January 22, 2009

The Denbigh Castle Rat

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , at 7:19 pm by davidmanning

Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster and the Chupacabra aren’t the only ‘cryptids’ known to ‘cryptozoologists’. One of the lesser-known such monsters is the Denbigh Castle Rat.

Since 1975, the rat has been intermittently spotted around Denbigh Castle near the town of Denbighshire in northeast Wales. Described as between one and one-and-a-half metres long, with ‘glowing green eyes’, the rat has been spotted seven documented times since then, the most recent in 2006, by an American backpacker named Hallie Marteen.

From Marteen’s blog, hallieoverseas.blogspot.com:

‘Carol and I went to this cute castle in Wales. While she was talking to this German couple, I wandered off and saw the nastiest, grossest rat I have ever seen. It was about three feet long and when it saw me, it hissed and ran off down this big hole. It had the greenest eyes. I told the ticket lady about the rat when we left and she got all freaked out. Said the “Castle Rat” is a local legend. I just thought it was a gross rat.’

Spooky, huh?

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January 20, 2009

Presidential firsts

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 8:35 am by davidmanning

With the Americans set to inaugurate their first Black president, here are a few more firsts for heads of the USA.

Franklin Roosevelt — First president to have attended uni on both American coasts.

Calvin Coolidge — First president to have been a professional basketball player.

Zachary Taylor — First president not to have written his own epitaph.

William Taft — First president born on a Tuesday.

December 31, 2008

Animals can’t …

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , at 5:03 am by davidmanning

Here’s a list of a few things certain animals just can’t do:

  • Turkeys can’t blink.
  • Mules can’t step sideways.
  • Canarys can’t sing while flying.
  • Cats can’t hear music.

December 28, 2008

Phobias of the Phamous (Famous)

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:31 pm by davidmanning

Even the rich and famous have troubles with unreasonable fears, or ‘phobias’. Here are a few of the best.

  • John Bonham of Led Zepplin was a notorious germophobe, who would make his ‘groupies‘ scrub up for 15 to 20 minutes before he would touch them.
  • Benjamin Disraeli could not stand to be in the same room as shellfish. In 1872, he wrote to his brother that ‘the crab is a monstrous creature, more akin to a spider than anything a man of sanity should put in his mouth’.
  • 1800s footballer William Cropper, best known for dying due to match-related injuries, was terribly afraid of Yorkshire Terriers.

December 26, 2008

Christmas fun

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , at 11:49 pm by davidmanning

Until Chinese professor and professional barber Clement Moore wrote ‘The Night Before Christmas’, lore had that there were actually 12 reindeer on Father Christmas’ sleigh. They were:

  • Donner and Blitzen (Thunder and Lightning)
  • Sonne and Mond (Sun and Moon)
  • Leben and Tod (Life and Death)
  • Hoffnung and Verzweiflung (Hope and Despair)
  • Liebe and Hass (Love and Hatred)
  • Darmentleerung and Harn (Defaecation and Urine)

On Urine, on Despair, on Hatred and Shite! Nope. Looks like Clement made the right choice.

Ta, David.

December 20, 2008

Pug love

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , at 12:36 pm by davidmanning

Pug dogs are cute, lovable and very sweet little pups, but the hyper-inbred breed are host to a variety of ailments including:

  • Retinal ticks
  • Flaming bowel syndrome
  • Wurster ear
  • Malodorous sclerosis, and finally
  • Herpes

December 18, 2008

Weird vocab

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , at 1:13 am by davidmanning

Sorry about the delays lately. Things should be evening out in the near future. In the meantime, here’s two fun words for you:

  • Glate (jargon): To shave excess sugar off hard candy during the moulding process.
  • Flütterdore (archaic): A bee, wasp or hornet.

Hope that makes your day a little sweeter!

Ta, David.

December 14, 2008

Rarest watch

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 3:35 pm by davidmanning

The rarest watch in the world is the Tormijooksuga. It is reputed to have been constructed only five times.

Made by Estonian watchmaker Urmo Aava, the Tormijooksuga has been rumoured to have been owned by Leonid Brezhnev, Henry Kissinger and three private collectors.

Adding to the history of grand complication watches, the Tormijooksuga not only had a tourbillon to compensate for the earth’s gravity, but rare earth magnets and twin gyroscopes to deal with the coriolis effect, which deals with the rotation of moving spheres. In other words, it’s why the loo flushes the other way in Australia.

No example of the watch is currently known to exist.

December 10, 2008

Hair of the Dog

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , at 3:48 pm by davidmanning

According to a Jerusalem Institute of Applied Biology study, exposure to the hair of the Weimaraner breed of dog has been linked to pancreatic cancer in case studies of pregnant women.

December 8, 2008

He out-Prousted Proust

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , at 7:56 am by davidmanning

Christopher Ogden Nicholson (1899-1931) was not the most prolific author in the world, nor was he regarded as anywhere near the best. But Nicholson did have one enduring credit — some consider him the most long-winded.

At the time of his death from tubercular pneumonia at age 31, Nicholson was reportedly midway (3,781 hand-written pages) into a semi-autobiographical novel he had entitled ‘Memory Dissuaded’.

The book — which he had threateningly entitled ‘Volume 1’ — contained such detailed passages a 271-page description of feeding a single chunk of bread to a Mallard duck on a lake by the house of the narrator’s parents.

The book remains, needless to say, unpublished.

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