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Saturday, May 31, 2008

TV News Photographer Keeps Camera Rolling During Scuffle With Police Officer

“I’m not putting the camera down until (inaudible)."

The Geekiest Toilet Ever : Souped Up John

What you are going to see in this post is a realistic toilet that was featured under “Cool Inventions” in National Geographic Kids Magazine under the title ‘Souped Up John.’ An ultra pimped out toilet, that is the ultimate in geek bathroom luxury. It features a TV, TiVo, DVD, XBox, laptop, refrigerator, megaphone, Ipod dock and of course the standard toilet paper holder. In conclusion this toilet is equipped with everything you need, so you’ll be able to spend your whole day in your toilet. Now the ultra busy people can be happy because they won’t be missing anything. Finally to keep you even more time in this toilet you also get some exercise pedals in front for when you really need to shake those bowels loose. If you don’t consider yourself sedentary enough then this geeky toilet will help you become one.
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Japanese woman caught living in man's closet

TOKYO - A homeless woman who sneaked into a man's house and lived undetected in his closet for a year was arrested in Japan after he became suspicious when food mysteriously began disappearing.

Police found the 58-year-old woman Thursday hiding in the top compartment of the man's closet and arrested her for trespassing, police spokesman Hiroki Itakura from southern Kasuya town said Friday.

The resident of the home installed security cameras that transmitted images to his mobile phone after becoming puzzled by food disappearing from his kitchen over the past several months.

One of the cameras captured someone moving inside his home Thursday after he had left, and he called police believing it was a burglar. However, when they arrived they found the door locked and all windows closed.

"We searched the house ... checking everywhere someone could possibly hide," Itakura said. "When we slid open the shelf closet, there she was, nervously curled up on her side."

The woman told police she had no place to live and first sneaked into the man's house about a year ago when he left it unlocked.

She had moved a mattress into the small closet space and even took showers, Itakura said, calling the woman "neat and clean."

Original here

Friday, May 30, 2008

Fisherman nets one heck of a halibut - record-breaker weighs in at 30 stone

As a fully paid-up monster of the deep, it should have swatted aside any angler with the temerity to try to catch it with a mere rod and line.

But this record-breaking Atlantic halibut bit off more than it could chew when it took on heroic Soren Beck.

As it fought to escape, Mr Beck's small boat had to chase it across the Arctic waters off Norway to prevent either rod or line snapping.

Once the energy-sapping fight was over it took three men to haul the 30-stoner aboard. Back on land, they found it measured 8ft 1in in length, 6ft 4in around the middle and weighed in at 443lb, 24lb more than the previous record for a line-caught halibut.

And if Mr Beck had managed to get it to a British market it would have made around £2,200.

The Dane, who was on holiday, was angling in waters which have given up some giant halibut in recent years.

The biggest, caught by a commercial fisherman, was 63st. Halibut typically reach maturity at ten years and average 3ft 4in in length.

A halibut big enough for Jehovah? Proud angler Soren Beck stands next to the enormous 8ft 1in Halibut he caught after a titanic struggle off the Norwegian coast

When the fight was over, it took three men to haul the whopping flatfish on board their boat with the use of a hook on the end of a pole.

The giant fish then fought for his life for an amazing half an hour after he was pulled out of the Arctic circle waters.

The 31st monster smashed the line as it was pulled in by three fishermen and weighed a record 24 lbs

Cato Bekkevold, an expert from the region, said: 'The area where he caught it is famed for cod and coalfish, but last year the Wildwater Camps brought up 80 halibut.

'These halibut can be caught by a variety of methods, but drifting with coalfish or big shad-jigs [a type of hook] baited with a worm have caught the majority.

'There have been some monsters caught by commercial fishermen, with one recently off Norway weighing 314.5kg.

Soren would have made £2,200 if he had sold the fish at a market in the UK

'The biggest in recent times was 329kg caught in the late 90s, and the biggest ever recorded is around 400 kg.

