Morbid Fact Du Jour for November 19, 2015

Today’s Electrified Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

On the evening of October 29, 2012, as Superstorm Sandy devastated the mid-Atlantic coast with high winds, torrential rain and massive storm surges, 23-year-old Lauren Abraham stepped outside of her home on Staten Island to take some pictures of the storm damage. She didn’t see the downed power lines and stepped directly onto them. The lines were live, and Abraham burst into flames. Emergency crews arrived within minutes, but couldn’t get close enough to help her. She burned for at least half a hour before she died, and Con Edison wasn’t able to turn off the power for two hours. Neighbors said later that they would never forget the smell.

Culled from: Superstorm: Nine Days Inside Hurricane Sandy by Kathryn Miles
Submited by: Aimee

I also read online that her mother came home to find her charred body in the yard.  Can you imagine?

 

Sideshow “Freaks” Du Jour!

The Wild Men of Borneo were captured after a deadly struggle by a ship’s crew in search of water. They were of a distinct human race, spoke no intelligible tongue and uttered a strange mixture of gibberish and gutteral howls. So wild and ferocious were they that they could easily subdue tigers.

– Barnum Courier of 1882
The Wild Men of Borneo (“Waino” and “Plutano”) were two mentally defective midgets from Connecticut. The brothers Hiram (born in Long Island, 1825) and Barney Davis (born in England, 1827) weighed only 45 pounds each, yet both had considerable strength. They used their muscles onstage to lift dumbbells, weights and members of the audience. They also wrestled each other to the boards with appropriate rant and slaver. Although in the 1870s and 1880s they posed for photographer Chas. Eisenmann several times, one wonders why they bothered, for the pictures are all interchangeable: the brothers always flank their guardian, Hannaford Warner, strike the same poses, and never switch sides. Only Warner added a note of variety by moving his hand from his watch chain to his pocket. In the middle ’90s the trio returned to 229 Bowery to have Eisenmann’s successor, Frank Wendt, take the same picture again.
In the accompanying Eisenmann portrait the two midgets are about sixty years old. They performed for at least another decade, Hiram living until 1905 and Barney until 1912. They are buried in Mount Vernon, Ohio, under a tombstone inscribed “Little Men”.

Culled from: Monsters: Human Freaks in America’s Gilded Age: The Photographs of Chas Eisenmann

3 comments

  1. A coworker told me a topical joke today. I just didn’t find it funny. The person was a little offended and asked what i did find funny. I pointed them here. I don’t think they’ll bother me again. On another note, why do I find the president pardoning turkeys so horribly, disturbingly sad?

  2. Because it’s such a shallow, meaningless publicity stunt that gets way too much media attention when there are so many much more serious and important things he could be devoting his time and energy too?
    If and when turkeys ever get voting status, then we can talk about pardoning them, but as it is they are even dumber than your average voter. Dumb enough to drown in a rainstorm because they haven’t got sense enough to close their beaks, so here’s hoping they don’t get turkey suffrage or we’re all cooked.

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