April 2016

Bizarre Insurance Claims

Britain’s most bizarre insurance claims include damage caused by a BADGER locked in a shed and a baby vomiting on a laptop during a Skype call

  • Insurance provider RIAS has revealed its top 10 most bizarre claims
  • A snail devoured £78-worth of carpet at the home of a 73-year-old man
  • 71-year-old also received a pay out after a badger ate its way out of a shed

Insurance provider RIAS has published its top 10 list of most bizarre claims in the last year. Among them was a man who claimed after a badger damaged his shed, gnawing its way out after becoming trapped inside.

The list of bizarre insurance claims was compiled by specialist insurance provider RIAS from the almost 400,000 successful cases in 2012-13.  Peter Corfield, Managing Director at RIAS said: ‘While we go out of our way to ensure that our homes and gardens are safe and secure, sometimes it’s the most unlikely events that can end up causing real damage.  ‘Not all claims are straightforward and sometimes we do see some bizarre scenarios. but, saying that, babies and animals are often the culprits.’

1. A 71-year-old woman from Bath locked a badger in her shed, which then managed to bash a hole in the wall to escape.
2. After seeing a dog on the TV, a dog in Galashiels tried to jump into the screen after it.
3. A small child spilt a glass of coke on his grandad’s laptop. Drying it with a hairdryer melted the keys, causing £239 worth of damage.
4. A grandfather in Guildford held his baby grandson up to show him off over Skype. The baby then threw up on the laptop causing £437 worth of damage.
5. Wind blew a 62-year-old’s glasses off his face, which were then immediately run over by a car, resulting in £469 worth of damage.
6. A trapped squirrel in the garage of an 86-year-old woman from Exeter managed to crack a window and escape.
7. A snail ate £78 worth of carpet in the home of a 73-year-old man from Preston.
8. A pigeon fell down a chimney and flew into a house, damaging the carpet, ornaments and sofa to the tune of more than £8,000
9. A seven-month-old puppy in Cardiff stole a one litre bottle of oil from the kitchen, dragged it to the living room and chewed it on the sofa, causing £953 worth of damage
10. A deer fell into the swimming pool of a 74-year-old man from Guildford, damaging the cover.

Article originally appeared on the Daily Mail.

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Curry house chef ‘prepared food after wiping his bottom with his bare hands’

chef prepared food after wiping his bottom with his bare hands – and hygiene inspectors found ‘brown fingerprints’ in the kitchen.

Mahbub Chowdhury, 46, had an empty bottle in his kitchen which inspectors discovered was covered in faecal matter.

He said he filled the bottle with water from the kitchen taps and used it to clean his bottom after visiting the toilet – and did not use toilet paper for ‘cultural reasons’.

Chowdhury then prepared dishes including meat and fish curries at his Yeahya Flavour of Asia in Swindon, Wilts.

Mahbub Chowdhury appearing at Swindon Magistrates Court. A curry house chef prepared food after wiping his bottom with his HANDS - because he doesn't use toilet paper for 'cultural reasons', a court heard. See SWNS story SWFILTH. Mahbub Chowdhury, 46, had an empty bottle in his kitchen which inspectors discovered was covered in fecal matter. He said he filled the bottle with water from the kitchen taps and used it to clean his bottom after visiting the toilet - and did not use loo paper for cultural reasons. Chowdhury then prepared dishes including meat and fish curries at his Yeahya Flavour of Asia in Swindon, Wilts. He pleaded guilty to ten allegations of breaching food and hygiene regulations at Swindon Magistrates Court and will be sentenced later.
Mahbub Chowdhury appearing at Swindon Magistrates Court (Picture SWNS)

He pleaded guilty to ten allegations of breaching food and hygiene regulations at Swindon Magistrates Court and will be sentenced later.

Prosecuting, Rosie Heath said health officers visited his business on May 5 last year and found ‘very poor standards of hygiene’.

She said: ‘In the kitchen under the double sinks [they] found an empty plastic milk bottle which was extremely dirty and was covered with brown fingerprints.

‘When asked, Mr Chowdhury explained he filled the bottle with water from the kitchen taps and used it to clean his bottom after visiting the toilet.

