Saturday, September 25, 2010


A generous helping of vegetables 9/23/10 Schools in Ohio and New York introduce carrot vending machines.

Killer squid 8/31/10 A truck hauling squid crashed in a California broccoli field.

Microhylids 8/28/10 Conservation International's search for lost amphibians has revealed another frog. An Australian lizard is evolving fromy laying eggs to giving live birth.

Audubon ate 'em 8/27/10 A rare copy of Birds of America, valued at $6 to $9 million, will be auctioned.

Frank Buck 8/16/10 A train kills a herd of elephants in India.

Ancient spirits 8/19/10 American researchers find that ancient beer was used as medicine.

Churchill's choppers 7/16/10 George Washington's dentures are on display in a traveling exhibit.

Fatal lightning 7/12/10 Earlier in the month, Hong Kong was hit by the record number of 13,000 lightning strikes in one hour. Meanwhile, rare fire tornadoes were observed in Brazil and Hawaii.

White elephants 6/29/10 Ceremony is held for a white elephant in Burma.

Swimming the English Channel 6/2/10 After successfully swimming the English Channel, quadruple amputee plans to swim the Strait of Gibraltar from Europe to Africa.

Crafty bees 5/14/10 Dog that ate a beehive wins award. Honeybees are "morning people," and like a warm drink on a chilly morning. A swarm of bees traps a North Carolina deputy in his car for 3 hours. A Texas man is stung by 1,200 bees. A Massachusetts woman is stung 500 times by wasps. A Florida treetrimmer was stung by at least 500 Africanized bees.

Environmental disaster 4/30/10 The government denies a connection between the BP oil spill and a massive fish kill in Louisiana. A total of 3,634 dead birds have been collected from th Gulf.

Xenoglossia 4/17/10 A British grandmother developed Foreign Accent Syndrome. Another woman with a rare neurological disorder has been nicknamed the "Flamingo Lady."

Corpses in strange places 4/6/10 A French chef in the freezer. A British soldier at his wedding (in spirit). A Pennsylvanian at the mall. A Japanese mother in the closet. British babies in a wardrobe. A North Carolina woman in a hearse (for 9 days). A California doctor in her boyfriend's chimney. A burial at sea failed in Florida when the body surfaced. And human remains are found in a mass grave as a result of a ghost story.

Dwarfs on display 3/26/10 World's shortest man is now 27" Colombian.

Evelyn McHale 3/2/10
A comment on this post by a reader who has researched McHale adds details about her life: "Evelyn Francis McHale was born in Berkeley California Sept. 20, 1923. She was the sixth of seven children....Around 1930, they moved to Washington, D.C., where her father became an examiner for the Federal Land Bank. Also at this time her mother left, moving to an apartment in another part of Washington. The father retained custody of all seven children. Evelyn was 6....After high school, in 1943, Evelyn became a WAC and was stationed in Jefferson Missouri. Friends say that when she was discharged, she burned her uniform. At some point, she moved to New York City to work, living with her brother and sister in law. She met and became engaged to a young man named Barry Rhodes, a 24-year-old who was just out of the Air Force and attending Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania. They were to be married at his brother's house in Troy, New York. A year before her death, Evelyn had been a bridesmaid at Barry's younger brother's wedding. After the wedding, she removed her bridesmaid gown, said, 'I never want to see this again,' and burned it. On the day she jumped, Barry said, she seemed happy and looking forward to the marriage as she boarded the train home. There was a security guard less than twelve feet from where she jumped. In her suicide note, she wrote, 'My fiance asked me to marry him in June, but I don't think I would make a good wife for anyone. He is much better off without me. Tell my father, I have too many of my mother's tendencies. I don't want anyone in or out of my family to see any part of me. Could you destroy my body by cremation? I beg of you and my family - don't have any service or remembrance for me.' She was cremated per her request." Here is a description of a tour of a secret observation deck above the 102nd floor.

Treasure trove 3/1/10 A Roman helmet has been found in England and a rare coin has been found in Israel.

Ironic deaths 2/4/10 A man in Nebraska pretended to be drowning - and succeeded. A South African poacher on an illegal fishing trip is killed and eaten by a great white shark. A Green Party candidate riding her bicycle was struck and killed by an SUV. A Minnesota man who founded a DWI Ride Home program was not wearing his seatbelt when he was killed in a crash. A North Carolina man listening for the sounds of a ghost train is struck and killed by a real train. A total of 18 people died in Italy picking wild mushrooms, but from falls not poisoning. A British teen is stabbed to death trying out a knife-proof vest.

