Did You Know? – More Interesting Facts.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”


More interesting facts today.

Hats definitely off to James Harrison, but my favorite is Bill Morgan.



did you know4


We’ll start with one in honor of the recently passed St Patrick’s Day.

St Patrick’s given name was Maewyn Succat.

After becoming a priest, he changed his name to Patricius,

from the Latin term meaning “father figure.”

st patrick



Esperanto is an artificial language,

but is spoken by about 500,000 to 2,000,000 people,

and 2 feature films have been done in the language.




After the bible,

the most translated book in the world is


pinocchio book cover



Hall of fame boxer Sugar Ray Robinson backed out of a fight

because he had a dream that he was going to kill his opponent in the ring.

After a priest and minister convinced him to fight, Robinson went into the ring

and killed his opponent Jimmy Doyle.

Sugar Ray Robinson and Jimmy Doyle



The German word for birth control pill is ‘antibabypille’

and in Switzerland they have pregnancy tests

called ‘MaybeBaby’ in vending machines.

birth control



After 9/11, 1600 people died in automobile accidents

after they switched travel plans from flying to driving.




If officials awarded Lance Armstrong’s Tour de France title

to the next fastest finisher who has never been linked to doping,

they would have to give it to the person who finished 23rd.

tour de france



When US Army officer Braxton Bragg held both the job of

the company commander and the post’s quartermaster,

he made a request to the quartermaster (that is, himself)

and when he received the request as quartermaster he denied it.

He continued to argue back and forth with himself through letters.




In 2010 workers at Ground Zero found an 18th century wooden ship

underneath the World Trade Center rubble.




When child actor Jackie Coogan turned 18,

he found out all his money, $68 million,

had been spent by his mother, who argued

“No promises were ever made to give Jackie anything.

Every dollar a kid earns before he is 21 belongs to his parents.” 

Coogan’s Bill was then passed to protect child actors.




In Samoa, it’s a crime to forget your own wife’s birthday.

(Isn’t that true for most places?)

wife's birthday



Ryan Gosling was cast as Noah in The Notebook

because the director wanted someone “not handsome.”

ryan gosling noah



After needing 13 liters of blood for a surgery at the age of 13,

a man named James Harrison, aka “The Man With The Golden Arm”,

pledged to donate blood once he turned 18.

It was discovered that his blood contained a rare antigen

which cured Rhesus disease.

He has donated blood a record 1000 times

and saved 2,000,000 lives.

james-harrison donating blood



In 1942 in Mississippi there was a man known as the Phantom Barber

who would break into peoples’ houses at night and cut their hair.

The Phantom Barber Of Mississippi



In 1999 an Australian man, named Bill Morgan

was declared dead for 14 minutes after an allergic reaction to drugs

given to him in hospital after a car accident.

To celebrate his survival he bought a scratch card

and won a $27,000 car.

A news team covering the story asked him to re-enact

the scratch card moment for their story,

so he went into the shop, bought another scratch card,

and won  $250,000 jackpot.

Here he is….





The Last Post – Of 2013.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”


The Last Post Of 2013

31st December has rolled round again and so it’s time to bring 2013 to a close.

This is always an appropriate time to reflect on what has happened during the previous twelve months.

These are just some of the things I remember about 2013. It’s a personal choice and you may have thought of other things that could have been mentioned, but, in spite of the fact that the time seems to fly, a lot happens in the space of a year so only so much can be included.

Hope you find something of interest.




The Weather

As good a place as any to start since the weather is a constant topic of conversation at all times of the year.

Statistically 2013 appears to have been a year where major weather events were at a minimum. Not much comfort to those at the extreme end of that distribution curve and who suffered hardship and discomfort as the result of extreme weather.

But here are some of what I think are the most memorable weather events of 2013.

In January Malaysia, Indonesia and South-East Africa saw major flooding events caused by monsoon and other heavy rainstorms. It also saw Australia’s hottest month on record.

Malaysia floods

February saw the largest snowfall from a single storm ever recorded in the North-eastern United States. Major winter storms also affected central US states and even the Texas panhandle.


In March New Zealand saw its worst drought in more than 30 years. China had its second warmest recorded March temperature, while in usually sunny Spain they had their wettest March on record with three times the average for the previous three decades.

New Zealand drought 2013

Contrast was the name of the game in the US in April with California experiencing drought conditions while in the Central US there was widespread flooding.