'It is painted in full size at the Halibut museum on the island of Senja.'

Halibut don't recover from over-fishing as fell as other flatfish, and Atlantic halibut are often tagged then released when caught.

Original here

Being Tired Is Not a Status Symbol

Some people think telling everyone how exhausted they are makes them seem important. But flaunting your fatigue only makes you insufferable.

-By Greg Williams
-Photograph by Jonathan Kambouris

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There was a time not so long ago that when you asked a colleague how he was doing he'd likely reply, "I'm good, thanks." He might not actually have been good at all, but he would have kept that to himself.

Now, in the age of the mortgage meltdown and mass layoffs, he'll probably offer the answer that's become the default comeback for white-collar guys who want to demonstrate they've got it all—the career on an upward curve, the remodeled townhouse, the hot wife, and the privately educated kids. He'll say, "I'm so tired."

"It's the first thing that comes out of someone's mouth when you ask them how they're doing," says Matthew Moss, 34, a creative director at a marketing agency in Portland, Oregon. "'Oh, I'm exhausted.' The first thing you think is 'Oh, this guy is tired, which means he's probably been working really hard.' Or 'They're full of shit.'"

Mostly, it's the second one. When you walk into a colleague's office and he's sitting there rubbing his eyes and stifling yawns, dropping a Venti latte cup into a wastebasket and hollering at his assistant to bring him another Red Bull, do you think, Wow, what an overachiever!? No. Because he's the guy who puts on the same show at meetings, trying to bleed extra credit from an average performance—Can you believe I pulled this off despite my obvious exhaustion?

"I think people use tiredness as a defense mechanism," says Paul (who asked that his last name not be used), 30, a vice president at an investment bank in Manhattan. "If you're staying till three in the morning you must be doing something very important, right?"

It doesn't actually matter what you're doing. No one believes you—much less cares. The three-day stubble, the slack jaw, the really . . . long . . . pauses . . . between words—to observers it's all white-noise whining. Mr. I'm So Tired thinks his cartoonish fatigue is demonstrating his dauntingly high station in life. It isn't.

"People use tiredness as a proxy for effort," says Steve Gravenkemper, an organizational psychologist at Plante & Moran, a consulting and accounting firm based in Detroit. "They say, 'Gee, I tried real hard even though I didn't get the result, and you can see that by my exhaustion.'"

Andy (not his real name), a 27-year-old analyst at a hedge fund in Manhattan, says the long hours that he and his colleagues work mean that there's low tolerance for status tiredness, because everyone is fatigued.

"It's like, 'Yeah, I popped two Lunes last night at 4 a.m.—and I was in at the office at six,'" he says. "It's really absurd."

Maybe it's that other symbols of social standing—the summer house, the SUV—are now so commonplace that they've lost their value. Or it could just be that to use tiredness as an emblem of status is to enter the realm of the intangible. No one knows what you did after you left the office, or whether you actually feel the way you're behaving. And the significance of the fatigued act is lost on them anyway. They're too tired to care.

Does bragging about how tired you are get under your skin too? Tell us your best "I'm so overworked" story in the comment section below.

Check out these top stories from Details:


IT'S TIME TO START DRESSING YOUR AGE

If your thirtieth birthday is in your rearview, lose the rebellious-teen uniform.

GO AHEAD AND LET YOURSELF GO
There comes a time when French cheese, steaks, and bottles of wine are much more appealing than having rock-hard abs. So live a little, already-at least until you start missing your sex life.

WARNING: YOU'RE WEARING THE WRONG COLOGNE
Finding a fragrance can be overwhelming and—after you smell about three options—dizzying. Use our ultimate guide to simplify the process.

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Alien Video To Be Revealed To Media Tomorrow, Man Claims

The Rocky Mountain News is reporting that tomorrow the world might actually see who else is out there. A man, named Jeff Peckman, claims he will reveal video of live alien to the news media Friday. Brace yourselves. Below are some key excerpts from the story:
A video that purportedly shows a living, breathing space alien will be shown to the news media Friday in Denver.

