Strange But True

Strange But True

  Earlier this year, the dazed crew of a Japanese Trawler was plucked 
out of the Sea of Japan Clinging to the wreckage of their sunken boat.
Their rescue, however, was followed by immediate imprisonment once 
authorities questioned the sailors on their ships loss. To a man they 
claimed that a cow, falling out of a clear blue sky, had struck the 
trawler amidships, shattering its hull and sinking the vessel within
  They remained in prison for several weeks, until the Russian Air 
Force reluctantly informed Japanese authorities that the crew of one of
its cargo planes had apparently stolen a cow wandering at the edge of a
Siberian airfield, forced the cow into the planes hold and hastily taken
off for home.
  Unprepared for live cargo, the Russian crew was ill-equipped to manage
a now rampaging cow within its hold. To save the aircraft and themselves,
they shoved the animal out of the cargo hold as they crossed the Sea of 
Japan at an altitude of 30,000 feet.

CAIRO, Egypt - After President Clinton got a dog named Buddy, lawyer 
Mohammed Baddy claimed he lost his dignity because their similar names
made him the butt of people's jokes. So he sued Clinton for libel. An 
Egyptian court threw out the suit, saying it has no jurisdiction because
the alleged infringement of Baddy's rights took place outside Egypt, 
officials said. 
  Baddy, 40, filed the case and demanded $5 million in compensation. 
Baddy claimed Clinton caused him mental anguish by choosing a dog name
similar to his. Baddy said people in his hometown made fun of him and 
compared him to Buddy.

Movie-theater managers in Siberia who started accepting eggs as payment
for tickets last summer because local people had no cash to spare are
now charging customers in empty bottles because of an egg shortage.

Times are tough in Russia:  Some towns and cities are deciding they 
can no longer afford to keep lighted their eternal flames honoring 
war veterans.  Officials in Lotoshino, outside Moscow, moved recently
to cut funding for maintaining their gas-fueled flame, saying costs 
exceeded $8,000 last year.

Indonesia's President Suharto says he'll name the baby that brings
Indonesia's population up to 200 million.  The fortunate baby is
expected to be born Feb. 4.

British Rail, which ingeniously solved the problem of lateness in the 
InterCity express train service by redefining "on time" to include 
trains arriving within one hour of schedule.

  A motorist was unknowingly caught in an automated speed trap that
measured his speed using radar and photographed his car. He later
received in the mail a ticket for $40 and a photo of his car. Instead
of payment, he sent the police department a photograph of $40. Several
days later, he received a letter from the police that contained another
picture... of handcuffs.
  The motorist promptly sent the money for the fine.

  A woman called the poison control center very upset because she caught
her little daughter eating ants. The worker quickly reassured her that
the ants are not harmful and there would be no need to take her daughter
to the hospital. She calmed down, and at the end of the conversation
happened to mention that she gave her daughter some ant poison to eat
in order to kill the ants.

 These Nitwits Are Teaching Our Children?!!
A 9-year-old boy in Manassas, Virginia received a one-day suspension 
under his elementary school's drug policy last week - for Certs!
 Joey Hoeffer allegedly told a classmate that the mints would make 
him "jump higher."

And a student in Belle, West Virginia was suspended for three
days for giving a classmate a cough drop. School principal
Forest Mann reiterated the school's "zero-tolerance" policy...
not to be confused with the "zero-intelligence" policy...

Fire investigators on Maui have determined the cause of a blaze that 
destroyed a $127,000 home last month - a  short in the homeowner's 
newly installed fire prevention alarm system.
  "This is even worse than last year," said the distraught homeowner, 
"when someone broke in and stole my new security system..."

  In Ohio, an unidentified man in his late twenties walked into a police
station with a 9-inch wire protruding from  his forehead and calmly asked
officers to give him an X-ray to help him find his brain, which he claimed
had been stolen. Police were shocked to learn that the man had drilled a 
6-inch deep hole in his skull with a Black & Decker power drill and had 
stuck the wire in to try and find the missing brain.

