Years ago Johnson, who is married and has two children, had an idea that he could float vertically if he tried hard enough. “It became an obsession,” he said…
For 12 years, Johnson said, he practiced, risking his life time and again trying to “force my body into harmony with the water.”
Johnson had a dream... to achieve something entirely useless.
"Sprinter Valerie Peat is one athlete who agrees on the importance of that extra fraction of an inch. She said she would have been second instead of third in last year's European games 200-meter race in Athens if her bust had been bigger."
May 6, 1970: Japanese extreme skier Yuichiro Miura became the first person to ski on Mt. Everest. And amazingly, he didn't die. The stunt was filmed and was the subject of a 1975 documentary, The Man Who Skied Down Everest. Check out the clip below.
Miura later became the oldest person to reach the summit of Everest, climbing it at the age of 70 and again when he was 80.
Back in 1930, George Kinder of Milwaukee set a record for endurance bowling. He bowled for 50 hours 20 mins, rolling 362 ½ games. He had to quit because "his thumb was badly split, blistered and torn, and he couldn't grasp the ball."
Courier News - Jan 13, 1930
41 years later, Richard Dewey of Kansas City set a new endurance record. He bowled for 98 hrs 45 mins, rolling 1220 games. But Dewey also had to quit because of injuries:
During his four days on the lanes, Dewey suffered a sprained right arm, severe blisters and swollen fingers. To overcome the problem of the sprained arm, he alternated arms, throwing left, then right-handed. To take the pressure off swollen and blistered fingers, his eight-pound bowling ball was drilled out every 20 hours. But after he was unable to stop the bleeding from his fingers, officials said enough was enough.
It sounds like it should be a joke, but apparently in the past various states have debated whether they should issue hunting licenses for the blind. And today some states appear to issue such licenses. For instance, on the website of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game a "Resident Hunting License for the Blind" is listed as costing $45.00.
Pittsburgh Post Gazette - Dec 2, 1953
I think the clipping below explains these licenses. They allow blind people to go out hunting with their friends. Someone else (who can see) has to do the actual shooting, but the blind person can claim one of the game animals as their own kill.
Tallahassee Democrat - Apr 15, 1959
A separate issue is whether a blind person can purchase a regular hunting license. I don't know what the current laws are, but in 1963 in Washington state there was nothing to prevent them from doing so, as demonstrated by the stunt below in which blind attorney Arnold Sadler purchased a hunting license for himself.
1994: The Japan Sumo Association finally got around to banning the practice, apparently quite common among young sumo wrestlers, of implanting lumps of silicone beneath their scalp in order to meet the minimum height requirement of 5 feet 8 inches. The Association probably wouldn't have done anything if they hadn't become embarrassed by media reports of conehead wrestlers.
Before the silicone technique became popular, some wrestlers used to hit themselves on top of their head to raise large bumps before being measured.
Morristown Daily Record - July 13, 1994
Sumo wrestler Mainoumi, before and after scalp implant
Prof. Henry Lewis — a trick billiardist whose specialty was playing with his nose. He was also a champion at finger billiards. He spent his retirement years, when he was in his 70s and 80s, touring the country doing exhibition matches of nose billiards. As far as I can tell, he's the only person ever to have made a career out of doing this.
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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.
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.
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