THE ‘RACY STRIPPER’: ‘NAUGHTY’ ADULT NOVELTY TOY FROM 1998

Dangerousminds.net

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Though it seems like a toy better suited for the 1980s, you know when strippers were as synonymous with heavy metal as a sweet Gibson Flying V, the Racy Stripper doll became a thing in 1998 thanks to a company called Racy Enterprises (or R.C. Inc.)

Billed as Racy Stripper (or Racy: The Naughty Doll), Racy had similar unrealistic proportions as Barbie, and, as I understand it, a carved out hoohah and pink nipples, something her kiddie-toy counterpart was without. As you might expect the 11.5-inch doll came with a few useful accessories, such as thigh-high stockings with a back seam, long black satin gloves, a stripper pole with a heart-shaped platform, a package of mini-100-dollar bills (because I guess this is one classy joint Racy works at), and a cassette labeled “Racy Strip Party” which I presume contains a rendition of Def Leppard’s 1987 stripper anthem, “Pour Some Sugar on Me.” Racy Enterprises produced two different stripper dolls—one with long platinum blonde hair and the other with long brunette hair which can be pretty easily procured out there on various Internet auction sites such as eBay for less than 20 bucks, depending on its condition.

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Weekly World News Headlines

The Weekly World News was a largely fictional news tabloid published in the United States from 1979 to 2007, renowned for its outlandish cover stories often based on supernatural or paranormal themes and an approach to news that verged on the satirical. Its characteristic black-and-white covers have become pop-culture images widely used in the arts. It ceased publication in August 2007.

In 2009, Weekly World News was relaunched as an online only publication. Its current editor-in-chief is Neil McGinness.

These headlines are from the online incarnation.

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Giant Sculptures On the North Dakota Plains

The Enchanted Highway, North Dakota

The Enchanted Highway is a 32-mile stretch of highway starting at Exit 72 on Interstate 94, about 20 miles east of Dickinson, in the southwestern part of the U.S. state of North Dakota. The paved county highway, which begins near the town of Gladstone and terminates at Regent, features a collection of large scrap metal sculptures depicting geese, deer, pheasants, grasshoppers, Teddy Roosevelt, and even a complete Tin Family. The sculptures were created by retired school teacher Gary Greff, from the town of Regent, who did it in the hopes of putting his hometown prominently on the map and thus prevent it from fading away into obscurity.

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“Pheasants on the Prairie”, one of the sculptures on the Enchanted Highway.

Small towns in the country were slowly being deserted and Gary Greff was worried about this growing trend. So beginning in 1990, he started creating massive metal sculptures that he planned to place along the Regency-Gladstone Road every few miles to arouse the curiosity of drivers and tourist using the road. Gary wants to create ten sculptures. So far, he has completed seven and the eighth one is reportedly in progress. All the sculptures face north, toward the oncoming traffic from the interstate, and each one is accompanied by a pull-out area with place for picnic and tourists to unwind. It was Gary’s idea to rename the road the Enchanted Highway.

Gary is helped by volunteers and local farmers who know about metal works and welding. Some farmers also gave him generous terms on leasing land to erect the work – something like $1 for 20 year lease, with renewal. Local boy scout troops and shop class have helped with some of the signs and picnic tables. But Gary does most of the work and all the maintenance. He cuts the grass under the statues, and builds the parking areas and fences.

Although Gary struggles for money and material for each construction, his dreams are big. Gary eventually wants to add a water park, restaurant, and even an amphitheater. So far he has managed to add a spectacular inn with 19 rooms which should bring him some revenue for all the troubles that he went through.

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“Geese in Flight” has been listed as the largest scrap metal sculpture in the world by the Guinness World Book of Records. The main structure is 154 feet wide and 110 feet tall. The largest goose has a wingspan of 30 feet. It was created in 2001.

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“Deer Crossing” was constructed out of used oil well tanks and erected in 2002. The jumping buck is 75 feet tall and 60 feet long.  The doe is 50 feet long and 50 feet tall.

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“Grasshoppers in the Field” was built in 1999. The structure is 60 feet long and 40 feet tall.

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“Fisherman’s Dream” includes 6 large fish of different sizes including a 60 or 70 foot leaping trout going after a giant dragonfly.

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“Pheasants on the Prairie” is a giant rooster and hen and their three chicks. This work was erected between 1996 and 1997.

 

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“Teddy Roosevelt Rides Again” is a 51-feet tall wire sculpture of Teddy Roosevelt made out of pipes. It was erected in 1993. Roosevelt is accompanied by a small wooden stage coach being pulled by horses.

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“The Tin Family” consisting of a Dad, Mom and a Son, was erected in 1991. The tallest character, the Dad, is 45 feet tall.

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Where does the fear of Friday the 13th originate?

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ROOTED IN RELIGION?
Where does a fear of Friday the 13th come from in the first place?

