Archive for the ‘Amazing and Interesting Stories’ Category

Source The “Alien” signals have been pinpointed. New research has identified a cradle of young stars 2.4-billion light years away as the source of mysterious fast radio bursts detected on Earth.

These bursts – which each lasted just a few milliseconds – come from dense neutron stars just 12-miles across in the constellation Auriga.

Experts are baffled about these strange bursts, with some speculating it could be a sign of alien life trying to contact us.

And so it begins. The people of Auriga just shooting signals to us like an extra-terrestrial boss, and we’re too damn dumb to interpret them. We need to get our best minds on this immediately, guys like Stephen Hawking, Carl Sagan (no idea if he’s still alive), or Bill Nye the Science Guy. Somebody’s gotta decipher those radio bursts, and I mean now. Hell, they could have been a warning, a heads-up telling us the Auriga Armada is on its way to Earth to destroy us all. And spare me with the “2.4-billion light years away is too far away” garbage. Who knows what kind of technology these space people possess? Now excuse me while I go make preparations for the end of mankind.

Thought: I wonder if anybody has tried Morse Code?

Florida: Officials on Monday released a 911 call from the alligator attack over the weekend that left a 10-year-old girl with an injury to her leg.

The girl was sitting down in 2-foot-deep water in a designated swimming area at Moss Park about 2:30 p.m. Saturday when the 9-foot gator attacked her, according to a report by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

The gator bit the girl’s calf and knee, but she was able to pry open its jaws to get her leg free, the report states.

Her injuries were not life threatening. The girl’s father told deputies that she was doing fine at the hospital.

Of course she’s doing fine. She’s badass, what would you expect? No big deal, it’s just a 9-foot gator. Hold on a sec while I unpry its massive jaws from my leg. Seriously, a lot of people would have just checked out and called it a day once the gator grabbed their leg. Not this chick. She took the offensive. Girl’s probably enjoying fried gator as we speak.

Honestly though, this gator has to be getting scorched by his buddies right now, huh?

“Hey Hank, tell us again how that 10-year old girl pried your jaws open and sent you swimming home to mommy. That’s weaksauce, man.”

Great look for little girls, bad look for gators, man.

Hollywood character actor Dick Elliott. Old people will recognize him.

So yeah, this is the ghost lamp everyone is going all kooky over. It’s in the already spooky town of Salem, Massachusetts. I’ve been to Salem, and although I saw no ghost lamps I’m pretty sure I was haunted by Hollywood character actor Dick Elliott, who grew up there. Anywho, if we didn’t have internet sensations like the Dancing Baby or Keyboard Cat, where would we be really?

PS: Don’t let your grandparents tell you this didn’t happen back in the day. Ask them about Hula Hoops and Coonskin Caps. Oh, and Panty Raids. Those were supposed to be fun.

Ghost Lamp!

Ghost Lamp Close-Up!

(Source)A psychic fatally stabbed himself in the heart while trying to prove his immortality. Clairvoyant Theprit Palee, 25, was performing a folk ritual to honour ancestral spirits when he tried to impress spectators by pressing a sword into his chest in a bid to appear superhuman. But tragedy struck when he accidentally plunged the blade into himself. Horrified onlookers watched on as crowds of rescuers attempted to revive him but he later died at hospital.

Man, tough look for Theprit Palee, huh? There’s nothing worse than killing yourself while trying to prove your immortality. That really blows. Kinda shows you how the ol’ ancestral spirits feel about Theprit, amirite? Yikes. And shouldn’t a psychic have seen this coming? Do your job, psychic.

Sometimes, it’s all in the marketing. And a shitty name always hurts as well. Here’s the story.

Kids, there once was a cookie brand called Hydrox, and it is the original “sandwich cookie.” Hydrox debuted in 1908 and a cookie you may have heard of, Oreos, began in 1912. Oreos have been the knock-off brand all along, man.

Be honest. Did you know that?

It’s a familiar story. A small, fledgling company comes up with a great new product, so great that a bigger, more powerful company copies the idea. The larger firm flexes its better distribution and promotional muscles, the smaller outfit watches helplessly as its business slips away, and suddenly it’s all over. Another case of the strong running roughshod over the weak. It’s the American Way really, when you think about it.

Hydrox cookies were originally the signature product of a small company called Sunshine Biscuits. The public loved them and they single-handedly ruled the sandwich cookie market for four years, until they looked around and saw a giant peeking through their window.

National Biscuit, the massive company that would later become Nabisco, took an interest in this strange new product and created their own ripoff version, using their vastly superior, already established distribution channels and massive advertising budgets to steamroll the good old USA with it. Sunshine was a cool little company and all, but they didn’t have a real good strategy to fight this other than saying, “Hey! We were first, man!” with ads like this:

Yeah, that’s pretty weaksauce. Sad really. Plus that kid is terrifying.

The problem is, after a few years Oreos had become so popular that Hydrox began being perceived as the imitation. It probably didn’t help that Hydrox sounds like something you’d buy to clean your toilet or to bleach your dirty linen, so there’s that as well. Branding, man. It’s important.

So anyhoo, Sunshine was eventually bought by other companies and their products discontinued, while that filthy imitation product known as “Oreo” went on to become a cultural icon, which I happen to adore.