‘He did not use toilet paper for cultural reasons. Inspectors concluded the brown finger prints was fecal matter.’

Defending Mark Glendenning said the milk bottle was never assessed and the marks ‘could have been spices’.

Article originally appeared on Metro.

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Unbelievable Medical Mistakes

1. The Fertility Clinic that used the wrong sperm

When Nancy Andrews, of Commack, N.Y., became pregnant after an in vitro fertilization procedure at a New York fertility clinic, she and her husband expected a new addition to their family. What they did not expect was a child whose skin was significantly darker than that of either parent. Subsequent DNA tests suggested that doctors at New York Medical Services for Reproductive Medicine accidentally used another man’s sperm to inseminate Nancy Andrews’ eggs.

The couple has since raised Baby Jessica, who was born Oct. 19, 2004, as their own, according to wire reports. But the couple still filed a malpractice suit against the owner of the clinic, as well as the embryologist who allegedly mixed up the samples.

2. Received the wrong heart and lungs, then died

17-year-old Jésica Santillán died 2 weeks after receiving the heart and lungs of a patient whose blood type did not match hers. Doctors at the Duke University Medical Center failed to check the compatibility before surgery began. . After a rare second transplant operation to attempt to rectify the error, she suffered brain damage and complications that subsequently hastened her death.

Santillán, a Mexican immigrant, had come to the United States three years before to seek medical treatment for a life-threatening heart condition. The heart-lung transplant that surgeons at Duke University Hospital in Durham, N.C., hoped would improve this condition instead put her in greater danger; Santillán, who had type-O blood, had received the organs from a type-A donor.

The error sent the patient into a comalike state, and she died shortly after an attempt to switch the organs back out for compatible ones failed. The hospital blamed human error for the death, along with a lack of safeguards to ensure a compatible transplant. According to reports, Duke reached an agreement on an undisclosed settlement with the family. Neither the hospital nor the family is allowed to comment on the case.

3. A $200,000 testicle

In yet another case of a wrongful operation, surgeons mistakenly removed the healthy right testicle of 47-year-old Air Force veteran Benjamin Houghton. The patient had been complaining of pain and shrinkage of his left testicle so doctors decided to schedule surgery to remove it due to cancer fears. However, the veteran’s medical records suggest a series of missteps — from an error on the consent form to a failure on the part of medical personnel to mark the proper surgical site before the procedure. The error, which took place at the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center, spurred a $200,000 lawsuit from Houghton and his wife.

4. A 13-Inch souvenir

Donald Church, 49, had a tumor in his abdomen when he arrived at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle in June 2000. When he left, the tumor was gone — but a metal retractor had taken its place. Doctors admitted to leaving the 13-inch-long retractor in Church’s abdomen by mistake. It was not the first such incident at the medical center; four other such occurrences had been documented at the hospital between 1997 and 2000. Fortunately, surgeons were able to remove the retractor shortly after it was discovered, and Church experienced no long-term health consequences from the mistake. The hospital agreed to pay Church $97,000.

5. An open heart invasive procedure… on the wrong patient

Joan Morris (a pseudonym) is a 67-year-old woman admitted to a teaching hospital for cerebral angiography. The day after that procedure, she mistakenly underwent an invasive cardiac electrophysiology study. After angiography, the patient was transferred to another floor rather than returning to her original bed. Discharge was planned for the following day. The next morning, however, the patient was taken for a open heart procedure. The patient had been on the operating table for an hour. Doctors had made an incision in her groin, punctured an artery, threaded in a tube and snaked it up into her heart (a procedure with risks of bleeding, infection, heart attack and stroke). That was when the phone rang and a doctor from another department asked “what are you doing with my patient?” There was nothing wrong with her heart. The cardiologist working on the woman checked her chart, and saw that he was making an awful mistake. The study was aborted, and she was returned to her room in stable condition.

