View previous topic | View next topic


Page 1 of 2
Goto page 1, 2  Next

Molly Cule
157699.  Mon Mar 19, 2007 5:34 pm Reply with quote

How did a catís toy start a revolution?

The very first item sold on eBay was the founder Pierre Omidyar's broken laser pointer for $14.83. Pierre had bought it for his cat as a toy. Astonished, he contacted the winning bidder and asked if he understood that the laser pointer was broken. In his responding email, the buyer explained: "I'm a collector of broken laser pointers."

157725.  Tue Mar 20, 2007 3:10 am Reply with quote

Question: What is the most unusual thing ever sold on ebay?

Answer: A new species of animal

Dr Simon Coppard was trawling ebay in 2006 and managed to discover a new species of sea urchin. Coppard, who works at the Natural History Museum in London, was approached by ebay users to identify the golf ball sized creature with red and white striped spines, after reviewing the literature he realised it was a new species and named it Coelopleurus Exquisitus. The value of the urchin jumped from $8 to $138.

Red sea urchins live for over 200 years, perhaps the longest lived in the world. Sea Urchin sex organs are considered a delicacy in Japan.

They reproduce by squirting eggs and sperm into the water, and letting them find one another in the shallow sea.

Unusual items found on ebay include a stolen hot-air balloon, a MiG fighter, a Californian town, a userís motherís ashes, the ghost of a womanís father, a mammouth and a piece of chewing-gum chewed by Britney Spears.

In the UK someone buys a CD every 11 seconds, a toy car every 35 seconds, a mobile phone every minute, a teddy bear every two minutes, a piece of golf equipment every two-and-half minutes and a football shirt every five minutes.

The most expensive item sold on the UK website was Lady Thatcher's handbag, which went for £103,000. The most expensive item globally was a Gulfstream Jet, which sold for £3.2m.

new species



random facts

157772.  Tue Mar 20, 2007 5:40 am Reply with quote

Didn't someone once sell their virginity on eBay?

Ah yes, here it is:

Although it does say eBay withdrew the offer, so I guess it can't really be classed as "sold" on eBay.

I think asking about the most unusual thing is a bit subjective.

157830.  Tue Mar 20, 2007 8:10 am Reply with quote

The idea was that it was subjective and might feed the imagination of the panel. However, I fully admit that the question might not be right, suggestions welcome.

157875.  Tue Mar 20, 2007 9:45 am Reply with quote

It would certainly get the imagination running, but hard to declare one particular thing as the definitive answer. Perhaps just present it as a suggested answer. Or suggest all of the ones you mentioned (which weren't already mentioned by panellists, I guess).

157888.  Tue Mar 20, 2007 10:03 am Reply with quote

We aren't really bothered about definitive answers. One of the questions in the first series was "Is there a God?"

157890.  Tue Mar 20, 2007 10:06 am Reply with quote

And was there?

157896.  Tue Mar 20, 2007 10:09 am Reply with quote

Yes, no, and maybe, along with other possibilities.

157906.  Tue Mar 20, 2007 10:18 am Reply with quote

I think the problem is that my original post was in the format "question" and "answer" when that wasn't really what I intended. I suppose it should have been "question" and "an answer".

159124.  Fri Mar 23, 2007 6:03 am Reply with quote

Word Magazine (March 07) has a feature on odd, celebrity-related ebay items (or other auction items; itís not clear which are which).

The best of them is a cup of water half-drunk by Elvis Presley. Whatís great about this is that the owner sold the water but kept the cup!

He now tours the holy relic, and it has its own website, at

159132.  Fri Mar 23, 2007 6:13 am Reply with quote


159206.  Fri Mar 23, 2007 7:31 am Reply with quote

In April 2006, someone once sold their Warholian 15 minutes of fame on eBay, because they didn't think they'd ever become famous, and needed the money.

Of course, they had to play down the inevitable press coverage that this attracted, or the buyer wouldn't get their full money's worth.

ORLANDO, Fla., April 17 /PRNewswire/ -- The late pop artist Andy Warhol predicted that in the future, everyone would be famous for 15 minutes. David J.P. Ortiz now has 30 minutes coming. It was Ortiz who placed the winning online bid in an eBay auction for another person's 15 minutes of fame.


159746.  Sun Mar 25, 2007 9:39 am Reply with quote

Doctors can increase their ability to detect irregular hearbeats by listening repeatedly to heartbeats on their iPods.

Current correct heart sound identification by physicians is 40 percent, however in a study, doctors who regularly listened to the beats on an ipod increased their success rate to 80%.

160220.  Tue Mar 27, 2007 2:31 am Reply with quote

How did a computer error nearly cause the end of the world in 1983?

If Stanislav Petrov had not disobeyed procedure when his computer told of an American missile strike the world could have found itself in the depths of Nuclear war.

On the night of 26 September 1983, Stanislav Petrov was on duty at a surveillance centre near Moscow.

"Suddenly the screen in front of me turned bright red," said Petrov. "An alarm went off. It was piercing, loud enough to raise a dead man from his grave."

"The computer showed that the Americans had launched a nuclear strike against us."

Instead of telling his superiors of the attack, he reported the computer system as being faulty, however it cost him his job, Petrov took early retirement from the army and later suffered a nervous breakdown.

Other computer errors:

Therac-25 was a Medical linear accelerators which created high- energy beams that can destroy tumors with minimal impact on the surrounding healthy tissue. It was involved in at least 6 incidents of giving patients lethal overdoses of radiation Ė it was blamed on a software bug.


A 105-year-old man in Switzerland has been told to attend primary school by his local education authority.


A street vendor who won top prize in Thailand's version of the TV game show 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire' has had to hand back all her winnings after it was found that a computer error led to her being fed all the right answers.


A simple typing error has triggered mayhem on the Tokyo stock exchange and cost one bank £190m.

A computer which should have cancelled the transaction failed to click in, and this further embarrassment led to the resignation on Tuesday of the head of the Tokyo stock exchange.


The Automobile Association (AA) says that both computer and human error in processing data from speed cameras has prompted a recent increase in the number of drivers wrongfully accused thousands of speeding.


In March 2005 the Sudanese government was annoyed to read on a US Congress website that America had carried out nuclear tests in Sudan in the 1960s.

Fears were allayed however when it turned out to be a typing error. The report should have said Sedan - a test site in Nevada.


160309.  Tue Mar 27, 2007 6:08 am Reply with quote

Nice idea from one of those links about how to learn to touch type:

He tried some traditional typing courses without any luck, before hitting on the idea of scrubbing all the letters from his keyboard; effectively typing blind.

"It's analogous to a piano - there are no marking on piano keys, you just have to learn them," he says.

It did the trick and earlier this year M Guermuer began selling blank keyboards for others who want to learn, under the brand Das Keyboard.

"You go through two weeks of pain. In the first week your typing slows greatly, but by the end of week two you are touch typing," says M Guermuer.


Page 1 of 2
Goto page 1, 2  Next

All times are GMT - 5 Hours

Display posts from previous:   

Search Search Forums

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group