  More than 600 people in Italy wanted to ride in a spaceship badly 
enough to pay $10,000 a piece for the first tourist flight to Mars. 
According to the Italian police, the would-be space travelers were 
told to spend their "next vacation on Mars, amid the splendors of 
ruined temples and painted deserts. Ride a Martian camel from oasis
to oasis and enjoy the incredible Martian sunsets. Explore mysterious
canals and marvel at the views. Trips to the moon also available.
Authorities believe that the con men running this scam made off with 
over six million dollars...

Toronto- Florence Nightingale she isn't.
  An Ontario nurse has been found guilty of professional misconduct 
for passing gas in the presence of a patient's wife.
  The first time appears to have been accidental.
  But a disipline committee reports that the embarassed witness was 
asked if she 'wanted more' before the flatulent Florence broke wind 
  '(The nurse) had no recollection of the event,' the disciplanary 
panel of the Ontario College of Nurses notes in this month's issue 
of its magazine Communique.
  'But (she) agreed it is not polite to pass gas in front of others.
  The Cambridge woman, a registered practical nurse for almost 20 
years, has been suspended for six months for 'vulgar and offensive 
  She couldn't be reached for comment.  The College which regulates 
and disciplines Ontario nurses, says she denied all charges against 
her.  The College did not identify where she works.

Scientists aren't the only ones capable of starting relationships 
in the lab. Often times, in our effort to get that last result, 
we forget about the feelings of the equipment which we so callously 
use and discard.  This is one such story of the love between a lawn 
mower and an NMR-MRI imager. Machines, yes, but machines which 
couldn't bear to be separated. The research facility had just 
received their new NMR-MRI System and had been careful to inform 
the cleaning staff of the hazards of working around such a piece 
of equipment ... the high magnetic field wreaking havoc with
any metal bearing equipment, erasing banking cards and terminating
electrical equipment.  This also includes pacemakers although you 
gotta wonder how they determined that the machinery would affect 
pacemakers, experiments...or maybe just a good guess?
  They were even so careful as to put the magnet well towards the 
back wall, away from the general working area of the facility.  
Yes, they were careful in telling the caretaking staff. 
Unfortunately, no one had taken the same care in informing the 
outdoor, groundskeeping staff. Shortly after the system was set 
up, one of the outdoor maintenance crew was mowing the lawn near 
the back wall of the facility.  Picture the idyllic setting as the
groundskeeper in wandering around the yard on a bright summer's 
day.  The sun is shining, the birds are singing and the blades of 
grass are flying around in the normal manner when cut by the mower.  
Suddenly, the mower is yanked out of the groundskeeper's hands and
is flung against the wall, suspended three feet off the ground with 
no signs of support.  The surprised fellow spent quite a while 
trying to pry the mower of the wall but to no avail.  It doesn't 
take a scientist to tell you that this only happens on Roadrunner 
cartoons.  What was the poor man going to tell his boss?
  Eventually, when everyone became aware of the problem, they 
got their heads together and tried to come up with a reasonable 
explanation for this sudden, non-Newtonian event.  Unfortunately, 
someone was running an experiment at the time and noticed the 
change in the field.  Following the commotion, they discovered 
the problem and, using a tow truck (not a piece of equipment which 
is usually issued with an MRI but we won't quibble), they were able 
to pry the mower from the wall.
  This wall is now surrounded at a distance by a large fence and no 
one cares if the grass grows long and unruly.

  A freshman at Eagle Rock Junior High won first prize at the Greater
Idaho Falls Science Fair.  He was attempting to show how we have become 
conditioned to alarmist practicing junk science and spreading fear of 
everything in our environment.  In his project he urged people to sign 
a petition demanding strict control or total elimination of the chemical 
'Dihydrogen Monoxide'.  And for plenty of good reasons, since it can:

1.  Cause excessive sweating and vomitting
2.  It is a major component in acid rain
3.  It can cause severe burns in its gaseous state
4.  Accidental inhalation can kill you
5.  It contributes to erosion
6.  It decreases the effectiveness of automobile brakes
7.  It has been found in tumors of terminal cancer patients.

He asked 50 people if they supported a ban on the chemical.  
Forty-three said yes, six were undecided and only one knew 
that the chemical was water.  

