Baltimore City Paper

The Morgue

Blazing Good Times, 160 Years Ago This Week

Source: The Baltimore Sun, Aug. 14, 1846

Fire Balloons--The reprehensible practice of sending up fire balloons, is again becoming fashionable, and if persisted in, we may look for a conflagration speedily. It seems that the thing is done every night lately, in one or more sections of the city. On Monday evening one fell upon a house in the upper part of the city and set fire to the roof, the timely discovery of which probably alone, prevented the destruction of the dwelling. If the parties to these "infernal machines" can possibly be detected, it is due to them that they should have the full administration of the law.


What A Wonderful World

Financial incentives for families to have female babies rather than abort them have shown results in the Indian state of Haryana. State government officials say that yearly payments of just over $100 to families with girls under age 5 have improved the ratio of girls under 6 to 823 per 1,000 boys in 2005 from 819 girls per 1,000 boys in 2004. (

The U.S. military has stopped landing its planes at civilian airports in the United Kingdom. The decision came after protests alleging that U.S. planes carrying munitions bound for Israel stopped at various U.K. airports for refueling raised government concerns. U.S. military flights will continue to use military airfields across England and Scotland. (BBC)

The Brazilian military will ferry more than 100 penguins from Rio de Janeiro back to Antarctica. The flightless seabirds wound up in Rio after drifting north on melting ice floes. (BBC)

Since its sewage treatment plant went offline in March 2005, the Ghanaian city of Accra has been dumping 80 percent of its sewage--more than 12,000 cubic meters per month--into the Atlantic Ocean. The plant was closed initially for renovation, but funds ran out. The waters around Accra provide much of the nation's fish supply. (

Cadbury Schweppes announced that its recent recall of 1 million chocolate bars in Great Britain and Ireland as the result of a salmonella scare would cost the company over $37 million. The recall was ordered because of concerns about a leaking pipe in a Cadbury plant. (The Guardian/United Kingdom)

An Inuit microbrewery has started producing beer for export made with meltwater from the Greenland icecap. (BBC)

Authorities in the Chinese city of Mouding killed some 50,000 dogs as part of a crackdown on a rabies outbreak; many of them were clubbed to death. Three Mouding residents had died of rabies since the beginning of the year. (The Guardian/United Kingdom)

In order to study the demands of interplanetary space travel, Russian scientists are soliciting applications for volunteers to be locked in an airtight spaceship-like living facility with five other people and a finite amount of supplies for 18 months. (BBC)

Faced with a shortage of moon rocks to study, scientists now troll eBay looking for lunar samples and meteorites. Prices may range anywhere from $45 to $70,000. (