6. Hospital makes a wrong-sided brain surgery… for the third time in a year

For the third time on the same year, doctors at Rhode Island Hospital have operated on the wrong side of a patient’s head. The most recent incident occurred Nov. 23 2007. An 82-year-old woman required an operation to stop bleeding between her brain and her skull. A neurosurgeon at the hospital began a surgery by drilling the right side of the patient’s head, even though a CT scan showed bleeding on the left side, according to local reports. The resident reportedly caught his mistake early, after which he closed the initial hole and proceeded on the left side of the patient’s head. The patient was listed in fair condition on Sunday.

The case echoes of a similar mistake last February, in which a different doctor operated on the wrong side of a patient’s head. And last August, an 86-year-old man died three weeks after a surgeon at Rhode Island Hospital accidentally operated on the wrong side of his head.

7. The Surgeon who removed the wrong leg

In what was, perhaps, the most publicized case of a surgical mistake in its time, a Tampa (Florida) surgeon mistakenly removed the wrong leg of his patient, 52-year-old Willie King, during an amputation procedure in February 1995.

It was later revealed that a chain of errors before the surgery culminated in the wrong leg being prepped for the procedure. While the surgeon’s team realized in the middle of the procedure that they were operating on the wrong leg, it was already too late, and the leg was removed. As a result of the error, the surgeon’s medical license was suspended for six months and he was fined $10,000. University Community Hospital in Tampa, the medical center where the surgery took place, paid $900,000 to King and the surgeon involved in the case paid an additional $250,000 to King.

8. The healthy kidney removed by mistake

In St. Louis Park, Minnesota, a patient was submitted at Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital to have one of his kidneys removed because it had a tumor believed to be cancerous. Instead, doctors removed the healthy one.

“The discovery that this was the wrong kidney was made the next day when the pathologist examined the material and found no evidence of any malignancy,” said Samuel Carlson, M.D. and Park Nicollet Chief Medical Officer. The potentially cancerous kidney remained intact and functioning. For privacy and family’s request, no details about the patient were released.

9. Wide-Awake Surgery led to his suicide

A West Virginia man’s family claims inadequate anesthetic during surgery allowed him to feel every slice of the surgeon’s scalpel – a trauma they believe led him to take his own life two weeks later. Sherman Sizemore was admitted to Raleigh General Hospital in Beckley, W.Va., Jan. 19, 2006 for exploratory surgery to determine the cause of his abdominal pain. But during the operation, he reportedly experienced a phenomenon known as anesthetic awareness — a state in which a surgical patient is able to feel pain, pressure or discomfort during an operation, but is unable to move or communicate with doctors.

According to the complaint, anesthesiologists administered the drugs to numb the patient, but they failed to give him the general anesthetic that would render him unconscious until 16 minutes after surgeons first cut into his abdomen. Family members say the 73-year-old Baptist minister was driven to kill himself by the traumatic experience of being awake during surgery but unable to move or cry out in pain.

10. Not so funny: wrong artery bypassed

Two months after a double bypass heart operation that was supposed to save his life, comedian and former Saturday Night Live cast member Dana Carvey got some disheartening news: the cardiac surgeon had bypassed the wrong artery. It took another emergency operation to clear the blockage that was threatening to kill the 45-year-old funnyman and father of two young kids. Responding to a $7.5 million lawsuit Carvey brought against him, the surgeon said he’d made an honest mistake because Carvey’s artery was unusually situated in his heart. But Carvey didn’t see it that way: “It’s like removing the wrong kidney. It’s that big a mistake,” the entertainer told People magazine.

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Airbnb Is Giving You the Chance to Sleep Surrounded by Sharks

A contest organised by Airbnb is offering three lucky winners the chance to spend a night in the company of full-grown sharks. The winners and their guests will get access to a transparent glass bedroom submerged in the 33-foot deep Paris Aquarium inhabited by 35 sharks.

Interested applicants, who must be 18 years or older and in good health, can apply for the contest through theAirbnb website. “On the 11, 12, and 13 of April, the Paris Aquarium opens its doors for a night of total immersion in a room full of sharks,” the website states. “And not just any room: you will sleep in a circular bed, with a breathtaking view of the world of sharks.” If it’s any reassurance, the unique bedroom was apparently tested for durability in the waters of the Mediterranean.

