Category Archive 'Bizarre'
04 Oct 2018

Artisanal Brooms

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A broom is not just a broom. It is statement about who you are. Your broom expresses your values, your identity, your respect for skilled craftsmanship, and your passion for your home. Obviously, you, too, need an artisanal broom made by a sophisticated, college-educated woman living in Brooklyn. (Or not.)

Vox tells you all about them and where to get them.

In the spring of 2017, Erin Rouse quit her job at the lighting design firm Lindsey Adelman to make brooms full time. She picked up the skill during her time in that job, which allowed employees to study in workshops around the world. She went to the Canterbury Shaker Village in New Hampshire, where she studied with a master broomsquire, the technical term for a broom-maker.

At $80 for a hand broom and $200 for a full-size version, which can reach $350 with a pleated skirt and handle cover, Rouse’s brooms aren’t cheap. Assuming all of her materials are prepped and ready to go — the process of cleaning and sorting by size a 100-pound batch of broom corn can take three or four days — she can make one in roughly two hours, plus the time required to trim the broom and sew a skirt and sheath. If she’s also dyeing the broom, that adds another five days to its production time. …

There are people willing to pay good money for a beautiful, well-made broom. Hilary Robertson, a New York-based interior stylist and set designer, is the target audience for that.

“I don’t really want to own anything that I don’t find beautiful, even if it’s a washing-up bowl,” Robertson says over the phone. “That’s my business, and the way I live.”

She recently bought one of Rouse’s brooms for her weekend home in Connecticut, an old schoolhouse with an extension. It has stone floors that get dusty very quickly, so Robertson needed a broom, and it has very little storage space, so she needed that broom to look especially good. Indeed, anyone who’s buying a luxury broom is doing so because they consider it part of their furniture, Robertson says. But that doesn’t mean it’s a choice lightly made.

RTWT

You have to love millennials.

27 Oct 2017

History of the Rat King

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Mental Floss:

A ball of furry fury, a rat king occurs when the tails of rodents become twisted, wrapped, and warped into a knot so impossible that not even the world’s most loyal Boy Scout could untangle it. Rat kings have been reported since the mid-16th century (almost entirely within Germany), and everything about them—from their name, to their cause, to their very existence—remains suspended in mystery.

RTWT

16 Apr 2015

Catching Tarpon By Hand

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12 Feb 2015

Icelandic Beer Made From Smoked Whale Testicles

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IcelandBeer

Draft Magazine interviews Dagbjartur Arilíusson, owner of the Steðji microbrewery in Iceland.

You … brew beer made from fin whale testicles…

We started last year with our first whale beer, Hvalur 1. The health department didn’t want us to produce it at first, but we were allowed to. The beer used whale meal as an ingredient, and it was something new for Iceland. It sold out almost immediately. This year, for Hvalur 2, we wanted to keep the concept, but use a different whale ingredient. We decided to use fin whale [Balaenoptera physalus -JDZ] testicles.

How, exactly, do you brew with whale testicles?
We get the testicles frozen from the whaling company, and we have a licensed butcher chop it up for us to use. The testicles are cured according to an old Icelandic tradition. The testicles are salted, and then smoked with sheep dung. A whole testicle is used in every brewing cycle, and then the beer is filtered and pasteurized. We put a lot of effort into this, and it’s a long process.

What’s the beer’s connection to Iceland’s annual food festival, Thorrablot?
We wanted to create a true Thorrablot atmosphere that celebrates traditional Icelandic food. Every winter, Icelanders gather to eat traditional food that sustained our ancestors for generations. This is very popular here in the countryside, and we wanted the beer to be released at the same time of the festival. The dishes we eat include boiled sheep heads, liver sausage, ram testicles, fermented shark, wind-dried fish, smoked lamb meat, and blood pudding. We thought that Hvalur 2 would fit in well with Thorrablot by using an ingredient that is a little different.

Does the criticism from whale conservationists bother you?
It actually brings more attention to the beer, which is a positive thing. Most of the protests come from people outside of Iceland. People have to remember that the fin whale is not endangered in the North Atlantic, and Iceland is known for sustainable fishing and setting quotas for our whale hunt. There’s actually a lot of demand for our beer to be exported, but there are laws that limit which countries can import it because of anti-whaling laws. The beer will sell out in Iceland, and people from other countries want a taste.

Whole thing.

06 Jan 2015

NYC Medical Examiner’s Days of Gory

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MedicalExaminer

For the morbid, those yearning to be horrified, or the merely curious, the New York Post reviews, Working Stiff, the memoir of New York Medical Examiner Judy Melinek (written with T.J. Mitchell).

