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April 2005
Warning: Graphic. This is from an email going around:

A police officer sent this to me. It is not for the faint of heart. If you have a weak stomach, then don't look at the URL. It is a picture of the demise of a suicide jumper taken shortly after he landed. It shows him with his insides now on the outside. You will see the look of horror on the faces of the bystanders. The faces of the bystanders is why I believe this is real..
Categories: Email Hoaxes, Photos/Videos
Posted by Alex on Fri Apr 22, 2005
Comments (31)
The Arizona Republic has raised an interesting question. Is it possible to use tapeworms as a diet aid? Won't the tape worm just sit in your stomach and consume all the extra food you eat, and after a while you can pull out the thing? The basic answer is no. This would not be a good idea. They go into some more details:

While a tapeworm might take in some of the food you do, it would at the same time be taking in a lot of vitamins and other nutrients you need to stay healthy. Do you know what ascites are? A big pool of fluid in your tummy caused by an immune response to something in your guts. Something like a tapeworm. It gives you a big potbelly, which runs kind of counter to the look you might be wishing for. And a tapeworm might not necessarily just set up camp in your innards. It can also cause cysts in your muscles, liver and eyes. Your eyes! So don't you think it might be easier instead to just eat a bit less and exercise a bit more?
Categories: Body Manipulation, Food
Posted by Alex on Fri Apr 22, 2005
Comments (229)
For all those occasions when a kid would come in handy (I can't think of any), offers the solution. Just call them up and they'll send a kid over. They rent out kids for proms, birthday parties, father/son events, etc. And if you'd like to make a little bit of extra money by hiring out your kid, they'll arrange that too. (Yes, the site is a hoax).
Categories: Business/Finance, Websites
Posted by Alex on Fri Apr 22, 2005
Comments (21)
The woman who auctioned off the Virgin Mary Grilled Cheese Sandwich on eBay is now selling the 'Official Holy Pan That Made The Grilled Cheese Sandwich'.

This is not a joke. This is the Official 10 year old one of a kind Virgin Mary Grilled Cheese Sandwich Holy Pan. There is NOT Another.  I have chosen to Auction off the Holy Pan on E-Bay instead of the Auction House "Christy's of London" to give the world a chance to Bid on it.

Next, I assume, she'll be selling the 'Holy Spatula' that turned the grilled cheese sandwich, and then the 'Holy Stove' that cooked the thing. And then the 'Holy House' in which the stove was located.
Categories: eBay, Religion
Posted by Alex on Fri Apr 22, 2005
Comments (18)
Check out this directory of pictures involving accidents and screw-ups of every kind imaginable. It would be easy to spend an hour or two browsing through them all. But I think a few of them are of doubtful reality. For instance, this one of the California Highway Patrol is an obvious joke. And I can't imagine how this container ended up inside the engine. There's also this photo of a bird that collided with a plane. I believe it's real, but it's still a pretty odd picture.
Categories: Photos/Videos
Posted by Alex on Thu Apr 21, 2005
Comments (11)
A video is going around that shows a UC Berkeley professor detailing the mess a student got into by stealing his laptop (Boing Boing links to various copies of the video). The student thought he was just going to be stealing a copy of an exam. What he didn't know was that he was also stealing industrial trade secrets, which will send various federal agencies searching for him. It's a great speech by the professor. The question is, how much of it is real, and how much of it is bluff?

The professor in the video is Jasper Rine. Google his name and you come up with all kinds of links between him and big biotechs. So when he says there are trade secrets on the laptop, I would believe him. I would also believe that the corporations won't be happy about having their info stolen.

But I'm not sure I'd agree with the professor's assertion that the thief WILL be found. When he mentions that the use of Windows triggered an alert in Redmond, that doesn't mean anything. I get that alert when I try to use Microsoft Word on my laptop and desktop at the same time. Microsoft isn't going to be tracking the thief down. He also mentions tracking a signal from a wireless receiver in the laptop. I suppose they could triangulate the data and come up with a location. Except that on a campus with tens of thousands of people living in close quarters, that might not be of much use if the laptop was used in a public space. He also mentions a partial image of the thief. But obviously the image isn't good enough to allow an easy identification, or they would have already got the guy.

If I were the thief, I wouldn't turn myself in (I wouldn't have stolen the laptop in the first place, but that's another matter entirely). Turning yourself in would mean certain punishment. I would just get rid of the laptop. The likelihood is that federal officers aren't going to spend that much time hunting it down, and if the laptop simply vanishes there's not much that can be done. It'll be interesting to see if there's ever any follow-up to this case.