I guess the lesson to be learned here is to always be looking over your shoulder, trust nobody, and never give a food you invented a name that sounds like a cleaning solvent.

You’re welcome.

Sweet Mother of God.

65-million years ago, an asteroid is believed to have crashed into Earth. The impact wiped out huge numbers of species, including almost all of the dinosaurs. One group of dinosaurs managed to survive the disaster.

Today, we know them as birds.

The idea that birds evolved from dinosaurs has been around since the 19th century, when scientists discovered the fossil of an early bird called Archaeopteryx. It had wings and feathers, but it also looked a lot like a dinosaur. More recent fossils look similar.

But these early birds didn’t look the same as modern ones. In particular, they didn’t have beaks: they had snouts, like those of their dinosaur ancestors.

To understand how one changed into another, a team has been tampering with the molecular processes that make up a beak in chickens.

By doing so, they have managed to create a chicken embryo with a dinosaur-like snout and palate, similar to that of small feathered dinosaurs like Velociraptor. 

There are no plans to hatch any more eggs.

Well, here we go. We all saw this coming, amirite? Damn scientists start sticking their noses where they don’t belong and we end up with that monster in the photo up there. Thing looks like it’s gonna leap out of the photo, pull a vein out of my neck and kill me, which is what those DinoChickens are all going to do once these scientists start hatching those eggs, which we all know they’re going to do. Sorry for the long sentence but I’m a little upset. Didn’t they watch Jurassic Park? Good God man, kill the eggs! Kill them with fire!

And here’s how we’re all going to die. Remember that Monster Chicken video I showed you a couple weeks ago? How long before somebody turns one of those beasts into a Monster DinoChicken? We’re doomed, I tell you. Doomed.

PS- Sparky just growled at my computer screen. He’s ready for the inevitable War with the Chickens.

PPS- Now that I think about it, he may have started it.

Dean Smith was a legendary basketball coach at the University of North Carolina. He won 879 games and coached players like Michael Jordan, Vince Carter and James Worthy. He’s widely considered to be one of the greatest basketball coaches of all-time. But there’s more . . .

In the late 1940s, there was a young player at Topeka High School in Kansas, which had been integrated from the time it was founded in 1871 but was fielding an all-white team known as the Trojans.  The other teams at Topeka High were integrated, but not basketball.

There was also an all-black team, the Ramblers, made up of students from the school. African American students were banned from attending school dances and other activities at the time.

Topeka High did not fully support the Ramblers. The Trojans were the school’s team and the Ramblers couldn’t even use the school’s gym to practice. They played their games and held their practices at East Topeka Junior High. They also had their own all-black cheerleading squad.

Topeka High did help the Ramblers a little. It provided them with uniforms and with buses for away games, as they played in an all-black conference against teams from Kansas and western Missouri. Wherever they played, the Ramblers faced segregation. Meals on the road were served by the families of the opposing teams in gyms or churches. On overnight road trips, the players stayed in the homes of local African-American families.

In 1948, the Trojans placed third in the state tournament. The next year, a member of the Trojans went to Buck Weaver, the principal, to try to get the two teams merged; and he would not give up after initially being told no.

That player was Dean Smith, the same Dean Smith who later helped integrate ACC basketball by recruiting Charlie Scott to play at the University of North Carolina in 1966.

Keep in mind that this was 5-years before the landmark Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka that led to the desegregation of America’s schools.

But there’s more.

In the 1960s, Dean Smith helped integrate a local restaurant in Chapel Hill and assisted an African-American graduate student’s purchase of a home in an all-white neighborhood. In a profession in which most coaches are either conservative or not political at all, Dean Smith opposed the Vietnam War, the death penalty and called for a freeze on nuclear weapons, among other causes.

And he wasn’t afraid to tell you about it.

Want more? Dean Smith graduated over 96% of his players and he was the coach who first taught his players to point to the teammate who passed them the ball after a basket. Players all over the world are still doing it to this day.

After Dean Smith died on February 7th, 2015, every player who ever lettered for him was sent a check from his estate for $200.00. And the legend himself, Michael Jordan, released this statement:

“Other than my parents, nobody had a bigger impact on my life than Coach Smith. He was more than a coach – he was my mentor, my teacher, my second father. Coach was always there for me whenever I needed him and I loved him for it. In teaching me the game of basketball, he taught me about life. My heart goes out to Linnea and their kids. We’ve lost a great man who had an incredible impact on his players, his staff and the entire UNC family.”

Dean Smith, more than a basketball coach. Much, much more.

 

 

Because he was a real person. And he was related to that other, more famous Hitler –  Adolf. You see, William “Willie” Patrick Hitler was Adolf Hitler’s nephew.

Want another mind-blowing fun fact? Hitler’s little nephew served in the United States Navy in World War II.

It’s true. Here’s the story . . .

William “Willie” Patrick Hitler was born to Adolf’s brother, Alois Hitler, Jr. and his wife in Liverpool, England, in 1911. Ironically, the family lived in a flat that was eventually destroyed in the last German air raid of the Liverpool Blitz in January of 1942. Anyway, Willie ended up moving to Germany in 1933 right after Uncle Adolf had risen to power. It seems young Willie was trying to use his uncle’s influence to get a better job. Adolf in fact helped Willie get several jobs, but none stuck.

