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Gross
Many of you have probably already seen the "puppy being thrown over a cliff" video that's been all over the internet in the past week. If you haven't, here it is, but be warned. It's disturbing. The Honolulu Advertiser offers this description of it:

Two Marines are seen in combat gear smiling as one holds a white-and-black puppy by the scruff of its neck. The dog seems to be about 8 weeks old and is motionless as it is held.
"Cute little puppy, huh?" says one Marine as he smiles broadly.
"Oh so cute, so cute, little puppy," says another in a child-like voice.
The Marine holding the puppy is then seen throwing the animal overhand into a desert-like gully below. The animal yelps until it thuds to the ground at the bottom of the gully.
"That's mean," one Marine says afterward.

When I first saw the video I felt it confirmed that there are some pretty sick people out there. But I didn't see anything that would make me suspect the video was fake. Nevertheless, a lot of people have been arguing that it's not real. For instance, see this youtube video. And more here.

The skeptics are suggesting that the puppy was already dead, and that the sounds of it yelping were dubbed in. But I think this is a case of being overly skeptical. That puppy looks alive to me. It's not making any noise initially because it's being held by the scruff of its neck. If you scruff a cat or dog it's going to become very quiet and submissive. It's an instinctive behavior.

The Honolulu Advertiser reports that the Marine Corps is investigating the video. The Marines have released a statement: "The video is shocking and deplorable and is contrary to the high standards we expect of every Marine... We do not tolerate this type of behavior and will take appropriate action." (Thanks, Nettie)
Categories: Animals, Gross, Military, Photos/Videos
Posted by Alex on Tue Mar 04, 2008
Comments (40)
A video on youtube discusses a recent study that claimed to find all kinds of harmful microorganisms, including fecal bacteria, on the lemon wedges restaurants place in drinks. Microbiologist Anne LaGrange reported that when she tested some lemon wedges "it was like they had dipped it in raw sewage."



Apparently the problem is that restaurant workers often handle the wedges with their bare hands and they cut the lemons with knives they may have just used to cut meat.

David Emery of About.com has analyzed the claims in this video and finds them to be basically true. There was a study published in the Journal of Environmental Health in December 2007 which found significant microbial content on a high percentage of lemon slices from twenty-one different restaurants.

However, David also notes that health experts don't consider dirty lemon slices to pose much of a risk to public health. But if you're freaked out by the idea of germs, you might want to say no when your waiter asks if you want lemon in your drink.
Categories: Food, Gross
Posted by Alex on Fri Feb 29, 2008
Comments (10)
The latest hoax website doing the rounds is IBuyStrays.com. I posted a page about it in the hoaxipedia.

The site purports to be a business that buys people's unwanted pets and resells them to research labs. Animal lovers, of course, are up in arms about this.

It's pretty obvious the site is a fake. Its over-the-top tone, if nothing else, gives it away:

You can enjoy their wonderful puppy / kitten stage and then reap a cash reward for having grown such a fine specimen. Start over with a new kitten every six months! Win, Win, and Win!


The business the site describes is perfectly legal, and there are companies that do it... for now, at least. Legislation has been proposed to make this kind of practice illegal, because the companies involved in this business seem to be a pretty shady bunch who do things like acquire pets from "free-to-good-home" ads, or even steal them out of people's backyards, and then resell them to labs. Kind of like the nineteenth-century "resurrection men" who used to steal corpses from graves to supply medical labs.

Apparently the larger goal of the site is to raise awareness of the stray-animal trade and to encourage people to contact their congressmen and encourage them to pass the Pet Safety and Protection Act. For which reason, the site falls into the genre of Modest-Proposal-style hoaxes (i.e. hoaxes that, like Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal, seek to shock people by seeming to advocate outrageous ideas).

Or whoever created the site could just be hoping to make a quick buck from the ads he's running on it.
Categories: Animals, Gross, Websites
Posted by Alex on Tue Jan 08, 2008
Comments (1)
Sextuplet husband gets three years
Remember that couple who pretended they had sextuplets last year? The guy has now been sentenced to three years in prison for violating the terms of his probation. His wife is still at large.

Pregnant lawyer made up abduction
"pregnant Ohio attorney Karyn McConnell Hancock confessed Monday to fabricating a story about being kidnapped by three people at gunpoint in Toledo last week." I'm going to start keeping track of these fake abduction cases. There are so many of them!

Fake office assumed role of government
A fake government office in northern India was collecting taxes, providing civic services, and even issuing birth and death certificates. Sounds like a good scam. Some say there's also a fake government here in the States, installed in the White House -- but unlike the one in India, it just collects taxes and doesn't provide any civic services.

