Man Receives Chemotherapy for Cold

An important question: Did it work?

Ever visit WebMD when you’re sick? It’s a fun site to give yourself paranoia about that runny nose you’ve got. At WebMD you can type in your symptoms and, theoretically, the website can diagnose you. Of course, WebMD almost always says you have cancer, no matter what you’ve got. Back pain? Cancer. Tingling sensation in your fingers? Cancer. Weakening eyesight? Masturbating too much … And also cancer.

Lots of people on the internet like to laugh about WebMD and the extreme conclusions it comes to. After all, no real doctors would think that having a sniffle means you have cancer, right? … Right?

The Hurriyet Daily News reports: A Turkish man received chemotherapy after being misdiagnosised with cancer, while meanwhile, he suffered from the common cold. 

Demirören News Agency reported on Oct. 10 that Yılmaz Kızıloğlu, 48, from the eastern province of Erzurum, had applied to Atatürk University Research Hospital in February 2015 after suffering from fever and infirmity.

A pathological report said he had lymphoma, which resulted in four sessions of chemotherapy.

The man’s brother, who was suspicious of the report, went to a hospital in Ankara to double-check the diagnosis. His suspicions proved right, as the new report showed Kızıloğlu had only suffered from a cold, not cancer.

“Good news, sir, you’re cured!”

“But, doctor … I feel so terrible …”

“That’s the chemotherapy talking. I bet you’ve completely forgotten about your cold, haven’t you?”


More Witches in U.S. Than Presbyterians

Remember kids: Being a fan of Harry Potter means you’re going to hell! … What’s that? It doesn’t? … Well, never mind!

As I’m sure you’re aware, Christianity and witchcraft have occasionally been at odds with each other. Both the Catholic Church and Protestant Puritans, showing the wide divergence between the two sects of the religion, both feared and attempted to purge “witches” from the world. There are many famous “Christian vs. Pagan” moments in history: The Salem Witch Trials, the pagan Vikings raiding monasteries, parents burning rock n’ roll CDs for hiding “Satanic” messages in them, the list goes on and on. Even today, there are some who warn of witchcraft being used to conduct spiritual warfare on America’s leaders.

As it turns out, some religious groups may need to amp up their concerns about devil-worshipers in their midst. According to some recent studies, the number of people identifying as witches now outnumber members of the Presbyterian Church in the United States.

The Christian Post reports: “From 1990 to 2008, Trinity College in Connecticut ran three large, detailed religion surveys. Those have shown that Wicca grew tremendously over this period. From an estimated 8,000 Wiccans in 1990, they found there were about 340,000 practitioners in 2008. They also estimated there were around 340,000 Pagans in 2008.”

Pew Research Center studied the issue in 2014, discovering that 0.4 percent of Americans, approximately 1 to 1.5 million people, identify as Wicca or Pagan, meaning their communities continue to experience significant growth.

Similarly, radio host and author Carmen LaBerge noted on Twitter that the figures are striking in that witches outnumber certain Christian denominations.

“As mainline Protestantism continues its devolution, the U.S. witch population is rising astronomically. There may now be more Americans who identify as practicing witches, 1.5 mil, than there are members of mainline Presbyterianism (PCUSA) 1.4 mil,” she said Tuesday.

The article goes on to suggest that this sudden takeover of people interested in witchcraft comes from several factors. There is the general decline of Christian predominance in the country, especially in older denominations like the Presbyterian Church. Wicca and other Pagan traditions have also made a bit of a comeback amongst people looking for alternative faiths, or having what they call a “morally neutral” view of witchcraft.

Religious views on this news aside, I have to admit this is a really interesting demographic shift to discover. I had no idea there were so many people in the U.S. that took pre-Christian beliefs (or Wicca, which was invented in the mid-90s) so seriously! One thing that I think this helps prove is that humans are naturally spiritual animals. We will always look for something to believe in, whether it’s Jesus, or Odin, or magic.

EDIT, 9:21 a.m. on Oct. 11 – An interesting thought I had just this morning: Before we go worrying about our country literally going to hell in a hand basket, maybe we should consider things from a slightly different angle. Instead of decrying the rise of witchcraft in the country, maybe as Christians we should ask ourselves what the church is doing wrong to drive so many people to seek alternative faiths? Our job as Christians is to show the love of Christ, and to draw others to him. It would appear that the message is being lost somewhere along the line. This isn’t just a Presbyterian problem, all denominations have issues with keeping membership up. As Christians, we should all ask ourselves what we can do to improve ourselves, our community, and our outreach to others in need.

