An accident on Germany's A2 autobahn involving 259 cars has left 66 people injured, 10 of them seriously, but incredibly resulted in no deaths.
The pile-up occurred in the late evening, when a combination of heavy rain and a setting sun hampered the drivers' vision and made the road conditions slippery. The first accident happened near Hamelerwald, and began a cascade of other accidents that over the next two hours grew to span a 30 kilometre stretch of road. It finally took 340 emergency workers well into the next morning to finish dealing with the people and vehicles involved and the clean-up cost is expected to exceed 1.75 million Euros, i.e. $2.5 million (NY Daily News).
John Ryan, writer and illustrator, and creator of the popular children's character Captain Pugwash died, aged 88, last Friday.
Ryan's most famous creation, the eponymous, bumbling, pirate and his equally inept crew (with the exception of the ever resourceful cabin-boy) were a staple of British children's television in the 50s and 60s, and even returned to UK screens for a brief revival in the late 90s. But it is for a quite different reason that most people will remember the series. Sometime in the 1970s, when the TV program had been off-air for nearly a decade, the urban rumour started that the characters had all been given double-entendre names. Pugwash's crew, it was claimed, had included characters called "Master Bates", "Seaman Staines" and "Roger the cabin-boy". In reality, the crew of The Black Pig, Pugwash's ship, were Master Mate, Barnabas and Willy, along with the cabin-boy, Tom. The legend became so well accepted that it was carelessly repeated as fact by both the Sunday Correspondent and Guardian newspapers, leading Ryan to sue, successfully, both papers for libel in 1991 (Obituary - Guardian).
The animation style used in Pugwash, as well as his other programs, Mary, Mungo and Midge, and Sir Prancelot, was unusual in that it was not done using stop-frame photography but by making articulated paper figures that could be moved like puppets in real-time.
John Wotherspoon's career was cut short due to what he claims was a malicious and deliberate hit and run. The hit and run occurred in June of last year, but the accused, Alexander Bogdanovich is on trial in Edinburgh, Scotland now. After an altercation in a nightclub where Bogdanovich was expelled by bouncers, he waited outside and argued with Wotherspoon again then drove off. Bogdanovich allegedly returned and ran down Wotherspoon, who was walking home. Bogdanovich denies these claims. Due to scars on Wotherspoon bottom he can no longer perform as a naked butler. He received facial injuries as well. But the scaring on his backside is why he is no longer employed to entertain 'hen parties' and charity events dressed only in an apron and bowtie. He also lost out on a summer of his modeling career due to the injuries. He says he's going after compensation as well. It's tough when suddenly you're not pretty anymore. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/5896861/Naked-butler-lost-job-due-to-car-crash-scar.html
In a giant leap forward for the rights of garden gnomes, especially golden ones using the Nazi salute, German courts declared gnomes have a "certain abuse potential" (whatever that means). The ruling continues with a warning for others not to "emulate the work".
In Houston, Texas Tracy Armstead got a big surprise when he attempted to rob a Subway restaurant. He lunged over the counter and grabbed the money drawer when the cash register opened. Employee, Yava Matthews, punched him in the face. Holding on to the cash drawer when he fell back against the wall turned out to be a bad decision as well. Ms. Matthews jumped the counter and went after the robber. The ensuing altercation spilled out the door at which point Ms. Matthews requested assistance from bystanders. She was given a pair of handcuffs, which she applied, and a taser, which she used. Upon being tased Armstead complained he could not breathe. To which Ms. Matthews responded that if he could talk then he could breathe and to be quiet or get tased again. I suspect he was as relieved as anyone when police arrived. http://www.kens5.com/latestnews/stories/KENS20090723-Robber-gets-knuckle-sandwich.6adfed3d.html
The other day I showed you the Super Nintoaster. I have now found someone who made their broken Super Nintendo into an alarm clock. It was made by http://mavrinac.com. You can read about how it was made here:
This one is a gem. Several examples of the strictly business only communication between cockpit crews and air traffic controllers. For example, a British Airlines jet was chastised for not knowing the way to their gate at the Frankfurt, Germany airport. The tower asked the Brits hadn't they ever been there before, in a short tone. The British pilot responded, 'Yes, twice in 1944, but it was dark and I didn't land.' Another was a female controller bitterly dressing down an airline crew. After her tirade no one spoke for a minute, then an unidentified voice said, 'Wasn't I married to you once?' Enjoy them all here http://maddad0467.newsvine.com/_news/2009/07/22/3051139-actual-exchanges-between-pilots-and-control-towers-funny
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.