December 30, 2007

weirdest news stories of year 2007 - two faced calf & fast wheelchair

the death of the two faced calf

two faced calfa calf with two faces is dead about a month after her birth at a dairy farm owned by Kirk Heldreth in Rural Retreat, Virginia, USA. the word about the birth has spread quickly in southwest Virginia & drew crowds to the Farm. "I'll just have to tie the dogs extra tight," said the dairyman as he was expecting more that time.

The calf, which was born December 27, 2006, had two noses to breathes out & two tongues, which move independently, according to Heldreth. it had a single socket containing two eyes where the heads split. except for his weird & unusually large head, The animal had a normal body.

"It's the craziest thing I've ever seen," Heldreth said. he said that During the calf's birth, he first thought there were two calves. he was feeding her through a tube, and acknowledged he he wouldn't maintain that feeding schedule for long ... well, he didn't have to do.

The calf was the product of artificial insemination, which was supposed to create a "genetically superior specimen". "Genetically, this is one of my better calves," Heldreth said.

according to, the condition is called the Two-faced twin & Known medically as diprosopus:
two-faced twins are conjoined twins (incompletely separated identical twins). The twins have almost complete fusion of their bodies with one set of limbs. Part or all of the face is duplicated. The condition usually results in stillbirth.

wheelchair pushed five miles by truck

Paw Paw, Michigan, USA; Wednesday, June the 6th; A young man in his wheelchair found himself attached to a semi truck & pushed through streets a few miles before the truck driver stopped without even knowing about his uncommon passenger.

Ben Carpenter, 22, was forced into a wheelchair eight years ago because of a muscular dystrophy, the day of the accident was one of his twice-weekly outings. he crossed Red Arrow Highway in front of a semi truck & he didn't make the traffic light; while apparently the driver didn't see him & collided with the chair which caused the wheelchair's handles to become lodged in the truck's grille.

although Carpenter was crying for help, the driver wasn't able to hear him & continued the ride reaching speeds of 50mph (80km/h) down the Red Arrow Highway, "It was fast, I know that. Faster than this chair was made to go," Carpenter told local Wood TV.

Police, received strange reports from Passing motorists about the situation & initially thought it might have been a prank until they started receiving more calls. the truck driver luckily pulled over at the depot of his trucking company. "If I had gone any more miles, the tires would have been gone all the way," Carpenter said.

Police approached the driver and advised him of what happened. The driver did not believe them until he stepped out of the truck and saw Carpenter still sitting in the chair.

Mr. Carpenter was found unharmed & unfazed by the incident, but complained only that he had spilled his soda.
"I was happy. Thank God it was over, I thought it was kind of like a fair ride. I don't remember feeling any bumps though. I must have, but the road must have been pretty smooth." Carpenter said.
end of the third part, happy new year!

December 27, 2007

weirdest news stories of year 2007 - a tree & 17 kids

started with the duct tape bandit & the lawn chair pilot, let's continue with the 11 weirdest stories from 2007 & see numbers 3 & 4

the tree robber!

James Coldwell, 49, used duct tape (yes again duct tape if you read the first part!) to attach tree branches onto his clothing and head as a form of camouflage. He then walked into the Citizens Bank at 1550 Elm Street in Manchester, New Hampshire, usa, decided to rob it. The "tree robber" was able to realize his plan and to escape with an undisclosed amount of cash.

the robbery happened on Saturday, july 8th in the morning. No one was hurt in the robbery and no weapons were used, according to police. The bank was closed and police cruisers blocked off the entrances to the bank as officials investigated the incident.

later at night Police nabbed Coldwell after surveillance video that played on TV news led to several anonymous tips of his identity. This is according to the police captain Dick Tracy. From the New Hampshire Union Leader:
"Coldwell was charged with one count of robbery after answering questions at the police station, Capt." Dick Tracy said... "I think he was hoping the disguise would camouflage him enough that no one would recognize who he was."
Aside from sporting tree branches, the suspect was also wearing a bluish-colored T-shirt, blue jeans and had thick glasses.

prefer news on TV? below is a short tv report from the WMUR New Hampshire's Channel 9

one more "j"! now they are seventeen ...

thursday, august 4th in the morning was born jennifer to the duggers family of Tontitown, Arkansas, usa. she's jim bob & michelle duggar's 7th daughter & 17th child.

jennifer joins her other siblings: Joshua, 19; the twins John David & Janna, 17; Jill, 16; Jessa, 14; Jinger, 13; Joseph, 12; Josiah, 11; Joy-Anna, 9; twins Jedidiah & Jeremiah, 8; Jason, 7; James, 6; Justin, 4; Jackson, 3 and Johannah, 2.

