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Fake Steve Irwin Death Videos
Unsurprisingly, several videos have popped up on YouTube portraying Steve Irwin's death. They're pretty unconvincing.
(Thanks, Nai Art.)

IT Skills in Return For Gropes
The mirror of a now deleted post from Craigslist, the title really says it all. I particularly liked: "I have a lot of tech knowledge in my life and regrettably no boobs."
(Via BoingBoing, thanks Cranky Media Guy.)

Building Using Recycled Paper
"Papercrete [is] a mixture of Portland cement, sand, and recycled newspapers/magazines, which can be used as a building material."
Looks reasonable to me.
(Thanks, Sharruma.)

Australopithecus Afarensis Discovered in Ethiopia
The bones of the 3.3 million-year-old girl have finally been recovered from a block of sandstone originally discovered in 2000. She has now eclipsed 'Lucy', found in 1974, as the girl lived more than 100,000 years earlier.
(Thanks, Tah)
Categories: Animals, Death, History, Miscellaneous, Sex/Romance
Posted by Flora on Thu Sep 21, 2006
Comments (8)

Yet Another Traveling Gnome
Back in the Spring Allen Snyder's gnome disappeared from his garden. Now he's learned that it's been attending Pittsburgh Steelers' games. Next stop an airplane to somewhere far away. Submitted by Big Gary who notes: "Predicatable, but I thought you'd want to keep your gnome section up-to-date."

Pretends to be mentally ill to get a grope
This is pathetic. William Mucklow has been accused of pretending to be mentally ill so that he can hire nurses to take care of him. He then grabs their breasts as they try to do their job. A pretty elaborate strategy to get a grope.

Jigsaw Prodigy
3-year-old "Mikey" Lorhan can put together "300- to 500-piece puzzles in less than 30 minutes or less -- and sometimes with the pieces flipped over, working blind." If this is real, he evidently has some kind of savant abilities.

image Man Shows Back of Head For Obituary
Jim Schinneller's death notice in the Sunday paper included a photo of the back of his head. Why? Because "He liked to buck the system. He enjoyed showing people how absurd life was." This would be an even better idea for a high-school yearbook photo, if you could get away with it.
Categories: Death, Gnomes, Psychology, Sex/Romance
Posted by Alex on Thu Sep 21, 2006
Comments (5)
image Jane Magazine is getting a lot of publicity from a feature they're running about Sarah, who's supposedly a 29-year-old virgin who wants to lose her virginity by her 30th birthday. And, of course, she's appealed to Jane Magazine readers to help her find the guy for that special moment. Sure, she could be for real, but it all seems highly doubtful. After all, we pretty much have to take her word for it that she is what she claims to be. (Though maybe she'll offer a fake virginity certificate as evidence.) Right away the stunt reminded me of, the 1998 hoax involving a so-called "internet deflowering". Personally, I wouldn't choose any of the guys Jane Magazine has selected for her. Instead, I'd select Marc of I think they'd be perfect for each other. (Marc's website is no longer up, but you can still see it via the Wayback Machine.)

Related Posts:
Jun 06, 2006: 7.9% of Japanese Men Over 40 Are Virgins
May 25, 2006: A Virgin’s Plea
Apr 25, 2005: Buy my Virginity!
Categories: Sex/Romance
Posted by Alex on Fri Aug 25, 2006
Comments (10)

Woman Avoids Falling Cow
If Sally Brown hadn't moved when she did, she would have been hit by a cow that had tumbled 50ft off a cliff above her.

Man Claims Penis Pump is a Bomb
Madin Azad Amin really didn't want his mother to know he'd packed a sex toy for his trip to Turkey. So he told officials it was a bomb.
(Thanks, Big Gary C)

Cows Have Accents
A group of British farmers claim that their cows moo with regional accents.
(Thanks, Beverley.)

Man Survives 1000m Fall
A South African man survived a 1000m fall almost uninjured when his parachute failed to open on his first ever jump.
Categories: Animals, Law/Police/Crime, Sex/Romance
Posted by Flora on Thu Aug 24, 2006
Comments (6)
Odd Chickens
This site includes a rare photo of Mike the Headless Chicken.
(Thanks, Dethcheez.)

Women send private emails to the world
Yep, it's another case of someone hitting the wrong button, and things taking a turn for the embarrassing.

Chicken or rat?
Could you tell chicken from rat when it's been properly prepared and cooked? (Perhaps not suitable for those of a nervous disposition.)
Categories: Animals, Food, Sex/Romance, Technology
Posted by Flora on Mon Aug 21, 2006
Comments (10)
In Hippo Eats Dwarf I note the prevalence of stories about secret codes that various subcultures are said to use to indicate their sexual preferences to each other. For instance, there was a scare a few years ago that high school girls were wearing colored jelly bracelets to indicate the sexual favors they were willing to perform. And objects hanging on powerlines are supposed to have secret meanings (such as sex or drugs nearby) to those in the know. And the Toothing hoax drew on the idea of people using bluetooth technology to send clandestine sexual propositions to those with similar technology in their immediate vicinity.