Natural arch collapse 1/26/10 I'm glad I didn't blog about the rediscovered Ansel Adams negatives, because the story is almost certainly a hoax.

Gulp! 1/16/10 Doctors compare stories about unusual foreign bodies they have removed from their patients.

Scapegoats and sineaters
1/13/10 The grave of the last sin-eater in England has been restored.

Sinkholes 1/12/10 A family in New York was swimming when the water suddenly got sucked out of their pool.

Supper clubs and speakeasies
1/3/10 A Prohibition-era beer tunnel has been discovered in Ohio. Italian castle on the market has a dungeon.

Child heroes
12/23/09 California toddler saves her Dad. Canadian boy holds yard sale to buy a gravestone for Dad.

Nero's dining room 12/19/09 Greeks find Odysseus' palace, suggesting Homer's tale was factual. Archaeologists discover the oldest house in Britain.

Otis elevator
, part 2 12/13/09 St. Louis's Gateway Arch - which I have been to the top of - is in need of repair.

Alligator urban legends 11/14/09 A flurry of alligator sightings, including swimming in the Chicago River, stuck in a Florida storm drain, under a car in Queens, on a New Jersey nature walk. A Massachusetts woman bags a 1,025lb. alligator in South Carolina.

Circus animals on the lam 11/13/09 Zoo Atlanta was missing a rattlesnake. Between 280 and 400 endangered crocodiles have escaped from a reserve in Mexico. A honey badger escaped from the zoo in Prague. The escape of a gibbon at Miami's Jungle Island triggered the escape of a 500lb tiger. A llama was also on the loose in Florida. A camel had to be rescued from a sinkhole on his owner's Oregon property. A ram broke though a window and ran wild in a house in England. Drunk baboons have taken over the suburbs of Cape Town, South Africa, but a loose baboon in Missouri was apparently a hoax.

Humpback whales 11/10/09 A total of 73 pilot whales strand themselves on a New Zealand beach. A photographer has a close encounter with pilot whales.

Odd animals 11/4/09 A hairless chimpanzee.

Docking cow tails 10/27/09 After her trailer crashed in Michigan, Bella lived for a month in the woods. A wild cow was captured in a residential neighborhood of Arizona. World's smallest cow. Raising cows for Kobe beef. Glowing eyes may be a sign of mad cow disease.

Birds in fable and fact
10/22/09 British scientists observe that crows derive much of their most nutritious food by using sticks as tools.

Maldives 10/18/09 A hotel in Maldives offers an underwater bridal suite. Kiribati, which will be swamped by higher sea levels, closes off 150,000 sq. mi. of its territory to fishing to preserve it as a Marine Heritage Site.

Golf course oddities
10/14/09 A golf ball knocks out a kestrel in Sussex, U.K. A California golfer's ball sparks a 12-acre fire. A Massachusetts teenager dies mowing a golf course. A badly burned body with a severed foot was found near the 18th hole of a British golf course.

Snails 10/5/09 The sound of a snail eating gets a hospitalized woman through her darkest hour.

Gossamer 9/27/09 A deadly funnel web spider has been spotted in England.

Three clocks 9/20/09 The world's oldest working mechanical clock has been outfitted with an electric motor.

Pig butchering 9/1/09 A Florida animal control officer resigns after outrage about his slaughter and consumption of an adoptable pig.

Surviving rabies 8/18/09 Of the 3,500 Peruvians bitten by vampire bats recently, 20 have died of rabies. Bats are also terrorizing students at an Australian school. California woman attacked by 3 raccoons.

Leonardo's lion 8/17/09 A doctoral student in Canada has finally made a successful ornithopter!

Creative cremains
7/24/09 Cremation urns for trekkies. A U.K. company will press your ashes and the sound of your voice into a vinyl record. Artistic funeral urns.

X-raying fossils 7/5/10 An American team has determined that fossils of sponges 650myo may be the earliest animal life forms on earth.

Multi-purpose cemeteries
6/26/09 A pub is opening in a Rhode Island funeral home.

