| The Headless Rooster
The amazing, true story dates back to September
1945 when Mike, a young rooster, was about
to become the dinner of Colorado, farmer
Lloyd Olsen. Mr. Olsen swung an axe, lopping
off poor Mike's head. Mike shook off
the event, and then continued trying to peck
for food. When Olsen found Mike the next
morning, sleeping with his ‘head’
under his wing, he decided that if Mike had
that much will to live, he would figure out
a way to feed and water him. With an eyedropper
Mike was given grain and water. Scientists
determined that the axe blade had missed
the jugular vein and a clot had prevented
Mike from bleeding to death. Although most
of his head was in a jar, most of his brain
stem and one ear were left on his body. Since
most of a chicken's reflex actions are
controlled by the brain stem Mike was able
to remain quite healthy. Mike continued to
live for another 18 months until one night
he began to choke. Unable to find the eyedropper
used to clear Mike's open oesophagus,
Miracle Mike, unfortunately, died.
Cyclist killed as a result of a ‘Tamagotchi’
A French driver killed a cyclist and injured
another after she took her eye off the road
trying to save her Tamagotchi virtual pet.
The 27-year-old woman became distracted when
the electronic pet, which was attached to
her car key ring, started to send out distress
signals. She asked a companion in her car
to attend to the Tamagotchi but in the confusion
she failed to notice a group of cyclists
on the road ahead and slammed into the back
of them. One died instantly and another was
taken to the hospital.
Reuters, Marseille, August 1998
Dangerous Death in America
Here's a handy ranking of the various
dangers confronting America, based on the
number of mortalities in each category throughout
the 11-year period spanning 1995 through
2005 (extrapolated from best available data).
Driving off the road: 254,419
Accidental poisoning: 140,327
Dying from work: 59,730
Walking down the street: 52,000.
Accidentally drowning: 38,302
Killed by the flu: 19,415
Dying from a hernia: 16,742
Accidental firing of a gun: 8,536
Being shot by law enforcement: 3,949
Carbon monoxide in products: 1,554
Reported by Wired November, 2006
So funny it hurts
The fatal guffaw struck Alex Mitchell, a
50-year-old English bricklayer on March 24,
1975, while he and his wife watched his favorite
TV sitcom, The Goodies. Mitchell found a sketch called "Kung
Fu Kapers" so hilarious that he laughed
for 25 minutes straight, until his heart
gave out and he died. Mitchell's wife
sent the show a letter thanking the producers
and performers for making her husband's
last moments so enjoyable.
Publications International, Ltd.
Died Stuffing Snow into a Chicken
Francis Bacon, one of the most influential
minds of the late 16th century. A statesman,
a philosopher, a writer, and a scientist,
he was even rumored to have written some
of Shakespeare's plays. One afternoon
in 1625, he was watching a snowstorm and
was struck by the wondrous notion that maybe
snow could be used to preserve meat in the
same way that salt was used. Determined to
find out, he purchased a chicken from a nearby
village, killed it, and then, standing outside
in the snow, attempted to stuff the chicken
full of snow to freeze it. The chicken never
froze, but Bacon did.
Died of a Nosebleed on Wedding Night
Attila the Hun was one of the most notorious
villains in history. His army had conquered
all of Asia by 450 AD from Mongolia to the
edge of the Russian Empire.
In 453 AD, Attila married a young girl named
Ildico. Despite his reputation for ferocity
on the battlefield, he tended to eat and
drink lightly during large banquets. On his
wedding night, however, he gorged himself
on food and drink. Sometime during the night
he suffered a nosebleed, but was too drunk
to notice. He drowned in his own blood and
was found dead the next morning.
Stingray Barb to the Heart
September,2006: Stever Irwin, 44, a television personality and naturalist
known as The Crocodine Hunter, died when
his heart was impaled by a short-tail stingray
barb while filming a documentary entitled
"Ocean's Deadliest" in Queenland's
Great Barrier Reef. The stingray was not
the creature being filmed. Because of bad
weather, Irwin was actually taking a break
from filming his documentary at the time
of the stingray attack, instead taping some
snorkeling segments for a children's
show. The Ocean's Deadliest aired in January 2007.
Poisoned with Polonium-210
2006: Alexander Litvinenko, a former FSB
operative and Russian expatriate who had
been investigating the murder of Russian
journalist Anna Politkovskaya, was intentionally
poisoned with polonium-210, an extremely
rare radioactive metalloid.
Man eats Man
2001: Bernd-Jürgen Brandes was stabbed
repeatedly in the neck and then eaten by
Armin Meiwes. Before the killing, both men
dined on Brandes' severed penis. Brandes
had answered an internet advertisement by
Meiwes looking for someone for this purpose.
Brandes explicitly stated in his will that
he wished to be killed and eaten.
Left to the Perils of the Sharks
1998: Tom and Eileen Lonergan were stranded
while scuba diving with a group of divers
off Australia's Great Barrier Reef. The
group's boat accidentally abandoned them
due to an incorrect head count taken by the
dive boat crew. The couple was left to fend
for themselves in shark-infested waters.
Their bodies were never recovered. The incident
is depicted in the film Open Water and an
episode of 20/20.
Used anesthetics to commit suicide.
Horace Wells pioneered the use of anaesthesia
in the 1840s. While experimenting with various
gases during his anaesthesia research, Wells
became addicted to chloroform. In 1848 he
was arrested for spraying two women with
sulphuric acid. In a letter he wrote from
jail, he blamed chloroform for his problems,
claiming that he'd gotten high before
the attack. Four days later he was found
dead in his cell. He'd anaesthetized
himself with chloroform and slashed open
his thigh with a razor.
Didn't get to the bathroom in time.
Tycho Brahe, was an important Danish astronomer
of the 16th century. His ground breaking
research allowed Sir Isaac Newton to come
up with the theory of gravity. In the 16th
century, it was considered an insult to leave
a banquet table before the meal was over.
Brahe, known to drink excessively, had a
bladder condition-but failed to relieve himself
before the banquet started. He made matters
worse by drinking too much at dinner, and
was too polite to ask to be excused. His
bladder finally burst, killing him slowly
and painfully over the next 11 days.
Author of the best selling "Complete
Book of Running," died while jogging.
Jim Fixx’s book started the jogging
craze of the 1970s. One day he started jogging
and had only gone a short distance when he
had a massive coronary. His autopsy revealed
that one of his coronary arteries was 99%
clogged, another was 80% obstructed, and
a third was 70% blocked....and that Fixx
had had three other attacks in the weeks
prior to his death.
Founding father of the organic food movement,
dies while discussing the benefits of organic
Jan 1971 - Jerome Irving Rodale, creator
of "Organic Farming and Gardening"
magazine died on the "Dick Cavett Show",
while discussing the benefits of organic
foods. Rodale, who bragged "I'm
going to live to be 100 unless I'm run
down by a sugar-crazed taxi driver,"
was only 72 when he died of a heart attack
part way through the interview. The show
was never aired.
A terrible taste
War is hell, but ancient wars were particularly
brutal. After the Persians captured the Roman
emperor Valerian during battle around A.D.
260, Persia's King Shapur I is said to
have humiliated Valerian by using him as
a footstool. But it only got worse for the
Roman. After Valerian offered a king's
ransom for his release, Shapur responded
by forcing molten gold down his prisoner's
throat, stuffing him with straw, and then
putting him on display, where he stayed for
a few hundred years.
Publications International, Ltd.