Apparently one set of codes that I missed are "hanky codes." Someone just posted about these on alt.folklore.urban. Gay men supposedly had an elaborate set of codes constructed around the color of their handkerchiefs and where on their body, on their right or left, they were wearing them. These codes could be used at clubs to signal their sexual preferences. A full list of these codes can be found at (the list is not in any way 'safe for work').

I doubt these codes were ever widely used, simply because they seem too elaborate to easily memorize. You'd need to bring a chart along to remember what each code meant. However, I do think it's possible that some people used them simply to say that they had used them. As I note in my book: Reality Rule 3.4. If unusual sex claims are physically possible there is a high probability they will become true—even if they aren't initially so.

Update: I've received a few emails assuring me that simplified versions of the hanky code are indeed quite popular in gay clubs. Bandanas worn in jeans pockets are apparently frequently substituted for hankys.
Categories: Sex/Romance
Posted by Alex on Sun Aug 20, 2006
Comments (12)

3D Crop Circle
Seeming to look down on skyscrapers, experts are impressed by what is being touted as the world's first 3D crop circle.

Swiftly followed by:
Pig Circle
A pig-shaped crop circle measuring more than 250m across has been discovered in a field in the English countryside.

Two-faced Kitten
A kitten with two faces has been born in Ohio.

Man Wins Lawsuit Over Decade-long Erection
Charles "Chick" Lennon has won his $400,000 lawsuit after his steel and plastic penis implant went wrong, leaving him with a permanent erection.

Categories: Animals, Body Manipulation, Crop Circles, Health/Medicine, Pranks, Sex/Romance
Posted by Flora on Tue Aug 15, 2006
Comments (6)

Taco Sauce Pranksters Strike
Fifteen masked men entered an Indiana Taco Bell and returned 25,000 packets of taco sauce that, so they said, had been accumulating in the trunk of their car for the past three years. It required 40 trash bags to carry all the packets of sauce into the store. Maybe they thought that if they saved up enough packets of sauce they could win a free Liberty Bell.

Unwise Grenade Opening Technique
Reuters reports that "A Brazilian man died Tuesday when he tried to open what police believe was a rocket-propelled grenade with a sledgehammer in a mechanical workshop on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro." Big Gary notes: "The Darwin Awards have a new emblem."

Lonely Heart Calls Operator 37,760 Times
A Japanese man has been arrested for repeatedly calling information hundreds of times a day just to listen to the voices of the telephone operators. He called so often, 37,760 times to be exact, that it began to creep the operators out. In his defense the man said, "When I made a complaint call once, the operator dealt with it very kindly, so I wanted to hear these women's voices." This guy really needed an Imaginary Girlfriend. (Submitted by Alex from Colombia)

Fake Hearse Scam
The latest scam in New Zealand is to reduce your car registration by up to two-thirds by claiming your car is a hearse. "The scam ... came to light last in July when a woman told a radio station she justified her action by saying she carried dead chickens home from the supermarket." I assume she drove her car home slowly in honor of the frozen chickens in the back.

North Korean Defector Sells Fake Aphrodisiacs
A North Korean defector now living in South Korea has been charged with selling unlicensed aphrodisiacs. He claimed that Kim Jong Il had been a user of them. This is where the story gets a little weird: "The stimulants were sold to blind people, most of them owner of massage centers." Huh? How many blind massage center owners can there be? But this is the part I like: The police said, "Some who took the stimulants suffered from swelling." So I assume the stimulants actually worked.
Categories: Death, Pranks, Sex/Romance
Posted by Alex on Fri Aug 11, 2006
Comments (11)

image Card Trick
YouTube video of a well performed card trick. I think it's a version of the "ambitious card" trick, in which one card keeps coming to the top again and again. I don't know how it's done, but I'm guessing it involves double-lifting cards and using a false shuffle to keep certain cards at the top (or bottom).

Tom Dundee Condoms Banned in Thailand
Thai authorities have banned a line of condoms named Tom Dundee, since Dundee in Thai means "Good Penetration," a phrase that they regard as "ambiguous, boastful and provocative." Big Gary notes: The only interesting thing about this story is that country singer Tom Dundee's real name is Puntiva Poomiprates, but "Dundee" is the name the authorities thought was "too suggestive."

