SEB Safety Tip: Eating raw gastropods for a dare could kill you.

Ah the stupid things young people will do on a dare. Down in Sydney, Australia a young man is fighting for his life after eating a slug infected with rat lungworm:

The 21-year-old contracted rat lungworm disease – a rare form of meningitis – after the stunt.

Rat lungworm disease is caused by Angiostrongylus cantonensis, a parasitic worm that is carried in the pulmonary arteries of rats. Larvae are excreted in the rat’s droppings, which are often eaten by slugs and snails.

The disease can cause fatal swelling of the brain and spinal cord.

I’m sure everyone is very impressed at the size of your balls for nearly killing yourself over a stupid dare. Next up perhaps you’ll attempt to choke to death swallowing a live gold fish?

Remember kids, if you’re going to eat slugs be sure to cook them properly first.

14-year-old autistic boy charged with making terrorist threats over stick figure.

Down in Georgia the officials at the Ridgeview Charter School are having a fit over a stick-figure drawing by a 14-year-old autistic boy which depicts him shooting a teacher:

The sketch shows two stick-figures. One of them is labeled ‘Me’ and is shown shooting a gun at another with a teacher’s name above it.

Karen Finn says that her son, 8th grader Shane Finn, doesn’t understand why he is in trouble. She says the boy is autistic and has the mental capacity of a 3rd grader.

Officials at Ridgeview Charter School say the student will face a tribunal and is being charged with making terrorist threats.

I dunno, maybe I’m stupid, but this seems like an overreaction on the part of the school district. If we’d had such rules back when I was in elementary school I’d have been locked up in solitary confinement years ago for all the stick figure drawings I did of the school being destroyed by tanks and guns and I’m not autistic. I didn’t enjoy school all that much and there was more than one afternoon spent daydreaming of various ways it would meet an untimely end.

I realize “things are different now” but unless there’s some credible reason to think this kid was about to literally grab a gun and start shooting up the school then I’m not sure I see why these charges were even considered. Maybe I’m wrong and he’s just a pencil scratch away from hosing down the school with lead, but based on this news item it sure doesn’t seem like he is.

Teen nearly kills himself for a free soda.

Are you stupid enough that you would clamp wires to your nipples and give yourself a 120 volt zap just to win a bet for a free soda?

High schooler Kyle DuBois is and he damn near killed himself:

Police released an interview with Kyle DuBois and his teacher, Thomas Kelley, after the teen shocked himself in class, sending him to the hospital.

Students in the electrical technology classroom say Kelley was in on the prank, even offering the teen soda if he did it.

Police say they interviewed the teacher hours later, at which point he vehemently denied taking part. He alleges he even told the students to knock it off.

“The one thing I remember him saying is, ‘What will you give me if I clip these to my nipples?’ ‘Nothing.’ ‘Give me a Mountain Dew, Kelley,’” the teacher can be seen telling police during the recorded interview.

Authorities interviewed the teen a week later when he was out of the hospital, who remembered a friend taking part in the dare, not the teacher.

“I bet ya free Mountain Dew first year every day, the friend did… to zap myself,” said DuBois to police.

via WHDH-TV – Police record talk with shocked NH teen, teacher.

His heart stopped and the teacher had to perform CPR to save his dumb ass. You can see part of a video one of the other students recorded with his cell-phone in the original article.

Given the almost ubiquitous appearance of defibrillators and how they are used in TV shows and movies, you’d think this kid would know that running electricity over his heart might be a bad idea, but I suppose some folks just have to learn this stuff the hard way.

Too Much Faith Will Make You Crazy: Spiritual Molester Edition.

It’s not just the Christians who allow their faith to get in the way of common sense and critical thinking. Sometimes it’s the more nebulously defined crystal huggers.

