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A funny thing happened on the way to 2006; That would be 2005...

Posted Jan 4 2006, 12:00 AM

A comical look back at the mid-way year of this unnamed decade. 
 
Everyone seems to say it: "Where did the year go?". The blur of a year in which we called 2005 seemed to zip by at a fast pace. For those of us, such as myself, who took the time to read the headlines, it was a full long year of weird news. Since everyone else on the planet is having a "Year In Review" story, we thought we should jump on the band wagon. For your reading pleasure I have collected a few of the more unusual or interesting stories to share that were posted on the wildest webforum on the net The Ambrosia Software's Webforum. Sign up and join in the fun.
 
January: 
The end of 2004 brought us the horrible devastation caused by the Tsunami in the Indian Ocean. As we were deluded with images of devastation and carnage, one little ray of hope and good feelings managed to shine on through it all. The story I speak of is the Baby Hippopotamus nicknamed Owen who had been found washed out to sea on the Kenyan coast. This lucky little guy found a friend in an unlikely of places. Rescuers placed the one year old male Hippo calf in a wildlife sanctuary in the costal city of Mombassa. It was there that Owen made friends with an Aldabra (Giant) Tortoise, named Mzee (Swahili for "old man"). The tortoise, estimated to be between 100 and 130 years old, initially was not fond of this newcomer, but within days the pair had forged a friendship, eating and sleeping together. 

 

 

February: 
You have heard the saying "Raining Cats and Dogs", well for some unlucky residents in the town of Newcastle in the New South Wales Hunter Valley, they have a updated the saying to "Raining Plucked Chickens". Thats right, two separate reports of houses being damaged as these chickens came falling from the sky at an apparent high rate of speed. Crashing through the roofs of the house! Residents were unsure how this was happening, but since the birds are smashing through the roofs and ceilings it showed that CMDs (Chickens of Mass Destructions) were traveling at a speed faster than someone throwing them would be able to do. Police searched neighboring areas for catapults and trebuchets but were unable to logically decern the cause. Disney Company did not comment on the idea that they were trying to add yet more advertising stunts for their up-incoming film "Chicken Little".  
 
 
March: 
Beware!!! The Underwater Gnome Garden has Returned! No, this is not another sad sequel to the Leprechaun movies starring Warwick Davis. This is far more sinister! The death toll for this Gnome threat has already hit "several" and the number might keep climbing. A secret underwater attraction has lured divers to The Lake District National Park in the UK. Wastwater, a three mile long/half mile wide body of water has something evil lurking at a depth of 48 meters. Laying at the bottom of the lake was a Gnome garden complete with picket fence. At some point in time divers, had placed the ornaments at this dangerous depth. Unexperienced divers attempting to dive to that depth to see the garden suffered due to the cold and pressure of a dive. Experienced NiOx divers were sent in to remove the threat. But, like all evil water creatures, the Snorks included, they have returned and this time at an even deeper depth. One that is beyond the legal dive limit of the police. Will others become victims of this evil Gnome attraction... only time will tell (editors note Warwick Davis failed to comment on if he had anything to do with it, but states "if there is a movie about it, I'll be there").

 

 

A retired school teacher with what he described as a "bad headache" is shocked to find that upon x-raying his head, the Polish instructor actually has a 5 inch knife blade wedged in his head. 
While climbing over a stool in his kitchen four days earlier the man had fallen. It doesn't say why he was climbing over a kitchen stool, anyway... the fall lodging the knife just below his right ear, snapping the handle clean off. No permanent damage is said to have happened, it missed all major blood vessels and nerves. Doctors removed it and were amazed at how lucky he had been. 
This is his exact quote: "I thought they might give me an aspirin, instead they pulled a five inch knife blade out of my head". Image of the man's x-ray.
 
 
April: 
Ambrosia releases "Screen Cleaner Pro" which gets great reviews and has many of it's users pleased with it's "results". Sadly the joke has no end in site, and even at the printing of this article, there are weekly emails from people believing it to be a real product. 
 
