Weird Universe
HOME   |   CONTACT   |   FACEBOOK   |   PINTEREST   |   TWITTER   |   RSS
 

July 20, 2014

News of the Weird (July 20, 2014)

News of the Weird
Weirdnuz.M380, July 20, 2014
Copyright 2014 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Lead Story

Enric Girona recently donated his prototype pet commode to the town of El Vendrell, Spain, hoping to spark worldwide interest. Conscientious owners would train their dogs on the station--a hole in the ground with a flush handle--which is connected to the sewer system, as is the drain grid next to it (for tinkling). The platform, which appears to occupy about 20 square feet of surface, is self-cleaning (although not too clean, said Girona, because dogs are more easily lured with a lingering scent). Spain is already one of the world’s toughest on lazy owners who fail to scoop after their pets, with fines in El Vendrell as high as the equivalent of $1,000 and in Madrid and Barcelona, $2,000). [The Guardian (London), 7-2-2014]

Took It Too Far

The New York customer service company United Health Programs of America provoked a federal lawsuit in June by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission over its employee esprit-de-corps policy of requiring workers to pray to God on the job and to say "I love you" to their managers. According to the EEOC, the feel-good, work-harder campaign was suggested by an aunt of United's owner and named for an obscure “truth and compassion” movement called "Onionhead." [Reuters, 6-11-2014]

After two third-graders wet their pants on May 15th at Mill Plain Elementary School in Vancouver, Wash., they blamed teachers for too-strictly enforcing their classroom’s “rewards” system, in which good behavior earns students points redeemable for, among other prizes, restroom breaks. A teachers union investigation concluded that the girls were never “denied” toilet access (but the girls’ mothers pointed out that using restroom breaks as a “reward” might be confusing to 8-year-olds). [Columbian (Vancouver), 5-22-2014]

The Japanese snack company Calbee recently staged a promotion around popular singer Nana Mizuki, giving away 10 backstage passes to her August 3rd concert in Yokohama to the purchasers of 10 lucky bags of secretly-marked potato chips. Her perhaps-hugest fan, Kuzuki Fukumoto, 25, was so determined to win one that by the time he was arrested for littering in May, he had bought and dumped 89 cartons of potato-chip packages, weighing over 400 pounds, that were found at six locations around the city of Akashi. Police estimate he had spent the equivalent of about $3,000. [Mainichi News via Kotaku.com, 6-10-2014]

Took It Way Too Far: Britain's news website Metro.co.uk, combing Facebook pages, located a full photo array from prominent 23-year-old German body art enthusiast Joel Miggler, whose various piercings and implants are impressive enough but whose centerpieces are the portholes in each cheek that expose the insides of his mouth. (With customized plugs, he can seal the portholes when soup is on the menu.) The holes are currently 36mm wide, but he was said to be actively cheek-stretching, aiming for 40mm. Miggler assures fans that his mother likes “most” of his modifications and that the worst aspect so far is merely that he is forced to take smaller bites when eating. (News of the Weird has reported on researchers’ creating portholes in cows’ stomachs, but still . . ..) [Metro, 5-21-2014]

Can’t Possibly Be True

(1) Until the New York governor and legislature addressed the problem recently, it was legal in the state for narcissistic animal owners to force their dogs and cats to endure permanent, decorative tattoos and piercings. At press time, Gov. Andrew Cuomo was poised to sign legislation abolishing the tattooing. (2) Kayla Oxenham, 23, was arrested in Port Charlotte, Fla., in June and charged with using a stick to burn “brands” into the skin of her two children, ages 5 and 7. Among her explanations to police: so she could identify them as being hers and because she had “forgot how much she loved fire.” [NPR, 6-19-2014] [WZVN-TV (Fort Myers), 6-18-2014]