The unusual event will be hosted by free diver, photographer, and shark enthusiast Fred Buyle, and a marine biologist will provide the winners with an exclusive course on sharks – their mysterious lives and their role in the ocean’s delicate ecosystem.

According to Buyle, “Sharks are really, really misunderstood. People need to understand that sharks are not dangerous, they are only dangerous behaviors with sharks. It’s a great opportunity to show people that you can swim with sharks, you can be with sharks and nothing bad happens, but also that we need to protect the sharks because they are like crucial for the ecosystem. If sharks disappear, we disappear, basically.”

Upon arrival, the winners will first be taken to their room for presentations, followed by dinner at the shark tunnel and a night among the sharks. A twin bed, linens, soap, toilet paper, and shampoo are all included in the package, as well as breakfast the next morning. The stay is completely free, as is the travel arrangement to and from Paris.


Applications must also include a message addressed to the judges. In 50 to 500 characters, applicants must explain why they’re the perfect candidate for the event. The choice of languages include English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese. In case of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, the word limit is between 50 and 300. Of course, an Airbnb account is a mandatory requirement.

If selected, guests will be forbidden from diving or swimming in the aquarium, and will be required to keep their hands and feet indoors at all times. Selfies are not allowed after dark because sharks are sensitive to light. And although it’s not compulsory, the organisers advise against watching movies like Jaws or Les Dents de la Mer, before checking in.

Article originally appeared on Oddity Central.

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Japanese Cafe Creates Delicious-Looking Salad Cakes to Make Dieting Less Depressing

Japanese food stylist Mitsuki Moriyasu is on a mission to prove that salads can look much better than they taste. Last year, she introduced the world to the concept of the ‘Vegiedeco Salad’, an exquisite preparation of vegetables made in the likeness of a cake. The hybrid dish was initially featured on the menu of a bistro in Nagoya, but it got so popular that it is now being exclusively showcased at a brand new cafe in the city.

The savory dish consists of colorful layers of vegetables, sandwiched between two soybean-flour sponge and covered in a tofu or cream cheese frosting blended with vegetables for natural coloring. The end result is a sinful-looking salad-cake that is not just a visual treat but also packs a nutritious punch. Containing very little to no sugar, each salad also includes a good amount of roots and peels for fiber.


A wide range of these cakes are now available at The Vegiedeco Cafe, which opened its doors on April 5. The offerings are dainty and meticulously decorated with great attention to detail. A slice of salad cake starts at 735 yen ($6.50), which comes with a special koji (Japanese sake starter mold) dressing. Diners can enhance their meal with a slice of gluten-free bread (resembling a tea cake, of course) made of a strain of ancient rice, and a cup of healthy Vegie Drop Tea (loaded with phytochemicals).



The Vegiedeco Cafe has a seasonal menu, so it’s sure to be a hit among health-conscious folks in Japan. After all, who could refuse a slice of cake that’s both pretty and healthy?

Article originally appeared on Oddity Central.

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Identical Twin Brothers Who Married Identical Twin Sisters to Get Plastic Surgery So They Can Tell Each Other Apart

Problems in identifying identical twins makes for excellent comedy, but in real life it can be quite frustrating, especially if you have two pairs of identical twins married to each other. That’s why these newlywed twins from China have decided to get plastic surgery in a bid to make themselves less identical and thus avoid the undesirable complications that could arise from failing to tell each other apart.

Zhao Xin and his twin brother Zhao Xun, from Yuncheng in China’s Shanxi Province, have been confounding relatives and friends ever since they started dating twin sisters Yun Fei and Yun Yang from a neighboring village. Although they went to the same high school in Shanxi, they only got together last year after being introduced by a matchmaker. A month later, the four of them were engaged.

Both pairs of identical twins look so alike that it’s apparently impossible to tell them apart, even by their voices.  On their wedding day, their guests and even their own parents had a tough time identifying them, checking and double checking that they weren’t marrying the wrong partners.


