Sunday, May 30, 2010

Cow Tippers

Trib Local [Chicago, IL]
18 May 2010

Four men arrested in attempted cow tipping incident

By Jeff Danna/ staff reporter

Police apprehended four young men after they allegedly attempted to tip cows at Wagner Farm.

Glenview residents Spencer Olson, 21; John Kofod, 21; Timothy Plewa, 20; and Brian Snider, 21, were cited for trespassing after residents reported suspicious people running through back yards in the 1400 block of Kaywood Lane around 4:30 a.m. on Monday, Glenview Police said. They were found to have entered Wagner Farm in an attempt to tip several cows, police said, and Snider also was cited for interfering with police. [...]

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Little Girl Parties

RCMP in B.C.


Parent Advisory - New Teen Parties on the Rise
File # 2010- Parent Advisory Thu May 27 10:01:00 PDT 2010

Chilliwack, BC- Like parents these days don’t have enough to worry about with their teenage kids, there appears to be something new on the rise. They are called “LG” parties and the acronym stands for “Little Girl.” High school teenagers will host a party and invite younger, middle school girls between the ages of 12 and 13 to attend. They will lure these girls with alcohol in an attempt to get them intoxicated enough to engage in sexual acts with them. [...]

The Vancouver Sun [BC]
21 May 2010

Police investigate competition to seduce Grade 8 girls at Cloverdale school

By Ted Colley, Surrey Now

METRO VANCOUVER — Police and school officials are investigating after learning a small number of older male students at a Surrey high school were engaged in a competition to see who could seduce the greatest number of Grade 8 girls. [...]

The Vancouver Sun [BC]
28 May 2010

B.C. officials admit warnings over ‘little girl’ parties based on hearsay

By Douglas Quan, Canwest News Service

Police and school officials in two B.C. communities are defending their decisions to alert parents about alleged incidents of high school boys seducing girls who are several years younger — even as officials acknowledged the advisories were based largely on hearsay. [...]

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Organ Theft Rumors (Kosovo War)

BBC News [UK]
27 May 2010

End of the road for Kosovo organ claims?

By Nick Thorpe
BBC News, Pristina, Belgrade and Tirana

For years rumours have circulated about Serbs abducted and killed for their organs in the months following the Kosovo war.

Three parallel international investigations, by war crimes investigators from Serbia, the European Union, and the Council of Europe, have failed to uncover any evidence that the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) trafficked the organs of captives, according to sources close to each investigation. [...]

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Link Between "Shrek" Movie & Notre Dame University

WSJV-TV [South Bend, IN]
25 May 2010

Link between Shrek, Notre Dame turns out to be myth

By Ed Greenberger

It doesn't take long to figure out why Notre Dame students call chemistry professor Graham Lappin "Shrek." The Scottish-born Lappin sounds exactly like the character. In fact, for years the rumor on campus has been Lappin was the inspiration for Shrek. [...]

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Mobile Phone Number 0888 888 888 Fatal to Owners

Daily Telegraph [UK]
25 May 2010

Mobile phone number suspended after three users die in 10 years

A mobile phone company has suspended the number 0888 888 888 – after every single person assigned to it died in the last 10 years. [...]

Daily Mail [UK]
25 May 2010

Mobile phone number 0888 888 888 suspended after every user assigned to it DIES

Marines Refused Service at Eatery (Stockton, CA)

KCRA-TV [Sacramento, CA]
12 May 2010

Marines Refused Service At Eatery? Claims Fly Online
Phone Calls Hammer Weberstown Mall Sub Shop

STOCKTON, Calif. -- Web postings claim a Stockton sandwich shop refused to serve Marines at lunch on Monday, and the talk has led to a boycott of the eatery.

Calls for the boycott were posted on Facebook pages for the Department of Defense and other sites across the Web.

Posters claim that that Marine recruiters in Stockton were refused service at this Charley's Grilled Subs in Weberstown Mall. [...]

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Ticketer Ticketed

The Weekly Times [Australia]
20 May 2010

Back Paddock [Column]

Cop that, officer

[...] A zealous motorbike copper pulls over a speeding motorist.

