Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Penny in Mouth Foils Breath Alcohol Test

Santa Fe New Mexican [NM]
31 December 2008

Santa Fe man faces fifth DWI charge

A 21-year-old Santa Fe man facing his fifth drunken-driving arrest Monday may have tried to use a well-known but faulty urban myth to avoid charges, according to a police report.

[Aaron Rubio put a penny and a metal screw in his mouth before taking a breath alcohol test.]

Monday, December 29, 2008

Dognapping Fear, Upper West Side, NYC

The New Yorker
5 January 2009

The Talk of the Town

Man's Best Friend
Shaggy-dog Story

by Kate Julian

[...] And then, several weeks ago, dog-napping terror hit the Upper West Side. E-mails began circulating (one subject line: "DOGNAPPING attempts in NYC with RAZOR and RANSOM -- get dogs ON LEASHES -- happening on West Side"), and flyers were posted at dog runs and veterinary offices and pet stores ("COMMUNITY ALERT: DOGNAPPING attempts on the West Side"). Dog owners, particularly women with small dogs -- said to be the prime target -- began to panic. [...]

New America Media
4 February 2009

As Economy Tanks, Is Fifi Safe?
'Dognapping' on the Rise in New York City

Louis Nevaer

Editor’s Note: In the latest indication of the deepening economic crisis in New York, a new phenomenon is on the rise: dognapping. The crime is entering the ranks of urban legend: Everyone knows someone who knows someone whose dog has been abducted and who had to pay ransom. [...]

Cheap Range Rovers for the Disabled

The Sentinel [UK]
22 December 2008

Are we funding Range Rovers for the disabled?

ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS: I was appalled to hear that you can get a brand new Range Rover for £5,000 if you are disabled.

That means that the public are paying the balance, which could be £45,000 to £50,000 for each one. Surely this money would be better spent on drugs that the NHS cannot afford.

There are children and adults suffering so that people can ride around in Range Rovers.

I am not saying that we should go back to invalid cars as in the 1950s and '60s, but to go to this extent is absolutely ridiculous. What will it be next, a Rolls Royce?


The Sentinel [UK]
27 December 2008

Free cars for disabled are a myth

MYTHS DISABLED: So Mr Wheawall resents disabled people having the use of Motorbility vehicles. Mr Wheawall, I am not disabled and nor do I have a 'free' car. However, as you seem so envious of what you believe others to have, I would like to inform you that disabled people are not given a new Range Rover for £5,000. If they have the money to hand over £5,000 for the use of a car for three years, they are able to use one. After three years, they hand the car back. They do not have a refund of the £5,000.

I have heard that some people believe that disabled people are also given free petrol for their cars. That is another urban myth.

The Sentinel [UK]
27 December 2008
Disabled drivers lease, not buy, their cars

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Holocaust Memoir

The Associated Press
27 December 2008

Publication of disputed Holocaust memoir canceled


NEW YORK (AP) - The publisher of a disputed Holocaust memoir has canceled the book, adding the name Herman Rosenblat to an increasingly long line of literary fakers and bringing down with a crash his story - embraced by Oprah Winfrey among others - of meeting his future wife at a Nazi concentration camp. [...]
The Associated Press
28 December 2008
Anger, sadness over fabricated Holocaust story
The Associated Press
26 December 2008
Author, publisher defend disputed Holocaust memoir
The New Republic
26 December 2008
Wartime Lies
by Gabriel Sherman
The New Republic
25 December 2008
The Greatest Love Story Ever Sold
by Gabriel Sherman
New York Times
29 December 2008
False Memoir of Holocaust Is Canceled

Wedding Rings Thrown Into the Truckee River

Reno Gazette-Journal [NV]
28 December 2008

Getting 'Reno-Vated': The 'ring' of truth

Guy Rocha

[The Nevada state archivist examines the legend that Nevada divorcees celebrate their liberation by throwing their wedding rings into the Truckee River. -- bc]

John Milton Hagen, Holly-Would (New Rochelle, NY: Arlington House, 1974), p. 87.

Richard Wallace, director, informs us that the wedding rings thrown into the Truckee River after Reno divorces have been granted are recovered by hoboes.

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Glass Club

William Guy Carr, Pawns in the Game (1958), pp. 82-4.

The way international intrigue was used to depose the Right Honourable H.H. Asquith when he was Prime Minister of Great Britain in 1916 was explained to me by a man who was extremely well informed. I met him while serving as King’s Messenger in 1917. We were in my room, in a hotel when, during the course of conversation, I mentioned that I strongly suspected that a comparatively small group of extremely wealthy men used the power their wealth could buy to influence national and international affairs, to further their own secret plans and ambitions.

My companion replied: “If you talk about such things it is unlikely that you will live long enough to realize how right you are.” He then told me how Mr. Asquith had been deposed in December 1916, and Mr. David Lloyd George, Winston Churchill, and The Rt. Hon. Arthur James Balfour were placed in power in England.

The story he told me had a remarkable similarity to the plot used by the Secret Powers who directed the campaign of L’Infamie immediately prior to the outbreak of the French revolution in 1789. It will be recalled a letter was used to lure Cardinal Prince de Rohan to the Palais Royal where he was involved with a prostitute disguised as Marie Antoinette. The alleged modern method is as follows:

Shortly after the outbreak of the war in August 1914 a small group of wealthy men authorized an agent to turn an old, but very spacious mansion, into a fabulous private club. Those who made it possible to finance such a costly undertaking insisted that their identity remain secret. They explained that they simply wished to show their deep appreciation to officers in the Armed Forces who were risking their lives for King and Country.

The club provided every kind of luxury, entertainment, and facilities for pleasure. The use of the club was usually restricted to commissioned officers on leave in London from active service. A new member had to be introduced by a brother officer. My companion referred to it as the “Glass Club”.[1]

Upon arrival, officer guests were interviewed by an official. If he was satisfied with their credentials they were told how the club functioned. The officer applying for admission was asked to give his word of honour that he would not mention the names of any persons he met during his stay at the club, or reveal their identity after he left the club. Having given this solemn promise, it was explained to the guest that he would meet a number of women well known in the best of London’s society. They all wore masks. The officer was asked not to try to identify any of the ladies. He was sworn to keep their secret should he happen to identify any of them accidentally.

With the preliminaries over, the officer was shown to his private room. It was furnished in a most luxuriant manner. The furnishings included a huge double bed, dressing table, wardrobe, cabinet with wines and liqueurs, a smoking humidor, and private toilet and bath. The new guest was invited to make himself at home. He was informed that he would receive a lady visitor. She would wear a brooch of costume jewelry with the number of his room. If, after getting acquainted, he wished to take her down to dinner that was his privilege.

The reception room, where guests and their hostesses mingled over cocktails before dinner, was like that of a King’s palace. The dining room was large enough to accommodate fifty couples. The ballroom was such that many people dream about but few seldom see. Costly decorations were set off by luxurious drapes, subdued lighting, beautiful women gorgeously dressed, soft dreamy music, the smell of rare perfumes, made the place an Arab’s dream of heaven. The whole atmosphere of the club was such that the officers home on leave relaxed at first and then set out to have a real Roman Holiday. There was nothing gross or vulgar about the “Glass Club”. Everything about the place was beautiful, delicate, soft, and pliant ... the exact opposite of the horrors, the violence, the brutality, of a modern war. Between dance numbers entertainers gave performances which brought out the feelings of joy, fun and laughter. As the evening progressed, a long buffet was literally loaded with luscious dishes of fish and game. A bar provided every kind of drink from champagne to straight whisky. Between midnight and one a.m. five beautiful girls performed the Dance of the Seven Veils. The dance depicted a scene in a Sultan’s Harem. The girls started the dance fully clothed, (even to the veil they wore to conceal the facial features) but, when the dance ended the girls were entirely naked. They danced the final act in their lithe-nakedness, waving the flimsy veil around and about them in a manner which extenuated, rather than concealed, their physical charms. Couples, when tired of entertainment, dancing, and other people’s company, retired to their private rooms.

