Wednesday, December 27, 2006
This story from OddPeak brings together the 10 most bizarre, downright weirdest people in the world.
* Thai Ngoc has not slept for three decades.
* Sanju Bhagat stomach swelled so big that he couldn't breathe properly. When surgeons cut him open, they found his twin brother inside his stomach, with fully formed arms, legs, teeth and hair.
* Shoichi Yokoi was a Japanese soldier sent to Guam in 1941. He was discovered hiding out in a cave, still believing he was at war, 28 years later.
* Mehran Nasseri is an Iranian refugee who has lived at a French airport since 1988.
* Matayoshi Mitsuo claims that he is Jesus Christ. The Japanese Jesus that is. He's a politician who has urged those running against him to commit suicide. He expects to one day be named Secretary General of the United Nations.
* Lal Bihari was officially dead from 1976 to 1994. It took him eighteen years of fighting Indian bureacracy to finally be recognised as...a living person.
* David Icke used to play professional football in the UK. Now he is world famous for his theorising that the human race was once ruled by reptillian humanoids. He claims the Queen of England, President George W. Bush and, uh, Kris Kristofferson are direct descendents of the lizard people.
* David Bawden is an American who claims he was elected Pope in 1990.
* Yoshiro Nakamatsu has analysed and photographed every single meal he has eaten for the past 34 years. He believes he will live to 140 years old. He also invented the computer floppy disk.
* Michel Lotito is a French entertainer whose claim to fame is that he can eat just about anything, including cars, bicycles and televisions. He has an extraordinary stomach, obviously, and is able to consume toxic materials that would kille most normal people.
To this list I would also add this Russian man who manages to remain alive even though his heart no longer pumps blood through his body.
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Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Iraqi Omar Satar Hussein has survived 30 bombings, 37 shootings and 11 mortar strikes.
He just happens to work with the US Army as a translator.
He is known as "Lucky". No surprises there.
Working for the US Army is about the most dangerous profession an Iraqi can have today. 'Lucky's' a association with the Americans, and the Iraq War, have cost him dearly. His fiancee, family, friends.
Hussein mastered the English language with the help of Abba, Lionel Richie and Bryan Adams cassettes.
His favourite, most inspiring song? "Stayin' Alive' by The Bee Gees.
From the AFP :
"...I'm lucky with my job. I've survived many attacks, but I'm very unlucky with my private life."
The life of an interpreter for the US army in Iraq is not an easy one. From social ostracism to death at the hands of insurgents, the job is fraught with risk.
"Everybody in Baquba knows my job -- I work for the Americans," said Lucky, who, alone among his translator colleagues, does not wear a mask to conceal his identity.
"I have no family anymore. My grandfather told me that I didn't belong anymore, so America is all I have."
Hussein himself has become pretty familiar with the inside of a US military operating room and he likes nothing better than showing off his collection of scars that stretch from his head to his toes, including a nasty cut on his leg from shrapnel that came from a rocket launched by an Apache attack helicopter.
"If I hadn't been lucky I would probably be dead," he said.
A bit of a show-off, Hussein is one of the rare interpreters who actually speaks English like a native, having particularly mastered American slang and profanity...
It is what it is. A shortage of kilts :
Soldiers in Scotland's new "super regiment" have to share kilts because of a shortage of the ceremonial dress.
The Royal Regiment of Scotland has 5,000 soldiers but just 320 kilts, just one for every 15 men.
An MoD spokesman said: "A planned deployment will be agreed with the Royal Regiment of Scotland on a roll-out basis with two battalions of kilts made by May 2007 and the full programme completed by January 2008.
Monday, December 04, 2006
Over the decades, the criminal entity commonly known as the 'Italian Mafia' have turned a buck (or ten million) from bootlegging booze, smuggling heroin and cocaine, exorting shopkeepers and presidents, performing assassinations by contract - you name, and they've found a way to make money out of it.
But times are getting tough, even for the Mafia. There used to be a lot of money to made from olive oil, but now the Mafia has found something even more profitable.
Hijacking cheese trucks, particularly the ones carrying wheels of Parmasen.
From the UK Observer :
Gangs lie in wait at service stations on the Milan-Bologna motorway to ambush drivers when they stop for coffee. In one instance, a driver was threatened by four armed men, tied up and gagged, and his van carrying 300 wheels of cheese was driven away. The wheels were taken to an industrial estate, cut up and then sold in stores.
To counter the thefts, producers and the Italian farmers' union, Coldiretti, are experimenting with microchips hidden in the crusts of the cheese, which means they are more easily identifiable. Markings burnt on to the crust can also help police track the stolen cheese.
Although similar hard cheese is made all around the world, the authentic Parmesan comes from a specific area around Parma and Reggio Emilia and is made from cows' milk.
The average Italian family is said to eat half a kilo of Parmesan a week, mostly by sprinkling it on pasta.