Take for example the following case of a woman who invited what she believed to be a female spiritualist into her home to “cleanse” herself and her two young boys. Problem was the spiritualist wasn’t really a spiritualist or, for that matter, a woman:

Pic of Jose David Morales-Hernandez

Not really a "spritual cleanser." Hell, not really a woman though you'd think that much would be obvious.

‘Spiritual cleanser’ charged with nine sexual abuse crimes – Salt Lake Tribune.

Police have said Morales-Hernandez dressed as a woman and called himself “Nicole Morales.” He claimed on his business card to be “The Divine Master” and a Mayan priestess. He is homeless.

Before the ceremony, Morales-Hernandez had the woman and her two young boys strip down to their underwear, police have said.

The boys said he took them separately into their own rooms, turned off the lights, locked the door, massaged them and sexually abused them, police wrote.

Their mother said the boys acted “different” after each session, the charges state.

The mother called police after the 12-year-old told her about the abuse. The 13-year-old told police that Morales-Hernandez did “unpleasant, wrong, uncomfortable and weird” things to him, the charges state.

The article is very brief and doesn’t specifically mention what belief system the family ascribes to that would require the services of a “Divine Master Mayan Priestess.” You’ll note that the article mentions that the boys acted different after each session implying that it took more than one session before this woman caught on that her kids were being molested. The police are also looking for anyone else who may have been stupid enough to fall for this scam and let their kids be violated to come forward which suggests he may have been doing this sort of thing for awhile.

This isn’t the first time the crystal huggers have gotten burned by a phony spiritual cleansing scam, but usually they just lose a lot of money. I think this is the first time I’ve heard of someone using this particular scam to molest kids with. You really have to wonder just how far out there they have to be not to get suspicious the moment they hear the words “OK, now you guys need to strip down to your underwear and then come with me into the next room, one by one, alone, in the dark, and I will cleanse you of all your evil spirits!”

Group wants “Confederate Southern American” recognized by the Government.

There is a repressed minority in this country that is crying out for an end to the harassment and persecution they have suffered under for so long. You may even know some of them without realizing it. Who are these poor put upon people?

They are southerners with Confederate ancestors and the folks at the Southern Legal Resource Center think it’s time for the U.S. Government to recognize such people so they’re encouraging people who have Confederate ancestors to answer question 9 of the 2010 Census form — the question asking about their race — with the phrase “Confederate Southern American.”

No, I’m not kidding:

According to The Washington Post the rationale is as follows:

Federal law makes it illegal to discriminate because of a person’s birthplace, ancestry, culture or language. The South North Carolina-based Southern Legal Resource Center believes that people with ancestors who were citizens of the Confederate States of America should be entitled to ethnic identity and protection since the country no longer exists.

“Fill in ‘Confed Southern Am.’ … This will put your Confederate nationality on the record. It’s just that simple,” SLRC Chief Trial Counsel Kirk D. Lyons says in a video posted on YouTube (see above) and Facebook.

Lyons continues: “We can start the process to give the southern community here in America a voice again, so that our concerns will be heard, and so that we will stop being harassed and persecuted because we are proud of our southern and Confederate ancestry.” The group has defended teachers and other activists who have been fired or disciplined in other ways for refusing to remove the Confederate flag from classrooms and other public places.

It’s been 145 years since the South lost the war in 1865. Get the fuck over it and stop acting like you don’t have a voice. Holy fuck, one of your Poster Boys ran the fucking country into the ground for 8 years. You don’t get much more of a voice than that.

I realize I was born and raised in the North, but I have deep roots in the South myself. I come from a long line of Rednecks who moved north to work in the automotive industry back when it was a great career move to make. I’ve had enough exposure to that part of the family that still resides in the South to know that they are decent people who are about as far from being oppressed as you can get.

Perhaps you folks wouldn’t be regarded as racist bigots quite so much if you didn’t cling to a flag that represents an attempt at starting a nation based on racism and bigotry. When you continue to insist on proclaiming yourselves to be part of a non-existent country that got its ass-kicked when it tried to break off on its own, well, you should expect a bit of mocking from the folks who stopped looking at themselves as being Northerners and Southerners a long time ago and now consider themselves to just be Americans.

