Weird Facts

I fact checked all of these using Snopes.com and Wikipedia and they seem to be accurate.

The platypus is one of the few living mammals to produce venom. The venom is made in venom glands that are connected to hollow spurs on their hind legs; it is primarily made during the mating season. While the venom’s effects are described as extremely painful, it is not lethal to humans.

The different chemicals in the venom have a range of effects from lowering blood pressure to causing pain and increasing blood flow around the wound. Coagulating effects have been seen during experiments on laboratory animals, but this has not been observed consistently. Unlike snake venom, there appears to be no necrotising component in the platypus’s venom. While some muscle wastage has been observed in cases of envenomation in humans, it is likely due to the inability to use the limb while the effects of the venom persist. It is unknown whether the pain caused is a result of the associated edema around the wound or the venom has a component that acts directly on the pain receptors.

Although powerful enough to paralyse smaller animals, the venom is not lethal to humans. Yet, it produces excruciating pain that may be intense enough to incapacitate a victim. Swelling rapidly develops around the entry wound and gradually spreads outward. Information obtained from case studies shows that the pain develops into a long-lasting hyperalgesia that can persist for months but usually lasts from a few days to a few weeks. A clinical report from 1992 showed that the severe pain was persistent and did not respond to morphine.

In 1991 Keith Payne, a former member of the Australian Army and recipient of the Victoria Cross (Australia’s highest award for valour), was struck on the hand by a platypus spur while trying to rescue the stranded animal. He described the pain as worse than being struck by shrapnel. A month later he was still experiencing pain in that hand. In 2006, Payne reported discomfort and stiffness when carrying out some physical activities such as using a hammer. Wikipedia.

Newly restored ‘American Dream’ limo breaks its own record as world’s longest car

‘I found the car ten years ago. It was rotting in New Jersey,’ says Mike Manning, who repaired the ride

CBC Radio · Posted: Mar 11, 2022 6:35 PM ET | Last Updated: March 14

On March 1, Guinness recertified the renovated American Dream limo at a length of 30.54 metres, about 4 centimeters longer than its first record, following its remodel by Mike Manning and his students. (Submitted by Mike Manning)

There is only one car out there that you can take for a spin, then lounge in its swimming pool, land on its helipad and golf on its putting green — and it’s called the American Dream.

The newly restored vehicle, built out of six 1976 Cadillac Eldorado limos, is a showstopper with 26 wheels and space for up to 75 people. Last week, Guinness World Records declared it the longest car in the world.

The American Dream rose to fame in the late 1980s, when it was first assembled by Hollywood’s favourite car designer Jay Ohrberg. But the limo was so long that it soon became difficult to drive and park.

“I found the car about 10 years ago,” Mike Manning, president of the automotive teaching museum Autoseum, told As It Happens guest host Gillian Findlay. “It was rotting in New Jersey.”

That’s when he decided to buy the rusty and long forgotten car — and dreamt of the day he’d bring it back to its former glory.

Just a decade ago, the American Dream was covered in graffiti with flat tires and broken windows. (Submitted by Mike Manning)

A rough road to recovery

Just a decade ago, the American Dream was covered in graffiti with flat tires and broken windows.

“You’d look at it and say this is junk, just call it up and get rid of it,” Manning said. “But I always knew that it had some value. Not so much the money value, but just a history…. I knew it couldn’t be destroyed.”

He started to restore the Caddy with his students at the technical teaching museum, but ran out of money to support the project. Then the museum lost the lease on its space in Nassau County, N.Y.

Manning couldn’t find another place to store the American Dream, so he gave it up and listed it on eBay.

In 2019, a real estate developer with an enormous car collection bought it — and came up with a plan to pay Manning and his students to complete the restoration process in Orlando, Fla.

Michael Dezer owns the Dezerland Park Car Museum and Tourist Attractions, which is where the American Dream will soon be showcased.

Manning and his students had their work cut out for them. The windshield was broken, the dashboard deteriorated and every panel of the car’s exterior had to be reassembled and bent to the shape of the car, before they could even start on the interior. (Submitted by Mike Manning)

The new and improved American Dream

Manning and his students had to replace a lot of the limo with donor parts from Cadillac Eldorados because, over time, the car had become so badly destroyed.

