58 Actual Newspaper Headlines
(collected by journalists)
1. Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says
2. Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers
3. Safety Experts Say School Bus Passengers Should Be Belted
4. Drunk Gets Nine Months in Violin Case
5. Survivor of Siamese Twins Joins Parents
6. Farmer Bill Dies in House
7. Iraqi Head Seeks Arms
8. Is There a Ring of Debris around Uranus?
9. Stud Tires Out
10. Prostitutes Appeal to Pope
11. Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over
12. Soviet Virgin Lands Short of Goal Again
13. British Left Waffles on Falkland Islands
14. Lung Cancer in Women Mushrooms
15. Eye Drops off Shelf
16. Teacher Strikes Idle Kids
17. Reagan Wins on Budget, But More Lies Ahead
18. Squad Helps Dog Bite Victim
19. Shot Off Woman’s Leg Helps Nicklaus to 66
20. Enraged Cow Injures Farmer with Ax
21. Plane Too Close to Ground, Crash Probe Told
22. Miners Refuse to Work after Death
23. Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant
24. Stolen Painting Found by Tree
25. Two Soviet Ships Collide, One Dies
26. Two Sisters Reunited after 18 Years in Checkout Counter
27. Killer Sentenced to Die for Second Time in 10 Years
28. Never Withhold Herpes Infection from Loved One
29. Drunken Drivers Paid $1000 in `84
30. War Dims Hope for Peace
31. If Strike isn’t Settled Quickly, It May Last a While
32. Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures
33. Enfields Couple Slain; Police Suspect Homicide
34. Red Tape Holds Up New Bridge
35. Deer Kill 17, 000
36. Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead
37. Man Struck by Lightning Faces Battery Charge
38. New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group
39. Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Spacecraft
40. Kids Make Nutritious Snacks
41. Chef Throws His Heart into Helping Feed Needy
42. Arson Suspect is Held in Massachusetts Fire
43. British Union Finds Dwarfs in Short Supply
44. Ban On Soliciting Dead in Trotwood
45. Lansing Residents Can Drop Off Trees
46. Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half
47. New Vaccine May Contain Rabies
48. Man Minus Ear Waives Hearing
49. Deaf College Opens Doors to Hearing
50. Air Head Fired
51. Steals Clock, Faces Time
52. Prosecutor Releases Probe into Undersheriff
53. Old School Pillars are Replaced by Alumni
54. Bank Drive-in Window Blocked by Board
55. Hospitals are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors
56. Some Pieces of Rock Hudson Sold at Auction
57. Sex Education Delayed, Teachers Request Training
58. Include your Children When Baking Cookies
In 1993, sometime in December, a customer walks in with a dead PowerBook 165.
Fault description: hangs on startup. An additional symptom provided was: whilst being carried from the customer’s site to our service center, a ’sloshing’ noise was heard within the machine.
”Has anything been split on this computer?” I inquired, but no, nothing of the sort had happened, protested the client vehemently. Taking this with a grain of salt (no-one’s going to admit doing something that totally invalidates their warranty and effectively wrecks their computer) I went about filling in the repair order. Back on the bench, I started the PowerBook up.
Sure enough, an address error on startup, just after ’Welcome to Macintosh’. I lowered my ear to the keyboard, at which point I heard a crackling noise (couldn’t hear any sloshing noise though) and became aware of a rather ’sharp’ odor which seemed to emanate from the inside of the machine.
Flicking the computer off and unplugging the adapter, I removed the battery from its compartment, only to observe that the entire battery casing was soaked in a fluid which appear to have a rainbow-like sheen (kind of like what a puddle of soapy water would look like -- oily and colorful). I also noticed that the same fluid was leaking out of the battery compartment onto the static mat, but appeared clear rather than multi-colored. My first thoughts were that the battery had somehow leaked acid out into the guts of the PowerBook, which would account for the sharp smell (which reminded me of ammonia), yet the battery terminals were about the one part of the battery that was dry.
No, upon closer examination, I ruled the acid theory out. The battery was wet, but not leaking. Tipping the machine on its side, I watched more fluid run out and coagulate on the bench in a puddle about the size of a compact disc. It was definitely clear, and I observed that the ’rainbow’ effect had been caused by the reaction of the plastic battery casing to this ’mystery liquid’. I then unscrewed the computer and separated the two parts of the PowerBook. The smell suddenly became a LOT stronger. T
he hard disk looked like a solid lump of rust, and the daughterboard appeared to have about three barbecued chips. Although I was quickly forming my own opinions on what had happened, I invited several of my workmates in to take a sniff and offer an opinion. We were unanimous in our decision.
I rang the customer, who seemed surprised when I asked the question: ”Do you have a cat?” As it turned out, he didn’t have a cat, but he did have a lovely fluffy bunny rabbit who was seen in the vicinity of the PowerBook only the day before.
Yes, there was no doubt about it, little fluffy had hopped up onto the keyboard and downloaded some incompatible data. I checked the warranty form, but there was no provision for failure due to rabbit urine anywhere. I advised the customer to get in touch with his insurance company.
