Saturday, 8 August 2009

The 9/11 Tourist Guy

This is quite a 'famous'/'infamous' photo resulting from 9/11.

One inevitable byproduct of a disaster as enormous and devastating as the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on U.S. soil is the dissemination of sick jokes referencing the event. The so-called "Tourist Guy," pictured above, was one of the first clear-cut examples of a joke pertaining to the events of 9/11. Both the image and the accompanying text (in all its different versions) are fake.

If you look closely at the above image, Midtown Manhattan is discernible in the background behind the blissfully unaware subject, indicating that the photographer was facing north from the location of the Twin Towers at the moment the photo was snapped. Only one of the airliners that collided with the World Trade Center on September 11 approached from that direction - the first, American Airlines Flight #11, which struck the north tower (One World Trade) at 8:45 a.m. The trouble is, the north tower had no rooftop observation deck like the one pictured here. Even if it had, it wouldn't have been open to tourists at such an early hour.

There are additional discrepancies to ponder:

Why isn't the fast-moving aircraft blurry in the photo?

Why doesn't the subject (or the photographer, for that matter) seem cognizant of the plane's high-decibel approach?

The temperature was between 65 and 70 degrees that morning, according to news reports. Why is this man dressed for winter?

How did the camera survive the 110-story fall when the tower collapsed?

How was the camera found so quickly amidst all the rubble?

Why did this one-of-a-kind, newsworthy photo never appear in the media until after it had already been well circulated via email?

As to the question of why anyone would invent a hoax as callous and tasteless as this in the first place, I would simply point out that the emergence of sick jokes is more often the rule than the exception in the wake of tragic events such as 9/11. Much as we may not like to accept it, the behavior is both predictable and understandable in terms of how people cope with the unthinkable.

To borrow an observation from folklorist Alan Dundes, the example before us demonstrates that "one person's tragedy may become a point of projection or catharsis for the fears and anxieties of others. Remember, people joke about only what is most serious."

It doesn't get much more serious than this.

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Tiger Rears Piglets Believe It Or Not

The pictures below were being circulated on the internet with the following story which was quite cute.

Read the story first, then look at the pictures.

In a zoo in California, a mother tiger gave birth to a rare set of triplet tiger cubs. Unfortunately, due to complications in the pregnancy, the cubs were born prematurely and due to their tiny size, they died shortly after birth.

The mother tiger after recovering from the delivery, suddenly started to decline in health, although physically she was fine. The veterinarians felt that the loss of her litter had caused the tigress to fall into a depression. The doctors decided that if the tigress could surrogate another mother's cubs, perhaps she would improve.

After checking with many other zoos across the country, the depressing news was that there were no tiger cubs of the right age to introduce to the mourning mother. The veterinarians decided to try something that had never been tried in a zoo environment. Sometimes a mother of one species will take on the care of a different species. The only orphans" that could be found quickly, were a litter of weaner pigs. The zoo keepers and vets wrapped the piglets in tiger skin and placed the babies around the mother tiger.

Would they become cubs or pork chops????????????? Take a look........ you won't believe your eyes!!!!

The photo above and below are genuine, but there is more to this story than meets the eye.

To begin with, the snapshots were taken at the Sriracha Tiger Zoo in Chonburi, Thailand (near Bangkok), not some nameless zoo in California. Moreover, it would appear that the sad tale of the tigress falling into a deep depression after losing a litter of cubs was fabricated, as was the claim that the piglets were substituted for the deceased cubs by zookeepers in order to console the "mourning mother."

As it happens, this sort of intermingling of species is not at all unusual at the Sriracha Tiger Zoo, where "creating successful relationships with animals of different species" is something of a guiding principle. The facility, more accurately described as part zoo and part circus, boasts offbeat attractions like basketball-playing elephants, "lady crocodile wrestlers," and a petting zoo where customers can bottle-feed baby tigers with their own bare hands. Visitors have reported seeing tigers, pigs, and dogs all housed together within the same enclosure, with sows nursing tiger cubs and tigresses nursing piglets "adorned in tiger-print costumes."

The costumes are strictly for show, by the way. The mother tiger pictured above, who has been photographed on other occasions suckling piglets au naturel, was herself nursed by a pig in infancy and apparently regards the other species as family, not prey.

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Giant Python Versus Electric Fence

These pictures were taken on a game farm in South Africa. Specifically, the snapshots were taken at the Silent Valley Game Ranch in the Limpopo Province.

As stated on the ranch's Web site, the snake is a four-meter-long rock python which, shortly before its death, had swallowed a full-grown female impala, making its body too fat to squeeze under the electric fence without touching it.

