Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Amazing Melting Building

So, this is not Photoshopped. This building mural, a trompe-l’oeil, is located in Georges V Ave. in Paris, France. Trompe-l’oeil is an art technique involving extremely realistic imagery in order to create the optical illusion that the depicted objects really exist, instead of being just two-dimensional paintings. The name is derived from French for “trick the eye”, from tromper - to deceive and l’oeil - the eye.

Biker Escapes From The Police

Biker Escapes From The Police - The best video clips are here

Sunday, June 10, 2007

10 Strangest Weapons in History

1. The Urumi
Also known as "chuttuval," which means "coiled sword," this flexible weapon is used in the South Indian Martial Art of Kalaripayatt.

The blade (or multiple blades, as in the urumi pictured here) is flexible enough to be rolled up and stored when not used, or even worn as a belt and whipped out on demand.

The blade or blades are typically razor-sharp and bad news for anyone standing in the vicinity of the person wielding the urumi.

2. The Tekko-kagi ("hand claws")
Predating X-Men's Wolverine by hundreds of years, ninjas would use the tekko-kagi claws to guard against sword attacks, allowing them to swipe and potentially knock the sword from an assailant's hands.

Or, ninjas could use claws the claws offensively against their opponents with devastating results.

Typically made from aluminum, steel, iron or wood, tekko weapons are believed by martial arts historians to have originated when the Bushi in Okinawa, Japan began weilding the steel shoes of their horses as a means of self-defense against assailants.

3. The Kusari-gama
A combination sickle and mace, the Kusari-gama was used by traditional Japanese warriors, swinging the sickle at opponents to either slice them with the sharp blade or bludgeon them with the heavy iron weight attached by chain.

The Kusarigama was popular in fuedal Japan from around the 12th through the 17th centuries, and was taught in martial arts schools with its own form of fighting style, known as Kusarigamajutsu.

4. The Trebuchet
A much more powerful and accurate evolution of the medieval catapult, the trebuchet used counterweights to increase the velocity of the objects it hurled. It was used primarily by Christian and Muslim forces throughout the Mediterranean region during the 12th century.

The trebuchet is also believed to be an early biological weapon, as armies would load the trebuchet with corpses riddled with diseases like the Black Plague and hurl them into areas under seige in the hopes of infecting large numbers of their enemies.

5. The Paris Gun
The German military used its mammoth Paris Gun (also known as the Emperor William Gun) in 1918 to terrorize the French public during World War I.

The Paris Gun had an approximately 92-foot-long barrel that could fire 210-pound shells and reach distances up to 75 miles away. Since it could fire great distances, the residents of Paris heard and saw no warning of incoming blasts, and while the potential physical damage from the weapon wasn't catastrophic, the uncertainty of when and where attacks would come struck fear into the heart of all of Paris.

The German military is believed to have destroyed the Paris Gun as the Allied offensive began.

6. The Goliath
You already know that our military and others around the world are working feverishly to develop robot warriors to fight battles for us, but did you know that the Nazis took a first step in this area back in WWII?

The Goliath was essentially a mobile tank or mine that could be remote-controled from a safe distance from enemy lines to deliver explosives.

German automaker Borgward produced more than 7,500 of the Goliaths, but the weapons were ultimately deemed ineffective due to their slow speed (6 mph) and the fact that their control wires would often be cut by enemy soldiers or severed in explosions.

7. The FP-45 Liberator
Manufactured by General Motors (yes, that General Motors) The FP-45 Liberator was a pistol manufactured for the United States military during World War II.

The name stood for Flare Projector Caliber .45, which was meant to disguise the gun's mass production. GM's Inland Guide Lamp Manufacturing Division in Dayton, Ohio produced a million of the FP-45s, with a design-to-production window of just six months.

Whether it was this rushed prodcution schedule or GM's inexperience in crafting weapons, the FP-45 was an unreliable weapon and were often unusable after the first firing.

8. Japanese Balloon Bombs
In late 1944, Japan sought to wreak devastation on American cities, but had no way to reach America via plane or boat without being shot down. So, it devised one of the strangest weapons to be deployed during World War II: the balloon bomb.

Japan sent 9,000+ balloon bombs across the Pacific Ocean with the hopes of causing large numbers of US casualties. Approximately 1,000 made it to the US but caused only six known deaths. The balloons were found in areas as widespread as Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Texas, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Michigan and Iowa, as well as Mexico and Canada.

The press cooperated with the US government by not reporting on the balloon bombs in the hopes of not panicking the American people, as well as not letting the Japanese know that any of the balloons landed on US shores. With little to no proof of their effectiveness, Japan ceased launching the balloon bombs after just six months.

9. Dolphins as Weapons?
Dolphins have been used by the US military in various capacities for the past several decades, but the Navy has repeatedly denied rumors that it has trained dolphins to run kamikaze bomb missions into enemy boats or submarines or perform other deadly acts.

Still, there have been reports over the years of other military uses of dolphins. A 60 Minutes report featured dolphin trainers who claimed they personally taught dolphins to intercept enemy divers of the coast of Vietnam. The dolphins were able to corral divers, tearing off their face masks and regulators.

In addition, the BBC reported that Russia sold its military dolphins to Iran for use in the Persian Gulf. Little is known as to how Iran deployed the dolphins.