In the end, the PowerBook was biffed and the customer upgraded to a 180c. I cleaned up the static mat and sprayed the service department with a healthy dosage of ”Fresh Field of Flowers.”
I checked in with the customer about a week later, asked how was he enjoying the 180c, asked if he’d managed to restore his data, and, of course, asked how was his rabbit?
”Delicious,” he said.
About five years ago the battery in my
beat-up VW Beetle had died because I left the lights on overnight. I was in a hurry to get to work on time so I ran into the house to get my wife to give me a hand to start the car. I told her to get into our second car, a prehistoric oversized gas guzzler, and use it to push my
car fast enough to start it. I pointed out to her that because the VW had an automatic transmission, it needed to be pushed at least 30 mph for it to start.
She said fine, hoped into her car and drove off.
I sat there fuming wondering what she could
A minute passed by and when I saw her in the
rearview mirror coming at me at about 40 mph, I
realized that I should have been a bit clearer with my directions.
There was this couple that was married for 20 years, and every time they made love the husband always insisted on shutting off the lights.
Well, after 20 years the wife felt this was stupid. She figured she would break him out of the crazy habit. So one night, while they were in the middle of a romantic session, she turned on the lights. She looked down and saw her husband was holding a battery operated pleasure device.
She gets completely upset.
’You impotent bastard,’ she screamed at him,’ how could you be lying to me all of these years? You better explain yourself!’
The husband looks her straight in the eyes and says calmly, ’I’’ll explain the toy if you explain the kids.’
Darwin Award Nominations
Once again it is time to start thinking about casting your vote
forthe 1998 Darwin Award winner! As you may already know, the
DarwinAwards are for those nominees who contribute to the gene
pool by dyingin spectacularly stupid ways before they breed (thankfully).
The 1998 nominees are:
NOMINEE No. 1 [San Jose Mercury News]: An unidentified man, usinga
shotgun like a club to break a former girlfriend’s windshield, accidentally
shot himself to death when the gun discharged, blowing ahole in
his gut NOMINEE No. 2: [Kalamazoo Gazette] James Burns, 34, (a
mechanic)of Alamo, Mich.. , was killed in March as he was trying
to repair whatpolice described as a ’farm-type truck.’ Burns got
a friend to drive thetruck on a highway while Burns hung underneath
so that he couldascertain the source of a troubling noise. Burns’
clothes caught onsomething, however, and the other man found Burns
’wrapped in the driveshaft.’
NOMINEE No. 3: [Hickory Daily Record] Ken Charles Barger, 47, accidentally
shot himself to death in December in Newton, N. C. , when, awakening
to the sound of a ringing telephone beside his bed, hereached
for the phone but grabbed instead a Smith & Wesson. 38 Special, which
discharged when he drew it to his ear.
NOMINEE No. 4: [UPI, Toronto] Police said a lawyer demonstratingthe
safety of windows in a downtown Toronto skyscraper crashed through
apane with his shoulder and plunged 24 floors to his death. A
policespokesman said Garry Hoy, 39, fell into the courtyard of
the TorontoDominion Bank Tower early Friday evening as he was
explaining thestrength of the building’s windows to visiting law
students. Hoypreviously had conducted demonstrations of window
strength according topolice reports. Peter Lawyers, managing partner
of the firm Holden Day Wilson, told theToronto Sun newspaper that
Hoy was ’one of the best and brightest’members of the 200-man
NOMINEE No. 5: [Bloomburg News Service] A terrible diet and roomwith
no ventilation are being blamed for the death of a man who waskilled
by his own gas. There was no mark on his body but an autopsyshowed
large amounts of methane gas in his system. His diet hadconsisted
primarily of beans and cabbage (and a couple of other things). It
was just the right combination of foods. It appears that the mandied
in his sleep from breathing the poisonous cloud that was hangingover
his bed. Had he been outside or had his windows been opened, itwouldn’t
have been fatal. But the man was shut up in his near airtightbedroom.
According to the article, ’He was a big man with a huge capacity
for creating ’this deadly gas.’ Three of therescuers got sick
and one was hospitalized
NOMINEE No. 6: [The News of the Weird. ] Michael Anderson Godwinmade
News of the Weird posthumously. He had spent several years awaitingSouth
Carolina’s electric chair on a murder conviction before having
hissentence reduced to life in prison. Whilst sitting on a metal
toilet inhis cell and attempting to fix his small TV set, he bit
into a wire andwas electrocuted.