Fake Poo Crisis Hits UK
A global shortage of quality providers of fake poo has led to a crisis that has affected more than just the comedy market.
Categories: Birth/Babies, Gross, Law/Police/Crime
Posted by Alex on Thu Dec 13, 2007
Comments (4)
The Collier County Sheriff's office in Naples, Florida has issued a strange bulletin warning that American kids are experimenting with a new way to get high. It's called Jenkem, and it involves sniffing the fermenting gas from human sewage. You put the sewage in a bottle topped with a balloon to catch the gas. You then inhale the gas which gives you a euphoric high. In other words, you're sniffing fermenting human feces.

Jenkem appears to be real. Back in 1999 the BBC reported that street children in the slums of Zambia were using this method to get high:
Nobody knows exactly where the idea for making Jenkem came from, but it has been used by street-children in Lusaka for at least two years. Nason Banda of the Drug Enforcement Agency is not proud when he says that it is unique to Zambia. He shudders when he sees the boys at the sewage ponds, scavenging for faecal matter to make Jenkem.

However, are American children now turning to Jenkem to get high? Unlikely. David Emery of About.com has done some research to debunk this latest drug scare. He notes that the Sheriff's office has confirmed that it issued the bulletin, however Emery discovered that the pictures in the bulletin come from a thread on Totse.com, in which one guy claimed to have tried Jenkem, and supplied the pictures as proof. But the same guy later admitted he was just joking. The fermenting feces in the picture were really a dough made from flour and water and rolled in Nutella. The urine was beer and water. Emery notes:
It is plain to see that directly or indirectly, the author of the Collier County Sheriff's bulletin based his or her presentation on faulty Internet sources, borrowing photos from a message board posting that was later admitted to be hoax, and quoting invented "facts" from a Website noted for its far-out satirical chicanery.

He also theorizes that, "The word "Jenkem" may be a corruption of "Genkem," which is the brand name of a glue manufactured in South Africa reputed to be very popular among drug users. In some places "Genkem" has come to refer generically to any form of glue or solvent inhaled as an intoxicant."
Categories: Gross, Health/Medicine
Posted by Alex on Thu Nov 08, 2007
Comments (12)
Warning:The following video is really gross. Definitely NSWE (not safe while eating). But I made the mistake of watching it, and now I want to know what in the world it could be showing.

What happens is that you see a man's face getting scrubbed with a piece of cotton. And then tiny worms begin to ooze out of the man's pores.

The most sensible theory to be found in the YouTube comments (which I don't recommend reading) is that the video shows some kind of pseudo-medical treatment (for what, I can't imagine), in which worm eggs are smeared on the man's face with the cotton, and then the worms seem to emerge from the guy's skin. Sounds plausible. Any other theories?

Categories: Gross, Photos/Videos
Posted by Alex on Thu Sep 06, 2007
Comments (46)
If you ever visit Beijing, no longer will you be able to buy soft drinks and snacks while relieving yourself in a public toilet. Chinese authorities have put an end to this practice, stating that, "It is not proper to sell soft drinks or snacks right at the toilets."

Thanks to Big Gary for the link. I can only echo his comment: "What? They sell food in the toilets?"

It reminds me of a cartoon I once saw in Mad Magazine about businesses unlikely to succeed. It showed "Bob's hand-made sandwiches and urine analysis".
Categories: Gross
Posted by Alex on Thu Aug 09, 2007
Comments (8)
Takeru Kobayashi, six-time world record hot dog eater, is claiming to have a jaw injury which may hamper his competition today at Nathan's Famous in Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York. Some think the champ is faking, playing head games with Joey Chestnut, who beat Kobayashi's record of 59 1/2 franks and buns two weeks ago. The two are the favorites in this year's event at Nathan's.

Would Kobayashi really pull such a stunt, potentially tarnishing the great sport of competitive eating?

As an aside, this article I'm linking to refers to the governing body as the International Federation of Competitive Eating (IFOCE). I thought I had read that they changed their name to Major League Eating recently. I'll have to check.

Scandal in professional gluttony?

Okay, I checked. From Wikipedia:

The IFOCE, which first established eating as a sport in the 1990s, has recently launched Major League Eating to serve as an umbrella for competitive eating worldwide while also providing a recognized brand for licensing of t-shirts and other products. The Major League Eating website, www.majorleagueeating.com, is considered the most dynamic website in this sport. It features videos of contests and eaters and offers a complete online community similar to MySpace, for eating fans.

UPDATE: Sore jaw or not, Kobayashi lost to Joey Chestnut, meaning the Mustard Yellow Belt has returned to American, where it belongs, damn it! NO ONE outeats us. USA! USA!

Categories: Food, Gross, Miscellaneous
Posted by Cranky Media Guy on Wed Jul 04, 2007
Comments (9)

Truck Spills 40 Tons of Cow Intestines
The title is self-explanatory. Thanks to Big Gary for forwarding the story. He notes, "Nothing hoax-y about this; just more evidence that civilization is doomed."