10. Zip Guns
These are small guns, sometimes commercially made but often crafted by individuals, that are usually disguised as other items.

Popular versions include the flashlight pictured here, as well as cellphones that can hold multiple bullets, firing individual barrels when certain numbers are entered on the keypad.

Often zip guns are crude, and can't be used multiple times as the force of firing the bullet may render the weapon inoperable the weapon, but their impact can still be deadly.

AFI 100 greatest movie quotes (montage)

Friday, June 8, 2007

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

A List of Unusual Deaths


* 586 BC: Zedekiah, king of Jehudia, was punished for his attempt at mutiny by having his whole family brought before him and executed, his eyes then immediately punctured, his palms amputated and his mutilated body sent to rot in the dungeons.
* 458 BC: The Greek playwright Aeschylus was killed when an eagle dropped a live tortoise on him, mistaking his bald head for a stone.
* 270 BC: The poet and grammarian Philetas of Cos reportedly wasted away and died of insomnia while brooding about the Liar paradox.
* 207 BC: Chrysippus, a Greek stoic philosopher, is believed to have died of laughter after watching his drunken donkey attempt to eat figs.
* 53 BC: Following his defeat at Carrhae at the hands of the Parthians under Spahbod Surena, Marcus Licinius Crassus was executed by having molten gold poured down his throat. Some accounts claim that his head was then cut off and used as a stage prop in a play performed for the Parthian king Orodes II.
* 48 BC: The Roman general Pompey, fleeing to Egypt after being defeated at the Battle of Pharsalus by his rival Julius Caesar, was stabbed, killed, and decapitated: his head was then preserved in a jar by the young king Ptolemy XIII and presented to Caesar, with whom he intended to ingratiate himself. Caesar was not pleased.
* 43 BC: Cicero, the great Roman statesman, was labelled an enemy of the state by the Second Triumvirate. Like all those proscribed by the Triumvirate, he was hunted down and killed; his severed hands and head were then displayed on the Rostra in the Forum for several days, during which time Fulvia, wife of Mark Antony, is supposed to have stabbed his once-skilled tongue several times with a hairpin.
* 42 BC: Porcia Catonis, wife of Marcus Junius Brutus, killed herself by supposedly swallowing hot coals after hearing of her husband's death; however, modern historians claim that it is more likely that she poisoned herself with carbon monoxide, by burning coals in an unventilated room.
* 4 BC: Herod the Great suffered from fever, intense rashes, colon pains, foot drop, inflammation of the abdomen, a putrefaction of his genitals that produced worms, convulsions, and difficulty breathing before he finally gave up. Similar symptoms-- abdominal pains and worms-- accompanied the death of his grandson Herod Agrippa in 44 AD, after he had imprisoned St Peter. At various times each of these deaths has been considered divine retribution.
* 64 - 67: St Peter was executed by the Romans. According to many sources, he asked not to be crucified in the normal way, but was instead executed on an inverted cross. This is the only recorded instance of this type of crucifixion.
* 69: The short-time Roman emperor Galba was killed after becoming extremely unpopular with both the Roman people and the Praetorian guard-- however, 120 different people claimed credit for having killed him. All of these names were recorded in a list and they all were later themselves executed by the emperor Vitellius.
* 258: St Lawrence was martyred by being burned or 'grilled' on a large metal gridiron at Rome. Images of him often show him holding the instrument of his martyrdom. Legend says that he was so strong-willed that instead of giving in to the Romans and releasing information about the Church, at the point of death he exclaimed "I am done on this side! Turn me over and eat."
* 260: According to some accounts, Roman emperor Valerian, after being defeated in battle and captured by the Persians, was used as a footstool by their king Shapur I. After a long period of mistreatment and humiliation, he offered Shapur a huge ransom for his release. In reply, Shapur had molten gold poured down Valerian's throat. He then had the unfortunate emperor skinned and his skin stuffed with straw or dung and preserved as a trophy in the main Persian temple. Only after Persia's defeat in their last war with Rome three and a half centuries later was his skin given a cremation and burial. (Interestingly, a recent report from Iran mentions the restoration of a bridge supposed to have been built by Valerian and his soldiers for Shapur in return for their freedom).

* 415: The Greek mathematician and philosopher Hypatia of Alexandria was murdered by a mob by having her skin ripped off with sharp oyster-shells and what remained of her being burned

Middle Ages

# 1016: Edmund II of England was rumoured to have been stabbed in the gut or bowels while he was performing his ablutions.
# 1277: Pope John XXI was killed in the collapse of his scientific laboratory.]
# 1305: Scottish patriot Sir William Wallace was stripped naked and dragged through the city at the heels of a horse. He was hanged, drawn and quartered — strangled by hanging but released while still alive, emasculated, eviscerated and his bowels burnt before him, beheaded, then cut into four parts.
# 1327: Edward II of England, after being deposed and imprisoned by his Queen consort Isabella and her lover Roger Mortimer, was rumored to have been murdered by having a red-hot iron inserted into his anus.
# 1478: George Plantagenet, Duke of Clarence reportedly was executed by drowning in a barrel of Malmsey wine at his own request.