Medieval Re-Enactor Impales Self With Lance

The Middle Ages were a truly glorious period of history! Serfdom, wars over religion, leeches being the most modern medical science, it was truly a great part of western history!

Historical reenactment is a hobby for many people. In short, it’s cosplay but with real people instead of comic book characters. The Civil War is a popular time period for reenactors to dress up for. The medieval period is another popular time period, with many people dressing up in armor and carrying around swords. Medieval sports like dueling and jousting have made a comeback amongst this group, too.

Unfortunately, as one might expect, these sports can be dangerous no matter how much armor you’re wearing. A Virginia “knight” passed away from wounds sustained in a freak accident involving a lance.

ABC reports: News outlets report 53-year-old Peter Barclay, of Virginia, was competing in an equestrian game in Williamstown, Kentucky, when he was wounded Saturday. Barclay’s brother and the president of event holder Society for Creative Anachronism, John Fulton, says Barclay was trying to spear a paper plate on the ground.

Fulton says in a Facebook post that the metal-tipped lance hit the ground and flipped, stabbing Barclay’s chest. He says Barclay, who performed under the name “Master Terafan Greydragon,” died while being flown to a hospital.

The Hamilton County coroner’s chief administrator, Andrea Hatten, says an autopsy hasn’t yet been performed.

Is an autopsy really necessary? Seems like the cause of death is pretty apparent, to me.

His death is listed as accidental. The SCA says it’s investigating how to prevent similar accidents.

Might I suggest not trying to lance paper plates?

Indian Bus Driver Suspended for Letting Monkey Drive

Yes, a monkey. No, it didn’t have a learner’s permit. Also, yes, I’m sure it was doing a better job than half the people on the road.

Public transportation sure can be a hassle, can’t it? I remember using the bus back in college. It was always crowded, loud, and never that comfy. The drivers were hit-and-miss, too. Sometimes they’d be really good at their jobs. Other times we’d be stuck with student drivers who were just learning how to operate a bus. Since this was in a college town, the majority were the latter.

So, when a story surfaced of a bus driver in India letting a monkey drive for him, it definitely brought back some memories.

Channel NewsAsia reports: An Indian bus driver who let a monkey behind the wheel of his vehicle was suspended Saturday (Oct 6) after a video of the incident went viral, sparking outrage and humour.

The 36-year-old driver is seen smiling and patting the langur monkey as it sits atop the wheel of the moving bus in footage shot by a passenger.

“Driver M Prakash has been taken off duty for allowing the monkey to sit on the steering wheel and handle it,” T.S Latha, a spokesperson for the government’s road transport corporation in southern Karnataka state told AFP.

We can’t let the monkey drive! If it drives, we have to pay it and give it benefits! Do you know how much a dental plan for a monkey can cost?

“Passengers’ safety is paramount and the driver cannot risk it by allowing a monkey on the steering.”

There were around 30 passengers on the bus at the time and none of them complained.

Well, why would they complain? If they complain, the bus has to stop. And, as anybody who’s ridden on a bus can tell you, there’s nothing more annoying than a bus making frequent stops when you’re in a hurry. Of course, I suppose having a bus drive through a fruit stand because the driver suddenly got hungry would be annoying, too.

Man Says Ghost Planted Meth on Him

Meth: So addictive it’ll even follow you beyond the grave!

Halloween is a fun time of the year. There’s candy, trick-or-treating, haunted houses and lots of horror movies! The movies are probably my favorite part of the season. I love horror movies, especially the cheesy ones. Exclusively the cheesy ones, come to think of it. If you watch enough horror movies, you see a lot of similar tropes that each film uses. One of the tropes that I have not seen, however, is a ghost hiding drugs and blaming it on the living!

KNOE reports: The Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office says they responded to a home on Lynette Drive in the West Monroe area after getting a call from a man who said he had been attacked with an axe. The man claimed someone “stabbed” him in the head with the bladed weapon.

First off, you don’t use axes to stab people. It’s more of a chopping action. Stabbing someone with an axe would probably be pretty challenging …

When deputies arrived, they found the caller, Michael L. Auttenberry, at his front door cursing at people who were “obviously not there”. Deputies say the man was not calm and cursing at them too, so they placed him in handcuffs for their safety. Upon looking Auttenberry over, they say, they found no indication that he had actually been hit in the head with an axe.