"It shows an extraterrestrial's head popping up outside of a window at night, looking in the window, that's visible through an infrared camera," he said. The alien is about 4 feet tall and can be seen blinking, Peckman said earlier this month.

An instructor at the Colorado Film School in Denver scrutinized the video "very carefully" and determined it was authentic, Peckman said.

Original here

Viewing E.T. film, expert is a believer

The Colorado Film School instructor who analyzed a video that purportedly shows a space alien swears the footage is real.

"There is no doubt in my mind that (Stan Romanek, a Colorado native who has reported UFO sightings,) did not post-produce this material. In other words, it's not a trick done in special effects," Jerry Hofmann, a professional film editor with more than 30 years of experience, said Thursday. "I have equipment that will test to see if that shot was recorded originally on that tape, which it was," he said.

However, Hofmann said there's no way for him to know whether or not the little gray alien, which was videotaped peeping through a window, is the real thing.

But Hofmann thinks it is.

"The chances are that we are not alone," he said. "That's the conclusion I've come to."

Hofmann, a Colorado Springs native who used to work in the Los Angeles film industry, said Romanek doesn't have the resources to videotape something so elaborate.

"He kept the camera handy, and he saw this little gray (alien) running around his house. He saw it, so he got the camera out," Hofmann said. "The thing is about 4 feet tall. The only thing that shows up in the video is his head. It pops up from underneath a window. But his eyes blink. His cheeks move. He turns his head side-to-side. This would be a very elaborate puppet."

Hofmann said people who work in Hollywood animatronics have seen the video, and he said that such an elaborate puppet would cost around $50,000.

"The guy (Romanek) lives on a freaking government pension," Hofmann said. "He's got a wife and three kids. He doesn't have money. I just don't think he faked this. I think what we got here is the real thing."

Hofmann said he had never heard about Romanek until he was approached last July to analyze the video. Hofmann, 57, who has been married for 35 years to his college sweetheart and has two grown children, said he used to be a skeptic about space aliens.

"My whole view has totally changed," he said. "There's something going on."

chacond@RockyMountainNews.com or 303-954-5099

Original here

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Pictured: Cheeky bumble-bee smiles for the camera

Self-preservation dictates that we rarely come face to face with a bumble bee. If we did, perhaps we'd be in for a pleasant surprise.

According to this evidence, they have a much happier disposition than suggested by the painful associations traditionally attached to their species.

From the safe distance offered by a telephoto lens, amateur photographer Chris Cox captured this fascinating image of one of the insects apparently smiling broadly.

Wildlife lovers will tell you of course, that the creatures are happy in their work, and only become angry if provoked by humans.

Mr Cox, for one, would agree. Explaining how he came to capture the tee-hee bee, he said he had been 'messing around' with his camera in the back garden of his home in Newquay, Cornwall.
A bumble-bee, close-up above, smiles while collecting pollen - and keen photographer Chris Cox happened to have his camera handy

'I'd just cleaned my equipment and was taking some shots of the flowers in the garden when I noticed the bee,' he said.

'I zoomed in on it and fired off a bunch of shots, messing around without really thinking about it. It wasn't until a few days later I looked over the images and I couldn't believe my eyes.

'You would never believe a bee could have a face like that.

'It looked like it was posing for the camera.'
Buzzing: Amateur photographer Chris Cox in the back garden of his home in Cornwall

Original here

Pictured: The hippo who ditched his muddy waters to catch some sun and surf

They are better known for wallowing in swamps rather than their surfing skills but this hippo clearly had a whale of a time splashing around in the ocean.

Spotted in the water near the holiday town of Ballito, near Durban in South Africa, the rare sighting of a hippo catching some waves fascinated residents and wildlife experts alike.
The hippo was spotted swimming in the sea in the South African holiday town of Ballito

The hippo even strayed onto the sand to catch a few rays on the beach at Thompson's Bay and then moved into the water for the afternoon.

