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Monthly Archives: June 2014

Kerrian’s Notebook, p. 111 “50 More Ways to Die an Unnatural Death.”

 

Shovels anyone?

It’s well known that Kerrian’s Notebook readers are a fun bunch. The anniversary post of “100 ways to die an unnatural death” was the most popular new post of 2014.  So popular, in fact, that many readers clamored for more.

 

Bring on the groans! Here are another 50 ways to die an unnatural death. Some were accidental, but some were murderously carried out. Can you tell which was which?

101. Deck collapsed with dancing partiers on it, who then fell to death

102. Partier standing below the deck crushed by the falling debris

103. Tripped and fell downstairs, breaking neck

104. Hypothermia inside a car stuck in a snowstorm

105. Sneezed to death

106. Laughed to death – wife actually sent thank-you note to TV show, because her husband enjoyed his last moments so much.

107. Baked to death by sunburn

108. Impaled – Death by stingray barb to heart

109. Impaled thru eye

110. Impaled on ski pole

 

111. Impaled by fork lift

112. Crushed by car while lying under it to repair it.

113. Hit on head by falling coconut

114. Death by video game – played until exhausted and beyond

115. Decapitated by helicopter blade – careless

116. Decapitated by airplane propeller – murder

117. Decapitation by chain saw – self-inflicted

118. Death by eating four pufferfish livers

119. Overate at one meal

120. Overate during several hours of food competition

 

121. Crushed by a stack of falling coffins

122. Neck broken by flying coffin

123. Slow death by slicing off pieces of body a bit at a time

124. Crushed by cow falling through roof

125. Asphyxiation after being rolled into a gym mat

126. Hit by flying fire hydrant

127. Injected with dirty hypodermic needle

128. Hit in head by golf ball

129. Hit in head by 9-iron

 

130. Suffocated under a pile of elephant dung

131. Suffocated under a pile of sand

132.  Ink poisoning thru skin

133. Carbon monoxide poisoning

134.  Coal dust in lungs

135. Fell off a moving train

136. Trampled by cattle

 

137. Allergic reaction to bee sting

 

138. Stabbed with a pitchfork

139. Shot with nail gun

140. Drowned in vat of beer

 

141. Blown up by dynamite tossed out car window while window was closed

142. Ate the wrong kind of newt – ya know, the one with toxins in its skin

143. Fell off skateboard while holding onto a moving vehicle

144. Suffocation in cement at building site

145. Suffocation after being trapped in bank vault with no ventilation

146. Suffocation inside coffin when mistakenly thought to be dead in the first place.

147. Drowned in vat of chocolate

148. Sucked into an airplane engine

149. Fell out of exploding hot air balloon

150. Bashed on the head with a shovel

 

Sources? You may not believe it, but I come across these methods of death on an almost daily basis – either in the books I read, the news programs I watch, or in the movies.

 

The BIG question: Do you know whom to call to help with the shovels if the time comes?

Pass the pitchfork, please.  😉

 

 

*Photos by Patti Phillips – nobody died during the photo shoots. Honest.

 

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Kerrian’s Notebook, p.110 “Death at the Soccer Pitch”


Warning: part of this post may be too intense for some readers.

 

In soccer, the ‘pitch’ is the field upon which the game is played. The USA, Canada, and Australia call it soccer. To most of the rest of the world, the sport is called football.

 

Soccer is the most popular sport in the world. Period. Second place? Cricket.

 

 

 

Over 710 million people worldwide watched the final match held in Germany in 2010. We tried to get tickets for at least one of the weeks of the month-long finals that year, but by the time we could make travel plans, we discovered that they had been sold out for over a year. This year’s finals will be held in Brazil, beginning on June 12th and ending a month later in July.



The World Cup Finals are held every four years, with over 200 teams from around the world competing for more than two years to narrow the field to the 32 teams that reach the Finals. The level of play during the competition is amazing, with headers and kicks and jaw-dropping goals that look physically impossible to make.

 

 

The team and fan rivalry is enthusiastic and can sometimes be intense. Sometimes, fans get so caught up in the moment that they lose all sense of reason if a call goes against their favorite player or team.

