Saturday, November 28, 2009

Serenity Prayer

New York Times
28 November 2009

Serenity Prayer Skeptic Now Credits Niebuhr


A Yale librarian who cast doubt last year on the origins of the Serenity Prayer, adopted by Alcoholics Anonymous and reprinted on countless knickknacks, says new evidence has persuaded him to retain the famed Protestant theologian Reinhold Niebuhr as the author in the next edition of The Yale Book of Quotations. [...]

Friday, November 27, 2009

Garlic & Onions Prevent Swine Flu

Associated Press
19 November 2009

Moldovan soldiers given onions to fight swine flu

CHISINAU, Moldova — Moldova's army is feeding its soldiers onions and garlic to help them ward off swine flu. [...]

Washington Post
26 November 2009

China sees huge rise in garlic prices
Speculators accused of cashing in on people's swine flu fears

By Robert Cookson and Patti Waldmeir
Washington Post Foreign Serivce

HONG KONG -- Garlic prices are hitting record highs in China, the world's biggest producer of the pungent bulbs, amid reports of a speculative bubble in the market even as people rush to buy it as a putative cure for swine flu. [...]

Sliced Tomato

Nigerian Muse
27 November 2009

Of Death, Rumours, Curses And Superstitions

Akintokunbo Adejumo

[...] For many years now, the Nollywood actress, Sola Sobowale, popularly called Toyin Tomato has been rumoured as dead. It was said that she was arrested and beheaded in Saudi Arabia for committing drug related offences. Contrary to the rumours however, Toyin Tomato is still alive safe and sound. In fact I see her at Emukay Restaurant in London almost every weekend, the last being just last Friday. We are also constantly on the phone. She has never even been to Saudi Arabia, not to talk of being beheaded. For the past 3 years, everytime I visit Nigeria, people who know that I know Sola always ask me if the rumours were true, and I had to go to great lengths to deny this wicked rumour. [...]

Gang Initiation: Cop Claims He Was Attacked at Mall

Belleville News-Democrat [IL]
24 November 2009

Fairview police say there is no truth to officer's claim that he was attacked at mall


FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS -- Chief Ed Delmore said there is no truth to a widely circulated e-mail cautioning St. Clair Square shoppers that gang members are attacking patrons as initiation.

An off-duty Lebanon police officer mentioned in the e-mail told Fairview investigators he was attacked, but declined to file a police report and could not provide details of the crime, Delmore said. [...]

Greyhounds to be killed

The Janseville Gazette [WI]
27 November 2009

Greyhound rumor said to be false

By Associated Press

KENOSHA — A greyhound adoption group wants to silence rumors that hundreds of dogs could be put to sleep when Dairyland Greyhound Park in Kenosha closes. [...]

Monday, November 23, 2009

Blood-stained Concrete Removed

The Independent [UK]
23 November 2009

True blood: What the forensic pathologist saw

It's splattered over vampire movies, TV shows and crime novels. But the bloody reality of guts and gore is even more fascinating than the fiction, writes New York pathologist Jonathan Hayes

[...] I've heard that when a member of one of New York's Orthodox Jewish sects (the Satmar and the Lubavitchers) is murdered on the street, their friends descend on the site with pick-axes to collect the blood-stained concrete; I've not seen that myself. [...]

Alligators in NYC Sewers

New York Times
23 November 2009

The Book Behind the Sewer-Alligator Legend


[An overview of the legend of alligators in New York City sewers.]

Friday, November 20, 2009

Murder Victims' Fat Used in Cosmetics (Peru)

New York Times
20 November 2009

Peru’s Police Say Gang Drained Victims’ Fat

LIMA, Peru (AP) — A gang in the remote Peruvian jungle has been killing people for their fat, the police said Thursday, accusing the gang’s members of draining fat from bodies and selling it on the black market for use in cosmetics.

