Friday, November 30, 2007

Exploding Cell Phone Battery Kills South Korean


The Korea Times
28 Nov 2007

Man Killed in Suspected Phone Battery Explosion

By Cho Jin-seo
Staff Reporter

A 33-year-old excavator driver was found dead on Wednesday in Cheongwon, North Chungcheong Province, after a suspected cell phone battery explosion, police said. [...]

Associated Press
29 Nov 2007

Report: Phone May Not Have Killed Worker


SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - The South Korean man whose death was initially blamed on an exploding cell phone battery appears to have died from another cause, according to a news report Thursday. [...]

New York Times
30 November 2007

A Death-By-Cell-Phone Story Falls Apart

By Patrick J. Lyons

Colombo City's Water Supply Poisoned

Daily Mirror [Sri Lanka]
30 November 2007

Rumours flow like river, but water is safe

By Supun Dias and Shane Seneviratne

Amid rumours flowing like a river that the water supply had been poisoned, the Water Board reassured yesterday that the supplies were safe for drinking while an expert said it was virtually impossible to obtain large quantities of deadly poison to contaminate the water. [...]

Toilet Paper Hoarding Rumors, Venezuela

30 November 2007

Venezuela makes stink over toilet paper hoarding

CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuelan businesses spent years conspiring against President Hugo Chavez, but the government now says they have found a new way to play dirty -- hiding toilet paper to sway Sunday's vote on expanding Chavez's powers.

Venezuelans have been buying large amounts of toilet paper on rumours it could be the next hard-to-find thing amid shortages of products like milk and meat that businesses attribute to price controls but the government blames on high demand and hoarding. [...]

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Bosom Serpent

National Lampoon, October 1975, p. 24.


Fifty years ago this month, Roosevelt Berg was taken ill while visiting his sister in Minneapolis. Her home remedies failed, and Berg writhed in agony with severe stomach pains. At the advice of the family physician, Berg entered the hospital. His persistent stomach-ache baffled the entire staff of Swedish Hospital doctors, and they scheduled an operation. But Roosevelt Berg cheated the M.D.s out of their fee when, moments before the operation, he passed an ugly lizard, eight inches long, with claws like a bird and green as grass. Doctors believe that the young man had swallowed the lizard in a drink of water about two and a half years ago, and it had been growing steadily ever since.

Roosevelt Berg regained his strength, but vowed never again to drink water in the dark. Murray County Herald

The Barrel of Apples

National Lampoon, February 1979, p. 89.


The following happened to a Canadian apple farmer: he attached a rope to a barrel and secured a pulley to a high branch in an apple tree, ran the rope through the pulley, raised up the barrel, and tied the other end of the rope to the trunk of the tree. He then climbed up the tree, filled the barrel with apples, climbed down, and untied the rope from the trunk. Failing to anticipate that the barrelful of apples was heavier than himself, and refusing to let go of the rope, the farmer was pulled off the ground. He collided with the descending barrel and severely injured his shoulders. Continuing his ascent, he banged his head on a branch at the top of the tree and jammed his fingers in the pulley. When the barrel hit the ground, the apples were spilled, which lightened the barrel and then caused the barrel to descend. Halfway down, the farmer was again struck by the barrel, this time severely bruising his shins. He was further lacerated when he landed on a section of his own truck rigging. At this point, the farmer finally let go of the rope, releasing the barrel, which fell directly on his head. The farmer was hospitalized. PCA/FLBA Farming

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Cursed Delhi Purple Sapphire

Sunday Times [London, UK]
25 November 2007

Out of the cupboard and calling to you: the cursed Delhi Purple Sapphire

A gemstone `stained with blood and dishonour' haunted anyone who owned it. This week it goes on show for the first time

Steve Farrar

Some 34 years ago Peter Tandy, a young curator at the Natural History Museum, happened upon a jewel while working among the great lines of mineral cabinets. From a scientific perspective, the stone was nothing special, though its setting was rather bizarre, bound by a silver ring decorated with astrological symbols and mystical words with two scarab-carved gems attached. It was a typewritten note that accompanied the jewel, an amethyst known as the Delhi Purple Sapphire, that caught Tandy's eye.

"This stone is trebly accursed and is stained with the blood, and the dishonour of everyone who has ever owned it," said the note, which had been written by Edward Heron-Allen, a scientist, friend of Oscar Wilde and the amethyst's last owner. It carried a curse and had left a trail of bad luck and tragedy. [...]

