Prison Break

A 19-year-old German woman escaped from prison by hiding in a suitcase in Northwest Germany on Friday, according to the London Metro.  A fellow inmate, 17, was being released from a youth prison and carried her friend out of the jail as her luggage.

Both inmates were serving time for theft and the 19-year-old was due to be released in two weeks. They are both still on the loose.  I wonder if we will see this one on Prison Break?

No More Wedgies for Me

Wedgie-proof underwear earned 8-year-old twin boys a spot Friday on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”  Boy could I have used a pair of these bad-boys when I was in grade school. Using rigged boxers and fabric fasteners to hold together some seams, Jared and Justin Serovich came up with the “Rip Away 1000.”

“When the person tries to grab you — like the bully or the person tries to give you a wedgie — they just rip away,” Justin explained Thursday by phone from Los Angeles, where the TV segment was taped Wednesday.

The third graders from Gables Elementary School began brainstorming one day after they were horsing around, giving each other the treatment. Their mother’s partner sarcastically said someone ought to invent wedgie-proof underwear, the family said.  The project got the boys to the finals of a central Ohio invention competition earlier this year, followed by the television appearance.  And now on to untold riches I expect.

Weird Auction, Town for Sale

Bobby Cave is the owner of a town called Albert and he decided this year to sell it, but how?  Then a friend mentioned the online auction site eBay Inc. Now, with the click of a mouse — and at least $2.5 million — Albert could be yours.  After spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to clean up and restore the 13-acre town about 50 miles north of San Antonio, Cave said he’s ready to move on to his next venture.

Eric Meissner, Cave’s friend and co-listing agent, said Albert qualifies as a town, or at least was once a town, because it used to have a post office. Albert dates to the late 1800s and is now unincorporated.  No one lives there permanently, but the tavern that Cave created from the frame of the old general store is open on weekends. There are also the “cleanest public restrooms in Texas,” built by Cave, and a pavilion, 85-year-old dance hall, tractor shed and three-bedroom house. All of that, plus peach and pecan orchards, come with the land.

Cave said he will even throw in his plan to turn the place into a tourist destination, including plans for a restaurant and cabins.  The eBay auction closes Nov. 23. On Wednesday, about a week after bidding opened, offers topped $300,000. But that was still less than Cave’s “reserve price” of $2.5 million, the least he will take for the property.

Hani Durzy, an eBay spokesman, said listing an entire town for auction is very uncommon.  Bridgeville, in northern California, was the first town ever put on the eBay auction block. The 83 acres were twice sold on the site, in 2002 (that deal fell through) and again last year.  I can’t wait to drive through and try out those clean restrooms!

Very Weird Animal Experiments

I recently came across a couple of disturbing accounts of weird experiments performed on animals at the museum of hoaxes website.

-What would happens if you give an elephant LSD?

On Friday August 3, 1962, a group of Oklahoma City researchers decided to find out. Warren Thomas, Director of the City Zoo, fired a cartridge-syringe containing 297 milligrams of LSD into Tusko the Elephant’s rump. With Thomas were two scientific colleagues from the University of Oklahoma School of Medicine, Louis Jolyon West and Chester M. Pierce. 297 milligrams is a lot of LSD — about 3000 times the level of a typical human dose. In fact, it remains the largest dose of LSD ever given to a living creature. The researchers figured that, if they were going to give an elephant LSD, they better not give him too little.

Thomas, West, and Pierce later explained that the experiment was designed to find out if LSD would induce musth in an elephant — musth being a kind of temporary madness male elephants sometimes experience during which they become highly aggressive and secrete a sticky fluid from their temporal glands. But one suspects a small element of ghoulish curiosity might also have been involved. Whatever the reason for the experiment, it almost immediately went awry. Tusko reacted to the shot as if a bee had stung him. He trumpeted around his pen for a few minutes, and then keeled over on his side. Horrified, the researchers tried to revive him, but about an hour later he was dead. The three scientists sheepishly concluded that, “It appears that the elephant is highly sensitive to the effects of LSD.”