Woman Fakes Heart Attack To Fight Off Intruder
The obvious problem with this tactic is that it relies upon the intruder being decent enough to help you out. What if you fake a heart attack, and the intruder just lets you flop around while he continues to rob your house?

Fake Blogging to Become a Crime in UK
Businesses that post fake glowing reviews of themselves online will potentially face criminal prosecution in the UK. The article notes: "Shortly before Christmas, the owner of the Drumnadrochit Hotel near Loch Ness admitted to posting a fake review of his own venue on the TripAdvisor site, calling it “outstanding” and “charming”. David Bremner said: “Maybe I shouldn’t have done it. But I don’t think it’s that big a deal.”" I've actually stayed at that hotel. It's a tourist trap -- dingy, overpriced rooms. Though there isn't that much to choose from around Loch Ness. (The Edinburgh gang might remember this hotel, because the bus to the Loch Ness Cruise left from the front of it.)

Anna Nicole Smith did not impregnate herself with her dead billionaire husband's frozen sperm
Claims to the contrary turn out to be a hoax. Though the idea sounded plausible.

Urination Rumors a Hoax
"The rumor that chefs at Texas Roadhouse urinated on an elderly woman's steak has been cleared up." Thank goodness for that. I'm so relieved.
Categories: Birth/Babies, Business/Finance, Gross
Posted by Alex on Mon Feb 12, 2007
Comments (14)
imageTodd Haley, a Dallas Cowboys assistant coach, issued a lawsuit against McDonalds on Thursday. He alleges that his wife and au pair found a dead rat in their take-away salad this June.

The story goes that, on June 5th, Christine Haley and Kathryn Kelley ordered $14 of food, including the salad. They drove home, where they both ate some of the salad before uncovering a young, dead rat (pictured right, the rat has been digitally coloured to show up as blue).

The rat was determined to be a ‘roof rat’, a breed which live in the rafters and can pass on such diseases as bubonic plague and endemic typhus. The two women say they are haunted by this knowledge and fear they may have caught a disease. Mrs Haley was breastfeeding at the time, and switched to formula milk in case she passed illness to her child. She claims this caused her mental anguish.

Since eating salad that may have touched the rat and touching the dead rodent with their forks, the women have had difficulty keeping food down and can no longer go out to eat, the lawsuit states. They are forced to prepare their food "from scratch, allowing themselves to see each ingredient placed in the dish they are cooking," the suit states…
While neither woman has tested positive for any disease, both have been in counseling for the phobia and anticipate about a year more of therapy.

Tod Haley and the two women are suing the restaurant, the franchise owner and KLB Group for a minimum of $1.7 million in physical and mental pain and anguish.

(Thanks, Charybdis.)
Categories: Animals, Food, Gross
Posted by Flora on Mon Oct 30, 2006
Comments (62)
Only 50 miles away from where the infamous Wendy's chili finger hoax was perpetrated last year, a woman has found what appears to be a finger in her Subway sandwich.

Health inspectors did not find that any staff had lost a digit, but the half-inch piece has been sent to a lab for testing.

A spokesman for Subway has said the company won't comment until the investigation is completed. He says, however: "The Subway restaurant chain takes every customer comment seriously. We don't know what the foreign object is yet."
Categories: Food, Gross
Posted by Flora on Fri Oct 27, 2006
Comments (11)

Mice Hate Cheese
The popular legend is that mice like cheese, but this legend is false according to researchers at the Manchester Metropolitan University and the Stilton Cheese Makers Association. "As part of a wider study into animals and food, they found that a mouse's diet is primarily made up of grains and fruit. It found that they would reject something as strong in smell and rich in taste as cheese. Dr David Holmes, an animal behaviourist from the university, said: 'Clearly the supposition of mice liking cheese is a popular premise.'"

15 Aliens Arrested in Roswell
A press release from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced that 15 aliens were arrested in Roswell, New Mexico. "Some of the aliens were in the process of painting these aircraft when they were arrested." Aircraft... or a spacecraft? I smell a cover-up.

Russian Urine Exporter
Need some urine from Russia? Evidently someone does, and where there's a demand there will usually be a supply. The urine comes in different varieties such as Sea Breeze, Hunter's Brew, and "Not Filtered, Original". I knew that drinking your own urine is a popular health fad, but I didn't know that drinking Russian urine is also popular.

Paris "Banksy" Hilton
image A Flickr photoset of the Paris Hilton CD doctored by guerrilla artist Banksy. The Banksy version of the CD is something I'd actually be interested in owning, and apparently a few of them are being auctioned. However, Warner Music is trying to prevent their sale.
Categories: Animals, Extraterrestrial Life, Gross, Pranks
Posted by Alex on Thu Sep 07, 2006
Comments (20)
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