Considering the amount of damage you folks regularly do to the political process in this country there are times when I wonder if preserving the Union was such a great idea.  If you had been allowed to break off on your own you’d probably be much less of a nuisance than you are now and we’d have someplace to ship all the stupid people. As it stands, were all in this together and it would really help if you folks would pull up your Big Boy pants and stop with the self-pity.

Frat boy’s ass branded by his “brothers” while he’s passed out.

Here’s a tragic story of a fraternity initiation gone awry.

Who am I kidding? I find this funny as hell:

“Most college students returned for the spring semester rested and relaxed. Amon Carter IV headed back to class with the mark of his fraternity burned into his backside.The family of Texas Christian University student, who returned from a winter break ski trip with second and third-degree burns from being branded by his fraternity brothers, have already hired a lawyer to pressure school officials and police to punish all involved.

Carter, who goes by Chance, will require surgery to repair the damage done to his buttocks with a hot coat hanger after he passed out during a night of drinking.

Apparently it’s not enough to be obnoxiously insufferable once you join a fraternity these days; now you have to be branded as well. Not surprisingly, the family already has plans to sue… someone… over the incident.

Interestingly enough I only just learned about this practice the other day from one of the kids here at work when I noticed the bottom part of what turned out to be a huge letter I that had been crudely branded in his bicep. I was incredulous that he had had it done intentionally as it makes even the worst tattoo look like art by Michelangelo. There was also the fact that this kid was black which made the brand suggest some slave imagery to me and I was surprised he’d want to make that a permanent part of his body, but apparently this is something that’s been common among African-American fraternities for some time now:

Branding has been a rite of passage in black fraternities for decades, but is still a fairly uncommon ritual among white fraternity members.

Lawrence Ross Jr., author of “The Divine Nine: The History of African American Fraternities and Sororities,” told ABCNews.com that he’s starting to hear more and more cases of branding among white fraternities, which he attributed to Internet videos and pictures glorifying the ritual.

“I tend to look at it as a personal choice,” Ross said, adding that he chose a tattoo, not a brand, during his frat days with Alpha Phi Alpha.

Our hero here, however, is white and the brand he got looks like it makes sitting down an uncomfortable activity:

Branded Ass Picture

Texas Christian University student Amon Carter IV and his amazing ass brand.

Johnson, who is close to the TCU sophomore, told ABCNews.com that Chance Carter had drunkenly consented to letting his fraternity brothers finish branding his rear with the Kappa Sigma symbols, a mark he had started during spring break, unbeknownst to his family.But his fraternity brothers took it upon themselves to continue the branding — this time large triangles to represent the Tri Delta Sorority — on his other buttock while he was passed out.

Johnson said the Tri Delta mark was mingled with numerous other brands, most of which are unrecognizable, since they overlap.

“They are large,” she said.

As if this story weren’t already awesome enough, it turns out that Amon Carter IV comes from a very wealthy and renowned family:

The Carters are one of the most prominent families in Forth Worth. Amon G. Carter was the president and publisher of the Forth Worth Star-Telegram newspaper in the 1920s and was credited with bringing several major businesses to the area, including a General Motors assembly plant and the company now known as Lockheed-Martin.

[…]

Craven said the Carters, who brought Chance Carter to the emergency room for treatment as soon as he returned home, have already consulted with a plastic surgeon who estimated it would take at least six procedures to repair.

Craven said the possibility of a lawsuit is “nothing I can say at this point.”

“As far as I’m concerned,” Johnson said, “his backside is a crime scene.”

It’s hard to say whether there’s anything that can be done, other than the plastic surgery, in this case. Amon did technically consent to the procedure before he passed out so it’s possible the people directly responsible might not be charged with a crime. As for suing, well, the family is already pretty wealthy so it’s hard to see the point outside of revenge.

