Sunday, November 29, 2020
The following article is a reprint from Cracked a very entertaining website, at:
By the way, a rando can mean a person one does not know or can also be short for “random".
5 Randos That Proved To Be Unkillable When Faced With Certain Death
November 24, 2020
No one will fondly remember 2020. But we made it ... so far. Perspective is important, though, as things could certainly be a helluva lot worse. We mean being tortured, irradiated, or repeatedly drowning worse. Death comes for everyone, but these guys told it to try again later ...
Arthur John Priest - History's Most Accursed Mariner
Tending the furnace, the backbone of steam-powered ocean travel, kept English stoker Arthur John Priest in frequent demand. The job had obvious risks, but coal dust in his lungs would be the least of Priest's concerns.
This particular "fireman," born with a target on his back, was assigned to the Titanic. You know those hundreds of computer-generated floating extras in the background at the end of the James Cameron movie? One of those blurry human ice cubes (not to be confused with the human named Ice Cube) was Priest. By the time he made it out of the boiler room, they were fresh out of rafts and life vests as "Safety standards" was a nebulous concept in 1912.
Shrugging off hypothermia, Priest went right back to work. And, what do you know, it happened again ... and again again ... and then one more time for good measure, just in case Priest still had any lingering hopes this whole "of the sea" thing being the right career path.
His second doomed ship was the merchant vessel Alcantara, which had been commandeered into military service during WWI ... until being sunk by a German raider. Priest's next assignment brought him back to where things started: on the Titanic's sibling, the HMHS Britannic ... and off it when the hospital ship went down after hitting a mine. His final sinking, the SS Donegal, was like a bad combo sequel of the previous two -- a hospital ship slammed by a German torpedo. After that, along with some other close calls and collisions along the way, Priest finally quit his regular gig (probably to the relief of every other sailor wishing to avoid sharing a boat with him) and died an uneventful death on land in 1937.
Tom Tuohy - The Man Who Was Immune to Radiation
In 1957, Tom Tuohy was the general manager of Windscale, a notorious nuclear facility in England. And if you never heard his story, well, that's hardly shocking, as the UK government did their best to cover up what transpired.
When a fire broke out, engulfing sections of the reactor/nuclear weapons complex, Tuohy took on the unenviable task of extinguishing it. He ordered his crew to lower him near the core to monitor the reactor shell for signs of an imminent explosion. There was no precedent for handling such a problem, leaving the manager writing the game plan on the fly. He had two options: vent the gas, contaminating the countryside to avert a pressure build-up, OR douse the radioactive hunk with water and risk it exploding and taking out Northern England, transforming Windscale into a desolate exclusion zone for hipster urban explorers wearing Supreme caps. Thankfully, Tuohy guessed correctly.
England dodged a calamity while Tuohy was bombarded by a prolonged, concentrated blast of radioactive dust to his face so toxic that all of the cow's milk produced within a radius of 200 miles was disposed of as a biological hazard. Yet, somehow, the Englishman lived to the ripe age of 90, showing no visible long-term effects of his being irradiated. If a diet of gelatinized eel, pork pies, and 79 different things called "puddings" can't kill you, nuclear fission doesn't stand a chance.
Rahmat Saiful Bahri - Lived Through Two Freak Tsunamis
2004 marked one of the deadliest natural disasters in recent history, with the Indian Ocean Tsunami (the result of a 9.1 earthquake) ravaging Indonesia, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. Almost a quarter of a million people died, many of whom were never found.
One of the survivors was Rahmat Saiful Bahri. The same can't be said for his friends and neighbors, who succumbed to the rapidly spreading tsunami that ambushed them, leaving swathes of Indonesia devastated. The wave was so powerful and spread so far that mountains were wiped clean of vegetation, roads disappeared, temporary lakes appeared out of nowhere, and 30-ton ships wound up stranded miles inland.
In 2018, Bahri had rebuilt his life, reasonably assuming one traumatizing nightmare per lifetime was sufficient to meet his quota. Feeling tremors while visiting Palu, Bahri was subjected to a tidal wave, this time while he was in the shower. Settling for just a lather and rinse, saving repeat for another time, Bahri sprang to action. Knowing from first-hand experience that an earthquake often precipitates a wave, Bahri moved his family to the highest ground available -- now fully aware he was on Mother Nature's hit list. The 10-foot wave ripped apart the Indonesian city, forcing Bahri to witness his life flash(-flooding) before his eyes twice.
