Your Doomed World

January 8th, 2009 | researchmaterial

* A 90-year-old Port St Lucie woman was found in her home — which she shares with her 68-year-old son, supposedly her sole caregiver — “unwashed, wearing clothing soaked in urine, severely underweight and emaciated.” Also, her shoes had not been removed for so long that they had “grown into her feet.”

As anyone who watched QI this Xmas knows, urine-soaked old women are also a terrible fire risk.

* A reportedly mentally ill migrant worker in Guangzhou has been arrested after the body of a four-year-old girl was found in his fridge. "He was described as a recluse who sometimes wore women’s clothing and enjoyed watching war films. The newspaper quoted his neighbour as saying that on one occasion, while watching a film of people being killed in battle, A He commented that "human meat was in fact delicious"."

* Taliban combatants in Afghanistan continue to surprise people by employing marksmen with long-barrel rifles to make direct hits from long distance. This is being taken as a development in asymmetrical warfare, as opposed to something Lee Van Cleef used to do in Westerns a hundred fucking years ago. Interesting point made about the Iraqi insurgency snipers in Anbar, though:

Iraqi insurgent groups began filming their sniper attacks, and the images of Marines falling to them became a rallying point for the insurgency.

* Bird Flu re-emerges in Beijing and northern Vietnam, one dead so far.

* "The Human Flesh Search Engine," and other reasons why China wants to place serious controls on the internet.

* "Israel’s dilemma is that it is not fighting a state but an ideology."


2 Responses to “Your Doomed World”

  1. The reason old urine-soaked ladies are flammable (and I was sad they didn’t go into that on QI, Fry pretty much dismissed it as implausible) is that the dried urine may contain phosphorus, as first discovered by German alchemist Hennig Brand (or Enoch Root if you’ve read The Baroque Cycle).

    This phosphorus wouldn’t be in such a concentration (or form, iirc) that the old ladies in question would spontaneously combust upon contact with the air, but I can only hope that parts of them may occasionally start to smoke for no apparent reason.

  2. The shoes “growing” onto the woman doesn’t really surprise me. I read one news article about a woman that locked herself in her abusive boyfriend’s bathroom for 3 years and her butt grew to the toilet seat. Had to have it surgically removed.