Wow! Things went literally and physically south on July 11 at a press dinner on New York's Upper East Side in support of Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s presidential campaign. According to Page Six, as Kennedy answered questions, someone posed one about climate change, but before Kennedy could answer, Doug Dechert, the event host, screamed, "The climate hoax!" Which brought a scold from art critic Anthony Haden-Guest, who called him a "miserable blob." The two continued their exchange, with Kennedy calmly looking on, until Dechert loudly released a "prolonged fart" while yelling, helpfully, "I'm farting!" After attempts to change the subject and more verbal antics, the evening wound down. The next day, Dechert told Page Six, "I apologize for using my flatulence as a medium of public commentary in your presence." How do I get on this guest list? [Page Six, 7/12/2023]
Creme de la Weird
Notre Dame quarterback Sam Hartman, who sat out some of last season with Wake Forest University, underwent surgery in August 2022 to remove blood clots and the rib closest to his collarbone, 247Sports.com reported. Hmmm, what to do with that extra rib? Hartman's mom, a nurse, is making a necklace for him with the bone. "It's actually clean. It is well on its way to becoming a necklace," he said. "I asked her to try and make it like a puka shell-type deal with the riblike shark's tooth at the end." Hartman said the jewelry might appear in a couple of pregame warmups. "It won't be worn a lot." [247Sports.com, 7/13/2023]
Australian sailor Tim Shaddock, 51, of Sydney and his dog, Bella, became stranded in the Pacific Ocean after they set out from Mexico for French Polynesia, a 3,700-mile trip, in April. The boat became damaged in storms, the BBC reported, and Shaddock drifted until mid-July, when a helicopter spotted him. A tuna trawler picked up the pair, who were in surprisingly good health. Shaddock said they ate raw fish and collected rainwater, and he sheltered from the sun beneath the boat's canopy. "I have been through a very difficult ordeal at sea," he said. "I'm just needing rest and good food." [BBC, 7/17/2023]
In Glastonbury, Connecticut, 11 boats took off from the Seaboard Marina on July 12 -- make that with the marina. WTNH-TV reported that a 200-foot section of dock with 11 boats attached broke off and started floating down the Connecticut River, later passing through Cromwell, Portland, Middletown and Haddam. One part of the errant dock was still floating downstream the next day; officials said it was likely that flooding in Vermont had caused the high waters that set the structure free. Teddy Charton of Middletown said he "got a call that my boat was floating down the river ... It ended up all the way down in Chester." Eventually all but one of the boats was recovered. [WTNH, 7/14/2023]
Multiple wrecks tied up northbound I-95 in Bridgeport, Connecticut, on July 17, all attributed to one cause: A tractor-trailer was leaking human waste onto the roadway, which caused a motorcyclist to lose control and crash, the Associated Press reported. Several vehicles crashed into each other or concrete barriers on the slippery roads, and another truck skidded into a state police cruiser, which then rammed into another cruiser. No one was seriously hurt in the pileup. The driver was charged with reckless endangerment and reckless driving, as officers believed he knew of the gross leak but kept driving. [AP, 7/18/2023]
How Hot Is It?
To demonstrate the deadly heat inside a closed car, the staff of the National Weather Service in Midland, Texas, baked a batch of chocolate chip cookies on a car's dashboard on July 18, United Press International reported. While it was 105 degrees outside, the dashboard registered 190 degrees -- high enough to bake the cookies in about 4 1/2 hours. "Even though ours weren't golden brown, we can confirm that they are done and delicious," NWS employees wrote on Facebook. [UPI, 7/20/2023]
It's Come to This
When a backyard bunny breeder bundled their belongings and said bye-bye to Jenada Isles, a community in Wilton Manors, Florida, they left behind between 60 and 100 lionhead rabbits, who have now infiltrated the neighborhood and are driving residents bonkers. Click Orlando reported that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has declined to intercede, so resident Alicia Griggs is heading up an effort to raise the money needed to capture, neuter, vaccinate and rehome the rabbits -- to the tune of $20,000 to $40,000. "People don't realize they're exotic pets and they're complicated," Griggs said. "They have to eat a special diet. You can't just throw any table scraps at them." Residents complain that the bunnies dig holes, chew wiring and leave droppings on sidewalks and driveways. Others think the rabbits are cute, but experts say their heavy coats and finicky digestive systems aren't conducive to living wild in Florida. "They are not equipped to thrive on their own," said Eric Stewart, executive director of the American Rabbit Breeders Association. [Click Orlando, 7/17/2023]
Michael Raduga, 40, founder of the Phase Research Center in Russia, but -- critically -- NOT a doctor or neurosurgeon, nearly lost his life in June when he tried to implant a chip in his brain on his own, in his living room in Kazakhstan. The Daily Mail reported that Raduga lost more than a liter of blood in his quest to control his dreams. He said he practiced on five sheep's brains and watched hours of neurosurgery on YouTube before starting on his own head. "During the first 30 minutes I was ready to give up many times because ... I was afraid I could just lose consciousness," Raduga said. "I finished the surgery, I took a shower and I worked for 10 hours straight. People didn't know." But neurosurgeon Alex Green of the University of Oxford wasn't having it. "This is an extremely dangerous thing to do," he said. "We are probably decades away from being able to synthesize new experiences." [Daily Mail, 7/15/2023]
News You Can Use
Oddity Central reported on July 21 that a young woman named Xiaohua in Huizhou City, China, suffered a ruptured eardrum following a moment of passion with her boyfriend. When she went to the emergency room because of loss of hearing, a doctor saw blood on her eardrum and asked if she'd had any physical trauma to her ear. Nope, she said, but, "When he kissed my ear, he sucked it hard and it made a 'pop' sound. After that, I couldn't hear in my left ear." The hospital's deputy director of otolaryngology head and neck surgery, Fu Jia, said eardrums usually heal on their own. [Oddity Central, 7/21/2023]
It's Good To Have a Hobby
"Frog Lady" Helen Claypool of Kirksville, Missouri, passed away in December 2022, KTVO-TV reported, so the time has come to liquidate her collection of frogs. Claypool had more than 15,000 frogs -- so many that she and her late husband, Don (nickname: Toad), had to build an addition on their house. She started collecting at age 6 and kept 47 logbooks, documenting each one, complete with photos. The Claypools even opened their home to the public as Helen's House of Frogs Museum. Now the whole frog fantasy is on the auction block. [KTVO, 7/19/2023]
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