Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Hansom Dump

H. V. Morton, Ghosts of London. London: Methuen & Co., 1939, pp. 51-3.

[Albert] Frisbee is one of the last three hansom cab-drivers in London. He was driving a hansom forty years ago, when there were over fifteen thousand horse-cabs and hansoms on the streets of London. His old badge number is 14,037. [...]

I asked Mr. Frisbee if he could buy six hansoms anywhere to-day, and he shook his head.

'Not for all the gold in the Bank,' he replied.

All those thousands of 'London gondolas' have vanished in our time. The taxicab, slowly at first, and then swiftly, drove them from the streets.

'There used to be a tale,' said Mr. Frisbee, 'that somewhere at Hendon all the thousands of hansom cabs were lying in a huge dump, waiting to be broken up. And I believe it was a true story. That's what happened to them. They were sold for one pound and two pounds apiece. They were broken up for the glass, the springs and the woodwork.'

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Hawk Snatches Toy Poodle

30 October 2007

True nature saga, or tall talon tale

By Lisa Heyamoto

Story appeared in METRO section, Page B1

[According to Betty Cooper, publicity coordinator at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center in Carmichael, California, "an employee was walking the center grounds when he was flagged down by [a] hysterical woman, who claimed a hawk had made off with her toy poodle."]

Pensacola New Journal [FL]
8 November 2007

Pet owners fear flying menace
Hawks believed to be attacking city's small dogs

Thyrie Bland

First it was coyotes, and now ... hawks?

Some Gulf Breeze residents are worried that birds of prey are swooping down from the sky to attack their pets. [...]

Monday, October 29, 2007

"Ghostly" Hand Steers Car

Liverpool Echo [UK]
29 October 2007

Spooky sailor's story that raised a raucous laugh

by Linda McDermott, Liverpool Echo

[An "allegedly true" story told at the Royal Naval Association's annual dinner concerned a drunk hitchhiker who, after getting into the backseat of a slowly passing car, discovered the car had no driver, just a ghostly hand reaching in through a window and turning the steering wheel. The frightened man jumped out of the vehicle and staggered to the safety of a nearby bar. Two men later entered the bar and one of them, seeing the hitchhiker, exclaimed, "There's the idiot who jumped into our broken down car while we were pushing it!" See ]

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Ritual Cat Sacrifices on Halloween

National Geographic
26 Oct 2007

Ritual Cat Sacrifices a Halloween Myth, Experts Say

Maryann Mott
for National Geographic News

[Many animal shelters halt adoptions of black cats in the weeks preceding Halloween. The article features a photograph of a dead black cat, duct-taped to a cross, which had been left at an Iowa City animal shelter in 2004.]

Fermilab Bison Are Radiation Detectors

Columbia Spectator [Columbia University, NY]
22 Oct 2007

Taking America Beyond the Standard Model

By Elizabeth Wade

The first things you notice at Fermilab are the buffalo. After building the world's most powerful particle accelerator underground, the physics lab decided to turn the land above it into a prairie preserve populated by a herd of American bison. A suburban legend floats around the surrounding town of Batavia, Illinois, that the bison serve the same function as canaries in a mine, with the physicists keeping tabs on the animals' well-being in order to monitor the lab's radiation. [...]

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Fatwa: Rumor-mongers Must Be Flogged

Gulf News [U.A.E.]
25 Oct 2007

Rumour-mongers 'must be flogged'

By Ramadan Al Sherbini, Correspondent

Cairo: A top cleric has drawn fire from journalists for demanding that rumour-mongers be flogged 80 times in compliance with the Sharia. Mohammad Saeed Tantawi, Grand Shaikh of Al Azhar, made the suggestion during a recent function attended by President Hosni Mubarak. [...]

Tunnels Under Novi High School

Novi News [MI]
25 October 2007

Ghostly tales in Novi

By Chris Jackett

[...] Rumor has it there are tunnels running under [Novi High School] that are filled with equipment that malfunctions and causes temperature changes throughout the school. The descriptions on make it sound as if a large generator or fan is hidden below the school, causing vibrations and sounds while sucking items under doors. [Kathy Mutch, chair of the Novi Historical Commission,] claims the existence of such tunnels alone is myth.

