TIME Bizarre

Florida Woman Arrested for Getting Naked at Dunkin’ Donuts

It was a dare, police say

A Florida woman says she got naked at a Dunkin’ Donuts in Greenacres, Fla., because her dance group dared her to do it, police say, the Palm Beach Post reports.

Shakara Monik Martin of West Palm Beach was reportedly offered clothes, but refused to wear them, according to witnesses. The Palm Beach Post reports that the 32 year old has been released from the Palm Beach County jail Monday morning on her own recognizance, but could face an indecent exposure charge.

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TIME Bizarre

This Poo Emoji Dress Is Perfect for Your Next Date

Keep piling on the jokes

The San Francisco-based clothing company Betabrand recently ran a successful crowd-funding campaign for a dress covered in the poop emoji. Advertised at an early-bird price of $106.20, the frock will prompt countless jokes bound to leave the wearer feeling pooped out. Not to mention it boasts four pockets (though the website does not say whether they are filled with toilet paper squares).

The brand has been crowd-funding men’s attire with this poo-emoji pattern, including a dress shirt, sneakers and trousers aptly named “Poopy pants.”

(h/t CNET)

TIME Bizarre

When Daylight Saving Time Was Illegal

You could be fined $100 or ten days in prison for 'springing forward'

When Daylight Saving Time begins this year on Mar. 8, Americans are likely to turn their clocks forward with a minimum of grumbling over the lost hour — at least compared to the objections that were raised when it was first implemented. The idea of moving the clock around in order to maximize the useful hours of sunlight, thus saving the fuel otherwise needed for lights, was originally a wartime idea. Individual localities might choose to move forward or back, but the end of World War I meant the end of federal daylight saving. The option to decide on a case-by-case basis led cities and states across the country to take up proverbial arms — or, rather, clock hands — for or against.

The battle over the clocks raged for decades. People who liked having sunlight early in the day raged against those who privileged daylight in the evening. But few places had it as bad as Connecticut did in 1923, as TIME reported:

A bill is before the Legislature to make public display of a clock showing any time save Eastern Standard punishable by $100 or ten days in prison. Departments of the State and all institutions receiving State aid would be prohibited from altering their schedules to conform in effect to daylight-saving time.

This is another step in the fight of Connecticut farmers against city dwellers to prevent daylight saving. A year ago, having a majority in the Legislature, the farmers passed a bill against daylight saving, but provided no penalties for failure to comply with the law. The mayors of several cities forthwith issued proclamations recommending the townspeople to advance their clocks. The Legislature angrily protested and threatened to suspend the charter of Hartford, the State Capital. On the day agreed upon for putting daylight saving into effect the merchants turned their clocks ahead. At noon the whistles blew an hour early, and the clerks walked out of the Legislature, leaving the farmer members, unable to continue business, angrily sputtering in their chairs. Later a member from a city constituency offered a bill to provide four commissioners at salaries of $10,000 a year to go about the streets, examine the watches of citizens and take those to jail who used daylight saving time.

The outcome of the whole matter was that the cities used daylight-saving time, while the executive and judicial departments of the State and the railroads kept their clocks at Standard time, but moved their schedules an hour ahead.

Now the farmers intend to put “teeth” into the law.

The law passed, forbidding the “willful display in any public building, street, avenue, or public highway of any time-measuring instrument or device, which is calculated or intended to furnish time to the general public, set or running so as to indicate any other than the standard time.” A state supreme court upheld the law in 1924.

But, clock-changers of Connecticut, fear not. Not every state observes daylight saving time today — but Connecticut does.

TIME Bizarre

The Walls of One Red-Light District Now ‘Pee Back’ on Public Urinators

St. Pauli neighborhood in Hamburg, Germany.
Getty Images A red light district in Hamburg, Germany.

A special kind of paint bounces the liquid back toward its source

Public urinators in the St. Pauli neighborhood of Hamburg are in for a rude awakening: a community group has applied a special water-repellant paint to the walls of certain buildings that sprays liquid back in the direction it came from.

The nightclub/red-light district has been plagued by night time revelers relieving themselves on walls, and residents decided that this solution would not only protect their buildings but also send the message loud and clear that this behavior was unacceptable. To give potential offenders a fair warning, Reuters reports the group has put up signs that read “Do not pee here! We pee back!”