Chinatown Tunnels, Fresno (2),1,4072794.story?track=crosspromo&coll=la-headlines-frontpage&ctrack=1&cset=true

Los Angeles Times
26 November 2007

An urban legend has resurfaced

A dark crawl space may be evidence of vast underground tunnels in Fresno's old Chinatown. The finding creates a buzz -- and a backlash.

By David Pierson, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Babies and Broomsticks

National Lampoon, November 1976, p. 36.


One of the reason's for India's overpopulation problem is that it is often difficult to make the natives understand how to use birth control methods properly.

Recently, a family planning worker showed residents of a rural village how to use condoms by unrolling one over a broomstick handle.

Returning to the village a year later, the worker found a large number of new babies.

The natives were as puzzled as he. Before intercourse, they had dutifully put condoms on their broomsticks. Unknown source

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thieves Steal Dead Pet Rabbit

Ananova [UK]
23 November 2007

Thieves steal dead pet

Muggers snatched an Austrian woman's handbag unaware that it contained nothing but a dead rabbit.

The two thieves struck as Hilda Morgenstein, 42, was about to catch a train at Baden to the countryside with her daughter to bury the pet.

She said: "They saved us the trip - I told my daughter they were angels and were taking bunny to a better place."

Police are still searching for the pair and the remains of the rabbit.

Art or Trash?

The Scotsman [UK]
23 November 2007

It's in the bag if you keep an open mind


THERE'S a story that circulates on the subject of contemporary art, that an artist made an installation out of rubbish which appeared in a London gallery with a hefty price tag attached. All was well until the cleaner came and threw it away.

I've heard several versions of this story over the years, naming different artists and different galleries, affirming that it has now reached the level of urban myth. It's hardly surprising: people like the joke. You have to be a highly cultured person, it implies, to tell the difference between contemporary art and rubbish. [...]

[Another interpretation is that sophisticated museum-goers are unable to see the obvious difference between art and trash, whereas an uncultured worker can. Not overly refined myself, I always thought that was the point of the story. Ms. Mansfield, an arts reporter, interprets it differently. -- bc]

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Eastern European Immigrants in UK, Rumors About,,2215099,00.html

The Guardian [UK]
22 November 2007

They come over here ...

... take our jobs, eat our carp and lose all our £50 notes. They even steal our unwanted clothes. But can all that is written about eastern Europeans really be true? Tim Dowling looks at the outrageous claims made about Britain's newest arrivals [...]

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Cat Rescued, Run Over by Firemen

The Bridgeport Post [CT]
19 September 1970.


PORTSMOUTH, Va. (AP) -- A crew of firemen was dispatched Friday to rescue a cat from a tree. Mission accomplished, the cat was released. As the fire truck started back to the station, it ran over the cat.

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Exploding Toilet (1970s)

The National Lampoon, September 1975, p. 20.


A housewife in Akron, Ohio began spraying her hair, only to discover that the button on the can was stuck and couldn't be shut off. She continued to spray her hair until it had the consistency and texture of portland cement. Then she ran into the bathroom and sprayed the rest of the contents of the can into the toilet bowl.

That evening, when her husband arrived home from work, he went into the bathroom, made himself comfortable with his evening paper, and lit up a cigarette. He dropped the lit match into the bowl. The next thing he knew, an explosion hurled him into the wall, broke his nose, knocked him unconscious, and gave his posterior second degree burns. Akron Beacon Journal

The Charleston Gazette [WV]
4 December 1975, p. 1B

The Gazetteer [Column]

James Dent

[...] Frankly, I believe the following story to be apocryphal although a fellow worker says two school teachers swore on a stack of approved textbooks that it was true.

A lady, wife of a Charleston area businessman, was in her toilet spraying her hair when the lock on the aerosol can became jammed and she was unable to shut the gadget off. Thinking quickly, she pointed the can down the commode and let it blast away until it finally gave out. Moments later, her husband entered the bathroom and took a seat. He lit a cigarette and tossed the match down the commode wherein the fumes from the hair spray still were lurking.

