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Posts Tagged ‘Society’

This Just In

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA — A Los Angeles man was arrested for attempting to smuggle three king cobra snakes into the U.S. in potato chip canisters.

He was charged in connection with a parcel from Hong Kong that was intercepted by Customs and Border Protection agents. The shipment contained three juvenile cobras concealed in separate canisters. The snakes were two to three feet long.

The highly venomous king cobra, Ophiophagus hannah, can grow to 18 feet in length. When confronted, the snakes can raise up to one-third of their bodies off the ground. Typically, when threatened, they flare out their hoods and emit a frightening hiss.

During questioning, the man admitted he had received a total of 20 king cobras in two prior shipments, but all had died in transit.

Cobra

CARDIFF, WALES — Seven Roman Catholic priests were refused service in a local pub after the bartender mistook them for members of a stag party in costume. In the UK, costumes are commonly worn to stag parties.

The priests arrived at Cardiff’s City Arms on a recent Saturday to celebrate the ordination of Father Peter McLaren. They were turned away and told that the City Arms did not serve “large groups in fancy dress.”

When the priests realized the bartender wasn’t joking, they turned to leave. But another staff member realized they were legitimate, invited them to return, and gave them a free round of drinks.

An assistant manager of the pub said it was the policy of the pub to turn away large parties in costume because such revelers frequently become unruly.

Priests

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA –A family’s pet cat is being called a hero for foiling an attempted home invasion.

Police said Binky the cat began growling one night around midnight, waking up the household. His owners checked the property, found nothing unusual, and prepared to go back to bed.

Suddenly, a man pounded on a patio door, claiming to be in jeopardy and pleading to be let in. When the suspicious residents refused, the man tried to force his way into the house through a window.

While the owners called 911, Binky, who is declawed, attacked the man, biting him severely on the arms.

The determined intruder tried to gain entry through another window, but Binky attacked again. The man finally gave up and fled. He was captured by arriving police officers.

Paramedics were called to treat the man’s wounds. He faces charges of residential entry and vandalism.

The residents said they were shocked when Binky leapt into action. Usually, they said, he is friendly and playful and good with children.

Binky

 

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Useless Facts

More “Useless Facts for Inquiring Minds.”

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— The thin strip of paper protruding from the top of a Hershey’s Kiss is called a niggly wiggly.

— The board game Clue (known in the UK as Cluedo) was invented in 1944 by a British musician, Anthony Pratt, as a diversion for people waiting it out in London air raid shelters.

— In the 1983 “Dirty Harry” movie Sudden Impact, Clint Eastwood snarled, “Go ahead, make my day.” The phrase was later voted #6 of the top 100 movie quotes of all time. In truth, the line was first used in the 1982 film Vice Squad by Gary Swanson, who sneered, “Go ahead, scumbag, make my day.”

— In 1972, Andy Warhol released a rather ghoulish print of Richard Nixon with “Vote McGovern” beneath it. Warhol was audited by the IRS every year from 1972 until he died in 1987.

Vote McGovern

— Opera singer Luciano Pavarotti, a superstitious fellow, was obsessed with finding a bent nail backstage before every performance. Usually, a stagehand was assigned to scatter a few bent nails between the dressing rooms and the stage to make sure Pavarotti found one.

— Only two animal species wage war on their own kind: humans and ants.

— In 2014, the Food and Drug Administration banned the importation of certain classic French cheeses that contain high levels of bacteria. The ban affects such soft, unpasteurized cheeses as Roquefort, Brie, and others that depend on bacteria to create the desired flavor and consistency.

Critics of the ban point out that cheese lovers have consumed these products for centuries with no ill effects. The FDA has stood firm, however. Today, the only Roquefort you can get legally in the U.S. is made from pasteurized goat’s milk. Most agree that, compared to the real stuff, it sucks.

— In 1996, to celebrate the production of the one hundred billionth Crayola crayon, TV’s Mister Rogers poured a ceremonial batch of limited-edition “blue ribbon” crayons. They were wrapped in foil and quickly became collectibles.

Mr. Rogers

— The Bronx, one of the five boroughs of New York City, is named after the Bronx River, which flows south through the borough. Originally, the river was called “Bronck’s river” after Jonas Bronck, who settled the area in 1639, but the name evolved to Bronx.

Rafflesia arnoldii, a plant found in the Indonesian rain forests, is called the “corpse flower” because it emits an odor disturbingly similar to that of decaying flesh. It’s also the largest flower on earth, with blooms up to three feet wide.

— When you speak, you spray microscopic saliva droplets into the air. On average, you spew about 2.5 droplets per word or 300 droplets per minute.