Next day they could enjoy indoor swimming, tennis, badminton, billiards, or, there was the card room which was a miniature Monte Carlo. About November 1916 a very high personage was lured into visiting the Club when he received a note saying that he would obtain information of the greatest importance to the British Government. He drove to the Club in his private car. He instructed his chauffeur to wait for him. After being admitted, he was taken to one of the luxuriously furnished bed-sitting rooms. A lady joined him. When she saw him she nearly fainted. It was his own wife. She was much younger than her husband. She had been acting as hostess to lonely officers on leave for a considerable time. It was a most embarrassing situation.

The wife knew nothing of the plot. She had no secret information to give. She was convinced that both she and her husband were philandering. She thought it was only this unfortunate chance meeting which had brought them face to face. There was a scene. The husband was informed regarding the part hostesses played at the Club. But his lips were sealed as if in death. He was a member of the Government. He couldn’t afford to figure in a scandal.

1. An exact duplicate of this club was organized just outside Montreal during World War Two.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Killer Perfume Rumors, UAE

Al-Arabiya [United Arab Emirates]
22 December 2008

Claiming death of 18 people
Killer perfume rumors raise fears in the UAE

ABU DHABI (Ahmed Sherif)

Abu Dhabi police sought to play down fears among consumers on Monday that a killer perfume was on the loose after a rumor was spread by text message to mobile phones.

The text messages claimed that in four days 18 people had died after using the unnamed perfume and that another 35 had been admitted to intensive care in hospitals in Abu Dhabi. The text messages also urged the receivers to spread send warnings to the people they know as quickly as possible to rescue as much people as possible. [...]

Gulf News [UAE]
23 December 2008

Police deny rumours about 'killer perfume' in UAE


Abu Dhabi/Dubai: Police in Abu Dhabi and Dubai have denied rumours that some vendors were selling a perfume that could kill users in four days. [...]

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Mae West's Earpiece

[Tony Curtis and George Hamilton appeared in Sextette (1978), Mae West's last film. By some accounts, she was barely sentient at the time.]

Tony Curtis and Barry Paris, Tony Curtis: The Autobiography (NY: William Morrow and Company, 1993), p. 251.

She had a hearing aid that was connected to the booth where Ken Hughes sat and smoked. It looked like a telephone booth with glass windows, and it was wired up to her earphone. Waiting for the shot, Ken would smoke, and this booth would get fogged up until you could barely see him. In the middle of my line he would say her line so that she could say it when I finished. But it was a high-frequency radio connection, and it picked up a lot of other stuff. One day during a scene I heard her say "605 Fountain" -- the hearing aid was picking up police calls, and she blurted this out -- "605 Fountain, proceed with caution!" or whatever the fuck it was. Another time she picked up some helicopter signals and started to report traffic conditions on the Hollywood Freeway.

Tony Curtis with Peter Golenbock, American Prince (NY: Harmony Books, 2008), p. 291.

As I said, Mae didn't know her lines, so the director sat in a closed booth just outside the scene and read her lines into a microphone that transmitted his voice over a shortwave radio signal. Mae had an earpiece that would broadcast the director's voice into her ear, and she simply repeated the lines as she heard them. The director would smoke while he was in there reading her lines to her, until the booth would become so full of smoke you couldn't see him anymore. When he coughed, so did she. I would stand there, watching this, thinking, This is crazy.

One time I was doing a scene with Mae, and we had the setup with the booth and the microphone going. The director said, "Action," and I gave my line, and Mae replied, "Altercation on Melrose and Sunset. Approach with caution."

The director yelled, "Cut!" Everyone looked at each other; those words weren't in the script. The director asked her what she was talking about, and she said something like, "Units are en route." Then we realized that Mae's earpiece had been intercepting signals from a police shortwave radio.

George Hamilton and William Stadiem, Don't Mind If I Do (NY: Simon & Schuster, 2008), p. 255.

When I met Mae for our first scene, I thought in was in Madame Tussaud's on acid. She was all of four feet tall, with platform shoes a foot high and hair a foot and a half. Here was our dialogue.

Me: "Hi baby, long time no grab."

Mae: "Vance, Vance, I thought you were dead. I was in mourning for three weeks. When I played on the piano, I only played on the black keys...a little to the left...What?...Cut. Cut...a little to the left..."

It sounded somehow as if it was coming out of Mae's hair. I turned in shell shock to my dresser, who said, "She's wired up," and pointed to the director. Then I realized that it was coming out of her hair. Mae was wearing an earpiece wherein her lines were being fed to her, and she just repeated them -- and anything else the director said. We went back to work.

Garage Door Porn

Tony Curtis with Peter Golenbock, American Prince (NY: Harmony Books, 2008), p. 112.

[Actor Donald O'Connor] was a hilarious guy, and we got along great. He used to love to use his film projector to secretly project porno films onto his next-door neighbor's garage door. A car would drive by at night, and you'd hear the tires squeal as the driver slammed on the brakes. Then Donald would shut the film off.

James Bacon, Hollywood Is a Four Letter Town (Chicago: Henry Regnery Company, 1976), pp. 23-4.

[One night comic Red Skelton] called me up to the house, which was high atop a hill in Bel-Air, and we went up to his bedroom. Red showed me a projection machine with a powerful telephoto lens and said, "Look down there on Sunset Boulevard. See that house on the curve with the white garage door? You see it?"

It could be seen, all right, but I was not prepared for what use Skelton would make of it. He took out a stag reel. I still remember the title -- The Little Sister. It was one of those filthy reels where the wife's gorgeous little sister comes to visit. The wife leaves the sister with the husband to get better acquainted.

Well, in a matter of seconds, they are well acquainted indeed -- both nude in bed and doing all the oral sex acts people do in stag reels.

Red had focused this reel on the white garage door on Sunset Boulevard. You could hear the brakes screeching all the way up the hill. Can you imagine driving down a busy street and seeing a girl going down on a guy on a garage door?

Showing this reel became a popular pastime of Red's -- until the cops traced the light beams. Red got off with a warning, but the curve forever after has been called Dead Man's Curve.

Quarters From Heaven

Dear Abby [Syndicated advice column]
20 December 2008

DEAR ABBY: I have a "pennies from heaven" story you might appreciate. [...]

And when I walked to the dresser to unpack, two quarters were sitting on top. It was then that my husband and I agreed that Darrel had stopped to say goodbye on his way to heaven. -- QUARTERS FROM HEAVEN
[In her response, Abby is uncharacteristically sceptical.]

Friday, December 19, 2008

Pharm Parties

The Des Moines Register [IA]
19 December 2008

Police, schools to probe tales of 'pill parties' in Urbandale


Urbandale police and school officials will investigate rumors of so-called "pharm" parties at which students exchange prescription drugs, sometimes stolen from their parents' medicine cabinets.

Also known as "fish bowl" parties, the gatherings have allegedly featured high-strength painkillers, anti-anxiety medications and stimulants, often washed down with alcohol. [...]

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Welsh Rugby Union Team & Papal Mortality

British Medical Journal
17 December 2008

BMJ 2008;337:a2768

Rugby (the religion of Wales) and its influence on the Catholic church: should Pope Benedict XVI be worried?

Gareth C Payne, specialist registrar in clinical neurophysiology, Rebecca E Payne, general practitioner, Daniel M Farewell, MRC/WAG training fellow in health services research/health of the public

Objective To explore the perceived wisdom that papal mortality is related to the success of the Welsh rugby union team. [...]

Coca-Cola Douches and Contraception

British Medical Journal
17 December 2008

BMJ 2008;337:a2873

Coca-Cola douches and contraception

Deborah J Anderson, professor of obstetrics/gynaecology and microbiology, lecturer in medicine

[...] Deborah Anderson explains why women really shouldn’t rely on Coca-Cola for family planning. [...]

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Deadly Bamba Snack (Israel)

Haaretz [Israel]
18 December 2008

Rumor of Bamba snack's link to spate of infant deaths brings down Osem stock

By Ayala Tsoref, TheMarker Correspondent

A malicious and false email announcing that a substance in the peanut-based snack "Bamba" caused a recent spate of mysterious infant deaths has caused the stocks of the product's manufacturer Osem to plummet. [...]

Monday, December 15, 2008

Foxy Pomeranian

Ananova [UK]
15 December 2008

Man's pet 'dog' was rare fox

A Chinese man was shocked to discover the dog he had raised from a pup was actually a rare Arctic fox.

Zhang, of Tunkou, bought what he thought was an all-white Pomeranian dog for £60 a year ago on a business trip. [...]