Early Modern Times

# 1559: King Henry II of France was killed during a stunt knight's jousting match, when his helmet's soft golden grille gave way to a broken lancetip which pierced his eye and entered his brain.
# 1601: Tycho Brahe, according to legend, died of complications resulting from a strained bladder at a banquet. It would have been extremely bad etiquette to leave the table before the meal was finished, so he stayed until he became fatally ill. This version of events has since been brought into question as other causes of death (murder by Johannes Kepler, suicide, and lead poisoning among others) have come to the fore.
# 1671: François Vatel, chef to Louis XIV, committed suicide because his seafood order was late and he couldn't stand the shame of a postponed meal. His body was discovered by an aide, sent to tell him of the arrival of the fish.
# 1687: Jean-Baptiste Lully, composer, died of a gangrenous abscess after piercing his foot with a staff while he was vigorously conducting a Te Deum. The performance was to celebrate the king's recovery from an illness.
# 1753: Professor Georg Wilhelm Richmann, of Saint Petersburg, Russia, was struck and killed by a globe of ball lightning while observing a storm.
# 1771: King of Sweden, Adolf Frederick, died of digestion problems on February 12, 1771 after having consumed a meal consisting of lobster, caviar, sauerkraut, smoked herring and champagne, which was topped off with 14 servings of his favourite dessert: semla served in a bowl of hot milk. He is thus remembered by Swedish schoolchildren as "the king who ate himself to death."

Modern Age

19th century

* 1830: William Huskisson, statesman and financier, was crushed to death by the world's first passenger train (Stephenson's Rocket), at its public opening.
* 1834: David Douglas, Scottish botanist, fell into a pit trap accompanied by a bull. He was mauled and possibly crushed.
* 1841: William Henry Harrison, the 9th President of the United States, died of pneumonia one month after delivering his two-hour inauguration speech in cold weather without an overcoat.
* 1868: Matthew Vassar, brewer and founder of Vassar College, died in mid-speech while delivering his farewell address to the College Board of Trustees.
* 1884: Allan Pinkerton, detective, died of gangrene resulting from having bitten his tongue after stumbling on the sidewalk.
* 1899: French president Félix Faure died of a stroke while receiving oral sex in his office.

20th century

* A number of performers have died of natural causes during public performances, including:
o 1943: Critic Alexander Woollcott suffered a fatal heart attack during an on-air discussion about Adolf Hitler.
o 1958: Gareth Jones, actor, collapsed and died while in make-up between scenes of a live television play, Underground, at the studios of Associated British Corporation in Manchester. Director Ted Kotcheff continued the play to its conclusion, improvising around Jones's absence.
o 1960: Baritone Leonard Warren collapsed on the stage of the New York Metropolitan Opera of a major stroke during a performance of La forza del destino. According to legend, the last line he sang was "Morir? Tremenda cosa." ("To die? A tremendous thing.") However, witnesses say he was just past that aria and his actual last line was "Gioia, o gioia!" (Joy, oh joy!)
o 1971: Jerome Irving Rodale, an American pioneer of organic farming, died of a heart attack while being interviewed on The Dick Cavett Show. According to urban legend, when he appeared to fall asleep, Cavett quipped "Are we boring you, Mr. Rodale?", which Cavett has recently stated in a May 2007 New York Times article was incorrect - the initial reaction to Rodale was fellow guest Pete Hamill noticing something was wrong, and saying in a low voice to Cavett, "This looks bad." The show was never broadcast.
o 1984: Tommy Cooper collapsed from a massive heart attack in front of millions of television viewers, midway through his act, on the popular ITV variety show, Live from Her Majesty's. At first the audience assumed he was joking.
o 1987: Dick Shawn, a comedian who starred in the 1968 movie The Producers, died of a heart attack while portraying a politician. Just before he died, he announced, "if elected, I will not lay down on the job,".

* A number of performers have died from unnatural causes during a practice or public performance, including:
o 1925: Zishe (Siegmund) Breitbart, a circus strongman and Jewish folklore hero died during a demonstration in which he drove a spike through five one-inch thick oak boards using only his bare hands when his knee was accidentally pierced. The spike was rusted and caused an infection which led to fatal blood poisoning. He was the subject of the Werner Herzog film, Invincible.
o 1972: Leslie Harvey, guitarist of Stone the Crows was electrocuted on stage by a live microphone.
o 1976: Keith Relf, former singer for British rhythm and blues band The Yardbirds, died while practicing his electric guitar, electrocuted because the guitar was not properly grounded.
o 1999: Owen Hart, a professional wrestler for WWE died during a Pay-Per-View event when performing a stunt. It was planned to have Owen come down from the rafters of the Kemper Arena on a safety harness tied to a rope to make his ring entrance. The safety latch was released and Owen dropped 78 feet into the wrestling ring. The PPV continued even after he was pronounced dead.

