NPR reporter tracked down the mechanical shark used in the movie.

Creative cremains
7/24/09 The ashes of a Florida man will be scattered over Lake Disston by way of Sunday's fireworks display. Human ashes formed into 3D printed sculptures.

Death masks 7/19/09 A list of 20 famous death masks. An improperly labeled and packed shipment of human heads was opened by a Southwest Airlines employee in Arkansas.

Follow-ups 6/27/09 In this set of follow-ups is an 800-year-old shoe to compare to this discovery of the world's oldest shoe.

Hazards of hail 6/16/09 An article about hailstones of various sizes.

Burial shoes 5/31/09 A blogger complimented me on this post, which informed her very amusing write-up about the subject.

Vultures 5/4/09 Rare vultures in South Africa are being killed to predict the results of the World Cup. I had a Marlin Perkins moment on Thursday watching a vulture tear up and feast on a fish carcass in our front yard here in Florida. A dive-bombing buzzard is terrorizing residents of the Isle of Mull in the U.K. A vulture is spotted in Wales - thousands of miles from its natural habitat.

Chihuahuas in the weird news 5/2/09 A California woman credits her chihuahua for saving her children from attack by 2 pit bulls.

Emmett Kelly 4/25/09 A photograph confirms that a newly married couple were at Disney World at the same time as children.

Bears in the news
4/24/09 A motorcyclist and bear have collided in New Jersey with neither seriously injured. A North Carolina man who was struck by lightning a few years ago has now been attacked by a bear.

4/9/09 A cat receives 2 remarkable bionic feet. A bionic fish has been accepted - and can be used to lead - a school of shoal.

Centenarians - and then some
3/26/09 Jacksonville, Florida cuts off power and water to the home of a 102-year-old woman.

Bird girl 3/3/09 I was contacted about this post by a woman who has photographed and blogged about Savannah's Bonaventure Cemetery, where the statue originally stood.

Taxidermy 1/24/09 A collection featuring a number of trophy heads and other mounted specimens amassed by property developer Warren Anderson were auctioned in Sydney, Australia. A Florida man called 911 when a water buffalo head fell off the wall and trapped him in his recliner. A friend pointed out this article about art from things that were once alive.

Natural mummification 1/23/09 Rather than being neglected after death, this woman was embalmed and stored at the funeral home for 10 years so that her daughters could pay her a visit every weekend. A woman in Pennsylvania was living with the exhumed bodies of her husband and twin sister. A Dutch man's mummified body has been found 4 years after retiring to his bedroom and asking not to be disturbed. A mummified man has been found in a Finnish chimney. A mummified body spotted on an abandoned boat in the Florida Keys turned out to be a mannequin.

Progeria 12/24/08 This woman does not have anorexia, but a rare form of progeria that requires her to eat up to 8,000 calories a day to maintain her body weight.

Conjoined twins 11/29/08 A twin-faced kitten born alive in West Virginia.

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