It’s difficult to pin down the origins and evolution of a superstition. But Stuart Vyse, a professor of psychology at Connecticut College in New London, said our fear of Friday the 13th may be rooted in religious beliefs surrounding the 13th guest at the Last Supper—Judas, the apostle said to have betrayed Jesus—and the crucifixion of Jesus on a Friday, which was known as hangman’s day.

The combination of those factors produced a “sort of double whammy of 13 falling on an already nervous day,” Vyse explained in 2014. Some biblical scholars also believe Eve tempted Adam with the forbidden fruit on a Friday, and that Abel was slain by his brother Cain on Friday the 13th.

Curiously, Spain appears to have escaped this malevolent marriage of number and day. Friday the 13th is no cause for alarm there, and instead Tuesday the 13th is the year’s most dangerous date.

Other experts suspect even older roots for this form of triskaidekaphobia. Thomas Fernsler, an associate policy scientist in the Mathematics and Science Education Resource Center at the University of Delaware in Newark, said the number 13 suffers because of its position after 12.

Numerologists consider 12 a “complete” number. There are 12 months in a year, 12 signs of the zodiac, 12 gods of Olympus, 12 labors of Hercules, 12 tribes of Israel, and 12 apostles of Jesus.

Triskaidekaphobia: fear or a phobia concerning the number 13.

The number 13’s association with bad luck “has to do with just being a little beyond completeness. “The number becomes restless or squirmy,” he noted in 2013.

Numerology may also explain why Italians have no qualms about Friday the 13th but fear the 17th instead. The Roman numeral XVII can be rearranged to spell “VIXI,” which translated from Latin means “my life is over.”

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COSTLY COINCIDENCE

Arbitrary though they may be, superstitions like fears of ladders, black cats, or “unlucky” numbers are incredibly persistent.

“Once they are in the culture, we tend to honor them,” Thomas Gilovich, a professor of psychology at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, explained in 2013. “You feel like if you are going to ignore it, you are tempting fate.

Some people, whether by determination or necessity, grit their teeth and nervously get through the day. Others really do act differently on Friday the 13th.

They may refuse to travel, buy a house, or act on a hot stock tip, and these inactions can noticeably slow economic activity, according to the late Donald Dossey, a folklore historian and founder of the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute who spoke with National Geographic in 2013. (Read about animal phobias.)

“It’s been estimated that $800 or $900 million [U.S.] is lost in business on this day, because people will not fly or do business they normally would do,” he said.

Ironically, people heeding their superstitious fears may be passing up a chance to spend the day in a slightly less dangerous world. A 2008 study by the Dutch Centre for Insurance Statistics revealed that fewer traffic accidents occur on Friday the 13th than on other Fridays. Reports of fire and theft also dropped, the study found.

Soon enough, this Friday the 13th will end, and even the most superstitious among us can rest easy—at least until the next one.

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Wrong Way Ray!

Silo Demolition Goes Awry in Denmark

The planned demolition of a silo in Denmark took a literal turn for the worse when it toppled the wrong way and smashed into a pair of nearby buildings.

The bizarre scene unfolded in the town of Vordingborg, where a crowd had gathered to see the 175-foot-tall tower brought down by explosives.

However, their delight at the sight quickly faded when they realized that the falling silo was going in the wrong direction and headed right for a library and music school located next to the tower.

Incredible footage of the mishap shows the silo slowly tipping over in an almost agonizing fashion, clipping the buildings and blasting them with debris.

Thankfully, the area around the silo had been cleared well ahead of time and, therefore, no one was injured due to the incident.

China’s first emperor has fallen flat on its face

BBC

This photo taken on April 7, 2018 shows workers lifting a toppled status of China's first emperor "Qin Shi Huang" in Binzhou in China's eastern Shandong province.

A giant statue of China’s first emperor has fallen flat on its face – all six tonnes of it.

The 19m (62ft) bronze cast of Qin Shi Huang was blown from its stone pedestal in Shandong province during high winds on Friday.

It landed face-first, crushing the head of the terracotta-warrior emperor “like a pancake”, according to state-run outlet Global Times.

Workers quickly arrived with cranes to remove the multi-tonne metal remains.

This photo taken on September 7, 2015 shows a status of China's first emperor "Qin Shi Huang" in Binzhou in China's eastern Shandong province.

Qin Shi Huang was the founder of China’s Qin Dynasty and is credited with being the first man to unite much of modern China’s heartland through conquest, around 221-206 BC.

“This is the kind of thing you can’t really hide from people,” one worker told the Global Times. “Everyone’s got phones now. How can you cover this up?”

Photos of the toppled statue in Binzhou showed its centre was hollow, supported by a metal framework.

He built the first sections of the Great Wall of China, and his tomb is home to the famous army of thousands of terracotta soldiers.

The ill-fated pancake-faced statue at Binzhou was built in 2005 to attract visitors to a local tourism resort, according to the AFP news agency.