Sunday, May 20, 2018

One Weird Fact About Your State—Part 1 of 5, Alabama through Georgia


Everyone's home state has special…and weird…claims to fame, maybe even weirder than you realize. For every proud historical landmark, event and hero your state had produced, there are countless bizarre ones it can claim.

This is a 5 part blog, each week dealing with 10 states listed alphabetically.  I hope you enjoy these random pieces of trivia.

Alabama—There's a store that sells unclaimed baggage from airports.
The Unclaimed Baggage Center in Scottsboro buys luggage that has never been claimed from airports and then sells the found items to the public. Anything from vintage Leica cameras to autographed jerseys is up for grabs.

Alaska—A jokester once burned tires inside a dormant volcano to make it seem active.
On April 1, 1974, Oliver Bickar climbed into Mt. Edgecumbe, a volcano that had been dormant for around 9,000 years, and made it look like it was coming back to life. After four years of planning, Bickar doused 100 tires in cooking oil and lit them on fire inside Mt. Edgecumbe. He also spray painted "April Fool" in 50 foot letters around the rim.

Arizona—The U.S. Postal Service still uses mules to reach two areas.
Residents of Supai and Phantom Town receive mail by mule trains, as the terrain is too tricky for motorized vehicles. The trek requires hours of travel through the Grand Canyon valley.

Arkansas—A school for the deaf has a leopard for a mascot.
The Arkansas School for the Deaf's choice of a leopard for their mascot has actually been around since 1941, so it wasn't named after the British rock band Def Leppard. Still, an amazing coincidence.

California—Hollywood was initially founded to escape Thomas Edison.
Thomas Edison's film business held so many patents that competing film studios could barely make a profit, so a bunch moved west hoping patent laws wouldn't bother to reach them. This led studios to center themselves in Hollywood, Calif., instead of the original film capital, Fort Lee, N.J. Both Paramount and Universal were created in this westward move. Another take on this western migration says the studio owners were looking for a location where they could film outside all year without having to deal with cold snowy weather. Their goal was Arizona, but on the day they arrived it was raining so they continued on to sunny Southern California.

Colorado—Every year a town celebrates a frozen dead guy.
The town of Nederland celebrates the cryogenically frozen body of Bredo Morstoel, who had been kept in a local barn for decades by his family. The body was almost forced out of the barn, as keeping a dead body in a family home was considered illegal, but the town rallied to let his descendants keep up the tradition.

Connecticut—A cat was once sentenced to house arrest for terrorizing a neighborhood.
In 2006, a tomcat named Lewis was put on house arrest after attacking an Avon representative selling products in the Connecticut town of Fairfield. Lewis' owner, Ruth Cisero, claimed that her cat only attacked because he was under a lot of stress from being tormented by egg and water throwing neighbors. A judge ruled in 2008 that Lewis was safe and free to once again roam the streets of Fairfield.

Delaware—The state may be the real home to the city of Metropolis, of Superman fame.
According to works done by former DC comics editor Paul Kupperberg, Metropolis is actually located in Delaware, rather than New York City, as often shown in films, or in Metropolis, Ill., a real city which claims to be Superman's hometown. In the 2006 film "Superman Returns," the Metropolis license plates bear the slogan "The First State" which is also on Delaware license plates. The exact location may remain a mystery, but Delawareans have a pretty good case for claiming it as their own.

Florida—Remains of a human civilization as old as the ancient Egyptians were found buried in a bog.
In 1982, human bones were found in the black peat bog of Windover. They ended up being approximately 7,000 years old, according to carbon dating. The black peat was so good at preserving these ancient bodies that human brain tissue was found in a woman's skull with her DNA still intact.

Georgia—A tree once became the legal owner of itself.
Located on the corner of South Finley and Dearing Streets in Athens, Ga., Jackson Tree legally owns itself and the surrounding eight feet around its base, thanks to its previous owner, Colonel William H. Jackson. According to the legend, upon Jackson's death he deeded the tree:  "That the said W. H. Jackson for and in consideration of the great affection which he bears said tree, and his great desire to see it protected has conveyed, and by these presents do convey unto the said oak tree entire possession of itself and of all land within eight feet of it on all sides." Unfortunately, the tree was struck by lightning and killed in 1942, but a new tree born from an acorn from the original is alive and thriving.