Then Willie did something that, in retrospect, wasn’t too bright. He began writing to his Uncle Adolf with blackmail threats, saying that he would sell embarrassing stories about the family to the newspapers unless his “personal circumstances” improved. Among these stories was Willie’s allegation that Adolf’s paternal grandfather was a Jewish merchant.

Uh-oh. That didn’t go over well.

Incredibly though, soon after the threats Adolf asked William to relinquish his British citizenship in exchange for a high-ranking job. Willie wasn’t buying it for a second and expected a trap. He bolted Nazi Germany and skedaddled back to London.

As crazy as this sounds now, Willie then wrote an article for Look Magazine. It’s title? “Why I Hate My Uncle.” I’m dead serious right now.

Meanwhile, Uncle Adolf was beginning his quest for world domination in earnest.

As for Willie, he left Germany in early 1939 to visit the United States with his mother. Problem is, a little thing called World War II broke out and they were stranded here. Willie grew to like the place, moved to Queens, New York, and eventually joined the US Navy. He actually had to get special permission from President Franklin Roosevelt because his uncle was, you know, the freaking leader of the Third Reich.

But there’s more. Willie Hitler was wounded in action during the war and given the Purple Heart, awarded to those wounded or killed while serving with the US military. Amazing really.

Here are some other fascinating facts about Willie Hitler:

  • Willie had a brother named Heinz. Heinz, in contrast to William, became a committed Nazi and in 1942 died in Soviet captivity.
  • After being discharged from the Navy, William Hitler changed his surname to Stuart-Houston.
  • Willie married a woman named Phyllis and they had four sons, the first of which they named . . . wait for it . . . Alexander Adolf. Go figure.

Focus and concentration. Boom.

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Tasty?

This is a rarity, but I’m going to use real names and places in this story. Why? Because I’m pretty sure all involved will just laugh about it. Read on . . .

It was early in my coaching career and I was coaching junior high basketball at Greenfield Middle School. We had a really good team, and we had a big game coming up against Circleville, who was also really good.

When I got to the school for the game that evening, though, I got some bad news – our best player was sick.

Yep, Marcus was our best player and MVP of our team, and he was sick as a dog. When I walked into our locker room he was doubled over, pale, and clearly not well. I mean, the kid could barely walk.

Uh-oh. This was bad. Really bad. I mean, we were good, but no way could we win without Marcus. I walked up to him and asked him if he could make it, and at that point he reached behind him and grabbed a jar of Vicks VapoRub from his locker. Then he said, “This will fix me up, coach. Don’t worry about it.

Ah, OK. A little Vicks VapoRub on the chest was always good for what ailed ya, right? Hey, if Marcus thought it would work we’d be good to go!

Oh, it was probably 10-minutes later when another player, Jeremy, came running up to me with a look of horror in his eyes.

Coach, he ate it! HE ATE IT!

Wait. What?

He ate it? Ate what? Certainly not the Vicks VapoRub. I mean, it said, “NOT TO BE TAKEN INTERNALLY” right on the lid there.

I had to find out though, so I went to the man himself.

“Uh, Marcus, you didn’t eat that did you?” 

“Sure, Coach. My family eats it all the time. It’ll clean me out. I’ll be fine. Give it a few minutes.”

At that point I saw it, on the bench beside him, the empty jar of Vicks VapoRub, just sitting there empty and clean as a whistle.

Oh, for the love of God. He ate it.

Bottom line? As I coached from the sideline waiting for him to die, Marcus played a great game and led us to victory. Guess he was cleaned out.

Who knew that Vicks VapoRub was such a miracle cure?

Note: I actually researched this and found that it was not uncommon for people to eat Vicks VapoRub back in the day. Still not recommended though.

Yep. This guy.

duke

Not Duke but awfully close.

Looking back, growing up in the small southern Ohio town of Bourneville wasn’t a bad way to go. Everybody knew everybody else, everyone looked after each other, and we were sort of unaffected by what was going on in the turbulent 1960’s. Oh, I knew about the Vietnam War and all the protests, but that was mainly because of my oldest sister Karen. Sis, always the rebel, made sure her little bro knew about the injustices of the world. As far as the Civil Rights movement down south, my father had made all that clear to me years earlier during our vacations to Florida. I distinctly remember him pointing to the “Whites Only” signs over bathroom doors in Georgia and explaining how it was wrong. All-in-all though, my daily life was pretty idyllic, to be honest.

I say all that because it’s pertinent to the story that follows.

For a few years in the mid-60’s I had a dog named Duke. Unlike all the dogs I’ve owned as an adult, Duke was an outside dog. We didn’t really know what kind of a dog he was, he sort of looked like a Greyhound with longer, collie-like hair. He was light brown with some white on his face and tail, and he could run like the wind.

How do I know this, you ask? Because he chased every car that drove by our house. Pull in our driveway? Fine. Drive on past? Get chased.

Anyway, Duke was a great dog.  He went with me everywhere, followed me whether I was on my bike or walking. He’d wait patiently outside the local store or gas station while I was inside, hang with my friends and I, or just generally be a great companion for a kid growing up in Southern Ohio.