Michelle, the mother (41 years old) has been pregnant for ten and half years of her life now, and she says she still wants more kids, "J" named of course! below is a graph made end of 2005, representing & simplifying the duggars births:

the Duggars, from an article that appeared Monday, December 19 2005 on the dallas morning news

As a couple, the Duggars' approach to family planning is simple: They are born-again Christians who view the Bible as their life's manual – and the Bible describes children as a blessing from God. They will cheerfully accept as many blessings as God ordains.

in their big house built about two years ago, The girls in the duggars family do most of the cooking, though they've been taught to change a tire and check the oil. The boys are trained to fix the cars and make home repairs, though they cook occasionally – mostly on the grill.

having so many children is totally in the opposite of the trend in America, The U.S. Census Bureau's figures, for 2002, reveal that 0.3 percent of women ages 15 to 44 have given birth to seven or more children. Moreover, the number of U.S. women birthing seven or more children has declined steadily since the government began tracking the demographic in 1976.

finally, if you want a closer look to the happy family, nothing better than to visit their official site

end of the second part.

December 24, 2007

weirdest news stories of year 2007 - getting started

aol news, chose a list of events to be the "top 11 weird news stories of 2007", & opened a poll for aol users to choose the weirdest of them. let's try here to list the stories detailed & make an opinion about them ...

Duct Tape Bandit:

Duct Tape BanditA man, Kasey G. Kazee, 24, wrapped his head in duct tape and tried to rob an Ashland, Ky., liquor store. Kazee was charged with committing one of the area’s more bizarre crimes in recent memory.

According to the Ashland Police Department, Kazee entered the store with his entire face and head — save for openings for his eyes and mouth — covered with duct tape, and his shirt pulled up over his head in a manner reminiscent of “Cornholio”, the hyperactive alter ego of the character Beavis from the animated series “Beavis and Butthead”.

Kazee allegedly indicated to a female clerk that he had a knife and threatened to harm her if she didn’t give him the money out the cash register (later police said no weapon was found on the robber). The clerk complied and the robber turned and left.

Before he could make his getaway, though, an employee in the store, Craig Miller, tackled him in the parking lot. miller & several other men who came running over from the Foodland store next door helped to detain Kazee until the police arrived.

it seems that Kazee wasn't too greedy, as Manager Bill Steele said the register came up only $15 short when he counted it.

the Photo of Kazee above, was taken by police at the scene, show the suspect with his duct tape askew, his lip bloody and his eye swollen. Miller said that Kazee sustained those injuries when his face hit the blacktop after he tackled him.

more on the daily independent

193 miles floating on a chair attached to 109 balloons

on Saturday, July 7, Kent Couch from BEND, Oregon settled down in his lawn chair with some snacks and a parachute. Attached to the chair were 105 large helium balloons. his goal was to reach Idaho.

With instruments to measure his altitude and speed, a global positioning system device in his pocket, and about four plastic bags holding five gallons of water each to act as ballast — he could turn a spigot, release water and rise — Couch headed into the Oregon sky.

Nearly nine hours later, the 47-year-old gas station owner came back to earth in a farmer’s field near Union, short of Idaho but about 193 miles from home:
“When you’re a little kid and you’re holding a helium balloon, it has to cross your mind, When you’re laying in the grass on a summer day, and you see the clouds, you wish you could jump on them, This is as close as you can come to jumping on them. It’s just like that.”
Couch told the Bend Bulletin

Couch is the latest American to emulate Larry Walters — who in 1982 without any flying experience, rose three miles above Los Angeles in a lawn chair lifted by balloons. Walters had surprised an airline pilot, who radioed the control tower that he had just passed a guy in a lawn chair. Walters paid a $1,500 penalty for violating air traffic rules. Larry Walters (April 19, 1949 – October 6, 1993) invented then what is now known as "Cluster ballooning":
Unlike traditional hot-air balloons, which possess vents for easy altitude control, cluster balloons rise uncontrollably, expanding as they go. Cluster balloonists must periodically cut balloons (disregarding where the balloons end up) loose to maintain altitude and descend. Bottled water is a common ballast, and can be partially emptied to slow descent.
wikipedia - Cluster ballooning

It was Couch’s second flight, In September 2006, he got off the ground for six hours. Like Walters, he used a BB gun to pop the balloons, but he went into a rapid descent and eventually parachuted to safety.

