, the lovely nickname for a creature found on Chilean beaches that bleeds when cut open. In fact locals eat it with salad and rice. (and a nice Chianti, just kidding!) There is a disturbing video at the link showing one of the living rocks being dissected by a tourist.
Nowadays we have the Burning Man festival. But back in the 19th century, they had the Burning Rat festival.
Some years since a gentleman, who had just returned from Rome, informed me that he had witnessed the extraordinary spectacle of a large number of rats, after having been dipped into spirits of turpentine and set on fire, being turned loose at the top of the flight of steps which leads from the Vatican to the Plaza below. A great crowd of persons was assembled to witness the spectacle, which took place at night; and I think my informant stated, was customary on the evening of a particular day of the year: the miserable rats, which left the top step of the flight like living balls of fire — amidst the shouts of the populace — arrived at the bottom mere masses of scorched flesh.
Is this custom still kept up at Rome? If so, on what day in the year?
From: Notes and Queries. Nov 28, 1857
Unfortunately, I don't believe that the correspondent ever received a reply to his question.
A Japanese island that during WWII held secret poison gas producing factories now is home to something much more pleasant. Herds of friendly bunnies
who love to be fed and petted as you can see by the delightful video above.
Feb. 18 is Elm Farm Ollie Day, commemorating the first flight in a plane by a cow. An article posted over at rootsweb.ancestry.com
tells us that Elm Farm Ollie (aka Sunnymede Ollie, Nellie Jay, or Sky Queen) is remembered each year at the dairy festival in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin:
Celebrated as a pasteurized legend of the pasture, Ollie has for 60 years remained the star attraction at the Feb. 18 dairy festival held each year at Mount Horeb, Wisc. In addition to having her praises sung in such works as "The Bovine Cantata in B-Flat Major" (from Madame Butterfat) and the stirring "Owed to Ollie," she has been the subject of stories, cartoons and poems. E. D. Thalinger even painted her portrait for posterity.
A 1930 news-wire story provided details about the historic flight:
Will Milk Cow in Air
Claude M. Sterling, of Parks Air college, will pilot Sunnymede Ollie, Guernsey from Bismarck, Missouri, over the city in a tri-motored Ford.
The cow will be fed and milked and the milk parachuted down in paper containers. A quart of milk will be presented to Colonel Lindbergh when he arrives.
Weighing more than 1000 pounds, the cow will be flown to demonstrate the ability of aircraft. Scientific data will be collected on her behavior.
-The Evening Tribune (Albert Lea, Minn.) - Feb. 18, 1930.
More info at wikipedia
Zapping the poor little squirrels, how cruel!
Put 90 cows in a shed without good ventilation, add a little static electricity and...BOOM!
The shed was damaged and one cow was injured.
I understand Michael Bay has already optioned this book for his next film, due to its over-the-top action.
View the whole book here.