— The motor scooter, a type of motorcycle with a flat platform for the rider’s feet, was invented in 1946 by the Italian manufacturer Piaggio. WWII had left Italy’s economy and roads in ruins, so Piaggio created the Vespa, an efficient, low-cost mode of transportation for the masses. Vespa is Italian for wasp.

Vespa

 

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Rock is dead

Mocking

Angles

Enrolled

 

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The Questions…

1. What is the sport of eukonkanto?

2. Encyclopedia Britannica published its last print edition in 2010. EB is now “Britannica Online,” plus “Britannica Online for Kids,” plus special services for schools and libraries. Back in the day, how much did a 32-volume set of Encyclopedia Britannica weigh?

3. In 1861, the United States government badly needed money for the war effort against the Confederate States. What was the solution?

4. What do the words abhors, accent, access, almost, biopsy, billow, chintz, effort, and ghostly have in common?

5. To what does the medical term diastema refer?

The Answers…

1. Eukonkanto, also known as “wife-carrying,” is a contest originating in Finland in which male competitors try to carry a female teammate through an obstacle course in the fastest time. Fins say the competition was inspired by a gang of thieves in the late 1800s who kidnapped Finnish women from remote villages, carrying the victims away on their backs.

2. 129 pounds.

3. The solution was a tax on personal income. The Revenue Act of 1861 created the position of Commissioner of Internal Revenue and the framework for the federal income tax.

4. In those words, the letters are in alphabetical order.

5. Diastema is the condition of having a gap between two teeth, typically the front teeth.

Eukonkanto

Terry-Thomas

 

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Another Claim to Fame

A few years ago, I wrote a series of blogs about Jefferson, Georgia, where I’ve lived for the last dozen years. They were stories about the history of the city, the county, and a few local people of varying degrees of celebrity.

Well, since I wrote all that, Jefferson has scored another claim to fame. Added another superlative to its history. Stuck another feather in its cap.

We are now the home of the world’s largest mattress.

Laugh if you must, but one Jefferson business took the matter seriously enough to actually construct the thing.

Here’s the story.

The world’s largest mattress is 38 feet wide and 80 feet long, which is about 3,000 square feet. That’s the size of 72 king-size mattresses. Or 96 queen-size, or 110 regular-size, or 156 twin-size.

The WLM was designed and built by a mattress company from Tennessee. It weighs 4,560 pounds. It consists of a frame, a boatload of foam padding, a giant mattress pad, and an equally huge cloth cover. The structure is supported by 46 roof trusses.

The WLM is located in the middle of the two-acre sales floor of Cotton Mill Interiors, a furniture and accessories store that occupies most of a former cotton mill near the center of town.

That enterprise, Jefferson Mills, is remembered fondly by the locals.

The mill opened in 1899 and for decades was the town’s largest employer and taxpayer. It was noted for its production of high-quality corduroy. The mill closed in 1995, and the structure was renovated for retail use.

The world’s largest mattress, you’ll be pleased to know, is open to the bouncing public. The owners invite kids and parents to take off their shoes, climb aboard, and go for a romp. A safety railing protects against falls.

As often happens, the PR people laid it on a little thick at the ribbon-cutting: “The reason for building the mattress is to promote the importance of sleep to an overall healthy lifestyle.” Uh, okay.

Still, as promotional schemes go, the WLM is benign and inoffensive. And it’s a lot classier than an inflatable gorilla in front of the building. Or the Chamber of Commerce throwing turkeys off the roof at Thanksgiving.

So far, I have not availed myself of a round of bouncing. But, hey — never say never.

WLM

 

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Kindness is in our power, even when fondness is not.

— Samuel Johnson

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You don’t have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.

— C. S. Lewis

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It is better to remain silent at the risk of being thought a fool, than to talk and remove all doubt of it.

— Maurice Switzer

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Prejudice is a great time saver. You can form opinions without having to get the facts.

— E. B. White

Johnson Samuel

Johnson

White EB

White

 

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Headline Bloopers

More headlines botched by assorted newspapers over the years. Proofread and think, people!

 

Man Stabbed 37 Times, Police Rule Out Suicide

March Planned for Next August

Patient at Death’s Door, Doctors Pull Him Through

Teacher Strikes Idle Kids

Bloopers 3-1

Drunk Gets Nine Months in Violin Case

British Left Waffles on Falkland Islands

Safety Experts Say Bus Riders Should Be Belted

Red Tape Holds Up New Bridge

Bloopers 3-2

Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half

Include Your Children When Baking Cookies

One-Armed Man Applauds Kindness of Strangers

Stiff Opposition Expected to Casketless Funeral Plan

Bloopers 3-3

Man Accused of Killing Lawyer Gets New Attorney

Parents Keep Kids Home to Protest School Closure

Hooker Named Indoor Athlete of the Year

Two Sisters Reunite After 18 Years at Checkout Counter

Bloopers 3-4

 

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