Stop by next week for part 2 of 5 covering Hawaii through Maryland.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

BIZARRE SUPERSTITIONS OF THE BRITISH MONARCHY


With the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle less than a week away, I thought it would be a good time to share this list of Bizarre Superstitions Of The British Monarchy.

Most of us have our family traditions and even superstitions that we've upheld through the years, maybe even several generations. Ours, however, aren't declared for the whole world to know. But if you're a member of the British royal family, it seems your little family concerns are out there for the world to see regardless of how old or obsolete they are.

Here are some of the weirdest superstitions the monarchy still upholds.

The Tower of London ravens
It's believed that ravens took up permanent residence in the Tower of London back in the 1800s. To the royal family, they have been looking out for the monarchy since it was reinstated in the 1600s with King Charles II following the time of Oliver Cromwell. It's believed that if the ravens flew away, it would bring bad luck. The legend says: “If the Tower of London ravens are lost or fly away, the Crown will fall and Britain with it.” There are still ravens that live in the tower and serve as a tourist attraction. There are people assigned to full time duty of taking care of the ravens.

Wedding dates
Are you wondering why it’s cause for concern that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are getting married on May 19, 2018? It’s because the month of May is considered unlucky, at least according to royal family superstition. This belief dates back to Queen Victoria’s reign. The late monarch’s line on the matter was: “Marry in May, and rue the day.”

(Queen Victoria makes multiple appearances on this list because she was so superstitious.)

The gems and jewels
Kate Middleton’s gorgeous sapphire ring isn’t just an ode to her late mother-in-law, Princess Diana. The royal family has long believed that gemstones hold magical powers. Sapphires are a particular favorite because they are believed to bring on financial success and stability. Queen Victoria also wore a sapphire.

The Ceremony of the Keys
Modern security systems keep the crown jewels under tight security at the Tower of London. Even though the monarch hasn’t lived there in ages, the Ceremony of the Keys continues its centuries-old installment. Every evening, a ceremonial guard (one of the Beefeaters) walks the halls of the tower and locks all the gates to insure that thieves don’t break in.

The monarch’s residence
For the last couple of centuries Buckingham Palace has been recognized as the home of the reigning monarch. This isn’t Queen Elizabeth II’s official address. Her official residence is technically St. James’ Palace in London. The reigning monarch lived at St. James' Palace prior to Buckingham House becoming Buckingham Palace. The first monarch to live at Buckingham Palace but keep St. James' Palace as the official residence was (surprise, surprise) Queen Victoria.

Paying the rent
No one actually pays rent at Stratfield Saye House. This is actually an annual ceremony paying homage to the Duke of Wellington and the 1815 Battle of Waterloo when the British defeated Napoleon. The duke was given Stratfield Saye House as a gift for the victory. Every year the current duke delivers a silken French flag to the queen to commemorate the win, i.e. “pay his rent.” A new flag is produced every year and is draped over the bust of the first Duke of Wellington.

The royal touch
Dating back to the Middle Ages, it was believed that being touched by the monarch could cure you of any illness. This act was put into practice by King Charles II, with the belief that his touch was God-given and could cure a skin disease called scrofula. Needless to say, modern medicine has made this “divine” practice a bit obsolete.

No touching the royals
One tradition the monarchy has not been able to shake is the superstition that the members of the royal family cannot be touched by non-royals. This belief dates back to the Middle Ages. From medieval times, monarchs were divinely appointed to rule by God, so they were seen as gods and demanded to be treated as gods. Everyone from LeBron James to Michelle Obama has been criticized for throwing a friendly arm around the royals.

Searching the cellars
In 1605, Guy Fawkes and a group of co-conspirators called the Gunpowder Plotters enacted a plot to assassinate King James I while making his speech to Parliament. The plan was foiled when Fawkes was apprehended in the cellars below the House of Lords the night before the speech. To this day the tradition continues as the queen’s royal guard still searches the cellars for Fawkes.

No shellfish allowed
One of the better-known superstitions among the royal family is that they don’t eat shellfish. This old-school tradition, which Queen Elizabeth II upholds to this day, comes from the fear of being poisoned or having a severe allergic reaction. Shellfish still doesn’t appear on the Buckingham Palace menu, but some members of the family eat it. (Prince Charles and Kate Middleton are known seafood fans.)