Birthing and hoarding bunnies 6/18/09 A Nevada man finds the body of his wife, who was missing for a month, in the clutter of their own home. New York officials rescue 80 cats from the home of an animal hoarder. A Georgia woman was living with 113 cats and 14 dogs in her house.

Vultures 5/4/09 A vulture strikes a medical helicopter in Arizona. Pilots in the U.K. warned to steer clear of stray vulture. A Native American tribe hopes to reintroduce the California condor. An Englishman can continue to take his pet owls for a walk. The fossilized bones of a bird with a wingspan of 17' have been found in Chile.

Rossetti's menagerie 5/1/09 An American millionaire leaves his fortune to Australia's Wombat Awareness Organization.

Bears in the news 4/24/09 A man in Canada fends off a polar bear with a punch in the nose, while a woman in Montana uses a zucchini. A bear in Nevada has reached legendary status. Three bears broke into a Colorado home. A Florida bear is freed from the jar on its head, while 3 others were killed by 2 vehicles in a single night.

Centenarians - and then some 3/26/09 Burma claims to have found the world's oldest woman, aged 118. The oldest person in Britain died at 111. A Kansas judge is still on the bench at 103. A 101-year-old Nebraskan is also still on the job. An Englishman lives to 100 doing what he wants to do. A Scottish woman doesn't do it for 106 years. A Florida woman is still patronizing tattoo artists at the age of 101. Pension fraud is behind some of the 230,000 missing Japanese elderly. A 99-year-old New Hampshire woman received a letter from beyond the grave. A mysterious New York heiress is still alive at 104. A Florida man who died at 98 left 398 descendants.

Iceman 3/16/09 "Oetzi" may have been deliberately buried. Meanwhile, the body of an American climber has melted out of a Canadian glacier after 21 years.

Designer legs 3/15/09 Vintage prostheses, including the Victorian hand (pictured above). An Oklahoma man and a New Jersey woman receive double hand transplants. A Florida student's hand was yanked off by a horse. An Australian teenager loses his leg after being deliberately run down by the cab driver he stiffed. A Swedish man saves his father's life by cutting off his arm to free him from forest machinery. A Scottish teenager is getting accustomed to his high-tech prosthetic arm. Amputees gather in Texas for an annual hunting event. American soldiers are accused of taking fingers as trophies. A California woman's severed fingertip regenerates. CNN offers advice on what to do if body parts fall off.

Spider prey 3/7/09 Deadly funnel web spider found in Britain.

Crop circles 3/1/09 Why people are drawn to them.

White Bengal tiger 2/29/09 The MGM Grand in Las Vegas is under scrutiny after a lion attacked its trainer.

Footprints 2/28/09 A California scientist finds that ancient humans used stone tools even earlier than thought. Evidence from Spain suggests that early humans practiced cannibalism regularly.

Snake handlers 2/21/09 Photos from a West Virginia church. Polish newlyweds find 7' python in their toilet and an elderly Polish woman finds a 6' anaconda in hers. Wisconsin woman kills rattlesnake on her porch with an ice chopper. Guam is dealing with its brown tree snake problem by dropping poisoned mice from the sky.

Killer chimpanzees
2/17/09 The Connecticut woman who owned the chimp that ripped up and nearly killed Charla Nash died back in May. A New York woman was attacked by a monkey in July while staying at a bed and breakfast. Meanwhile, a new monkey species is discovered in the Amazon.

Disturbingly young parents 2/14/09 An 11-year-old rape victim gives birth in Mexico.

Polydactyly 2/3/09 Thanks to Chase for this link to photos of the Ernest Hemingway Home, including one of the many polydactyl cats.

Speaking of taxidermy 2/1/09 Exotic animal mounts in Maine are looking for a good home.

Corpse flower
1/30/09 One of the rarest flowers in the world blooms for the 1st time in 200 years.

Animal accidents 1/16/09 University of Virginia researcher is studying bird vomit. British workers stripe a road right over a dead hedgehog.

More mammoths 1/6/09 British researchers confirm that mammoths were not hunted to extinction.

Rats! 12/20/08 Hundreds of frozen rats were stolen in Pennsylvania.

Alive! 9/25/08 Survivors of the 1972 Andes plane crash lend their support to the miners trapped in Chile.

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