And everyone in town knew my dog Duke.

Then one day, for some reason I was all by myself at home. This wasn’t unusual, parents left their kids home all the time back then. Hey, we could fend for ourselves. Compared to now it was a totally different world.

Anyway, the phone rang and it was the guy who owned the gas station in the middle of Bourneville. He basically said to get down there, that Duke had been in an accident. Obviously, I was distraught. I raced down there on my bike, and as I rounded the corner I saw a group gathered, maybe 8-10 people. When I got near they sort of separated so I could see, and there, on the ground, was Duke.

He looked normal, no visible injuries at all, and no blood. He was breathing normally and just looked very at ease and peaceful. Still, something was clearly wrong.

What happened next could only happen in a small midwestern town. Somebody backed up a pickup truck, and some of the men helped me place Duke gently in the bed. Somebody put my bike in as well, and we were driven back to my house where we carefully lay Duke on a blanket on my garage floor.

At that point everybody sort of backed away and left, leaving me there with my buddy.

And so here I was, a 10 or 11-year old kid, sitting on my family’s garage floor, with my dying dog’s head on my lap.

After maybe 10 or 15-minutes Duke sort of gave a sigh, and I knew he was gone.

I then held Duke, waited for my father to get home, told him what had happened, and he and I proceeded to bury Duke in our backyard.

Was it a tough moment for a kid my age? Hell, yes. But it was a different time, a different era. What happened wasn’t unusual for a small midwestern town in the 1960s. While people looked out for each other, ultimately you had to be independent and deal with life on your own.

And I did.

And in the end, I was better off for it.

 

Lewis, Perkins, Presley and Cash.

The jam session to end all jam sessions started innocently enough on December 4th, 1956,* at the Sun Record Studios in Memphis, Tennessee. But before the day was over, rock legends Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins would end up singing and recording together.

*By the way, that was exactly 1-year and 1-day after yours truly was born. Weird to think I was hanging out in my crib 586.9 miles to the northeast that day.

The session pretty much happened by pure chance. Carl Perkins, who by this time had already recorded a big hit with “Blue Suede Shoes,” had come into the studios to record some new material. Sam Phillips, the owner of Sun Records, had brought in his latest signee, a cat by the name of Jerry Lee Lewis, to play piano on Perkins’ record. Jerry Lee was pretty much unknown at the time. Interestingly though, his first Sun single would be released just a few days later.

Then, sometime later in the early afternoon, 21-year-old Elvis Presley, a former Sun artist now with RCA Victor, arrived to pay a casual visit. Elvis already had hits with “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Hound Dog,” and “Don’t Be Cruel.”

After chatting with Phillips in the control room, Presley listened to the playback of Perkins’ session, which he thought was very good. Then he went into the studio and the historic jam session began.

Then incredibly, a little later Sun artist Johnny Cash showed up. Johnny had already had a few hits on the country charts by this point, including “I Walk the Line.”

An engineer named Jack Clement was working that day and had the good sense to hit the record button, saving much of the session for posterity.

During the session, Sam Phillips called a local newspaper and alerted them of what was going on. Bob Johnson, the newspaper’s entertainment editor, came over to the studios with a photographer. Johnson wrote an article about the session, which appeared the following day in the Press-Scimitar under the headline “Million Dollar Quartet,” hence the name.

Amazingly, on an otherwise unremarkable early-December day in 1956, four artists who would each go on to contribute greatly to popular music all ended up on the same studio, just jamming and doing what they loved.

It was to be the one and only time they’d sing together.

In the Civil Rights movement, even children became public figures, such as a little 6-year old girl by the name of Ruby Bridges. Ruby integrated an all-white elementary school in New Orleans on November 14, 1960.

Ruby was born in Tylertown, Mississippi, to Abon and Lucille Bridges. When she was 4-years old her parents moved to New Orleans, hoping for a better life in a bigger city. Her father got a job as a gas station attendant and her mother took night jobs to help support their growing family.

Ruby Bridges was born the same year that the Supreme Court’s Brown vs. the Board of Education decision desegregated schools, and it was a notable coincidence in her early journey into civil rights activism. When Ruby was in kindergarten, she was one of many African-American students in New Orleans who were chosen to take a test determining whether or not she could attend a white school. The test was written to be especially difficult so that students would have a hard time passing. The idea was that if all the African-American children failed the test, New Orleans schools might be able to stay segregated for a while longer. Ruby lived a mere five blocks from an all-white school but attended kindergarten several miles away at an all-black segregated school. Incredibly, Ruby Bridges was one of only six black children in New Orleans to pass this test.

The faces of hatred.