Well, duh! It was clearly a ghost axe! Those don’t leave physical wounds. It’s a ghost wound!

According to arrest records, Auttenberry also told deputies that intruders were inside his home. They went inside, but say they couldn’t find any intruders. What they did find, however, was a small bag of meth in plain view on a nightstand. They say they also found a gram of meth on Auttenberry.

When asked about the meth, deputies say Auttenberrfy told them that intruders or a ghost planted the meth.

Well that makes perfect sense to me! Haven’t you ever seen any horror movies? The police never believe the main character that the house is haunted at first. A few cops have to die from supernatural causes before they take the danger seriously! Clearly, this house is haunted by the spirit of Heisenberg, so it’s especially dangerous.

Village in Bosnia Bans Politicians

A Libertarian’s dream come true, and it’s in Eastern Europe! Don’t know why, but that just feels a little ironic to me.

Elections are wrapping up in the Balkan nation of Bosnia & Herzegovina. Politicians across the country are making their final campaign trips and giving their last speeches before the vote. However, there is one place, the village of Podgora, where politicians have not visited. Why? Because the town has put a ban on politicians visiting their area.

AFP reports: “You’ve been lying to us for years. No party is welcome in Podgora,” reads a white banner strung across the main square of the 700-person village, which lies some 30 kilometres (18 miles) from the capital Sarajevo.

Sunday’s general elections will fill Bosnia’s highest political offices, from a three-person presidency down to district assemblies.

But few are expecting significant change in a nation that has been paralysed for decades, in part because of unresolved conflicts dating back to the ethnic conflicts that engulfed Bosnia in the 1990s.

Families pitched in to pay for the 50-euro ($58) banner — a hefty sum in a community where most are unemployed, living off of small vegetable farms and livestock.

Man, could you imagine collectively hating something so much an entire town agrees to ban it? Could you picture that happening in the United States? Never! Local politics and gossip are the lifeblood of our society. If we banned that, that’s the end of civilization as we know it!

Oh, and just in case you thought this is a single village of cynics:

Less than 20 percent of the people trust their political parties, according to a study in May from the Bosnian Association of Journalists.

There are certain levels of distrust in the government. There’s the “There’s a few bad eggs, but in general our government is good” level. Then we have the “Things are bad, but it’s the other guys’ fault!” level of distrust. It would appear that Bosnia is nearing the “Do you hear the people sing?” level of government distrust.

Thieves Steal Entire Vineyard

When I say “Germany,” what’s the first thing that comes to mind? … Okay, what’s the second thing that comes to mind? It’s probably a guy in lederhosen with a giant stein of beer, isn’t it? Germans love their booze, but beer isn’t the only thing they drink! Germany is also home to several wine producing regions. The area of Rhineland-Palatinate, for example, is home to 13,000 vineyards. It’s also the location of our story today, where a group of thieves somehow managed to make off with an entire vineyard!

The BBC reports: The criminals made off with the field full of grapes by “running a professional harvesting machine over the entire vineyard”, the police said, according to the local Rheinpfalz newspaper.

Most galling of all for the police is the fact that the vineyard does not lie on some remote hillside, but is to be found right next to the car park of a major supermarket on the outskirts of the village of Deidesheim.

The resourceful thieves struck at some point between teatime last Wednesday and sunset the following day, netting 1,600 kg (3,527 lb) of the white grapes used to make Riesling wine. The haul is estimated to be worth 8,000 euros (£7,110; $9,272).

Where do you hide 3.5 thousand pounds of grapes? That’s not just something you can hide under your mattress or get pressed into wine in a single day. If I were the police investigating this, I would start by questioning the guy with the literal mountain of fruit in his backyard …

Also, you may be interested to know, this isn’t the first time this has happened! Apparently Grand Theft Grape is a common thing in the area!

Local vintners have long suspected that rival wine-growers may be responsible. They note how the thieves unerringly select the choicest grapes, steal them just as they ripen, and have access to specialised harvesting equipment.

“The motive is jealousy,” Stephan Altmann told Die Welt newspaper when his Winning Vineyard was plundered two years ago. A local policeman added that harvesting machines heading into fields at dusk are a common sight in the area, and so not necessarily bound to arouse suspicion.

Will the horror of it all never end? All these poor vineyard owners have to sit up at all hours of the night, watching to make sure the wine bandits don’t strike again!