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According to the members of the Man Will Never Fly Society, the official account of the Wright Brothers' 1903 first flight, the anniversary of which is coming up on Dec. 17th, is all a hoax. They contend that the plane never flew... and all subsequent manned flights are a hoax also. Never mind that the majority of the members of this society are pilots. Every year they meet and have a boozy celebration to commemmorate the Wright Brothers' non-flight. In fact, alcohol seems to be the main focus of their meetings, because the more they drink the more confident they become in the truth of their position. So it might best be described as a drinking club. Their motto is "Birds fly. Men drink," and their website proclaims: "The Man Will Never Fly Memorial Society has fought the hallucination of airplane flight with every weapon at its command save sobriety." Sounds like a fun group to be a member of. (Thanks to Alex Richbourg for the link).
I'm not sure whether or not this is a hoax, but it's definitely strange. Back in 1910 a young woman died in Akron, Ohio and the local doctor reported that the cause of her death was lizards living in her stomach. Common sense would say that this couldn't have been the case. Lizards couldn't survive for an extended period in the acid of a person's stomach. So did the doctor really believe lizards were the cause of the woman's death, or was he purposefully trying to make an outrageous claim? I don't know.
The religiously inclined can find shops tailored to their needs over at the LordCo Centre Mall. Book a cruise on Noah Cruise Lines, or have all your financial needs taken care of at MeccaBank. (Warning: the site automatically plays obnoxious music).
Back in college I dated a girl who once ordered a stack of pizzas to my room as a practical joke. I can't really remember what I did when the pizza delivery guy showed up at my door, but I think that I just told him I hadn't ordered the pizzas, and he went away. But that's not what happened when this pizza guy was told he had the wrong address.
I saw the movie Bad Santa last week and loved it. Now here's a case of a real-life bad santa who's scamming businesses in Mississippi by pretending to be collecting money for charity.
I received an email from Tammy who had an important question for me. "Is it true a turtle can breath out of his butt?" she wants to know. Dear Tammy, yes this is true. At least, I know it's true that some species of turtle, such as the Fitzroy River Turtle, can perform this amazing trick, but I wouldn't stick my neck out to say that every species of turtle can. Those turtles which can are known scientifically as 'bum-breathing turtles.'
Here it is. The first unclassified photo of the new F-22 Stealth Fighter Bomber. Invisible not only to radar but also to the human eye. (Thanks to Darren McEwen for the picture).
Just when we had all gotten used to those Nigerian email scams that fill up our inboxes every day, the Nigerian criminal class has gone back to the drawing board and come up with an entirely new way to con people out of money: it's the Nigerian Navy Recruitment Scam. Nigerian fraud artists are circulating fake documents that appear to be recruitment forms for the Nigerian Navy. I'm at a loss to see how exactly they make money out of this, but I'm sure they have a way. Meanwhile, the real Nigerian navy has announced that it will begin circulating real recruitment forms sometime this month.
I'm famous! Catherine Tapia wrote a piece about me for a local publication named San Diego City Beat. She pegs me as a "compulsive collector of weird information and web-surfing addict," which is exactly right.
If you're going to drive around in a car pretending to be a cop, for God's sake don't pull over a real cop.
The Guardian has an editorial piece about Bush's recent Turkey-gate scandal (the photo-op in Iraq with the inedible turkey). But Mark Lawson, the author of the article, points out that the bread-and-cheese pub food known as a ploughman's lunch is also a bit of a fake. Ploughman's lunches "claimed to link yuppies in pubs to their ancestors who toiled on the soil" but the seemingly traditional lunch was actually "an invention of the contemporary advertising and catering trades." I've enjoyed quite a few ploughman's lunches, and I never knew that.
You can buy quite a few unusual gifts for Christmas over at Servonet. For instance, check out the Home Freebasing Kit, as well as the Power Fork. Interestingly, when you try to order one of these products instead of being asked to enter your own credit card number, you're allowed to select a number from their customer database. And then you get a message that their "shipping capabilities have been suspended indefinitely."
The Roanoke Times reports on a fake sheik who duped some Richmond residents back in 1978.
The Onion has a good parody of the Reality TV genre: Antebellum Island. It's a new 'alternate reality' show, supposedly being aired by CBS, set on an island on which the South won the Civil War. The show's motto is 'Secede, Suppress, Survive.'
It turns out that the turkey President Bush was proudly holding on his recent visit with the troops in Iraq wasn't for eating. It's what's known as a 'Trophy Turkey': one that is just for decoration, not for consumption. I guess it wouldn't have looked as good for the cameras for Bush to walk around holding the slices of processed turkey meat that the soldiers really got.