    In 1978 workers were sent to dredge a murky stretch of the 
Chesterfield-Stockwith canal.  Their task was to remove all the 
rubbish and leave the canal clear.  They were soon disturbed 
during their teabreak by a policeman who said he was investigating 
a giant whirlpool in the canal. When they got back, however, the 
whirlpool had gone and so had a one-and-a-half mile stretch fo the
canal.  In its place was a seamless stretch of mud punctuated with 
old prams, bedsteads and rusting bycicle accessories.  In addition 
to this, the workmen found a flotilla of irate holidaymakers stranded 
on their boats in a brown sludge.
   Among the first pieces of junk they hauled out had been the 200 
year old plug that alone ensured the canal's continuing existence.
  'We didn't know there was a plug', said one workman explaining 
that all the records had been lost in a fire during the war.
  'Anything can happen on a canal', a spokesman for the British 
Waterways Board said afterwards.

 A company trying to continue its five-year perfect safety record
showed its workers a film aimed at encouraging the use of safety 
goggles on the job.  According to Industrial Machinery News, the 
film's depiction of gory industrial accidents was so graphic that 
twenty-five workers suffered minor injuries in their rush to leave 
the screening room.  Thirteen others fainted, and one man required 
seven stitches after he cut his head falling off a chair while 
watching the film.

 Swedish business consultant Ulf af Trolle labored 13 years on a book
about Swedish economic solutions.  He took the 250-page manuscript to 
be copied, only to have it reduced to 50,000 strips of paper in seconds
when a worker confused the copier with the shredder.

 Demon Computer Kills 2 Workers!
 "Exorcist Called In After Experts Discover Virus-bred Evil Spirit!"

  Bank officials have summoned an exorcist to rid a computer terminal 
of a hideous horned demon that  already killed two employees and 
put another in a coma!
  And if Father Hector Diaz fails in his mission to banish the spirit, 
authorities say they will have to shut down the bank because the 
computer can't be turned off, moved, or unplugged.  And as long 
as it remains in place, every  customer and employee is in danger.
  "This sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie, but the threat 
is both serious and real," Police Detective Raul Lopez told reporters.  
"I don't know why and I don't know how.  But an evil force or spirit 
is living in that machine and the death of two innocent people proves 
  Maria Catalan was found sitting at her terminal with her head in 
her lap."  Carmen de la Fuente had a fatal heart attack within two 
minutes of sitting down to work.
  Computer experts tired to examine the terminal, but they had no 
success whatsoever.  One of them started babbling like a madman 
when he got within 10 feet of the machine and a dozen more were 
flung to the floor like rag dolls by some unseen force. 
  "We can't turn the machine off because everyone who tries blacks 
out and falls to the floor.  I know I must sound like a lunatic, 
but that computer truly has a mind -- and a life -- of its own."
  The mind-numbing drama began when the bank in Valapariso, Chile, 
installed a new computer system last spring.  Within days the system 
turned deadly.
   When a bank custodian told of seeing a hideous horned demon 
appear on the computer screen, bank officials asked Father Diaz 
to perform an exorcism. The priest has been unavailable for comment 
while he prepares the rite of exorcism. But a spokesman for the 
firm that installed the computer system says that a computer virus 
almost certainly created the conditions which caused the terminal 
to kill.

  According to a September report in Toronto's Globe and Mail,
the University of Toronto's medical school employs actors and
other people for $12 to $35 per hour to be practice patients for its
students.  Bob LeRoy, 45, commands the top pay because he is a
rectal-exam patient.  Said LeRoy, "I always hope the student with
the biggest finger goes first." 

 Man to get mental exam after he shoots computer

  Issaquah, Wash.) A man was coaxed out of his home by police 
after he shot his personal computer.
   "We don't know if it wouldn't boot up or what," Sgt. Keith 
Moon said.  The computer had four bullet holes in the hard drive 
and one in the monitor.  Another bullet went through a wall into 
a neighboring unit.  No one was hurt.  The 43-year-old man was 
taken to a hospital for a mental evaluation.

Pillsbury Dough Boy Wanted for Attempted Murder.