"The tunnels are not there. There'd be no reason," she said.

Odd Names

Nashville Scene [TN]
25 October 2007

The Name Game

by Lindsay Ferrier

[Article on "craziest kids' names" that were submitted by readers includes dubious ones like Orangejello and Crystal Meth.]

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

'Cow-eating' Trees of Padrame'Cow-eating'+trees+of+Padrame&Title=Southern+News+-+Karnataka&Topic=0 [India]
23 Oct 20007

'Cow-eating' trees of Padrame


MANGALORE: Carnivorous trees grabbing humans and cattle and gobbling them up is not just village folklore. Residents of Padrame near Kokkoda in Uppinangady forest range sighted one such carnivorous tree trying to dine on a cow last Thursday. [...]


San Francisco Chronicle
27 October 2007

The Dirt: Myths about man-eating plants - something to chew on

Ron Sullivan, Joe Eaton, Special to The Chronicle

Giant Snake Killed on Golf Course

Macon Telegraph [GA]
24 October 2007

Oakview rattlesnake rumor just an internet hoax

Big snake e-mail not true, Macon man says

By Keich Whicker

[...] For the past few weeks, Hill said, he has been bombarded with inquiries about an e-mail and accompanying picture circulating in Middle Georgia that supposedly shows a groundskeeper who works at the [Oakville Golf Course] holding up a huge snake killed on the eighth hole with a two-iron. [...]

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Fort Pierce Mansion, Florida

Fort Pierce Tribune [FL] 23 October 2007

Mansion's 'history' makes for quite a tale in Fort Pierce

By Alexi Howk

FORT PIERCE -- Al Capone never hung out at the hilltop mansion just north of 25th Street on the west side of U.S. 1.

It was never a bordello. A male client was never shot on the seventh step by his wife coming down from an upstairs bedroom. The Germans never used the mansion to communicate with submarines offshore for the purpose of espionage. [...]

Slavery Law Rumor Irks Decatur Officials

Officials seek to abolish rumor saying it's still legal in Decatur

By Evan Belanger

[Decatur city officials are bothered by rumors that the city has never "repealed the city codes allowing and governing slavery on a local level."]

Monday, October 22, 2007

Chinese Tattoos in the News

Dorset Echo [UK]
17 Oct 2007

Mum's not the word on tattoo

By Juliette Astrup

A Poole woman who thought she had "Mum" tattooed in Chinese symbols on her back has spoken of her shock at being told it actually read "Friend Come Hell." Mum-of-one Charlene Williams, of Canford Heath, had the tattoo done on her lower back four years ago. [...]

The Mirror [UK]
19 October 2007

Girl's 'evil' Chinese tattoo

A teenager who had "mum" tattooed on her back in Chinese letters was horrified to find it really said: "Friend from hell." [...]

[See the Dorset Echo for a photograph of her tattoo. Will future versions of this report describe it as saying "Fiend from hell"?]

The Sun [UK]
22 October 2007

Tatt's ink-redibly unfunny


PROUD Vince Mattingley showed off his Chinese writing tattoo spelling his name for 26 years – until someone pointed out if actually spelt COCA-COLA. [...]

Hanzi Smatter
25 October 2007

Tatt's ink-redibly unfunny

By Tian

[In his blog "dedicated to the misuse of Chinese characters in Western culture," Tian reprints the Sun article and states that the two characters mean "crooked official."]

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Abraham Lincoln's View of Corporations

Pat Robertson, The New World Order. Dallas: Word Publishing, 1991, pp. 265-6.

There is no hard evidence to prove it, but it is my belief that John Wilkes Booth, the man who assassinated Lincoln, was in the employ of the European bankers who wanted to nip this American populist experiment in the bud.

While still in office, Lincoln saw clearly what would happen after his time; here are his words:

The money power preys upon the nation in times of peace
and conspires against it in times of adversity. It is more
despotic than monarchy, more insolent than autocracy,
more selfish than bureaucracy. I see in the near future a
crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to
tremble for the safety of my country. Corporations have
been enthroned, an era of corruption in high places will
follow, and the money power of the country will
endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the
prejudices of the people until the wealth is
aggravated [sic -- bc] in a few hands and the
republic is destroyed.