If I were dumb enough to allow a bunch of drunken frat buddies to take a hot coat hanger and draw doodles on my ass I’d just write it off as a lesson learned the hard way and try to move on as best I could considering that my hips would probably catch on the inside of my jeans when I walked from that point forward.

SEB Safety Tip: Don’t glue your headset to your ear.

You would think this would be self-evident, but apparently at least one fellow out there needed to be told:

“I hit my ear on the boom of my truck and broke the headset of my phone,” Mr Gardner told the Northern Territory News.

“So I got some superglue and glued it back together – and that was … when my boss rang.”

The truck driver said he usually had the phone’s headset in his ear most of the day.

“I guess I didn’t think much of it when I put it back into my ear to talk to the boss.

“I drove from Casuarina to Rapid Creek when I realised I had done something kinda stupid.”

If you do accidentally glue your headset to your ear, don’t compound the problem with half-assed attempts at removing it:

Mr Gardner told the Northern Territory News it crossed his mind to use his pocket knife to remove the unwanted gear from his ear.

“I realised I didn’t want to see myself going to a doctor to put my ear back on after I chopped it off.

“So I used a spoon.”

The 43-year-old said he scraped the earpiece out of his ear with a spoon but several pieces of skin were still stuck to the headphones.

“Yes, it did hurt – but I guess I did hurt my pride much more than it did hurt my ear.”

Kudos to Mr. Gardner for not using his pocket knife, but a spoon is hardly an adequate second choice. What he should have used instead is a bit of acetone, which is like Kryptonite to super glue. Just a bit of your average nail polish remover – check the bottle to be sure it has acetone in it – on a Q-tip is all it takes to remove the glue without removing parts of your ear along with it. Be sure to wash the acetone off your skin once you free yourself and perhaps put some lotion on the spot as well.

As it turns out, it’s possible to get super glue on parts of your body that you really shouldn’t use acetone on such as your lips or your eye. Apparently this has happened enough that the Original Super Glue Corporation actually has a webpage detailing what to do:

Should Super Glue bond to any body part where acetone should not be applied, such as the lips or eyes, the following steps will help you get out of any sticky situation!

  • Skin
    Immerse bonded areas in warm, soapy water. Peel or roll skin apart; a spatula or teaspoon handle or even a pencil will help. Remove cured adhesive with warm, soapy water (may take several applications). Fingernail polish remover with an acetone base has also been successful for removal of cured adhesive from skin.
  • Lips
    If lips are accidentally stuck together, apply a generous amount of warm water and encourage maximum wetting and pressure from saliva from inside the mouth. Peel or roll (do not pull) lips apart. It is almost impossible to swallow the adhesive as a liquid. The adhesive solidifies upon contact with saliva (moisture) and could adhere to the inside of the mouth. Saliva will lift the adhesive in 1-2 days, avoid swallowing the adhesive after detachment.
  • Eyelid
    In the event that eyelids are stuck together or bonded to the eyeball, wash thoroughly with warm water and apply a gauze patch. The eye will open without further action within 1-4 days. To our knowledge there has never been a documented case of adhesive in the eye causing permanent damage. Do not try to force eyes open.
  • Eyeball
    The adhesive will attach itself to the eye protein and will disassociate from it over time, usually within several hours. Periods of weeping and double vision may be experienced until clearance is achieved. Use of a warmed 3% sodium bicarbonate solution to wash eyes repeatedly may assist in aiding more rapid removal of the adhesive.
    WE SUGGEST THAT ALL INCIDENTS OF EYE EXPOSURE TO CYANOACRYLATE ADHESIVE (SUPER GLUE) BE DISCUSSED WITH A PHYSICIAN.

In other words, please don’t sue the shit out of us due to your own stupidity.

This Just In: Teachers not allowed to have a life outside of school.

