Category Archives: Strange news.

Strange things in the news part 9: deadman’s pacemaker kickstarts him back to life

Here are a few wacky thing I stumbled across recently:

A funeral home in Mississippi were preparing to embalm a man when he kicked his way out of a body bag. The local coroner suspects that the man’s pacemaker may have stopped, then started working again by itself.

A woman on a tourist bus in Iceland ended up in a search party looking for herself for three hours, before she realised she was the one they were looking for. She’d gone to the bathroom at a tourist spot and changed her clothes.  The other passengers didn’t recognise her in her new clothes and started a search for her.

A Japanese man was so drunk that he fell under a train, which cut his leg off. He was so drunk he slept through it.

And an American evangelical preacher has called for comedian Bill Maher to be flogged for blasphemy.

Ever wondered how  Cosmo magazine  gets around censorship in Middle east? Answer: it’s not easy, but it’s funny. More here .

An American sociology professor has been surveying his students for twenty-five years on whether they have a close friend of the opposite sex. Twenty five years ago it was one in ten, Today almost all have. That might not be funny, but I think it represents a change for the better.

And finally, an American student in Germany had to be freed by the fire brigade after getting himself stuck in a statue of a vagina.

So have you seen anything weird on the news lately? If so fell free to add a note or a link.


Odd stuff I found in the papers this week.

In Britain, a young woman has had her stomach removed after drinking a cocktail made with liquid nitrogen. Gaby Scanian, 18, a resident of Haysham in Lancashire, drank the cocktail at Oscars Bar in Lancaster. The bar had advertised the drink on its Facebook page.  Adding liquid nitrogen to the cocktail makes it give off white smoke. Liquid nitrogen is often used to chill food and glasses, but if swallowed may burn your mouth, throat, and stomach. The bar has since stopped serving the drink.

Cocktail Picture by Lynn Kelley Author, WANA Commons

Scientist have discovered a new type of squid, named  Vampyroteuthis infernalis, (Latin for  “Vampire squid from Hell”).  The squid lives at ocean depths so low that it can’t form muscle tissue, so it lives on  dead things, and guess what else? Faeces. Yep, that’s right. Apparently this doesn’t require a whole lot of muscle development.

Some squid that live in the waters around the states of Victoria and Tasmania, Australia, use up so much energy in mating that they swim slower for half an hour afterwards. The “dumpling squid” only live a year, and become sexually mature at four months, so they have to get it while they can. Melbourne University Master of Science student Amanda Franklin studied the squid and published  her findings in the Journal “Biology Letters.” According to Franklin, the squid have multiple partners and the males initiate sex “whenever they can.” Being slow to swim afterwards makes them vulnerable to predators, so they bury themselves in sand to hide.

A bride in the town of Jallias  in western France gave birth to a baby, only minutes after the wedding  ceremony. She was not due for a week, but felt unwell after a ceremony at the town hall and went back inside. Minutes later paramedics were called after her waters broke. The local mayor, Jean-Robert Gachet, said it was a very emotional moment for everyone when the baby was delivered. Yeah. sounds like bad planning to me. I wonder what the wedding photos will look like.

If anyone would like to alert me to weird stuff in their newspapers, please let me know.

ON A MORE SERIOUS NOTE: There has been a lot of discussion this last couple of weeks about the film “Innocence of the Muslims,” and the resulting riots in many counties, including at least a couple of dozen people who have been killed. I found this video by a Muslim man, Syed Mahmoud, urging his fellow Muslims not to demonstrate or riot. I agree. The film is an artless piece of junk that looks as tho a-14 year-old made it just to be provocative and seek attention. Mahmoud argues that by continuing to demonstrate, people are simply giving the film free publicity, for no good outcome. I agree, and   here’s the link to his video.

Have a good week.

Richard Snow

My novel ‘Fire Damage,’ an action thriller, is available on Amazon Kindle, here :The novel is based on the Japanese religious cult Aum Shinrikyo, which released Sarin nerve gas in the Tokyo subway system in the 1990s. If you don’t have a Kindle, you can download the app to read it on your computer or phone from here.

The world is getting stranger: what do chess games have in common with assault rifles?

Chess players with assault rifles? Sounds unlikely, doesn’t it? But first some other strange news:

A consumer agency in the US filed a law suit to ban the sale of “Bucky balls” (shapes that fit together with the aid of magnets inside them.) A total of twenty-two children had swallowed the magnets and suffered an injury, out of a total of 475 million magnets sold. Someone did a  bit of mathematics, and calculated the rate of injuries per 100,000 people from Bucky balls, tennis, skate boarding, and dog bites. Guess what’s most likely to give you an injury that needs medical attention? Guess first. I’ll tell you at the end of this blog.

In Australia, a youth on the run from the police decided to hide in the roof cavity of a house when the police came to a party. He should have stayed still, because when the moved, he fell through the ceiling, and into the long arms of the law. I’m sure the cops were surprised too.