On the morning of November 14, 1960, federal marshals drove Ruby and her mother five blocks to her new school. While in the car, one of the men explained that when they arrived at the school, two marshals would walk in front of Ruby and two would be behind her. The image of this small black girl being escorted to school by four large white men inspired Norman Rockwell to create the painting “The Problem We All Live With”, which graced the cover of Look magazine in 1964 (photo at bottom). As soon as Bridges entered the school, white parents pulled their own children out; all the teachers refused to teach while a black child was enrolled. Finally, one person agreed to teach Ruby  –  a courageous female teacher named Barbara Henry, from Boston. For over a year Miss Henry taught Ruby alone, “as if she were teaching a whole class.” Here’s a photo of the amazing Miss Henry with Ruby:

That first day, Bridges and her adult companions spent the entire day in the principal’s office; the chaos of the school prevented their moving to the classroom until the second day. On the second day, however, a white student broke the boycott and entered the school when a 34-year-old Methodist minister, Lloyd Anderson Foreman, walked his 5-year-old daughter Pam through the angry mob, saying, “I simply want the privilege of taking my child to school.” Another hero right there – Mr. Lloyd Anderson Foreman.

A few days later, other white parents began bringing their children, and the protests began to subside. Every morning as Bridges walked to school, one woman would threaten to poison her; because of this, the U.S. Marshals dispatched by President Eisenhower, who were overseeing her safety, allowed Ruby to eat only the food that she brought from home. So damn sad.

The Bridges family suffered for their decision to send her to William Frantz Elementary. Her father lost his job, the grocery store the family shopped at would no longer let them shop there, and her grandparents, who were sharecroppers in Mississippi, were turned off their land.

However, Ruby has since said that many others in the community, both black and white, showed support in a variety of ways. Some white families continued to send their children to Frantz despite the protests, a neighbor provided her father with a new job, and local people babysat, watched the house as protectors, and walked behind the federal marshals’ car on the trips to school.

Ruby graduated from a desegregated high school, became a travel agent, married, and eventually had four sons.

Ruby later wrote about her early experiences in two books. A lifelong activist for racial equality, Ruby established The Ruby Bridges Foundation in 1999 to promote tolerance and create change through education. In 2000, she was made an honorary deputy marshal in a ceremony in Washington, D.C.

Ruby Bridges, along with teacher Barbara Henry, parent Lloyd Anderson Foreman and many others, are true American heroes.

Gurkha soldiers.

Ever heard of the Gurkhas? No? Well, here at Shoe: Untied my crack staff is committed to educating our readers on literally everything, from sports to politics to history to asshat parkers. Hey, we’re here for y’all. Just broadening your world horizons if you will.

Here are four stories about Gurkha bravery and courage. Read on, loyal readers, and be amazed . . .

In 1815, the British Army tried to conquer Nepal. However, the Nepal’s Gurkha Warriors had something to say about that, and what they said was “No freaking way, British pansies.” They easily defeated the British. So the British officers decided that, if they couldn’t beat them, they’d get the Gurkhas to join them. A peace agreement ceased all British fighting in Nepal, and the Gurkhas agreed to be recruited into the Crown’s military. Since then, the Gurkhas have fought in several wars, including both world wars and the Falklands War. Known as some of the most skilled and fiercest warriors in the world, the Gurkhas have terrified the bejesus out of everyone around them. Want some examples of Gurkha badassness, you say? You got it, kids. What follows are some of the bravest soldiers and stories to ever come out of the Gurkha ranks.

In 2010 in Afghanistan, Sergeant Dipprasad Pun single-handedly fought off 30 Taliban soldiers. As Pun was keeping guard on the roof of a checkpoint, the attackers came at the complex from all sides with rocket-propelled grenades and AK-47s.

It took less than 60-minutes for Pun to kill them all.

He went through all of his ammo—400-rounds and 17-grenades, as well as a mine that he detonated—to defeat each attacker. A Taliban soldier climbed up to the roof, only to be clubbed over the head with a machine-gun tripod by Pun.

Bad. Ass.

In WWII, Rifleman Lachhiman Gurung was stationed in a trench with only two other men when attacked by over 200-Japanese soldiers. Gurung’s comrades were all severely wounded. As grenades flew in one after another, Gurung started throwing them back.

He was successful with the first two, but the third exploded in his right hand. His fingers were blown off and his face, body, and right arm and leg were badly wounded.

As the Japanese stormed the trench, Gurung used his left hand to wield his rifle, killing 31-soldiers and preventing the Japanese from advancing.

Gurung survived.

planets(CNN) Astronomers have found at least seven Earth-sized planets orbiting the same star 40 light-years away, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature. The findings were also announced at a news conference at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

This discovery outside of our solar system is rare because the planets have the winning combination of being similar in size to Earth and being all temperate, meaning they could have water on their surfaces and support life.

“This is the first time that so many planets of this kind are found around the same star,” said Michaël Gillon, lead study author and astronomer at the University of Liège in Belgium.

Wow. One month of Trump and NASA is announcing we already have seven potential back-up Earths. Sweet. They might just come in handy soon. Honestly though, shouldn’t this be bigger news? I mean, we just discovered seven planets like ours that could support life. Holy mother that’s terrifying. Then again, they’re 40 light years away so I suppose we’re safe for now. Wait. I just had a thought. What if one of the seven earth-like planets discover us?

Chills, man.

dayumgif

Authorities at a Virginia airport encountered some unusual baggage when they confiscated 13-pounds of horse genitals and a total of 42-pounds of horsemeat from two women arriving from Mongolia on Jan. 29.

The two women landed at the Washington Dulles International Airport last month when authorities discovered the meat concealed inside juice boxes, a release from US Customs and Border Protection said.