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Cliff Richard, Colostomate

Sunday Sun [UK]
14 December 2008

Cliff Richard rumour poo-pooed

by Ken Oxley, Sunday Sun

IT'S hard to believe Sir Cliff Richard was ever serious about appearing in the next series of Celebrity Big Brother.

But the story that he has apparently pulled out because programme makers refused to give him a private toilet won't do anything to dispel a persistent rumour that has followed him for decades. [...]

[It is rumored that Cliff Richard had a colostomy.]

Rivals' Jersey Buried in Baseball Field

Gazette-Times [Corvallis, OR]
10 December 2008

The case of the buried OSU jersey

Rumors suggest Beavers gear may have been placed under Oregon’s new baseball field

By Brooks Hatch
Gazette-Times reporter

Oregon State and Oregon won’t revive their long-dormant baseball rivalry until March 27.

But the first beanball in the revived horsehide Civil War may have already been thrown. Rumors have been rampant the past month or so that several Beaver Believers secretly buried an OSU jersey or a commemorative Back-to-Back National Championships T-shirt in the ground underneath the PK Park playing surface. [...]

Gary Glitter Sightings

Scotland on Sunday
13 December 2008

Glitter sparks Moray madness

HE HAS gone from being a revered pop idol to one of Britain's most reviled sex offenders, writes Mark Horne. But Gary Glitter caused widespread alarm in a small corner of rural Scotland without a shred of evidence he had even been there.

A string of 'sightings' of the convicted paedophile along the Moray coastline have been reported recently. So strong were the rumours that officials at the alternative-lifestyle Findhorn Foundation searched their premises to find him. [...]

The Northern Scot [Moray, Scotland]
26 December 2008

On the trail of Gary Glitter

By Esther Green

GLITTERING stories of a shamed rock star starting a new life in Moray are finally beginning to fade. [...]

Kent Online [UK]
6 March 2009

Gary Glitter: Herne Bay rumours seem untrue

by Dan Irwin

Rumours that Gary Glitter is living in Herne Bay appear to be untrue.

Gossip has spread all week that the the disgraced singer, real name Paul Gadd, has moved to the town and accounts of sightings have snowballed since the weekend.

But all of them are unconfirmed; every one is from an anonymous source; several are contradictory, and no one has taken so much as a mobile phone picture. […]

Herne Bay Times [UK]
16 December 2008

Wanna be in Margate - Driver claims paedophile Gary Glitter was looking for bedsits

PAEDOPHILE Gary Glitter has been spotted by a bus driver who dropped him off in Cliftonville to look at BEDSITS.

Paul Wright says he would stake a month’s wages that he had Glitter, real name Paul Francis Gadd, on his bus on Friday morning. […]

Herne Bay Times [UK]
5 March 2009

Glam rock pervert Gary Glitter living in Herne Bay?

PERVY pop paedophile Gary Glitter has reportedly set up home in Herne Bay.

The 64-year-old singer, jailed in 2005 for molesting two girls aged 10 and 11, is allegedly living in Beacon Road – less than 200 yards from Herne Bay Infant School. […]

Herne Bay Times [UK]
11 March 2009

Facebook site formed to keep Gary Glitter out of Herne Bay

A FACEBOOK group demanding to know the whereabouts of pop pervert Gary Glitter has attracted more than 2,000 members in a week.

The group, called Get Gary Glitter Out of Herne Bay, was set up by concerned mum-of-four Jo Cleary after the Times reported alleged sightings of the former glam rock star in the town. […]

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Tunnel Connects Convent and Boys' School (Ipoh, Malaysia)

The Star [Malaysia]
13 December 2008

Citizen's Blog

Mystery tunnels in Ipoh

Posted by: victorchew46

Search for a Tunnel in Ipoh

I read the article on the tunnel between the Ipoh Town Hall and the High Court with interests and as an Ipohite I wish to draw the attention of Mr. Kulasegaran (MP Ipoh Barat) to look into another possible one linking Ipoh Convent and SMI Ipoh [St. Michael's Institution, a boys' school -- bc]. This rumour has been going on for a long time but the actual existence is still a mystery to former SMI and Convent students! [...]

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Stuffed Cat

Elizabeth Starling, Noble Deeds of Woman; Or, Examples of Female Courage and Virtue (Boston: Hall and Whiting, 1881), pp. 210-11.

The following story, which was published in one of the periodical journals some time since, is too interesting to be omitted.

"An old chiffonnier (or rag-picker) died in Paris, in a state of the most abject poverty.

"His only relation was a niece, who lived as servant with a green-grocer. This girl always assisted her uncle as far as her slender means would permit. When she learnt of his death, which took place suddenly, she was upon the point of marriage with a journeyman baker, to whom she had been long attached. The nuptial day was fixed, but Suzette had not yet bought her wedding clothes. She hastened to tell her lover that their marriage must be deferred, as she wanted the price of her bridal finery to lay her uncle decently in the grave. Her mistress ridiculed the idea, and exhorted her to leave the old man to be buried by charity. Suzette refused. The consequence was a quarrel, in which the young woman lost at once her place and her lover, who sided with her mistress. She hastened to the miserable garret where her uncle had expired, and by the sacrifice not only of her wedding attire, but of nearly all the rest of her slender wardrobe, she had the old man decently interred. Her pious task fulfilled, she sat alone in her uncle's room, weeping bitterly, when the master of her faithless lover, a young, good-looking man, entered. 'So, my good Suzette, I find you nave lost your place!' cried he; 'I am come to offer you one for life — will you marry me?' 'I, sir ? — you are joking.' 'No, faith, I want a wife, and I am sure I can't find a better.' 'But everybody will laugh at you for marrying a poor girl like me.' 'O! if that is your only objection, we shall soon get over it: come, come along; my mother is prepared to receive you.' Suzette hesitated no longer; but she wished to take with her a memorial of her deceased uncle: it was a cat that he had had for many years. The old man was so fond of the animal that he was determined even her death should not separate them for he had had her stuffed and placed upon the tester of his bed. As Suzette took puss down, she uttered an exclamation of surprise at finding her so heavy. The lover hastened to open the animal, when out fell a shower of gold. There were a thousand louis concealed in the body of the cat; and this sum, which the old miser had starved himself to amass, became the just reward of the worthy girl and her disinterested lover."

[See also The Book of Three Hundred Anecdotes. Historical, Literary, and Humorous. A New Selection (London: Burns & Oates, n.d.), pp. 127-8.]

Cattle Baron Caught in "Missing Boy" Hoax

ninemsn [Australia]
12 December 2008

Cattle baron caught in 'missing boy' hoax

By Emily O'Keefe

A millionaire cattle baron from northern Queensland has been caught up in an out-of-control internet hoax started by an American teenager.

For the past year, Dale Appleton has been bombarded daily with calls to his remote cattle station Bulliwallah and his mobile phone.

The calls are from concerned people who have read a heart-wrenching email supposedly written by the parents of a missing 15-year-old boy, Evan Trembley. [...]

Baltimore Gang Initiations

Baltimore Examiner
7 December 2008

Baltimore gang initiations: Urban legend or real threat?

By Gregory Kane
Examiner Columnist

Baltimore Examiner [MD]
11 December 2008

Gang initiations: Real or urban legend? Part II

By Gregory Kane
Examiner Columnist

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Science Journal's Cover Is Chinese Brothel Ad

The Daily Telegraph [UK]
9 December 2008

Advert for brothel mistaken for classical Chinese poem

A respected German scientific magazine has been embarrassed to discover it printed a Chinese-language advertisement for "jade-like girls" and "coquettish and enchanting housewives" across its front cover.

By Richard Spencer in Beijing

The striking white-on-red text was intended to show off the Chinese focus of the official journal of the Max Planck Institute. [...]

The Independent [UK]
9 December 2008

Chinese 'classical poem' was brothel ad
Science journal mistakenly uses flyer for Macau brothel to illustrate report on China

By Clifford Coonan in Beijing

A respected research institute wanted Chinese classical texts to adorn its journal, something beautiful and elegant, to illustrate a special report on China. Instead, it got a racy flyer extolling the lusty details of stripping housewives in a brothel. [...]

