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Today's stories [11.12.20]

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The following item is from the New York Times 24 Aug 96...

The crash of a Cali-bound American Airlines jet last December in Colombia,
S.A., occurred because the plane's captain entered an incomplete command
into the onboard computer -- and the default action taken by the software
pointed the plane in the wrong direction. The beacons at the Cali and
Bogota airports both begin with the letter R, which is the only character
the pilot typed; instead of proceeding toward Cali, the plane turned in 
the opposite direction (toward Bogata) and crashed into a mountain.


This is not an urban legend, it happened to an RA in our New York office

This guy lives in Westchester, NY and goes to school at Ithaca College. 
For two years, he has wanted to ask a certain girl (who is also from
Westchester and also goes to Ithaca) out on a date, but has never had the
courage. Finally, one day over the summer, he sees her at home and musters
up the courage to ask her out. She accepts, and they make dinner plans for
Saturday night.

Friday night, this guy goes out with all of his buddies, and drinks like
Prohibition is coming back. Saturday, he is in such bad shape that he 
can't make it through twenty minutes without either puking or defecating. 
After several hours of this, he is able to stop puking, but he is still 
running to the toilet every 20 minutes to defecate. He doesn't want to 
cancel the date, because he's afraid he won't ever talk to her again. So 
they meet in Westchester, and take the train to New York City (about a 30 
minute ride).

They get to the restaurant, and he excuses himself during the appetizers 
to use the bathroom. They enjoy the rest of the appetizers without
interruption, but he has to go back again during the entrees. They decide
to get dessert. During dessert, our hero feels another rumbling, but
doesn't want to look like a complete bathroom freak, so he holds it.

After a few minutes, the rumbling subsides, but he still has a bit of gas
stored up. He decides to let this little bit of gas fly right there at the
table (discreetly, of course). Unfortunately, this little bit of gas came
with another little surprise. "Oh shit," he thinks (and feels). Instead of
running to the bathroom right away, our hero immediately leans on the arms
of his chair to keep from sitting on this surprise. He maintains this yoga
position for the rest of dessert, trying to figure out what to do before
his tan pants... (a) start to smell, or (b) start to show stains on the

He quickly pays for dinner and they leave the restaurant. Oh, by the way,
he is walking like a cowboy.. On the way to the train station, they pass
the Gap.

"Do you mind if I run in and buy a sweater that I was looking at last
week?" he asks.

"No problem, I'd like to look around too," she replies.

They go into the Gap. Fortunately, at the Gap, men's fashions are on the
right, women's fashions are on the left. They split up. Our hero grabs the
first sweater within reach, and hurries back to the khakis. After 
selecting a pair that most closely resemble his current outfit, he brings 
both items to the register. His eyes are on his date (still on the other 
side of the store) to make sure that she doesn't see him buying the pants. 
He doesn't even want the sweater, so he says through clenched teeth (just 
in case his date can read lips from 40 feet away)

"Just the pants."

"What?" asks the Gap girl.

"Just the pants!" (His eyes still trained on his date.)

Gap girl: "Oh, OK."

He pays for the pants and walks over to his date, then they leave the

They board the train just before it leaves the station and find two seats
in the middle of the car. Without sitting down, our hero excuses himself
and walks to the bathroom in the back of the car. He gets to the bathroom
as the train departs, and quickly rips off his pants and boxer shorts. He
rolls them into a ball and throws them out the window. After cleaning
himself off, he opens the Gap bag and pulls out...just the sweater.


As you must have realized, the only solution is to wear the sweater as
pants. So he squeezes his legs into the arms of the sweater and pulls the
rest of the fabric tight around his waist. He can only keep himself 
covered by hunching over. Walking will be a new challenge altogether.

Rather than going through the absolute trauma of returning to his seat and
explaining (or creating an elaborate lie to explain) the entire incident,
our hero waits in the bathroom until the train stops at the next station.
He waits until the moment the train starts to pull away from the station,
then dashes out of the bathroom (as quickly as a hunched over cowboy with
sweater pants can dash) and jumps off the train. He is lost and stranded
somewhere between New York City and Westchester.

He hasn't seen the girl since.


Attila the Hun:

One of the most notorious villains in history, Attila's army had conquered
all of Asia by 450 AD--from Mongolia to the edge of the Russian Empire--by
destroying villages and pillaging the countryside.

How he died: He got a nosebleed on his wedding night

In 453 AD, Attila married a young girl named Ildico. Despite his 
reputation for ferocity on the battlefield, he tended to eat and drink 
lightly during large banquets. On his wedding night, however, he really 
cut loose, gorging himself on food and drink. Sometime during the night he 
suffered a nosebleed, but was too drunk to notice. He drowned in his own 
blood and was found dead the next morning.


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