The resultant explosion lifted him off the bowl and hurled him against the bathroom wall, fracturing several small bones and severely burning his sitting apparatus. An ambulance was summoned and as the attendants were carrying the moaning patient to the vehicle, they asked how the accident had happened. Being informed, they laughed so hard that they dropped the stretcher and the poor victim suffered an additional broken leg. [...]

National Lampoon, May 1976, p. 32.


A dragline operator in Belle Glade, Florida, was so proud of his new 750 Honda that he invited a neighbor over to show off the machine. As the two men were standing on the patio admiring the motorcycle, the new owner went to press the electric starter button in order to prove how quietly the engine ran.

The motorcycle was in gear, and plunged through a glass door into his living room, dragging him along with it. He was taken to the hospital, where he received treatment for numerous cuts on his arms and face.

Meanwhile, his wife was sopping up gasoline that was seeping from the motorcycle, which was lying on its side in the living room. She flushed some gasoline-soaked paper towels down the toilet.

Her husband returned home, saw his new motorcycle and the shattered patio door, and took shelter in his bathroom. He lit a cigarette and sat on the john, dropping the match into the toilet bowl. The paper towels had clogged the pipes, and the match detonated the gasoline. The explosion blew the commode to pieces and propelled the man into the air, inflicting third degree burns on his exposed underside.

His wife called for an ambulance. Because of the burns, the attendants had to carry him spread-eagle, face-down on the stretcher. As he was being carried inside the hospital, one of the attendants tripped, and the stretcher crashed to the ground.

The fall left the owner of the new 750 Honda with a broken leg. Palm Beach Post Times

Tunnel Connects Monastery & Nunnery

Harry Price, The Most Haunted House in England. London & New York: Longmans, Green and Co., 1940, p. 26.

The remains of a portion of an underground tunnel can be seen in the farmyard of Borley Rectory. Apparently it had caved in at some period in the remote past. It is impossible to trace it very far, and no one appears to know for what distance it is blocked. Future investigators might well make it their business to explore this tunnel. But portions of the tunnel -- or a tunnel -- have been discovered in various places in a direct line between Borley and Bures, a township seven miles from Borley, on the River Stour, and partly in Essex and partly in Suffolk. Bures is six miles south-east of Sudbury and the remains of a nunnery or similar religious foundation have been found there. The story is that a secret passage or subterranean tunnel led from Borley Monastery or castle to the nunnery at Bures. Whether this tunnel -- of small, ancient bricks -- was used as a means of escape from some possible danger, or for some military purpose; or whether it was constructed as a purely domestic arrangement between the monastery and nunnery, is a matter of conjecture.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Dog Droppings Stolen

The Modesto Bee [CA]
15 November 1974, p. A7.

Mugger Gets A Surprise Package

LOS ANGELES -- A mugger attacked Mrs. Hollis Sharpe. It was, she said, a terrifying and painful experience -- he broke her left arm.

But, despite terror and pain, Mrs. Sharpe was able to recognize a kind of ironic, theatre-of-the-absurd justice in what happened.

As has been her habit for years, Mrs. Sharpe was walking her 7-year-old miniature poodle, Jonathan.

Mrs. Sharpe is a woman of sensibility and consideration. She always carries a plastic bag and a newspaper with her on her nightly walks.

When Jonathan does what dogs do, Mrs. Sharpe carefully scoops it up with the newspaper and drops it in the bag for sanitary disposal later.

"You have to think of your neighbors," she said.

Plastic Bag

Jonathan had done what dogs do Wednesday night, and Mrs. Sharpe had done what women of sensibility and consideration do, and she was carrying the plastic bag in her right hand when the mugger jumped out of a car and grabbed her.

She screamed, winced in pain and fell.

The mugger, a tall young man in a gray topcoat, snatched the plastic bag from Mrs. Sharpe and ran to his car -- only later to discover the nature of the loot.

"I only wish," said Mrs. Sharpe, "there had been a little bit more in the bag."

Italy's "Black Cat Day" Aims to Halt Killings

17 November 2007

Italy's "black cat day" aims to halt killings

ROME (Reuters) - Saturday is "black cat day", in Italy, an initiative by an
animal rights group to try to stop the killing of thousands of the cats by
superstitious citizens convinced they bring bad luck. [...]