This time, he was better prepared. The balloons had a new configuration, so it was easier to reach up and release a bit of helium instead of simply cutting off a balloon.

a three-car caravan filled with friends, family and the dog "isabella", followed him from earth as he was making about 25 miles an hour.

more on msnbc

YOu can also visit the official site dedicated to the exploit:, you could maybe help couch find his lost chair & get a reward of $500 ... & below is a video with preparation then the fly, enjoy!

end of the first part.

December 13, 2007

tetris hysteria: playing the game in the biggest scale

tetris is a russian video game invented in the epoch of the ussr, exactly june 1985 by computer engineer alexey pajitnov, the game is basically a very addictive puzzle of falling blocks. tetris is famous for its simplicity & for its catchy melody (korobeiniki - a russian folk tune), it's a so old game & nevertheless didn't lose its popularity, especially that the game didn't really evaluate from its initial version, it gained in the quality of graphics & sounds, & in some advanced versions, new difficulties & elements were added, but the simple form of the tetris is still present & strong. in the ign (imagine games network) 2007 edition classification of the 100 greatest videogames of all time, tetris came in second place!

tetris is available for nearly every video game console and computer operating system, as well as on devices such as graphing calculators, mobile phones, portable media players & pda's.

students of tampere university of technology in finland created what they called the "mikontalo lights project", it's one of the largest tetris games created ever, its platform wasn't less than a building & its lighten windows, they didn't just created the illusion, but a real game programmed professionally and played by a person on a cell phone. below is a short video of the game-play:

then, what about a marching band in a halftime show, making formations emulating tetris falling blocks & playing korobeiniki? it's below, enjoy!

December 08, 2007

beware! spider behind the clock!! - huntsman spider

can you imagine your reaction seeing what appear like the legs of a huge spider of twelve inches (30 cm) behind a clock inside you house? the guy who took the photos bellow had sufficient courage to remove the clock & take the pictures! I'd have rather, crushed the clock against the wall with the spider behind it! imagine you go to remove the clock & that thing starts running! omg! what a nightmare!

what's even stranger & scarier with this spider, is how big it is & (I guess) heavy & in the same time being able to climb a vertical & smooth surface like this wall!

huntman spider behind clock
huntman spider on wall
huge huntman spiderclick on pictures to enlarge

this spider is commonly known as the huntsman spider, scientifically it constitutes the "sparassidae family", & the larger specie of it is most called the wood spider in australia as it prefers to live in forests, mine shafts & other woody habitations.

huntsman spider can be found in australia, new zealand, south africa, southeast asia, the mediterranean, florida, hawaii & possibly other tropical and semi-tropical regions.

huntman spiders are not venomous or deadly to humans, only they might bite if provoked but that would result on minor harm to the victim, australians who find these spiders in their houses, usually relocate them to their gardens instead of killing them considering them "good & useful" animals as they feed on smaller but venomous spiders, scorpions & other insects.

by the way, you would maybe like to check my post on the scary camel spider as well, very interesting information there (trust me).

December 04, 2007

visual illusion - trick your eyes & get hypnotized

this was sent to me by a friend, honestly when he started saying it was awesome, amazing then asked me to follow exactly his instructions that were "to stare at the very center of the video & not blink eyes" .. honestly I thought it was one of those bad jokes that end with some image of a disgusting creature & a loud sound .. finally it was not, it's a real illusion, an "improved version of the classic multi-directional wheel" it seems :|. basically I can describe it as a number of moving black & white strips, some move from the center to the borders of the screen & some to the center & finish by tricking the eyes but overall the brain.

ok, my turn to give you some instructions before you watch the video, it's better to be close to your monitor or to enable full-screen mode, you may get a headache at the end, or like me nausea (obviously because I watched it five times), but I guess it's worth it anyways, enjoy! :)

December 03, 2007

indian stars worshiped -part 2

we learned in the first part about the stories of the goddess santoshi maa & the demigod rajkumar, let's continue, first with actor amitabh bachchan then actress shilpa shetty ...

a temple for superstar amitabh bechchan

amitabh bachchan is probably the biggest bollywood and india's star, he appeared in more than 100 films in three decades. he made his name in the seventies and eighties as an action hero. particularly in the 1970s he became known for his violent anti-heroes roles, and was admired by women for his handsome looks and deep voice.