It would seem that mother nature really had it out for this Florida resident, when a small and "unusual" tornado ripped through his home. Police and residents were surprised when they saw a small tornado materialize outside a small family residence. The tornado knocked out several walls of the home and then as quickly as it came, it vanished. What also surprised Police was the rather substantial amount of Marijuana growing inside. The suspect was arrested and went peacefully since he feared that perhaps a tsunami might wash over his property and expose his illegal Shroom growing operation in his garage. 
 
You know you are not a fan of the musician when.....  
The BBC asked to interview Bob Marley for a documentary — despite the fact he died in 1981. The BBC wanted Marley's contribution for an hour-long show on his hit single "No Woman, No Cry." The email stated that the story "would only work with some participation from Bob Marley himself."  
BBC Three, one of the broadcaster's digital channels on which the show was expected to air, said the blunder was "not an April Fool," and added, "We're very embarrassed." They have scrapped this idea and are now waiting for a reply email from Beethoven on his latest symphony. 
 
 
May: 
You might remember the tale of the finger found in the fast-food chain Wendy's Chili? Well, as everyone on the planet had assumed, this was indeed a fake. Not in the fact that there was indeed a human digit in the chili, but the manner in which it had ended up in the bowl. Anna Ayala of Las Vegas had apparently placed one of her husband's associates severed fingers in her meal, then did her best job at acting "disturbed" when she "discovered" the finger after "biting" down on "it". Perhaps the disturbing thing really is that she had to carry the finger along with her from Vegas to the Wendy's located in San Jose, California. She was arrested and charged with attempted grand larceny to trying to shake down the fast-food giant. The BBC is still currently trying to get a statement from Wendy's Founder Dave Thomas. 
 
What is green, has warts and explodes by the thousands? If you answered toad, then apparently you must be from Northern Europe. From Hamburg, Germany to Denmark thousands of toad corpses were found in ponds. The scene is rather gruesome witnesses say, as the toads are spread across a surprisingly large area. Virus, bacteria and water quality as well as some other environmental hazard have all been ruled out. Also, the police have not found groups of young teens with handfuls of firecrackers scoping out ponds wearing anti-toad shirts.  
 
 
June: 
Allow us here at Ambrosia to offer a tip for any would-be gasoline thieves that should read this article: When stealing gas in the dark, it's best if you don't use a lighter to see how you're doing. 
Police say that is what Glen Germain Jr did as he was siphoning gas from a dump truck. It seems that Germain was transferring the fuel from the truck to a gas can when he had the sudden desire to see how full the container was. Seeing that he did not have a flash light on hand he did the only thing that seemed logical; pull out his lighter and give it a flick. I'm sure you can guess what happened next. The resultant spark ignited the gas vapor which then burst the gas can's contents, burning Germain's face and hands. The fire then spread to a nearby forklift which was destroyed in the blaze. Germain was charged with petit larceny and criminal mischief, sadly no charges can be brought up on his stupidity.  
 
If the creepy necklace of Angelina Jolie's which housed a vial her now-ex husbands blood didn't bother you, then perhaps this is something right up your alley. The Biojewellery Project in the UK is offering something far more personal that gold, platinum or diamonds. This is new jewelry created out of bone, and is grown by using bone fragments taken from the jawbone from the ones your love. Grown specifically for you and shaped into a ring, this gift is made specially for the the ones you love or want to creep-out. Using bioglass, a special bioactive ceramic which mimics the structure of bone material, researchers are growing rings made out of the couples' bone for gifts or possibly voodoo offerings. 
 
 
July: 
It seems that July is the month that people seemed to want to mess with animals. Perhaps it's the summer heat effecting their brains, because our members posted quite a few interesting stories about it. Here are the top stories our crack team of goofballs found and posted on the Ambrosia Forums. 
 
Bears: 
A Ukrainian who boasted to friends of his amazing strength was left fighting for his life when he picked a fight with an adult grizzly bear. It seems that this unnamed 22 year old man had been (surprisingly) drinking with friends in the town of Cherkask when this idea struck him. He decided to show them how strong he was by wrestling with the biggest animal he could find. 
 
