TIME Bizarre

Man Captures Video of Himself Getting Hit By Lightning

Now what are the chances he can do it twice?

There’s a one in 10,000 chance you will get struck by lightning in your lifetime. What’s the probability of catching it all on video?

While it’s probably more likely for storm chaser Scott Sheppard than most other bystanders, it’s still pretty incredible that he caught himself getting struck by lighting in a storm in South Dakota Tuesday. Luckily he’s doing alright—the bolt hit his arm and then the ground.

Watch the scene unfold in the video above.

(h/t: Daily Dot)

TIME Bizarre

There Is Nothing More Terrifying Than This Mosquito Tornado

This makes a Sharknado seem utterly pleasant

Even if the premise of Sharknado came true, it would be nothing compared to this real life funnel cloud monstrosity made entirely out of mosquitos. It’s a MOSQUITONADO:

Photographer Ana Filipa Scarpa noticed this phenomenon while visiting Vila Franca de Xira, Portugal. Though it looked like a funnel cloud, she realized it was actually a swarm of moving insects.

It was a very high funnel swinging to the left and to the right. I pointed my camera and began shooting before it hit me,” Scarpa told io9. “But the funnel did not move toward me — and I thought it was so strange — so I got into my car and started to drive towards it, and that’s when I realized it was a mosquito twister.”

As she got closer, some mosquitos actually entered her car. She estimated that the swarm extended about 1,000 feet high.

Well, have fun with your lifelong nightmares, everybody.

TIME Security

Apple iPhones, iPads Hacked and Held for Ransom

An early morning hack left many Australians with non-working phones and a ransom note

Apple iPhone, iPad and Mac owners across Australia woke up to some unpleasant news Thursday: A hacker going by the name Oleg Pliss reportedly took over their devices and is demanding ransoms of between $50 and $100 to unlock them.

This message asking for money appeared on various Apple devices:

Affected parties took to Twitter to complain:

There are reports that the hack was conducted by exploiting a weakness in Apple’s “Find My iPhone” feature. Some victims who had set a password on their device were able to unlock them without paying the ransom. However, most people without passwords set up prior to the attack were not able to regain access to their device.

Online payment service PayPal told the Sydney Morning Herald that there is no account linked to the email address in the message and that anyone who had paid the ransom money could be refunded.

There was no refund on lost sleep over the problem, however.

[Sydney Morning Herald]

TIME Bizarre

Santa Fe Plans to Pin the Tail on the Donkey (Sculpture)

The city of Santa Fe / AP

There's a $1,000 reward for finding the original though

An almost real-life version of the party game of “pin the tail on the donkey” is going on in New Mexico.

The tail of a metal donkey sculpture in Santa Fe has mysteriously gone missing, and the city’s arts commission is working with an artist to make a new one, the Associated Press reports. Police are offering a $1,000 reward for the return of the original.

No word on whether a blind-folded person will re-attach the tail.

TIME Bizarre

Stop the Presses! Reporter Discovers He’s Allergic to Newspaper Ink

Getty Images

Today in irony

If you can’t stand the way newspaper ink turns your hands black, then get a grip: one reporter has been allergic to the stuff for years.

Longtime Baltimore Sun reporter Michael Dresser said an allergy test has revealed that pine resin in newspaper ink has caused puffiness and irritation around his eyes and various skin problems over the years, according to a self-deprecating memo he emailed to his colleagues that has been published on The Wall Street Journal’s website.

Dresser, whose beats have included Maryland politics and transportation, wanted to warn his colleagues that he would be wearing gloves around the office now so they wouldn’t think he was “administering any uncomfortable examinations or looking for blood spatter.”

LIST: Famous Newspaper Obituaries

TIME Bizarre

This Might Be The Most Frivolous Lawsuit of All Time

Man throwing dollar bills in the air, arms raised in celebration
Getty Images

A Manhattan man is suing the city of New York, along with a coffee chain, a New Jersey university, and an airport, for $2,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. No, that's not a typo

Here’s a math question: what is one trillion, times one trillion, times one trillion, times two?

The answer is the amount that a Manhattan man is suing New York City, Au Bon Pain, Hoboken University, LaGuardia Airport, the MTA, and thousands of others for, all over an alleged dog bite.

Anton Purisima filed his two undecillion dollar lawsuit (that’s $2,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) last month, after his middle finger was supposedly bitten and infected by a “rabies-infected” dog on a city bus. A “Chinese couple” took photos of him without asking, Gothamist reports, and he’s routinely overcharged for coffee at LaGuardia Airport. (This is apparently related to the dog bite.)

Purisima has previously sued the People’s Republic of China and several major banks including Wells Fargo, JP Morgan and Wachovia.

TIME

The UN And U.S. Pentagon Are Actively Working To Save Us From Killer Robots And Zombies

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Zombie Getty Images

Now let's talk about the probability of a "Day After Tomorrow" scenario...

The world’s governing bodies have seen disaster movies, and they want you to know that they’re on it.

