There have been alot of complaints lately about the price of cigarettes. What with the tax increase, smokers get hit pretty hard. But one smoker really got sticker shock recently. Josh Museynski of Manchester, New Hampshire stopped at the gas station to pick up a pack of smokes earlier this week. Later when checking his account online he was appalled to discover a debit for 23 quadrillion dollars. That's 23 followed by 15 zeros. Upon calling the bank he was reassured that it was a mistake (ya think?) and would be corrected (I should hope so!). Makes you wonder, did he swear off smoking or double his consumption from nerves? Oh and the most amazing part of the story, the bank overdraft fee was $15. Don't believe me? Check it out here- http://www.wmur.com/money/20057331/detail.html
It seems we have had a number of Germans posted about on WU lately, here's another. A forty-five year old Duesseldorf man attempted to fix his air mattress and instead blew up his apartment. He used tire repair solvent to plug the mattress. The next day he attempted to blow it up and succeeded but not in the way he intended. The electric air pump sparked the tire solvent and KABOOM! The apartment building, as well as a neighboring one, were evacuated so firefighters could make sure the building where the explosion occured was safe. Understandable precaution since the living room wall of the man's apartment was blown into the stairwell. If you are exploding with curiosity read the rest here- http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/reuters/090715/odds/odd_us_mattress_odd
Well, the Swiss have done it and it's been verified by Guinness World Records. The world's smallest gun measures no more then 5.5 cm long and fires 2.34 mm caliber ammunition. It's a double action revolver that functions just like it's bigger siblings. Unfortunately for you American gun collectors out there the SwissMiniGun is not available in the U.S. and cannot be imported, but it's fun to look at. For those of you who may be able to purchase one, they are available in either steel or gold and can apparently be tricked out with diamonds. SwissMiniGun
Things sure have changed since I was a kid and fast food worker (about ten years ago). Back then the fast food workers would've been high and hoping the customers didn't notice, but last Friday it was an Arby's employee calling to report a drive-thru customer indulging with his girlfriend and one-year-old in the car. The boyfriend is free on bond after charges of neglect of a dependent and possession of marijuana were filed against him. The Indy Star
And from Rensselaer, Indiana comes a report of a 17 and 14-year-old who finally slaughtered a 150 pound, 6 foot long, alligator with a shotgun after their frog spears failed to do the trick. And no, they will not face criminal charges since alligators are not considered a game species in Indiana. The Indy Channel
Not @%#&?! likely! But this post is on a subject close to my heart, pain (must see a doctor about that).
Cartoon expletives aside, a bit of invective can do you the world of good, or so said scientists recently. A research team from from Keele University asked volunteers to hold their hand in freezing water for as long as they could manage while repeating either an innocuous word or the swear-word of their choice. The swearers held out for an average of two minutes, while non-swearers managed only 1 minute 15 seconds. But while Rohan Byrt of the Casual Swearing Appreciation Society claimed the study demonstrated the benefits of swearing, team leader Richard Stephens warned that everyday swearing would lessen its painkilling effects. "Swearing is emotional language" he explained, "but if you overuse it, it loses its emotional attachment" (BBC News).
From this week, pregnant women throughout Britain considering "letting it out" to help with the pain might also want to direct their curses towards Dr Denis Walsh, associate professor of midwifery at Nottingham University in England. In an article in the journal Evidence Based Midwifery, Dr Walsh claimed last week that the pain of childbirth was useful and a "timeless rite of passage", and women should not be trying to avoid it with epidural anaesthesia. Walsh based his statement on the fact that the use of epidurals has almost doubled in the past two decades, claiming that in 20% of cases, the procedure was unnecessary. While some, like Dr. Justin Clarke of the Birmingham Women's Hospital, rejected Walsh's data, saying it was wrong to characterise modern women as "less stoical", others supported him, such as Mary Newburn of the National Childbirth Trust who spoke of there being an "epidural culture" (Telegraph).
But perhaps women might be convinced to trade in the needle for a fancy rubber suit? Baltimore company Under Armour has developed a hi-tech, full length bodysuit that is said to allow athletes recover more quickly after strenuous activity. Under Armour's "Recharge" range gently squeezes the athlete's body forcing excess fluid out of the muscles and back into the bloodstream over a period of hours after a workout, reversing the "pumped" effect of the exercise. Research by the University of Connecticut showed that doing so resulted in subjects feeling less soreness and swelling of the muscles and recuperating faster (Journal Gazette).
There's always people trying to find alternative energy sources. We have wind power, solar power and now citrus power. Anna Gram made a clock powered by lemons. She says it was made to remind us that nature is still our direct energy source. There isn't anywhere you can buy one but you can read more about it here:
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.
Chuck is the purveyor of News of the Weird, the syndicated column which for decades has set the gold-standard for reporting on oddities and the bizarre.
Our banner was drawn by the legendary underground cartoonist Rick Altergott.