Holding a hostage
Once upon a time, the monarch and Parliament didn’t get along very well. They didn’t trust each other to the point that the royal family didn’t trust the safety of the sovereign while with Parliament. So, in exchange, Parliament would have to send over one of its members to be “held hostage” to insure the monarch’s safe return. Even now, when Queen Elizabeth II gives her speech at The State Opening of Parliament  a member still stays at Buckingham Palace as a hostage.

Pricking
Towards the beginning of each year, Queen Elizabeth II selects High Sheriffs during a meeting of the Privy Council. This is referred to as the Pricking Ceremony. She selects names from a list by poking through paper with a sewing needle. The origin isn't clear, but many believe this odd tradition was started by Queen Elizabeth I. She was asked to choose her High Sheriffs while she was in the middle of embroidering. She used her needle as a selecting tool.

Anne Boleyn’s ghost
Of all the figures in the monarchy’s history, Anne Boleyn continues to be the most intriguing. With that in mind, perhaps it’s not surprising that the royal family supposedly believes that her ghost walks around. According to family superstition and local lore, there are at lease seven different locations where her ghost has been seen. They include the Tower of London where she was executed. Her ghost allegedly walks around without a head.

The royal ‘we’
As mentioned above, monarchs of times gone by believed they were chosen by God to rule. So when Queen Victoria spoke, she used the pronoun 'we' instead of 'I' showing that she was speaking for both herself and her divine creator. Nowadays, Queen Elizabeth II uses the plural when she addresses Parliament, but to convey that she is speaking for both herself and the nation.

The Coronation
For centuries the royal family has believed that the coronation of a new monarch has to go perfectly without even the slightest hiccup. One mistake can be a sign that the monarchy is in trouble.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

19 Things That Kill More People Than Sharks


And by things that kill, I'm not referring to crime or war.  Some are bizarre and others more common place.  A recent survey provided a list of cause-of-death statistics that I found interesting and thought I would share with you.  I actually found two lists, one a list of 10 Incredibly Bizarre Death Statistics and the other a list of 20 (all the 10 items from the first list are on the list of 20 plus 10 more).

Sharks reportedly kill 5 people annually.  But that's a small number compared to other bizarre causes of death.

Roller Coasters are responsible for 6 accidental deaths annually.  Overall, the risk factor for injury while riding a roller coaster is very low.  In the U.S., people take about 900 million rides a year.
Vending Machines kill 13 people a year.  What?  A crazed vending machine out on a killing spree?  Nope, the deaths are a result of the vending machine toppling over and crushing the unfortunate person who happened to be in the way.

High School Football is responsible for 20 tragic deaths annually.

Ants kill 30 people annually.  There are over 280 different species of ants that can kill with the fire ant and siafu ant, both found in Africa, among the most deadly.  Ants live in colonies that can reach 20 million ants in a single colony.  Once an attack begins, ants can easily overpower their prey.

Dogs kill 30 people annually in the U.S.  There are approximately 4.7 million dog bite victims in the U.S. alone with 1000 of those treated in emergency rooms.  Most of those victims are children who were bitten in the face.

Jelly Fish are responsible for 40 deaths annually.  Most jelly fish are not deadly, but some can cause anaphylaxis which can be fatal.

Tornadoes kill an average of 60 people annually, with some years having more tornado outbreaks than other years.

Hot Dogs are responsible for 70 deaths annually, primarily from choking.
Icicles kill 100 people a year in Russia.  This happens when sharp icicles fall from snowy rooftops and land on unsuspecting victims on the sidewalks below.

Deer are responsible for 130 annual deaths.

Bathtubs account for 340 annual deaths, primarily from people slipping and falling.  They die either from a fatal blow to the head or knocking themselves out and drowning.

Falling Out of Bed results in a surprising 450 deaths a year.  According to the Center for Disease Control, falling out of bed produces 1.8 million emergency room visits and over 400,000 hospital admissions each year.  The very young and very old are most at risk with people over 65 faring the worst.
Shopping On Black Friday gives us 550 annual deaths.  A U.S. phenomenon, that mad scramble for bargains the day after Thanksgiving which is the busiest shopping day on the year.  The name Black Friday referring to a financially good economic situation, the day that retail businesses operate 100% in the black for the rest of the year (all income being profit, rather than the loss after deducting expenses related to being in the red).

Autoerotic Asphyxiation kills 600 people annually.  This is the act of strangling or suffocating (most often by hanging) yourself to heighten sexual arousal.  Depriving the brain of oxygen gives a person a dizzy, high feeling, however it's all too easy to make a mistake and accidently kill yourself while practicing this dangerous sex act.