Dalai Lama Moon
People throughout India and Tibet have been reporting seeing "the reflection of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in the halo of the moon." The Dalai Lama's office would not confirm whether he was really the man in the moon.

Fake Fish
The St. Petersburg Times visited 11 restaurants featuring grouper on their menu, and found that 6 of them were surreptitiously serving cheaper fish instead. "One Palm Harbor restaurant charged $23 for "champagne braised black grouper" that actually was tilapia." This doesn't surprise me at all. As I noted in Hippo Eats Dwarf, snapper is another often-faked fish. PoynterOnline writes that the National Seafood Inspection Laboratory found, after testing samples from random vendors, that "80 percent of the red snappers tested have been mislabeled.
Categories: Food, Photos/Videos, Religion, Sex/Romance
Posted by Alex on Tue Aug 08, 2006
Comments (4)
Yesterday Marie Stopes International, a sexual and reproductive health agency, sponsored Europe's first Masturbate-a-thon. (There's been a similar event in America for a number of years.) Participants got people to pledge a certain amount of money for every minute spent masturbating and/or every orgasm achieved. As Marie Stopes admits, it's basically a publicity stunt. But the part I find interesting are the rules which ban fake orgasms. They warn quite bluntly: "NO FAKING ORGASMS! Do not waste our time." They claim to have highly trained monitors who can spot the fakes. But how good could the monitors really be? I note in Hippo Eats Dwarf that neuroanatomist Gert Holstege of the University of Groningen has discovered that fake orgasms can be detected by a PET scanner. The scanners detect the increased activity in the periaqueductal gray matter of the brain when a woman orgasms. If there's no increased activity, it can be assumed the orgasm is fake. However, I doubt the Masturbate-a-thon is hooking participants up to PET scanners to weed out the fakes. It also surprises me that they're not worried about the use of local anaesthetics, which, it seems to me, would be a more obvious way to cheat and greatly lengthen times. (Unless I missed the section of their website where they warn against this.)
Categories: Sex/Romance
Posted by Alex on Sun Aug 06, 2006
Comments (2)
Status: Publicity stunt
When I first read this article I thought it was an example of satire masquerading as news. Now, however, I think it's just a publicity stunt:
Kingsburg-based KFYE, FM 106.3, offered Christian programming until a week ago. In a neck-snapping, did-I-really-hear-that? turn of events, it now provocatively calls itself "Porn Radio" — presenting a mix of music, moans and suggestive announcements... The station's titillating playlist runs from "Why Don't We Do It in the Road" by The Beatles, to "Sexual Healing" by Marvin Gaye, to "Strokin'" by Clarence Carter, to "I'm Too Sexy" by Right Said Fred and "Nasty" by Janet Jackson — a bewildering, genre-bending array of tunes sewn together by one bare thread: sex. Even when the sexual suggestions in a tune may be a little vague, such as in Phil Collins' "In the Air Tonight," the songs are often accented with recorded moans and groans of a woman who appears to be in throes of ecstasy.
Categories: Radio, Sex/Romance
Posted by Alex on Mon Jul 31, 2006
Comments (9)
Status: Old joke
The Register has posted a transcript of a BBC radio call-in show during which a man phoned up claiming to have a highly unusual medical problem. Following an operation in Turkey to treat his impotence, the man now finds that every time his neighbor opens the garage door, he gets an uncontrollable erection:
CALLER: But what is happening now is every time my neighbour comes back in their 4 x 4, I get an erection.
HOST: Good Lord.
CALLER: This is embarrassing. It's a big problem.
HOST: Have you been to see your doctor about it?
CALLER: The problem is I had this done in Turkey, using equipment that is not known in this country. I don't like it because every time his car pulls in I can't leave the house.
HOST: (Laughing) I'm afraid that it sounds funny as well. I know it's not funny for you.
CALLER: It's not funny for me, Roger, when I can't leave the house because I'm walking around with a big erection.
I'm sure I'm giving this more thought than it deserves, because there's no way it's not a joke. I'm not aware of any bionic penile implants that could be activated by the radio frequency that a garage-door opener uses. (And I actually did some research into strange penis implants in the course of writing chapter two in Hippo Eats Dwarf... the one about fake body parts... but I never came across anything like that.)

Update: David Emery immediately identified this as an old joke whose history has already been traced in FoafTale News. Apparently Bob Hope used a similar joke in his routine, saying that his neighbor got a new pacemaker, but now every time he made love his garage door opened. As the joke circulated through popular culture, the pacemaker turned into a penile implant that was activated whenever the garage door opened. This version has been seen in the Weekly World News (August 5, 1997, p. 58) and Fortean Times (68:13).
Categories: Body Manipulation, Sex/Romance
Posted by Alex on Thu Jul 20, 2006
Comments (9)
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