Are these the ravings of a lunatic? No, they are the judicious and heartfelt words of a patriot, a friend of the people, a man of faith who dreamed great things for America and suffered profoundly over its pains.

[The Lincoln quotation is spurious. See, e.g., <>.]

Hillary Clinton Snubbed Gold Star Mothers

St. Petersburg Times [FL]
21 October 2007

Everything moves faster by e-mail, including false charges

It's much harder for candidates to defend against attacks now that they move through the ether.

By BILL ADAIR, Times Washington Bureau Chief

[A much-forwarded e-mail claims that Senator Hillary Clinton once snubbed the Gold Star Mothers, a group of women whose children were killed while serving in the armed forces.]

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Man Claiming Highway 41 Beating Gets Arrested

WBAY-TV [Green Bay, WI]
20 October 2007

Man Claiming Highway 41 Beating Gets Arrested

Police: Man Lied About Highway 41 Beating

By Jason Zimmerman

A story told by a Kaukauna man who said he was pulled over along Highway 41 and beaten turns out to be a lie. Patrick Propson, 22, was arrested late Friday afternoon on two counts of obstructing justice. [...]

[Report updates October 5th account (q.v.) of a man who claimed that, while driving on U.S. 41, he stopped his car after the car behind him kept flashing its lights. Three men in the following car then supposedly beat him up. The account, noted a couple of reporters, is similar to "a common urban which gang members lure victims by flashing their headlights at them[.]"]

Appleton Post-Crescent [WI]
19 October 2007

Man who claimed he was beaten along U.S. 41 arrested

Friday, October 19, 2007

Sylvia Browne Predicts Campus Massacre

Daily Kent Stater [KSU student newspaper]
12 Oct 2007

Sylvia Browne rumor false

Kevin Gareau

A rumor that a shooting will occur at Kent State on Halloween is false, said psychic Sylvia Browne's business manager, Linda Rossi. According to the rumor, Browne predicted a shooting at Kent State on Montel, a show where she is a frequent guest. [...]

Beacon Journal [Akron, OH]
19 October 2007

Massacre legend recycled in Kent

KSU officials try to calm nerves of those worried urban myth will happen

By Carol Biliczky Beacon Journal staff writer

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Store Refuses to Serve Soldier (Update)

The Republican & Herald [Pottsville, PA]
12 Oct 2007

3 of 4 charges dismissed against ex-store employee


[Amber Wolfgang, who admitted to spreading a rumor that Sam Singh, owner of the Tremont Super Market, refused to service a person wearing military clothes, was arraigned on four separate charges. Three of the charges were dismissed when Sam Singh failed to show up during her arraignment.]

Visine Poisoner

Mail Tribune [Medford, OR]
17 October 2007

Visine poisoner gets 60 days
First suspect pleaded guilty earlier this month

[Christina Bongcayao and Shani Davis pleaded guilty to putting Visine in two of their co-workers' strawberry sodas. The article notes that it is popularly believed that Visine "causes nausea and diarrhea when ingested, as seen depicted in the film "The Wedding Crashers," but the effects in reality are far more severe and can even lead to death."]

Gang Initiation Rumor, Philippines (2)

The Inquirer [Philippines]
17 October 2007

PNP probes Cebu firm for spreading gang hoax

By Alcuin Papa

MANILA, Philippines -- The Philippine National Police (PNP) is investigating the possible liability of a Cebu company for circulating a warning, through email and text messages, about a street gang patrolling city streets to randomly kill motorists that turned out to be a hoax. [...]

Sun.Star [Philippines]
18 October 2007

Editorials: Gang preying on motorists

[An editorial speculating on the causes of the gang-initiation rumor mentions that in the 1980's someone's death sparked rumors of "fraternity recruits being told to kill any person wearing white to test their resolve."]

Am I Cursed by King Tut?

Daily Mail [UK]
17 October 2007

Am I cursed by King Tut?