They went to the local zoo where he climbed over the railings into the bear cage and started to hit one of them. The bear, who we are assuming was not drunk, pushed the man away. It was not until the man hit the bear again did it decided to fight back. It pinned him to the ground and began mauling him. Staff managed to drag the man out of the cage and calm the bears down, using techniques as seen on "The Jerry Springer Show". Doctors at a hospital in the town where he was being treated said his condition was serious, and he was diagnosed with a severe case of "The Stupids". 
A spokesman for the zoo said: "The whole thing lasted less than a minute and the other bears were just getting ready to join in and attack him as well. If we hadn't got him out of there he would have been killed." The crowds were quoted as chanting "Jerry! Jerry!" 
 
Bees: 
Lets not think that human stupidity when dealing with the power of nature is limited to the Eastern Block. In Lake County, Florida deputies were called by the perpetrators themselves. It seems that there isn't much to do in Lake County for teens, so as all teens do, they take it upon themselves to created entertainment. The "entertainment" they had decided upon: What would happen if I drive right into a couple beehive colonies with my truck? To the educated audience the result was pretty much what you would expect. An estimated 2 million bees were rendered homeless as the teens drove their truck into the orange grove and ran the multiple hives over. The entertainment had ended quickly as their truck had become stuck in the sand. Then the bees decided that a pickup truck full of teens would make a lovely new home, or at least someplace to take their aggressions out on. All four of the boys were stung, while two needed to be hospitalized. Surprisingly no one had died. The bees are still waiting for action from FEMA. 
 
In fact the "Stupid Trait" is not limited to humans. Turkish shepherds were shocked and stunned as they watched as one of their sheep leapt off a cliff to it's death below. This is not where the story ends. What really shocked them was the fact that nearly 1,500 others then decided to follow. 450 dead animals lay on top of one another, and many other were injured. As more sheep fell they piled up saving the lives of the later jumpers. So, it's the early bird that gets the worm, but it's the last sheep that survives the cliff jump. 
 
 
August: 
He didn't see this one coming! It seems that an amateur french psychic wasn't able to foresee the future as the crystal ball he had purchased started a fire ruining not only his apartment, but two others as well. He had left the crystal ball resting on his windowsill as he went to the Royal Botanic Garden, during that time, FireFighters say that the ball had focused the rays of the sun onto items in his apartment which burst into flames.  
 
While this one isn't a frozen chicken, the story still is interesting. In Fontana California, the FAA was called in to investigate a large "Ball of Ice", that had smashed through the roof on a resident. Unlike the "blue ice" variety that usually are ejected from airplane toilets, this was just plain old ball of ice, which happened to be the size of a cannon ball and sounded like an explosion as it smashed into his home. It's unusual for a single ball of rock to fall without signs of other smaller hail stones. Experts are calling this weather anomaly "Megacryometerors", which roughly translates into  
mega meaning "Big"  
cyro meaning "frozen"  
met meaning "poorly playing baseball team" 
erors meaning "a cartoon donkey with a poorly attached tail" 
So, police are going to question both W. Randolph, manager of the NY Mets, and Christopher Robin to see if they are indeed trying to kill people with frozen weapons. 
 
This bit of news just sort of fell into the "Wow, that's Cool" zone. A Japanese airlines was surprised when one of their aircraft was "affected" by a lightning flash. Meaning you get to see a low-res video of a airliner being struck by lightning

 
 
September: 
If you can't deal with bandits, just set the lions free to deal with them. That is what the city of Calcutta has apparently decided to do. The government has come up with a wild idea to control the menace of bandits who are becoming active again in the country's heartland. They have plans to unleash dozens of lions into the forested ravines to flush out the bandits from their hide-outs. The Chambal Valley Region has a maze of ravines and dense forest that make a perfect hide-out for these ruthless people. Why they don't think that the bandits will simply shoot the lions and then sell them on the black market escapes me. But, if this does work, I could see this becoming a new trend. Lions in Calcutta, you can have Bears controlling the problems of people in Alaska, or breed giant Rats to help control the thieves who make the underground of NYC so dangerous. 
 
 
October: 
We have all seen a cat bearing an extra toe or two, but in Dobson NC, there is a cat there that is most unusual. Aside from it's extra toes, it is reportedly the only cat in the world to have two tongues. The owner of the cat has contacted Ripley's Believe It Or Not, and they should be making a kitty appearance in the 2006 guide. Advertising deals for cat food have not been mentioned, but the fancy feast cat might be in trouble.