The windshield was broken, the dashboard deteriorated and every panel of the car’s exterior had to be reassembled and bent to the shape of the car.

His team then redid the roof, all the glass, the interior, the tires and the brakes. Once the body was ready, they got the engine running, fixed the gas tank and lights.

“It was something that was impossible and I felt that I could do it,” Manning said. “People said I was crazy for even trying it, but … you see it and you just don’t want to let it go.’

“You kind of look back on things when you grew up; it’s nostalgia. And once they’re gone, they’re gone. So to be able to preserve something like that was very important.”

The newly restored vehicle, built out of six 1976 Cadillac Eldorado limos, is a showstopper with 26 wheels and space for up to 75 people. (Submitted by Mike Manning.)

Manning went on to explain how the lengthy limo was never really built to be driven around, but as more of a showpiece.

Now that it’s fixed, though, he can confirm that it is ready to ride.

“We drive it basically in a straight line,” he said. “We can drive it, but we have to get it to [somewhere] like an airport … because you need a big turn radius.”

The American Dream actually broke its own record for longest car in the world.

In 1986, Guinness measured the newly built limo to be 18.28 metres (60 feet). The original designer later extended it to 30.5 metres (or 100 feet) long.

On March 1, Guinness recertified the renovated ride at a length of 30.54 metres, just under four centimetres longer than its first record.

Mike Manning is the president of Autoseum, an automotive teaching museum in Mineola, New York. (Submitted by Mike Manning.)

Currently, there is a big spot in the Dezerland Park Car Museum waiting for the longest limo to park its wheels.

“I had a very small operation in New York City and people would come see it from all over the place,” Manning said. “I think people will come … it’s something definitely [to] see when you’re down there.”

These Photos Prove That We Love Dyeing Things Green For St. Patrick’s Day

Two alpaca are dyed green with red and pink harnesses, with cars in the background

Suzanne Feliciano / AP

Turtleneck (left) and Squeller, two alpacas wearing green-dyed coats courtesy of their owner, Deborah Westerfield, participate in a St. Patrick’s Day celebration on March 16, 2001, in Frankfort, Kentucky.

Left, a green dog in a sweater walks on a road. right, a man with green hair and his face painted white and green

Chris Gardner / AP; David Lefranc / Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Left: Jack the dog sports his Irish green paint job as he marches in the St. Patrick’s Day parade, March 13, 2005, in Baltimore. Right: an attendee at the St Patrick’s Day Parade in New York on March 17, 2001.

A view of the white house with a fountain in the foreground, the fountain is dyed green

The water in the fountain on the North Lawn of the White House is seen dyed green for St. Patrick’s Day in Washington, DC, on March 17, 2021.

a green beer tower with two hats on the right and a man adjusting it in a st patrick's day hat on the right

A server prepares green beers during St. Patrick’s Day celebrations at the Sheraton Hotel in Surabaya, Indonesia, on March 14, 2014.

Niagara Falls at night with mist and green lights that make it look green, with a town in the background

Don Heupel / Associated Press

The Niagara River flows over the Horseshoe Falls section of Niagara Falls, painted in green light to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 2001, in New York.

left, a woman with shamrock stickers on her face and green hair, right, a man with a fake green beard and a facepainted green face and a green hat

New York Daily News Archive / NY Daily News via Getty Images; Paul Faith / PA Images via Getty Images

Left: Shamrocks dot the face and hat of this viewer at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Fifth Avenue in New York City in 1999. Right: One of the many faces watch the parade through the streets of Dublin to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in 2001, which was postponed from the traditional March 17 due to the foot and mouth disease crisis.

An aerial view of the chicago river dyed bright green with bridges and buildings

An aerial picture shot with a drone shows the Chicago River as it flows through downtown after it was dyed green in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day on March 13, 2021.

a hand pets a dog dyed green who is wearing a little hat and beads

Dressed in her best St. Patrick’s Day green, Lucky, a 7-year-old dog from Minnelon, Florida, gets a pat on the head, March 17, 2004, during the 180th annual St. Patrick’s Day parade in Savannah, Georgia.

a kid with green hair and wearing green clothes sticks his tongue out and squats next to a bike with green ribbons and a balloon

Julie Scheidegger / AP

Four-year-old Evan Sanders contemplates a problem with a green ribbon in his bike chain prior to the start of the St. Patrick’s Day parade on March 17, 2005, in Lee’s Summit, Missouri.