Volcanoes kill 845 people annually.

Airplanes are responsible for an average 1,200 annual deaths.
Hippos come in on the survey with 2,900 deaths annually.  Many experts believe that the Hippopotamus is the most dangerous animal in all of Africa.  They weigh up to 8,000 pounds and can gallop at 18 miles per hour.  They have been known to upset boats for no reason and bite passengers with their huge, sharp teeth.  They are aggressive, unpredictable and have no fear of humans.

Texting while driving is responsible for 6,000 deaths each year.  A survey by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute reports that a driver's risk of collision is 23 times greater when they are texting while driving.

Lightning, the final cause of death on our list, kills 10,000 people annually.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Blondes vs. Brunettes: Stereotype or Reality?


For decades it's been a matter of speculation, possibly even for centuries—blondes have more fun, but brunettes are smarter.

Is there any truth to that stereotype? The one that claims blondes are dumb as far as intellect is concerned but have that innate ability to manipulate men with their sex appeal? The one that claims brunettes are by far the more intelligent and capable but lose out in the sex symbol department?

Even Hollywood has played into the hands of the stereotype, by making changes in the image they present to the movie going public. In the days of the silent movie, blond Mary Pickford was the sweet and virginal heroine while brunette Theda Bara was the bad girl sex symbol whose screen persona was the vamp who stole boyfriends and wrecked marriages.

Then in the 1930s the show biz image changed. The blonde became the home wrecking hussy, the gold digging sex symbol while the brunette was either the dutiful wife, the hometown girl next door girlfriend, or the then uncommon situation of the intelligent woman who stepped out of the housewife mold and pursued a career in the business world as a single woman.

Most of the big screen sex symbols were blondes, a few natural and most from the beauty salon. There were a few brunette sex symbols and the occasional redhead such as Rita Hayworth. Probably the most famous of all time is the iconic Marilyn Monroe whose name became synonymous with sex symbol. Marilyn co-starred with a brunette sex symbol of the time, Jane Russell, in the ultimate blonde vs. brunette movie—the 1953 release of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

But do gentlemen really prefer blondes? Results from a study conducted by the University of Westminster in the U.K. and the Scandinavian Journal of Psychology show something quite different. Their study shows that men actually prefer brunettes. The study was conducted with a woman going to three different nightclubs as a brunette, a blonde, and a redhead to see how many men approached her. She was approached most as a blonde, second as a brunette and least as a redhead. That would seem to prove the gentlemen preferring blondes theory.

However, follow-up with the men in the same three nightclubs showed that the men found her most appealing overall as a brunette. They said she came across most attractive, intelligent, approachable and dependable as a brunette, more temperamental as a redhead, and needy as a blonde. Previous studies had upheld the stereotype by showing that men prefer blondes.

Interestingly, women of all hair colors prefer men with dark hair…another stereotype of heroic tall, dark, and handsome. And apparently that choice applies to female lions as well. Male lions with dark manes are more likely to be pride leaders.

In a different study in 2011 in the U.K., 2000 men were surveyed and blondes were selected as the preference. Then when the same study was conducted in France, U.S., Spain, Italy, and Brazil, the preferred hair color was dark. Psychologists say that women who are not natural blondes usually go blonde because thy want to stand out. Since only about 10% of the population are natural blondes, this tactic works.

Hmmm…I guess those psychologists forgot about the mature women who go blonde because it softens their facial features, i.e. makes the wrinkles not as noticeable while not being that mature gray color.

However, old stereotypes die hard. Society has observed more blond women dying their hair dark in order to be perceived as more professional in the work place and thus less likely to be laid off.

Interesting Fact:  Natural blondes have significantly more hair than brunettes. Evolutionary science tells us that hair evolved in part to protect our scalp from the sun's rays. With less pigmentation than brunettes, blondes developed more hair to achieve that protective barrier.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES—the real story


A couple of years ago, I was watching Castle Secrets And Legends on the Travel Channel.  One of the segments was about Cromer Hall in England about 140 miles or so northeast of London.  The Cabell family have been owner and residents of Cromer Hall for the last 150 years.