May was the wettest ever seen in China for forty years. Indeed it was a month of extremes with more than 1 million people evacuated from their homes as Tropical Cyclone Mahasan struck Bangladesh, while in the US the widest ever observed tornado hit Oklahoma bringing more than 20 deaths and widespread devastation.


June was the hottest ever, Portugal, China, Hungary, Finland, and Britain, all recorded heat-waves, and the temperature in Death Valley, California hit 129.2F (54.0C), the hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth during June.

In July in the US 19 firefighters were killed trying to contain wildfires in Prescot Arizona.

Arizona firefighters

More contrasts later in the year with the 2013 Atlantic Ocean hurricane season being one of the weakest recorded in 50 years, with no major hurricanes in the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic basin. Only Ingrid and Humberto out of the 13 named storms reached hurricane strength.

In the western-north Pacific on the other hand, 30 major storms had been recorded by early November, 13 of them typhoon-strength. The biggest was typhoon Haiyan, possibly the most powerful tropical cyclone to make landfall in recorded history, which smashed into the southern Philippines, killing at least 6,000 people and wreaking massive damage.  

typhoon Haiyan 2013

The end of the year saw the focus change to Europe, where a major depression moved eastwards from northwest Scotland to southern Sweden bringing strong winds of up to 142 mph and a massive tidal surge that affected coastal areas around the North Sea. In the UK thousands of people had to evacuate their homes along the east coast, where the coastal surge was the worst since 1953 with local flooding and some houses being washed into the sea as cliffs gave way. At least six people died by the time the winds moved finally down over northeast Europe.

storms uk 2013




2013 has been noted as a great year for scandal and corruption. Here are some of the highlights (or low lights perhaps?).


In the food industry we had the Aflatoxin scandal, where throughout much of Europe contaminated milk and other food products were found to be ‘infested’ with this toxin.

Major supermarket retailers were the subject of another major scandal in the UK when they were found to be selling meat products labeled “100% beef” which were actually horse meat.

horse meat scandal


In sport several Major League Baseball players were accused of obtaining performance-enhancing drugs, specifically human growth hormone, from the now-defunct rejuvenation clinic Biogenesis of America.


However, undoubtedly the biggest scandal of 2013 was perpetrated by the US Government.

It was discovered during 2013, as the result of documents released by whistleblower Edward Snowden, that US Government agencies, in particular the NSA, had been guilty of a widespread snooping and spying campaign, even on its own citizens.

It was reminiscent of the old Soviet Union and the KGB, but it was happening in the “Land of the Free”. The snooping projects included “PRISM”, a clandestine mass electronic surveillance data mining program that collects stored Internet communications based on demands made to Internet companies such as Google; “Dropmire”, a secret surveillance program of surveillance of foreign embassies and diplomatic staff, including those of NATO allies; “Fairview”, a secret mass surveillance program used to collect phone, internet and e-mail data in bulk from the computers and mobile telephones of foreign countries’ citizens; “Hemisphere”, a mass surveillance program conducted by US telephone company AT&T and paid for by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and the Drug Enforcement Administration; “MUSCULAR”, a surveillance program jointly operated by Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) and the NSA that was used to secretly break into the main communications links that connect Yahoo and Google data centers around the world; and “XKeyscore”, a formerly secret computer system used by the United States National Security Agency for searching and analyzing Internet data about foreign nationals across the world.



In 2013, the United States Department of Justice, under Attorney General Eric Holder, also came under scrutiny from the media and some members of Congress for subpoenaing phone records from the Associated Press and naming Fox News reporter, James Rosen, a “criminal co-conspirator” under the Espionage Act of 1917 in order to gain access to his personal emails and phone records.


And the IRS was also condemned when it was revealed that it had targeted political groups applying for tax-exempt status for closer scrutiny based on their names or political themes.


All in all a bad year for the reputation and standing of the US Government.



In other countries perhaps the worst scandal of 2013 was “Danielgate”, a political scandal in which Mohammed VI, the King of Morocco, issued a pardon for a Spanish convicted serial child-rapist named Daniel Galván who was serving a 30 years prison sentence for the rape of at least 11 Moroccan children in Kenitra—a city where he had been living in since 2004.

The Pardon sparked unprecedented popular outrage in Morocco where several protests were held denouncing the monarch’s decision.

It was revealed later that this wasn’t the first time Mohammed VI had pardoned a convicted foreign paedophile, having pardoned Hervé Le Gloannec, a French citizen convicted of child rape and child pornography in 2006.


