Thoughts That Inflate the Writers Ego

They Should've Stayed Home
or, Sometimes, Humans Really Aren't the Worst

Over the eons of the Earth, plants and creatures have invaded her landscape and wreaked devastation in ways that us lowly humans could only hope to achieve or avoid. Throughout this time, the Earth has overseen several mass extinctions and subsequent repopulations, as if ol' Mother Earth were carrying around a big flyswatter. In our current era, several invasive species have laid waste to our beloved eco-systems. But, environmentalists, be glad! They're not all human.

10 of the World's Worst Invasive Species




An Infamous, Old West Bandit
or, How Not to Rob a Train, a Store, or Anything Else

The old West was famous for its frontier towns, miles of railroad, righteous sheriffs and legendary outlaws. Famous names abound, from Wyatt Earp to Jesse James. The exploits of such characters inspired countless films and television shows. And, amidst these legendary characters rose up the infamous Al Jennings, son of a judge, who, unfortunately, dreamed to be a wild west outlaw ...

Al Jennings: The Most Inept Outlaw of the Old West




Come, Hither, and Play
or, Rather, Stay Away

Climb up the bars on the jungle gym! Slide down the slide on the sliding board! Swing on the swings! Rock back and forth and pull your arms, you’ll fly high! Hear the voices of a hundred children, laughing, prancing, running, chasing, all embracing life! Yet, in the silent space of a single drumbeat, we may hear a baby’s silence. In a passing glance, we may see his crib, still and quiet. And, in that glance, we’ll see two silent faces looking down into the crib, faces that should have smiled.

Love Canal




Breakin’ the Law
or, Why Do We Vote for Legislators Rather than Laws?

Want to avoid a curfew for peeing standing up, if you’re a male? Want to get a fish drunk? Want to die in the Parliament of the U.K? Drive a vehicle while wearing a blindfold? Have a pet pig named Napoleon? Turn someone away at the door of your home if they claim that they have to go potty? Well, you’re out of luck! It’s against the law.

Ten stupidest laws are named




An Interesting Seer
or, How Not to Become a Famous Oracle

In the year 1900, at the dawn of the 20th century, a little-known civil engineer made several surprising and amazingly accurate predictions for the century that followed. The foresight of this gentleman is, in some ways, profound, given the state of technology at the time. And, thankfully, he didn’t seem to join his fellow oracles throughout the ages in predicting the outrageous cataclysm that’s always just around the corner. Which, of course, explains why he’s relatively unknown …

Ten 100-year predictions that came true




Odd Advertisements
or, Why Proofreading an Advert Before It’s Published is a Good Idea

Throughout the ages, Mankind has been known for its many forms of ineptitude. While such a comment may bring to mind aircraft that don’t fly, a radioactive dump given the title of an adventure novel, and various odd curiosities, we’ve abandoned such horrors for an article that shows how the misuse of language can lead to silly results …

The 50 Funniest Classified Ads Ever




Coal Fired Chaos
or, How Not to Clear a Garbage Dump

In 1962, volunteer firefighters were called upon to set fire to a garbage dump in Centralia, Pennsylvania, inadvertently turning a coal mining town into a ghost town. The fire seeped into a small crevice, setting fire to a vein of coal that has been smouldering for well over forty years. While this may seem to be an odd occurance, it isn’t, as is explained in the article, below …

Massive Underground Coal Fire Started in 1962 Still Burns Today




Cold War Aircraft Inventions
or, Yet Another Primer on How Not to Build Aircraft

During the Cold War, the U.S. military had the perceived need to beat back the encroachment of Communism. And, so, a number of creative inventions reared their sometimes sleek and often ugly heads. And, of course, aircraft were among those inventions.

Here, we have flying saucers that actually had front and back ends and a plane that, being true to the needs of modern warfare, could have possibly been shot down with a bow and arrow …

10 Most Bizarre Experimental Airplanes of the Cold War




Medic Training
or, How Not to Train the Infantry

While most entries in Curios from the Ages date to years gone by, this one illustrates current practices in the training of the British (and possibly other) Military Medics, who risk life and limb to save their brothers in arms from the sometimes minor and sometimes horrific wounds sustained in battle. We at Twisted Crapola® toss a sloppy salute at those brave folks, who oftentimes must focus solely on their work while surrounded by artillary and gunfire. Whether or not one hates war or anything military, as such things often represent the long arm of politicians who sit, surrounded by their ivory towers, we must remove our hats and pay homage to these folks who seek nothing more than to save lives.