In Geneva Tuesday, the UN discussed banning killer robots before they become an international concern. While we would imagine the meetings involved a stream of Terminator clips, fist banging and old European men shouting “Not on my watch,” the Chronicle Herald describes a far more civilized scene. Diplomats discussed the necessity of limiting lethal autonomous weapons that “could go beyond human-directed drones already being used by some armies today”:

“All too often international law only responds to atrocities and suffering once it has happened,” Michael Moeller, acting head of the UN’s European headquarters in Geneva, told diplomats at the start of the four-day gathering. “You have the opportunity to take pre-emptive action and ensure that the ultimate decision to end life remains firmly under human control.”

He noted that the UN treaty they were meeting to discuss — the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons adopted by 117 nations including the world’s major powers — was used before to prohibit the use of blinding laser weapons in the 1990s before they were ever deployed on the battlefield, and this “serves as an example to be followed again.”

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have already petitioned against a future of killer robots.

And now onto another summer blockbuster favorite: The zombie apocalypse.

Foreign Policy received a document called “CONOP 8888″ that outlines the U.S. Pentagon’s plan to survive an attack by the undead — ranging from vegetarian to “evil magic” zombies.

According to FP, the document’s summary read:

This plan fulfills fictional contingency planning guidance tasking for U.S. Strategic Command to develop a comprehensive [plan] to undertake military operations to preserve ‘non-zombie’ humans from the threats posed by a zombie horde. Because zombies pose a threat to all non-zombie human life, [Strategic Command] will be prepared to preserve the sanctity of human life and conduct operations in support of any human population — including traditional adversaries.”

While a spokesperson for Strategic Command assured FP that the (real!) document was a “fictional training scenario,” a disclaimer on CONOP 8888 reads, “this plan was not actually designed as a joke.”

Hmmm.

Now let’s get on that Day After Tomorrow climate change disaster plan. Anybody?

TIME Bizarre

This Man on a Scooter Who Fell into a Manhole Is Having a Worse Day than You

Think you're having a case of the Mondays? Watch this.

Some people have all the luck. Other’s accidentally ride their scooters directly into open manholes. Police dashcams have been known to capture some pretty ridiculous moments, this snapshot of a commuter’s unfortunate traffic misadventure on a rural road in Taiwan now joins the ranks.

(h/t: Metro)

TIME Bizarre

On-Air Reporter Gives Inspired Newscast of How a Man Robbed a Waffle House with a Pitchfork

Before you ask: Yes, props were used.


Atlanta newscaster Tony Thomas gave an inspired, prop-filled, on-air report last week about how a man robbed a waffle house with none other than a pitchfork. “It wouldn’t be an offensive weapon in your garden, but it was in a Waffle House,” Norcross police Chief Warren Summers told WSB-TV Channel 2. Watch Thomas take the “action” very literally as he reports the news in the way we imagine Ron Burgundy would.

(h/t: Uproxx)

TIME Bizarre

Hook-Up Truck Driving Around San Francisco This Weekend Provides Exact Service You Guessed It Would

Greg Earl

It's like Uber for your nether-regions!

Once upon a time, having sex in the back of a truck was seen as a thing that you only did out of extreme necessity. Like, your boyfriend’s futon had bed bugs or your parents were home. But a new service that has been getting a considerable amount of internet buzz is trying to change that mentality.

This weekend, a no-frills, on-demand, condom-filled Hook-Up truck will be driving around San Francisco providing the exact service you think it would: A place for fornication. It’s like Uber for your genitals!

But this isn’t UberLUX. The 21+ crowd who rents the mobile hour-motel service can expect an unmarked box-truck to show up, providing basic services: temperature control, free safe sex accoutrement, and a camera ready option to record the interlude. There are no stripper poles or water beds — no beds at all, actually, since bedding is absorbent and therefore less clean.

“There’s not much in the room,” creator and conceptual artist Spy Emerson told TIME. “There’s a bench and a handle, like a bar you hold on to. It’s designed to keep clean, so we just wipe everything down. I have bleach and this green stuff, I have disinfective wipes. I guarantee that this is cleaner than BART [San Francisco's transit system] or any public bathroom that anyone has used recently.”

The Hook-Up Truck is part performance art, part social experiment, and part test-run for an actual business. While services are free this weekend, Emerson plans to eventually charge people for their time in the truck and eventually franchise the sex-on-wheels-mobile in other cities. It has been reported that rates will range from $75 for 30 parked minutes of bliss to $2,500 for a 5-hour party rental.

Unsurprisingly, the Hook-Up Truck was created for the swipe-happy, dating app generation. “One of my friends was talking about his experiences on Grindr, and he was doing it in driveways and behind cars, and I realized that his service is needed,” Emerson said.

But Emerson was surprised to find that clients who have reserved the truck for Friday and Saturday night aren’t just Tinder addicts.

Creator Spy Emerson driving the unmarked Hook-Up Truck Greg Earl

“It’s not just the exhibitionists you’d imagine,” Emerson said. There are single mothers, a military wife surprising her husband when he’s on leave, and husband who is surprising his wife for their anniversary. “They’re gong to have dinner, and then he’s going to bring her to the truck.”

You shouldn’t have?

Emerson is also hoping to collect materials from the Hook-Up Truck for an art exhibition she hopes to present at Miami’s Art Basel in December. So if couples are interested, photos before, after, and even during are strongly encouraged.

Emerson says that “this weekend is just to get us out there and rolling around.” Literally and metaphorically.

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