Armenian Rumors

Armenian Reporter
10 December 2008

From earthquake theories to plane crashes, the art of spreading rumors in Armenia

by Maria Titizian

[Titizian recounts rumors about imminent earthquakes and banana exports to the Bahamas; that onboard gunfire caused the 2006 crash of Armavia Flight 967; and, as related below, that a bride was killed by a scorpion in the Sourp Krikor Lusavorich cathedral in 2001.]

I recall the day my young daughter came home from school in a fluster and said she had heard the most horrific tale. A young bride standing at the altar with her groom, just married, had collapsed on the cold marble floor of the church and died. The rumor was that a scorpion, hidden among the many layers of tulle and veil had bit the young woman, killing her instantly. I was horrified but questioned the truth of the story; yet my daughter's eyes were full of so much conviction that I told her it was indeed a tragedy. That week the rumor spread like wildfire and everyone was talking about it. Of course, it never happened. The reason for starting that rumor I'll leave to the imagination, but I suspect after that most brides checked to make sure there were no hiding scorpions in their wedding dresses.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Women Flash Breasts at Disneyland's "Jack Sparrow" Actors

KTLA-TV [Los Angeles]
8 December 2008

Flashing Girls Prompt Disneyland to Can 'Jack Sparrow' Actors


ANAHEIM -- Disneyland management has fired the four actors who played pirate Jack Sparrow because officials were worried about young female park-goers flashing the swashbuckling actors late at night, according to one former cast member.

"They lost control when they saw Jack Sparrow," said former pirate Brandon Pinto, who left the role after a dispute with management a year ago. "This is a sexy, rock-star pirate." [...]

KTLA-TV [Los Angeles]
9 December 2008

Disneyland's 'Jack Sparrow' Actors Fired


[...] Disneyland officials confirmed that the pirate was indeed fired (due to declining relevance and diminishing visitor requests), but flatly denied published reports that the dismissal had anything to do with female fans flashing their breasts at the swashbuckling actors who portray Jack Sparrow at the Anaheim theme park.

Disneyland spokeswoman Suzi Brown called the breast-flashing rumors “absolutely false” and “simply not true.” [...]

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Willow Run Rumors

[General Motors' Willow Run transmission factory in Ypsilanti Township, Michigan, has been in operation since 1953.]

Ann Arbor News [MI]
6 December 2008

Future of historic Willow Run plant uncertain

by Stefanie Murray
The Ann Arbor News


Urban legends

Myth: There is a bomber airplane stashed somewhere underneath the Willow Run plant. [...]

Myth: There were thousands of dollars stashed away in lunch pails in the plant by an employee who had survived a World War II concentration camp. [...]

Myth: All the parts for two World War II .50-caliber machine guns are buried in a hole under the plant. [...]

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Daphne's Pearls

George Hamilton and William Stadiem, Don't Mind If I Do (NY: Simon & Schuster, 2008), pp. 190-91.

[Hamilton was in Spain for the shooting of L'Homme de Marrakech (1965).]

All the action in Madrid seemed to take place in bordellos. At another house of mirth I got into a scrape on behalf of the actor John Ireland[.] [...] Times had gotten tough in Hollywood for John, so he too was in Europe trading on his noir reputation. John took me to a brothel[.] [...] Because of my Spanish skills, John asked me to translate to his obscure object of desire what his specific desire was. I blush to tell you, so I won't, but it had something to do with a rare set of pearls John had bought for his wife, Daphne, in Majorca.

The next morning, John called me in a panic. He had left the pearls at the brothel, Daphne was flying in imminently from London, so could I go and retrieve them for him? Let me tell you that there is no place sadder than a Spanish brothel in the dead of morning. Bodies were everywhere; it looked more like Gettysburg than an orgy. There was no trace of Daphne's pearls. Surely the girl had absconded with them. But as I played my Inspector Clouseau act, I discovered that the girl in question was the consort of the owner. The owner called her to task. She was still drunk, but then she woke up. Of course the pearls weren't in plain sight. They were still in the unmentionable orifice where John kinkily had placed them. I got them back and left a huge tip. I arrived back at the hotel with the pearls just as Daphne was arriving. Daphne was never the wiser, but for John and me, "Daphne's pearls" became a running joke that had us laughing for years.

Friday, December 5, 2008

GRADUALISM and the Boiled Frog

Salem Kirban, Satan's Mark Exposed (Huntingdon Valley, Pa.: Salem Kirban, Inc., 1981), pp. 11-12.

GRADUALISM is that system of achieving social or political changes by almost imperceptible steps or degrees. Imperceptible...that's the slight and gradual that the mind or senses do not see any real change!

Put a frog in a pot of hot water and he will quickly jump out.

But place him in a pot of cold water and gradually heat it and he will bask in its warmth with a hypnotized tranquility until the water reaches a boiling point and it is too late!

That's exactly the technique Satan is using on us today as we approach the soon coming Rapture.

Penis Thefts (Africa)

Cameroon Radio Television
28 November 2008

Strange Phenomenon in the Far North: handshake equals disappearance of penis

In the Town of Guidiguidi in the Mayo Danay division in the Far North Region, fear and confusion now plague the men’s world after repeated reports of a strange phenomenon.

It all started few weeks ago when three men alleged that their sex organs had disappeared mysteriously, pointing fingers at another gentleman. [...]

The Guardian [Nigeria]
6 December 2008

Men Allege Disappearance of Sexual Organs

Abiodun Fagbemi, Ilorin

RANDY men who go after anything in skirt seemed to have reduced their nefarious activities going by the rumour of sudden disappearance of the manhood of some men after marathon sexual acts with suspected prostitutes in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital. [...]

"White Christmas" Banned

Geelong Advertiser [Australia]
5 December 2008

White Christmas carols ban rumour rejected

FALSE rumours that City of Greater Geelong had ordered the song White Christmas to be dropped from the Denis Walter Carols by the Bay due to racial connotations have been laughed off by organisers. [...]

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Japanese Obsession with Blood Types

The Guardian [UK]
4 December 2008

Typecast - Japan's obsession with blood groups

Justin McCurry in Tokyo

[...] The idea that blood type defines our personality, temperament and ability to mingle is routinely dismissed as nonsense, but that has not stopped four books on the subject from occupying Japan's top 10 bestseller list for the past year. [...]

Daily Telegraph [UK]
4 December 2008

Japan in grip of blood type obsession

By Danielle Demetriou in Tokyo

Ring Recovered from Fish 21 Years Later

The Associated Press
4 December 2008

The one that didn't get away yields long-lost ring

BUNA, Texas (AP) - The one that didn't get away held an unlikely surprise for a Texas man. The blue-stoned class ring of Joe Richardson, engraved with his name, turned up inside an 8-pound bass 21 years after he lost it while fishing on Lake Sam Rayburn. [...]

The Silsbee Bee [Texas]
4 December 2008

Fishy story has familiar ring to it

Special to The Bee

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Man Arrested for Gang Initiation Warning

The Jersey Journal [NJ]
2 December 2008

Hoax posts said women being shot in gang violence


A Jersey City man who allegedly made mischief on the Internet on Mischief Night by spreading false reports of gang violence in Jersey City and Bayonne was arrested yesterday.

Officials subpoenaed information from Comcast and the Web site, where the postings appeared, leading to the arrest of Andrew T. Lazaro, 19, of Bentley Avenue, on a count of causing false public alarm, Jersey City Police Chief Tom Comey said in a press release last night.

The sick warnings posted on JCList on Oct. 30 under the moniker "Tom" claimed that several schoolgirls and women in Jersey City and Bayonne were shot as part of a gang initiation, and caused a flood of 911 calls, officials said. [...]

Monday, December 1, 2008

Unpatriotic Starbucks

St Albans & Harpenden Review [UK]
1 December 2008

Councillors' outrage at "unpatriotic " coffee chain

By Emma Clark

AN email which has aroused outrage across St Albans against global coffee company Starbucks has been refuted by the chain.

Many town, district and county councillors across St Albans were shocked today to receive an email alleging the company had refused to send its coffee abroad to army camps because it did not support military action in Iraq, or the soldiers fighting there.

But the chain insists the email, sent out by an American Marine sergeant, has been circulating since 2004 and is totally untrue. [...]

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Essex Cop Forwards Burundanga E-mail

The Daily Telegraph [UK]
27 November 2008

Detective sent hoax date rape email around the world

A detective accidentally forwarded a hoax email about a powerful new date rape drug to hundreds of thousands of women around the world.

