CDC researchers recently published a study of contaminants found in public pools (in the metro-Atlanta area). It's worth reading if you plan to take a dip in a public pool this summer. Here are the highlights:
During the 2012 summer swimming season, filter concentrate samples were collected at metro-Atlanta public pools... Escherichia coli, a fecal indicator, was detected in 93 (58%) samples; detection signifies that swimmers introduced fecal material into pool water. Fecal material can be introduced when it washes off of swimmers' bodies or through a formed or diarrheal fecal incident in the water. The risk for pathogen transmission increases if swimmers introduce diarrheal feces...
The detection of E. coli in over half of filter backwash samples indicates that swimmers frequently introduced fecal material into pools and thus might transmit infectious pathogens to others... A single diarrheal contamination incident can introduce 107–108 Cryptosporidium oocysts into the water, a quantity sufficient to cause infection if a mouthful of water from a typical pool is ingested.
The frequent occurrence of fecal contamination of pools documented in this study... underscore the need for improved swimmer hygiene (e.g., taking a pre-swim shower and not swimming when ill with diarrhea). This study also found that the proportion of samples positive for E. coli significantly differed between membership/club and municipal pools. This finding might reflect differences in the number of swimmers who are either diapered children or children learning toileting skills.
I'm pretty sure Chuck has reported on other cases of people found swimming in the human waste pits found beneath outhouses, so I'll just offer this recent case as yet another example of how this scenario might occur. An elderly man visiting Carters Lake in Georgia must have thought the outhouses there were some kind of newfangled way of going to the bathroom. Because of sitting down to relieve himself, he stood on top of the toilet seat, slipped, and fell down into the sewage pool below. It was over an hour before people realized he was missing and started looking for him. [Dalton Daily Citizen]
SEATTLE, May 12, 1972 -- Pool Cocoon -- Students at the University of Washington went floating on an inner tube one better recently. They made their own inner tube and floated in it. The huge plastic tube was kept expanded by air forced from a blower. Black tape at the top was used to join two sheets of plastic to form the tube.
Popular UK tourist attraction The London Dungeon got a little creepier this week, when it turned out one of the skeletons on display at its “creepy crypt” exhibit was the genuine article. The skeleton, since nicknamed “Kate Moss” by staff, has been on display since 1975, but will now require a license to remain on show, at a cost to dungeon owners Merlin Entertainments of £2000 per year. In the short term at least, this will likely be more than made up for by the surge of visitors arising from this fortuitous publicity, occurring just before school break (The Telegraph).
Miss Moss isn’t the only famous beauty to have her image misappropriated this week, with German magazine Focus deciding a photoshopped image of the goddess Aphrodite giving the finger was an apt summation of the current financial crisis among “Eurozone” countries - popularly (in Germany) laid at the doorstep of member country Greece. However although the country is out of money, it is not without pride, and the provocative cover has led to questions being asked in the Greek parliament and widespread outrage. Now a party of six Greek citizens have started legal action against the journalists responsible. Soon to be a major motion picture, My Big Fat Greek Lawsuit (Orange).
Someone else who still has their pride, but only just, is the husband of 69 year-old Virginia Valdez of Palm Springs, California, who after 32 years of marriage, decided enough was enough and tried to cut off her husband’s penis with a pair of scissors. No motive for the attack has yet been released, but this close to Christmas, wives everywhere are sure to insinuate that it was possibly a seasonal condition brought on by lack of jewellery (NBC San Diego).
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.
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