The women told authorities the horse genitals were for “medicinal purposes.”

The discovery rivaled other finds — “from fully-charred monkeys, to voodoo ceremony tools, to cocaine concealed inside the cavity of fully cooked chickens, to live sea horses and giant African land snails,” the release described.

Authorities said horsemeat is prohibited from entering the US “if it is not accompanied by an official government horsemeat certification from the country or government it originates.”

CBP incinerated the food products and declined to bring criminal charges against the women.

Whew. Where to begin? First off, they let these women off? What the hell? If illegal horsemeat smuggling doesn’t get you arrested I don’t know what will. But my favorite part of the article is when the release described prior finds – “fully-charred monkeys, voodoo ceremony tools, cocaine concealed inside the cavity of fully cooked chickens, live seahorses and giant African land snails.

Wait. Since when can’t we have a fully-charred monkey as a carry-on? I guess a semi-charred monkey would be OK? That’s bullshit, man.

PS – Eating horse balls is good for your health? Guess we really do learn something every day.

Not all heroes look the part.

Not all heroes look the part.

You know, sometimes I’ll come across a certain person in history that I believe people should know about. This story is about one of those people . . .

James Reeb was born in 1927 and grew up in Casper, Wyoming. He was a conservative Christian, and after college he began preparation for the ministry. He soon began to question his faith and eventually became a Unitarian minister. He went on to serve the All Souls Congregation in a racially mixed neighborhood in Washington, DC. There, Rev. Reeb organized programs and projects to help the poor.

In July, 1964, he left All Souls to accept a position with the American Friends Service Committee. He and his family, which now included his wife Marie and their four children, moved to Dorchester, Massachusetts and began working to make living conditions better in largely black, economically depressed neighborhoods of Boston. He came to understand that the suffering he witnessed resulted from fundamental inequalities in society and government’s treatment of people according to the color of their skin— something called systemic racism.

Reeb was a member of the Unitarian Arlington Street Church in Boston, but he frequently preached as a guest minister in nearby suburban congregations. He used these opportunities to urge people in largely white congregations and communities to pay attention to and work to change racial injustice. He spoke against the racial disparities enforced by laws in the South and by economic and social segregation in the North.

In 1965, while Rev. James Reeb worked in Boston, events were unfolding in the civil rights movement in the state of Alabama.

Alabama’s archaic Jim Crow laws used a “separate but equal” system that was anything but equal. The fundamental right to vote was denied African Americans. The system of discrimination and oppression ruled nearly every aspect of life and was reinforced with violence not only by lawless citizens but also by elected officials and police. It was an ugly time. Beatings, vandalism, and even murder awaited anyone who did anything to challenge the system. On February 26th an Alabama state trooper killed Jimmie Lee Jackson, a 26-year-old black Civil Rights worker, setting off the chain of events that would eventually bring thousands of Civil Rights Freedom Fighters to Selma, Alabama.

In response to Jimmie Lee Jackson’s murder, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference called for a march from Selma to Montgomery to demand voting rights for all citizens.

600 Civil Rights activists gathered in Selma to join a planned march to Montgomery, the State capital. The march began on March 7, 1965, a day we now know as Bloody Sunday. On the outskirts of Selma, on the Edmund Pettis Bridge, marchers encountered a line of police carrying billy clubs, guns, and gas masks. Police charged into the marchers, clubs swinging, and followed up the clubbing with tear gas.

National television carried it all, including to Dorchester, Massachusetts, where James and Marie Reeb watched.

Then came what is known as the Call to Selma. Dr. Martin Luther King called on people of all faiths from across the country to come to Selma and march with him to Montgomery. All over the United States, ministers and lay leaders alike wrestled with the call to come to Selma. Should they go? Should they march, putting themselves in the midst of the violence they had all seen on television? Should they urge others in their faith communities to do the same? James Reeb thought hard about whether to leave his wife and four young children. In the end, he decided he had to help. it was crucial for people of faith to bear witness to what was happening in Alabama. He said good-bye to his family and boarded a fateful flight to Selma.

James Reeb was with thousands who gathered on Tuesday to march but were again turned back at the Edmund Pettis Bridge. Afterwards Reeb and others decided to stay in Selma and try again on Thursday. That night, a group of ministers went out to dinner at a place called Walker’s, one of the few racially integrated restaurants in the area. While others departed by car after dinner, Reeb and two other Unitarian Universalist ministers, Orloff Miller and Clark Olsen, left on foot.

The three headed to the chapel where Dr. King was to speak. James Reeb walked on the outside, nearest the street. They had not gone far when five white men came towards them from across the street. Frightened, the three walked faster. They realized one of the men had a large club. When the racist attackers reached the three ministers, one swung his heavy stick and smashed the side of James Reeb’s head. Eventually all three men were beaten badly.