Armando Soccarras Ramirez - The Luckiest Hitchhiker in History
Cuba was no paradise after Fidel Castro seized power, leading to 17-year-old Armando Ramirez being so determined to get the hell out of Cuba he decided to take a flight.
One tiny problem: He could not secure travel outside of the nation. Armando and his pal, Jorge, concocted an all-or-nothing gamble that they knew the authorities of Havana's Jose Marti Airport could never have imagined. Hopping a fence, they jumped on a taxiing Iberia Airlines plane, tying themselves to the landing gear. As you guessed already, a DC-8 wheel well is a terrible place for a number of reasons besides the deafening noise and risk of having limbs crushed by hydraulics.
On its way across the Atlantic to Madrid, the airliner reached a height of 29,000 feet, with the temperature dropping to -41 degrees F. What he lacked in common sense, Ramirez made up for in fortitude, outlasting the cold, air pressure, and lack of oxygen. Ramirez walked away just with a minor case of frostbite, unlike his friend who got wheeled away with a major case of dead AF. The Cuban ex-pat eventually reached America after recovering for a couple of months, no doubt wondering if it would have been quicker and safer to just swim.
Werner Gustav Doehner - The Boy Who Escaped The Hindenburg
The child of a drug company exec, Werner Gustav Doehner, enjoyed the majestic sights of the ocean as he returned to Mexico City in 1937. Along the way, his family's blimp stopped off in a routine landing. However, this dirigible was no ordinary flight. It was the Hindenburg. Yup, that Hindenburg.
Settling the moorings at a New Jersey airfield, a fire from a static electricity build-up sparked the hydrogen fuel. Doehner recalled the balloon abruptly tilting backward and then the very air igniting with the hydrogen leaking into the fuselage. At a height of about 180 feet, the balloon was now on fire and plummeting headfirst to the Earth as occupants gasped to stay conscious.
8-year-old Doehner experienced a bout of extreme good fortune. He was small and light enough to be tossed out a window by his mother, his older sibling not so lucky. Hitting the ground with limited injuries despite the fall, the boy scampered away with a head start that many others weren't afforded. Avoiding the superheated gases, tons of metal, jagged glass, and debris raining down all around him, his tiny limbs hauled ass to escape the choking fumes. The Hindenburg was rendered a pile of warped metal and smoldering ashes in about the same time as a TV commercial:
Doehner passed away in 2020, the last survivor of the Hindenburg. Despite his claim to fame, he kept his mouth shut until 2018, staying far from the spotlight and foregoing book deals and TV movies, staving off panic attacks every time he laid eyes on his grandkids' Led Zeppelin concert tees.
Bytes By the Way:
Another person who should be in the office list, perhaps even the leader of it, is Tsutomu Yamaguchi, who died in 2019 and who was the subject of a past Bytes item, at:
The same comment applies to his two friends and a select group of others who experienced the same horror and survived.
Yamaguchi San had a claim to uniqueness that few others had and, depending on your point of view, he was either one of the luckiest, or unluckiest, individuals from WW2. Tsutomu Yamaguchi was nuked at both Hirsoshima and Nagasaki but lived to talk about it, or rather not talk about it since nuke survivors in Japan were shunned.
Yamaguchi was only 3 kilometres from Ground Zero in Hiroshima when the Enola Gay dropped the nuke, nicknamed “Little Boy”. Yamaguchi saw the plane and saw the bomb descend by parachutes, then a flash and he was knocked down. The blast temporarily blinded him, destroyed his left eardrum and badly burnt his upper body and half of his face.
He managed to make his way to an air raid shelter and then to his shipyard, where he found colleagues also alive. He and two such colleagues, Akira Iwanaga and Kuniyoshi Sato, elected to return together to their homes… in Nagasaki.
Two days after Hiroshima was destroyed, Yamaguchi reported for work in Nagasaki. Yamaguchi obviously had a strong work ethic and may not have heard of taking a sickie.