In India a Ponzi scheme operated by the Saradha Group financial Group, a consortium of Indian companies that was believed to be running a wide variety of collective investment schemes, collapsed causing an estimated loss of INR 200–300 billion (US$4–6 billion) to over 1.7 million depositors.


In politics there was the usual sex and drugs scandals during 2013. In May videos were exposed that showed Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine and commenting on political issues. Rob Ford consistently denied the existence of the video, and denied that he uses crack cocaine, remaining Mayor despite calls for him to step down. On November 5, 2013, Ford eventually admitted to smoking crack cocaine “probably in one of my drunken stupors”, and to hiding his drug abuse from his family, his staff and the people of Toronto, but pledged to continue on as Mayor.

Toronto Mayor Bob Ford


Back in the US former member of the United States House of Representatives from New York City,  Anthony Weiner, was involved in another sexual scandal relating to sexting, or sending explicit sexual material by cell phone. First caught in the Weinergate scandal in 2011 that led to his resignation as a congressman, this idiot has learned nothing. During his attempt to return to politics as candidate for mayor of New York City,  Weiner admitted having sexted again, after more explicit pictures were published in July 2013.

Weiner Scandal Headlines




As every year, 2013 saw many departures. Here are some of the better known faces that passed on during the year.


Astronauts, C. Gordon Fullerton and Scott Carpenter.

astronauts fullerton-carpenter


From politics, Ed Koch, U.S. Representative from New York (1969–1977) and Mayor of New York City (1978–1989), later a television judge in “The People’s Court”.


Margaret Thatcher aka “The Iron Lady”, daughter of a greengrocer who became the first woman Prime Minister of the UK. 

 Margaret Thatcher

Hugo Chávez, Venezuelan politician and military officer and President since 1999.



Television and the movies also lost many well known characters including,

Conrad Bain, Canadian born and usually cast as the erudite gent, advice-spouting father or uptight, pompous neighbor, included roles in “Diff’rent Strokes”.


Michael Winner a director best known for dramatic and violent movies like “Death Wish” starring Charles Bronson.

Michael Winner 

Richard Briers, television comedy actor well known on British sitcoms such as “The Good Life” and “Ever Decreasing Circles”.

Richard Briers 

Dale Robertson who, after service during WWII in North Africa and Europe, became an actor and made his name in television Westerns in the 1950s and ’60s.


Richard Griffiths, a British character actor who came from radio and the classical stage.

Richard Griffiths 

Steve Forrest began his screen career as a small part contract player with MGM and made his name as an action man in the 1960’s and 70’s. He is a brother of star Dana Andrews.

Steve Forrest 

New Jersey-born James Gandolfini began acting in the New York theater, making his Broadway debut was in the 1992 revival of “A Streetcar Named Desire” with Jessica Lange and Alec Baldwin. James’ breakthrough role was his portrayal of Virgil the hitman in Tony Scott’s “True Romance”, but the role that made him a household name was as Tony Soprano in the award winning television series “The Sopranos”.


Gary David Goldberg was born in Brooklyn, New York but moved to Hollywood to try to make it as a writer. He was responsible for the hit series “Spin City”.


Although Dennis Farina did not start acting until he was 37 years old, he achieved success as a character actor, often being cast as a cop or gangster.

Dennis Farina 

Eileen Brennan was a supremely gifted, versatile player who could reach dramatic depths, as exemplified in her weary-eyed, good-hearted waitress in “The Last Picture Show”, or comedy heights, as in her sadistic drill captain in “Private Benjamin”. Perhaps one of her best remembered performances was in the hit movie “The Sting” with Paul Newman and Roberts Redford and Shaw.

Eileen Brennan 

Lisa Robin Kelly first made her acting debut, at age 21, in a 1992 episode of “Married with Children”, and went on to guest-star in many popular television shows, such as “Murphy Brown”, “The X Files”, “Sisters and Silk Stalkings”. She got her biggest break in “Days Of Our Lives”.

Lisa Robin Kelly 

David Frost achieved success on both sides of the Atlantic, first in the UK and then in America. He is most remembered for his political interviews, particularly those with former US President Richard Nixon.


In a film career that has extended for over four decades, Ed Lauter has starred in a plethora of film and television productions since making his big screen debut in the western “Dirty Little Billy”.


