1971: After relocating the Boston Patriots from Boston to Foxborough (a half-hour south), team owner Billy Sullivan decided he needed to rename the team. So they became the Bay State Patriots.
A month later he changed the name again, to the New England Patriots. The reason this time: a radio announcer had referred to the team as the "BS Patriots." Sullivan explained, "We didn't think that abbreviation would reflect well on either the team or the league."
Maybe some Canadian WU-vie can explain the subtext of this ad. Three men hold up photos of hockey players while looking benignly but perhaps jealously at the fourth fellow who is smart enough to have a beer in his hand instead, with his own hockey photo (program book?) resting on a tabletop.
In the latest issue of The Wilson Journal of Ornithology, Olle Terenius of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences reports observing swans windsurfing (i.e. "using tailwind as a support for high-speed water transportation"). This is something that bird experts were apparently unaware that swans could do.
Terenius hopes to spread awareness of the phenomenon of windsurfing swans, although he notes that the general public may have been more aware that swans can do this than bird experts were. He says, "I think the reason that this is missing in the literature is that ornithologists who are out in the field only quickly note that they see a Mute swan and write it down on the list of bird observations, while the general public has observed windsurfing swans thinking that this is already a well-known phenomenon." (Science Daily)
Below are his field observations of windsurfing swans.
November 1993: As high school football coach Dale Christensen was giving a pep talk to his players in the school cafeteria, hours before a game, a fight broke out between two students and Christensen moved immediately to intercede.
Then shots rang out. Christensen fell to the ground, blood spreading across his shirt. Christensen's son (who was a player on the team) shouted, "My dad's been shot!" Panic erupted, and people started running, seeking cover from the shooter.
But a few seconds later, Christensen jumped back up and announced he was okay. The shooting had been fake — staged as a stunt to motivate the players.
Unfortunately for Christensen, he had a hard time getting anyone to understand why the fake shooting was motivational. He later noted, "people in general outside the football team... do not understand what he was trying to accomplish."
School officials definitely didn't understand. The team lost the game, and a few days later Christensen was forced to resign.
When "Steady" Ed Headrick, inventor of the Frisbee, died in 2002, he left instructions in his will that he wanted his ashes to be incorporated into discs so that he could fly like a frisbee. His wishes were honored, and you can still buy a set of these cremain frisbees at the Disc Golf Association for $200.
Discraft, the company that made the "Steady" Ed Memorial Frisbees, explained: "We understand that some people may not want to play with the discs and they might end up on a wall as collectibles. Therefore, we are selling the discs as sets of two so that you can at least play with one and keep the other in a pristine state."
There's also a single Steady Ed Cremain Frisbee with a different design for sale on eBay, currently going for $89.99.
A 49-year-old man complained of his inability to void when he came to the Letterman Army Medical Center Emergency Room. Physical examination revealed that he had a distended bladder and a firm, fixed, round object barely palpable which was lodged high in the rectum.
A Foley catheter was passed into the bladder and 800 ml of urine were removed. The patient then reluctantly described his recent activity. He and his sexual partner had celebrated a World Series victory of the Oakland Athletics by placing a baseball (hardball) in his rectum because, as he put it, "I'm oversexed."
The presence of the baseball was confirmed by radiography and proctologic examination. Under spinal anesthesia, the rectum was dilated and manipulations, including hooking the ball and pulling downward (enough to rip the cover of the ball), injecting air above the ball and giving downward traction, and obstetrical forceps delivery, failed.
Through a midline abdominal incision, a low anterior colotomy was made directly on the baseball. The baseball, increasingly swollen by fluid, had lodged in the hollow of the sacrum above the levator muscles and below the true pelvic inlet. The baseball was skewered with a corkscrew instrument. An assistant exerted digital upward pressure through the rectum and, combined with a force enough to raise the patient off the table, the bali was delivered through the colotomy.
No gross fecal spillage occurred. The eolotomy was closed and the patient had an uneventful postoperative course. Gentamicin and clindamycin were given intravenously interoperatively and for five days postoperatively. Follow-up examination a year later revealed normal bladder and rectal functions.
The same article offers some other interesting bits of info later on:
Various techniques for removing objects from the rectum through the anus and avoiding laparotomy have been described [in the medical literature]... a bottle was removed with a loop from a wire coat hanger; a light bulb was removed by using two spoons as forceps; a turnip was extracted with obstetrical forceps; a drinking glass was grasped with rubber-shod forceps and then withdrawn; another drinking glass was filled with plaster into which a pair of forceps was implanted, and then the forceps were used as a handle to pull the glass out through the anus.
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Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction books such as Elephants on Acid.
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