The bogus email claimed business cards impregnated with a drug called Burundanga were being handed out by criminals to women at petrol stations.

The drug was said to knock them out and leave them vulnerable to attack.

Detective Constable Simon Lofting, 34, from Essex Police received the email and forwarded it on to intelligence officers to check if it was real. [...]

Monday, November 24, 2008

Shanghai Sperm Bank Denies "Helping Hand" Rumor

Shanghai Daily
25 November 2008

Sperm bank denies 'helping hand' rumor

By Cai Wenjun

SHANGHAI Sperm Bank has been forced to issue a statement on its Website to clarify its procedures, after explicit photos circulated on the Internet, claiming to show female nurses helping men to "donate" at the sperm bank.

Officials from Renji Hospital, where the sperm bank is located, said yesterday they had received several inquiries about their practices after the hoax photos appeared online. They said the hospital's sperm-collecting procedure is in line with professional regulations and that the misleading pictures could tarnish the reputation of the hospital and the sperm bank. [...]

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Unwitting Cannibalism

Evening Gazette [UK]
21 November 2008

Cannibal call not a hoax say TFM bosses

Karen Faughey, Evening Gazette

A RADIO station has denied presenter Graham Mack's discussion with a former cannibal are part of a bold publicity stunt.

Listeners to TFM were left in shock after a caller admitted live on air that she was once an unwitting cannibal. [...]

"It was when I was a child when I lived in Africa. We always went to the same butcher and then suddenly ... the meat started to get so much better. It was only when we moved back to England ... that we realised that the butcher had been arrested because he farmed little black girls." [...]

Evening Gazette [UK]
22 November 2008

Identity of TFM "cannibal" is revealed

by Sarah Judd, Evening Gazette

THE identity of an unwitting "cannibal" who shocked TFM radio listeners with the tale of her former butcher's grisly secret can be revealed today.

Guisborough mum Anthea Harrison, 36, told how she may have eaten human flesh while living in Zambia. [...]

She wanted to make it clear the family could not be certain they had ever eaten human meat when they lived in Mufulira, Zambia.

Anthea also corrected her on-air claim that the man had killed "little black girls," as her mum later explained only one teenage girl had ever been found in his freezer. [...]

Friday, November 21, 2008

Business Owner Lays Off Obama Supporters

Post-Gazette [Pittsburgh, PA]
21 November 2008

Local businessman an innocent victim of Obama layoff hoax

By Ann Belser, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

[...] Someone sent out an e-mail advising business owners that Mr. [Dan] Remely had resigned himself to having to lay off employees because of tax increases expected when Barack Obama becomes president.

According to the letter, he walked through his company's parking lot and found which cars had bumper stickers supporting Mr. Obama for president. Then he decided to lay off those workers.

The e-mail finishes with: "These folks wanted change; I gave it to them." [...]

Roof of Temple Dome Contains Iridium (India)

Times of India
20 November 2008

Temple in limelight for 'reactive' power of dome


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A little known temple in the sleepy hamlet of Muthavazhy in Aalapuzha district of Kerala has shot into limelight following speculation that its dome may contain iridium, a metal costlier than gold.

The 'power' of the dome became an object of curiosity and discussion as people found that the cells of their torchlights 'burnt out' and batteries of mobile phones 'damaged' when kept close to it. [...]

Times of India
22 November 2008

Rumours of iridium in temple dome has Kerala village in a flutter

G Ananthakrishnan, TNN

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A little-known temple in Kerala's Alappuzha district has suddenly more visitors than ever before. And not all of them are interested in offering prayers to the deity of Karthikeya: some are even offering crores of rupees to buy its dome.

The new-found interest is because of rumours about the presence of radioactive iridium on the dome of the Karthikeya temple in Pandanad village. [...]

The Hindu [India]
16 November 2008

Archaeology team inspects temple

Dennis Marcus Mathew

ALAPPUZHA: A team of the State Archaeology Department conducted inspections at the Pandanadu Muthavazhi Subrahmanya Swami temple near Chengannur here on Saturday, following claims and reports that the dome of the temple contained iridium, a precious metal several times costlier than gold. [...]

Tomato Sauce Infected with HIV+ Blood (S. Africa)

South African Police Service
21 November 2008

Another hoax e-mail
Tomato sauce infected with HIV+ blood


An e-mail is being widely circulated in which it is claimed that a well-known food chain sent letters out to schools warning about tomato sauce which could have been deliberately contaminated with the blood of an HIV+ person.

This e-mail has been brought to the attention of the South African Police Service and a thorough enquiry has revealed it to be a hoax which, unfortunately, is becoming an urban legend. Similar hoaxes have been discovered on web sites in other countries. [...]

The Cape Times [South Africa]
24 November 2008

Wimpy says contaminated sauce claims are a 'hoax'

Natasha Joseph

FAST-FOOD restaurant chain Wimpy says its food and condiments are entirely safe and has labelled an e-mail which suggests a man was caught putting blood into a tomato-sauce dispenser "a hoax". [...]

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hitler's Ball

The Sun [UK]
19 November 2008

Hitler HAD only got one ball


AN extraordinary account from a German army medic has finally confirmed what the world long suspected: Hitler only had one ball.

War veteran Johan Jambor made the revelation to a priest in the 1960s, who wrote it down. [...]

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Scorpion in the Boot

Francis Buckland, Curiosities of Natural History, First Series, 4th ed. (London: Richard Bentley And Son, 1883), p. 188.

In India, scorpions are naturally fond of secreting themselves in holes, and have a nasty habit of getting into Wellington boots. One day an officer was putting on his boot. He felt something in it, and thinking it was a scorpion, he pulled it on instantly and stamped violently on the floor, thus killing the scorpion. He narrated this at mess. A few days afterwards another officer was pulling on his boot, when he, too, felt something in the boot. Recollecting the scorpion story, he thought he could not do better than stamp his foot down also in the boot. He did so, but the experiment did not succeed, as there was no scorpion this time, but a regimental spur with the rowel upwards.

Bosom Serpent (Late 19th Century)

Francis Buckland, Curiosities of Natural History, First Series, 4th ed. (London: Richard Bentley And Son, 1883), p. 35.

I was lately told a wonderful story by a raw Lancashire man. It appears that once upon a time there lived a man whose appetite was enormous: he was always eating and yet could never get fat, he was the thinnest and most miserable of creatures to look at. He always declared that he had something alive in his stomach; and a kind friend learned in doctoring confirmed his opinion, and prescribed a most ingenious plan to dislodge the enemy, a big Triton, who had taken up his quarters in the man's stomach. He was ordered to eat nothing but salt food and to drink no water; and when he had continued this treatment as long as he could bear it, he was to go and lie down near a weir of the river, where the water was running over, "with his mouth open." The man did as he was told, and open-mouthed and expectant placed himself by the side of the weir. The lizard inside, tormented by the salt food, and parched for want of water, heard the sound of the running stream, and came scampering up the man's throat, and jumping out of his mouth ran down to the water to drink. The sudden appearance of the brute so terrified the weakened patient that he fainted away, still with his mouth open. In the meantime the lizard had drunk his full and was coming back to return down the man's throat into his stomach: he had nearly succeeded in so doing when the patient awoke, and seizing his enemy by the tail killed him on the spot. I consider this story to be one of the finest strings of impossibilities ever recorded.

Pigs Fed on Dead Soldiers

Francis Buckland, Curiosities of Natural History, Third Series (London: Richard Bentley And Son, 1882), pp. 166-8.

It was now time to be off as we heard the wheels of the dog-cart rattle over the old bridge, on the railings of which were cut marks showing the length of a huge trout that had once been caught underneath it, and we soon arrived at Fordingbridge, where the landlady had a capital dinner for us all ready.

Among the dishes was some ham and eggs. I rang the bell. "Where did that ham come from, Mrs. Bill ?" said I.

"From Fordingbridge, sir," said the landlady.

"Are you quite sure? Have you had any Irishmen in the village lately?"

"No, sir."

"Then it's all right, thank you," said I.

"What's the matter with the ham ?" said Pennell.

"Oh, nothing," said I; "only I heard a story just before I left London, which makes me rather shy of bacon just now."