Their training, on the other hand, can be quite horrific and may teach them how to become farm vetrinarians after retiring from the battlefield …

Pigs strung up and shot to train British Army medics in treating gunshot wounds




Aircraft Experiments from Yesteryear
or, How Not to Build an Airplane or Helicopter

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a revolution in motorized flight was well under way, spawning many interesting, novel and eventually useless …

Aircraft? Hopeful (or hopeless) inventors? Poor sods with broken bones? Whatever the answer may be, we shall let you decide.

But, here they are, several aircraft inventions that look odd and never quite met the standard the Wright brothers set by keeping an aircraft in the air …

Strange Aircraft From the Early Years of Flight




Civil War Medicine, a Primer
No, Not Instructions on How to Use a Bone Saw

In 1862, Walt Whitman, the poet and Civil War nurse, noted seeing “a heap of amputated feet, legs, arms, hands, &c, a full load for a one-horse cart.” While the lot of the Civil War wounded was horrific, indeed, medical practices and procedures advanced even as the war wearied many a soul. As the war itself redefined Federalism in the United States, it also gave birth to medical procedures used even today …

Civil War Medicine




An Interesting Word from the Sun
Which Took Place Before Science Fiction Got Ahold of the Idea of EMPs

In 1859, an amateur astronomer, Richard Carrington, saw a solar flare on his telescope setup, which was arranged so that the sun would be projected from the actual telescope onto a black sheet of glass, thereby allowing detailed observations through the sun’s bright corona. The following day, the world’s primitive electronics systems went haywire. Among other strange events, telegraphs around the world that had been disconnected as they’d begun shocking their operators, though they mysteriously continued communicating between the U.S. states of Maine and Massachusettes. Auroras had been sighted in odd places, even close to the equator.

The interplay of electricity and magnetism and solar flares was not well understood at that time, but the effects of such were soon discovered …

The Carrington Flare




We, at Twisted Crapola® books, apologize for not unleashing to the world the Curio we’d been holding in our hands for publication on Monday, April 6th. This late addition to the Web site could not be avoided, for some mysterious sickness spread through the publishing house like wildfire, rendering any and all active workers, including the Editor, to be mostly inactive. But! All is well, now, so we present to you …

The Train Wreck at Crush
The Horrors of Which May Have Been Avoided Had They Not Used the Name “Crush”

In 1896, a man by the name of William G. Crush, who worked on the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad, figured out a way to get rid of some old steam engines as well as create a publicity stunt for the company. Receiving the blessing of his bosses, he set out to arrange for two steam engines to run into each other in a head-on collision that would, as all sane men would agree, be completely safe.

In all truth, the agreement of sane men didn’t particularly matter since this sort of stunt had been done before and after in a safe fashion. But, for some reason, the Crush train wreck had a much different result …

The Great Texas Train Crash at Crush




Fun Bible Quotes
None of Which Should Be Repeated at an Easter Dinner

Being near Easter, we found a few samples of strange Biblical verses that range from the interesting, such as, “Ye shall not round the corners of your heads,” to the outrageous, “Thou shalt not boil a kid in its mother’s milk.” Listed in the article below, you will find several types of verses from commandments, that are not part of the famous Ten Commandments, to food preparation guidelines.

Here, at Twisted Crapola® books, we hesitate to be judgemental, but we do enjoy the interesting, strange and absurd. So, by all means, hold your faith close to your breast, as you will, but also enjoy the absurdities of such oddities as can be found in the Good Book.

11 Kinds of Bible Verses [Modern] Christians Love to Ignore




Dr. Duckworthy Mallardakey’s Wondrous Discoveries
Presented, as always, with a quack.