A Davenport, Iowa, jury convicted terminal-cancer patient Benton Mackenzie, 48, in July on four marijuana-growing felonies, even though his purpose was to harvest cannabis oil to treat his bloody lesions and the grapefruit-sized tumor on his buttocks. The judge had barred Mackenzie and his lawyer from even mentioning the illness in court--because of a 2005 Iowa precedent (even though the Iowa legislature has subsequently allowed medical marijuana to treat seizures). Mackenzie’s wife, his 73-year-old parents, his son, and a friend were also charged with assisting Mackenzie’s “operation” (though Mackenzie was almost surely the only “customer”). Mackenzie, who testified and was, of course, sworn to tell “the whole truth,” said he was “flabbergasted” to learn that “the whole truth” excludes anything about his illness. [Des Moines Register, 7-10-2014; Quad City Times, 5-30-2014]

Municipal engineers in the town of Melton Mowbray, England, were called out in June to fix a lingering sewer overrun--caused by, they discovered, "hundreds" of tennis balls that had apparently each been flushed down toilets. (Said the project manager, "We expect [blockages from] fats and baby wipes, but . . ..") [BBC News, 7-3-2014]

Unclear on the Concept

A 60-year-old man with a blood clot has recovered but no thanks to the driver for the South Western Ambulance Service who was ferrying him on a long trip to the emergency room of Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, England, on April 6th. The patient’s family later reported that the driver had stopped enroute to pick up two hitchikers--one a “young” woman in a “skimpy skirt”--and take them to an on-the-way town. The patient, in pain with his toes starting to blacken, eventually had his blood flow restored and did not lose the leg. He reported that the two riders were friendly and wanted to chat about his condition (though he was in no mood). [Western Morning News, 6-12-2014]

American Red Cross boasts of being “transparent and accountable” for the way it spends donations from compassionate people moved to help those in need. However, when the public-policy watchdog ProPublica asked for some details on how the Red Cross used funds donated for 2012 Hurricane Sandy victims in New York, the organization begged off, claiming that details beyond broad generalities were “trade secrets” that it was entitled to protect, lest its “competitors” copy or exploit the techniques it uses to help people. (The Red Cross did release more detailed accounts to the attorney general of New York, but under an agreement of confidentiality.) [ProPublica.org, 6-26-2014]

Update

When last we encountered Briton David Truscott (2011), he was being jailed again as a serial trespasser with an unquenchable desire to sneak onto farms and pleasure himself while rolling around, nude, in manure pits--especially the farm of Clive Roth near Redruth, England. Truscott apparently emerged from prison unrepentant and was back in trouble in May with another manure pit incident but this time accompanied by threats to harm Roth and his family and to burn down his farm buildings. (During the most recent incarceration, Truscott had received mental health treatment that allowed him actually to act out in a manure pit, and officials believe he took a turn for the worse when that treatment was curtailed.) [Exeter Express and Echo (Sowton, England), 5-30-2014]

Least Competent Criminals

Recurring Theme: Police in Delray Beach, Fla., barely broke a sweat in July arresting Perry Martin, 55, two days after he burglarized a car, since the crime was caught on the resident’s security camera, and the perp was wearing his company work shirt. An officer showed the video to the I Got Wood LLC flooring company’s owner, who quickly identified Martin. [South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 7-3-2014]

A News of the Weird Classic (December 2009)

The October [2009] "Miss Asia" beauty pageant in Hong Kong mostly followed a traditional script, but special bonus competitions were added, according to a report in The Straits Times. Contestants appeared behind boards with only certain body parts exposed so that judges could comment publicly without knowing which woman they were evaluating. Breast- and waist-judging turned out well for each of the three finalists, but the winner emerged only after the judges had harsh words for the hair of the other two. Wang Zhi Fei and Wang Chen learned the hard way about, respectively, their "lots of dandruff and oily scalp" and significant "signs of hair loss." [The New Paper-The Straits Times (Singapore), 11-12-09]