When the driver tries to argue he was only slightly over the limit, the copper barks, "I'm in charge here", and proceeds to write out a ticket.

As the copper walks back to his bike, the driver gets out of his car and says to the cop, "Well now I'm in charge, officer. I'm from occupational health and safety. You are not wearing your regulation fluoro safety vest and so now I'm giving you a ticket."

Back Paddock has seen various versions of this story where it took place in either Queensland, NSW or Victoria and involved the work safety authority in the state. [...]

Monday, May 17, 2010

A Talking Organ

[Don Cochrane's (self-published?) memoir consists mostly of humorous incidents from his career as an embalmer and funeral director in Ontario. He left the profession in 1968. The following excerpt is in the tradition of legends of church organs or sound systems picking up radio transmissions. -- bc]

Don S. Cochrane, Die Laughing (British Columbia, Canada: Little Mountain Publishing, 2001), pp. 83-4.

Behind the Funeral home was an older house owned by an elderly Irish gentleman. His passion was ham, or amateur radio. A visit to his radio room was very impressive, because he talked to other radio operators all over the world. On the top of the house was a very substantial radio tower.

Our organist would turn the electric organ off between hymns as it made an audible humming sound. After one funeral, she had complained that the organ had made several strange sounds while she was playing. It was as if someone was talking inside but it was slight and garbled. We could think of nothing that would cause the organ to act in such a way.

One day, the Minister was in the middle of a funeral service. He had come to the part of the service that called for the second hymn. In preparation our organist turned on the organ. It began to hum and then in a very clear loud voice she heard the words, "Are you there? Are you there? Am I getting through to you?"

There was a piercing and blood-curdling scream. She leapt up from the organ, charged through the chapel, and flew by the minister and casket just as he was asking the people to rise and sing. With her gown flowing, her hair streaming, and still screaming, she rounded the corner and headed down the long hall to our office at the front of the funeral home.

She was in full sail. Her considerable bulk was moving at an amazing speed and her continued screams echoed off the walls. She was convinced the organ had been possessed and was inhabited by aliens or was at least transmitting a message from God. She went straight out the front door while the other Funeral Director and I ran to the Chapel to see what had happened.

The people in the Chapel were buzzing, the family was dumbfounded and the voice in the organ kept talking. It was picking up the radio transmissions from next door.

The funeral continued without organ music and it took almost a month of talking and assurances it would not happen again to get her back but she was never really comfortable again.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Child Abducted, Head Shaved (Macau)

Macau Daily Times
14 May 2010

Police deny child abduction rumour

The Judiciary Police (PJ) and the Public Security Police (PSP) both clarified yesterday that the suspected child abduction cases circulating via SMS were unsubstantial.

According to the PJ spokesperson Suen Kam Fai, the bureau investigated into the rumour that suggested someone had reported to the PJ on Wednesday night saying there were children who got abducted respectively in Rua do Campo and Avenida do Ouvidor Arriaga.

It also went on saying that when one of the children was found by his/her relatives, his/her clothes had already been changed and hair had all been shaved. [...]

Sunken Locomotive in Burnaby Lake

Burnaby News-Leader [BC, Canada]
13 May 2010

Sunken locomotive in Burnaby Lake just a myth, officials say

By Wanda Chow - Burnaby NewsLeader

The urban legend of a steam locomotive buried in Burnaby Lake is alive and well.

But the closest things to artifacts dredging crews have found so far are pop cans and plastic bags. [...]

Friday, May 7, 2010

Piranha Escape After Tennesse Flood

CMT News
5 May 2010

Piranha Reported Loose at Opry Mills Mall

A pair of piranha reportedly escaped from their aquarium during Nashville's recent flood. According to police reports quoted by television station WKRN, at least two flesh-eating piranha slipped out of the huge 150,000-gallon tank at Aquarium Restaurant in the Opry Mills mall and are swimming in the flooded hallways, where water remains waist-deep to neck-deep in spots. Piranha are freshwater fish, native to South America.
The Tennessean
5 May 2010
Nashville Aquarium Restaurant: No piranha loose; most fish OK

The Tennessean
6 May 2010

Opry Mills still closed; piranha escape reports false

By Bonna Johnson • THE TENNESSEAN

The Opry Mills shopping center, known for its Bass Pro Shops and Rainforest Café, remains closed because of flooding. Reports that dangerous piranha escaped from the Aquarium Restaurant at the mall are not true, restaurant officials said. [...]