The paint, which has previously been used on ships, is expensive — a 6 square meter area costs 500 euros to paint — but the organizer of the group behind the initiative says the community is saving money on cleaning.


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TIME Bizarre

Watch a Swedish TV Host Start a Fire While Trying to Fry Cheese Doodles

In honor of National Cheese Doodle Day

Today, March 5, is apparently National Cheese Doodle Day, because we definitely need a holiday to celebrate those delicious, chemical-laden snacks that leave our fingers coated with sticky orange dust.

To mark the special occasion, a pair of Swedish TV hosts decided to cook up some cheese doodles. Yes, cook them up. As opposed to just, you know, eating them raw.

In the above clip, host Jenny Strömstedt attempts to fry a batch of them, and everything goes great. Just kidding, everything goes terribly and she starts a pretty decent-sized fire. She does manage to stay cool and put out the fire after several separate flare-ups, and the whole ordeal ends up being pretty hilarious.

And we’ll admit: we’re kind of curious what fried cheese doodles taste like.

(h/t Uproxx)

TIME Bizarre

Famous Bermuda Triangle Disappearance May Have Been Botched Mutiny

Le USS Cyclops
APIC / Getty Images The USS Cyclops, which disapeared in Bermuda in 1918

March 4, 1918: The U.S.S. Cyclops is seen for the last time, headed north from Barbados through what’s known as the Bermuda Triangle

Correction appended, Mar. 5, 2015

When the U.S.S. Cyclops went off the grid somewhere north of Barbados, it became one of the most popular examples of the uncanny dangers lurking within the Bermuda Triangle.

One of the Navy’s largest fuel ships, the Cyclops was last seen on this day, Mar. 4, in 1918, when it stopped in the West Indies on its way from Brazil to Baltimore, carrying 10,800 tons of manganese ore to be used in manufacturing munitions. But the ship never made it to Baltimore, nor did any of its 300 or so passengers and crewmembers. Despite an exhaustive search effort, no trace was ever found of the ship, and Naval investigators never landed on a definite cause for its disappearance.

What made it all the more mysterious, according to a contemporary New York Times account, was that the captain never sent a distress signal, nor did anyone aboard respond to radio calls by the hundreds of American ships in the vicinity. What’s more, there were no storms strong enough to cause the Cyclops to founder, according to the Times, which went on to suggest that the ship might have been the target of German mines or U-boats. According to the Naval History and Heritage Command, one contemporary magazine suggested that a giant octopus had “[risen] from the sea, entwined the ship with its tentacles, and dragged it to the bottom.”

The Navy, however, discounted the likelihood of either German or giant octopus attacks, opening the door to more supernatural speculation, and the Cyclops joined the list of more than 100 ships and planes to have disappeared under strange circumstances in the triangular region roughly bounded by Bermuda, Miami and Puerto Rico.

While the Bermuda Triangle became a cultural fixation of the 1950s and 1960s, it has by now been repeatedly and comprehensively debunked. Its reputation as a kind of earthly black hole suffers every time a vanished plane or vessel reemerges.

And although there’s still no trace of the Cyclops, there is, at least, an alternate explanation. It centers on a captain more eccentric than Ahab, with a fondness for “pacing the quarterdeck wearing a hat, a cane and his underwear,” and against whom some of his crew had already attempted a mutiny before they reached Barbados, per the Navy. As quoted in Gian Quasar’s book Distant Horizons, the U.S. Consul in Barbados wrote to the State Department following the ship’s disappearance, noting that the captain had appeared to be deeply disliked by his fellow officers, and that in suppressing the recent mutiny attempt, he had imprisoned members of his crew and executed one.

“While not having any definite grounds I fear fate worse than sinking,” the consul writes, “though possibly based on instinctive dislike felt towards master.”

Read about the 1991 discovery of five lost bombers, here in the TIME archives: Lost Squadron

Correction: The original version of this post included a reference to the Lost Squadron of Navy bombers being found in 1991. It was later discovered that the wreckage had been misidentified.