After some desperate searching for help in a city that was hostile to “outside agitators,” the three ministers found a phone at the Boynton’s Insurance office and obtained an ambulance from a Negro funeral home next door. Badly hurt, Reeb needed to get to the hospital in Birmingham where there was a neurosurgeon. Miller and Olsen accompanied James Reeb in the ambulance, which was driven by an African American. A police car escorted them through Selma, but incredibly refused to accompany them once the ambulance reached the city limits. Then, just outside the city, the ambulance got a flat tire. There the vehicle was surrounded by a threatening crowd so no dared get out to change the tire. The ambulance drove back to Selma on the rim. Finding a place to make a phone call and find another ambulance was difficult because few black people in the city had phones. They finally found a phone at a radio station where the driver had once worked and called for another ambulance. The badly injured James Reeb was then transferred to it and set out again for Birmingham, this time reaching the hospital where Reeb immediately underwent surgery.

Reeb was in bad shape. News traveled quickly that he had been beaten and was in critical condition. In sharp contrast to the media silence which had greeted Jimmie Lee Jackson’s death two weeks earlier, the evening news all over the country carried the story of the white minister who had been attacked in Selma. President Lyndon Johnson had been notified in the White House, and he sent a government airplane to take Marie Reeb to her husband’s side.

In James Reeb’s hospital room, there was a bouquet of yellow roses from the President of the United States.

On March 11,  2-days after his arrival in Selma, James Reeb died. His death so shocked the country and the U.S. Congress that President Johnson sent the Voting Rights Act to Congress within days. Dr. King, invited to Washington to support the Voting Rights Act, declined. Instead, he stayed and delivered the eulogy at James Reeb’s funeral, saying this:

“So in his death, James Reeb says something to each of us, black and white alike. He says that we must substitute courage for caution, says to us that we must be concerned not merely about who murdered him, but about the system, the way of life, the philosophy that produced the murder. His death says to us that we must work passionately, unrelentingly, to make the American dream a reality, so he did not die in vain.”

Amen. James Reeb was a bona fide American Hero.

The woolly mammoth vanished from the Earth 4,000 years ago, but now woolymammothscientists say they are on the brink of resurrecting the ancient beast in a revised form, through an ambitious feat of genetic engineering.

Speaking ahead of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting in Boston this week, the scientist leading the “de-extinction” effort said the Harvard team is just two years away from creating a hybrid embryo, in which mammoth traits would be programmed into an Asian elephant.

The creature, sometimes referred to as a “mammophant”, would be partly elephant, but with features such as small ears, subcutaneous fat, long shaggy hair and cold-adapted blood.

This is pretty much the beginning of the end of the world, right? We all know what “resurrecting the ancient beast in a revised form” means, right? It means “revising the beast in a more terrible form.” This is how Jurassic Park went wrong, kids. First a Wooly Mammoth, then a Stegosaurus, then a Giganotosaurus, then we all die. Thanks Science!

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Kim Jong-nam wrote to Kim Jong-un in 2012 asking his half-brother and the recently anointed dictator of North Korea to spare his life and that of his family, the head of South Korea’s National Intelligence Service revealed on Wednesday.

It comes as new pictures of a woman alleged to have been linked to the assassination team that killed the older brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un in Kuala Lumpur have been released by Malaysian media.

Kim Jong-nam, 45, died on Monday after collapsing at Kuala Lumpur International Airport while waiting to board a flight back to Macau, where he was living in exile.

Listen, I’ve never been a big fan or murder and stuff but any assassin who pulls off a stone cold assassination in the middle of an airport while wearing a sweatshirt with “LOL” on the front has my instant respect. It’s like “LOL, I just killed a guy.” That’s just diabolical, man. Plus she looks sort of cute, so she gets extra points there too.

PS- Is it too late for me to start being more empathetic? Probably is, right? Never mind.

PSS- Not many blogs add the tags “Death”, “Humor”, and “Things I Love” onto their stories all at once. That’s what separates me from your average blogger. On a related note, if you’re a regular reader you’re as weird as I am.

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Well, h-e-l-l-l-o-o-o, flesh-eating screwworm.

A San Antonio woman has sued Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen and its local franchisee saying the fast-food chain served her rice and beans that had flesh-eating screwworms.

Karen Goode says in her lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Bexar County district court, that the screwworms entered her digestive tract and laid eggs, which became embedded in the interior lining of her small intestine. When the eggs hatched, they infested her body and began to eat her “alive from the inside-out.”

Patrick Stolmeier, Goode’s San Antonio lawyer, said she became ill and couldn’t work. As a result, she lost her business, her house and vehicles, he said. Goode seeks more than $1 million in damages from Atlanta-based Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen Inc. and Sugarland’s Z&H Foods Inc.

Man, nothing worse than going to Popeyes for some rice and beans and ending up with flesh-eating screwworms entering your digestive tract and laying eggs that become embedded in the interior lining of your small intestine, huh? That’s a bad day all-around, man. Especially when the eggs hatch, infest your body and begin to eat you alive from the inside out. Yeesh. On a related note, I may skip lunch today.

Yep. Orange gator.

Yep. Orange gator.

An orange alligator spotted in a pond in Hanahan has residents scratching their heads and wondering — is it an albino, a Clemson fan or simply covered in dry clay?

A post about the strangely colored reptile took off this week on the Tanner Plantation and Foster Creek Community Facebook page. Commenters speculated on how the alligator got its color, with many saying it was nothing but a coat of dry clay, which is abundant in the area.

Others made jokes.

“It’s a Trumpagator,” one commenter said.