"What's the joke?— let's hear the story."

"Well, then, a lady told me that four or five Irishmen came a week or two since to Knaresborough in Yorkshire, where she lived, and set up stalls opposite the butchers' shops. These men brought bacon, which they sold in large quantities at 2 1/2d. a pound. The butchers were furious, and at last they said, 'We must hit upon some plan to get rid of these fellows; they are ruining our trade, for the people will not buy our meat at 7d. a pound when they can get bacon for 2 1/2d.' As the butchers were talking this matter over in front of their stalls in the market, an old woman came toddling up to know what the beef was a pound. 'Sevenpence, mum; we can't sell our beef at the same price as these Irishmen sell the bacon, because — don't you know all about it missus? Why all bacon is made from pigs as comes from 'Meriker; and don't you know, missus, what they feeds them on in 'Meriker ?' 'No,' said the old woman, 'how should I know ?' 'Why they feeds them on dead soldiers, as has been killed in the war; they picks up the bodies after the battles, and throws 'em into the pig-sties for the pigs — and that's what makes 'em so fat and so cheap.' 'Lord! good gracious, butcher! you don't say so? How shocking! those 'orrid Irishmen!' So off goes the old lady, with her bit of beef on a skewer, all round the market, telling everybody she met, young and old, that the Irishmen's bacon was 'fed on dead 'Merican soldiers.' The news spread like wildfire; a thrifty housekeeper was seen to throw a ham she had just bought for 5s. into the road, and nobody would pick it up; even a beggar passed it with contempt, and the inhabitants cleared their cupboards and larders of every morsel of the newly-purchased bacon. The next Saturday, the bacon men came as usual to the market, and there was not a man, woman, or child near their stalls: they brought the bacon down to three-halfpence a pound — but still no customers; and not even genuine, home-fed bacon could be sold by the regular shops. The Irishmen were furious at the butchers, and the butchers laughed at the Irishmen; anyhow, the bacon merchants immediately shut up shop, sheered off, and have never been heard of since in Knaresborough. I thought that possibly these same Irishmen might have come on to Fordingbridge, and therefore was anxious to know whether Mrs. Bill's bacon was fattened with English barleymeal or dead 'Merican soldiers."

Lady Hornby's Dog

Francis Buckland, Curiosities of Natural History, Third Series (London: Richard Bentley And Son, 1882), pp. 283-4.

Ladies have, I believe, as a rule, a better chance than gentlemen of taming wild animals, as the following will prove. My excellent and kind-hearted friend, the late lamented Lady Hornby, told me that she once expressed a wish, when residing at Constantinople, to try if she could tame a wild Turkish street dog, and asked some gentlemen to catch her one. They accordingly went out in pursuit, and in due course of time brought home their capture alive, half dead with fear, and as savage as possible.

The poor hunted thing immediately ran for protection to Lady Hornby, and would not quit her side. She tied it up in the stable, and by taking to it and feeding it herself, managed to make it quite tame. One day she was showing her pet to a gentleman who knows a good deal about animals.

When he saw it he said, "Why, Lady Hornby, what have you got here?"

"Oh, it's my tame street dog," was the answer.

"It's no street dog at all," said —; "it's a common brute of a wild jackal."

"Anyhow," said the lady, "dog or jackal, I have tamed him now, and don't mean to part with him," — a plain proof to all that female influence can tame the most ferocious of animals.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Sarah Palin's Ignorance of Africa

The New York Times
13 November 2008

A Senior Fellow at the Institute of Nonexistence


It was among the juicier post-election recriminations: Fox News Channel quoted an unnamed McCain campaign figure as saying that Sarah Palin did not know that Africa was a continent. [...]

[A "pair of obscure filmmakers," Eitan Gorlin and Dan Mirvish, take credit for starting the rumor.]

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Earplugs Swallowed

Reader's Digest (Canadian edition), November, 2008, p. 118.


My army-rescue unit was preparing to go to the range for our annual weapons qualification trial. I was the range safety officer.

After I finished the safety briefing, one young officer raised his hand. "What do I do so the noise won't hurt my ears?" he asked.

I held up a package of earplugs. "Take two of these," I said.

Before I could react, the officer opened the package and swallowed two earplugs. -- Brian Arnold

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

ASU Students Collect Plastic Bottle Caps for Chemotherapy

The Appalachian [Appalachian State University, Boone, NC]
11 November 2008

Students collect caps despite possible hoax

Lifestyles Reporter

When Beth M. Coggins told her Christian group about an elementary school student with cancer, they did not hesitate to help in Coggin's fundraising efforts.

Coggins began collecting bottle caps for an initiative where one bag of bottle caps equals one free treatment of chemotherapy. [...]

Monday, November 10, 2008

C (Train) = Si (Yes)

New York Times
10 November 2008

Metropolitan Diary

Dear Diary:

A few years ago my husband was waiting at the West Fourth Street station for a Queens-bound E train. The E and C trains both stop on the same track.

The C train pulled in and, at the last minute, a man ran up to my husband and asked if this was the E train. My husband quickly replied, "C."

The man then said, "Gracias!" and ran onto the train. The doors closed and the train left the station. -- Dorothy M. Grusky

Dan Quayle's Bodyguards

The Sunday Mirror [UK]
9 November 2008

Barack Obama: What life will be like for new US President

By William Lowther in Washington and Kate Mansey

[...] At one time, the President and Vice-President were given three-inch-high models of the Washington Monument to put beside their beds. They had simply to knock them over to summon the guards.

But the models were abandoned after Vice-President Dan Quayle - noted for being clumsy - knocked his over late one night while making love to his wife.

In seconds, the door burst open, the lights went on and Mrs Quayle was thrown out of bed to the floor as bodyguards flocked around her husband to ensure his safety. [...]

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Fatally Bitten Woman Kills Snake, Saves Baby

Andalusia Star-News [AL]
8 November 2008

This story's too good to be true

Guest Columnist - Ed Williams

We called it the "snake in the dewberry patch" story. I was working at a weekly newspaper, The Brewton Standard, in the summer of 1981. [...]

Man drives by car in wooded area and sees children therein. Much later he returns and notes children still in car. Asks if they are alone and they tell him Mama's gone dewberry picking. He calls out for her and hearing no response, begins to investigate. Off by some dewberry vines, in a ditch, he finds the woman dead, the victim of a venomous bite. Woman has death grip on rattlesnake, which she has also killed.

End of story.

As we investigated the horrible tale, which everyone told us really happened, we found many variations with locales and persons changing. [...]

Friday, November 7, 2008

Obama Babies,0,2907959.story

Chicago Tribune
7 November 2008

Did you 'do it' on Election Night?
After Barack's romp, some say they had one too

By James Janega Tribune reporter

The term "Obama Baby" has joined the English language amid speculation that Tuesday's crowds of emotionally charged voters probably went home and just cold got it on. [...]

Published Nov 14, 2008 From the magazine issue dated Nov 24, 2008

Change You Can Conceive In
Could euphoric Obama fans be sparking a baby boom?

By Jessica Bennett

The theory is almost too perfect to be true. Barack Obama, the son of politically progressive parents, was born Aug. 4, 1961—almost nine months to the day after John F. Kennedy was elected to the White House. Is it possible Obama was conceived on that historic night?

And if so, could history repeat itself? In the hours and days since Obama's victory, many of his exhilarated supporters have been, shall we say, in the mood for love. [...]

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Beware of Moving Black Bags

Richmond Hill Community Blog [Port Elizabeth, South Africa]

Keep an eye open for these!

We received this alert from the Mount Croix SCF, thanks guys!

Just a small warning of the latest way criminals operate –very inventive!!

The criminals dress in black & cover themselves in black bags & then get into your property (or wait on the pavement).

When SAPS or the neighbourhood watch drive pass they crouch down on the ground to make it look like a full black rubbish bag.

SAPS etc ignore the “black bags” & drive pass. The criminals then either wait for the home owner to come home — to hijack them or proceed to break into the house.

Please be aware & beware of “moving” black bags!!! –particularly on rubbish removal days.

PS: The neighbourhood watch member who noticed this wouldn’t have known any different if one of the bags hadn’t moved & if he wasn’t vigilant .