* 1911: Jack Daniel, founder of the Tennessee whiskey distillery, died of blood poisoning six years after receiving a toe injury when he kicked his safe in anger at being unable to remember its combination code.
* 1912: Tailor Franz Reichelt fell to his death off the first deck of the Eiffel Tower while testing his invention, the coat parachute. It was his first ever attempt with the parachute and he'd told the authorities in advance he would test it first with a dummy.
* 1916: Grigori Rasputin, Russian mystic, died of drowning while trapped under ice. Although the details of his murder are disputed, he was allegedly placed in the water through a hole in the winter ice when he stubbornly refused to die after having been poisoned, bludgeoned, castrated, and shot multiple times in the head, lung, and liver.
* 1920: Baseball player Ray Chapman was killed when he was hit in the head by a pitch.
* 1923: George Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon allegedly becomes the first to die from King Tut's Curse after a mosquito bite on his face becomes seriously infected.
* 1923: Frank Hayes, jockey, suffered a heart attack during a horse race. The horse, Sweet Kiss, went on to finish first, making Hayes the only deceased jockey to win a race.
* 1927: J.G. Parry-Thomas, a British racing driver, was decapitated by his car's drive chain which, under stress, snapped and whipped into the cockpit. He was attempting to break his own Land speed record which he had set the previous year. Despite being killed in the attempt, he succeeded in setting a new record of 171 mph.
* 1927: Isadora Duncan, dancer, died of accidental strangulation and broken neck when her scarf caught on the wheel of a car in which she was a passenger.
* 1928: Alexander Bogdanov, a Russian physician, died following one of his experiments, in which the blood of a student suffering from malaria and tuberculosis, L. I. Koldomasov, was given to him in a transfusion.
* 1933: Michael Malloy, a homeless man, was murdered by gassing after surviving multiple poisonings, intentional exposure and being struck by a car. Malloy was murdered by five men in a plot to collect on life insurance policies they had purchased.
* 1935: Baseball player Len Koenecke was bludgeoned to death with a fire extinguisher by the crew of an aircraft he had chartered, after provoking a fight with the pilot while the plane was in the air.
* 1941: Sherwood Anderson, writer, swallowed a toothpick at a party and then died of peritonitis.
* 1943: Lady be Good, a USAAF B-24 bomber lost its way and crash landed in the Libyan Desert. Mummified remains of its crew, who struggled for a week without water, were not found until 1960.
* 1944: Inventor and chemist Thomas Midgley, Jr., accidentally strangled himself with the cord of a pulley-operated mechanical bed of his own design.
* 1947: The Collyer brothers, extreme cases of compulsive hoarders were found dead in their home in New York. The younger brother, Langley, died by falling victim to a booby trap he had set up, causing a mountain of objects, books, and newspapers to fall on him crushing him to death. His blind brother, Homer, who had depended on Langley for care, died of starvation some days later. Their bodies were recovered after massive efforts in removing many tons of debris from their home.
* 1960: In the Nedelin disaster, over 100 Soviet missile technicians and officials died when a switch was turned on unintentionally igniting the rocket, including Red Army Marshal Nedelin who was seated in a deck chair just 40 meters away overseeing launch preparations. The events were filmed by automatic cameras.
* 1967: A flash fire began in the pure oxygen atmosphere during a training exercise inside the unlaunched Apollo 1 spacecraft, killing Command Pilot Gus Grissom, Senior Pilot Ed White, and Pilot Roger B. Chaffee. The door to the capsule was unable to be opened during the fire because of its specific design.
* 1967: Vladimir Komarov became the first person to die during a space mission after the parachute of his capsule failed to deploy.
* 1973: Péter Vályi, finance minister of Hungary fell into a blast furnace (some sources say a pit of molten iron) on a visit to a steelworks factory at Miskolc.
* 1974: Christine Chubbuck, an American television news reporter, committed suicide during a live broadcast on July 15. At 9:38 AM, 8 minutes into her talk show, on WXLT-TV in Sarasota, Florida, she drew out a revolver and shot herself in the head.
* 1975: On 24 March 1975 Alex Mitchell, a 50-year-old bricklayer from King's Lynn literally died laughing whilst watching an episode of The Goodies. According to his wife, who was a witness, Mitchell was unable to stop laughing whilst watching a sketch in the episode "Kung Fu Kapers" in which Tim Brooke-Taylor, dressed as a kilted Scotsman, used a set of bagpipes to defend himself from a psychopathic black pudding in a demonstration of the Scottish martial art of "Hoots-Toot-ochaye." After twenty-five minutes of continuous laughter Mitchell finally slumped on the sofa and expired from heart failure.
* 1977: Tom Pryce, a Formula One driver, and a 19-year-old track marshal Jansen Van Vuuren both died at the 1977 South African Grand Prix after Van Vuuren ran across the track beyond a blind brow to attend to another car which had caught fire and was struck by Pryce's car at approximately 170mph. Pryce was struck in the face by the marshal's fire extinguisher and was killed instantly.
* 1978: Georgi Markov, a Bulgarian dissident, was assassinated by poisoning in London by an unknown assailant who jabbed him in the calf with a specially modified umbrella that fired a metal pellet with a small cavity full of ricin poison.
* 1978: Janet Parker, a British medical photographer, died of smallpox in 1978, ten months after the disease was eradicated in the wild, when a researcher at the laboratory Parker worked at accidentally released some virus into the air of the building. She is believed to be the last smallpox fatality in history.
* 1981: A 25-year-old Dutch woman studying in Paris, Renée Hartevelt, was killed and eaten by a classmate, Issei Sagawa, when he invited her to dinner for a literary conversation. The killer was declared unfit to stand trial and extradited back to Japan, where he was released from custody within fifteen months.
* 1981: Boris Sagal, a motion picture-director, died while shooting the TV miniseries World War III when he walked into the tail-rotor blade of a helicopter and was decapitated.
* 1982: Vic Morrow, actor, was decapitated by a helicopter blade during filming of Twilight Zone: The Movie, along with two child actors, Myca Dinh Le and Renee Shin-Yi Chen.
* 1982: Vladimir Smirnov, an Olympic champion fencer, died of brain damage nine days after his opponent's foil snapped during a match, pierced his eyeball and entered his brain.
* 1983: A diver on the Byford Dolphin oil exploration rig was violently dismembered and pulled through a narrowly opened hatch when the decompression chamber was accidentally opened, causing explosive decompression.
* 1983: Tennessee Williams, American playwright, died choking on a bottle cap. He was in a hotel but was too drunk to leave his room or make sufficient noise to attract attention.
* 1983: Sergei Chalibashvili, a professional diver, died after a diving accident during World University Games. When he attempted a three-and-a-half reverse somersault in the tuck position, he smashed his head on the board and was knocked unconscious. He died after being in a coma for a week.
* 1984: Jon-Erik Hexum, an American television actor, died after he shot himself in the head with a prop gun during a break in filming. Hexum apparently did not realize that blanks use paper or plastic wadding to seal gun powder into the shell, and that this wadding is propelled out of the barrel of the gun with enough force to cause severe injury or death if the weapon is fired at point-blank range.
* 1986: While on the air giving a traffic report, the helicopter that Jane Dornacker was riding in stalled and crashed into the Hudson River, killing her. This was the second helicopter crash she had been in that year.
* 1987: R. Budd Dwyer, a Republican politician, committed suicide during a televised press conference. Facing a potential 55-year jail sentence for alleged involvement in a conspiracy, Dwyer shot himself in the mouth with a revolver.
* 1990: Joseph W. Burrus, aged 32, an aspiring magician, decided to perform the "buried alive" illusion in a plastic box covered with cement. The cement crushed the box and he died of asphyxia.
* 1990: George Allen, an American football coach, died a month after some of his players gave him a Gatorade Shower following a victory (as it is tradition in American Football). Some argue this resulted in pneumonia.
* 1993: Brandon Lee, son of Bruce Lee, was shot and killed by a prop .44 Magnum gun while filming the movie The Crow. The gun was pre-loaded by the Weapons Master for the set, but the casing for the blank shattered upon firing and the fragments became instant projectiles. They pierced Brandon's chest in five places, some in the heart. It was not instantly recognized by the crew or other actors; they believed he was still acting.
* 1993: Garry Hoy, a Toronto lawyer, fell to his death after he threw himself through the glass wall on the 24th floor of the Toronto-Dominion Centre in order to prove the glass was "unbreakable".
* 1996: Sharon Lopatka, an internet entrepreneur from Maryland who allegedly solicited a man via the Internet to torture and kill her for the purpose of sexual gratification. Her killer, Robert Fredrick Glass, was convicted of voluntary manslaughter for the homicide.
* 1998: Tom and Eileen Lonergan were stranded while scuba diving with a group of divers off Australia's Great Barrier Reef. The group's boat accidentally abandoned them due to an incorrect head count taken by the dive boat crew. The couple was left to fend for themselves in shark-infested waters. Their bodies were never recovered. The incident is depicted in the film Open Water.