Lionel van Schoor from KZN Wildlife says that they have been observing this hippo further north, in Richards Bay and he says it has been moving south for the past two months.
It is thought that the lone young male hippo has wandered from its habitat in Richards Bay

The hippo's life is at risk as he moves further south because he is coming closer to humans and may run out of food

'The animal walks along the beach foraging for food and when he comes across a rocky outcrop he simply goes for a swim in the sea' says Mr Van Schoor.

He could not confirm the sex but did say, 'He is thought to be a young bull, but no one knows for sure.'

The KZN Wildlife Organisation says they are doing whatever they can to protect and preserve this animal.

But they said that darting and relocation was not an option.

'Hippos don't take well to darting' Mr van Schoor explains, 'they die of stress and this one would drown if we darted her in the water, and if we tried to dart her on the beach, she would run into the water for safety and again drown when the drug takes effect.'

The hippo was swimming dangerously close to the shore and even wandered around the beach in between swims

Hippos are usually captured using passive methods such as monitoring paths that they use regularly and setting up enclosures to lure them into.

But Mr Van Schoor says that this hippo's only hope is to stop moving South.

He added: 'If the hippo moves any further south there is huge risk, he is moving into residential areas and towards Durban where food for the hippo will become a problem'.

Hippos are considered to be one of the most dangerous and aggressive of all animals and with this one coming into contact with humans and domestic animals, it could soon become a problem.

Sadly If the hippo does not retrace his own steps and move back north, KZN says there is little hope for him.

"It is a matter of waiting and hoping." says Mr Van Schoor.

Original here

Mother jumped off cliff in front of daughter, 8

A mother took her eight-year-old daughter to a cliff top, then jumped to her death in front of her, an inquest has heard.


Tansy Langton had written her family's contact details on a piece of paper and put them in her daughter's pocket. Then she fell more than 100ft to her death from a rock face on Dorset's Jurassic coast.

The inquest in Bournemouth heard her death occurred around 2pm on Jan 22 close to Anvil Point near Swanage.

Miss Langton, 50, had asked a ranger where the steepest cliffs were and was told that there was a vertical drop to the west. After choosing a location she left her daughter, Olivia, 30ft away before jumping.

Moments earlier Ivan Lissin, 22, who was climbing without a helmet, fell 30ft and banged his head before landing in the sea.

A bystander watching him being rescued by helicopter then saw Miss Langton shuffle forwards to the edge of the cliff before falling. Neither survived.

Her daughter was later found by Pc Mari Montgomery.

"I asked where she [Miss Langton] was. The little girl said she was 'just down there' and that she had gone to sit down because she had a headache," said Pc Montgomery.

A suicide note was found at her home.

Mr Lissin, a graduate in bio-chemistry, had been with Oxford University's rock climbing club on a climb 300 yards away. He died the following day from severe brain injuries.

Sheriff Payne, the coroner for Bournemouth, Poole and East Dorset, recorded a verdict of misadventure in the case of Mr Lissin and suicide for Miss Langton.

Original here

Kobe Comes Clean Over Snake-Soaring Slam Dunk

Anyway, we all fondly remember Bryant’s death-defying jump over a moving Aston Martin. And our good buddy John Ireland from KCAL-TV caught up with Kobe to get an explanation about his awesome aerial.

Kobe Bryant John Ireland

Now, Kobe Knievel has done it again - this time soaring over a pool full of snakes to make a super slam dunk. And Ireland once again finds a pot o’ gold, as he gets the latest story from the aspiring Lakers stuntman. But John didn’t get the same answers as before.

During Monday’s practice, Ireland quizzed Kobe about his latest adventure in leaping. And the conversation went a little something like this:

John: “A new Hyperdunk thing has hit the Internet where you jump over a pool of snakes.”

Kobe: “Yeah.”