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Human Ashes Spread at Disneyland

Mice Age [blog by Al Lutz]
13 November 2007

A Pirate's (After) Life For Me

Speaking of vandalism, there's been a growing list of incidents perpetrated on attractions at Disneyland that are not only illegal but that are increasingly, well... let's just say disturbing. The big problem isn't graffiti or hot-to-trot teens in a back row, it's park visitors smuggling in the cremated remains of their loved ones and then spreading the ashes inside a favorite attraction. [...],0,5347524.story?coll=la-home-center

Los Angeles Times
14 November 2007

From ashes to ashes, at Disneyland

Surreptitious scattering of people's remains at parks, golf courses and other unusual posts may be growing.

By Kimi Yoshino, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

ABC News
16 November 2007

Disney Disputes Pirate Ride Ash Scattering

Police, Disney Staff Found No Evidence of Human Remains on Popular Pirates Attraction


Friday, November 16, 2007

Empty Beer Barrels Spur Plymouth Rock Landing

Philadelphia Daily News
16 November 2007

Joe Sixpack
by Don Russell

The Mayflower beer tale takes a hit

IT IS ONE of the grand chapters of America's storied beer history: Having survived more than two brutal months at sea in their voyage to the New World, the Pilgrims finally set anchor at Plymouth Rock, forced to find dry land because their barrels were empty. [...] Unfortunately, according to Chicago author Bob Skilnik, it's a myth. [...]


Beer & The Pilgrims

By Bob Skilnik

Tunnel Rumors, Wesleyan University

The Wesleyan Argus [Wesleyan University, CT]
16 November 2007

Underground tunnels remain mysterious, enticing

By Anna Mageras
Contributing Writer

[The tunnels under Wesleyan University have inspired many rumors, such as the belief that years ago two undergraduates lived there to avoid paying housing fees; that a shooting range once existed there; and that the tunnels were used to transport opium in the nineteenth century.]

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Turkish Clothing Firm's Profits Aid PKK

Asia Times [Hong Kong]
15 November 2007


Internet myth mauls Turkish clothing firm

By Fazile Zahir

[It is rumored that "the well known Turkish clothing firm LC Waikiki...has been sold to Leyla Zana, the first Kurdish woman to take a seat in the Turkish Parliament." The company's profits now go to the Kurdistan Workers' Party, and "anytime someone buys an LCW garment they are paying for a bullet that is being shot back into the heart of the Turkish nation."]

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

China Recycling Used Condoms as Cheap Hair Bands

China Daily
13 November 2007

Outrage over use of recycled condoms

By Zheng Caixiong (China Daily)

Used condoms that have been reprocessed into rubber bands and hair ties have been sold in Dongguan, Guangdong Province, raising concerns about public health. [...]

China recycling used condoms as cheap hair bands

12 November 2007

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Wallet Thief

New York Times
1 June 1972, p. 45.

Well, Anything Can Happen (And in This Town It Does)

By Michael T. Kaufman

This is a collection of stories currently being told around town. Unlike many events described in stories New Yorkers hear and tell, these actually happened. In each case they were traced to either a participant or first-hand observer. Names have been omitted in some cases because they were not known, in other to protect the innocent, the guilty and the embarrassed. What do these stories prove? Nothing.

On a recent Wednesday morning, a tall, burly insurance salesman was minding his own business, standing by a pole near the center doors of an IRT Broadway local, on his way to work near Wall Street.

As the train stopped at 79th Street, a well-dressed, smaller man entered the car, bumped into the tall man, turned and retreated from the car. The insurance man instinctively reached to his inside breast pocket, realized his wallet was missing and, as the doors were closing, reached out and grabbed the smaller man by his jacket collar.

The doors closed, with their rubber edges around the big man's wrist. The train started, and the man still held tightly to the jacket of the man on the platform.

Suddenly the jacket tore and the man in the car was left holding a few inches of dark blue material. The rest of the way to the office he thought dark thoughts and considered moving from a city where one cannot ride subways without having one's pocket picked.

His mood lasted until he got to his office where, a few minutes after he arrived, his phone rang. It was his wife. She called to tell him he had left his wallet at home. [...]

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Suitcase Nukes Said Unlikely to Exist

Associated Press
10 November 2007

Suitcase Nukes Said Unlikely to Exist


WASHINGTON (AP) - Members of Congress have warned about the dangers of suitcase nuclear weapons. Hollywood has made television shows and movies about them. Even the Federal Emergency Management Agency has alerted Americans to a threat - information the White House includes on its Web site.

