Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Monday, September 6, 2010
On 8 April 2006, a 300-year-old ledger bound in human skin was found lying in the street in the Headrow district of Leeds. Detectives later found out it had been stolen from a house in the city's Headingly area. In a practice called anthropodermic bibliophagy, it used to be a custom in the 18th and 19th centuries to bind accounts of murder trials in the killer's skin. Shropshire Star, 10 May 2006; FT212:11 A Filipino judge who worked in a suburb of Manila was fired and fined after claiming three magic dwarves assisted him in obtaining the powers of bilocation, healing, and prophecy. Judge Florentino Floro was 86ed after a three-year investigation. Floro believed the three duwendes-a Tagalog word for mystic dwarf-even had names: Armand, Luis, and Angel. Independent on Sunday, 7 May 2006; FT212:09 On 27 December 2004, the brightest explosion in our Milky Way galaxy since Kepler's surpernova in 1604 was observed. Amazingly, considering it was 50,000 light-years away, it was brighter than the Full Moon for a tenth of a second. A dense neutron star known as SGR-1806-20, is thought to have erupted after accreting material onto its surface through its huge gravitational field. Had the enormous amount of energy it released in X-rays and gamma-rays been within 10 light-years of Earth, it could have destroyed our atmosphere and killed all life on the planet. Times, 19 February 2005; FT 196:08 Alvaro Weyne, a Brazilian businessman, had come to the conclusion that the safest place to put about 15,000 dollars worth of cash and checks was in his office waste bin. He was correct-an office cleaner emptied the booty into a dumpster without giving it a second thought. Independent on Sunday, 5 September 2004; FT 196:10 A fight between the superheroes Spiderman, Batman and Superman, broke out at 12:30 in the morning on Christmas morning in Kent, UK (with a nod to Clark Kent perhaps?). The fight erupted when a burger van the superheroes were frequenting ran out of burgers. Sun, 30 December 2004; FT 196:10 Archaeologists digging at a site in Piotrowka, Poland, discovered a group of 11th century human skeletons buried face down, covered with heavy stones, and adorned with expensive jewellery. The archaeologists believed the burial customs were done to prevent the dead from rising from their graves. Perhaps this could be related to early vampire beliefs/scares? Sun (Dublin) Metro, 5 April 2007; FT 225:11 A 20-year-old burglar hopefully learned a lesson and earned a headache-from a garden gnome. 69-year-old Jean Collop woke up at 5am on 12 April 2005 to find an intruder on her roof in Wadebridge, Cornwall. The man was trying to get in through a window when Ms. Collop threw the gnome at him which then bounced off his head. Neighbours were on guard below when police arrived to find the young man still on the roof in a daze. Daily Express, Sun, 15 April 2006; FT 202:10 A (hopefully) very odd happening at a wedding in Croatia was reported in 2005. The bride and best man had stolen off to a washroom for a little illicit sex, when a friend of the groom walked in on them. This apparently caused the bride to go into what was termed a "muscle spasm" and uh....caused the pair to be in a "locked" position. Other guests came to either gawk at the couple or to try to pry them apart to no avail. The couple were taken to a hospital in Varazdin where the bride was given a muscle relaxant, freeing the best man. The wedding party continued--with the groom announcing that it would now celebrate his divorce. Irish Independent, 4 June, Sunday Mail, 5 June 2005; FT 202:11 Residents of the Indian village of Madanpura became concerned when a storm knocked down a tree--the reason--they believed a ghost lived in the tree and would now be homeless. Several villagers claimed that the ghost had come to them in a dream asking to be re-housed. The villagers organized a fund drive to pay for a new home for the revenant. Independent on Sunday, 9 July 2006; FT 215:09 Curtis Lofton ruined his spotless record as a teacher in Lower Paxton, Pennsylvania, when he was found outside his home, naked in the snow. A police officer asked him hif he was OK, to which he replied: "No, I am crazy, and I need a menthol cigarette." He then told the officer that he was Jesus Christ before hitting him on the head with a plastic trumpet. Mr. Lofton was charged with open lewdness, aggravated assault, cannabis possession, among other charges. No word if impersonating Jesus Christ is a misdeameanor or felony. Independent on Sunday, 8 January 2006; FT 214:11 I hadn't done one of these in a while and wanted to put something up for September--hope you enjoy!