John: “Is that real?

Kobe: “Absolutely.”

John: “You jumped over that pool and dunked?

Kobe: “I did jump over that pool.”

John: “So it’s not like the Aston Martin?

Kobe (pseudo-offended) : “I jumped over a car!

Another reporter: “Were there snakes in the pool?

Kobe: “100 … about 140 of ‘em.”

Yet another reporter: “And all poisonous, right?

Kobe: “Anacondas, red bellied snakes … uh, there weren’t no black mambas, they’re a little too big.”

(Video of the snake jump to refresh our readers’ memory)

Bryant went on to describe his day hanging out with the Jackass crew - calling it a “hell of a time“, fondly referring to the Jackassers as “classic idiots“, but adding that he “loved every minute of it.”

However, Ireland was persistent to get the scoop on the snake jump:

John:And the dunk was real. You actually jumped over the pool.”

Kobe:I did jump over the pool. I had a little assistance, maybe.”

John: With Hollywood?”

Kobe: From the Hyperdunks.”

And with that, the interview ended in a round of good-natured laughter.

Great job as always, John! For next time, try to get an explanation of the Ron Artest interview. Hollywood & Hyperdunks were obviously of no help.

Original here

Updike Reads The Lines in American Art

In his Warner Theatre address, John Updike uses John Singleton Copley's 1768 portrait of Paul Revere.
In his Warner Theatre address, John Updike uses John Singleton Copley's 1768 portrait of Paul Revere. (By Richard A. Lipski -- The Washington Post)

Give novelist and sometime art critic John Updike credit. The 2008 National Endowment for the Humanities Jefferson Lecturer tried to answer the thorny question: "What is American about American art?"

Onstage at the Warner Theatre Thursday night, in front of 1,900 culture lovers, the angular, silver-haired Updike used more than 60 images, ranging from formal mid-18th-century portraits by Bostonian John Singleton Copley to the hyper-realistic late-20th-century renderings of Richard Estes, to make his point: "The American artist . . . born into a continent without museums and art schools, took nature as his only instructor, and things as his principal study."

One of the salient traits of this country, he told the gathering, is an urge to define what is American. To delineate the romantic wildness of our nature. To search for a national self-image. That desire to map the New World is reflected in the tight classicist tradition of American art.

Drawing rules in this country's artwork, Updike said. He quoted a European-trained artist who criticized Copley -- the first American to exhibit a painting in Europe -- for being too "liney." That is, too reliant on the drawing in his paintings and not free enough with color and light.

By tracing that harsh "lineyness" in American painting, and juxtaposing it against a freer, more colorful romantic "painterliness" in other work, Updike laid out a convincing answer to his overarching what-is-American question.

Yet he did it subtly. Flashing slides of well-knowns, such as Gilbert Stuart, Winslow Homer, Grant Wood and Norman Rockwell, Updike pointed out the distinctions.

European-influenced artists, such as Homer and John Singer Sargent, tended toward the painterly; more purely American artists, such as Copley and Thomas Hart Benton, toward the liney.

Reading from a text, Updike, 76, spoke in a raspy voice. The presentation moved quickly. An invitation to deliver the Jefferson Lecture is the loftiest award given by the federal government for "distinguished intellectual achievement in the humanities," and there was a patriotic air to the affair.

Even the U.S. Marine Band showed up to play before the ceremony.

At no point during the speech did Updike, or the slideshow technology, falter. The address was based on "Picturing America," an NEH initiative to distribute reproductions of American paintings to schools and libraries.

Diversity was nearly absent in Updike's presentation. The painters he referred to were mostly males of European descent, a cohort he referred to as "that least hip of demographic groups." He did not, for instance, mention the extraordinary American painter Mary Cassatt, who became an expatriate.

Either ignored or overlooked, as well, was any reference to a 19th-century European debate -- similar to the liney-painterly dichotomy -- between classicist Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres and romanticist Eugène Delacroix.