But government experts and intelligence officials say such a threat gets vastly more attention than it deserves. These officials said a true suitcase nuke would be highly complex to produce, require significant upkeep and cost a small fortune. [...]

Friday, November 9, 2007

Al Qaeda Will Attack Shopping Malls During Christmas Season,1,1284690.story?coll=la-headlines-pe-california&ctrack=1&cset=true

Los Angeles Times
9 November 2007

L.A. terrorist threat discounted

The FBI and police say a warning that Al Qaeda may attack shopping malls is based on an unsubstantiated report.

By Greg Krikorian, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

The FBI and Los Angeles police Thursday downplayed the significance of an unsubstantiated counterterrorism warning that Al Qaeda may target shopping malls in Los Angeles and Chicago this holiday season. [...]

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Tobacco Companies Trademark Marijuana Names

National Lampoon, May 1970, p. 37.

The Gall Street Journal

[Douglas Kenney's parody of The Wall Street Journal contains this short item.]

What's News

Business and Finance

The cigarette industry denied that its trademark applications for the names "Acapulco Gold," "Panama Red," and "Vietnamese Green," all commonly used terminology for marijuana, in no way indicated an interest in the legalization of the drug. "By claiming the rights to these names," explained a PR representative, "we are simply prohibiting their use by irresponsible parties who may wish to crassly exploit the youth market with this untested and possibly harmful substance." [accessed 8 November 2007]

Acapulco gold

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

[...] The popular culture interest in this strain was reinforced by the frequently played and quoted advertising parody performed by comedians Cheech and Chong with the refrain "No stems no seeds that you don't need, Acapulco Gold is (inhale) badass weed." Rumors abounded in the 1970s, perhaps predating this skit, that a major tobacco maker had trademarked the term "Acapulco Gold" and was prepared to sell cannabis under that brand name after the coming legalization. [...]

[The track, "Acapulco Gold Filters," appears on Cheech and Chong's self-titled debut album from 1972.]

Chris Barnett, "Who'd Profit From Legal Marijuana?", Playboy, March 1980, pp. 202, 204.

Pop quiz: What would happen if marijuana were legalized? The usual answer: Tobacco companies would reap a multibillion-dollar harvest. They already have the expertise, the rolling machines, the trademarks, the distribution system -- and they're secretly buying up land, just waiting for the big day.

If that's what you think, you flunk. Although the black-market marijuana industry is probably half as big as the tobacco industry (bigger than that, if you believe the DEA figures), there isn't a shred of evidence that tobacco companies are ready to pounce on pot.

And no hints are to be gleaned from talking with the tobacco companies themselves -- they absolutely refuse to discuss the subject. [...]

Not surprisingly, such silence only fires up the often-repeated rumors that every tobacco company has a secret research-and-development marijuana lab buried somewhere deep in its corporate bowels or in some abandoned missile silo in New Mexico. [...]

[Industry experts] laugh at the one marijuana myth most often bandied about; namely, that tobacco companies have quietly trademarked the choicest brand names -- words like Maui Wowee and Colombian Gold -- that would have a familiar ring to heads and straights alike. It's a legal impossibility, they point out. Under Federal law, you cannot register a trademark for an illegal product. Nor can you reserve a trademark long before the product hits the market place. (Actually, Acapulco Gold has been registered as a legal trademark -- but not by a tobacco company. Charmer Industries of Long Island City, New York, owns the mark for an Acapulco Gold tequila it distributes primarily in the Northeast.)

University of Kentucky Drops Holocaust Studies

University of Kentucky News
8 November 2007

University Debunks Holocaust E-mail Rumor

Allison Elliott

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 8, 2007) - The University of Kentucky has announced that a rumor, claiming the school has removed Holocaust material from its curriculum, is not true. The false claim has been circulated via e-mail. [...]

Forward [NY]
5 Dec 2007

University Dispels Rumor Spread Online

By Rebecca Spence

Officials at the University of Kentucky are trying to dispel a myth circulating on the Internet that it has canceled its Holocaust-related classes due to pressure from Muslim students. [...]

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Re: Jenkem

[An intrepid (and sadly defunct) newspaper often reported on the dangers of dung sniffing, but its warnings went unheeded by the mainstream press.]

