Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Plainfield Teacher's College

Plainfield Teacher's College is noteworthy for their college's football success in 1941. Mostly because both the school and the team never existed. Stockbroker Morris Newburger and Radio announcer Alexander "Bink" Dannenbaum got together and decided to create a team for their own personal amusement.

They began using the name Jerry Croyden to call in fake scores to newspapers in New York and Philadelphia. They began filling their press releases with information on their star running back "Johnny "The Celestial Comet" Chung" and coach "Hop-Along Hobelitz".

After six weeks the team was on such a streak of huge upset wins against far better (but equally fake) teams that it seemed the Plainfield Teacher's College may secure a place in a local bowl game.

With all of the excitement surrounding the team Red Smith (who had been reporting on the fake scores) decided to travel out to Plainfield, New Jersey to visit the school and interview students about their team. He of course came home empty handed.

The jig was up, they finally had to admit to their hoax. "Jerry Croyden" submitted his last press release stating that the team had flunked their exams and were no longer eligible to compete.

Friday, June 17, 2011


Professor Hidesaburō Ueno took Hacikō as his pet in 1924, and they were inseparable. His dog would see him off to work every day, and be waiting at Shibuya Station everyday when he got home to run errands and return home with him.

But then in May of 1925 Professor Hidesaburō Ueno suffered a stroke while teaching and died. Despite being given to another caring family Hachikō would escape to return to the station to wait for his master to return.

Hachikō became a permanent fixture at the train station and the regular commuters brought him snacks and food to keep him nourished. He arrived everyday at precisely the time the train did for ten years until he died on March 8, 1935.

His stuffed and mounted remains are kept at the National Science Museum of Japan in Ueno, Tokyo. Several statues have been built in his honor, and 2 feature films.

He was also the inspiration for the Futurama episode "Jurassic bark" which is quite possibly the saddest thing ever animated. If case you haven't seen it, heres a clip:

You can read more on Hachikō here or on Wikipedia

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Overtoun bridge

West Dunbartonshire, Scotland is home to the Overtoun House at the top of a hill over looking River Clyde. Build in the 1860's it was gifted to the people of Dumbarton. The house is neat, but the bridge is surrounded by way more controversy, so we'll talk about that.

Begining in the 1950-1960 era Overtoun bridge became known as the place that dogs go to kill themselves by diving over the side. Since that time there have been at least 50 documented cases of dog deaths, all of which jump at the same place.

Some dogs live the fall, recover, climb back up and do it all over again. The locals simply refer to determined animals as "Second Timers".


According to local legend the whole area became cursed after a man threw his newborn child over the edge of it while being possessed by demons. That's a bit far fetched even for me though.

Others believe this location to be a "Thin place" where to different layers of existence are over lapping. The dogs being more in-tune with spiritual matters are becoming spooked by the sight and trying to get away by any means.

The 3rd theory is that they smell mink and are trying to catch it. Being that they have a lower eye level they are unaware of the drop on the other side of the tall bridge wall.

I of course think the 3rd makes the most sense. However, if that was they case, why are they climbing back up and doing it again?

You can read more here or check out wikipedia .

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Origin of cheating ....

Ever wonder to yourself "Self, where did that Konami code come from"? Well now you won't have to.

Back in 1985 Kazuhisa Hashimoto was working on the NES port of Gradius, a side-scroller which anyone who has played will tell is an insanely tough game. While testing his game he would constantly die and not be able to get the later sections of levels. He basically thought to himself "Fuck, this is hard. I wish I had a cheat", then he realized that there was no reason he couldn't.

He came up with a simple pattern that would be easy for him to remember and added it to the game, giving himself all the power-ups that he would need to get threw to the end of levels.

When he submitted the final copy of the game, he had forgotten to remove cheat code from the game. And thus the iconic code that has been used in dozens of other games was born.

You can read more here.

Monday, June 13, 2011

World's most periced woman

Elaine Davidson, former nurse, is the Guinness book of world records holder for "Most pierced woman".

She received the award originally back in 2000 for having 462 piercings, 192 of which were in her face. But she didn't stop or slow down there. Despite the fact that no one was trying to de-crown her she continued adding more and as of last count in 2010 she has nearly 7,000.

Interestingly enough, she has more piercings in her genitals than anywhere else on her body. 500 in all, external and internal. That was enough to pique my interests, I didn't find anymore info about what that means, but I didn't look too hard either.

You can read more here.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Man gets (nearly) free air miles for life

While not new news or anything of the sort, this is still a fun little bit of trivia and seemed like a good way to kick this blog off.

Back in 1999 Healthy Choice ran a promotion to earn airline miles for purchasing their products. David Phillips ran the numbers and quickly realized how great of a deal it really was after noticing that every cup of pudding had it's own UPC.

After hitting up all of his local stores and making some special orders he had amassed a total of 12,150 cups of pudding costing him about $3,000. After turning in all of his labels he was able to redeem over 1.2 million airline miles. That's enough to fly from the U.S.A. to Europe about 31 times.

But what do you do with over 12,000 cups of pudding over taking your house? Donate them to charity for a tax-write off of course. A write-off worth over $800, nearly 1/3 of his original investment.

You can read more about David here.