Photo: Ti Gong

But the tipping point occurred just a few days after the wedding, when one brother found himself reaching out to caress his sister-in-law’s hand, mistaking her for his wife! On another occasion, Zhao Xin was hit by sister-in-law Yun Yang, who had meant to playfully punch her husband. To prevent such awkward situations from occurring in the future, the young couples decided to spend their honeymoon consulting plastic surgeons about , much to the relief of their families.


According to news reports, the quartet, all aged 22, have visited a hospital in Shanghai, where a team of surgeons and dermatologists are working on their case. After examining their faces and skin, they’ve recommended corrective microsurgery on the forehead and nose – in order to make the twins distinguishable, but still similar.

Article originally appeared on Oddity Central.

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This Brave Pit Bull Was America’s First War Dog

We would like you all to meet Stubby, Sergeant Stubby to be more accurate. He’s a decorated WWI Hero, friend to presidents, and a total looker.

sergeant stubby 1

In 1917, Stubby, a Pitbull puppy with a “stubbed” tail, was living on the streets of New Haven, Connecticut near an Army training camp at Yale University. It was there that a private named J. Robert Conroy found and adopted Stubby.

stubby 2

Stubby underwent major training at camp. He learned to respond to bugle calls, marched with the troops and saluted fellow soldiers.

When it came time for Conroy to ship out, he smuggled Stubby aboard the USS Minnesota in his overcoat.

stubby 4

Stubby was smart enough to know the difference between English and German. He used these skills to determine which wounded soldiers to help on the battlefield.

His language skills also came in handy in France. Stubby sniffed out a German spy, bit him on the butt and held on until help arrived! Good dog!

stubby 5

For this act of valor, Stubby became the first war dog ever to be promoted to the rank of Sergeant. This meant he now outranked his human, Corporal Conroy.

Another time, mustard gas almost killed the pup. Once he recovered, he could detect incoming attacks and alert the human soldiers. In the image below you can see the Stubby patches his regiment wore on their gas mask packs.

stubby 6

Stubby served 18 months on the Frontlines, fighting in 17 different battles and four major campaigns. He survived shrapnel wounds and carried messages under fire.

General John J. Pershing, Commander of the US Forces, personally awarded Stubby a gold medal for heroism. That wasn’t his only award. The brave pup also earned a Purple Heart, the Medal of the Battle of Verdun, and the Republic of France Grande War Medal.

stubby 8

After the war, Stubby was awarded lifetime membership in the American Legion, YMCA and American Red Cross. The pup went on to meet and charm Presidents Woodrow Wilson, Warren G. Harding and Calvin Coolidge. Who wouldn’t be charmed by the handsome fellow?

Conroy eventually attended Georgetown University where he studied law school. While Conroy studied, Stubby parlayed his fame into a sweet gig as the Hoyas mascot.

stubby 9

In 1926, Stubby died in Conroy’s arms. He was so loved that The New York Times ran an obituary that was 3 columns wide and half a page long.

stubby dog copy

Stubby is remembered as America’s first canine soldier and one of the most selfless heroes our country has ever known.

Article originally appeared on Barkpost.

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Quakers Oats Are Cool!

Description: 1966 QUAKER OATS vintage magazine advertisement “Hot oatmeal is cool”

~ Hot oatmeal is cool. – Know what the beautiful people eat for breakfast? – Right! Big steaming bowls of it. – Because oatmeal swings. It really does. – On a cold wintry morning, oatmeal absolutely turns you on. As a part of your breakfast menu, it gives you a healthy helping of energy that puts you in gear for the whole day. – It’s a good, natural, stick-to-the-ribs food that makes breakfast an honest meal. And tastes warm and nutty and good, besides. – In its funny old-fashioned way, Quaker Oats is a modern nutritionist’s dream. It’s got protein to spare. Good natural protein. Builders. Boosters. Things that make young bodies grow. And go, go, go! Yet a bowl of Quaker Oats has only two more calories than a bowl of cold corn flakes. – Which may surprise you. And interest you, if you’re watching your waistline. – Quaker Oats can help you do it without feeling hungry or wanting to sneak a snack before lunch. – Here’s another little surprise: more people eat Quaker Oats for breakfast than any other brand of cereal in America, hot or cold. – Could it be that at the ripe old age of ninety, we’re finally becoming a teenage fad? – In some cities, Quaker Oats is called Mother’s Oats. ~

Okay then.