to give you an idea about his popularity even outside india, in 1999 the bbc news online opened a survey to elect the greatest star of stage or screen of the last millennium & amitabh was voted in first by a large margin, pushing sir laurence olivier into second place, followed by sir alec guinness in third.

amitabh like rajkumar is worshiped by his fans, for example when he was seriously injured during the filming of coolie (1983), thousands of fans kept vigil outside his hospital. much later in 2001 for his 59 anniversary, bachchan was promoted from demigod to the status of god, this transition for his fans across the world was as smooth as their idol's metamorphosis from the idolized "angry young man" of the 1970s to a new dignified and fatherly image in his latest movies., described a ceremony in which started the traditional hindu way of worship at 8:30 a.m. first worshiping lord ganesh (the elephant god), then lord narayan and finally god amitabh bachchan. the ceremony was conducted by six qualified priests chanting hymns from scriptures in front of a huge garlanded framed photograph of young bachchan, at the amitabh bachchan fans association (abfa) club in the dumdum neighborhood, added to bachchan photograph , photographs of hindu gods ganesh & narayan, part of the pantheon as well. a sculptor even built a bust plaster of bachchan for the ceremony.

a diehard bachchan fan formulated the following question: "a person who has touched so many lives, can he be any less than a god?"

the day maked the beginning of amitabh utsav, a festival that lasted four months, in which, among other things, the abfa organized philanthropic activities in honor of bachchan, treated 1,000 patients at four microsurgery eye camps & undertook a campaign of eyes donation, the festival ended by feeding the poor people from the area in a community feast sponsored by the club.

a temple for amitabh bachchan in the dumdum area where an idol of the cine star has been installed. the "rules" for entering the temple are unique. a devotee wishing to pray before bachchan's idol would first have to recite dialogues from some of his famous films. also instead of religious hymns, bachchan's dialogues from his films would be chanted during prayer sessions.

shilpa shetty: a bollywood actress worshiped outside india

ok, as an introduction let's answer this question: are indians really special for worshiping their stars? in fact the answer is no! the act of idolizing movies & music stars & other celebrities is common everywhere, in india it's just characterized by its ceremonial & strictly religious dimension.

sadhavi sharma, a writer based in bombay, wrote an interesting article on denouncing the hypocrisy of the west when mocking indians for turning their favorite actors & actresses into gods & goddesses:
Many in the West view the wonderfully idiosyncratic world of Bollywood as bizarre. It is true that in Bombay [...], ardent fans will wait for hours outside the gates of certain film stars’ homes, hoping to catch a glimpse of their idols – though that happens in Hollywood, too. [...] Perhaps – but let’s not forget that some locks of Britney Spears’ hair are reportedly up for sale for around £500,000. It is not only in apparently weird India where celebs are treated as oracles these days, and their possessions passed around like pseudo-religious relics.

the article titled "worshipping a bollywood actress? how backward", talks mainly about actress & model shilpa shetty who was transformed to a divinity, not in india but in britain!

shetty participated in the reality tv show "celebrity big brother 2007" on british "channel 4", first she was victim of racism by some housemates which was followed by a wide indignation in & outside britain, then the growing popularity of shetty turned her nearly to a goddess not only in the eyes of the masses but at the highest echelons of british society; politicians, journalists and community activists in britain have elevated shetty to the role of "high priestess of unity"; a potential saviour whose grace under fire should be a lesson, and whose values might help to fix a "broken nation" and unite the masses.

shitty finally was the winner of the show, a daily mail newspaper reader declared: "shilpa won because of her inner beauty. she is so forgiving and a wonderful human being.". after so she attended a reception at the house of commons, to meet with then-british prime minister tony blair. she was also invited to meet with queen elizabeth II. she was also the subject of a documentary entitled "the real shilpa shetty".

the british political class according to sadhavi sharma seemed "to be clinging to shetty in the hope that she will inject new meaning and purpose into british politics.". he also doesn't understand how a little argument in a reality show could have such a impact in the media & politics:
The British have transformed a rather boring incident (two celebrities arguing about Oxo cubes on a rubbish reality show) into a melodrama involving forces of good and evil, slags and a dignified Indian; in its fairytale simplicity, it is a match for anything produced by Bollywood in recent years.

sharma finishes his article with these words:
The Indians who ‘worship’ their screen gods and goddesses for taking them on three-hour fantastical journeys in the local cinema look perfectly rational in comparison to a British elite that believes a fading Bollywood actress can save Britain and unite the nation.