According to Yamaguchi, just after 11.00am, he was telling his employer what had happened in Hiroshima and what the blast had been like. His employer was incredulous and refused to believe that Hiroshima had been destroyed by just one bomb. Then there was a repetition of the enormous flash he had experienced earlier and "the whole office, everything in it, was blown over".
A second B-29, Bockscar, had dropped an even bigger atom bomb, dubbed "Fat Man". It killed 70,000 people.
Yamaguchi, who was again only 3 kilometres from the centre of the blast, was saved by being shielded by a reinforced stairwell. His bandages were blown off but he was able to make his way home where he found his wife and son safe. He was ill in a shelter at his home for weeks, unable to attend the hospital in that it no longer existed.
The full story is worth reading, click on the above link.
Saturday, November 28, 2020
Last week I posted pics and comments preceded by the following introduction:
Caution: risqué site title
There is a wonderful website which is called Interesting as Fuck because it is . . . well . . . as interesting as fuck. The site can be viewed by clicking on the following link:
Here are some of the interesting pics submitted to the site as recently featured on Bored Panda, together with BP headings and some BP reader comments, viewable at:
I posted 9 pics with comments but did not show the 10th because I felt that that 10th photograph, and story, was worthy of a post on its down, plus greater comment. That was not all I felt, but instead of describing my reactions and feelings, I will leave you to discover your own reactions . . .
U.S. Marshalls Escorting The Extremely Brave Ruby Bridges, 6 Years Old, To School In 1960. This Courageous Young Girl Is Known For Being The First African American Child To Attend An All-White Elementary School In The South
BP reader comments:
Aww, this is amazing and also so unfair that a 6-year old has to deal with such discrimination. I love how you can see her determination and how the officers are smiling at her cuteness.
I very much doubt the southern officers were smiling at her cuteness, unfortunately. They were probably making a bet with each other about whether she'd make it to the end of the day.
Here's what gets me. Ruby is 65 now. They put these pictures in black and white to make us think it was so long ago when it wasn't
Awwwww, how could anyone discriminate against such a sweet little girl???!!
Strongest girl in the world!
I've read other families were bullied for still sending their children to this school, after Ruby started attending. At least two white families ended up moving states even!
In one of her recent interviews she said that she was mostly in a classroom by herself with her own teacher since many of the white families refused to send their children to a school that would teach a black child.It was heartbreaking to learn that and it makes you realise just how deep of a virus racism is.
I believe her mother just recently passed a few days ago.
I's a shame that black people had to worry about getting into school back then! I hope she finished her schooling and went right on to get a degree! She looks like a well dressed and a very cute little girl then!
A very powerful image.
Wonderful that this particular aspect of discrimination has been overcome but how awful was it, first - that it happened at all and second - a SIX YEAR OLD innocent kid needs an armed escort. THAT is how much personal danger she was in. The people who threatened her should be thoroughly ashamed..
Ruby Bridges was interviewed recently because she just wrote a new book. She said that elementary school she attended is all black today. Segregated again.
A beautiful, 66 year old American woman? Yup. You should see her now!