Article originally appeared on Vintage Adventures.

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Victorian kitchen that has remained untouched for 60 years discovered

Shrouded in a thick layer of dust and hidden under piles of junk, a complete Victorian kitchen lay forgotten for more than a generation.  Archie Graham-Palmer and his wife Philippa discovered the incredible time capsule when they began rummaging in the basement of the family home.  They found an entire kitchen kitted out as if the cook had just stepped out for a breath of air.

The old cooker in the Victorian kitchen, which has been uncovered after decades of gathering dust in a country house in mid-Wales
The old cooker in the Victorian kitchen, which has been uncovered after decades of gathering dust in a country house in mid-Wales
Cooking utensils from the Victorian era remain in place on the walls, shelves and sideboards
Cooking utensils from the Victorian era remain in place on the walls, shelves and sideboards
House proud: Archie Graham-Palmer and wife Phillippa discovered the relic in the basement of their home
House proud: Archie Graham-Palmer and wife Phillippa discovered the relic in the basement of their home
A kettle from the Victorian era left on a hotplateIt is a far cry from the stainless stell kitchens of today
The kitchen was discovered when the room, which had been used as a dumping ground, was cleared.
The kitchen’s entrance had been blocked since the Second World War with a collection of unwanted belongings.  A kettle from the Victorian era left on a hotplate
It is a far cry from the stainless steel kitchens of today.  The kitchen was stocked with everything the staff needed to prepare meals for the household, as well as a full cooking range, they discovered kettles, pots, pans, pastry cutters, antique fire extinguishers and jelly moulds.  There was a spit for roasting pigs on, as well as a table and benches in the middle of the room which could easily seat 20 staff.
The current house at Cefn Lea Park was built around the turn of the 19th century, the previous building on the site having been destroyed by fire in 1794.  In the 18th Century it had been the home of the Griffiths family before passing on to the prominent Kenyon family of Gredington.  The house was sold in 1830 at an auction held at the Wynnstay Arms Hotel. It was bought by Rev Nathaniel Roberts whose wife, Frances, was daughter of John Matthews, attorney of Chester.  However, another fire that same year meant that the house needed extensive renovations.   What we see today is likely to date from this period.  On Frances’ death in 1850, Cefn Park passed to Sir William Henry Roger Palmer, Bt, of Kunure Park, Dublin, who was married to Frances’ sister  Eleanor. It subsequently went to their son, Sir Roger William Henry Palmer in 1854.  The kitchen is thought to date back to the 1830s when the house had a full complement of servants.
Unused for more than 100 years, the kitchen was apparently briefly recommissioned during the Second World War because it offered protection from air raids.  But it was mothballed after the war and became a dumping ground.  Cefn Park near Wrexham, North Wales, has been passed down through the family since it was bought in 1830.  Mr Graham-Palmer, 41, who worked in commercial forestry, moved back to the family home this year to take over the estate from his father.  With his wife, Philippa, 37, he began investigating the nooks and crannies that had been left undisturbed for decades.  ‘The basement had been a dumping ground for years,’ he said. ‘We discovered that the room was as it would have been.  ‘We even found a cookbook. Most of the recipes would have needed an army of cooks.’  He and his wife intend to preserve the kitchen because of its links to the estate’s Victorian past and it is being redecorated in colours from the era.

Archie Graham-Palmer and his wife Philippa discovered the below-stairs kitchen in the 200-year-old stately home in Cefn Park

Archie Graham-Palmer and his wife Philippa discovered the below-stairs kitchen in the 200-year-old stately home in Cefn Park

Bells so the staff knew when they were being summoned to each roomA relic from a bygone era hanging on the wall
Bells so the staff knew when they were being summoned to each room, a relic from a bygone era hanging on the wall.

The bells with which the servants were summoned, as well as an unidentified weighted pulley system, remain mounted on the walls
The Cefn Park house is surrounded by 50 acres of land near Wrexham

Article originally appeared on the Daily Mail.

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