Weekly World News
22 July 1997 [Reprinted 28 March 2000]


By Mike Foster

KANSAS CITY -- The widespread fad of cow manure sniffing has claimed its first lives: A pair of teenagers who had become addicted to the bizarre practice.

Authorities say the unidentified teens, a 17-year-old male and his 15-year-old girlfriend, suffocated when they attempted to enhance the intoxicating effects of methane gas released by the decaying feces by inhaling it in a small, airtight meat locker.

And the recent tragedy may be only the first of many, police, school officials and parents fear.

"Manure sniffing has reached epidemic proportions nationwide and thousands of addicted youngsters are showing signs of serious brain damage -- it was only a matter of time before something like this happened," declared Tammi Factos, presidents of Mother Against Manure, a group dedicated to eradicating the nasty habit.

"We can expect to see more death and heartbreak down the road."

Manure sniffing, or "snorting secondhand grass," as aficionados call it, has been steadily growing in popularity in the Midwest and South over the past four years.

Young people have found they can get a cheap high by plopping a bowl over a fresh, steaming pile of cow manure, sticking straws through the bottom of the bowl and inhaling the methane gas through the straws.

The nutty craze has now become so common that experts fear it could end up turning much of Generation X into a bunch of drooling, fried-brained bull crap junkies. [...]

Weekly World News
10 Oct. 2000


By Richard Bennet

BERLIN -- Thrill-seeking European teenagers have found a revolting new way to get high -- they smoke dried poop like it's going out of style!

Nobody knows just how, when or where the sick but legal fad got started.

But concerned authorities estimate as many as 200,000 kids light up each and every day in England, Germany, France and the Netherlands alone. [...]

Dried cow dung is the poop of choice among aficionados. But bird, frog and even dog droppings are gaining popularity, authorities and users report. [...]

Weekly World News
3 September 2002


By Justin Mitchell

TUCSON, Ariz. -- America's teens are turning away from pot, cocaine and other "old" drugs in favor of a cheap new legal high: Lizard dung! [...]

Weekly World News
11 March 2003


By Mike Foster

ABILENE, Texas -- So many U.S. teens are now getting high from sniffing manure that horrified educators, family values advocates and law enforcement officials are calling for a ban on the stomach-turning practice. [...]

It was in the early 1990s that recreational manure-sniffing first surfaced in the U.S., believed to have been brought over by Malaysian immigrants.

Enthusiasts say that breathing in fumes from fresh cow dung induces a natural high more potent than heroin or cocaine -- not to mention cheaper.

Since then, the craze has grown steadily, especially in the Southwest. Educators say they've seen the "corrosive effects" of the trend, claiming the manure-sniffing fad has led to increased truancy and vandalism.

"You'll see a bunch of kids cut class and head out back to the pastures," says a high-school teacher in Abilene.

"They come back with a glassy look in their eyes and a stupid smile on their faces. You look at their shoes and you know exactly what they've been up to." [...]

Weekly World News
17 June 2003


By Brenda Merlin

AMSTERDAM -- Thrill-seeking European teenagers have found a revolting new way to get high: They smoke dried poop like it's going out of style.

Nobody knows just how, when or where the sick-but-legal fad got started. But worried authorities estimate as many as 200,000 kids between the ages of 11 and 19 light up each and every day in England, Germany, France and the Netherlands alone. [...]

Early studies suggest cow dung and other forms of feces contain a host of dangerous psychoactive substances that are formed during the digestive process.

One of those is a precursor to Ecstasy, an amphetamine-like drug that can damage the brain and central nervous system with just one "trip." Another is strikingly similar to the wildly hallucinogenic, LSD-like compound found in morning glory seeds. [...]

A 14-year-old girl in Frankfurt, Germany, actually jumped to her death from the balcony of an 11th floor apartment after telling friends she was going to "fly to the Bahamas" to ask reggae great Bob Marley to play a few tunes at her 15th birthday party.

"This young lady was an honor student, but in a dung-induced stupor, she forgot three things," says Dr. DuPont.

"One, Bob Marley was from Jamaica, not the Bahamas. Two, he's been dead for decades. And three, she couldn't fly.

"Dung not dangerous? Think about this young woman's story and you tell me."


6 Nov 2007

'Drug' Made From Human Waste Causing Stink on Web, in Law Enforcement

An implausible story about a natural high derived from human waste is causing a stink on the Internet and has forced a local sheriff's department to issue a warning about the "drug."