Hal Needham was the highest paid stuntman in the world. In the course of his career suffered many injuries breaking 56 bones, including his back twice, punctured a lung and knocked out a few teeth. His career has included work on 4500 television episodes and 310 feature films as a stuntman, stunt coordinator, 2nd unit director and ultimately, director. He wrote and directed some of the most financially successful action comedy films.

Hal Needham 

Robin Sachs, 61, was an English actor who made it into American television series such as “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, “Galaxy Quest” and “Babylon 5”.

Robin Sachs 

Frank Thornton, was a British actor best remembered fot his role as “Captain Peacock” in the long running sitcom “Are You Being Served?”. He also appeared in “Last of the Summer Wine” and “Gosford Park”.


Bryan Forbes, was another Briton and an accomplished actor (“The League of Gentlemen”), director (“The Stepford Wives”) and screenwriter (“Chaplin”)


Lewis Collins, was most famous and best loved for his role as action man “Bodie” in the television series “The Professionals”. He also starred in the terrorist hostage movie “Who Dares Wins” loosely based on the dramatic Iranian Embassy siege in London in 1980.


Paul William Walker who was killed in a car accident was an American actor and the founder of Reach Out Worldwide. He became famous in 1999 after his role in the hit film “Varsity Blues”, but later garnered fame as “Brian O’Conner” in “The Fast and the Furious” film series. His other well known works are “Eight Below”, “Running Scared”, “The Lazarus Project”, “Into the Blue”, “Joy Ride”, “She’s All That”, “Takers”, and “Hours”.


Peter O’Toole, was a British-Irish actor with a reputation as a bit of a hell-raiser. Among his movie credits he starred in “Lawrence of Arabia”, “The Lion in Winter”, “Becket”, and “Troy”.

Peter O'Toole



The music scene too has lost a few well known names during 2013. They include,


Patti Page (born Clara Ann Fowler) toured the US in the late 1940s with Jimmy Joy, and notably sang with the Benny Goodman band in Chicago.


Patty Andrews and her sisters, Maxene and Laverne, were “The Andrews Sisters”, an American close harmony singing group of the swing and boogie-woogie eras. They accumulated 19 gold records and sales of nearly 100 million copies.


Lou Reed formed the group “The Velvet Underground” with Welsh multi-instrumentalist John Cale, second guitarist Sterling Morrison, and drummer Maureen Tucker in New York in 1965. The group soon became a part of Andy Warhol’s Factory scene, which housed a great number of experimental artists at the time.


Never as famous as his namesake Elvis, Reg Presley was a British singer and songwriter. His group was called “The Troggs” and among many other hits, he composed “Love Is All Around” which was first a hit for the Troggs but made real fame by the group “Wet Wet Wet” when it featured in the movie “Four Weddings And A Funeral” and spent 15 weeks at number one in the UK charts in 1994.




Sports best known departure during 2013 was former WBC world heavyweight champion boxer Ken Norton, remembered for his trilogy of fights with Muhammad Ali. He defeated Ali in their first bout by a fifteen round split-decision, a fight in which Norton famously broke Ali’s jaw. Norton also fought a classic battle with Larry Holmes over fifteen brutal rounds in 1978, a fight which ranks as one of the greatest heavyweight contests in boxing history. 




The world of Pubishing & Books saw several famous departures during 2013.


Tom Clancy whose fiction works, “The Hunt for Red October”, “Patriot Games”, “Clear and Present Danger”, and “The Sum of All Fears”, have been turned into commercially successful movies with actors Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, and Ben Affleck as Clancy’s most famous fictional character “Jack Ryan”.


Robert Kee, British writer, journalist and broadcaster best known for his historical works on World War II and Ireland.

Robert Kee 

Steven Utley, was an American writer of poems, humorous essays and other non-fiction, but best known for his science fiction stories.

Steven Utley 

Dave Hunt was a Christian Evangelist speaker, radio commentator and author, in full-time ministry from 1973 until his death. He wrote numerous books on theology, prophecy, cults, and other religions, including critiques of Catholicism, Islam, Mormonism, and Calvinism, among others.

dave hunt 

Richard Matheson, was an American author and screenwriter, primarily in the fantasy, horror, and science fiction genres. Known best as the author of “I Am Legend”, a 1954 horror novel that has been adapted for the screen four times, five more of his novels or short stories have also been adapted as major motion pictures, namely “The Shrinking Man”, “Hell House”, “What Dreams May Come”, “Bid Time Return” (filmed as “Somewhere in Time”), “A Stir of Echoes” and “Button, Button”. Matheson also wrote numerous television episodes of “The Twilight Zone” for Rod Serling, including “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” and “Steel”. He later adapted his 1971 short story “Duel” as a screenplay which was promptly directed by a young Steven Spielberg, for the television movie of the same name.

