Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Playboy, July 1968, p. 19


A usually reliable informant from down under writes that not long ago, a fellow Aussie returned to his parked car and found the fender badly crumpled. Thoroughly piqued, he looked about and spotted a note on the window, requesting that he call the number listed for appropriate compensation. Rushing to a phone, he called and listened as a recorded voice answered: "Welcome to your Dial-A-Prayer service."

Avalanche-Journal [Lubbock, Texas], 22 August 1971, p. E3


AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (WNS) -- Elsa Krekels, 34, returned to her parked car to find two fenders badly dented and two notes with telephone numbers under her windshield wiper. She called the first number and got a "Dial A Prayer" sermon. Then she called the second number and got a body repairman who offered to repair the fenders for a proper fee

Reading Eagle [PA], 9 April 1974, p. 5.

Wives criticize husbands more than the reverse

L.M. Boyd [syndicated columnist]

[...] A southern California lady reports she returned to the parking lot to find a front fender on her car all bashed in. A note with a telephone number under the windshield wiper. She called. It was "Dial a Prayer." [...]

Jet, 27 Nov. 1975, p. 28


When the man returned to his car in a governmental parking lot in Santa Cruz, Calif., and found his front bender mangled, he did a slow burn. But he was relieved to see a piece of paper under his windshield wiper. It was a note of apology for the accident and a phone number to call. Gingerly, the man called the number. Alas, it was Dial-A-Prayer.

The 27 Club (BMJ article)

British Medical Journal
BMJ 2011; 343 doi: 10.1136/bmj.d7799 (Published 20 December 2011)

Christmas 2011: Death’s Dominion
Is 27 really a dangerous age for famous musicians? Retrospective cohort study

Martin Wolkewitz, Arthur Allignol, Nicholas Graves, Adrian G Barnett


Objective To test the “27 club” hypothesis that famous musicians are at an increased risk of death at age 27.


Conclusions The 27 club is unlikely to be a real phenomenon. Fame may increase the risk of death among musicians, but this risk is not limited to age 27.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Anna Hazare, Supporters Threatened with Needle Attacks

Times of India
19 December 2011

Anna Hazare threatened with HIV+ needles in anonymous letter, FIR lodged

NEW DELHI: Last week the police received a letter that threatened to inject Anna Hazare and his supporters with needles contaminated with the HIV virus. The letter said if Anna remained adamant on his Lokpal agitation, they will be attacked with the deadly virus.

The police, now beginning to take the threat seriously, have registered an FIR and begun looking for those who sent the letter. The letter states that "a needle team, which has prepared 500 HIV positive needles, would inject the virus in at least 1,000 people at the demonstration". [...]

Deccan Herald [India]
20 December 2011

HIV needle threat a prank, Team Anna

New Delhi, Dec 19, (IANS): A key Team Anna member Monday dismissed as a ''myth'' and ''rumour'' reports of a threat by an unknown ''needle group'' to prick Anna Hazare and his supporters with needles contaminated with the HIV virus. [...]

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Somali Gangs Attacking Women (Bismarck, ND)

KFYR-TV [Bismarck, ND]
9 December 2011

Bismarck Police Department Dispels Gang Rumors

Retha Colclasure

A lot of women in Bismarck may have been thinking twice about walking across a parking lot alone after a rumor that circulated throughout the city during the past week. The rumor talked about gangs of Somali men following women in parking lots to attack them. [...]

Bismarck Tribune [ND]
9 December 2011

Bismarck police say widely-circulated email is incorrect


The Bismarck Police Department wants to assure people that no organized gangs have been preying on women in parking lots in the city. [...]

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Tweeting During the London Riots (2011)

The Guardian [UK]
7 December 2011

How Twitter was used to spread – and knock down – rumours during the riots
From a tiger roaming Primrose Hill to the London Eye burning, startling reports spread fast on Twitter with the ease of a click

Jonathan Richards and Paul Lewis

Rumour is a pipe blown by surmises, jealousies, conjectures, wrote Shakespeare. In the age of Twitter we can now add: and by the ease of clicking "retweet".

