In India, most train toilets have holes leading directly onto the tracks. When 33-year-old Bhuri Kalbi used the train bathroom, she unexpectedly gave birth. "My delivery was so sudden," Kalbi says, "I did not even realize that my child had slipped from the hole in the toilet and onto the railway tracks." She fainted for a few minutes, but when she woke up, she told her family and the train was stopped. The baby girl was on the railway track from 1.5 to 2 hours. She was found close to the tracks with her umbilical chord, uninjured but blue from cold. While she is recovering "quite well," she is in intensive care for her two-month premature birth. Source
Here are the books that made it to the shortlist for the Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year:
- I Was Tortured By the Pygmy Love Queen
- How to Write a How to Write Book
- Are Women Human? And Other International Dialogues
- Cheese Problems Solved
- If You Want Closure in Your Relationship, Start With Your Legs
- People who Mattered in Southend and Beyond: From King Canute to Dr Feelgood
- Drawing and Painting the Undead
- Stafford Pageant: The Exciting Innovative Years 1901–1952
- Tiles of the Unexpected: A Study of Six Miles of Geometric Tile Patterns on the London Underground
- Squid Recruitment Dynamics
- Glory Remembered: Wooden Headgear of Alaska Sea Hunters
In Ohio, two eight-year-old twin boys invented bully-proof underwear. Using fabric fasteners on boxers, the underwear rips clean off if a wedgie is attempted. One journalist commented, "Exactly why underwear that can entirely ripped off you by bullies is an improvement over regular underpants remains unclear." The boys appeared on the Ellen De Generes Show and the Early Show. To see a video of the boys demonstrating their invention, go here.
- Since its release in 1969, it has been said that the children's book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar has sold one copy every minute. Source
- According to the biography Room Full of Mirrors, Jimi Hendrix pretended to be gay so that he would be discharged from the army. Source
- According to a 2005 British survey, 1 in 6 children think that broccoli is a "baby tree." Source
- At Eton, Georgic is a punishment involving copying hundreds of lines of Latin poetry. Source
- To preserve flavor, rhubarb is best harvested in dim light. Candlelight is good. Source
- In 2007, women in India protested over being asked their "detailed menstrual history" when applying to become a civil servant. Source
- Names considered for the Compact Disck (CD) included "Mini Rack, MiniDisc, and Compact Rack." Source
For eighty dollars, you can buy a "Giant Madagascar Hissing Cockroach Brooch" from clothing-store Black Chandelier. This live cockroach has Austrian Swarovski crystal on its non-sensitive hood and is worn on a leash. The "jewelry" lives about one year, doubles as a pet and comes with care instructions.
Inventor Jared Gold says, "Design without humor is pretentious and soul crushing. . . You kind of bond with the little buddy. They like the warmth and they tickle you. Everyone has a good time."
- With six and a half tons per square inch of biting force, sharks have the strongest jaws in the world. They can bite with both their upper and lower jaw.
- If a shark looses a tooth, another tooth rotates forward from its rows of spare teeth.Whale sharks have approximately 300 rows of spare teeth, with hundreds of teeth in each row.
- In its life, a shark can use over 20,000 teeth. on average, their teeth are replaced every eight days
- Dried shark skin used to be used as sandpaper and non-slip grips on sword handles.
- In the uterus, shark embryos eat their siblings.
- One out of every 30 million people is attacked by a shark
At the University of California, scientists helped the fight against alcoholism by plying hundreds of thousands of worms with alcohol. They succeeded in finding the gene responsible for drunkenness in worms and hope this will help the study of alcoholism in people.
The alcohol seemed to affect the worms much like humans: " The drunken worms moved slower and more awkwardly than sober ones, and laid fewer eggs." However, as neurobiology professor Steven Treistman of the University of Massachusetts Medical School commented, "'Humans are a lot more complicated than the worm." Source
"Molasses, waist deep, covered the street and swirled and bubbled about the wreckage. Here and there struggled a form — whether it was animal or human being was impossible to tell. Only an upheaval, a thrashing about in the sticky mass, showed where any life was.... Horses died like so many flies on sticky fly-paper. The more they struggled, the deeper in the mess they were ensnared. Human beings — men and women — suffered likewise."
Source: article by Edwards Park from Nov 1983 Smithsonian, "Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919," and here.
- Readers of my early blog may recognize this post from Oct 2007. I have re-posted this after being asked (and complying) to remove a source-link and remove a picture by two unrelated people. They said that I was "stealing bandwidth" and "playing havock with [their] visitor stats." Can someone please explain this to me?
High-school Juniors and Seniors were asked to name the top 10 famous Americans in history, excluding presidents and first ladies. Here is what they said:
1. Martin Luther King Jr
2. Rosa Parks
3. Harriet Tubman
4. Susan B. Anthony
5. Benjamin Franklin
6. Amelia Earhart
7. Oprah Winfrey
8. Marilyn Monroe
9. Thomas Edison
10. Albert Einstein
72 year old Kamarudin Mohammed is a Muslim from Malaysia who has been married 53 times. His shortest marriage lasted 2 days and all but one ended in divorce. His most recent wife is also his first wife. Says Kamarudin: "I am not a playboy. I just love seeing beautiful women." Source.
Douglas Hoffman, aged 60, was sentenced 5 years in prison for killing more than 500 trees in one year. When he and his wife first moved into their house, they had a nice view of the LasVegas strip. But as the trees grew, the view was lost. The homeowners committee, with a list of rules which allegedly take an hour to explain, declined Hoffman's request to swap the trees for shrubs. Hoffman took things into his own hands.
In one year, Hoffman killed more than 500 trees. He lopped the tops off some and sliced some so that they would slowly die. He originally faced 35 years in prison, due in part to the threatening letters from the "USA Organization Militia LLC" he sent to divert suspicion. The letters threatened such things as "razing and burning homes, drive-by shootings, setting off improvised explosive devices and unleashing a weapons cache." Handcuffed to his wheelchair in court, Hoffman said, ""I am not a bad person. I am a good person." His wife said, "Plant life is precious to him. . . It's not a human life, but it's a life. When a bush would die, he wouldn't be crying-upset, but he'd be upset."