Curse of the Iceman

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Otzi.jpg

In 1991, a pair of German tourists discovered the frozen corpse of a Copper Age man in the Alps, where it had apparently lain undisturbed since 3,300 B.C. “Ötzi” had died in a fight, it seems: A CAT scan found an arrowhead in one shoulder, and he had bruises and cuts on his hands, wrists, and chest. DNA analysis also found blood from four other people on his gear.

If he was ornery in life, apparently his ghost was worse. In all, eight people connected with the iceman have died unexpectedly. In 1992, the head of the investigating forensic team died in a head-on collision. The mountaineer who led scientists to the body died in an avalanche. An Austrian journalist who covered the body’s removal died of a brain tumor, and the tourist who found it fell into a ravine on the mountain.

Have investigators unleashed a mysterious curse, like that of King Tutankhamen? “I think it’s a load of rubbish,” said the leading expert on the corpse, archaeologist Konrad Spindler. “It is all a media hype. The next thing you will be saying I will be next.”

He died in April 2005.

Good Company

Nobel laureates by country, as of July 2006:

  1. United States: 160
  2. United Kingdom: 110
  3. Germany: 92
  4. France: 44
  5. Switzerland: 25
  6. USSR and Russia: 21
  7. Italy: 19
  8. Canada: 18
  9. Sweden: 18
  10. Netherlands: 18
  11. Hungary: 16
  12. Denmark: 14
  13. Poland: 14

Nice Try

Joshua Gardner may be a sex offender, but he’s a creative one. Last year the 22-year-old visited Minnesota’s Stillwater Area High School three times, claiming to be Caspian James Crichton-Stuart IV, the Fifth Duke of Cleveland. He spoke in an English accent and insisted that students, staff and even the principal call him “your grace.”

Student journalists caught on when he misspelled the name of his “castle,” and they soon discovered Gardner was on probation after having sex with a 14-year-old girl in 2002. He now faces up to 21 months in prison.

Japanese War Tuba

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Wartuba.jpg

Before World War II, this photo emerged from Japan — Emperor Hirohito inspecting a fleet of giant tubas, with anti-aircraft guns in the background.

They’re actually acoustic locators, designed to listen for plane engines. Radar made the whole project obsolete.

No Tips

Throughout his entire professional career, Andy Kaufman kept a day job busing tables at Jerry’s Famous Deli in Los Angeles.

Unquote

“Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die.” — Mel Brooks

Jastrow Illusion

An optical illusion. The two figures are the same size.

Unquote

“Don’t just do something, stand there.” — Clint Eastwood’s acting coach

El Comandante

When Fidel Castro was 12 years old, he sent the following letter to Franklin Roosevelt:

Colegio de Dolores
Apartado 1
Santiago de Cuba

Santiago de Cuba.

Nov 6, 1946
Mr. Franklin Roosvelt,
President of the United States

My good friend Roosvelt:

I don’t know very English, but I know as much as write to you. I like to hear the radio, and I am very happy because I heard in it that you will be President for a new (período)

I am twelve years old. I am a boy but I think very much but I do not think that I am writing to the President of the United States.

If you like, give me a ten dollars bill green american, in the letter, because never I have not seen a ten dollars bill green american and I would like to have one of them.

My address is:
Sr. Fidel Castro
Colegio de Dolores
Santiago de Cuba
Oriente, Cuba.

I don’t know very English but I know very much Spanish and I suppose you don’t know very Spanish but you know very English because you are American but I am not American.

Thanks you very much.

Good by, Your friend,

Fidel Castro

He added a postscript:

“If you want iron to make your ships I will show you to you the bigest (minas) of iron of the land. They are in Mayari, Oriente, Cuba.”

No, Seriously

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Tsunami_large.jpg

There’s never a good time for a tsunami, but the one that hit Hawaii in 1946 (visible at center right) was particularly unfortunate. It landed on April 1, and many residents dismissed the warnings as an April Fools prank. Ultimately 165 people died.