Posted under Neighbourhood Watch, SAFETY ADVICE, suspects to look out for

This post was written by Sue on October 24, 2008
Legends from a small country [South Africa]
30 October 2008
Burglars are a load of rubbish
Arthur Goldstuck,,3-975_2410489,00.html
Beeld [South Africa]
15 October 2008
E-pos oor boewe in swartsakke 'gemors'
Francois Oosthuizen

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Update: Worms in Vaginas

My page on African reports of the diaper-clad "Worms man" has been updated.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Tampered Treats (Halloween, 2008)

WNYT-TV [Albany, NY]
2 November 2008

By: WNYT Staff

Parents find trick in child's treat

HALFMOON -- If you haven't checked your child's Halloween candy yet, police are asking you to do that now.

A straight pin was found in a piece of chocolate that a local child received while trick or treating.

Police say the parents found the pin while they were inspecting the candy. The child was in the Pine Ridge Developments off Sitterly Road in the Town of Halfmoon Friday night. [...]

News 10 Now [Syracuse, NY]
3 November 2008

Pin found in Halloween candy in Clifton Park

By: Dave Detling

CLIFTON PARK, N.Y. -- "The only reason I saw it was because my light was shining on it," said the 13-year-old Clifton Park girl.

"She had opened the 3 Musketeers and thought that it was a piece of the foil that was still on the back of the 3 Musketeers," said the girl's mother.

But it was no wrapper. The 13-year-old said it was a pin inside her candy bar. [...]

Reno Gazette-Journal [NV]
6 November 2008

Police look into suspicious candy

Reno police are investigating how push pins got into candy bars collected by a 10-year-old trick-or-treater on Halloween.

The girl and her parents reported the suspicious candy to Reno police just before 10 p.m. Friday.

Police said they believe someone intentionally put the push pins in multiple pieces of 3 Musketeers candy bars the girl collected. The exact neighborhood where she got the candy was unknown. [...]
8 November 2008

Drugs found in Ont. Halloween candy

Canwest News Service

TORONTO - Police in southern Ontario are warning parents to check their kids' Halloween candy after cold medication was discovered in sealed boxes of Halloween candy.

On Wednesday, a Grade 5 student in Pickering, Ont., opened a box of Smarties collected while trick-or-treating Oct. 31 and found a DayQuil cold medication tablet among the candy, Durham Regional police said.

Since then four more cases have been confirmed, all involving the cold and flu medication in boxes of Smarties. [...]
13 November 2008

More cold tablets found in Ont. Halloween treats

Canwest News Service

PICKERING, Ont. - Another two cold medication tablets were found in sealed Smarties boxes given out during Halloween in Pickering, Ont., bringing the total of tampered treats to seven. [...]

Medford Central Record [NJ]
12 November 2008

Police warn of possible Halloween candy tampering

By Elaine J. Barton

MEDFORD-Township police yesterday issued a warning to Medford parents to closely inspect all candy collected by their children on Halloween.

On Wednesday, Police Chief Anthony J. Canale issued a press release saying his department has received two complaints from residents who found candy in their children's trick or treat baskets that had evidence of tampering.

He said the suspicious candy were snack packs of Peanut M & M's, where the back had been cut open, candy removed and replaced with pellets of what looked like animal food. The packages were then taped closed. [...]

Hamilton Spectator [ON]
14 November 2008

Burlington mom finds cold pill in Smarties

John Burman

Halton police are warning parents to re-check any Halloween candy their kids might have around the house after a Burlington mother discovered a cold tablet in her daughter's stash Wednesday.

Police said the woman opened a small, sealed box of Smarties intending to have a treat and found a single, Tylenol "DM" cold tablet inside the box. [...]

Alamogordo Daily News [NM]
7 November 2008

Razor blade found in candy

By Duane Barbati, Staff Writer

The Alamogordo Department of Public Safety is warning parents about Halloween candy after a mother found a single edged razor blade in her 10-year-old's candy bar Wednesday, a spokesman said.

Detective Sgt. Israel Trujillo said he received the 3 Musketeers fun size candy bar from a mother around 2 p.m. [...]

680 News [Toronto]
17 November 2008

More tainted Halloween candy found, this time in Toronto

Shauna Hunt

Toronto - More cases of tainted Smarties in small Halloween size packages have been discovered.

This time it was found in the city. [...]

Toronto Sun
18 November 2008

Nestle: Smarties tampering not here


Nestle Canada says tampering that's left cold medication in Smarties packages isn't happening at its factory. [...]

Mormon Rumors DVD

Standard-Examiner [Ogden, UT]
2 November 2008

Mormon Myth-ellaneous

By Becky Wright
Standard-Examiner staff

[...] The new DVD "Mormon Myth-ellaneous: Amazing True Mormon Stories -- And Some That Should Be" (Covenant Communications, Inc., $16.95) examines urban legends with a Mormon twist, including the ideas that "Star Wars" character Yoda was based on an LDS prophet, and that Elvis read the Book of Mormon. [...]

Saturday, November 1, 2008

A Stolen Frozen Turkey

George Hamilton & William Stadiem, Don't Mind If I Do (NY: Touchstone, 2008 ), p. 121.

There was one kind hostess at a place called the Knife and Fork, to whom I turned for aid and comfort when we were starving on Thanksgiving. "There's a turkey in the freezer," she said sweetly. "It's yours."

I went back into the freezer and picked up a huge thirty-five pound bird and hid it under my raincoat. But on my way out, who should come in but the owner, stationing himself between me and the door and chatting with the cashier. I didn't dare walk past him. I looked like a pregnant man with this bulge under my raincoat. Hollywood was full of weirdos, but I was pushing it here. So I ordered a cup of coffee at the counter and bided my time. And bided and bided... The owner didn't move, and the turkey began defrosting. Soon a puddle was forming at my feet. This pregnant man looked like he was either peeing or breaking water. Then, even worse, the long turkey neck defrosted and fell off into my lap, between my legs. When the owner finally walked away, I hightailed it out the door, leaving a huge flood at the counter behind me. Talk about giving thanks. We cooked that bird and lived on it for weeks.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Biologists vs Elk Hunters (Oregon)

Mail Tribune [Medford, OR]
30 October 2008

Elk-camp talk turns to conspiracies

By Mark Freeman
Mail Tribune

Cascade general-season elk hunters remain so mystified as to why they never reach the 5 Percent Club that a stubborn few continue to look skyward for an answer to all that fails them. [...]

It can't be that elk hunters outnumber elk in Jackson County. Or that walking forest roads expecting to find a big bull is as likely as trolling expecting a quick date with Jessica Simpson.

It's gotta be those damn Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists raining rock salt -- or bags of flour or fire crackers -- from the sky just before Opening Day to break up the Roosevelt elk herds, all intended to minimize hunter success. [...]

Abduction Panic (Jamaica, 2008)

Jamaica Observer
30 October 2008

'We don't know about that'
Westmoreland police can't confirm kidnapping rumours

Observer West reporter

The Westmoreland police say they have no evidence to substantiate rumours that four HIV/AIDS-stricken men are kidnapping students from a number of schools. [...]
Jamaica Gleaner
4 November 2008
Students fearful
Shelly-Ann Thompson

A STATE of fear has gripped young professionals-in-training at the two major universities of the Corporate Area in light of the recent attacks on the island's women and children. [...]
Jamaica Gleaner
7 November 2008
Fear grips schools - Students dread abduction; education ministry establishes security measures
Edmond Campbell and Petrina Francis, Staff Reporters
Jamaica Gleaner
8 November 2008
False reports strain JCF: Abductions on the decrease - police
Shelly-Ann Thompson, Staff Reporter
Jamaica Gleaner
9 November 2008
Hunt on for abductors: 'Bigga' Ford heads task force to nab rapists, criminals
Glenroy Sinclair, Assignment Coordinator [Barbados]
12 November 2008

Jamaica PM appeals for calm amid abduction claims

KINGSTON, Jamaica, November 12, 2008 - Jamaica's Prime Minister Bruce Golding has appealed for calm in the wake of reports of the abduction of children from schools across the island and has sought to reassure the country that the security forces have stepped up their vigilance.

He said he was assured at an emergency meeting with the Ministers of Education and National Security, the High command of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) and other stakeholders that ongoing investigations so far show that "there is a significant gap between the reality and the perception". [...]