In the years that followed controversy lingered over whether it was the LSD that killed Tusko, or the drugs used to revive him. So twenty years later, Ronald Siegel of UCLA decided to settle the debate by giving two elephants a dose similar to what Tusko received. Reportedly he had to sign an agreement promising to replace the animals in the event of their deaths. Instead of injecting the elephants with LSD, Siegel mixed the drug into their water, and when it was administered in this way, the elephants not only survived but didn’t seem too upset at all. They acted sluggish, rocked back and forth, and made some strange vocalizations such as chirping and squeaking, but within a few hours they were back to normal. However, Siegel noted that the dosage Tusko received may have exceeded some threshold of toxicity, so he couldn’t rule out that LSD was the cause of his death. I know this was back in the early 60’s but I am sure there are some sick experiments going on nowadays all around the world.

-Have you ever seen a dog with two heads?

In 1954 Vladimir Demikhov rocked the scientific world by unveiling a surgically created monstrosity: A two-headed dog. He created the creature in a lab on the outskirts of Moscow by grafting the head, shoulders, and front legs of a puppy onto the neck of a mature German shepherd.

Demikhov paraded the dog before reporters from around the world. Journalists gasped as both heads simultaneously lapped at bowls of milk, and then cringed as the milk from the puppy’s head dribbled out the unconnected stump of its esophageal tube. The Soviet Union proudly boasted that the dog was proof of their nation’s medical preeminence. Over the course of the next fifteen years, Demikhov created a total of twenty of his two-headed dogs. None of them lived very long, as they inevitably succumbed to problems of tissue rejection. The record was a month.

Demikhov explained that the dogs were part of a continuing series of experiments in surgical techniques, with his ultimate goal being to learn how to perform a human heart and lung transplant. Another surgeon beat him to this goal — Dr. Christian Baarnard in 1967 — but Demikhov is widely credited with paving the way for it. I guess this story makes you wonder about “the end justifying the means’. The “greater good” and all that.

Strange and Spooky Grave

grave_window

Here is a bit of a weird spooky bit of trivia to usher in Halloween.

Florence Irene Ford Born: September 3, 1861 Died : October 30, 1871

Ten-year-old Florence died of yellow fever. During her short life she was very frightened of storms and whenever one rolled-in she would rush to her mother to find comfort.

Upon her death her mother was so struck with grief that she had Florence’s casket constructed with a glass window at the child’s head. The grave was dug to provide an area, the same depth of the coffin, at the child’s head, but this area had steps that would allow the mother to descend to her daughter’s level so she could comfort Florence during storms. To shelter the mother during storms, hinged metal trap doors were installed over the area the mother would occupy while at her child’s grave.

In this picture you can see the trap doors behind little Florence’s tombstone, which covers the stairway her mother used. They can still be opened today. In the mid 1950s a concrete wall was erected at the bottom of the stairway covering the glass window of Florence’s coffin to prevent vandalism. Kinda strange and spooky, eh?

Footsie Fetish gets Guy in Trouble

Here is a fellow with a strange and freaky fetish,  he pleaded guilty Thursday to stealing more than 1,500 pairs of girls’ shoes from area schools in a deal that calls for prosecutors to recommend probation.   Erik D. Heinrich, 26, of Kenosha pleaded guilty to three counts of burglary and was scheduled for sentencing Oct. 23. He told police he did it for sexual gratification.

He was arrested May 24 after a security video showed him entering North High School on May 20 and leaving with some items. Police tracked him through his vehicle registration, searched his home and a rented storage unit and found the shoes.   Police have said Heinrich worked for a cable company and collected keys to the schools as he responded to calls. He used the keys to burglarize three Waukesha public high schools and one middle school six times during the past two years, according to a criminal complaint.

Police discovered the break-in at North High School after several female students reported that the locks on their lockers had been cut and their shoes stolen.   Heinrich has a previous shoe-stealing conviction, in 2005, that was dismissed at prosecutors’ request after he completed a year of probation, counseling and 50 hours of community service.