I’ll Be a Little Late For Dinner, Honey… Traffic is a Little Slow

Longest traffic jam in the world
China National Highway 110 Traffic Jam

The longest traffic jam on record happened on China National Highway 110, starting on August 14, 2010. The traffic jam slowed thousands of vehicles for more than 60 miles (100 km) and lasted for 12 days. Traffic at that time moved 0.6 miles per day.

Occurring on China National Highway 110, many drivers were stuck in traffic for days, running out of fuel, food, and water. It resulted in a microeconomy, with area residents taking advantage of a rare opportunity for an unsurpassed market.

Five years later, in October 2015, the 50-lane G4 Beijing-Hong Kong-Macau Expressway was tied up for over 10 days, due to a checkpoint put in place as 750 million people traveled during a holiday marking the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.

china 50 lane traffic jam
50-lane expressway tied up in 2015

 

A Dubious Honor

John Heidegger (1666-1749)
John Heidegger (1666-1749)

John Heidegger rose to fame in Switzerland and later in England as a promoter of masquerade balls. It should be no surprise that Heidegger was drawn to a profession that depended on masks and disguises. Heidegger, by his own admission, was the ugliest person in the country. Called “Count Ugly” by some and described by one woman as “the most ugly man that ever was formed,” Heidegger did not seem to be insulted; rather, he reveled in the attention.

When from Lord Chesterfield wagered he could find someone uglier than Heidegger, Count Ugly eagerly accepted the bet. On the day Chesterfield was to produce his specimen of hideousness, he paraded a woman from the slums of London whose repulsive appearance was certain to give Heidegger a run for his money.

Ironically, it was the unfortunately woman who decided the issue. Heidegger snatched the woman’s hat off of her head and placed it on his own. As the woman looked at the truly-grotesque sight of John Heidegger wearing a woman’s hat, she fainted, leaving Heidegger the undisputed ugliest person in England.

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The Little Man from Nuremberg

Matthew Buchinger
Matthew Buchinger

Matthew Buchinger (1674-1740) was known as “The Little Man of Nuremberg.” Buchinger was born without hands, legs, or thighs and was less than 29 inches tall.

Despite his disabilities, Buchinger led a very accomplished life. He could play a half-dozen musical instruments including the bagpipes, dulcimer, hautboy, trumpet, and flute, some of which he invented himself, was an expert calligrapher, and was one of the most famous stage magicians of his day. He performed tricks with the cup and balls that have yet to be explained.

He was married four times and had at least fourteen children by at least eight different women.

Despite his having small, finlike appendages for hands, his engravings were incredibly detailed. One such engraving, a self-portrait (pictured above), was so detailed that a close examination of the curls of his hair revealed that they were in fact seven biblical psalms and the Lord’s Prayer, inscribed in miniature letters:Buchinger detail

 

Even His Grandmother Wanted Him Dead

Emperor Elagabalus

 

Roman Emperor Elagabalus (ca 203 – 222; reigned 218-222) became emperor at the age of fourteen. During the four years of his reign, he chalked up quite a list of accomplishments, but not the kind most people want to be remembered for.

By the time of his death at age 18, he had been married and divorced five times, had a penchant for dressing in women’s clothing and generally did whatever he wanted, with no consideration of the administrative matters of state.

He was assassinated on March 11, 222, in a plot formed by his grandmother, Julia Maesa, and disgruntled members of the Praetorian Guard. They dragged his naked body through the streets.

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If The Vows Required Staying Married Until the Cake Was Eaten, It Would Be ‘Til Death Do Us Part

world largest cake (1)

The world’s largest wedding cake ever displayed was baked by Mohegan Sun Hotel and Casino’s chef Lynn Mansel and a team of 57 chefs and “pastry artisans” at a New England showcase in Uncasville, Connecticut. The cake weighed in at 15,032 pounds and had seven tiers — each of which took two forklift trucks to raise. If this cake were at a real wedding, it could have fed 59,000 people and weighed more than a bull elephant.

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When You Gotta Go… You REALLY Should Go

urinal

Jennifer Strange, a 28-year-old woman from Sacramento, died in 2007 of water intoxication while trying to win a Wii console in a radio station’s “Hold Your Wee for a Wii” contest, which involved drinking large quantities of water without urinating.

Maybe next time they should give away wizz snips.

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Isn’t This How Terminator Started?

robots-taking-over-listenpage-new-168

On January 25, 1979, Robert Williams became the first person to be killed by a robot.

He was struck in the head and killed by the arm of a 1-ton production-line robot in a Ford Motor Company casting plant in Flat Rock, Michigan, USA. The robot was part of a parts-retrieval system that moved material from one part of the factory to another. When the robot began running slowly, Williams reportedly climbed into the storage rack to retrieve parts manually when he was struck in the head and killed instantly.

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