Jamaica Observer
14 November 2008

Shadow of the 'Black Heart Man'


FACT OR FICTION, rumour or reality? Reports of abductions of children and young women are reaching epidemic proportions. [...]

A certain email now in circulation claims that a family, while enjoying the simple pleasure of dining out on hamburgers, were set upon by young men who took away two young girls and raped them. [...]

FINGERS ARE POINTED at different sources. Taxi-men, in particular, are getting a bad rap (not that some of them haven't earned it), as it is widely held that some, at least, are involved in the evil. [...]

There's also the allegation that the attack on youngsters has links to gang initiation rites. No evidence has been adduced that this is true. [...]

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Drug-Soaked Business Cards,23739,24569704-952,00.html

The Courier-Mail [Brisbane, Australia]
29 October 2008

Police say drug-soaked business card story's a hoax

By Leanne Edmistone

CLAIMS criminals are using drug-soaked business cards to incapacitate female victims is the latest urban myth to circulate in email accounts. [...]

Welland Tribune [ON]
31 October 2008

E-mail a hoax: police


An e-mail hoax has cited Niagara Regional Police in an attempt to gain credibility.

For roughly two weeks now, NRP media officer Const. Jacquie Forgeron has been answering calls about an e-mail that has been making its rounds in Niagara.

The e-mail cites that it has been "passed to us by Paul Bevan of the Sexual Assault Unit" of the NRPS, prompting some recipients to believe its validity and pass it along.

The e-mail reports an account of a woman who was passed a business card, contaminated with the drug Burundanga, at a gas station. [...]

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Redding Rumors

Redding Record Searchlight [CA]
26 October 2008

Fact or fiction? We check out the north state's most enduring legends

By Ryan Sabalow

Rumors - every small town has them.

Though with a population of about 90,000, Redding really can't be called "small," folks here and in the surrounding north state are no slouches when it comes to tall tales and urban legends. [...]

[There are bodies buried in Shasta Dam.

[Divers encountered fish the size of Volkswagens at the bottom of Shasta Dam.

[Shasta County is a dumping ground for out-of-town parolees.

[Redding is the second-sunniest city in the United States.]

Child Abduction Rumors, Ivory Coast

Agence France-Presse
25 October 2008

Two die, five hurt in riots after child abduction rumours

ABIDJAN (AFP) - Two people died in the Ivory Coast capital Abidjan and five more were injured in unrest sparked by rumours that children had been abducted, police said Saturday. [...]

"A rumour of kidnapping of children by individuals driving four-wheel drive vehicles with tinted windows" had been circulating for several days through mobile phone messages, police said. [...]

Ads for Turning Pets into Rugs,5143,705258061,00.html

Deseret News [UT]
25 October 2008

Ads for euthanizing pets to make rugs may be hoax

By Pat Reavy

There's more potential evidence that a posting on Craig's List by a person offering to euthanize pets at that person's Federal Heights home and turn the animals into a rug, is a hoax. [...]

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Earthquake Rumors, Yemen

Yemen Times
23 October 2008

Local press rumors cause earthquake panic

Nadia Al-Sakkaf

SANA'A, Oct. 22 - Rumors of strong earthquakes up to 7 degrees on the Richter scale in the Gulf of Aden, Marib, Dhamar and Taiz governorates last Sunday have caused panic among people living in those areas and disturbed their daily lives. [...]

"The story started over two months ago when an article was published in the national newspaper Al-Thawra, in which a center I have never heard of for astronomy, minerals and oil predicted strong earthquakes of 7 Richter. The next day we published an article in the newspaper denying any of that news," said Jamal Sholan, director of the National Seismology Observatory Center (NSOC) based in Dhamar.

The news was republished in different Yemeni media on several occasions, each time with a new location suggested for the so-called devastating earthquake. [...]

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Sydney Morning Herald
23 October 2008

Column 8

[...] "Recently I walked to my corner store and asked the delightful middle-aged Chinese lady serving there for a light bulb," writes Myles Paulsen, of Redfern. "I heard her say: 'What?' I repeated my request and again she said 'What?', so I did what I normally do in these circumstances and went into an elaborate routine in which I mimed unscrewing an invisible dead bulb from a ceiling, screwing in a live one, and then flicking an invisible switch, upon which my eyes widen in happiness as the room suddenly fills with light. The lady looked at me as if I'd lost my mind and then she repeated: 'Watt! How many watt?' "

Friday, October 17, 2008

Clown Tries to Abduct Kids (Chicago),clown100508.article

Chicago Sun-Times
5 October 2008

Man in clown costume approaches children on W. Side


Police are searching for a man apparently dressed as a clown that has been approaching children near the West Sides Garfield Park neighborhood. [...]
17 October 2008

2 More Sightings Of Clown Trying To Lure Kids
But Police Cast Doubt On Some Clown Reports

CHICAGO (CBS) - Two more children have told police they were approached by a sinister man dressed as a clown, after several other such incidents were reported. [...]

While police are taking the incidents seriously, a police source close to the investigation told CBS 2's Mike Parker that past scares involving men dressed as clowns have cast some doubt on some the current claims.

A police source said at this point, the latest reports are being investigated accordingly and cannot be dismissed. But another source close to the investigation said the two reports from the city's West Side are now believed to be bogus. [...]
WBBM-TV [Chicago]
16 October 2008
Man Dressed As Clown Stalking Kids
Steve Miller Reporting,clown-abduction-children-101408.article
Chicago Sun-Times
14 October 2008
Clown attempts to lure children into vehicle with balloons

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Looks Like Greece

Playbill [NY]
14 October 2008

ONSTAGE & BACKSTAGE: Wright On (and Off) Fire Island

By Seth Rudetsky

[Rudetsky interviewed soprano Barbara Cook by telephone.]

[...] I decided to ask Barbra [sic] about a show she rarely discusses, Carrie. A lot of people have forgotten that she played the mother in the RSC production in London. She finally verified a story I always thought was a Broadway urban legend. During pre-production, the director met with the producer, who felt that the scariness in the movie was from the fact that this kind of horror could take place in any high school in America, so the producer suggested that the show have the look of Grease. The director readily agreed and came back weeks later with the set and costume drawings. The producer looked at it all and asked, "Why all the columns? Why is everything white?" and the director said, "I took your advice. It all looks like Greece!" Seriously! [...]

Monday, October 13, 2008

Profile of Andy Martin, Influential Anti-Obamist

The New York Times
13 October 2008

The Man Behind the Whispers About Obama


[...] Until this month, the man who is widely credited with starting the cyberwhisper campaign that still dogs Mr. Obama was a secondary character in news reports, with deep explorations of his background largely confined to liberal blogs.

But an appearance in a documentary-style program on the Fox News Channel watched by three million people last week thrust the man, Andy Martin, and his past into the foreground. The program allowed Mr. Martin to assert falsely and without challenge that Mr. Obama had once trained to overthrow the government. [...]

"Sun Will Rise Continuously for 36 Hours"

The News Today [Iloilo City, Philippines]
13 October 2008

Global hoax says web experts as text messages reach Iloilo

By Florence F. Hibionada

From internet rumor to forwarded text messages (via Short Messaging System - SMS), purported "global phenomenon" of a longer-rising sun come Friday reached Iloilo.

Albeit edited thus with additional data from the supposed original form, the message was the same - sun will rise continuously for 36 hours or 1.5 days. And to give further credence to the text, supposed source were CNN and BBC News. [...]

Man's Photo Added to Gang Initiation Text Message

WDIV-TV [Detroit]
7 October 2008

Man Says He Is Victim Of Local Text Hoax

DETROIT -- A local man said he wants to clear his name after his picture was attached to a threatening text message.

Cordell Battle of Oak Park said his face is showing up on cell phones with text messages painting him as a threat, but he says he's the victim of a hoax.

The text message warns women could be shot and killed in a gang initiation.

A similar text spread panic and fear through Pontiac last month. Now just weeks later, it's the same message, but this time a picture of Battle is attached to the text message. [...]

Independent Collegian [University of Toledo, OH]
13 October 2008

Texting hoax threatens violence

IC Staff

A text message threatening violence was sent out to a number of UT students over the past week.

The message showed a picture of a man and stated that his initiation task to join a gang was to shoot a female in the head. It was also stated that he would be riding a bicycle[.] [...]