Eight years ago I found dusty family heirlooms from the tomb of Tutankhamun. Since then, my life has been one disaster after another... [...]

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Baby Boom, Saskatoon

Leader-Post [Regina, Saskatchewan, CA]
16 October 2007

Blizzard plays part in baby boom

Darren Bernhardt, Saskatchewan News Network

SASKATOON -- Break out the bibs, Saskatoon is in the thick of a bona fide baby boom.

Nine months earlier, of course, the city was in the throes of a blizzard that brought the city to a standstill. [...]

Monday, October 15, 2007

Gang Initiation Rumor, Philippines

The Inquirer [Philippines]
15 October 2007

`Bloods gang' yarn a hoax, says PNP

By Thea Alberto

MANILA, Philippines -- The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Monday said the 'Bloods' gang, which rumors circulating through text messaging, emails, and blog posts is purportedly bent on killing drivers at night as part of their members' initiation, does not exist. [...]

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Hammer Man Update

The Hindu [India]
29 September 2007

Mass hysteria or reality? Law & order

Devesh K. Pandey

The spate of attacks on women residents of Baljeet Nagar and surrounding areas in West Delhi has left the locals terrorised. The murderous assaults have given credence to rumours about the existence of a "hammer man" who, according to the local residents, strikes in the early hours of the day targeting women. While investigations are on to confirm the existence of such a serial killer, the police believe that the incidents are unrelated and the "hammer man" could be a product of mass hysteria. [...]
Sify News [India]
3 Oct 2007
Is there a psychopath on the prowl in west Delhi?

The Times of India
14 October 2007

One held but he is not hammerman

NEW DELHI: The Delhi Police on Saturday arrested a 28-year-old man for killing a woman in Baljeet Nagar in west Delhi. Baljeet Nagar has been rocked by a spate of murders in the recent past with the residents even claiming that all the victims were assaulted by a serial killer or ‘‘hammerman’’, but the police ruled this out saying that Kanhaiya was responsible for only one case.

The police said that Kanhaiya is a burglar involved in at least three cases and that he killed 22-year-old Sangeeta Gupta in her parents’ home on September 27. [...]

The Hindu [India]
14 October 2007

Another woman found dead in specific locality in Delhi

[...] Victim Kamala was smashed on her head with a stone while she was asleep in her Punjabi Basti residence in Baljeet Nagar[.] [...]

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Floor Polisher Affects Computer

Karla Jennings, The Devouring Fungus: Tales of the Computer Age. NY & London: W. W. Norton, 1990, pp. 97-8.

Of course, sometimes glibness and a superficial understanding of CompuSpeak can be an advantage, as shown by a wily major at an Air Force base in the early seventies.

The command headquarters was replacing old mainframes with the latest electronics. The new system worked fine at first, then crashed. Engineers probed the new mainframes but couldn't find the problem's source. They restarted it, and it ran fine -- for a few days. Then it crashed again; they still couldn't find the bug. This expensive, exasperating, and mysterious glitch remained for months, ruining elaborate programs that had to be started all over again.

Major S., who headed computer operations, now found himself the center of unwanted attention. His boss, the colonel, attended all the staff meetings and whenever the system crashed (which happened every few days), the colonel's superiors made him painfully aware of the inconvenience the crashes were causing. After each staff meeting, the colonel always paid a call on Major S. to be sure Major S. appreciated the colonel's unhappiness.

Major S. told the computer operators to call him immediately when the system went down. A few days later, they called him, and he ran into the computer room. He heard an odd, oscillating hum at the end of the room and went to investigate, looking down a row of disk drives to see a technical sergeant buffing the floor with an electric floor polisher. The major's eyes followed the polisher's power cord across the floor to where it disappeared into the open cabinet of the one of the new disk drives, where it was plugged into one of the auxiliary power receptacles.

"How often do you buff this floor?" he asked.

"Every few days, sir," replied the sergeant.

"Do you always plug the machine into this receptacle?"

"Always have, sir."

They brought the system up and watched it crash again as soon as the sergeant squeezed the handle on the polisher. He'd found the problem, but the major still had the delicate task of telling the colonel that months of being in the hot seat and thousands of hours of lost work were due to a sergeant polishing floors. A friend of his watched in apprehension as the major left to tell his superior, and was surprised when he returned an hour later, smiling.