And oops. I just noticed this was linked to in the forum also. I should have checked out what that 'World of Pain' link was about before I wrote this up. Oh well. I'm guilty of double posting, I guess.
Categories: Law/Police/Crime
Posted by Alex on Thu Apr 21, 2005
Comments (16)
image I seem to have a minor trend going with pictures of cars and snow. This picture here looks slightly suspicious to me because I can't imagine how the snow got so deep on either side of the road, or how they cleared it away so perfectly. But then, I live in Southern California, so I can't claim to be any kind of expert on snow.
Categories: Photos/Videos
Posted by Alex on Thu Apr 21, 2005
Comments (55)
More strange images from my inbox. These shoes look like some kind of art project. I don't think it would be possible to walk in them.
image image image image
image image image image
Categories: Art, Photos/Videos
Posted by Alex on Wed Apr 20, 2005
Comments (67)
Here's a lovely set of images that's going around. I really wish I hadn't seen it, but too late now. It's totally safe for work, but if you have any kind of fear of spiders you might not want to look at it. The question is, is it real? Well, I suppose someone easily could have sacrificed a spider for the sake of creating the images. I don't know how else they'd create the picture with the chopped up spider bits. But in the final image it doesn't look like the guy is actually drinking the milkshake. He's just holding it up to his mouth.
Categories: Animals, Food
Posted by Alex on Wed Apr 20, 2005
Comments (18)
A teacher joked with his class that 'Get Naked Day' was going to be celebrated in his classroom. Students would get extra credit for participating. What he meant by this was that students were supposed to wear flipflops to an upcoming class so that they could easily slip them off to practice writing with their feet (they were going to be watching the movie 'My Left Foot'). But he thought students would find it funnier if he referred to flipflop day as 'Get Naked Day'. Some people are making a big fuss about this, saying the comment was too sexually suggestive. I'm not quite seeing that. Seems like a pretty harmless thing to me (unless he makes jokes like this all the time). What disturbs me more is the image of this old teacher trying to be hip and cool and funny, when you know all the kids are rolling their eyes and laughing at him, not with him. Kids can be so cruel.
Categories: Sex/Romance
Posted by Alex on Wed Apr 20, 2005
Comments (17)
Today's 'Faces Seen in Stuff' are:

1. Underpass Mary. A salt stain on the wall of an underpass in Chicago looks to many like an image of the Virgin Mary. (via Boing Boing)

2. Pope Toast: "Before we even turned on the news or opened the paper this morning, we knew that the Vatican had chosen a new pope. How? Well, as we were making toast for our breakfast, a puff of white smoke issued from the toaster. Then we were amazed to find what was surely a sign from on high: a piece of toast emblazoned with the unmistakable image of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the new Pope Benedict XVI." (submitted by frup)

3. Babe Ruth Cookie. A cookie on eBay that supposedly bears the image of Babe Ruth. To be honest, I can't see the face in this one at all.
Categories: eBay, Food, Religion
Posted by Alex on Wed Apr 20, 2005
Comments (18)
Ever wanted to own a piece of a celebrity? What about a really personal piece? Celebrity Skin sells fecal matter, skin cells, bacteria, and urine (but no blood) from a variety of celebrities. The organization was "formed in 2003 by an anonymous collective of former Hollywood personal assistants". Unfortunately once you buy it, you have to keep it. There are no returns. Yes, this is a hoax. The black pitch press site describes it as one of its "failed projects and stray debris".
Categories: Celebrities, Gross, Websites
Posted by Alex on Wed Apr 20, 2005
Comments (9)
image The French eat many unusual things (unusual from an American perspective). For instance, just a few months ago I tried a French cheese that had a layer of ash in it. I thought it was disgusting. Kind of like eating cheese mixed with cigarette butts. However, I'm pretty sure not even the French have refined the art of Rodent Cheese:

Welcome to the fascinating world of rat cheese. The art of making cheese from lactating rodents has never been more alive than today. Still considered by some to be a luxury of the few, fine rat cheeses are becoming ever more popular. Technological advances and mechanisation have made rat-milking a relatively simple task nowadays. All the same a herd of a five hundred or so dairy rats may still only produce about a pint (568ml) of milk a day. It is little wonder then that premium rat cheeses cost as much as 80 euros a gram in some Parisian restaurants.

A clue that the site is a joke comes in this bit of political humor found under Cheese Facts:

Famous Cheese-eaters
Perhaps the most famous consumer of rodent cheese is US President, George W Bush. And although he cannot spell, pronounce, or even remember it, Fromage des Merdes is said to be his favourite.

Thanks to Dave for the link.
Categories: Food
Posted by Alex on Wed Apr 20, 2005
Comments (12)
A guy in Colorado, Uegene Safken, is making headlines because of his claim that he resuscitated a chicken who had fallen into a tub of water and seemed to be dead. He says he gave it mouth-to-beak resuscitation.

Safken said he first swung the chicken by the feet to revive it. When that failed, he continued swinging and blowing into its beak. "Then one eye opened. I thought it was an involuntary response," Safken said. The chicken's beak opened a little wider, and Safken started yelling at it: "You're too young to die!" "Every time I'd yell at him, he'd chirp," Safken said.

Nice story. I have no idea about the likelihood of it being true.
Categories: Animals
Posted by Alex on Tue Apr 19, 2005
Comments (15)
Mark McGowan is an artist, and his canvas is other people's cars. His paintbrush is a key. He goes around town scratching his 'artwork' on random people's cars. At least, that's what he claimed. Now he's admitted the whole thing is a hoax:

An artist who claimed to have vandalised nearly 50 cars in the name of art has admitted it was a stunt. Mark McGowan, 37, said he had taken pictures of himself scratching vehicles' paintwork in Glasgow and London as part of a project. But the London performance artist has since admitted the cars were already "keyed" and the photos were "staged". He said it had been an art project that had gone "horribly wrong" and said he was "very, very sorry".
"I never keyed any cars...the whole thing has just been a nightmare," he added.

I actually think it's a pretty clever idea for a hoax. It's so outrageous, and yet at the same time easy to believe an artist might actually do this. Some of McGowan's other stunts also sound, um, interesting:

In 2003, he used his nose to push a monkey nut seven miles to 10 Downing Street in protest against student debt. He also rolled on pavements for four miles across London singing Christmas carols to highlight the work of office cleaners.

(Thanks to Andrew for the link)
Categories: Art
Posted by Alex on Tue Apr 19, 2005
Comments (10)
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