How did I miss this story?

Jimi Heselden, recent owner of Segway, has died after driving his Segway off a cliff — supposedly while reversing to get out of the way of a hiker.

Not good news for sales, I would imagine.


I seem to be stumbling across quite a few odd links recently — most due to the Cheezburger network. Recent discoveries include:

  • Ignobel prize winner Chonosuke Okamura, who made the startling discovery that every species of life on the planet was already around 425 million years ago — albeit in microscopic form. Or he may just have had an incredibly overactive imagination. Your call.
  • Götz von Berlichingen, an absolutely bonkers German knight who got his arm blown off by a cannon, invented one of the earliest examples of a functional prosthetic hand, was twice made an outlaw, and has been attributed as inventor of the phrase "kiss my ass". In spite of his incredibly violent life, he lived to a ripe old age of around 80.
  • The "Door to Hell" in Derweze, Turkmenistan — an underground cavern filled with natural gas which, after being accidentally punctured in 1971, was set on fire in order to prevent poisonous gas discharge — and has continued burning to this day.
spudtater: (Default)
( Apr. 15th, 2010 12:58 pm)

Ash! From Eyjafjallajoekull! Which is in no way just a random mashing of letters on a computer keyboard.


Today's topic is self-surgery, (thanks to ThereIFixedIt.com), which is not a topic for the squeamish. I was amazed at the case of Leonid Rogozov, a doctor on a Soviet Antarctic base, who managed to perform a successful autoappendectomy.

The operation started at about 22:00 on 30 April with the help of a driver and meteorologist, who were providing instruments and holding a mirror to observe areas not directly visible, while Rogozov was in a semi-reclining position, half-turned to his left side. A solution of 0.5% novocaine was used for local anaesthesia of the abdominal wall. Rogozov made a 10-12 cm incision and proceeded to expose the appendix. General weakness and nausea developed about 30–40 minutes after the start of the operation, so that short pauses for rest were repeatedly needed after that. According to his report the appendix was found to have a 2x2 cm perforation at its base. Antibiotics were administered directly into the peritoneal cavity. By about midnight the operation was complete.

The same feat has been performed by Dr Evan Kane, to prove the efficacy of local anaesthetics. And more to the point, because he was a bit of a nutter.

But even more amazing is the case of Ines Ramírez, who despite no medical training whatsoever, managed to perform a Caesarean section on herself, resulting in the survival of both herself and her baby.

Ramírez was alone in her cabin in Rio Talea, Southern Mexico when her labour started. The nearest midwife was more than 50 miles away over rough terrain and rough roads. Her husband, who had assisted her through her previous labours, was drinking at a cantina. Rio Talea has 500 people and only one phone, but it was not nearby. Ramírez had given birth to eight children, seven living, at the time of the pregnancy in question. The last pregnancy, three years prior, had ended in fetal death during labor. Rather than experience the loss of another child in the same way, Ramírez decided to operate on herself.

At midnight, on 5 March 2000 — after 12 hours of continual pain and little advancement in labour, Ramírez sat down on a bench, drank from either a bottle of rubbing alcohol or "3 small glasses of hard liquor" (accounts vary), and assumed the traditional Zapotec birthing position, sitting up and leaning forward. She then used a large kitchen knife to cut open her abdomen in a total of three attempts. [...] After operating on herself for an hour, she reached inside her uterus and pulled out her baby boy, who breathed and cried immediately. She then severed the umbilical cord with a pair of scissors and became unconscious. When she regained consciousness, she wrapped clothes around her bleeding abdomen and asked her 6-year-old son, Benito, to run for help.

Despite bearing many of the hallmarks of an urban legend, it does in fact appear to be true — it's been written up in the International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Utterly astounding.

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spudtater: (Default)
( Aug. 29th, 2009 06:41 pm)
Due to the radio at work deciding that it wanted to play ABBA at me, I have finally signed up to last.fm. It's pretty neat, although how it operates from a legal standpoint still confuses me. I think I need somebody to explain it to me. With diagrams.

Also, I am slightly worried by its choice of songs. On Friday, the day when the Jaycee Lee Dugard story made worldwide headlines, it decided to play Solitary Confinement by The Members, followed by Dirt Room by Blue October.

So I decided to cancel random play and just listen to some Franz Ferdinand. I was listening to This Fire, when the fire alarm went off.

Odd.
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spudtater: (Default)
( Aug. 4th, 2007 10:31 am)

I was about to delete this comment and mark it as spam, until I realised that

  1. It doesn't appear to actually be linking to or otherwise selling anything.
  2. Coloneporkon!   8^)

(Here's another one)

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From the Cisco network security material:

The group-object command is used to construct hierarchical, or nested, object groups. The group-object command, which is not to be confused with the object-group command, places one object group into another.

The difference in object groups and group objects is as follows:

  • An object group is group consisting of objects.
  • A group object is an object in a nested group and is itself a group.

If they hadn't written those paragraphs, I would actually be less confused.   8^P

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spudtater: (Default)
( Oct. 19th, 2006 06:41 pm)
[livejournal.com profile] galaxy_girl00's mate's brother's in a band. It's called Toyshelf, and it hails from that famous wellspring of rock 'n roll, North Yorkshire. I've just been listening to a couple of their mp3s, which they're very kindly offering over teh intarweb:

http://www.garageband.com/artist/toyshelf/songs
http://www.myspace.com/toyshelf

I like.

Also... )
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spudtater: (Default)
( Jun. 29th, 2006 11:24 am)
  Say hello
                  to the new Genpets™
Mass Produced, Bioengineered Pets
                              Implemented Today
- Allergen Free
- Child Safe
- Low Maintenance
- Life Perfected

http://www.genpets.com/




(Explanation here: http://www.brandejs.ca/)

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spudtater: (Default)
( Feb. 26th, 2006 10:12 pm)
I was getting off the bus tonight (at quarter past ten at night) when a short, greasy-haired man in a baggy jacket came up to me and jumped straight into a conversation. Well, a tirade. A rather mad one.

This is, to the best of my recall abilities, how it went: )
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spudtater: (Default)
( Dec. 16th, 2005 01:05 am)

I've talked about the different versions of Santa, but there's one very interesting aspect I haven't covered yet: the companions of Santa. These are beings who accompany Santa (or similar gift-bringer) on his journey to deliver his presents. In Britain and America we think of him as travelling alone, or with a nameless elf or two. But other cultures have much more fleshed out characters.

The companions of Santa )

What have we learnt from all this study of Santa? Well, that Santa is merely the most modern incarnation of a figure who appears to be older than written records can trace; a figure who has left widespread and highly variant figures all over Europe and beyond. He predates his namesake St. Nicholas for sure, he predates Christianity, and he predates Coca Cola by a long way. So if anybody tells you that Santa was invented by the Coca Cola company in the 20th century, you can now quite thoroughly correct them!

spudtater: (Default)
( Dec. 9th, 2005 02:42 pm)

I've talked about the various characters who went into the modern Santa Claus, but as [livejournal.com profile] sigmonster pointed out, my list of winter gift-givers is far from complete. Here are a few of the more esoteric ones, ranging from the slightly odd to the downright bizarre:

Here we go here we go )
"In a paper entitled 'The Impossibility of a Bouncing Universe,' Marc Sher and Alan Guth argued that the universe is not mechanically efficient enough to bounce."

(From here.)
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