21st century

* 2001: Bernd-Jürgen Brandes was stabbed repeatedly in the neck and then eaten by Armin Meiwes. Before the killing, both men dined on Brandes' severed penis. Brandes had answered an internet advertisement by Meiwes looking for someone for this purpose. Brandes explicitly stated in his will that he wished to be killed and eaten. This is referred to in the song "Mein Teil" by German NDH band Rammstein.
* 2003: Brian Wells, a pizza delivery man, was killed by a time bomb which was fastened around his neck. He was apprehended by the police after robbing a bank, and claimed he had been forced to do it by three people who had put the bomb around his neck and would kill him if he refused. The bomb later exploded, killing him.
* 2003: Brandon Vedas died of a drug overdose while engaged in an Internet chat, as shown on his webcam.
* 2003: Timothy Treadwell, an American environmentalist who had lived in the wilderness among bears for thirteen summers in a remote region in Alaska, was killed and partially consumed by bears, along with his girlfriend Amie Huguenard. The incident is described in Werner Herzog's documentary film Grizzly Man.
* 2005: Kenneth Pinyan of Seattle died of acute peritonitis after submitting to anal intercourse with a stallion in the town of Enumclaw, Washington. Pinyan had done this before, and he delayed his visit to the hospital for several hours out of reluctance for official cognizance. The case led to the criminalization of bestiality in Washington. His story was recounted in the 2007 documentary film Zoo.
* 2005: 28-year-old Korean video game addict Lee Seung Seop collapsed and died of fatigue in an Internet cafe after playing World of Warcraft for almost 50 consecutive hours.
* 2006: Steve Irwin, a television personality and naturalist known as The Crocodile Hunter, died when his heart was impaled by a short-tail stingray barb while filming a documentary entitled "Ocean's Deadliest" in Queensland's Great Barrier Reef.
* 2006: Alexander Litvinenko, a former FSB operative and Russian expatriate who had been investigating the murder of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya, was poisoned by polonium-210, an extremely rare radioactive metalloid.
* 2006: Mariesa Weber, a 5'3" Florida woman, fell behind a 6' tall bookcase in her family's home and suffocated. She was not discovered for 11 days; her family thought she had been kidnapped.
* 2007: Jennifer Strange, a 28-year-old woman from Sacramento, died of water intoxication while trying to win a Wii console in a KDND 107.9 "The End" radio station's "Hold Your Wee for a Wii" contest, which involved drinking large quantities of water without urinating.
* 2007: Kevin Whitrick, a 42-year-old man committed suicide live on a webcam during an internet chat session.
* 2007: Martin Harris, a Danish train surfer, who published several video clips on the internet and was featured on regional TV for his sport, was killed during train surfing while passing under a low bridge.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Moving Wave