Richard Matheson

William Stevenson, was a British-born Canadian writer, whose 1976 book “A Man Called Intrepid” was a best-seller and made into a 1979 mini-series starring David Niven. Stevenson followed it up with a 1983 book titled “Intrepid’s Last Case”. He published his autobiography in 2012. Stevenson is also noted for having set a record with another 1976 book, “90 Minutes at Entebbe”, about Operation Entebbe where Israeli commandos secretly landed at night at Entebbe Airport in Uganda and succeeded in rescuing the passengers of an airliner hi-jacked by Palestinian militants, while incurring very few casualties. The remarkable record is that in the pre-internet age Stevenson’s “instant book” was written, edited, printed and available for sale within weeks of the event it described.

Wm Stevenson



Other notable people who died during 2013 include,


Mikhail Kalashnikov, a Russian arms designer responsible for the AK-47 rifle, millions of which have been produced.

Mikhail Kalashnikov 

Roy Brown Jr., an American car design engineer responsible for designs such as the Edsel, and the much more successful Ford Consul and Ford Cortina

Roy Brown Jr with the Edsel




Be Impressed When You Should Be, Not When You Think You Should Be

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”


Something that has always annoyed me is the deference most people pay to scientists and scientific research, for no other good reasons than they don’t understand what is being said or they imagine because something or other is being stated by a scientist it is beyond reproach.

How this stupid thinking has come about I really don’t know, because if science has proven anything, it has proven that nothing is set in stone. What we know today, we may find out is nonsense tomorrow, as more scientific research is done and new discoveries are made. Flat earthers take note.

But people being what they are – and scientists are people too – within the scientific community, as well as the really intelligent,  there are also idiots, deluded souls incapable of setting aside their own bias and belief in their own infallibility, and downright crooks who play on the public’s misplaced faith in them to promote themselves reap their rewards.

What this all boils down to is that when we hear a scientist pronouncing on some great new discovery we don’t know whether it is a breakthrough or just more bollocks.  

Nowhere is this better seen than within medical research.

Here greedy scientists and big business combine to feed us with information that not only does not stand up to proper scrutiny, but that has been deliberately selective in the results it publicizes to back up its claims.

Why is this important?

Because people die as a result, that’s why. And not in small numbers either.

For example, over 100,000 people in America died unnecessarily because of they took anti arrhythmic drugs that doctors prescribed because they relied on deeply flawed scientific studies.

Imagine what the government would have done if Bin Laden had killed more than 100,000 Americans?

But enough from me. I’ll hand you over to a doctor to tell more of the story. It’s interesting and you never know, after you listen to it you might view the next big scientific discovery with the skepticism it probably deserves.




Day Two 2013, Are You Scared Yet?

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”


If you aren’t scared yet the chances are you are not afflicted with anything on the following list of phobias or irrational fears that seem to grip some unfortunate people. For them 2013 will be as frightening as 2012. Imagine, for example, spending the whole year with proctophobia – what a bummer!

In today’s list are the ‘O’s and the ‘P’s. 


Obesophobia……….fear of gaining weight. (Pocrescophobia)


Ochlophobia……….fear of crowds or mobs.


Ochophobia……….fear of vehicles.


Octophobia ……….fear of the figure 8.


Odontophobia……….fear of teeth or dental surgery.


Odynophobia or Odynephobia……….fear of pain. (Algophobia)


Oenophobia……….fear of wines.


Oikophobia……….fear of home surroundings, house. (Domatophobia, Eicophobia)


Olfactophobia……….fear of smells.


Ombrophobia……….fear of rain or of being rained on.


Ommetaphobia or Ommatophobia……….fear of eyes.


Omphalophobia……….fear of belly buttons.


Oneirophobia……….fear of dreams.


Oneirogmophobia……….fear of wet dreams.


Onomatophobia……….fear of hearing a certain word or of names.


Ophidiophobia……….fear of snakes. (Snakephobia)


Ophthalmophobia……….fear of being stared at.


Opiophobia……….fear medical doctors experience of prescribing needed pain medications for patients.


Optophobia……….fear of opening one’s eyes.


Ornithophobia……….fear of birds.