 

 

November: 
While walking down the street of your war torn country of Bosnia, and happen upon a hand grenade that had not been blown up. Would you: 
A ) Leave it alone  
B ) Report it to the police 
C ) Pick it up and play a nice game of catch 
If you answered C, then you would be among the three dead people that did the exact same thing in Bosnia. The hand grenade had been found and was being used for a game of Catch by local teenagers. The explosion killed them as well as people who happened to be walking by as they played this game of "Death Potato"  
 
Sadly 'Superman' was hospitalized after he attempted, but ultimately failed to fly. An Austrian man who claimed to be the Man of Steel and possessed his powers was rushed to a local hospital after leaping from a fourth floor window. Paramedics rushed the 23 year old to the hospital, who suffered head and back injuries. They had said that the man had apparently consumed several bottle of red wine before attempting the jump. Sadly it seems that green kryptonite and red wine both have the ability to render Kal-El a mere human just like the rest of us. 
 
 
December: 
While December is a time of year that everyone looks back and offers warm cheer and happy thoughts to those who have helped us. We rarely think back and say "if it wasn't for that person having to pee... I wouldn't be here now". That is what a 47 year old German man had to say after he had fallen asleep in a rubbish container after a heavy night of drinking. The container had been picked up and dumped into the hydraulic press garbage truck, and normally the driver would have simply pulled the lever and compacted the trash, he luckily had a call of nature. Yes, a man's life was saved by another man's need to urinate. The quote from the driver was "I turned off the press after I heard some banging and swearing coming from the truck's interior." That was after he, ya know, zipped up. 
 
And finally one of the most unusual, and dare I say clever news of 2005 came from the little town of Gary, Indiana (feel free to sing the song from 'The Music Man'). A cafeteria worker thought it was odd that a fourth-grader would pay for his lunch with a $20 bill quoted the Associated Press. A cashier alerted the school's police officer after noting the $20 bill didn't seem to have the right texture. The Patrolmen asked the student about the money, the student reached into his pocket and pulled out a handful more. With that discover led to the arrest of three other students at the Gary School. They had confiscated almost $200 in counterfeit money and visited the home of the students to find more at home near his computer! The clever counterfeiters had decided it was easier to print their own money rather than actually work to earn it. Snatching onto these headlines, Hasbro has branched out and begun marketing it's own products aimed at children wanting to break the law. Of these there are "Shake Down Old Ladies", "little tikes easy insurance fraud set" and it's soon to be popular "Chutes it'z Da Cops" 
 
 
So, that is the odd news that had happened during the crazy year of 2005. We are sure that 2006 will be full of even more weirdness. Thank you to those that helped make it such a great year! There are many other weird and wild stories, you can see more (and share some of your own) at the Ambrosia Software WebForums


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Welcome to the new: The Ambrosia Times

Posted Dec 15 2005, 12:00 AM

We finally decided that it was about time that "The Ambrosia Times" got with the times. As you may have noticed, we've been relatively lax about posting news stories to The Ambrosia Times lately, and that's partially because we've been busy working on a number of cool projects, but also because it's just a pain in the backside to post stories to The Ambrosia Times in the old format. 
 
So we're exploring new options. Now we're finally getting with the times, and have a blog set up that will serve as a more informal "The Ambrosia Times." Oh sure, we still have some of the old categories that we had before, but now people can post interesting tidbits directly to the blog, without having to write up an entire article. Frankly, with all of the coffee we drink here, that's about all we have the attention span for anyway. 
 
If an interesting bug comes David's way, he can comment on it in a short blog entry. If a particularly "interesting" tech support call comes in, he can post it here (keeping the guilty parties strictly anonymous, of course). If John finds cool stories with our products in use, or if Marcus writes up a little piece on how much he loves the bidets here, they can post them too. 
 
That kind of thing, but in smaller, more easily digestible chunks than we had in the older "The Ambrosia Times". This is a little experiment, we'll see how it goes. 
 
Until next time.

 


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