Some of the deaths described are Darwin Award winners, others (like the chap tossed down an open manhole who landed in a pool of boiling water) are absolutely bloodcurdling to contemplate, while others are merely anecdotally intriguing.

There was the subway jumper at Union Square, for example, whose body was recovered on the tracks of the uptown 4 train with no blood — none at the scene, none in the body itself. She’d never seen anything like it, and only CME Hirsch could explain: The massive trauma to the entire body caused the bone marrow to absorb all the blood.

“Everyone in the room agreed,” Melinek writes, “that I had the coolest case of the day.”

Finding a bullet for a gunshot wound, meanwhile, can be particularly baffling. Melinek says her favorite is “bullet embolus”: “A slug enters the beating heart at just the right spot and with precisely enough momentum to get flushed into the circulatory system, then surfs through smaller and smaller vessels until it gets stuck somewhere far removed from its point of entry.”

In one case, a man was shot in the chest, but the bullet was found in his liver.

During her tenure, the most popular suicide spot in New York City was the atrium in Times Square’s Marriott Marquis hotel. Melinek autopsied two jumpers: One, a 26-year-old man, leapt from the 43rd floor.

His right arm and left leg were recovered on the 11th floor, his other two limbs on the seventh floor, and part of his skull wound up in the elevator shaft.

Her other jumper, also a man, jumped from the 23rd floor. One leg was found on the 10th floor, his torso on the ninth.

“I suspect these people imagine they are going to plummet gracefully down and land with a melodramatic thump in the lobby,” Melinek writes, “but I never saw that result. The ones I saw had pinballed off a variety of jutting structures on the way, each impact causing damage to a different plane of the body. Not graceful at all.”

Read the whole thing.

10 Nov 2014

Hippos Fighting in the Kitchen!

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Hippo1

From Quora:

Lake Kariba leaves one dreaming of lazy days fishing, game viewing and braaing in the evening whilst being serenaded by the sounds of the night.

Colin, my brother in law had won four nights in a raffle, so had invited my parents, Mike Freeman and myself to join.

Within hours of arriving we were blessed with a magnificent elephant interaction at our lodge before going onto the water for a game.

Later whilst eating dinner another bull came upto the lodge and we could have stroked its head it felt that close! Unbelievable… we really are spoilt living in Zimbabwe.

Following an amazing sea food dinner, which Colin cooked on the skottle, we sat around outside playing games. The cook was cleaning the dishes in the kitchen, with the kitchen door was open, so that he could get a bit of a breeze.

Suddenly, he sprinted around from the kitchen, past us, at an incredible a rate, followed by a series of monumental crashing sounds and roaring. We all assumed an elephant had become enraged, and lost no time in getting into the house and going for the stairs to get to safety.

I however, ran outside to get a better view of what was actually happening, only to see the slashing jaws of a hippo bull attacking the hindquarters of another one trapped at its front. Now a door frame is not wide, so picture an animal over one tonne squeezing through the opening into a kitchen that was not much wider than the door opening into it.

Imagine my surprise when I saw first a human hand and then a head peer with panic around the wall! Oh my God, someone is wedged in there with those two terrifying creatures! I dashed around and into the kitchen to see him attempting to clamber over the stove, which had now been ripped away from it’s place in the wall. I helped him squeeze and avoid those massive teeth – it was truly a wonder that he hadn’t been sliced to shreds.

The pandemonium and cacophony of sounds added to the sheer terror of the situation – however only with hindsight are these things appreciated.

Adrenaline has a habit of taking charge, allowing one to make informed decisions based on facts not feelings.

I then raced back towards the roaring and gnashing jaws of these massive creatures and started clapping and shouting. Even in my state of adrenaline induced action I thought – what the hell am I doing. I was sure they could not even hear me, let alone pay any attention to my presence Colin came to back me up and amazingly one of the hippo reversed, squeezing back through the back door – which was now splinters (even the security gate had been ripped from the wall).

The unfortunate hippo then forced its way into the dining room through the narrow opening toward me. Ripping the stove off the wall and causing a power outage. And then silence!

I legged it! I now had lost the advantage of at least being able to see the most dangerous creature in Africa before it ploughed its way toward me. So needed light.

Once I had my cellphone I slowly make my way to the point where I last saw the hippo’s using my phone torch to assess the situation.

The moment the torch light landed on the hippo he made a mad dash toward me. I wasn’t sticking around to see how quickly he could smash his way through the dining room table so AGAIN I legged it.

He made his escape through the open French window, destroying the Jacuzzi and heading toward the sanctuary of the lake.

The next morning we moved to a new lodge as the smell was terrible whilst there was a bit of a clean up operation which needed to begin.

08 Nov 2014

Coming December 7: “Eaten Alive”

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anacondaeating

IJReview alerts us to an upcoming television first.

