TIME Appreciation

5 Actually Good Things That Happened on Friday the 13th

Don't believe the hype

Correction appended, June 13, 3:04 p.m.

For those of us with the windows drawn, desperate to avoid the double whammy of Friday the 13th and Mercury retrograde at all costs—change out of your hole-y sweatpants and go outside. Friday the 13th isn’t as calamitous as some people make it out to be. Sure, the 1989 stock market dip, Tupac Shakur’s death, and the sinking of Costa Concordia all happened on that dreaded day, but some good stuff happened, too.

Here are 5 good things that happened on Friday the 13th (Mercury retrograde we can’t help you with):

LBJ signed an executive order designed to eliminate hiring discrimination based on gender on October 13, 1967
Executive Order 11375 was applicable to the United States federal workforce and government contractors.

The accordion was patented January 13, 1854
And who doesn’t love at least the option of hearing good polka? Or in this case,a reinterpretation of Vivaldi:

The first female flight instructor was licensed October 13, 1939
You crash through that glass ceiling with your airplane, Evelyn Pinckert Kilgore!

It was a really good day for the Friday the 13th film franchise
When adjusted for ticket price inflation, the films grossed a total of $738 million

Premiere of Warner Bros.' "Friday The 13th" - Arrivals
Actress America Olivo arrives at the premiere of Warner Bros.’ “Friday the 13th” Kevin Winter—;Getty Images

And most importantly, Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen were born June 13, 1986
I have three rebuttals for the haters out there who think that this is anything but a good thing: 1) Passport to Paris, 2) The song Brother for Sale, 3) This picture exists:

Correction: This original version of this story misstated Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen’s birthday. They were born June 13, 1988.

 

TIME Bizarre

A Sinkhole Swallowed Cars at The Corvette Museum And Now Everyone Wants To Go

Corvette Museum Sinkhole
A view of a sinkhole that opened up in the Skydome showroom, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Ky. Michael Noble Jr.—AP

So much for fear of the earth crumbling

As a concept, sinkholes are terrifying—the solidity of the earth beneath your feet suddenly is in question. In February, a 40 ft. by 60 ft. one opened up under the National Corvette Museum in Kentucky and swallowed a roomful of classic cars. Luckily, nobody was hurt and only one or two cars were severely damaged, though it took eight weeks for the museum to find and extract the cars.

The upside? Tourism is booming. Between February and May, Quartz reports, visits increased by 50%. The museum plans to keep the sinkhole open for viewing through the summer, including during its 20th anniversary celebration in August.

TIME animals

A Zookeeper Dressed in a Gorilla Suit Got Shot With a Tranquilizer Dart

A gorilla hides behind a tree at the Loro Parque Zoo in Puerto de La cruz in Spain's Canary Island of Tenerife April 15, 2008. Santiago Ferrero—Reuters

A drill at a Spanish zoo went horribly wrong as one veterinarian was unaware that the gorilla on the loose was in fact an employee wearing a suit

A zookeeper at Loro Parque in Tenerife, Spain, was shot with a tranquilizer dart that delivered a dose meant to take down a 180 kg ape. He was wearing a gorilla costume at the time, as part of a drill simulating the escape of a captive animal.

Similar drills are standard procedure at zoos, but apparently in this case one veterinarian was unaware of the ongoing exercise and promptly shot the suited employee in the leg. The zookeeper suffered an allergic reaction to the massive injection and was taken to University Hospital of the Canary Islands, where he is in serious condition.

Loro Parque has been rattled by controversies in the past, most notably in regard to its treatment of orca whales. On Christmas Eve 2009, a whale attacked and killed a trainer during a practice session, providing fuel for many opponents of orca captivity.

[The Dodo]

TIME Bizarre

This Harvard University Library Book Is Bound in Human Skin

Experts at Harvard have confirmed that the binding could not have come from any other animal

A book bound in human skin sits in one of Harvard University’s libraries, experts at the school said this week. Scientists tested the 19th-century book Des destineés de l’ame and concluded that they were “99.9% confident” that the binding comes from a person’s epidermis.

The library says that Dr. Ludovic Bouland bound the book in the mid-1880s after receiving it as a gift from the author, Arene Houssaye. He wrapped it using skin from the unclaimed body of a female mental patient who died of a stroke. He left a now-missing note in the book to shed some light on his decision, albeit : “A book about the human soul deserved to have a human covering.”

The tests of the binding ruled out other animal sources, including sheep, cattle, goats and primates closely related to humans like apes and gibbons.

TIME Bizarre

Watch: Page Boy Faints During Queen of England’s Speech

It appears he didn't approve of Her Majesty's tone

A page boy for the Queen of England fainted during a speech Wednesday at the State Opening of Parliament in the Palace of Westminster in London.