Can you imagine chess players with  assault rifles? Neither can I. But it turns out that the Sicilian Defence, one of the most common chess openings, has a variation called the  Kalashnikov variation  What the Hell?? Well, the AK47 weapon was named after an Mikhail Kalashnikov, who invented it in 1947. Chess openings, as it happens, are often named after the city where they were first successfully used in an international tournament, or the player who made them famous by coming up with a new twist and winning unexpectedly. But the various chess websites and books I’ve consulted have no information as to which Mr Kalashnikov started the chess move. His first name appears lost to history.

AK 47 (photo from Wikipedia Commons)

And what about the Buckey balls? It turns out that tennis is more likely to cause you an injury than skateboarding, dog bites, accidental poisoning with household substances, and Buckey balls come last.    Click here for the stats.

The world is getting stranger: that piranha ate my kid’s finger!

Here’s a collection of strange things I’ve come across recently.

A family in Chicago thought their pit-bull had eaten one of their daughter’s finger. When the doctors said it wasn’t a dog injury, the father went home, gutted one of the family’s two piranhas and found the finger. Seriously? They have a toddler and a pit-bull and two piranhas?

In Britain, a team at Bristol University  has developed  a chewing gum called Rev7. It’s water soluble and  won’t stick to footpaths (sidewalks).  London Mayor Boris Johnston is strongly in favor. He’s tired of the cost of cleaning gum and other “adhesive” objects off the  streets.

Motorist Flora Burkhart  has been charged in Van Buren, Arkansas, for rear-ending another vehicle and then fleeing the scene of the collision because she didn’t want her ice-cream to melt.

Two cops in New Mexico, Ernest Armijio and Brian Bernal,  aren’t allowed to carry guns  because of their law-breaking history. One because of a dispute over child support arrears, and the other because of domestic violence.

Some things in life are too quaint for words. I learned this week that Britain has a public office called  “Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary”. What does it do? Conducts reviews of how well the regional police forces in England and Wales are doing their jobs. But it’s a cute title, isn’t it?

Recently, I came across the Finnish and Russian habit of swimming in frozen, or near-frozen rivers and lakes.   Apparently they punch a hole in the ice and jump in, often wearing ordinary swimwear rather than wetsuits.  How do you stop the ice freezing up again on you? Keep a pump in the water to keep it circulating.

So would anyone else care to contribute  anything odd you’ve come across in papers, on the net, or seen personally? The stranger the better!

– – – – – – – – – – – –

My novel ‘Fire Damage,’ an action thriller, is available on Amazon Kindle, at:
The novel is based on the Japanese religious cult Aum Shinrikyo, which released Sarin nerve gas in the Tokyo subway system in the 1990s.
If you don’t have a Kindle, you can download the app to read it on your computer or phone from here:

The world is getting stranger – marijuana from a vending machine.

Well, according to news items, a club in New Zealand  has a vending machine that dispenses 1 gram bags of marijuana for NZ$20 (about US$15) for “medicinal” purposes. The club is owned by the National Organisation for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (Normal).

Cannabis Skunk Plant

Photo from

This no doubt poses the police with a dilemma. Who could they charge with selling the drug? To know this, I’d guess they have to know who stocked the machine, and who collected the cash. If these activities are done when the club is closed, and the police can’t see, who do they charge? Police in the town  of Waitemata are said to be “monitoring the situation.” (New Zealand, town names are often hard for non-Kiwis to pronounce, but I’m guessing this is pronounced Why tay-mah-ta). The club founder, Dakta Green, wants to open “Daktories” in every town in the country. (Think about that for a second. His name is  Dakta??? What the hell were his parents thinking??

It opens up all sorts of other possibilities. New Zealand has recently had some devastating earthquakes and a tornado. Imagine some residents of country towns  sitting through the next cyclone, staring into space and giggling, as the sheet metal and glass shards fly around their heads. Earthquakes and tornadoes are terrifying things. I hope that doesn’t happen.

Why not introduce them onto Australian beaches? “Shark alert? What Shark? No worries mate. She’ll be right.” Instead of “Throw another shrimp on the barby,” it would  be “have another joint, cobber.” Or up in Northern Australia where fresh water crocodiles have a habit of eating tourists who ignore the “don’t swim here” signs, it might produce some even greater effects. Does a crock who ingests a stoned tourist get any of the relaxation benefits of the dope from the tourist? After all, you are what you eat.

Or what about American schools where guards use metal detectors  and search students for guns as they go into schools. Trade in your gun for some dope. Get another gram before Math class.

Maybe they should have tried this before those republican nomination debates that began last year. Michelle Bachman and Mitt Rommney with a couple of grams each in them?

“Yeah, No worries. You’d make a great president , Michelle.”

“You too Mitt.”

“Newt, wanna be my Vice President?”

“No sweat, as long as we get one of those vending machines into the White House. Foreign Policy is a real drag. It would be a lot nicer of we could have a real drag as we decide it.”

The world could be a more relaxed place if every country had a “Daktory” in every town and suburb.

“You want me to stop building nuclear missiles?” says Kim Jong-Un. “Hey dude, like, give me a thousand of those pot machines and I’ll do anything you like.”