A Timeless Tree Meets Unmatched Stupidity

The Ténéré Tree was was once considered the most isolated tree on Earth. Located in the Sahara Desert in central Niger, it stood as the only tree within over 250 miles (400 km). As such, it was a rare landmark on caravan routes and was one of the few stable, visible markers that could be... Continue Reading →


Meet the Baby Cage: the Mother of All Bad Ideas

What do you do when you live in a high-rise city apartment building and your infant wants to get some fresh air? Why, you set the little crumb cruncher precariously in a flimsy contraption, let it hang out the window, and your problem is solved, of course. Not convinced? Maybe you're just not seeing the... Continue Reading →

A Smile So Sharp It Will Split Atoms

From 1940 to 1945, if you wanted to acquire radioactive material in Germany, you didn't have to engage in cloak-and-dagger shenanigans; you simply had to go to the nearest pharmacy and purchase a tube of Doramad toothpaste.  Doramad was produced with small quantities of radioactive thorium. This wasn't a manufacturing accident; it was an intentional... Continue Reading →

Three Lawyers Found This Client to Be a Pain in the Neck

Josh Monson was facing trial for murder and drug charges in 2011 in Everett, Washington. Apparently unsatisfied with his defense attorney, Monson stabbed him in the neck with a pencil. That lawyer was excused from the case, and a second one was assigned. Three days later, Monson stabbed his second attorney with a pencil. This... Continue Reading →

Gunshot Wound? Don’t Worry, Son… I’m Sure There’s An App for That

Every child believes his or her mom can fix every boo-boo. Sometimes that faith can be misplaced. Consider the case of the 14-year-old son of Deborah Tagle, who received a gunshot wound to the leg in May 2013. The injury occurred when a friend of the family accidentally discharged his firearm. Not being the kind... Continue Reading →

Looking for a Hot Deal on Some Real Estate?

When Maria Angeles Duran of Vigo, Spain started her real estate venture, she knew there was great demand to purchase property that gets plenty of sunlight. What better place than the source of sunlight, itself? Finding that no one claimed ownership of the sun, due to a 1967 United Nations agreement prohibiting any nation from... Continue Reading →

Looking for Gas Leak with Open Flame… Anyone Else See a Problem with This?

The largest cylindrical gas container in the world in 1927 was in the heart of the industrial center of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. On the morning of November 14, 1927, it developed a leak, so repairmen set out to look for it.... ....with an open-flame blowlamp. At 8:43 am either they found the leak, or the leak found them.... Continue Reading →

Maybe It’s the Inventor Who Needed a Swat on the Bottom

Thomas V. Zelenka was awarded Patent 3,552,388 in 1968 for a motor-driven device that attaches to a baby crib and gently pats the sleeping baby on the bottom with a padded mitten. One can't help but wonder if the invention would have gained more popularity with a revved-up motor and marketed as a hand-free spanker.... Continue Reading →

When Suing Yourself, Be Prepared to Lose

When Robert Lee Brock sued himself, he was guaranteed to win -- and lose -- the lawsuit. Convicted of breaking and entering and grand larceny, Brock was serving as an inmate at the Indian Creek Correctional Center in Chesapeake, Virginia in 1995, serving a 23-year sentence. With little else to occupy his time, Brock decided... Continue Reading →

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