"Didn't you tell the colonel?" the friend asked.


"Wasn't he upset?"


"What did you tell him?"

"I told him it was a buffer problem."

Karla Jennings, The Devouring Fungus: Tales of the Computer Age. NY & London: W. W. Norton, 1990, p. 212.

The physics department at the University of California at Berkeley was the site for another ghostly glitch. Late at night experimentalists taking sensitive computer readings on continuous graph paper would see the recording pen go haywire, as if an earthquake were rattling the campus, though it was a bizarre earthquake, appearing at the same time each night and lasting for the same period. They traced it to the night custodian, who polished the linoleum on the ground floor during those hours. Vibrations from his floor polisher rattled the equipment two floors above.

Campus Mass Murder Predicted on TV

The Record-Courier [OH]
13 October 2007

KSU dispels killer rumor
Pyschic [sic] predicts mass murder on Halloween

By Dave O'Brien
Record-Courier staff writer

There's a killer rumor going around Kent State University: Apparently, television psychic Sylvia Browne recently predicted on Montel Williams' television talk show that a mass murder would take place at KSU on Halloween. [...] Another permutation of the rumor told to the Record-Courier had it that the murders would occur in an L-shaped building. [...]

Friday, October 12, 2007

Human Sacrifices

[Press Release] 12 October 2007

Satanist [sic] in America is on the Rise With Millions Captured in Spiritual Slavery

Jacksonville, Florida (PRWEB) October 12, 2007 -- Pat Holliday's New Book, Solitary Satanist, describes a man ensnared by the threatening power Satanism. [...] The focus of this book [...] reveals the deadly consequences demonic supernatural powers upon Jeff Bates' (not his real name) life. [...] Bates tells of sacrificing animals and torturing people and eventually dropping into human sacrifices. [...]

[Excerpt from Pat Holliday's description of The Walking Dead, another of her books.]

The Walking Dead

Fiendish devil-worshiping cultists are on the verge of spawning an insane bloodbath of murder and terror in cities and towns across the country. Recently, while I was evangelizing in Miami, a young girl who had escaped from a group of Satan worshipers told a frightening tale of human sacrifice and kidnapping: "They find old people who have no relatives and put them in cages. They torture them with hot irons and within three days their hair will actually turn snow white from terror! They tie them to a pentagram table (a table with a five-pointed star, a witchcraft symbol, on the top). Then they sacrifice them to satan! The satanist temple is located in a very elite section, she reported.

Dwarf Mechanic Mistaken for "Abducted" Boy

National Post [Canada]
5 Oct 2007

The dwarf mechanic
Getting to the bottom of an urban legend yields surprising results

Peter Kenter, CanWest News Service

[News reports that an apparently kidnapped child in Bremen, Germany, who was seen being locked in a car trunk, but who turned out to be a dwarf mechanic checking out the car's rattle, were doubted by the reporter. He then contacted the Bremen police, who surprisingly confirmed the tale.]
Ananova [UK]
30 May 2007
Dwarf mechanic mistaken for 'abducted' boy
Gyles Brandreth, The Book of Mistaikes. London: Futura, 1982, p. 136.

In March 1977, police in Dover, Kent, were contacted by an hysterical woman who had just seen a car driving along at great speed with a body sticking out of the boot. Fortunately she had the presence of mind to take down the car's number and in a matter of minutes the police were able to trace it. Sure enough there were two legs sticking out of the boot. They stopped the car and were about to arrest the driver when the 'body' climbed out of the boot. He was a garage mechanic who was listening for a rattling noise that only occurred when the car was in motion.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


29 Sept 2007

Witches Storm Ghana For Conference

[A global congress of witches is to be held in Ghana to celebrate their evil machinations. "In keeping with the witches’ agenda, 1,000,154 people would be killed worldwide through road accidents, rape, murder and armed robbery. For Ghana, the organizers of the annual global congress insist they want to make the meeting a memorable one and are therefore requesting heavy loss of lives on the nation’s roads."]