TIME human behavior

The Weird Reason Humans Shake Hands as a Greeting

It's to smell each other

It may not be as undignified as two dogs greeting each other but a handshake may amount to the same thing, according to a new study.

Researchers at Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science found that people use the traditional greeting of shaking hands to surreptitiously smell each other.

The researchers secretly filmed subjects to see how frequently they touched their own faces, and if that number changed significantly after shaking someone’s hand. When people received a handshake from someone of the same gender, face-touching with the right hand increased by more than 100 percent.

Nasal catheters were fitted to subjects to measure airflow, which proved they weren’t just touching their hands to their faces. They were sniffing them.

“It is well-known that we emit odors that influence the behaviour and perception of others but, unlike other mammals, we don’t sample those odors from each other overtly,” Professor Noam Sobel, Chair of Neurobiology at the Weizmann Institute of Science, said in a press release.

Interestingly, hand-sniffing only increased on the right hand, used for the hand shake, among subjects of the same gender. When people shook hands with someone of the opposite sex, they were more likely to smell their left hand.


TIME World

Two Men Built This 30-Foot Tunnel in Toronto as a ‘Man Cave’

File photo of a ladder leading to a 33-foot-long tunnel supported using lumber which was found in Toronto
Reuters A ladder leading to a 33-foot-long tunnel supported using lumber found in Toronto on Feb. 24, 2015.

They just wanted to dig a cave to hang out, police say

Two men dug a secret 30-foot tunnel in Toronto as a “man cave,” police said Monday.

The tunnel discovered last week near a university campus led to an investigation by police that found the pair, both in their twenties, had built it with no criminal intent.

“It is simply two guys who just wanted to dig a cave,” said Toronto police spokesman Victor Kwong, according to CBC News. “They just wanted to dig a cave to hang out.”

No charges have been filed and the investigation is considered complete, police said. The police said the two unnamed men didn’t have formal engineering training, making the scale of the tunnel an impressive feat. It measures about 30 feet long, six feet tall and three feet wide.

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TIME Bizarre

5 Penetrating Facts About Sword Swallowing

These tales are hard to swallow

On the last Saturday of every February, sword swallowers gather at Ripley’s Believe It or Not museums throughout America to commemorate World Sword Swallower’s Day. It’s a sideshow so dangerous there are only a few dozen full-time professionals, according to trade association Sword Swallowers Association International (SSAI). The society claims sword swallowing takes 3-10 years to learn, though some say they mastered it in six months. We talked to five professionals about how it’s done and how it has almost killed them.

Beginners practice using wire coat hangers.

“Most people start with a coat hanger stretched out in the outline of a sword,” says Todd Robbins, 56, a sword swallower who has lectured about the history of sideshows at Yale. Beginners also use paint brushes, spoons and knitting needles to desensitize their gag reflexes.

Here’s how Dan Meyer, 57, Tampa, Fla.-based SSAI president and former America’s Got Talent contestant whose personal record for swords swallowed is 21, describes the technique at an American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting:

“When I put the sword in my mouth, I will repress the gag reflex in the back of the throat. Then I have to go behind my Adam’s apple, my prominentia laryngea, behind the voice box, the larynx, down about through the crichopharyngeal sphincter, up in the upper part of the mouth here. Then down into the esophagus, repress the peristalsis reflex, [muscular contractions] that swallow your food. From there relax the esophageal muscles, relax the lower esophageal sphincter, and slip the blade down into my stomach, repress the wretch reflex in my stomach.”

Below is an X-ray of Meyer swallowing one at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn., on Feb. 5, 2013, for a Discovery Channel Canada show:

You can thank sword swallowers for the endoscope.

Dr. Adolph Kussmaul is said to have used a sword swallower to develop the rigid endoscope, a medical device with a light and a camera that often travels through a patient’s throat, in 1868.

Turns out non-surgical procedures are a breeze for people like Robbins, who says, “I had to have an endoscopy done, and normally they knock the person out and have to intubate them, but since I was a sword swallower, [the doctor] just handed [the endoscope] to me.”

Sore throats are a common side effect.