Bytes By the Way:
Ruby Nell Bridges Hall (born September 8, 1954) is an American civil rights activist. She was the first African-American child to desegregate the all-white William Frantz Elementary School in Louisiana during the New Orleans school desegregation crisis on November 14, 1960. She is the subject of a 1964 painting, The Problem We All Live With by Norman Rockwell.. . .That first day, Bridges and her mother spent the entire day in the principal's office; the chaos of the school prevented their moving to the classroom until the second day. On the second day, however, a white student broke the boycott and entered the school when a 34-year-old Methodist minister, Lloyd Anderson Foreman, walked his five-year-old daughter Pam through the angry mob, saying, "I simply want the privilege of taking my child to school ..." A few days later, other white parents began bringing their children, and the protests began to subside. Yet, still, Bridges remained the only child in her class, as she would until the following year. Every morning, as Bridges walked to school, one woman would threaten to poison her, while another held up a black baby doll in a coffin; because of this, the U.S. Marshals dispatched by President Eisenhower, who were overseeing her safety, allowed Bridges to eat only the food that she brought from home.Child psychiatrist Robert Coles volunteered to provide counseling to Bridges during her first year at Frantz. He met with her weekly in the Bridges home, later writing a children's book, The Story of Ruby Bridges, to acquaint other children with Bridges' story. Coles donated the royalties from the sale of that book to the Ruby Bridges Foundation, to provide money for school supplies or other educational needs for impoverished New Orleans school children.The Bridges family suffered for their decision to send her to William Frantz Elementary: her father lost his job as a gas station attendant; the grocery store the family shopped at would no longer let them shop there; her grandparents, who were sharecroppers in Mississippi, were turned off their land; and Abon and Lucille Bridges separated. Bridges has noted that many others in the community, both black and white, showed support in a variety of ways. Some white families continued to send their children to Frantz despite the protests, a neighbor provided her father with a new job, and local people babysat, watched the house as protectors, and walked behind the federal marshals' car on the trips to school. It was not until Bridges was an adult that she learned that the immaculate clothing she wore to school in those first weeks at Frantz was sent to her family by a relative of Dr. Coles. Bridges says her family could never have afforded the dresses, socks, and shoes that are documented in photographs of her escort by U.S. Marshals to and from the school.. . .Bridges, now Ruby Bridges Hall, still lives in New Orleans with her husband, Malcolm Hall, and their four sons. After graduating from a desegregated high school, she worked as a travel agent for 15 years and later became a full-time parent. She is now chair of the Ruby Bridges Foundation, which she formed in 1999 to promote "the values of tolerance, respect, and appreciation of all differences". Describing the mission of the group, she says, "racism is a grown-up disease and we must stop using our children to spread it."
The Problem We All Live With , Norman Rockwell
Ruby Bridges visited the White House to see a painting of her historic first day by Norman Rockwell that was on display outside the Oval Office through the summer of 2011
Friday, November 27, 2020
On this Funny Friday, which is Black Friday in the US, the day after their Thanksgiving Day, let’s take a moment to also give thanks . . . to some of society’s unappreciated and unacknowledged heroes of our calamitous times. I speak of our accountants, Bruce R (an accountant) having taken me to task during the week for not including them in the quote about the valued members of our stressful times. So today Funny Friday pays some attention to accountants . . .
A caution: some risqué language ahead.
Why do economists exist? So accountants have someone to laugh at.
What does an accountant say when you ask him the time? It’s 9.18 am and 12 seconds; no wait – 13 seconds, no wait – 14 seconds, no wait……
What is the definition of “accountant”? Someone who solves a problem you didn’t know you had in a way you don’t understand.
What is the definition of a good tax accountant? Someone who has a loophole named after him.
A woman went to the doctor who told her she only had 6 months to live.
“Oh my God!” said the woman. “What shall I do?”
“Marry an accountant,” suggested the doctor.
“Why?” asked the woman. “Will that make me live longer?”
“No,” replied the doctor. “But it will SEEM longer.”
How do you drive an accountant completely insane? Tie him to a chair, stand in front of him and fold a road map the wrong way.
If an accountant’s wife cannot sleep, what does she say? “Darling, could you tell me about your work.”
Okay, enough I hope you now feel appreciated, Bruce.
The pastor asked if anyone in the congregation would like to express praise for answered prayers.
A lady stood, walked to the podium and said, "I have a praise. Two months ago, my husband Tom had a terrible bicycle wreck, and his scrotum was completely crushed. The pain was excruciating and the doctors didn't know if they could help him."
You could hear a muffled gasp from the men in the congregation as they imagined the pain that Tom must have experienced.
"Tom was unable to hold me or the children," she went on, "and every move caused him terrible pain. We prayed as the doctors performed a delicate operation, and it turned out they were able to piece together the crushed remnants of Tom's scrotum and wrap wire around it to hold it in place."
Again the men in the congregation were unnerved and squirmed uncomfortably as they imagined the horrible surgery performed on Tom.
"Now," she announced in a quavering voice, "thank the Lord Tom is out of the hospital, and the doctors say that with time his scrotum should recover completely."
All the men sighed with relief. The pastor rose and tentatively asked if anyone else had something to say.
A man stood up and walked slowly to the podium.
He said "I'm Tom." The entire congregation held its breath..
"I just want to tell my wife that the word is sternum."