50 Manliest Men Ever (Well, Mostly Men)

50. Martina Navratilova – In a sport best known for the “sweater tied around the neck” fashion, it is unlikely for a truly manly man to emerge. However, one did, although not on the men’s side of the net. Martina Navratilova dominated the sport for decades. If you are doubting this selection, realize that unless you are on this list yourself, she has most likely slept with more women than you. If that doesn’t earn her a spot on this list, nothing will.

49. Christian Laettner – Of all the guys on the list, only one can really be called a “Man’s man” quite literally. He’s Christian Laettner. Also available to sub in at this position – Mike Piazza.

48. Mario (from Super Mario Brothers 1-1,000,000)
– This guy is a plumber who ended up marrying into royalty and keeping a sugar mama. He lives the life that every guy dreams of every single night in their sleep. Add also the fact that he breaks bricks open with his head and uses flowers to make fire and you
’ve got one manly dude.

47. Kermit Washington
– Those who know anything about Kermit Washington’s sports career know exactly how tough he was. But few think about the fact that throughout his whole life he had to endure the name Kermit. How many could truly deal with the constant “go back to the swamp” comments and “how’s it feel to have
a hippy’s hand up your butt all the time?” questions. You and I might melt down, but it just made Washington stronger.

46. Patrick Swayze – Even though he was in Dirty Dancing, Swayze was still able to make the list. That is a testament to exactly how tough he was in Road House and that SNL male dancer sketch. Nobody puts Swayze in the corner or the honorable mention portion of Manliest Men lists.

45. NHL Hockey Players
– I have to group these warriors together because they would have a monopoly on this list if
I didn’t. These guys lose their teeth and risk their lives everyday for hockey. They don’t get any women because they are all so ugly and Canadian. They don’tget any fame because no one watches (Isn't there a strike or something?). As far as anyone can tell, they only play hockey so they can hurt other hockey players. That’s tough.

44. Dick Butkus – I once saw a tape from Butkus’ final high school game where he tackled an opposing ball carrier so hard that the guy’s head flew off of his body and lay on the 50 yard line. No, wait! He did that to NFL running backs. More than once.

43. Bill
Parcells – If manliness was measured in the ankle strength alone, Bill Parcells would be number one on this list. However, he is still a deserving member of it. The coach was able to win football games, even with T.O. trying to kill himself, an addiction to nachos, and all of Tony Romo’s disease-infested flavors-of-the-week standing in his way.

42. Juan Marichel – A mediocre baseball player, at best, Marichel will forever be known as the player who hit Johnny Roseboro with a baseball bat. Sure, it’s not the most noble thing, but no one ever said that being a man was about being noble. In fact, some would say Marichel should be higher on the list because HE HIT ANOTHER DUDE WITH A BASEBALL BAT.

41. Pocket Hercules
– Being an Olympic gold medal winner in weightlifting is pretty impressive in and of itself. But Lil’ Hercules was only 6 inches tall and could lift a full size Semi-Truck with his right arm only. And he was left handed!

40. Lance Armstrong
– There is a journal out there somewhere written by someone who raced against Armstrong in the first Tour
de France. He talks about while he is in first place, during the most grueling mountain stage, he hears Armstrong coming up on him. Basically, he determines that he would rather lose the entire tour than let “the gringo” pass him. He says he gave it everything he had to stay in front, but as Armstrong passed him, Lance looked back and smiled at him.
This was only months after he recovered from terminal cancer.

39. Paul Bunyan
– Most people get a dog. He got a gigantic blue ox. He is responsible for digging lakes, laying miles of train track, cutting down, like, a million trees, and fathering all of Wisconsin’s children. If you doubt his existence, then ask yourself “Have I ever seen a lake or a person from Wisconsin?” Point proven.

38. Wilt Chamberlain – If Bunyan impregnated all of Wisconsin, Chamberlain is responsible for the entire western seaboard and probably a good portion of the eastern (depends on how many road trips they had back then). Rumored to have a dirty relationship count in the 5-6 digit range and scoring 3 digits in a single game? He’s a man among men and many, many, many women.

36. Evel Knievel – I once saw a guy hit himself in the scrotum for a bag of Doritos on a dare. That’s pretty tough. However, I never witnessed anyone except for Evel try to jump 13 city buses, break a pelvis, then walk to the podium to address the fans. If he had died during one of his jumps, then gotten up to talk to the audience after, he probably would have been bolted to number one.

37. Shirtless Football Fans These guys go into the coldest places on the coldest day and wear nothing but a poorly painted, latex layer on them. They do this because they don’t have anything else to live for. That and the fact that what they do is just plain stupid keeps them from breaking into the top 25.

35. Jesus – See now, he did do the rise from the dead thing, but he never jumped a motorcycle over any buses. If only he and Evel had talked. Besides, based on all of the pictures I've seen, the guy was totally ripped too.