The Collier County Sheriff's Office in Tampa, Fla., recently released a bulletin warning of a new drug threat in America - jenkem - made by fermenting human feces and urine and huffing the gas produced. [...]

Internet pundits were quick to jump on the intelligence briefing, noting that the photos and descriptions of the high jenkem produced came from "Pickwick," a contributor to the Web site, who later admitted his "use" of jenkem was faked using flour, water, beer and Nutella. [...]

5 Nov 2007

Are local kids using human waste to get high?

The Smoking Gun
5 Nov 2007

New Drug Alert!
Florida sheriff's bulletin warns of purported new human waste high

[Displays copy of Collier County Sheriff's Office Information Bulletin, "New Drug -- JENKEM."]

Gang Initiation Rumor, Florida

St. Petersburg Times [FL]
7 November 2007

Scary story isn't true, police say

By ABHI RAGHUNATHAN, Times Staff Writer

[...] The story, according to the e-mail: A woman who was jogging on Brightwaters Boulevard in Snell Isle was driven off the road by a black car. Then, a crazed man jumped out and chased her until another driver stopped to help. The would-be attacker got in his black car and escaped.

When the woman filed a report, a police officer supposedly told her that there had been similar incidents and that it may be a gang initiation ritual in which men rape women and take a garment of clothing as proof. [...]

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Topless Fish Store Workers

Daily Telegraph [UK]
6 November 2007

Don't die in parliament, says stupidest law

By Gary Cleland

[A Liverpudlian by-law that allows women to go topless in public only if they work in a tropical fish store was voted the third-most absurd British law in a survey held by UKTV Gold, a British television channel. A spokesman for the Liverpool City Council, however, said, "It's something that has been heard of before and does crop up from time to time, but it is absurd. It is a myth and totally made up. It has no basis in fact."]

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Hold the Onions

Dion Fortune, Psychic Self-Defense. York Beach, Maine: Samuel Weiser, 1993 [orig. ed., London, 1930], pp. 182-3.

Among country people, an onion is sometimes placed in a vase on the mantelpiece as if it were a hyacinth bulb when unpleasant visitors are expected, and solemnly burnt in the kitchen fire as soon as they have departed, it being believed that the onion tribe have the property of absorbing noxious emanations. It is curious to note in this respect that in one coal mine to my knowledge the miners are forbidden to take onions down into the workings as part of their dinners because the onions absorb the underground gases and become poisonous. My informant told me that he and others had smuggled onions down and learnt from bitter experience the wisdom of this rule.

[It is (or was) a widespread Anglo-American belief that onions can absorb harmful germs or effluvia. -- bc]

Politician's Address to Prisoners

4 November 2007

Silly Derrick, sensible Mike, sorry Bruce

Dawn Ritch, Columnist

[...] Derrick Smith really is a silly bird, too timid to get into trouble. No amount of make-up or ministerial office can mask that fact. He ought not to be a politician, much less Minister of National Security. But as a friend of mine, who has no regard for politicians has said to me, "What else is he suited for?"

In what may be an apocryphal story going the rounds, the new Minister of National Security addressed the inmates at the prisons when he first took office. He is said to have told the assembled population, "Nice to see so many of you here." [...]

The New Yorker, 24 Feb. 1945, p. 68.


[A 1941 anecdote: New York Governor Al Smith supposedly addressed prisoners at Sing Sing as "Fellow citizens," tried to correct himself by calling them "Fellow convicts," then said, "I'm glad to see so many of you here." In 1944 Lester Hunt, Governor of Wyoming, claimed he had once made the same verbal gaffes while making an official visit to a penitentiary.]

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Halloween Candy (Update #2),0,7536522.story?coll=kwgn-home-2

KWGN-TV [Greenwood Village, CO]
3 November 2007

Needle found in Halloween candy

Boy's treat turns out to have a nasty trick inside

by Laura Main, News2

LITTLETON (KWGN) — A Halloween treat turned tricky for 11-year-old Tommy de la Cruz of Littleton when, he said, he found a needle hidden inside a fun size Milky Way bar he got while trick or treating. [...]