Orthophobia……….fear of property.


Osmophobia or Osphresiophobia……….fear of smells or odors.


Ostraconophobia……….fear of shellfish.


Ouranophobia or Uranophobia……….fear of heaven.


Pagophobia……….fear of ice or frost.


Panthophobia……….fear of suffering and disease.


Panophobia or Pantophobia……….fear of everything.


Papaphobia……….fear of the Pope.


Papyrophobia……….fear of paper.


Paralipophobia……….fear of neglecting duty or responsibility.


Paraphobia……….fear of sexual perversion.


Parasitophobia……….fear of parasites.


Paraskavedekatriaphobia……….fear of Friday the 13th.


Parthenophobia……….fear of virgins or young girls.


Pathophobia……….fear of disease.


Patroiophobia……….fear of heredity.


Parturiphobia……….fear of childbirth.


Peccatophobia……….fear of sinning or imaginary crimes.


Pediculophobia……….fear of lice.


Pediophobia……….fear of dolls.


Pedophobia……….fear of children.


Peladophobia……….fear of bald people.


Pellagrophobia……….fear of pellagra.


Peniaphobia……….fear of poverty.


Pentheraphobia……….fear of mother-in-law. (Novercaphobia)


Phagophobia……….fear of swallowing or of eating or of being eaten.


Phalacrophobia……….fear of becoming bald.


Phallophobia……….fear of a penis, especially erect.


Pharmacophobia……….fear of taking medicine.


Phasmophobia……….fear of ghosts.


Phengophobia……….fear of daylight or sunshine.


Philemaphobia or Philematophobia……….fear of kissing.


Philophobia……….fear of falling in love or being in love.


Philosophobia……….fear of philosophy.


Phobophobia……….fear of phobias.


Photoaugliaphobia……….fear of glaring lights.


Photophobia……….fear of light.


Phonophobia……….fear of noises or voices or one’s own voice; of telephones.


Phronemophobia……….fear of thinking.


Phthiriophobia……….fear of lice. (Pediculophobia)


Phthisiophobia……….fear of tuberculosis.


Placophobia……….fear of tombstones.


Plutophobia……….fear of wealth.


Pluviophobia……….fear of rain or of being rained on.


Pneumatiphobia……….fear of spirits.


Pnigophobia or Pnigerophobia……….fear of choking of being smothered.


Pocrescophobia……….fear of gaining weight. (Obesophobia)


Podophobia……….fear of feet.


Pogonophobia……….fear of beards.


Poliosophobia……….fear of contracting poliomyelitis.


Politicophobia……….fear or abnormal dislike of politicians.


Polyphobia……….fear of many things.


Poinephobia……….fear of punishment.


Ponophobia……….fear of overworking or of pain.


Porphyrophobia……….fear of the color purple.


Potamophobia……….fear of rivers or running water.


Potophobia……….fear of alcohol.


Pharmacophobia……….fear of drugs.


Proctophobia……….fear of rectums.


Prosophobia……….fear of progress.


P-P-P-P-P-Psellismophobia……….fear of stuttering.


Psychophobia……….fear of mind.


Psychrophobia……….fear of cold.


Pteridophobia……….morbid fear of fearns.


Pteromerhanophobia……….fear of flying.


Pteronophobia……….fear of being tickled by feathers.


Pupaphobia ……….fear of puppets.


Pyrexiophobia……….fear of fever.


Pyrophobia……….fear of fire.


How are you after all that? Are you developing symptoms or are you feeling good?






The Burglar Who Fell Asleep

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”



You know how I feel about thieves. I’ve made that quite clear already in a previous post. That’s not to say that I haven’t known one or two in my time. In fact one of my long time friends, way back from primary school days turned into a thief in later life.

His name was Terry. He was just a little guy, but reasonably bright. Not a star at school by any means but he did okay, passed all his exams and went on to a good quality high school.

That’s when it all started to go wrong for Terry. He was fond of a good time and did his share of parties and other social gatherings. That’s where he got introduced to and seduced by the drug scene. Like many people his addiction started out with smoking a little ‘pot’. A lot of people have done that, out of curiosity mainly just to see what it is like, and that’s as far as it goes. They do the same with cigarettes, try them, but again never get hooked on the habit.

But Terry wasn’t so lucky. His venture with ‘pot’ led him, as it has led many others, to experiment with stronger, and much more addictive drugs and eventually Terry developed a habit that needed a lot of money to support it.