Quite a big chap isn't he? You can see bigger versions of the pictures by giving them a lil click.

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To All England Football Fans - England Bid For 2018 World Cup

I'm actually Romanian but I am backing the England bid for the World Cup 2018.

The final of course should be held at Old Trafford.

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Giant 800 Pounds Razorback Hog

Dead razorback 800lbs 8ft long

How would you like to run across this in the woods????? The hog was reportedly killed in Arkansas very recently close to where they hunt... The man in the picture killed him, took 3 shots from a 7 mag. The afternoon before, he saw this hog eating on the side of the road. He pulled over, and when he slammed the door on his truck, the hog spooked, and charged him. He rammed the side of his truck and put a huge dent in it and popped 2 holes in the metal where his tusks hit. He went back in camo the next morning and sat by a fence. The hog came out and he shot once and the hog turned and looked at him. Shot him again and he went to his knees and got back up. Shot him the third time and put him down. The rest of the story is the picture. He weighed over 800 lbs.

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The Crocodile That Ate The Golfer Picture

There is an email doing the rounds which says the following:

FW: Read story first before opening picture.

You must read this and see the picture at the end. It is just crazy.... This is a true story from Palm Beach, Florida (the proof is at the end, but read the story first).

The first foursome of the day played together to the 5th hole where one impatient golfer went ahead of the group. The remaining three finished their round and headed for the nineteenth hole to meet their less-patient friend. However, he wasn't there...and was no where to be found. Since his car was still in the parking lot, the threesome waited two hours.

Thinking the impatient golfer might still be somewhere out on the course, they notified the clubhouse and the search was on. Of course, the impatient golfer was not located, but his clubs were found on the hole. Three days later, Ole Mose was spotted on the seventh hole and was an immediate suspect.

Ole Mose was an American crocodile that was an infrequent course visitor for over 20 years. Not too much concern was ever given Ole Mose, as he had always made a hasty retreat whenever he saw anyone coming. To make a long story even longer, after the course officials, SPCA, lawyers, citizens groups, the mayor, Palm Beach PD, and the American Crocodile Association of Southern Florida agreed, it was decided that, in order to put everyone's mind at ease, Ole Mose should be unzipped.

Take notice to what the man standing over Ole Moses is holding.

Zoologist and crocodile expert Adam "He Oughta Know" Britton declared the email tale is fake but the photo is real. According to Britton, the incident captured on film couldn't have happened in Florida.

How does he know?

Because the particular species of crocodile in the image, Crocodylus porosus, is native to Indonesia. Plus, says Britton, there has never been a crocodile-caused fatality in Florida (alligator attacks are a different story).

The photograph was taken in Kalimantan (Borneo) in 1997. Nothing else is known about it. The email story was attached anonymously in July 1998 and the two have circulated together ever since.

For a clue as to how such a tasteless joke might have come about, look no further than the fact that alligators are not only plentiful in Florida, but are frequently sighted on golf courses. Tourists have even been bitten on occasion. Our email author was evidently aware of this, but made the mistake of confusing alligators with their cousins, the crocodiles -- of which there are only a few hundred left in Florida and none at all north of the Everglades.

Even so, the story rings true for enough many readers that a West Palm Beach hotel and golf course called the Breakers, whose name is mentioned in one popular version of the email, complains of receiving a steady stream of credulous phone calls from the day the story first appeared. "I compare this prank to tabloid journalism," a spokesperson for the resort complained to reporters. "When you're at the top of the heap, someone wants to knock you down."

The reputation of the endangered American crocodile hasn't exactly benefitted from the hoax, either.

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Now This Is A Bad Ass Fish

What's for dinner???

The next time you're wading in your third world eco paradise stream or lake, just remember, your place in the food chain may get re-shuffled. I bet things like this reduces the urge to go skinny dipping.

That's one scary-looking fish all right. The toothy critter in the pictures is probably a goliath tiger fish (aka African tigerfish or giant tigerfish), or Hydrocynus goliath if you're an ichthyologist. The species is native to the Congo River Basin and Lake Tanganyika in central Africa, where it is prized as a game fish.

You may indeed want to think twice before skinny-dipping in the native waters of this fish, because, according to Bill Hansford-Steele, author of the African Fly-Fishing Handbook (New Holland Publishers, 2004), the goliath tiger "has the somewhat singular distinction of being the only African freshwater fish (excluding the Zambezi shark, which is really a saltwater fish) known to attack humans, and there are several recorded incidents from the Congo River."

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