Dire News

Tag: limb

Stick It to the Man

by on Sep.30, 2012, under Health, Nature, Recreation

Sometimes you just can't see the forest for the trees. Colby Ellis, 22, gives zip line tours at the Nantahala Gorge in North Carolina. Part of the Great Smoky Mountains, it's a popular recreational area. Colby was on his day off when he and co-worker Micah Loyd decided to explore the mountain. He explains, "I spotted a series of vines going up a tree and decided to climb them. When I was about five feet up, the vine gave way. I landed on my feet but when I bent to absorb the landing, a branch punctured my face." "'I was very shocked the first few moments, but luckily Micah and I are both trained in first aid, so we knew not to take it out. Or for that matter to move my eye in case the smaller stick went into the eyeball itself. Micah was great help keeping me calm and leading me through the woods to the road."   "Someone stopped and gave him a ride to get his vehicle so we could take that to the hospital. I did not want to pay for an ambulance if I could help it as they are quite expensive here. We then drove to the hospital in nearby Bryson, but they don't have a trauma centre. Staff there were great and stabilised the injuries and sent me in an ambulance to Mission hospital in Asheville." "Once there, they were able to remove both sticks successfully. Amazingly, I still had my full vision. After that I just needed a few sets of stitches and an eye patch and I was ready to go." "All in all, I feel very fortunate to be able to see out of both eyes and to be alive. If I had fallen an inch behind me the bigger branch could have easily went through my socket and into my brain. ... The whole thing was really intense."
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Executing the Will

by on Jun.05, 2012, under Culture, History, Religion, War and Terrorism, Weapons

Fernand Meyssonnier was one of France’s last executioners. Like a lot of people who enjoy their work, his profession was also a hobby. Meysonnier worked as an executioner in French-ruled Algeria in the late 1950s and early 1960s and collected several hundred torture devices and items related to the death penalty. He died in 2008.

  His collection was due to be sold at auction recently. He collected objects of torture as much as 300 years old, including a hand crusher and inquisition torture chair. Amnesty International France, the Human Rights League and the Movement Against Racism (MRAP) had condemned the auction and asked to have it stopped. The protesters say the government should not allow objects of torture to be sold privately.

"If they have historical value, they should be in a museum, but we cannot let such objects, torture devices, be scattered around,"  said MRAP official Henri Pouillot. French auction house Cornette de Saint Cyr was organising the sale in Paris for the benefit of the Meyssonnier family. However, following the wave of protests, it said Friday it had cancelled the auction. "Given the emotion aroused by this sale ... we decided to suspend it so that all parties concerned can calmly examine the actual content of this collection," said auctioneer Bertrand Cornette de Saint Cyr. Culture minister Frederic Mitterrand had in a statement voiced his "strong disapproval" and urged a cancellation of the sale of objects that were morbid, reflected barbarism raised "painful historical questions". And it would be an awful shame if this first class collection was broken up! Needless to say, torture still goes on in the modern world, though the implements have changed.
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by on Dec.22, 2011, under Health

Most people don't have time to think about it when they lose a limb. A brief moment of distraction or carelessness is all it takes. A lawnmower can be just as dangerous ... ... as farm machinery. A day at the beach can turn bloody. And so can a Sunday drive. For these people, the sudden loss of a limb was unexpected and unpleasant. It might cause you to wonder what went through the mind of a Bellingham, WA man who cut off his own arm. According to the City of Bellingham police report: Bellingham police were called to a medical clinic in the 300 block of Birchwood Avenue late Thursday morning after a man walked into the clinic with a severed right arm. Employees from the clinic called for an ambulance and police. Statements made by the man to police indicate that the injury was self inflicted. Officers checked a wooded area near the clinic and discovered a camp believed to be the temporary home of the individual. At the camp, officers located the severed arm and a homemade Guillotine. The arm was transported to the hospital in the hopes it could be reattached. The Guillotine will be dismantled. The condition of the victim is not known at this time only that he was being airlifted to Harborview in Seattle for further treatment. The elaborately constructed guillotine appeared to be made from discarded items, and appeared to be very effective. The man has not explained his reason for amputating his arm. BPD Public Information Officer Mark Young revealed, "We suspect he was suffering from mental issues."
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Lending a Hand