The Statesman [Ghana]
10 Oct 2007

'Witches' to cause mayhem at CAN 2008!

Gabriel Amoah

The Ghana 2008 African Cup of Nations scheduled for January next year has hit a bizarre and hilarious snag, as it is claimed to have been targeted by 'witches' all over the world as their platform to cause mayhem among sports fans who will witness the tournament, if the impending witches conference due for the middle of this month is allowed to come off. [...]

Bra Evidence of Something

Dear Abby [Syndicated advice column]
10 October 2007


[Abby prints a letter from a woman who, after having found another woman's bra in her laundry, angrily threw it out. Her boyfriend's friend, a lawyer, phoned her the next day and told her "the bra was evidence in a sexual assault case...and he needed it for court." Abby's response: "I have heard some tall tales in my time, but the one the lawyer told you takes the cake."]

Dragonfly or Insect Spy?

Washington Post
9 Oct 2007

Dragonfly or Insect Spy? Scientists at Work on Robobugs.

By Rick Weiss
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, October 9, 2007; Page A03

[Some protestors at anti-war rallies in New York and Washington have seen what may be either dragonflies or tiny helicopters. "Some suspect the insectlike drones are high-tech surveillance tools, perhaps deployed by the Department of Homeland Security."]

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Burglars Mark Targets

The Independent [South Africa]
10 October 2007

Crooks show their colours with coded clues

Hanti Otto

[Pretoria police suspect that "house robbers use certain colours to mark targets to inform their accomplices that a house has been identified and what to expect when breaking into the house." A spokesman for the National Hijack Prevention Academy claims that some objects used to mark houses are "red rope, white stones, plastic bags tied to trees, grass knotted in a bundle, pieces of metal or plastic, flattened milk bottles or Creme Soda and Coke cans."]

The Star [South Africa]
22 July 2003

On the verge of crime

A scary development or urban legend? That's the question hanging over a claim that criminals may be using litter to "signpost" houses as targets for robbery. [...]

BBC News [UK]
17 March 2006

Chalk symbols are an urban myth

Symbols chalked on walls to tell thieves if a house is worth raiding or not seems to be an urban myth. [...]

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Women Robbed and Raped in Mall Restrooms

The Independent [South Africa]
9 October 2007

Rape email is a hoax

[An e-mail claiming that "women were being raped and robbed of their valuables and clothing while in mall restrooms" is rejected as a hoax by the South African Police Service.]

Monday, October 8, 2007

Dog Licks Nutella Off Vulva

25 September 2007

Savage Love [Sex advice column]

By Dan Savage

Sussing Out Fake Letters

[Savage prints a letter from a man who once discovered his wife getting oral sex from her dog. "But the worst was when I noticed the open jar of Nutella sitting on the coffee table, a faint odor of hazelnut and chocolate in the air." Savage notes that about half of the fake letters he gets are on this subject, most specifying the food in question was peanut butter.]

Saturday, October 6, 2007

The Average Woman

5 Oct 2007

Cosmetics could be killing you

THE average woman absorbs two kilograms of chemicals from cosmetics every year - from cancer-causing compounds in face cream to arsenic in eyeshadow. [...]

For instance, the average woman eats, albeit unwittingly, five lipsticks a year, which in her lifetime is the equivalent volume of 1.5 blocks of lard. [...]

Mormon Folklore

6 October 2007

Folklore plays role for LDS
Professor says stories affirm values, beliefs

By Mike Wennergren

LOGAN -- William "Bert" Wilson tells a tale from the early days of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. [...]

Woman's Hair Caught in Man's Fly

Green Bay Press-Gazette [WI]
6 October 2007

Failth [sic -- bc] Perspectives: Want to get away? Spend some time at church

By Rev. Mark Schmechel

[...] I have a friend who tells a true story of a guy on a first date with his new girlfriend at the movies. As they are enjoying the movie he realizes that his zipper is unzipped. Embarrassed, he decides that he will tell his girlfriend he's going to the bathroom and as he stands up he will zip it up with no one noticing and be on his way.