The good doctor has decided to further explore the amazing realm of electrotherapy! On the Web site below, after you scroll down past the Perpetual Motors, you will find such excellent products as Boyd”s Miniature Galvanic Battery which will cure any ailment, perhaps including life itself, for "The Blood is the Life!" (which I believe was a favorite saying of Dracula), to the Overbeck Rejuvinator Electrodes, which you may need after using the battery, and ESCO”s Liquid Sunshine Radium Embalming Fluid, which you may need if the Rejuvinator Electrodes don”t work. All the solutions! All in one place! Who could resist?

The Turn of the Century Electrotherapy Museum

(Please Note: The intention to use any of the devices mentioned in the above Web site in any fashion other than their intended use is restricted by various International Treaties. Should any device be used maliciously as a torture device, Dr. Duckworthy Mallardakey, along with anyone associated with Twisted Crapola®, assumes no responsibility whatsoever.)




Treasure Island

Shortly before World War II, the Army Corps of Engineers created an island for the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition that was open for tourism for eight months in 1939 and four months in 1940. Future plans were to turn the island into a transpacific airport, but were scuttled in 1941 as the Navy took control of the island for the war effort. The island remained under the control of the Navy until 1997.

After Treasure Island had been returned to civilian use, the city of San Francisco considered turning it into something of a second downtown.

Fate, though, had other plans entirely. Treasure Island had been found to be scattered with radioactive waste from naval training exercises and the return of ships which had survived Operation Crossroads, a series of nuclear tests on a small island in the pacific ocean. Thus, as happens in this world we live upon, the island, named for the hope of a bright future, has shed its cloak and bared its demons …

Treasure Island cleanup exposes Navy’s mishandling of its nuclear past




Dr. Duckworthy Mallardakey’s Wondrous Discoveries
Presented, as always, with a quack.

From the wonders of phrenology, or the measurement of the brain to determine all your mental traits, and the invention of the Robot Phrenologist, to the horrors of the Mechanical Chiropractor and other unspeakable devices, Doctor Mallardakey’s tireless research uncovers medical devices for all of your ills. And, his prescription pad is always ready to resurrect ancient cures as depicted, on the Web site, below:

Ridiculous Vintage Quack Medical Devices

(Please Note: The intention to use any of the devices mentioned in the above Web site in any fashion other than their intended use is restricted by various International Treaties. Should any device be used maliciously as a torture device, Dr. Duckworthy Mallardakey, along with anyone associated with Twisted Crapola®, assumes no responsibility whatsoever.)




Radium Girls

The tale of these women begins early after World War I and was inspired by, of all things, the watches the soldiers wore in the trenches. These watches were cunningly made so that their hands and, perhaps, their numbers, would glow in the dark, using paint infused with radium particles. The fashion rage of their day, these watches, worn by socialites and gentlemen, were deadly, not to the owners of these time pieces, but to the women who painted the dials.

I could wax about the fate of these women who only sought to do a respectable job by twisting their brushes into a point with their lips in order to paint the finely detailed watches, but their tale is best told in the following article, an horrific account of a simple manufacturing technique gone wrong …

After Glow
90 Years Ago Workers At The Waterbury Clock Company Began Dying After Painting Radium On Clock Dials




Inauguration

I … we, um, well … I forgot …

Oh, yes! It”s our inaugural post in this new section. After speaking thousands of words in countless speeches, I must have forgotten the most important words I was going to say! It happens, of course, to all of us, at times. We are, after all, human.

In this section, you will find countless examples of human nature, examples that go beyond a simple speech or a few mistaken words. Some examples will be simple, yet possibly horrific, mistakes that were made without full knowledge of what people were doing. Other examples will come from wretched negligence or willful malevolence. Yet other examples will be hilarious and mind-boggling at the same time.

Here, in Curios from the Ages, odd events from the past, whether begotten by interesting studies, news from ages ago, unearthed documents or the rediscovery of old practices will grace this page. We seek to entertain and enlighten the spark of knowledge. Nothing here will arise from deep, dark secrets.

And, to stretch the point, nothing will be brought forth as some silly political commentary. Twisted Crapola leaves such commentary to others. While much of what we will unearth may be horrific, especially because of the non-fictional nature of the entries, here, we do not seek to demonize anyone.

After all, we”re all human …