Discovery Channel’s Eaten Alive is airing an episode in which wildlife enthusiast and filmmaker Paul Rosolie is consumed by one of the largest anacondas in the world. Rosolie wore a snake-proof suit that helped him live through the horrifying stunt.

Rosolie and his team searched through the depths of the Amazon to capture the monstrous snake so that he could performer the daredevil act. After Rosolie is inside the suit, he will be covered in pig’s blood in order to make himself more appealing to the snake, then will proceed to go head first into the mouth of the beast. …

During the stunt, Rosolie is connected to a cord, which his team used to pull him safely out after he was swallowed whole.

While the Discovery Channel is keeping most of the details quiet for obvious reasons, they have said the snake lived through the stunt and was not harmed.

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Sneak Peek:

17 Sep 2014

Rory McIlroy’s Tee Shot Lands in Spectator’s Pocket

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At the PGA Championship Tour in Atlanta, but he still makes par.

26 Aug 2014

Man Bites Snake

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Bungarus_caerulus
Blue krait, aka Common krait aka Indian krait (Bungarus caeruleus)

The Telegraph has a story of the tables being recently turned.

A man in central India killed a venomous snake by biting it after he saw the blue krait slithering towards him in bed.
Rai Singh, from Chhattisgarh, told a local television channel he feared the venomous blue krait was about to bite him and decided to bite the creature.

“At nine o’clock in the evening while I went to sleep on my bed, I saw a snake and tried to shoo it away with a stick but it attacked me. I bit it”, he told a local television channel.

His neighbour R.S Singh described the incident as “astonishing” and said it was a “miracle that he survived since this snake is highly venomous”.

Kraits are one of the four poisonous snakes which account for the most attacks in India where 50,000 people are killed by venomous bites every year.

The krait is nocturnal and often wriggles into homes at night during the monsoon season to keep dry. Its bites rarely cause pain and often go unnoticed by their victims as they sleep.

They are, however, highly venomous and up to 80 per cent of their victims die after suffering progressive paralysis.

Read the whole thing.

25 Aug 2014

Chinese Chef Dies From Cobra Bite, Bite Occurring Twenty Minutes After Head Was Cut Off

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IBT (australia):

An already decapitated cobra head was still able to bite a chef twenty minutes after the head was cut off from the snake’s body. The chef died immediately before being given an anti-venom medication.

In preparing for a specialty menu, known as the Snake Soup, chef Peng Fan severed the cobra’s head, left it aside while he diced its body.

Twenty-minutes after his preparation, he picked the cobra’s decapitated head and plans to throw it in the garbage can. This was when the head bit him, and injected its poisonous venom into the chef’s body.

The incident took place in a high-end restaurant in Guangdong province, southern China.

Restaurant guests said that they heard commotion from the kitchen. The staff at the restaurant then called for a doctor but the chef was already dead when the medical assistance arrived.

Probably Naja siamensis

Hat tip to James Harberson.

19 Jun 2014

This Must Be Why Some Other Countries Like Soccer

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MarlenDoll
Marlen Doll

Scallywagandvagabond.com:

It seems South Americans take their soccer very very seriously after all. Case in point, Chilean porn star, Marlen Doll who made good on her tweeter pledge of having sex if the Chilean team score at least three goals and win the match.

The text below promised that the Chilean porn star would have random sex for at least 8 hours from her twitter feed (since suspended).

Porque yo soy la cabala de Chile encomiendense a santa Marlen doll #laroja#Vamoschile por las 8 hr sexo!! pic.twitter.com/5941JxSc9V

— Marlen Doll (@marienchilena) June 13, 2014

According to TheEliteDaily, the translation of the above tweet goes something like this:

“I promise if Chile wins, I will have sex for eight hours with different men from twitter”

That tweet was noticed by several people following her on Twitter and was retweeted many times. Marlen went on to reiterate that she would stand by her promise, come what may.

Inquisitr tells not only did Chile triumph over Australia, they did it with a score of 3-1! The conditions laid out by Marlen Doll were met and people began asking if she had any plans to fulfill the promise she had made a few days ago. Being a woman of her word, Marlen Doll actually called in people to come in and “celebrate” Chile’s victory with her in a night-long party. Pictures of the party would go on to be posted on to Marlen’s Twitter account before the account interestingly became suspended.

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Apparently, Marlen not only fulfilled her 8 hours of sex promise, she went on celebrating for twelve hours.

And she promises that if Chile succeeds in defeating Spain, she is going to go for sixteen hours.

03 May 2014

Snake Ourobouros

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snakeouroboros

The Worm Ourobouros is real. Story at: I F*cking Love Science.

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Western Hognose Snake (Heterodon nasicus).

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