So says a 2006 study of 46 sword swallowers (40 men) published in the British Medical Journal, which found dire injuries like intestinal bleeding, perforations to the pharynx and esophageal lacerations are more likely to plague performers with elaborate routines, too many consecutive shows or who use multiple swords, especially unusually-shaped ones. Co-written by Meyer and British radiologist Brian Whitcombe, it won an Ig Nobel Prize, awarded annually by the Annals of Improbable Research magazine at Harvard University for especially imaginative scientific achievements. (Meyer accepted the award at the university’s Sanders Theatre and then swallowed a sword on stage.)

Case in point, Meyer punctured his esophagus after setting a world record for swallowing two swords simultaneously underwater and once punctured his stomach swallowing five swords, which caused fluid build-up around his heart and lungs. Robbins once had a neon sword, which lights up the chest, break inside of him. And Natasha Veruschka, a belly-dancing sword swallower in New York City, says she chugged heavy cream and rum to soothe her throat after she accidentally swallowed a sword covered with little barbs that made it painful to remove.

The “oldest, longest performing” sword swallower is said to be 79.

Unlike the aforementioned performers, Jim Ball of Oakley, Kansas, says he has avoided life-threatening injuries by sticking to a “kind of conservative” routine, swallowing a Japanese samurai sword about once a month (though throughout his life, he has swallowed bayonets, cavalry sabers, and a stove poker). Raised by parents who were professional sword swallowers, he entertained fellow Army soldiers by swallowing rifle cleaning rods. If you’re wondering what it’s like to swallow a sword, especially for the first time, he says, “it feels like accidentally swallowing a piece of ice.” Nowadays, he’s teaching his college-age granddaughter how to do it.

Some started doing it to overcome childhood demons.

While Ball, Robbins and Veruschka learned sword swallowing from growing up around sideshow performers or seeking them out at shows, Meyer described his younger self as a “shy wimpy kid” with “social anxiety,” often picked on by bullies, who tried sword swallowing after a near-death experience with malaria inspired him to take risks and fear nothing. New York-based freelance writer Ilise Carter, 40, whose stage name is “The Lady Aye” says when she learned, “I was a recovering bulimic, but I eventually decided the only way to combat your fear is to go straight through it. You [develop] a great connection to your body, and the audience’s positive reaction has made me a much stronger person in general.”

TIME Television

Sex Box and Other Reality Shows We Can’t Believe Are Actually Real

From 'Dating Naked' to 'Who is the Worst Driver in the Netherlands?'

Friday marks the U.S. premiere of Sex Box on We TV — a show in which struggling couples actually have sex inside a box onstage. Sure, the box is soundproof and there’s no camera inside. And yes, the idea is that the couples will be more vulnerable and honest after the act, when they talk to a panel of expert in the hopes of solving their issues. But that doesn’t make it any less cringeworthy.

The premise is so simple, so bizarre, that it’s something you’d fact check before posting about it on Facebook because there’s no way it could be real. But Sex Box is no parody. The U.K. show of the same name aired in 2013 and received tepid reviews. But it’s only the latest in a series of reality shows that we can’t believe got the green light.

Here are other reality shows that make The Bachelor look totally sensible:

Born in the Wild
This Lifetime series, premiering March 3, is about women who give birth in nature. “No inductions, no epidurals…just expectant mothers facing and giving birth in the arms of Mother Nature,” boasts the show’s YouTube page.

Who is the Worst Driver in the Netherlands?
The series, which has run in several different countries, gathers the worst drivers in a specific region and has them show off their lack-of-skills behind the wheel. In 2011, a Netherlands contestant proved himself worthy of the title after he accidentally ran over the show’s host. (No one was seriously injured).

Are You Hot?
Before there was Tinder there was a show in which people walked down a runway and displayed their goods to judges who essentially swiped right or left. Are You Hot? aired on ABC in 2003.

The Will
CBS may have agreed to pick up the 2005 reality show — in which family and friends of a rich benefactor compete to be included in his inheritance — but the network had the good sense to cancel it after just one episode.

Dating Naked
A contestant actually sued VH1 for showing a little too much nudity.

The Swan
This show was a heartwarming retelling of The Ugly Duckling in which producers turned contestants into swans by giving them lots and lots of plastic surgery. The series was more than a little problematic.

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