A local legend told to a visiting Arthur Conan Doyle, along with the physical description of the actual Cromer Hall built in 1829, are said to have been Doyle's inspiration for The Hound Of The Baskervilles published in 1902. Being a Sherlock Holmes fan, I was pleased when they aired that episode again.  I augmented the information the show provided with a little research of my own—starting by locating Cromer on a map.

According to a legend told to Doyle, on August 5, 1577, a large black Hound of Hell materialized in a local church and brutally mauled two people to death.  The hound glared at the other people in the church with red blazing eyes, then disappeared leaving only a scorched claw mark on the stone wall to confirm its presence—a mark that remains to this day.  The beast was called Black Shuk and blamed for all unexplained gruesome happenings that took place after that.

Another legend tells of Richard Cabell, a 17th century country squire. After seriously mistreating a village girl, he was chased by wild hounds until he died of a heart attack.  Considered to have been an evil man and feared by the local villagers, they entombed his body in a small building by the church and placed a heavy stone slab on top of his grave so he couldn't escape.

The Cabell family has their own version of this legend.  Richard Cabell believed his wife had been unfaithful.  He chased her out into the night and viciously stabbed her to death.  Her loyal dog retaliated by tearing him to pieces.

Doyle took the basics of the the three legends along with a detailed description of Cromer Hall, and transported it all to Dartmoor.  And the name he gave to the family cursed with the presence of a Hound From Hell due to an ancestor's misdeeds?  The coachman who drove Arthur Conan Doyle to Cromer Hall that fateful day for his visit was a man named…Henry Baskerville.
The huge popularity of the story continues today.  Devotees of The Hound Of The Baskervilles often dress in period clothes, including the infamous deerstalker cap, and search Dartmoor for the origins of the story.

They do need to keep in mind that Sherlock Holmes is a fictional character.  :)

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Earth Day—Where, When, And Why


Sunday, April 22, 2018, is Earth Day. We only have one planet and we need to do everything we can to save it.

Supposedly originated in 1969 at a UNESCO conference in San Francisco, the name and idea for Earth Day was first observed on March 21, 1970—the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. This day in celebration of the Earth was put into a proclamation signed by UN Secretary U Thant.

And at about the same time, a separate Earth Day was founded in the United States as an environmental teach-in first observed on April 22, 1970.  The April 22nd date was taken international in 1990 with organized events focusing on environmental issues in 141 nations.

The impetus for an Earth Day came following the huge oil spill in 1969 off the coast of Santa Barbara, California.  Originally a teach-in on environmental issues to be observed on every college campus in the United States.  The name Earth Day was a logical and obvious suggestion made by several people in the fall of 1969.

The April 22, 1970, Earth Day was the beginning of the modern environmental movement.  Media coverage of the first April 22 Earth Day included Walter Cronkite's narration of a CBS News Special Report Earth Day: A Question Of Survival.

Earth Day became a popular event in the United States and soon around the world as well.  Earth Day seemed to work because of a grassroots level enthusiasm that quickly spread.

In 1990, on the 20th anniversary of Earth Day in the United States, the observation officially went global in 141 countries.  The status of environmental issues now had stronger marketing tools, greater access to television and radio, and multimillion-dollar budgets.

Earth Day 2000 marked the first time the movement used the internet as its principle means of organization both locally and internationally.

Today Earth Day continues to grow in membership, number of countries participating, and the scope of its effectiveness.

We only have one planet and need to do everything we can to save it.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Bizarre Items Stolen From Hotels—part 2 of 2


Last week I talked about some of the more common items people steal from their hotel and motel rooms. This week it's the most bizarre things people have stolen from their rooms and from hotel lobbies.

People have probably been pilfering from hotel/motel rooms for as long as hotels and motels have existed. Whether it’s a small souvenir or something bigger, such as a plush robe, theft by guests has cost the hotel industry big bucks over the years.

While most people steal the "common" items, some don’t stop at stealing the small things. Instead, they go for the gold. This list will probably have you shaking your head in disbelief.

1. Pillows
It is very odd to swipe pillows but hotel guests do. Who would want to own a pillow that likely thousands of others have slept — and drooled — on? Hotel pillows typically cost enough that hotels do care when guests take them home. Some hotels have even started implanting trackable microchips in hotel linens.

If a guest steals a pillow or two, the hotel will usually send him a letter to the effect of, “Hope you’re enjoying the pillows,” along with an invoice. If the guest returns to stay in that hotel again, some hotel managers let him know what website he can go to and buy hotel linens.