The Times [Munster, IN]
2 Nov 2007

Mom reports tainted Halloween candy


[An unidentified Valparaiso-area woman notified the police that "her daughter found a small blue pill with C-5 imprinted on it -- a pill later determined to be the antihistamine Clarinex -- inside a box of Graveyard Goodies candy."] [London, ON, Canada]
3 November 2007

Possible acetaminophen pill found among child's Halloween candy

London police are reminding parents to check their children's Halloween candy after a small, white pill was discovered in one child's bag of chips. [...]

Friday, November 2, 2007

Nostradamus Predicted Halloween Campus Massacre

Crimson White [University of Alabama]
2 November 2007

'Prophecies' unfulfilled

Night passes without havoc at Tutwiler

Martha Gravlee
Staff Reporter

On Wednesday night, female students strolled out of Julia Tutwiler Hall in groups of five and six. Some carried only purses, and some had a change of clothes draped over their arms. A few even carried overnight bags.

Tutwiler is the subject of an infamous prophecy, supposedly made by Nostradamus, which predicts a mass murder at a women's residence hall on Halloween. [...]

Al Qaeda to Launch Cyber-Attack on Nov. 11,2933,307601,00.html

FOX News
2 November 2007

Report: Al Qaeda to Launch Cyber-Attack on Nov. 11

By Lisa Vaas

Al Qaeda plans to launch an electronic Jihad on Nov. 11, attacking "Western, Jewish, Israeli, Muslim apostate and Shiite Web sites," according to an unconfirmed report. [...]

DEBKAfile Exclusive: Al Qaeda declares Cyber Jihad on the West

October 30, 2007, 9:23 AM (GMT+02:00)

Fish Preserved with Formalin

Daily News [Dar es Salaam, Tanzania]
2 November 2007

Formalin laced fish a hoax, says minister


THE government has refuted reports that some traders used formalin, a hospital body preservation chemical, to prolong the shelf life of fish catches. [...]

Halloween Candy (Update)

Hamilton Spectator [ON, Canada]
1 November 2007

Anti-smoking pills, nail in apple found in kids' Halloween candy in Hamilton


HAMILTON - Police in Hamilton are warning parents to sift through their children's Halloween candy after one child received Zyban pills as a treat and another was given an apple embedded with a nail. [...]

WSYR-TV [East Syracuse, NY]
1 Nov 2007

Prescription Pills Found in Halloween Bag

New Hartford, Oneida County (WSYR-TV) - Police in Oneida County say prescription pills were found in a child's Halloween bag during a routine candy check. New Hartford Police say the pills were the allergy medication Zyrtec. [...]

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Halloween Candy,0,1326877.story?coll=orl_news_util

Orlando Sentinel [FL]
1 November 2007

Teen finds razor blade in Halloween candy bar

Katie Fretland and Walter Pacheco
Sentinel Staff Writers

A boy Wednesday found a small razor blade inside a candy bar he picked up in Minneola on Halloween night. [...]

KOLD-TV [Tucson, AZ]
1 November 2007

Needle Scare In Walgreens Candy Aisle

By Suleika Acosta, KOLD News 13

Candy sales were halted at the Walgreens store at Grant and Swan for a few hours on Halloween after a package of one-and-a half inch sewing needles was found on top of a package in the candy aisle. One needle was missing from the package. [...]

WANE-TV [Fort Wayne, IN]
1 November 2007

Police Investigate Tampered Candy Case

(Warsaw - WANE) A Warsaw family had a Halloween scare last night when they found out a piece of their child's candy had a piece of metal inside.

Andrew Hicks just returned home from trick-or-treating with his kids when he noticed that the wrapper of a "Reese's" peanut butter cup was partially open.

Inside the package, an industrial staple was embedded in the side of the chocolate. [...]

Marilyn Monroe's Corpse Enjoyed by Undertakers

Date: Thu, 01 Nov 2007 17:03:59 +0000
From: popbitch
Subject: "Crouching tiger, leaping lemur"


01.11.07 ISSUE 373

>> Some like it cold <<
Marilyn will be turning in her grave

We heard an amazing story from an aging playboy this week. Some years ago, this upper-crust chap was chatting up a buff black man in a bar and the conversation turned to their occupations. The American said he was an undertaker. And that it was to his funeral home that Marilyn Monroe was brought on her death. And he went on to confess that all the local undertakers then took turns to have sex with her corpse.

[Popbitch is a weekly UK email newsletter of celebrity gossip, much of it salacious and much of it untrue. Its web page is]