When one resident wrote that the color came from sand and dirt at the bottom of the pond another quipped, “No, those are alternative facts.”

Kent A. Vliet, an alligator biologist at the University of Florida, said he does not believe this animal’s color is the result of a genetic abnormality.

“I have no doubt that animal is stained somehow,” Vliet said. “He’s the color of rust.”

While the “Trumpagator” doesn’t appear to be a rare genetic variant, there’s no doubt that its orange skin is an instant talking point.

“Holy mackerel,” Vliet said after first seeing a photo of the animal. “That’s even more orange than the last one I saw.”

First off, why ruin it by giving us this rust and clay bullshit? That’s an orange alligator, plain and simple. Those idiots just ruined a great public relations opportunity for the Foster Creek Community. I’d be down there selling Ollie the Orange Alligator t-shirts like a boss. Morons.

And I have way too much integrity as a blogger to go the Trump route on this one. That’s just low hanging fruit, man. I’d never lower myself to making comments comparing our beloved president to an orange, slimy crocodilian that climbed from the murky depths of hell to destroy us all.

Whaddaya think I am, one of those whiny, pansy, self-entitled libtards?

 Anyhoo, orange crocodile. You don’t see that everyday, man.

Have you heard the story of Mark Twain and Halley’s Comet? Oh, you have? halleyscometThen back away slowly and get the hell out of my website.

Still here? Good. I didn’t like those loser know-it-alls anyway. Let’s move on . . .

Halley’s Comet is famous for its easy visibility and predictability. It’s named after Edmond Halley, an astronomer who figured out that it was the same comet coming back again and again. See, after making a tight cut around the Sun and shooting as far off as Neptune, Halley’s Comet appears in the night sky with its distinctive bright tail every 75 or 76-years, once in a lifetime for most of us poor suckers. It last cruised by in 1986 and is due back in 2061, so I’ll be 105 when it returns. Gotta think positive. kids.

Mark Twain, however, was one of the chosen ones. Twain was lucky enough to have been on Earth for two of Halley’s orbits, but both times he was rather preoccupied. The first time it passed, in 1835, he was being born. Twain always felt a personal connection to the comet because of this, stating:

“I came in with Halley’s Comet. It is coming again, and I expect to go out with it. It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don’t go out with Halley’s Comet. The Almighty has said, no doubt: ‘Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together.’ “

Aside from Mark Twain referring to himself as an “unaccountable freak”, that’s pretty cool, because it happened.

Sure enough, as the comet made its way past again in April 1910, Mark Twain quietly passed from this planet with it.

That is both weird and awesome at the same time, amirite?

Mark Twain, man. He knew.

Ever heard of Nordlingen? It’s a round town in Germany. Yep, unlike the town of Circleville here in Ohio, which in fact is in no way a circle,* Nordlingen is round.

*Circleville was originally shaped in the form of a circle. Look it up.

Anyhoo, when viewed from above, Nordlingen appears to be perfectly round. It was one of the only towns in Germany to still have its complete city walls still standing, and the reason for its round shape goes back millions of years before its founding in the 9th century.

Wait. What? It was round before it was a city? Sure was, and here’s why.

You see, Nordlingen sits perfectly in a crater left by a meteor 14.5-million years ago. The crater is roughly 15.5 miles across and the medieval founders built the walls of the city on the rim where the 1/2 mile-long meteorite sat millions of years earlier. And get this – remnants of the rock can still be found within the walls of the city.

Pretty cool, huh?

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Aerial view.

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The wall around Nordlingen.

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Big Viking guy here. My former students will attest to that. Love everything about them. Well, the raping and pillaging wasn’t cool, but you know what I mean. Anyhoo, there’s a Viking Festival in Scotland and it looks amazing. On a related note, I have a new item on my bucket list. Road Trip, anyone?

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Yeah. Old.

Yeah. Old.

If you think that age slows you down then you’ve obviously never met Alla Illyinichna Levushkina. She’s a surgeon at Ryazan City Hospital near Moscow, and despite being almost 90-years old – yes, you heard that correctly – she still performs 4-operations every day.

89-year-old Alla, who lives in a flat where she cares for her disabled nephew and her eight cats, has been a surgeon for a whopping 67-years, and although she’s already performed more than 10,000 operations, she has no intention of slowing down. “Being a doctor isn’t just a profession but a lifestyle,” she told Lite FM when asked if she had any plans to retire. “If I stopped working, who is going to perform the surgeries?” She’s thought to be the oldest surgeon still working in the world, but what’s the secret to her long life? “‘I didn’t find any secret to longevity,” she said. “I just eat everything, laugh a lot and cry a lot.”

Listen, I have to be honest here. Although I give much respect to Alla Illyinichna Levushkina, I have tell it the way I see it. There is no way in hell I’d let an 89-year old surgeon operate on me. Who knows if she’s going to keel over in the middle of the operation? I mean, 89-years old is 89-years old, man. That’s getting close to the end, man. And sorry, but I’m not sure how steady those hands will be. Thanks but no thanks, Alla Illyinichna Levushkina.

PS- Admit it. They roll you into surgery and you see Alla standing there. Wouldn’t you have a few questions?

PPS- No offense, octogenarians.


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