by on Aug.16, 2011, under Health, Kids, Recreation, Technology

Matthew James, of Wokingham, Berkshire, was born without a left hand. Like a lot of other people, he was fitted with a prosthetic with a claw, but it was his dream to have a sophisticated bionic limb. What he really wanted was the i-Limb Pulse from Touch Bionics, a firm in Scotland. His family had raised some money, but nowhere near the £30,000 needed. The National Health Service only covers the cost of basic prosthetics. A Formula One racing fan, Matthew wrote to Ross Brawn, boss of F1 team Mercedes GP Petronas, asking for £35,000 to pay for a top-of-the line artificial limb. He even offered to have his hand sponsored by Mercedes in exchange for help.
Matthew was invited for a tour round the Mercedes factory, while a member of the F1 team got in touch with Touch Bionics. The two organisations agreed to share technology which is used in both the cars and the bionic arm. As part of the deal, the £25,000 fee to fit the hand and train Matthew to use it was waived. Mercedes is helping to fund-raise the rest.

Matthew said his old hand was "a simple open and close mechanism, like a claw" while the new one "has five individual motors in each finger and therefore each finger can move individually".

The arm was fitted on Friday and he is still getting used to it, but can already open jars and carry cups of tea. "Unfortunately there's one downside to it, I'm having to do more chores," he said.

Ross Brawn said: "Matthew's letter to the team was very touching. Meeting Matthew, and hearing first hand how the new device would improve his quality of life, was a pleasure and I am delighted that our initial contact has now led to such a positive conclusion."

Matthew's ultimate goal

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Stained Wood

by on Nov.08, 2010, under Health, Nature, Recreation

Trees are majestic and beautiful. They provide shade, color, and homes for countless species. Trees are a source of food, oil, and alcohol. We harvest them for wood and depend on them for the very air we breathe. We may complain about having to rake leaves, or the occasional infiltration of roots into sewer pipes, but we get so much from them. But not all trees are so benign. Sometimes they act without provocation.

Josh Skattum of Sartell, MN was wheeled into the Hennepin County Medical Center emergency room with an oak branch sticking out from his leg. To be fair, Skattum started it by driving his golf cart into the tree. The tree retaliated with a 3 foot branch that pierced Skattum's leg, entering at the inside of his left knee, pushing its way through his thigh and stopping short of poking out at his left hip.

Josh Skattum after his encounter with a tree

No bones were broken and the branch didn't pierce any major arteries.


Bob, an avid bicyclist from Cincinnati, wasn't as lucky. The rider just ahead of him ran over a large branch, raising the end of it as Bob rode by. The branch fractured his fibula. No screws or braces were used to avoid introducing more potential infections. Trees might not move very fast, but they have lots of patience.

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Ong Fatt, The Lucky Puppy

by on Jun.19, 2010, under Animals

What is disturbing on a human might be a bringer of good fortune in the animal world. A puppy with two extra legs and a second penis is drawing curious stares at a temple in Pandamaran town near Port Klang in Malaysia. The puppy, found by a temple caretaker at the entrance on Thursday morning, is being cared for by the temple committee.  Kwang Sung Temple committee member Tee Kim Huat said the caretaker saw the white puppy with dark brown patches sleeping at the temple entrance at 7am. “He lifted the canine to place it elsewhere and was shocked to see that the puppy had six legs! Not only that, the male puppy also had an extra penis,” said Tee.  “We believe someone dumped it at the temple,” he added.  However, since it was an unusual dog, devotees felt that it was a bearer of good fortune and named the puppy Ong Fatt (Lucky One), said Tee. The temple committee obtained a dog-rearing permit from the Klang Municipal Council on Friday to allow the caretaker to take care of the puppy at the temple.
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