Weird natural dangers: Amorous toads love fish to death

November 8, 2008

From the Scarborough, England, Daily News:

AMOROUS toads have caused the deaths of scores of fish at a lake near Scarborough.

In one incident around 70 carp, worth about £3,000, were lost after male toads tried to mate with them on the Wykeham Estate.

Manager Mike Heelis said the situation became so bad last weekend he had to cancel two club competitions.

The toads clamp themselves on to the carp’s face and push its eyes into the sockets – and, if several reptiles are involved, the carp drowns due to its gills being closed.

Mr Heelis said the fish had encountered the toads after swimming into the lake’s warmer, shallow waters during the recent mild weather.

He said: “The fish are stressed, you can tell, because they are lethargic. We have several thousand fish here and maybe a third of them had the toads attached to them. This is unnatural.”

Unnatural?  I find it hard to work up sympathy for carp, after seeing what destruction they wreak on U.S. waters (carp are exotics in the U.S.)  Unnatural?  You mean, as if the toads choose their species orientation, sexual orientations, etc.?

Nature, unnatural?  There’s a moral there, I’m sure, but neither Don Wildmon nor Rush Limbaugh couldn’t find it with both hands, or all four hands.

“Utah Supreme Court tosses conviction of ‘wedgie’ killer”

July 9, 2008

That’s the real headline from the Salt Lake Tribune.

Wedgie killer?

Reality once again demonstrates that hoaxes can’t keep up. Truth is either stranger than fiction, or just better.

You just can’t make this stuff up:

The Utah Supreme Court today threw out the manslaughter conviction of Erik Kurtis Low, who killed a Park City man after the victim gave him a “wedgie.”

Low, now 40, claimed in his 2005 trial he was defending himself when he shot 38-year-old Michael Jon Hirschey following a night of drinking, drug use and horseplay.

Ah, the old drinking, drug use and horseplay excuse.

The Utah Supreme Court said the trial court erred in instructing the jury on possible sentences, giving the jury too many ways to find the man guilty. The conviction was tossed out. Prosecutors cannot retry on the old charges, but new charges are possible.

Watch that space. Accurate history is always better than the hoax stuff.

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