[AP, Arkansas] A woman named Linda went to Arkansas last week 
to visit her in-laws, and while there, went to a store. She 
parked next to a car with a woman sitting in it, her eyes 
closed and hands behind her head, apparently sleeping.
  When Linda came out a while later, she again saw the woman, 
her hands still behind her head but with her eyes open. The 
woman looked very strange, so Linda tapped on the window and 
said "Are you okay?"
  The woman answered "I've been shot in the head, and I am 
holding my brains in."
  Linda didn't know what to do; so she ran into the store where 
store officials called the paramedics. They had to break into 
the car because the door was locked.
  When they got in, they found that the woman had bread dough 
on the back of her head and in her hands. A Pillsbury biscuit 
canister had exploded, apparently from the heat in the car, 
making a loud explosion like that of a gunshot, and hit her 
in the head. When she reached back to find what it was, she 
felt the dough and thought it was her brains. She passed out
from fright at first, then attempted to hold her brains in!

TAMPA (AP)--American Family Publishers found God in Sumter 
County.  And he may be very, very rich.  sweepstakes notice 
arrived at the Bushnell Assembly of God earlier this month 
announcing God, of Bushnell, was a finalist for the 
$11 million top prize.
  "I always thought he lived here but I didn't actually know," 
said Bill Brack, pastor of the church about 60 miles north of 
Tampa.  "Now I do. He's got a P.O. Box here."
  "God, we've been searching for you," American Family wrote 
in the letter, as first reported by the local weekly newspaper, 
the Sumter County Times. Sweepstakes officials did not return 
several telephone calls for comment Thursday.
  Brack said a youth pastor collected the mail that day and 
pointed out the Addressee.
  "I read it in church a couple of weeks ago and everyone got 
a kick out of it." he said.  "It is funny and everybody seemed 
to enjoy it. It lifted everybody's heart."
  Brack said his 140-person congregation is considering whether 
to mail in the entry.

 SEATTLE (AP) (c) -- A self-described milk-a-holic is suing the 
dairy industry, claiming that a lifetime of drinking whole milk 
contributed to his clogged arteries and a minor stroke.
 Norman Mayo, 61, believes he might have avoided his health 
problems if he had been warned on milk cartons about fat and 
  "I'm pretty sure we would plead not guilty and suggest this 
is without merit," said Blair Thompson, a spokesman for the 
Washington Dairy Products Commission.
  Jon Ferguson, a lead counsel in the state's lawsuit against 
the tobacco industry, said likening milk with tobacco was silly. 
Milk, he noted, is not addictive.

  For the past month, fire investigator Stephen Dixon has
been mixing Dep Hair Gel with Fresh Scoop kitty litter in
a bucket in his backyard, trying to get it to ignite and
solve the mystery of the self-starting blaze that doused
  A bottle of after shave lotion, a toilet and a cat also
played a part in the unlikely chain of events that unfolded
shortly past noon on Feb. 25 in a second-story apartment
on Jordan Avenue, according to state and local fire
  After the tenant left for work, his cat jumped from the
litter box to the bathroom vanity, knocking down the hair 
gel and causing it to drip into the box. The result,
according to investigators, was a spontaneous chemical
reaction that ignited into a smoldering flame. 
  The flames spread to the floor, up a curtain and onto 
the wall next to the bottle of flammable after shave. The
bottle burst, spraying alcohol over the walls, which then
exploded in flames. 
  The intense heat shattered the ceramic toilet, dumping
five gallons of water on the floor and dousing the fire
there. Water then sprayed from the toilet's fill pipe onto
the walls. 
  "If you're going to have a ridiculous, stupid, never 
before happen fire, this is it," said Jane Owen, who owns 
the three-unit building with her husband. 
  When he heard about the fire, Tom Owen rushed to the
building to find two firemen crawling through the soot
on the floor in a corner of the bathroom. 
  "We know this is where it started, but we don't know
why," they told Owen. "The only thing here was that
kitty litter."
  Owen was baffled at how the fire began. There were no
plugs or switches in the bathroom corner. His tenant, a
sailor who has since been transferred to the West Coast,
was a trustworthy nonsmoker who wasn't home at the time. 
  The next day Owen suggested to the fire chief, who had
listed the cause as unknown, that something may have
mixed in with the kitty litter. 
  Chief Gary Howard called Dixon, an investigator with the
state Fire Marshal's Office, who had heard of similar cases. 
One involved a grocery store mixture of kitty litter and a 
bottle of vegetable oil that had shattered on the floor. The 
store manager swept it up and threw it in the dumpster, where 
it later caught fire. 
  "At this point it's the curiosity factor," Dixon said.
"We've basically eliminated any other source of ignition."
  The hair gel label lists a dozen different chemicals. The
kitty litter has chemicals that absorb smells. Dixon plans
on resuming his backyard experimentation later this week when 
the weather warms up. 
  If warm weather doesn't help spark the mixture, he may add 
another ingredient. 
  "I got my own cats and they can help me," he said. "You do 
what you have to do."