But as he stood up and started zipping, he heard a loud scream from the person in front of him. It was a woman with long hair. He had zipped her hair in his pants! If that wasn't embarrassing enough, no one could get her hair out of his zipper, and they had to stop the movie, turn on the house lights and bring him scissors! [...]

Friday, October 5, 2007

Arizona Leads States in Boats Per Capita

Arizona Republic
5 October 2007

Tall tale about Arizona's boats per capita ranking just won't float

Clay Thompson

[...] I've lived in Arizona for almost 20 years. Throughout that time, I have occasionally been told that there are more boats per capita in Arizona than in any other state. [...]

Car Lights Flashed, Beating Ensued

Appleton Post-Crescent [WI]
5 October 2007

Kaukauna man says roadside attack no urban legend
By Ed Lowe and John Lee
Post-Crescent staff writers

LITTLE CHUTE -- A 22-year-old Kaukauna man concedes his account of a highway robbery on U.S. 41 has the ring of an urban legend, but there's nothing mythical about his injuries. The attack victim spoke to The Post-Crescent on Thursday night, eight days after he said he was jumped by three white males after stopping his car on the shoulder of northbound U.S. 41. The car behind him repeatedly flashed its lights, leading him to think there was a problem with the car's taillights. When he stopped to check, three white males emerged from the car from behind and the beating began, he said. [...]
WBAY-TV [Green Bay, WI]
5 Oct 2007

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Angler attacks: Racism or poaching?

Toronto Star [Canada]
4 October 2007

Angler attacks: Racism or poaching?

Dale Brazao

[Some residents of the hamlet of Westport, Ontario, believing that Asian-Canadians are illegally fishing in the area at night, have physically attacked them. There are rumors that "aerated tanks trolling the countryside" supply fish to Chinese restaurants in Toronto.]

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Babe Ruth's Called Shot

New York Daily News
3 October 2007

75 years ago, Babe Ruth called his famous shot - or did he?


We might discover Elvis alive and well hiding out in Bigfoot's lair before we ever know the real story about Babe Ruth's legendary "Called Shot" home run in the 1932 World Series. Did he or didn't he point to center field and promise the catcalling Cubs and pitcher Charlie Root that he would wallop the next pitch over that very fence? [...]

Local Pooch Knows When You're About To Die

WCAU-TV [Philadelphia]
2 Oct 2007

Local Pooch Knows When You're About To Die

SINKING SPRING, Pa. -- When Libby the 14-year-old therapy dog enters the room, folks light up.

It's when Libby plants her feet firmly on the ground and refuses to enter a room that things get more complicated.

Her owner says the therapy poodle knows when someone is about to die, NBC 10 medical reporter Cherie Bank reported. [...]

Seattle Baby Boom

Seattle Times [WA]
3 October 2007

Did last year's winter storm result in a "baby boomlet?"

By Carol M. Ostrom
Seattle Times health reporter

Aislyn Gleghorn, now 4 weeks old, may find she has a certain fondness for windstorms when she grows up.

After all, she was conceived during the great Hanukkah Eve Wind Storm of 2006, which left more than a million Puget Sound residents without electricity - some for days. [...]

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Ghostlore of American College Campuses

University Press of Mississippi

Haunted Halls
Ghostlore of American College Campuses

By Elizabeth Tucker

978-1-57806-994-1 Unjacketed cloth $50.00
978-1-57806-995-8 Paper $20.00

Why do so many American college students tell stories about encounters with ghosts? In Haunted Halls, the first book-length interpretive study of college ghostlore, Elizabeth Tucker takes the reader back to school to get acquainted with a wide range of college spirits. [...]

Monday, October 1, 2007

Genovese Syndrome: Fact or Fiction?

1 October 2007

Genovese Syndrome: Fact or Fiction?


NEW YORK (AP) - It's straight out of Psychology 101: "The Bystander Effect," a phenomenon illustrated by the infamous 1964 murder of Kitty Genovese as 38 callous neighbors ignored her screams for help.

Except that while details of the case were exposed as dubious over the years, psychology instructors and students still operate off the original parable of bad Samaritans united by indifference to a gruesome attack, according to an article by three British university professors. [...]