2. Grand piano
A head shaker. Acting as construction workers, the thieves simply wheeled it out the door. It turned out that three people had strolled into the lobby dressed in overalls and had wheeled the grand piano out of the hotel and down the street, never to be seen again.

3. Televisions
Apparently it was a while before anyone noticed them missing. When one hotel checked the security footage, they saw a guest walk through a busy reception area struggling under the weight of a television set, yet no one batted an eye.

4. Stuffed boar head
In the billiard room at the Hotel du Vin in Birmingham, UK, one guest tried to steal a stuffed boar's head. He was caught, much to his chagrin and embarrassment. A few weeks later, some of his friends came back and bought the object from the hotel as a wedding present for him. The hotel donated the money to charity.

5. Everything
A couple staying at an American Holiday Inn asked for a room near the parking lot. Next, they emptied the entire contents of the hotel room into a conveniently located U-Haul. They stole the bed, the furniture—everything everything that wasn’t (and likely some things that were) nailed down.

Guests did the same thing at a Forte Group hotel in Bath, UK. They parked their vehicle underneath the room’s window and passed the things though. The carpet, bedding, tea pot, and toilet seat were missing when they left. Yes, even the toilet seat!

6. Hotels offered guests amnesty
According to The New York Times, New York’s Waldorf Astoria hotel announced on Facebook in 2012 that it was launching an amnesty campaign directed toward those who had stolen or “accidentally packed” items from the hotel. They promised forgiveness to those who returned the stuff.

A psychotherapist who lives in San Diego returned a silver coffee pot to the hotel with a note explaining that her mother and father had a 1 night honeymoon at the hotel in 1938. They didn't have much money and that 1 night at the Waldorf was a very big deal for them. She went on to say that her father stole the silver coffee pot and every year on their anniversary, he took it out and served coffee in it.

7. Sex toys
Yes, you read that right—sex toys stolen from a hotel room. The Residence in Bath, UK, used to rent sex toys to guests, no available information on hygiene. Guests often stole the toys, and they were almost always caught. A hotel staff member said he would call them up to explain that they had been caught. A rather long silence would inevitably follow.

8. Curtains
If you've ever stayed at one of the economy type motel chains, you know glamour isn’t what they offer. Televisions and hairdryers are often nailed to the wall to prevent theft. But it seems that guests found other things to steal. The no-frills hotel chains reported that thousands of guests stole carpeting, mirrors, light fittings, and yes, even the shower curtains.

9. Room number
Who in the world would want to steal the room number from the door of their hotel room? Someone staying at the Franklin Hotel in Knightsbridge, UK, apparently. The guest unscrewed the number from the door and made off with it. The hotel general manager said no one notice it missing until they found the next guest wandering up and down the hallway looking for his room.

10. Busts
Mayfair is an affluent area in the West End of London, and the four-star Chesterfield Hotel is a popular spot to stay in the area. Someone stole 2 busts from outside the hotel’s entrance. It’s almost unbelievable that the person who stole them got away with it. Even stranger, the busts were returned the following morning in the back of a cab.

11. Flowers
Luxury hotels typically spend a fortune on fresh flowers to make the lobby impressive. And people love the flowers. They love them so much that they steal them. Again, it’s hard to imagine someone just walking out of a hotel with one of those huge floral displays. It looks like the hotel employees need to be a bit more watchful.

12. Pet dog
What kind of person would steal someone else’s pet? At one hotel, it was reported that guests stole the hotel owner’s dog. There isn’t any information on whether the owner recovered his pet. Hopefully, it was a case of the dog getting out one day and eventually finding his way back home.

13. Famous artwork
At Hong Kong’s W Hotel, a guest stole a piece of Andy Warhol artwork worth $300,000 which was never recovered. In addition, guests at Hong Kong’s Shangri-La stole chandeliers, and someone took an entire minibar from the old Parkroyal in Kuala Lumpur. At the old Crowne Plaza in Bangkok, guests frequently stole showerheads.

15. Fireplace
A guest at the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif., stole an entire marble fireplace. There are no details regarding how he got it out of the hotel, but he really upped the ante when it comes to being an audacious thief.
16. Concorde model
A housekeeper at a Best Western hotel reported a seriously strange theft. The guest swiped a 12-foot model of the Concorde, the British-French turbojet-powered supersonic passenger airliner that operated until 2003. How on earth did no one notice that on its way out?