  In a recent issue of "Meat & Poultry" magazine, editors 
quoted from "Feathers," the publication of the California 
Poultry Industry Federation, telling the following story:
  It seems the US Federal Aviation Administration has a unique
device for testing the strength of windshields on airplanes.  
The device is a gun that launches a dead chicken at a plane's
windshield at approximately the speed the plane flies.  The
theory is that if the windshield doesn't crack from the carcass
impact, it'll survive a real collision with a bird during flight.
  It seems the British were very interested in this and wanted 
to test a windshield on a brand new, speedy locomotive they're
developing.  They borrowed the FAA's chicken launcher, loaded 
the chicken and fired. The ballistic chicken shattered the
windshield, went through the engineer's chair, broke an
instrument panel and embedded itself in the back wall of the
engine cab.  The British were stunned and asked the FAA to
recheck the test to see if everything was done correctly.
  The FAA reviewed the test thoroughly and had one 
recommendation: "Use a thawed chicken."

  Larry Walters is among the relatively few who have actually 
turned their dreams into reality.  His story is true, though 
you may find it hard to believe.
  Larry was a truck driver, but his lifelong dream was to fly.  
When he graduated from high school, he joined the Air Force 
in hopes of becoming a pilot.  Unfortunately, poor eyesight 
disqualified him.  So when he finally left the service, he had 
to satisfy himself with watching others fly the fighter jets 
that crisscrossed the skies over his backyard.  As he sat there 
in his lawn chair, he dreamed about the magic of flying. Then 
one day, Larry Walters got an idea.  He went down to the local 
army-navy surplus store and bought a tank of helium and forty
-five weather balloons.
  These were not your brightly colored party balloons, these 
were heave-duty spheres measuring more than four feet across 
when fully inflated. Back in his yard, Larry used straps to 
attach the balloons to his lawn chair, the kind you might have 
in your own back yard.  He anchored the chair to the bumper of 
his jeep and inflated the balloons with helium.  Then he packed 
some sandwiches and drinks and loaded a BB gun, figuring he 
could pop a few of those balloons when it was time to return 
to earth.
  His preparations complete, Larry Walters sat in his chair and 
cut the anchoring cord.  His plan was to lazily float back down 
to terra firma.  But things didn't quite work out that way. When 
Larry cut the cord, he didn't float lazily up; he shot up as if 
fired from a cannon!  Nor did he go up a couple hundred feet. He 
climbed and climbed until he finally leveled off at eleven 
thousand feet!  At that height, he could hardly risk deflating
any of the balloons, lest he unbalance the load and really 
experience flying!  So he stayed up there, sailing around for 
fourteen hours, totally at a loss as to how to get down. 
  Eventually, Larry drifted into the approach corridor for Los 
Angeles International Airport.  A Pan Am pilot radioed the tower 
about passing a guy in a lawn chair at eleven thousand feet with 
a gun in his lab.  (Now there's a conversation I'd have given
anything to have heard!)     LAX is right on the ocean, and you 
may know that at nightfall, the winds on the coast begin to change.
So, as dusk fell, Larry began drifting out to sea.  At that point, 
the Navy dispatched a helicopter to rescue him.  But the rescue 
team had a hard time getting to him, because the draft from their 
propeller kept pushing his home-made contraption farther and farther 
away.  Eventually they were able to hover over him and drop a rescue 
line with which they gradually hauled him back to earth.
  As soon as Larry hit the ground, he was arrested.  But as he was 
being led away in handcuffs, a television reported called out, "Mr.
Walters, why'd you do it?"
   Larry stopped, eyed the man, then replied nonchalantly, "A man 
can't just sit around."