34. The Guys from Tyson’s
Punchout – On average this little group isn’t all that tough. Glass Joe and Piston Honda really bring down the class. However, a cage match isn’t about your sissy mathematical averages. I can’t think of any group, save one that I would rather have in a Jets vs. Sharks style gang fight than the collective crew of Tyson’s Punchout.

33. Curt Schilling
– No h
e isn’t the most intimidating pitcher in history. In fact, he’s not even an intimidating pitcher. But he is the only person who has a bloody piece of his wardrobe in the hall of fame. I watched him pull his foot off of his leg in the World Series, rub some dirt on it, and replace it so that he could go back to pitching.

32. Hulk Hogan – He is an icon, if not the icon, of professional wrestling. He is the toughest old guy, I’ve ever seen. Plus, I’ve never been scared of anyone in my whole life, except for one old girlfriend’s dad. He was a scary dude and once showed me his revolver. I would rather be caught behind his daughter than have to pick up Hogan’s for a church youth group event.

31. Johnny Unitas – It was a different time when Unitas was king of the quarterbacks. The recent discussions of “top 5 quarterbacks of all time” have been leaving him out, especially since Manning is now considered perfect. However, this guy used to wear fur coats on the sideline. He used to keep a woman in his locker at the stadium. He used to use a woman as a football while playing in fur pads.

30. Steve-O
– Earlier I mentioned a guy I knew in high school who hit himself in the scrotum with a hammer. That was a big deal. That’s what Steve-O does for a living. Except sometimes instead of using a hammer he uses a snake. Some people think that skyscraper workers or crab fisherman have manly jobs. This guy lets snakes eat his groin for a job.

29. NHL Goalies – Remember how tough I said hockey players were? Well goalies to the same thing, except they don’t ever risk getting in fights. In exchange for that they get to jump in front of a black, rubber bullet flying at 130 miles per hour. Excuse me, 130 Canadian miles per hour.

28. Ty Webb – To be a man, you don’t have to have the ability to smash things with your head. It helps, no questions. But you could also just be smooth. Enter Ty Webb. Perhaps the most quoted character in history, his movie is actually part of the prerequisite for even being a man.
27. Mike Tyson
– N
o one in the world is scarier than Mike Tyson: 1. He hit as hard as anyone in history. 2. He got a tattoo on his face, for no reason. 3. He spent time in jail. 4. He is completely out of his mind. 5. He threatened to eat children and stomp on their testicles. Even if I didn’t think he deserved a spot on this list, I’m too intimidated to not put him on it.

26. Zangeif (from Street Fighter) – Everyone else in the world of video games has special moves and blocks and all that. Zangeif simply walked up to people and squeezed them to death. Bears do that, not men. But we all know the formula: If A is more bear-like than B, then A is more man than B. That’s algebra one, brah.

Also, he had a Mohawk, a chest scar, and resided in Russia.

25. Achilles
– Perhaps the most controversial pick on this list, Achilles comes in at 25. Most would say that he deserved to be much hi
gher, considering he only has one weakness and is responsible for at least 50% of all trips to the DL. However, he was played by Brad Pitt in the movie Troy. It’s sad when someone else representing you actually hurts your career. (See all Drew Rosenhaus clients).

24. Bill
Braski – No one has ever even seen this guy. He is literally nothing but legend. One of those legends is that his “foreskin is used as a tarp over Yankee Stadium.” I’m not sure if that is cool or not, but I know that no woman would have a foreskin that big. Therefore, he is a true man.

23. Dennis Rodman – Including Navratilova, no one on this list could wear a dress and maintain the same level of masculinity. This guy is a true man, most of the time.

22. Bob Gibson – It’s been said a by multiple MLB players who hit against Gibson that his stuff was the greatest. They didn’t worry about the pitch as much as they did the snarl that Gibson gave them from the mound. He made his way to the hall of fame, essentially, on anger alone.

21. Joseph Kittinger – Look him up on wikipedia.org if you don’t know who he is. He basically parachuted from outside of the atmosphere. Yes, that is actually impossible. However, he was too manly to let the laws of physics and nature stop him.

20. Rocky Balboa
– The tag for Rocky is “his whole life was a million to one shot.” Well, he took approximately a million shots. Listen to this resume. He beat more meat than anyone else. He fought Carl Weathers twice and (let’s be honest) won both times. He allowed Mr. T to beat on him for 15 rounds. He cried multiple times without us looking down on him. Oh yeah, and he stopped the Cold War single
-handedly. Do I really need to argue this one.

19. Steve Irwin – Too soon? Too bad. This guy was famous for picking fights with animals. Let me write every script in his television career: “Hey, there’s a _________, the deadliest animal in the world. One look at it could kill an entire village. I’m going to dry hump it.” And talk about devotion, he gave everything for that show.

18. Magnus ver Magnusson – He is the four time champion of the World’s Strongest Man title. For the love of all things holy, his title has the word man in it. He grunts more than Serena Williams, but – unlike her – he does it for a reason. That reason, of course, is that he is pulling a train.

17. Satan – Every girl I’ve ever talked to has claimed that the defining qualities of men are their pride and bullheadedness. This guy takes the cake. He’d rather spend eternity in hell, rather than just admit that he was a bad boy. Plus, it was his pride that got him there in the first place. Personally, I think South Park has taken a few too many liberties. I’ll bet he’s rough as hell – pun intended.

