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Old 12-15-2023, 06:36 AM   #2891
Varyon
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: Real-Life Weirdness

So, I recently learned of a fascinating fellow named Lauri Törni. He was a Finnish soldier fighting the Soviet Union during WWII. When Finland signed the Moscow Armistice, he joined up with the Germans and became a member of the Waffen-SS, continuing to fight the Soviet Union. After the war, he eventually made his way (via a somewhat-circuitous path) to the United States, where he eventually joined the Army and served in the Special Forces in Vietnam, where he died in a helicopter crash. His body was eventually recovered, and he's the only former member of the Waffen-SS to be buried at Arlington. He received medals from all three flags he served under, although allegedly he burned what he got from Germany when he found out about the Holocaust (he appears to have only joined up with them to continue fighting the Soviets).

And that glosses over a lot - he apparently escaped from at least one POW camp, from police custody after he was arrested for treason (for fighting on Germany's side during the Lapland War, although he was fighting Soviets at the time, not fellow Finns), and from prison after he was recaptured and sentenced (he was captured yet again, but eventually granted a pardon). And the last leg of his journey to the US involved jumping overboard from the ship he was on at the time and swimming to shore.
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Old 12-17-2023, 01:48 PM   #2892
L.J.Steele
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Default Re: Real-Life Weirdness

Polly Sumner, the doll that witnessed the Boston T-Party

https://www.wbur.org/radioboston/202...ston-tea-party

Combine her with the Sacred Cod in the Mass State House and you've likely got a plot seed.
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Old 12-18-2023, 02:44 PM   #2893
Varyon
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: Real-Life Weirdness

It appears using the word "Ballistic" in one's name may be cursed.

Back in 2015, our own Douglas Cole - founder of Gaming Ballistic LLC (which I don't think existed at the time, but he was using Gaming Ballistic for the name of his blog) had an accident in which he blew himself up (gasoline explosion sent him literally ballistic - he worked out the math here). He got off relatively light, with a broken heel and bruised buttocks, neck, and pride.

Then, in 2021, Scott DeShields Jr, who runs the Youtube channel Kentucky Ballistics, suffered a catastrophic failure of a .50 caliber rifle firing SLAP rounds, which came dangerously close to ending his life - a fragment entered his neck, lacerated his jugular vein, and deflected down into his right lung, collapsing it (alongside lesser wounds, as he explains in the linked video). Fortunately, his father is the cameraman and IIRC is a former police officer, as is Scott, and they both had appropriate medical training - Scott wound up balling up his shirt and shoving it into his neck wound with this thumb, preventing himself from bleeding out until his father met up with the ambulance on the way to the hospital (he used the emergency dial feature on his phone to place the 911 call himself, wanting something to do to keep himself conscious).

Now, in 2023, Adam Knowles from another Youtube channel named Ballistic High-Speed, suffered a catastrophic failure from an RPG-7. The blast immediately rendered him momentarily unconscious, and his first memories after pulling the trigger are from around 3 and a half minutes later. The rest of the team provided the first aid they could (guided by him, as he had medical training from his time in the military) until help could arrive. He appears to be making a full recovery, but in addition to the brain injury also had third degree burns over a decently-large portion of his arms and torso.


(I'll note I checked with Doug to make certain he was fine with me mentioning this; he was, and even provided the links to the articles he posted about it. As for Scott and Adam, both have actually managed to monetize their accidents through the selling of merchandise - "Just Put a Thumb in It" for the former, "Got Back-Blast?" for the latter - in addition to making the above videos, so I'd imagine they'd be fine with the mention as well.)
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Old 12-19-2023, 07:42 AM   #2894
DeadParrot
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Default Re: Real-Life Weirdness

3 robbers had their stolen car stolen by a 4th thief during their robbery attempt.

https://www.businessinsider.com/colo...police-2023-12
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Old 12-19-2023, 08:04 AM   #2895
RyanW
 
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Location: Southeast NC
Default Re: Real-Life Weirdness

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeadParrot View Post
3 robbers had their stolen car stolen by a 4th thief during their robbery attempt.

https://www.businessinsider.com/colo...police-2023-12
Two wrongs don't make a right, but it can make a comedy.
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Old 12-19-2023, 08:10 AM   #2896
Varyon
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: Real-Life Weirdness

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeadParrot View Post
3 robbers had their stolen car stolen by a 4th thief during their robbery attempt.

https://www.businessinsider.com/colo...police-2023-12
This is what happens when the entire party wants to be involved in the action, and the player of the driver isn't willing to have their character wait in the car for a speedy getaway. I think theft of already-stolen goods is actually fairly common (it's not like the original thief is going to file a police report about it), but is underused in fiction.
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Old 12-26-2023, 09:17 AM   #2897
Varyon
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: Real-Life Weirdness

Grave-robbing for science. It appears Colombia is gearing up to retrieve some of the billions of dollars worth of treasure from the San Jose shipwreck. They state this is for archaeological and scientific research purposes, but it seems like they'd be delving a wreck that is less economically-lucrative if that were the case.

Plenty of opportunities in a case like this for PC shenanigans - capers to discover the location (which is an official state secret of Colombia), attempts to remotely hijack the autonomous submersibles being used to retrieve the treasure, plots to rob the ships trying to transport the recovered treasures, etc... and the PC's could easily be on either side of these scenarios. And, of course, what's an ancient shipwreck full of treasure without ghosts, curses, and so forth?
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Old 12-29-2023, 04:56 PM   #2898
L.J.Steele
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Default Re: Real-Life Weirdness

The Economist reports on the UK Army's discussions about allowing soldiers to have facial hair again. In this I learned:

At present serving soldiers are usually allowed to grow a beard only with the permission of their commanding officer; such permission is typically granted only on religious grounds. There are a handful of other exemptions. The Goat Major—actually a corporal—who tends the Royal Welsh regiment’s goat is allowed to have facial hair. So is the goat, which is technically a lance-corporal. (Britain is like this.) Everyone else is expected to be clean-shaven.

[Already, I am pondering an game with the goat and tender as NPC]

I also learned that mustaches were required from 1860 to 1916, and that some regiments maintained a stockpile of artificial ones for those unable to grow their own.

[I now want a modern/retro-future game where all soldiers, male and female alike, must have mustaches.]

And a new word, pogonophobia -- fear of beards

[Not sure where I'm going to use this, but it seems too good trivia to waste.]

The same issue introduces the banter-industrial complex -- the "laddish" industries of drinking, gambling, and sport, that are home to the Professional Darts Competition, among other events.
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Old 12-30-2023, 12:18 AM   #2899
johndallman
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cambridge, UK
Default Re: Real-Life Weirdness

Quote:
Originally Posted by L.J.Steele View Post
The Economist reports on the UK Army's discussions about allowing soldiers to have facial hair again.

There are a handful of other exemptions. The Goat Major—actually a corporal—who tends the Royal Welsh regiment’s goat is allowed to have facial hair. So is the goat, which is technically a lance-corporal. (Britain is like this.) Everyone else is expected to be clean-shaven.
There are several other exceptions. The RAF and Royal Navy have different rules, of course.
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Old 12-31-2023, 08:39 PM   #2900
David Johnston2
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Default Re: Real-Life Weirdness

The Toledo Ohio Zoo has a big window on their administration window that looks out at the trail past the African savannah exhibit. It has a sign on it labeling it like all of the other animal exhibits, with homo sapiens sapiens, information on diet, global range...
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