In 2002, following an acrimonious family debate, the head of late baseball slugger Ted Williams was cryogenically frozen, in the hope that science will some day learn how to revive dead people. An employee of the Arizona lab that stores the head recently disclosed some inside shenanigans, according to a September report in the New York Daily News. According to the employee, to keep Williams' head from sticking to the inside of its storage carton, the head was placed on an empty Bumble Bee tuna fish can inside the container, but the can itself then stuck to the head and had to be whacked off with a monkey wrench. (Since the lab's work is secretive, only first-person reports are likely to emerge on this story.)
High-Maintenance Goddesses: In Ahmedabad District, India, in September, Ramveer Singh Baghel, 35, sliced off his tongue as an offering to the goddess Amba. His sacrifice made him an instant deity in the local temple, delaying his trip to the hospital.
And two weeks later, in a village in Bargarh District, India, a 19-year-old woman cut out her tongue, hoping, she said, that the Shiva temple's resident goddess would halt the woman's imminent arranged marriage and allow her to pick someone closer to her age.
Adventure in the Bush: In June, after a monitored, endangered marsupial (a "woylie") was killed in West Australia, scientists set out to recover the expensive radio collar transmitter it was wearing, but as they approached the signal, a 6-foot-long python swallowed the woylie and collar. The scientists captured the snake, intending to wait for the collar to pass through, but poachers broke into the Department of Environment and Conservation's shelter and stole the python, surely intending to sell it. According to a June report in The West Australian, the scientists, aided by authorities, eventually picked up the radio transmissions again, arrested one poacher, and freed the snake from its impending life of captivity.
In a delicate, two-hour procedure at a hospital in Newport Beach, Calif., in September, firefighters carefully sawed off the inch-thick metal dumbbell-tightening ring into which a man had inserted his penis three days earlier. He told surgeons his plan was to lengthen the organ, to, as he put it, "make me the chief of my tribe." By the time he got to the hospital, his member was swollen to more than twice its normal size, and sawing the ring off (without cutting the skin) was the only way to save it.