Prompted by a concern that British cemeteries were running out of space, Professor Douglas Davies was commissioned to research public attitudes about reusing graves. The result was his book Reusing Old Graves, which became the 1995 winner of the Diagram Prize for oddest title of the year.
The primary inquiry of the research was put in a leading way. Respondents were not asked 'Do you think graves should or should not be reused?'. Instead they were asked what period of time should elapse before a grave could be used for new burials by a different family. Despite the form of the question 35 per cent of respondents said they never should be reused. As against this 62 per cent were willing to countenance the reuse of graves after varying periods (3 per cent were undecided). The periods given ranged from one year to two hundred, the most popular being 100, 50, 20, 30, 75, 150, and 10 in that order.
The COVID pandemic has certainly made thermometers part of everyday discourse. Once upon a time, the mercury-filled instrument was the only home-friendly device available. I was not even sure you could buy one these days, but Amazon sells several "liquid-filled" devices. Here is some info from the vendor at the Amazon link.
Stanley Valinski's "man-catching tank," for which he received a patent in 1921 (#1,392,095), looked a bit like a dalek prototype.
He imagined it would be used in banks for catching and holding burglars. It consisted of an armored watchbox concealing an armed watchman who could peer out through peep holes. The entire device moved on electric-driven wheels, which the watchman could steer. Upon spotting a burglar, he would maneuver the tank into position and then grasp the criminal with six enormous steel claws attached to the side of the machine.
In 1976, King Dixon of Miami was shot five times at close range in the head during a bar fight. Not a single bullet penetrated his skull. He was hospitalized overnight for observation, and then released the following day in satisfactory condition.
Alexandria Town Talk - May 10, 1976
Casper Star-Tribune - May 12, 1976
It seemed at the time like he must have been bulletproof, but a follow-up by Miami Herald crime reporter Edna Buchanan, in her book Never Let Them See You Cry, reveals that he was affected by bullets after all:
Dixon was treated at a hospital and sent home, where I talked to him the next day. "My ears are still ringing," he said. "The gun was right at my ear. Those shots were really loud." Other than that, he felt fine. "I guess you have to ask the good Lord why I'm still alive."
But the bullets did kill him. I found King Dixon at the morgue eight years later. Since the shooting he had suffered seizures, and one of them killed him.
The medical examiner blamed the old bullet wounds and ruled the death a homicide.
King Dixon became Miami's only murder victim in 1984 killed by bullets fired in 1976.
Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.
Our banner was drawn by the legendary underground cartoonist Rick Altergott.