Regardless, Updike's lecture was high-minded and provocative -- like most of his work.

Soon after the talk ended, the patrons repaired to the Willard Hotel for a wine-and-sweets reception. So did Updike.

Original here


Man Allegedly Bilks E-trade, Schwab of $50,000 by Collecting Lots of Free 'Micro-Deposits'

A California man has been indicted for an inventive scheme that allegedly siphoned $50,000 from online brokerage houses E-trade and Schwab.com in six months -- a few pennies at a time.

Michael Largent, 22, of Plumas Lake, California, allegedly exploited a loophole in a common procedure both companies follow when a customer links his brokerage account to a bank account for the first time. To verify that the account number and routing information is correct, the brokerages automatically send small "micro-deposits" of between two cents to one dollar to the account, and ask the customer to verify that they've received it.

Hankhill
Michael Largent allegedly used a script to open 58,000 online brokerage accounts in the names of cartoon characters, and other aliases.
Hank Hill courtesy Fox Broadcasting

Largent allegedly used an automated script to open 58,000 online brokerage accounts, linking each of them to a handful of online bank accounts, and accumulating thousands of dollars in micro-deposits.

I know it's only May, but I think the competition for Threat Level's Caper of the Year award is over.

Largent's script allegedly used fake names, addresses and Social Security numbers for the brokerage accounts. Largent allegedly favored cartoon characters for the names, including Johnny Blaze, King of the Hill patriarch Hank Hill, and Rusty Shackelford. That last name is doubly-fake -- it's the alias commonly used by the paranoid exterminator Dale Gribble on King of the Hill.

The banks involved included Capital One, Metabank, Greendot and Skylight. Largent allegedly cashed out by channeling the money into pre-paid debit cards.

A May 7 Secret Service search warrant affidavit (.pdf) says Largent tried the same thing with Google's Checkout service, accumulating $8,225.29 in eight different bank accounts at Bancorp Bank.

When the bank asked Largent about the thousands of small transfers, he told them that he'd read Google's terms of service, and that it didn't prohibit multiple e-mail addresses and accounts. "He stated he needed the money to pay off debts and stated that this was one way to earn money, by setting up multiple accounts having Google submit the two small deposits."

The Google caper is not charged in the indictment. (.pdf)

According to the government, Largent was undone by the USA Patriot Act's requirement that financial firms verify the identity of their customers. Schwab.com was notified in January that more than 5,000 online accounts had been opened with bogus information. When the Secret Service investigated, they found some 11,385 Schwab accounts were opened under the name "Speed Apex" from the same five IP addresses, all of them tracing back to Largent's internet service from AT&T.

Largent is free on bail. He's charged in federal court in Sacramento with four counts each of computer fraud, wire fraud and mail fraud. He didn't return repeated phone calls Tuesday; Representatives of E-trade, Schwab.com and Google also didn't return phone calls.

Original here

Toothpicks, Bras, and Seven Other Bizarre Ways to Die

As Grandpa Simpson of The Simpsons will tell you, “Death stalks you at every turn!” And it’s not just through heart disease, cancer, and those other oft-quoted causes. Did you know you could also die by wearing the wrong bra in a lightning storm? Read on for tragic, bizarre, and downright stupid fatal tales.

1) When Good Bras Go Bad
I knew to steer clear of big sheets of metal and barbed-wire fences during a lightning storm, but I didn’t know to avoid my bra, too! It seems odd that one of your instincts should be to unhook and let the girls roam free when lightning strikes, but that’s exactly what two women who died in London should have done. According to the New York Times, they were struck and killed by lightning because of their underwire bras.

2) Sweet but Deadly
We’ve all heard references about strippers suffocating in their huge cakes. According to the book Strange Deaths: More Than 375 Freakish Fatalities, it actually happened. In 1995, a stripper named Gina Lalapola was discovered dead inside a cake that was meant for a bachelor party. I guess the guests figured out something was wrong after they wheeled the fake dessert out and nothing happened. The book states that she was inside the cake for an hour waiting for her big debut. That was one committed performer.

