Archive for December, 2009

Motorcycle-Riding Black Bear

Source: Reddit

In Prague, periodically the ‘Baroque’ Circus sets up it’s big-top and caravans on the Letna plains. It’s a meager arrangement of tents surrounded by trucks at one end and another big tent on the other. Apparently one of the attractions is a motorcycle-riding black bear which they’ve trained to drive a bike around the inside of the main ring in front of grinning adults and cheering children. No telling how many times a day, and how many days a year, this beleaguered animal is forced to perform the trick—riding around, and around, and around, and, well … you get the picture.

One day, recently, there was a fairly well known journalist in the audience who the ringmaster tried to convince to ride shotgun with the bear. Naturally the journalist was apprehensive about this. The bear probably was too, at least more than usual. However, after much pleading and cajoling from the circus-types and audience alike the journalist warily got on the back of the bike.


December 18, 2009 at 8:36 pm Leave a comment

The Reform School From Hell

Source: Reddit

I was in a special and extremely controversial therapeutic school in the U.S for two years. Everyone was in there for different reasons. I was primarily there because of my tendency to fight back against authority figures combined with my parents being complete and utter idiots/selfish people. I say this because that had absolutely no idea what kind of shit this place pulled. That it had been investigated numerous times. That there had been allegations of students dying there due to their “treatment.” It was way worse before I got there, but it was still bad at the time I got there. In fact, the “treatment” method I’m about to describe is no longer employed there as several states that sent kids there started pulling them out, or threatening to do so if the school didn’t change it’s methods.

December 18, 2009 at 12:02 am Leave a comment

The Skill of the Ancient Physicians

Source: The Systematic Classic of Acupuncture & Moxibustion, by Huang-fu Mi.

Hua Tuo and Zhang Zhong-jing [were famous Chinese physicians who] lived during the Han dynasty. With a wealth fo extraordinary [herbal] formulas and treatments, and with rich experience in treating unusual cases, Hua Tuo worked wonders in curing countless difficult cases. no one has been able to give a comprehensive account of his achievements. The following examples illustrate the skill of these two physicians.

December 17, 2009 at 5:53 pm Leave a comment

A Russian Psychic’s Bet With Stalin

Source: Keelynet

There is … a hard to find book about Russian mentalist and paranormal researcher Vasiliev. In this book, Vasiliev talks about passing a blank piece of paper to a bank teller who gives him 1000 rubles in return. He projected an image into the tellers’ mind that the paper was a cashiers check in the amount of 1000 rubles. The money was returned after witnesses testified to the success of the experiment.

Another experiment was based on a bet with Stalin. Many of the Russian scientists had no patience with paranomal investigations, but Vasiliev and some of his colleagues wanted to establish a research institute to investigate and perfect useful techniques.

Vasiliev made a bet with Stalin that if he could appear in Stalin’s private study at 8PM on a specified weeknight, Stalin would agree to establish a research institute for paranormal investigations.

December 15, 2009 at 9:20 pm Leave a comment

The Real Rambo

This World War II soldier did something that took a lot of guts, not once but a dozen times.

Source: Wikipedia, Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Boldly taking the initiative when his platoon’s left flank advance was held up by the fire of Japanese troops concealed in strongly fortified positions, Pfc. Jackson unhesitatingly proceeded forward of our lines and, courageously defying the heavy barrages, charged a large pillbox housing approximately 35 enemy soldiers.

Pouring his automatic fire into the opening of the fixed installation to trap the occupying troops, he hurled white phosphorus grenades and explosive charges brought up by a fellow marine, demolishing the pillbox and killing all of the enemy.

December 8, 2009 at 11:18 am Leave a comment

Abraham Lincoln’s Doppleganger

Source: Wikipedia

Carl Sandburg’s biography contains the following:

A dream or illusion had haunted Lincoln at times through the winter. On the evening of his election he had thrown himself on one of the haircloth sofas at home, just after the first telegrams of November 7 had told him he was elected President, and looking into a bureau mirror across the room he saw himself full length, but with two faces.

It bothered him; he got up; the illusion vanished; but when he lay down again there in the glass again were two faces, one paler than the other. He got up again, mixed in the election excitement, forgot about it; but it came back, and haunted him. He told his wife about it; she worried too.

A few days later he tried it once more and the illusion of the two faces again registered to his eyes. But that was the last; the ghost since then wouldn’t come back, he told his wife, who said it was a sign he would be elected to a second term, and the death pallor of one face meant he wouldn’t live through his second term.


December 3, 2009 at 12:34 pm Leave a comment

Brake Failure

Source: Reddit

About ten years ago, I was driving home from a restaurant. My wife was riding shotgun. It had rained earlier and I drove through a big puddle. Suddenly, I realized that my breaks didn’t work.

They failed at the top of a steep hill, and as we descended, we started speeding up. I pressed the break pedal to the floor, but nothing happened. I tried messing with the emergency break and the stick shift, but nothing worked.

December 2, 2009 at 12:35 pm Leave a comment

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