  Apparently a new law was passed in Wisconsin that says any man 
will be arrested if he is out in public with "an erection that is 
visible through his clothes."
Someone from a radio station in Mpls, MN (KEGE 93.7) went across 
the border to a Perkins restaurant in WI to test the law by wearing 
sweatpants w/ a large cucumber in them.  He was asked to leave, but 
the police were not called...

  Tehran (Reuters) - For the past few weeks, the behind-the-doors
discussion at many Iranian newspaper and magazine publishing outfits
seems to be revolving not around political, social and economic
issues, but the spelling of Bob Dole's name instead.
  It turns out that the proper spelling of the Republican Party's
likely nominee, Dole, is exactly the same as that of the word "penis"
in Farsi.
  For an exact pronunciation, "Dowl" as opposed to "Dol," it would 
have to spelled as the Farsi word for "penis." In print, especially 
for headlines, "...we don't use Ňoptionalň vowel symbols. Because 
of that, his name can be read in that way."
  Ali Zarkoob, a grade school teacher in Western Tehran said, "I'm 
sure kids will find it very funny. The humor magazines will probably 
go crazy over it too."
  A columnist for Tehran's Hamshahri daily who requested to remain
anonymous stated, "It's a real problem that no one wants to face.
Think about it. What should we write if he wins?  `Clinton loses
Presidency?'  That's not right.  `Penis wins US Presidency' isn't
exactly acceptable either."

  On the flight from Paris to New York had just taken off. 
Everything was hunky dory until the stewardesses heard a 
scream coming from the bathroom.
  They rushed back and forced the door open. There on the 
seat was a mountain of flesh. The woman's weight made 
overweight NFL linebackers look like Kate Moss.
  Why was she screaming? No toilet paper? No air sickness 
bags? The Pauly Shore movie that was playing?
  The toilets on a plane are vented around the seat, just 
under the toilet's rim. A vacuum is created while the plane 
is in flight, helping to evacuate any unpleasant odors from 
the tiny bathroom to the plane's exterior.
  Unfortunately for this particularly heavy woman, the vacuum 
effect was used to folks weighing between 100 and 477 pounds. 
She weigh 478. Her portly posterior sealed up the vacuum holes, 
effectively gluing her to the toilet seat for the duration of 
the flight (no amount of flight-attendant leverage could remove 
her until the plane landed and the vacuum stopped).

  Philippine President Fidel Ramos says he plans to auction a 
lump of cholesterol surgeons scraped off an artery in his neck, 
to raise money for a worthy cause.

  Kleberg County Texas,  commissioners support a local man's 
campaign to take the "hell" out of hello.  They voted unanimously 
to urge the use of "heaven-o" instead of hello in greetings.

  A Grand Rapids., Mich., man, blind in one eye since a 
childhood accident 50 years ago, walked face-first into 
a post at a shopping mall, and his sight returned.

  A Litchfield Conn., resident won a turkey when he guessed 
the number of peanuts in a big glass jar.  He said 603 nuts, 
and missed by one -- pretty good for a blind man.

  Embarrassed New York City workers drew a crowd as they moved 
a new fire hydrant from the middle of a Bronx street back to 
where it belongs:  the sidewalk.

A technician at the hightech Los Alamos National Laboratory used some
very low-tech know-how to fix radioactive gas monitors -- tin cans and
polystyrene cups.  His ingenuity, however, earned the laboratory a
safety violation from the Department of Energy.

  John Bloor who mistook a tube of superglue for his 
haemorrhoid cream and glued his buttocks together

  To Julia Carson who as her tearful family gathered 
around her coffin in a New York funeral parlour, sat 
bolt upright and asked what the hell was going on.
  Celebrations were short lived since Mrs. Carlson's 
daughter, Julie, immediately dropped dead from shock.

Alice Olson of Greenwood, Wis., population 969, gave birth on New Year's
Day to the town's first baby of the year -- for the third year in a row.

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