A Rash of Rumors

5 May 2010

U.S. safety agency looking into P&G's new Pampers

(Reuters) - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has launched an investigation into Pampers diapers with Dry Max after some parents complained that the new Procter & Gamble Co diapers appear to be the cause of rashes and chemical burns on their children. [...]

6 May 2010

P&G dismisses Dry Max Pampers rash rumors

(Reuters) - Procter & Gamble Co called reports that its new Pampers with Dry Max cause rashes and other skin irritations "completely false" as it aimed to contain a public relations threat to its biggest diaper innovation in 25 years. [...]
Business Week
14 May 2010
Procter & Gamble in Bind Over Moms’ Web Attack on Pampers Brand
By Burt Helm
Associated Press
2 September 2010
Feds: No Link Between Dry Max Diapers and Rashes

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
September 2, 2010
Release #10-331

No Specific Cause Found Yet Linking Dry Max Diapers to Diaper Rash

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Health Canada (HC) have reviewed consumer incident reports and other information involving Pampers Dry Max diapers. To date, the review has not identified any specific cause linking Dry Max diapers to diaper rash. [...]

Puppy Adoption Plea (Singapore)

AsiaOne News [Singapore]
7 May 2010

Beware SMS hoax urging adoption of puppies


IF YOU have recently received an SMS urging you to adopt one of the puppies abandoned by a puppy mill in Pasir Ris, take note: It is a hoax.

The SMS, which lists 17 breeds of dogs up for adoption, said the dogs will be put to sleep if they are not adopted within the next two weeks. [...]

Reservoir Drugs

Andy Roberts, "Reservoir Drugs. Are the CIA spiking your water supply?" Fortean Times 262, May 2010.

[...] But of all the fortean fables associated with acid the ‘LSD in the water supply’ urban legend is by far the most potent and long-lived. And, unlike the rest of them, this one has at least some basis in reality. The legend comes in many forms, but the basic premise is that various individuals and groups, invariably framed by the media as political or psychedelic terrorists, have conspired to introduce LSD into the water supply, usually by dumping huge quantities in reservoirs. Society’s fear is that the dramatic effect of LSD on the masses will result in a disoriented and incapacitated population who are rich pickings for invasion, mind control or involuntary use in a demonstration of the drug’s power over ‘straight’ society by enemies of the state.

Over the past 50 years, the legend has manifested often, appearing in newspapers, magazines, books, films and TV shows. The idea sounds vaguely plausible – but is it? Has it ever happened, and, if not, just how did the story grow into an urban legend? [...]

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Red SMS Messages Are Deadly

Haveeru Daily [Maldives]
5 May 2010

Behind the ‘Red Number Hoax’

By Ali Naafiz

[...] The rumours swept like wildfire among Maldivians on Tuesday, with chain messages warning the receiver not to answer calls from 7888308001, 9316048121, 9876266211, 9888854137 and 9876715587, “which would be in red colour.” Or else “you may get brain haemorrhage due to high frequency,” the texts read. They also claimed “27 people died just receiving the call,” urging the receiver to “watch DD News [an Indian public broadcaster] to confirm” the reports. [...]

The Nation [Sri Lanka]
9 May 2010

SMS hoax causes panic
Physicist says phones emitting high frequency is an impossibility

By Ishtartha Wellaboda

[...] A hoax text message which circulated through mobile service networks on Friday and Saturday created panic among many mobile users. The message cited a series of numbers saying that if anyone were to answer calls from those numbers a high frequency would emit causing sudden death. [...]

[For earlier reports, see Deadly Phone Virus.]

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Job Interview Test

Richard Dorson, Buying the Wind (Chicago & London: University of Chicago, 1964), p. 148.

As a schoolboy in New York City in the 1920's I heard and believed the story of a job interview test: a book is left lying on the office floor; if the applicant leaves it there or asks if he should pick it up, he fails to get the job, but if he picks it up immediately he is hired.