3) Fashion to Die For
Dying as a result of a broken neck is nothing too shocking—unless it’s at the hands of an unruly scarf. Isadora Duncan, an American dancer who fancied long, flowing scarves, met her demise after her scarf—which was wrapped around her neck—got caught in the axles on the wheels of the car she was in. The wheel pulled both she and her scarf out of the car and onto the pavement, where she died. The scarf was later brought in for questioning, but remained uncooperative.

4) Playing Through
If a rat pees on you, what would be your first instinct? If it was “Continue my game of golf without wiping it off,” you might want to rethink your priorities and take David Bailey’s demise to heart. He was a Dublin man who died in 1997 after a rat peed on his leg during a golf game. Rather than cleaning himself, he played through—then his kidneys shut down two weeks later and he died. I don’t know what’s more tragic: the fact that he died as a result of rat pee, or that the world knows that he didn’t shower after being peed on by a filthy rodent. Definitely a contender for the Darwin Awards.

5) Like Something out of a Short Story
Some of the most extraordinary American writers, such as Steinbeck and Fitzgerald, fell victim to wholly ordinary deaths. Not to be outdone, Sherwood Anderson died in a blaze of glory. Well, not really, but he did die in a totally bizarre way. He swallowed a toothpick—like so many of us have almost done at some point in our lives—and died of peritonitis, an inflammation in the abdominal cavity that provides a long and painful death. Just as Mr. Anderson left a permanent mark on the American short story genre, that darn toothpick left a permanent mark on his body. And you thought splinters in your mouth were bad.

6) The Comedy of Tragedy
The next time I complain about a headache, I’m going to think it could always be worse. After all, an eagle could mistake my head for a rock and use it to crack open its dinner. Legend has it that Aeschylus died because an eagle mistook the top of his head for a rock and dropped a tortoise on his bald noggin—a fairly undramatic way for a Greek playwright to die.

7) One of the Worst (and Stinkiest) Ways to Die
Standing near sewer openings is bad enough, particularly on warm days. Imagine what it would be like to spend your last minutes on earth stuck in one? Such was the unfortunate demise of a guy in Wisconsin who tried to retrieve his cell phone out of a storm sewer and got stuck underwater. And, even though this type of death is certainly bizarre, it’s not exactly uncommon. A man in Ontario died in the same way when he tried to fish his wallet out of the sewer, slipped and got stuck in the opening, and drowned. These examples provide a good life lesson: learn to let go of material things … or die.

8) So Fresh and Clean
There’s nothing wrong with keeping up with your personal hygiene, but some people take it way too far, like Jonathan Capewell, a sixteen-year-old from England who was obsessed with smelling good. He doused himself with spray-on deodorant at least twice a day and kept multiple cans in his room. It is believed that his body absorbed too much gas as a result of his copious spraying, which then led to heart failure. Personally, I’d rather suffer with a little BO than smell like a Lysol factory, but I guess that’s the difference between him and me.

9) Ride into the Danger Zone
I have a friend who refuses to ride roller coasters because she is convinced it will break and she’ll plummet from the sky. This man’s unfortunate death goes to show you that you’re not much safer on the ground sometimes. His wife was riding Top Gun, one of the main attractions at Great America, when her hat flew off. Being a good husband, he attempted to retrieve his hat and was rewarded with a swift, accidental kick in the head by one of the Top Gun riders. According to the story, he didn’t know English and therefore couldn’t read the signs warning him about the dangerous area. The woman broke her leg; the man died.

So, what do we come away with after reading about such strange deaths? For one, we learn that death is unavoidable. Your end could come because of old age or by the sharp end of a toothpick, so live life to its fullest and don’t worry so much. However, and I can’t stress this enough—please wash yourself if a rat pees on you. Some things in life can be avoided, after all.

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