Medical experts expressed skepticism, however, that a major market for fat might exist. [...]
20 November 2009
Gang accused of killing to sell human fat
Daily Telegraph [UK]
20 November 2009
Peruvian gang killed victims for their body fat, police

Monday, November 16, 2009

Fisherman's Friend Prevents Swine Flu

The Daily Record [UK]
14 November 2009

Swine flu 'cure' rumours send sales of Fisherman's Friends soaring

John Ferguson

FISHERMAN'S Friend lozenges are flying off shelves - because people think they might cure swine flu.

Makers have been forced to increase production of their aniseed variety after health fears sent sales of the iconic lozenges soaring by 43 per cent since June.

The key ingredient star anise - or pure aniseed - is also contained in the swine flu treatment Tamiflu. [...]

Daily Mirror [UK]
14 November 2009
Fisherman's Friend sales soar because people think they might cure swine flu
By Stephen White
The Grocer [UK]

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Child Abducted in Asda Store (UK)

The Huddersfield Daily Examiner [UK]
14 November 2009

Asda child abduction text message hoax - the full story

by Anne-Marie Senior, Huddersfield Daily Examiner

SUPERMARKET chain Asda has quashed rumours of a child abduction at its Huddersfield store as “absolute nonsense.” [...]

The message in full: "Dear All. This is a very serious message that I hope you can pass on to as many people as you can.

“Last night at the big ASDA in Bradley a three-year-old girl went missing. Fortunately their policy when something like this happens is to lock the doors.

“The little girl was found in the toilets with two Romanian women, one shaving her head and the other dressing her in boys’ clothes. This comes from an employee who was there last night. Please pass the message round to as many as you can and remain extra vigilant with your own children.”
Leicester Mercury
16 November 2009
Hoax text messages claim child abducted at Asda stores in Leicestershire

Swine Flu Causes Surge of Garlic Sales in Serbia

The Associated Press
13 November 2009

Swine flu causes surge of garlic sales in Serbia


[...] "Garlic is the best, forget the vaccines," said Marko Jankovic, an elderly Belgrader, with the pungent smell of garlic obvious as he spoke at the crowded Kaleniceva Pijaca market. "From the vaccine, you can get sick. From garlic, you can only get bad breath." [...]

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thatcher Is Dead

National Post [Canada]
11 November 2009

Fur flies over death of 'Thatcher'

David Akin, Canwest News Service

OTTAWA • With lightning speed, it spread from BlackBerry to BlackBerry among the 2,000 or so Conservatives in black-tie on Tuesday evening at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre for the first True Patriot Love Tribute Dinner: "Thatcher has died." [...]

[Not Margaret Thatcher, it turned out, but Thatcher the cat, the 16-year-old pet owned by Canada's Transport Minister and named after the former British P.M.]
The Canadian Press
11 November 2009
Cat's demise prompts rumours of Thatcher death, causes fur to fly

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Carjacking Warning (UK)

Daily Telegraph [UK]
11 November 2009

Carjacking warning
Drivers urged to be aware of potential car-theft scam.

By David Williams

Motorists have been warned to be wary of a new carjacking ruse in the run-up to Christmas.

Thieves are reportedly leaving notes or leaflets on the rear windows of parked cars. Drivers don't spot the piece of paper until they start the engine and look over their shoulder to manoeuvre.

When they get out to retrieve the note carjackers are reportedly pouncing into the driver's seat and making off with the car.

Details of the ruse have been widely circulated via an anonymous email. [...]

Drug Trafficker's Critic Gets Head Shaved (Mexico),0,2499736.story

Los Angeles Times
10 November 2009

Women play a bigger role in Mexico's drug war

By Tracy Wilkinson

Reporting from Culiacan, Mexico - In the story making the rounds here in Mexico's drug capital, the setting is a beauty parlor. A woman with wealth obtained legally openly criticizes a younger patron who is married to a trafficker. The "narco-wife" orders the hairdresser to shave the first woman's head. Terrified, the hairdresser complies. [...]

Monday, November 9, 2009

Swine Flu Rumors (Ukraine)

The Globe and Mail [Toronto, ON]
9 November 2009

Flu fears and rumours paralyze Ukraine


[Some Ukrainians believe that the H1N1 virus can be contracted from imported food. It's also rumored that "helicopters have tried to disinfect Kiev by spraying it with chlorine gas."]