How’s this for being totally unfair:

A Brownsville high school teacher has been suspended for 30 days without pay after she appeared in a picture someone else posted on Facebook that included a male stripper at a bridal shower.

[…] Board member Stella Broadwater says the suspension is appropriate because the photo became public, but member Sandra Chan says it was too harsh because the teacher had no control over the photo being posted.

via Teacher suspended over stripper photo – Pittsburgh Post Gazette.

It’d be one thing if the teacher had printed out this picture and passed it around to her students, but to be suspended because someone else posted the picture on Facebook is pretty stupid. Granted I’ve not seen the picture in question, but I’m not sure it should matter much. Short of staying home and never doing anything outside of work, I’m not sure how she had any control over the posting of the pic.

This also reflects one of the problems with Facebook’s move towards removing the privacy options that it has traditionally made available to its users. As these barriers come down you’ll be reading about more and more news items like this as pictures that were once thought to be limited to family and friends become viewable by the public at large.

There are already a number of sites popping up to chronicle embarrassing Facebook postings including Failbook.com from the folks who brought us I Can Has Cheezeburger? I mean, do you really want wall updates like this one viewable by the whole world?

Funny Facebook Wall Posting

It’s embarrassing enough that your mom knows you’re brushing up on AMAZING SEX, but what happens when a potential employer is able to do a Google search and has this come up? At least the Failbook.com folks remove last names and blur pics. Google isn’t going to do that.

OK, I’ve gotten off on a tangent here so allow me to wrap this up. The point I’m trying to make is that, sure, the idiot in the above screenshot probably shouldn’t have posted something like that if he didn’t want folks (including his mom) to know about it, but the teacher that got suspended didn’t post the picture that got her in trouble and that’s not fair. Which is basically my point.

It’s really amazing we’ve survived as a species…

That’s what you’ll be thinking to yourself if you watch this compilation of people finding new and entertaining ways of injuring themselves and others in their immediate vicinity:

Several of those people are probably still feeling the pain from those adventures. Yikes!

Boy dies from easily treatable condition while family prays for healing.

Here’s a story we’re seeing with more and more regularity. It’s from the Too Much Faith Will Make You Crazy file and it involves a young man who’d be alive today if the people purported to care about him would have taken him to a doctor’s office. Instead the opted to pray for God to heal him. God, apparently, had better things to do:

GLADSTONE, Ore. – A 16-year-old boy who, along with his parents, believed in faith healing died as a result of an inflammation in his urinary system that is treatable, a deputy medical examiner said Wednesday.

The boy, identified by authorities as Neil Beagley, was suffering from an inflammation in a tube leading from his bladder – the urethra – that made him unable to urinate, according to Dr. Clifford Nelson, a deputy state medical examiner.

Beagley filled up with urine, and that eventually ruined his bladder and kidneys and resulted in heart failure, said Nelson, who called it “an absolutely horrible way to die.”

A simple procedure with a catheter is all it would’ve taken to save his life, but his folks and his fellow church members figured why go through all that trouble when God promises to heal you if you just ask? Best of all no one is likely to be charged in this unfortunate situation:

It was not clear what transpired between March and this week. Gladstone police said the boy got sick about a week ago and his condition worsened Sunday, causing members of his faith-healing church to gather for prayer rather than take him to a hospital. The boy died Tuesday afternoon surrounded by family members and a board member of the church called authorities.

Police said relatives and church members told them the teenager refused treatment for the illness, as he was entitled to do under Oregon law.

“All of the interviews from last night are that he did in fact refuse treatment,” said Sgt. Lynne Benton of Gladstone police. “Unless we can disprove that, charges probably won’t be filed in this case.

She said state law allows minors 14 and older to make such decisions.

Sounds like an early candidate for next year’s Darwin Awards. Shame someone so young would throw their lives away on a silly superstition, but that’s the risk you take when you choose to have too much faith in invisible sky faeries.