Whether it was the tantalising possibility of a tiger padding about in Primrose Hill or army tanks gathering in the City of London, some Britons proved themselves remarkably willing to share all manner of startling reports on Twitter during the August riots, whatever their accuracy. But what is perhaps more interesting is how Twitter was also used to disprove many rumours. [...]

Monday, December 5, 2011

Pepsi Products Infected with HIV

The Star [Malaysia]
5 December 2011

Rumours of HIV-infected drinks untrue, says Pepsi

PETALING JAYA: An SMS has been circulating that Pepsi products are contaminated with HIV but Permanis Sandilands Sdn Bhd has clarified that this is a hoax.

[...] The SMS reads: “for d next few days, do not drink any product from pepsi company like pepsi, tropicana juice, slice, 7up , coca cola, etc,,as a worker from the company has added his blood contaminated with HIV. watch NDtv ...please 4ward this 2 every 1 u care about.....ok. Please note seriously.” [...]

Friday, December 2, 2011

Sleeping Gas Gang (Sardinia)

The Guardian [UK]
30 August 2011

'Sleeping gas' thieves target super-rich at Italian billionaires' resort

John Hooper in Rome

Police in the billionaires' retreat of Porto Cervo on Sardinia's Costa Smeralda believe thieves who made off with €315,000 (£280,000) in cash and jewels used sleeping gas on their victims to ensure they were not disturbed during the break-in.

Similar robberies have been reported this summer in France and Spain. [...]

The Daily Telegraph [UK]
4 September 2011

Roberto Mancini targeted by Sardinian sleeping gas gang

By Nick Pisa in Rome

Roberto Mancini, the Manchester City boss, is the latest celebrity to be targeted by a gang suspected of using sleeping gas on their victims in a luxury Italian resort.

The gang -- who have hit several villas belonging to high profile wealthy Italians throughout the summer -- use gas on their victims to ensure they are not disturbed. [...]

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Prostitute Is Client's Daughter (Zimbabwe)

Zimbabwe News Online
27 November 2011

Bulawayo man gets shocked as his newly hired prostitute happens to be his daughter

A man in Bulawayo's Nkulumane 5 suburb got the shock of his life after a commercial sex worker he allegedly called to his hotel room turned out to be his daughter. Mr Titus Ncube is said to have collapsed while the 20-year-old daughter bolted after seeing her father. [...]

Clare without an eye

Sydney Morning Herald [Australia]
30 November 2011

Column 8

[...] ''Hospitalised as a child to have my tonsils removed,'' recalls Clare Taylor, of Cammeray, ''the local radio station came round to ask for a song request. I corrected the DJ's spelling of my name when I saw he had written it wrongly (as Claire), only to be utterly mortified when my song was announced for 'Clare without an eye'. I have never corrected anyone since!'' [...]

Special Pens Change Marks on Ballots (DRC)

RFI [France]
1 December 2011

Satan, exorcism and magic T-shirts - our favourite rumours from DRC presidential poll

By Daniel Finnan

The Democratic Republic of Congo’s capital Kinshasa is a rumour mill. No more so that during the country’s 2011 presidential elections. The Congolese are sometimes superstitious, at times moralistic and always feverish in their chatter about the latest rumour. This has only been amplified by the country’s polls. Here’s a collection of RFI’s favourite election rumours.

* The magic pen: Bring your own pen to mark the election ballot paper. The pens handed out by the electoral commission use invisible ink. Once you mark your vote and post it in the ballot box the ink will disappear in 10 minutes, making your choice useless. [...]

AIDS Infectors (Beijing) [China]
1 December 2011

HIV-infection Rumor Lead to Detention in Beijing


A man has been put under criminal detention for spreading an HIV-infection scare, police in Beijing said on Thursday.

The Beijing municipal public security bureau said in a statement that it was informed Tuesday that a Sina Weibo blogger used the service to spread an HIV-infection rumor.

The microblog said "several people have entered Beijing with needle tubes filled with the HIV virus," and "there are people who have been pricked by needles of AIDS infectors."

Beijing police authorities later confirmed the information was false and detained writer of the microblog, a man surnamed Li, on Wednesday afternoon.