16. Walter Payton – Remember that time that Payton just ran right through a wall of defenders. Of course you don’t, because it was every play. He actually busted through literal walls, simply because he hated doors. The only player in NFL history to never be tackled, he scored on every single run. In his later years, the NFL made a temporary rule allowing defending teams to have 22 players on defense and each player could wear a bulldozer as a uniform. He also made the headband look, that's sweet, Sweetness.

15. William Wallace – The only reason William Wallace doesn’t make the top ten is the ridiculous amount of make-up he wore. And, honestly, blue wasn’t his color. Like, totally.

14. The 1993 Philadelphia Phillies – These guys were the fatest “athletes” ever to be decent at their respective sport. Plus they all had killer mustaches. Go look at their team photo. It looks like 25 buffalo wing-loving Burt Reynolds. Incidentally, this is the only collective group that I would take into a cage match over the crew from Tyson’s Punch Out.

13. Burt Reynolds
– Every guy wants a mustache and every guy wants a mustache because of Burt Reynolds. He hurt his stock a little by being in commercials about being manly for Bud Light. A true man is stoic in nature and doesn’t talk about how much of a b.a. he is. Despite this transgression, he’s way up on the list. Did he invent the mustache or just perfect it?

12. Chuck Norris – A few years ago, Norris wouldn’t have even made this list, but then two things happened. The first was a group of people chose to write his unofficial biography, in a list form. Assuming all these facts are indeed facts, he is pretty rough. The second was that I saw Delta Force again.

11. Brett Favre – This one hurts, somehow, but it’s impossible to argue too much against it. He could be placed among the greatest quarterbacks of all time. He’s played professional football for 18 years and is coming back for another. He’s got a Super Bowl ring. Women from the ages of 8 to 85 melt when he comes in the room and he’s started roughly one gagillion games, despite playing on the concrete that is a frozen Lambo Field. He might be the only man who could walk up and steal Brad Pitt’s girl (sorry Tom Brady).

10. That Fat Guy that Gets Shot in the Gut with a Cannon
– You’
ve seen it on YouTube and commercials and all that. Come on, now, that would hurt like hell.

9. Ty Cobb – I don’t need to tell you his stats on the diamond. I’ll tell you what my grandfather told me. Ty Cobb used to sit on top of the visitor’s dugout and sharpen his metal spikes while staring at the catcher. When they made eye contact, he would spit. And that, as my grandpappy said, “is how the game is supposed to be played.”

8. Rulon Gardner
– An amateur wrestler from the U.S., Gardner has overcome more than most. For example, he has a learning disability. Here’s another example, he was stuck in the snow for an extended period of time before being rescued and had to have half of his foot removed. He refused pain medication before, during, or after the operation. Why? Because it would make him tougher. No big deal. That’s just another day for him.

7. Keith Richards – Jesus made this list because he cheated death. Well, I’m pretty sure that Keith Richards has risen from the dead everyday for the last twenty years. Plus, he gave us Brown Sugar and (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.

6. Rodney Dangerfield – Every guy I’ve ever known has complained about his wife and job and life in general. Dangerfield did it for a living. If I didn’t put him in the top 10, then I would have been doing the same as everyone else and given him (fill in his famous phrase here.)

See how you knew it?

5. Mohammad Ali – Yes, he hit hard. Yes, he talked smooth. Yes, he’s the greatest boxer of all time. That alone would make him a legend. But this guy developed, as a strategy, the concept of letting someone else beat on you until they were tired. On top of that, he called it the “rope-a-dope," as if they were the stupid ones.

4. Mas Oyana – One of the only truly famous legitimate martial artists, Mas Oyana could kick everyone’s ass. Everyone’s, ever, combined. He trained for years, then decided it wasn’t enough. So he took nothing except a pot and a book to a mountain and lived there for two years. During this time he trained for 14 hours a day (by lifting large rocks and fighting trees) and meditated for the rest of the time. He then came down from the mountain, won the most prestigious fighting tournament in the world and decided it wasn’t good enough. He spent another year and a half on the mountain.

Need I go on?

3. Babe Ruth – Everyday for Babe was eat, drink, sex, eat, eat, play game, sex, eat, DRINK. Despite the above less-than-athletic training regiment, he held baseball records in pitching and hitting up until just a few years years (Steroids anyone?). He saved baseball from scandal and cheating and had a Candy Bar named after him. Without Babe Ruth, there would be no movie The Sandlot. Even to this day, despite death, he beats the Red Sox. Sure they won one, but my guess was that Ruth was nursing a nurse and a hangover when that happened.

2. Chris Nilan – The only individual hockey player on this list, Nilan is in a class all by himself. He holds the record for highest per game average for penalty minutes at 4.42. In a single game, was actually accumulated 42 penalty minutes. He was nicknamed “Knuckles” by people who play the toughest sport in the world. For the love of Christ, HE SCARED HOCKEY PLAYERS! He actually wasn’t any good at the game, they were just too afraid to cut him.

1. Al Bundy – I’m not sure if he invented sarcasm, putting hands in one’s pants, being lazy, cursing, nagging your wife, watching sports, smelling bad, and complaining about everything in life (particularly family and job). If he didn’t invent it, he made it cool and taught me how to do all those things. He probably wouldn’t win in a fight, but no man with any self respect wouldn’t hit him anyway, out of reverence.