A green and white cake that reads happy saint patrick's day

Richard Levine / Corbis via Getty Images

St. Patrick’s Day–themed baked goods on sale at a supermarket in New York on March 14, 2015.

Boy Collides with Sloth on Zip-Line Ride in Costa Rican Rainforest

Video below

A wild viral video from an adventure park in Costa Rica shows a boy’s zip-line ride come to a sudden stop when he collides with a sloth that had somehow gotten stuck on the wire. The very strange encounter reportedly occurred last weekend at the Go.Adventure Arenal Park in the town of La Fortuna as the unnamed youngster was participating in a canopy tour at the tourist destination. The breathtaking experience of cruising down a zip-line amid the lush treetops of the rainforest turned into a truly unforgettable moment for the boy when he slams into the veritable slow-moving speed bump. Although the collision is rather abrupt, it would appear that neither the youngster nor the animal were injured in the mid-air crash thanks to the zip-line’s break.

When the park worker shadowing the boy catches up to him, the astonished tot exclaims “it’s a sloth! I just clocked it straight in the face!” The duo are then essentially left stuck hanging on the line while they wonder how the creature wound up in their path and wait for it to eventually depart. Remarkably, park owner Flavio Leiton Ramos said that such an encounter had never occurred at the park before and marveled that “it’s one of those things that happened that probably will never happen again.” We’re guessing that the sloth hopes that’s the case, since it almost certainly got quite the scare when the boy barreled into it.

James Bond Island

The MarkoZen Blog

Khao Phing Kan or Ko Khao Phing Kan is an island in Thailand, in Phang Nga Bay northeast of Phuket. The islands are limestone karst towers and are a part of Ao Phang Nga National Park.

About 40 metres (130 ft) from the shores of Khao Phing Kan lies a 20-metre (66 ft) tall islet called Ko Ta Po or Ko Tapu. Since 1974, when they were featured in the James Bond movie The Man with the Golden Gun, Khao Phing Kan and Ko Ta Pu have been popularly called James Bond Island.

The Man with the Golden Gun is a 1974 spy film and the ninth in the James Bond series produced by Eon Productions, and the second to star Roger Moore as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. A loose adaptation of Ian Fleming’s novel of the same name, the film has Bond sent after the Solex Agitator…

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Ponyhenge

Lincoln, Massachusetts

No one really knows how these old hobby horses got here, but the herd keeps growing. 

ON A SMALL SLICE OF wide-open pasture in the town of Lincoln, Massachusetts, broken-down rocking horses, plastic ponies and other assorted horse toys have been holding court. As if by magic, ponies have been proliferating along this winding country road, resulting in the peculiar “Ponyhenge.”

The plastic and metal horses started arriving anonymously sometime in 2010, with the placement of a lone hobby horse along picturesque Old Sudbury Road, about 15 miles west of Boston. How and why the rusty little fellow appeared is a mystery, even to Lincolnites who’ve been around a while. One story has the first horse hanging around after a kid’s short-lived lemonade stand, another that he was left over from a Christmas display.

Whatever the real story might be, after the first one appeared things started to get strange. More horses—hobby horses, rocking horses, and horse figurines—began appearing at the site. They are periodically rearranged, sometimes in a circle, sometimes in rows like race horses. Other times they are simply scattered and knocked around, as if they’ve come back from a long night of carousing.

The herd has been growing faster of late, with twice as many horses put out to pasture as there were a couple of years ago. Oddly, no one takes them away—the arrangement only morphs and grows, much to the delight of the family that owns the land. As the owner told the Boston Globe in 2015, “There was something lovely about it being anonymous, and now every time we go away, another one appears.”

Know Before You Go

Lincoln is about 15 miles west of Boston. Follow Rt-117 going west and turn left onto Old Sudbury Road. Ponyhenge will be about half a mile down on your left (just after you pass Boyce Farm Road). For GPS directions, set the address to “39 Old Sudbury Rd. Lincoln MA”. 

While it’s on privately owned land, Ponyhenge is open to anyone who wants to visit.

Atlasobscura.com