 


In 2013, a referee expelled a player from a game, a fight broke out and the referee in Brazil mortally stabbed the player. When friends and family of the player found out that he had died on the way to the hospital, they charged onto the field and stoned the ref to death. Then they quartered his body. They took his head and put it on a pike in the middle of the field. That’s not a typo, folks.

http://www.mrconservative.com/2013/07/20799-brazilian-soccer-referee-cut-up-beheaded-by-spectators-on-field/

 

Just about a month ago, some fans were so annoyed by play at a match that they started tossing toilet bowls at the opposition fans. Yup, ripped out the plumbing and threw it, killing someone in the process.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-05-05/fan-killed-by-toilet-bowl-as-violence-hits-world-cup-host-brazil.html

 

 

Law enforcement agencies and fans of the sport have been working for several years to reduce the number of incidents, occasionally emptying stadiums before a match is finished so that a game can be completed without further harm coming to players or refs or the fans themselves. Serious scrutiny of various underlying causes for the riots, crowd mentality, and sometimes criminal behavior has even caused a change in how the games are played and/or policed.

http://www.sirc.org/publik/fvexec.html

 

 

I love the sport, and even played on the varsity soccer team when I was a kid, so I am not knocking the pure beauty of the game. People just get carried away from time to time, forgetting that it is in fact, just a game we play for exercise, sport and/or entertainment. Many of the top players in the world, in this pre-World Cup week, have said in interviews that they want to provide great entertainment for the fans. Of course they also want to win, but hooligans are not invited to the show.

 

We won’t be in Brazil this month, so we’ll have to be happy catching a match or two on TV. Plus, I have my ’94 World Cup t-shirt to wear whenever the USA plays.  😉

 

 


If you are lucky enough to watch some of the matches in person, here are some tips to remain safe and happy while you’re there. They work for any large sporting event, not just the World Cup.

 

  • If they are demonstrating against the World Cup, stay away from the protest.
    .
  • If you want to take pictures of people, make sure to ask first.
    .
  • Leave your valuable jewelry at home.

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  • Take a taxi or walk with a group or a trusted guide.
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  • Do not flash around your cash, iphone, ipad and/or cameras. You can use them, but then, cover them up.
  • Don’t take your valuables to the beach.
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  • Drink bottled water.
    ..
  • Don’t get drunk, but if you’re going out, don’t bring your credit card and smartphone with you. Take some cash, bring the address from the hotel, and a copy of your passport.
    .

 

Stay safe and have loads of fun watching the best soccer players in the world compete.

 

*Photos by Patti Phillips

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Kerrian’s Notebook, p.109 “Murder and Other Crimes at the Racetrack”

 

 

It’s Triple Crown season in the horseracing world.

 

The 140th Kentucky Derby took place on the first weekend in May, the Preakness ran May 17th and the Belmont Stakes (the last of the three races that make up the Triple Crown) will be held this coming weekend. The last horse that won the top prize in horse racing was Affirmed (in 1978) and California Chrome has a shot at the crown this time. There is a stable full of money to be won or lost – the first place purse at the Derby alone was over $1.4 million this year.

 


With stakes this high, tempers are bound to flare, arguments over how to train a horse to win will be frequent, and cheating at all levels in all areas of the sport has been attempted in the past. Unscrupulous trainers or desperate owners may try to dope a horse to enhance its speed or even disguise injuries with drugs so that the horse can race one last time. This is less likely to happen during the big races because of the increased scrutiny from all sides. But, to deal with any abuse of the animals or the betting system and even conditions for the jockeys themselves, each state has a Racing Commission that oversees and regulates the integrity of the sport and hands out penalties to offenders throughout the season if needed.

See www.khrc.ky.gov for information about the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.



Great jockeys matched with superior horses can be a goldmine for the owner and the jockey percentage of the purse can be substantial. That winning purse at the Derby that brought the owner over a million? The winning jockey made $142,000. that day.  If jockeys finish in one of the top three spots in a big race, they receive 10% of the purse for the day – thousands in most cases. Outside the top three at a smaller track? They might get $100. for the ride. That disparity is the source of intense rivalry for the best rides.

 

 

 

The day after the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby (2012), a trainer’s groom was found dead behind a barn at Churchill Downs. The murder (or possibly reckless homicide) was never solved, so nobody can say for sure whether his death was related to racing or to a nasty argument over something else entirely.

Cathy Scott, a crime writer, covered the original story:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/crime/2012/05/07/murder-at-the-racetrack/

Homicide detectives followed as many leads as they could, but it’s a cold case.

http://www.wdrb.com/story/22112320/kentucky-derby-murder-remains-unsolved-one-year-later

 


People all over the world bet on the outcome of the Triple Crown. Some base their bets on the jockeys, on the stables where the horse comes from, on the horse itself, even on the conditions of the track. Me? If I watch a race on TV, I choose the horse based on its cool name or on the colors of silks the jockey wears. Not a foolproof system, but I’m not a bettor. I just like to watch the horses run.

 

Big money and fierce competition both on and off the track – what could possibly go wrong?

 


*Photos by Patti Phillips – of an unnamed, great looking horse from her files.  🙂

 

 

 

 

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