FROM THE VAULT:
I have previously posted the classic wooden eye/big nose joke but I recently came across a cruder version that, in my opinion, is funnier because of its more cruel response. Here it is . . .
Billy was born with one of his eyes missing, so the doctor replaced it with a wooden eye, the only one that he was able to afford. All of his friends teased him and gave him hell growing up. He was always afraid of girls because they also made fun of him.
One night, Billy was at a bar, when a woman with a vertical mouth approached him. They talked for a while and had a few drinks, when Billy decided that this girl may have a vertical mouth, but she's cool and doesn't seem to mind his wooden eye. So he says to her, "Would you like to go out with me some time?"
She replies “Wouldn’ I?”
Billy replies, "Don’t call me wooden eye, cunt face !"
LIMERICK OF THE WEEK:
A musical student from Sparta
Was truly a magnificent farter.
With the strength of one bean
He'd fart 'God save the Queen'
And Beethoven’s 'Moonlight Sonata'.
In fairness to accountant Bruce R, here is an item about lawyers, dating from the days when people still used landlines with round dials . . .
Bono and Edge walk into the bar and the barman says,
"Oh No, not U2 again.
You know Murphy's Law. It's "If something can go wrong, it will", but do you know Cole's law? It's...
shredded cabbage, mayonnaise, maybe some carrot.
Thursday, November 26, 2020
Wednesday, November 25, 2020
November 22, 2020
Skeletal remains of what are believed to have been a rich man and his male slave attempting to escape death from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius nearly 2,000 years ago have been discovered in Pompeii, officials at the archaeological park in Italy said Saturday.
An email received from my accountant, Bruce:
Dear Otto,As your highly valued accountant (at least I hope so) I felt the need to comment on your today’s “”Thought for the Day”Maybe in my older, and wiser, life I have become a person who feels unappreciated. Paranoia – perhaps?I notice in your Thought, reference to wonderful people like teachers, doctors and nurses but, alas, no reference to the humble accountant who is there for his/her clients through thick and thin, during booms and pandemics, floods & droughts etc etc with often no reference to how they help and, yes, sometimes save members of society as a result of their knowledge, diligence and plain hard work.Sadly your Thought did not include us, but, I am happy to say we are not totally forgotten. The well-known radio personality Richard Glover recognised our contribution to society in a piece he wrote back in May 2020 and I believe it behoves everyone to read and digest his words of supreme wisdom. A link to his article is at:https://www.smh.com.au/culture/tv-and-radio/coronavirus-lessons-you-don-t-get-in-the-classroom-20200519-p54ud0.htmlJust thought this might bring a bit of a smile to you and your bloggers and next time when someone starts telling a joke that takes the micky out of our profession someone may just stick up for us and put the joke teller in their place. Remember, we are not solicitors, we do have feelings!BTW – really enjoy the variety of information and content in your blogsRegardsBruce
Those who wish to read the whole of Richard Glover’s article can do so by clicking on the above link. Below is the part of the article relating to accountants . . .
Coronavirus lessons you don't get in the classroomRichard GloverMay 22, 2020Everyone has learnt something during the lockdown — chunks of wisdom they’d like to take to the other side. Here are some of my findings, based on my experiences and those of the people I meet when walking the dog.Accountants are the new superheroes.Back in the '70s, nearly every comedy sketch was about accountants and how boring they were. Monty Python did it; The Two Ronnies did it. Accountants themselves were forced to tell jokes at their own expense, just to get in first."How can you tell if an accountant is extroverted? He looks at your shoes while he’s talking to you instead of his own.”“What’s the difference between an accountant and a lawyer? The accountant knows he’s boring.”“Have you heard the joke about the interesting accountant? No? Us neither.”Well, no longer. During the pandemic, it’s been the accountants to the rescue. They’ve understood the intricacies of JobSeeker, applied for loan deferrals from the bank and helped convince landlords to cut back the rent. Everywhere I go, people have a story featuring an accountant who has saved the day, including accountants who have pulled an all-nighter to save a client’s business. Can we all agree right now: no more “boring accountant” jokes, even once we get to the other side.
Thanks for your contribution, Bruce.
By the way, if I get you one of these tops for Christmas . . .
. . . am I able to claim it as a business expense?