In this video of the Queen’s 10-minute speech, a loud thud can be heard at approximately eight seconds in.

Yep, that’s the sound of the young attendant fainting and hitting the ground moments after the Queen told the audience the British government would work towards a “comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran.” Perhaps he found the government’s policy toward Iran so objectionable he lost consciousness?

The three page boys left standing assisted the Queen as she left the House of Lords after completing the speech, ITV reports.

[ITV News]

 

TIME

Arizona Woman Prohibited From Cartwheeling at Meetings

The manic pixie dream girl is alive and well

In an attack against whimsy, Arizona officials sent a Phoenix woman a written request to stop cartwheeling during local government meetings. Or else.

Dianne “DD” Barker is a real-life manic pixie dream girl. She rides around town on a red bicycle—matching her red hair and sneakers—and does cartwheels when words don’t suffice.

“You have from time to time suggested that MAG [Maricopa Association of Government] cannot prevent you from performing cartwheels during your comments,” the attorney signed letter states. “That position is incorrect.” For years, officials have asked her to keep her feet on the ground as it is distracting and causes potential danger to those nearby.

But Barker isn’t taking this request to “immediately cease performing cartwheels” lightly. She responded that the MAG letter was “intimidating, threatening, and defaming…No longer could I freely speak/express in such positive conviction, my continuing commitment, and unwavering support for MAG’s transportation/air quality duty and directives!”

If Zooey Deschanel movies have taught us anything, it is that soon Barker will turn the hearts of the curmudgeon-y members of MAG, who pretty soon will be holding all public meetings outside and end particularly fraught debates with a shared homemade cake.

[AZ Central]

TIME Bizarre

Woman Calls Police Because There Aren’t Enough Sprinkles on Her Ice Cream

It's officially summer

The West Midlands Police in England have released a clip of a woman who called their emergency line 999 to complain about getting an ice cream that did not have enough sprinkles on it. She complains that an ice cream man has “put a bit on one side and none on the other.”

Police in general have been releasing recordings of the most bizarre, blatantly not urgent, phone calls to shed light on the people who are jamming emergency lines — between one about a prostitute not being attractive enough and a rant about undercooked waffles.

TIME Bizarre

Man Who Stole a GPS Device Calls Police Because He’s Lost

153692499
Getty Images

Ah yes, a perfectly logical sequence of events

Last week, a Florida man called 911 to report that he was lost and being chased by wild boars. Sure, that sounds like just another day in central Florida, but here’s the thing: he was carrying a backpack stuffed with stolen items. Among them was a GPS device.

Look, I’m no street-savvy criminal here, but I’m pretty sure it’s not the best idea to call the police when you’re technically on the lam. (Police discovered that the man, Andrew Joffe, had an open warrant for driving with a suspended or revoked driver’s license, WKMG reports. Plus, you know, he had committed theft.)

Also, if you’re going to steal a GPS and then you get lost, try USING IT.

“We have had people with warrants call us to turn themselves in before, but it’s unusual for someone with an active warrant, who just burglarized a car, to get lost and call us for help,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said. “In his defense, it does get pretty dark out on Deen Still Road in the middle of the night.”

Other items police found in Joffe’s backpack included electronic equipment, cellphones and earrings. He was promptly arrested and taken to jail, because obviously.

TIME Internet

Watch Teenagers React to What the Internet Was Like in the ’90s

"Oy"

+ READ ARTICLE

Fine Brothers Productions sat down a group of snarky teens wearing ironic shirts and hipster headbands to impart judgement on a 1990’s video tutorial to the Internet. (Capital “I” necessary).

Today, if you give a 3-year-old an iPad, he’ll be set for hours. Youths of the 90’s, however, approached the vortex of the web with trepidation. “Web page? What’s that? Something ducks walk on?”

In the words of our panel of modern teens, “Oy.”

TIME Bizarre

Robbery Suspect Friends Victim on Facebook, Is Promptly Arrested

Hmm.

Washington’s Kitsap Sun reports that a 28-year-old robbery suspect was arrested after adding his victim on Facebook the next day. Here’s the Associated Press:

Authorities say a woman was sitting at the Bremerton ferry terminal on Tuesday using her headphones when she was struck on the head from behind. After she was struck, a man grabbed her iPod and purse and ran. She didn’t recognize the man but noticed a tattoo of a triangle on his neck.

The next day, the woman received a Facebook friend notification and recognized the sender as the man who robbed her.

Investigators confirmed the Facebook account belonged to Mullins, and they noted a profile picture of Mullins showing the triangle neck tattoo.

The suspect was charged with second-degree robbery. Is this peak Facebook?

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