NOMINEE NO. 7: [’The Indianapolis Star’]. A cigarette lighter
mayhave triggered fatal explosion - Dunkirk, Indiana. A Jay County
manusing a cigarette lighter to check the barrel of a muzzle loader
waskilled Monday night when the weapon discharged in his face,
sheriff’sinvestigators said. Gregory David Pryor, 19, died in
his parents’ ruralDunkirk home about 11: 30 p. m. Investigators
said Pryor was cleaning a. 54-caliber muzzleloader that had not
been firing properly. He was usingthe lighter to look into the
barrel when the gunpowder ignited
NOMINEE No. 8: [AP, St. Louis] Robert Puelo, 32, was apparentlybeing
disorderly in a St. Louis market. When the clerk threatened tocall
police, Puelo grabbed a hot dog, shoved it in his mouth, and walkedout
without paying for it. Police found him unconscious in front of
thestore; paramedics removed the six-inch wiener from his throat,
where ithad choked him to death.
NOMINEE No. 9: [Unknown] To poacher Marino Malerba, who shot astag
standing above him on an overhanging rock-and was killed instantlywhen
it fell on him.
NOMINEE No. 10: [Associated Press, Kincaid, W. VA] Blasting CapExplodes
in Man’s Mouth at Party. A man at a party popped a blasting capinto
his mouth and bit down, triggering an explosion that blew off
hislips, teeth and tongue, state police said Wednesday. Jerry
Stromyer, 24, of Kincaid, bit the blasting cap as a prank during
a party lateTuesday night, said Cpl. M. D. Payne. ’Another man
had it in anaquarium, hooked to a battery, and was trying to explode
it,’ Paynesaid. ’It wouldn’t go off’ and this guy said, ’’I’ll
show you how toset it off.’
NOMINEE No. 11: [Reuters, Mississauga, Ontario] A man cleaning
abirdfeeder on the balcony of his condominium apartment in this
Torontosuburb slipped and fell 23 stories to his death. Stefan
Macko, 55, wasstanding on a wheeled chair when the accident occurred,
said InspectorD’Arcy Honer of the Peel regional police. ’It appears
the chair movedand he went over the balcony,’ Honer said.
NOMINEE No. 12: [UPI, Portland, OR] Doctors at Portland’s University
Hospital said Wednesday an Oregon man shot through theskull by
a hunting arrow is lucky to be alive, and will be released soonfrom
the hospital. Tony Roberts, 25, lost his right eye during aninitiation
into a men’s rafting club, Mountain Men Anonymous, in GrantsPass,
OR. A friend tried to shoot a beer can off his head, but the arrowentered
Roberts’ right eye. Doctors said had the arrow gone 1millimeter
to the left, a major blood vessel would have cut and Robertswould
have died instantly. Neurosurgeon Dr. Johnny Delashaw at theUniversity
Hospital in Portland said the arrow went through 8 to 10 inches
of brain, with the tipprotruding at the rear of his skull, yet
somehow managed to miss allmajor blood vessels. Delashaw also
said that if Robert had tried to pullthe arrow out he surely would
have killed himself. Roberts admittedafterwards he and his friends
had been drinking that afternoon. SaidRoberts, ’I feel so dumb
NOMINEE No. 13 The Calgary Sun Saturday, December 28, 1996VANCOUVER
(CP) -A man arguing over a love triangle accidentally shothimself
in the groin, taking off his testicles and part of his penis. Police
said the man was waving a. 357 Magnum revolver around during theshouting
match early yesterday. But when he stuffed it back in his pantsthe
gun went off. Police were called to the hospital after the man
inhis 20s was brought in by friends. Charges are pending against
thevictim, who is expected to survive.
AND FINALLY, NOMINEE No. 14!!! : [Arkansas Democrat Gazette] Twolocal
men were seriously injured when their pick-up truck left the roadand
struck a tree near Cotton Patch on State Highway 38 early Mondaymorning.
Woodruff County deputy Dovey Snyder reported the accidentshortly
after midnight Monday. Thurston Poole, 33, of Des Arc and BillyRay
Wallis, 38, of Little Rock are listed in serious condition atBaptist
Medical Center. The accident occurred as the two men werereturning
to Des Arc after a frog gigging trip. On an overcast Sundaynight,
Poole’s pick-up truck headlights malfunctioned. The two menconcluded
that the headlight fuse on the older model truck had burnedout.
As a replacement fuse was not available, Wallis noticed that the. 22
caliber bullet from his pistol fit perfectly into the fuse box
nextto the steering wheel column. Upon inserting the bullet, the
headlightsagain began to operate properly and the two men proceeded
on east-boundtoward the White River bridge. After traveling approximately
twentymiles and just before crossing the river, the bullet apparentlyoverheated,
discharged and struck Poole in the right testicle. Thevehicle
swerved sharply to the right exiting the pavement and striking
atree. Poole suffered only minor cuts and abrasions from the accident, but
will require surgery to repair the other wound. Wallis sustained
abroken clavicle and was treated and released. ’Thank God we weren’t
onthat bridge when Thurston shot his _____ off or we might both
be dead’ stated Wallis.’ I’ve been a trooper for ten years in this
part of the world, but thisis a first for me. I can’t believe
that those two would admit how thisaccident happened’, said Snyder.
Upon being notified of the wreck, Lavinia, Poole’s wife asked how
many frogs the boys had caught and didanyone get them from the