That’s when the thieving started. All petty stuff. He was not prone to violence in any way, shape or form. It was all just opportunist crimes and most of the time he got away with it.

On one particular occasion, however, he was in a fairly bad way and desperately needed a ‘fix’. He could have gone his usual route and stolen something, or some money, but this time he thought he had a ‘better idea’, one that would short-circuit the normal ‘steal-sell-buy’ route that got him the money he needed to buy the drugs.

The ‘better idea’ was breaking into a pharmacy where he might find a little money, but he would definitely find some drugs. And that’s what he did. In the early hours one Sunday morning Terry broke into his local pharmacy. Sure enough he found what he was looking for and he loaded up his pockets with lots of different pills.

In normal circumstances, if he had just left it at that, he might have got away with it, for a while anyway. But, as I said earlier, he was in a fairly bad way and desperately needed a ‘fix’.

And that’s just what he did. He opened a box of pills that he had lifted and gulped a few down there and then.

You’ve probably guessed already that the pills he took were the wrong ones. In his haste to ‘get well’ Terry had mistakenly opened and swallowed a load of some kind of tranquilizer.

That’s why the police, who had been alerted by the silent alarm in the pharmacy, found Terry fast asleep on the floor behind the counter. He didn’t waken up for another fifteen hours! The medical report later said something like, “he had taken enough to down a thoroughbred stallion”, and as I mentioned Terry was a smallish bloke.

Of course, when he wakened up and was released from hospital he was duly charged with burglary. A while later he appeared in court and was sentenced to several months in jail. It should have bee a Godsend for him. Cut off from his supplies, and the money to buy them, he went ‘cold turkey’ and managed to get himself off the drugs. When he was released he was ‘clean’. It was the opportunity he needed to restart his life, the second chance that most of us never have.

For a while he did well, stayed ‘clean’ and even got himself a steady job. Now he had money in his pockets and, because every penny wasn’t being blown on drugs, he could rent a decent apartment, buy himself good clothes, eat well, get all the tv, radio, hi-fi, and other things that we all surround ourselves with.

But the story for my friend Terry hasn’t got a happy ending I’m afraid. There must be a destructive gene in some people that makes them impossible to save. Despite the quality of his life being so much better without his drug habit, something happened – I don’t know what – and he started using again. Soon he was back to his old ways. He lost all his new found possessions, all sold to raise money to pay the drug dealers.

Eventually, maybe eighteen months or a couple of years later Terry was found dead in his apartment, the victim of a drug overdose.

I hadn’t seen him for a long time before his death, but I had kept a passing interest and heard about some of his activities from other friends who lived in his town. I was sorry when I eventually found out his fate. It was such a waste.

Maybe a warning to others? I hope so.


– – – – – –


Can’t leave my blog like that of course. Have to end on a lighter note.

How about this bunch of morons?


There was the guy who went into a drug store in Baltimore, pulled a gun, announced a robbery, and pulled a “Hefty-bag” face mask over his head. He then realized that he’d forgotten to cut eyeholes in the mask. He was arrested by security men.

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Or the Belgian genius who when questioned by police about robbing a jewellery store in Liege said he couldn’t have done it because he was busy breaking into a school at the same time.
Police then arrested him for breaking into the school. Duhhh!

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Then there were the two men who tried to pull the front off a cash machine by running a chain from the machine to the bumper of their pickup truck. Instead of pulling the front panel off the machine, though, they pulled the bumper off their truck.

Scared, they left the scene and drove home… With the chain still attached to the machine… With their bumper still attached to the chain… With their vehicle’s license plate still attached to the bumper. You couldn’t make it up!

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On a Seattle street a man attempted to siphon petrol from a motor home parked there. But he got a lot more than he bargained for.

Police arrived at the scene to find an ill man curled up next to a motor home. Quickly following the scent of this crime, they discovered that in trying to steal gasoline from the Motor home’s gas tank, this idiot had actually plugged his hose into the motor home’s sewage tank by mistake.

The owner of the vehicle declined to press charges, saying that it was the best laugh he’d ever had.

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And finally, while Investigating a purse snatching, police detectives picked up a man who fit the thief’s description and drove him back to the scene. He was told to exit the car and face the victim for an ID. The suspect carefully eyed the victim, and shouted, ‘Yeah, that’s the woman I robbed.’



Have you had similar experiences? Send them along. Let the world know what is happening before it is too late.