Thanks This Week to Kev of arbroath.blogspot.com, and Perry Levin, and Thanks to the News of the Weird Senior Advisors (Jenny T. Beatty, Paul Di Filippo, Ginger Katz, Joe Littrell, Matt Mirapaul, Paul Music, Karl Olson, and Jim Sweeney) and Board of Editorial Advisors (Tom Barker, Paul Blumstein, Harry Farkas, Sam Gaines, Herb Jue, Emory Kimbrough, Scott Langill, Bob McCabe, Steve Miller, Christopher Nalty, Mark Neunder, Sandy Pearlman, Bob Pert, Larry Ellis Reed, Peter Smagorinsky, Rob Snyder, Stephen Taylor, Bruce Townley, and Jerry Whittle).
Posted By: Chuck | Date: Sun Jul 20, 2014 | Comments (6)
Category:

Not a mannequin

Seems like this was a week for weird corpse stories in the news. First there was that story about the errant corpse traveling down a busy road on a gurney. And now this:

Two Florida men were hired to clean out a house. They found what they thought was a "Halloween-like" mannequin hanging by its neck in the garage. So they cut it down, threw it on top of the rest of the trash in their pick-up truck, and took it to the dump. Of course, it wasn't a mannequin. It was the tenant who used to live in the house. [metro.co.uk]
Posted By: Alex | Date: Sun Jul 20, 2014 | Comments (2)
Category: Death

Early Brain Surgery

image
[Click to enlarge]

Given the state of medical science in 1911, this purported good result seems like sheer luck!

Original article here.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Sun Jul 20, 2014 | Comments (5)
Category: Delusions, Fantasies and Other Tricks of the Imagination, Surgery, 1910's, Brain

July 19, 2014

Toaster Selfie

Taking the selfie phenomenon to a new level of absurdity, the Toaster Selfie allows you to print images of your own face on pieces of toast. Just send the company a hi-rez photo of your face and they'll create a custom-made toaster selfie for you. [burntimpressions.com]
Posted By: Alex | Date: Sat Jul 19, 2014 | Comments (4)
Category: Food, Photography and Photographers

Arnold



IMDB entry. Full movie below.

One reviewer there says:

The whole thing takes on the air of a ninety minute game of "Clue" played in reverse, as greedy, grasping relatives and hangers-on are dispatched in the most gory and inventive ways possible for a dead guy to come up with. Amongst the suspects/victims are THE Elsa Lanchester, Roddy McDowall, Patric Knowles, Farley Granger, the witchy Ms. Wallis, who gets to sample some of the hottest "cold cream" on the market, Jamie Farr (yeah, Klinger from M*A*S*H himself,) and Victor Buono, in a hysterical cameo as the 'lucky' minister who gets to officiate at the nuptials.


Posted By: Paul | Date: Sat Jul 19, 2014 | Comments (1)
Category: Death, Horror, Humor, Movies, 1970's

July 18, 2014

Rude Baby Jumper

Several people who purchased (or were given) a baby jumper sold by the fashion chain Next have complained after they noticed it was "covered in penis drawings." The store admits that, yes, this does appear to be the case, but explains that the original design was "over simplified by the printer and has unintentionally become something else." [NorthDevonJournal.co.uk]
Posted By: Alex | Date: Fri Jul 18, 2014 | Comments (13)
Category: Babies, Fashion

Lord Timothy Dexter

image

I just learned about a famous New England eccentric named Lord Timothy Dexter. People like this make me proud to be a Yankee.

Just one of his whimsicalities, from this write-up:

In 1798, Mr. Dexter returned to Newburyport, and August 15th of the same summer he bought the large house on High street that had been erected by Jonathan Jackson in 1771. Its situation is high, and commands an extensive view of the coast and the Isles of Shoals. The grounds were laid out by intelligent landscape gardeners. Everything about the house was in excellent order; but not to his wish. He raised minarets on the roof, and surmounted them with gilt balls. He caused it to assume a gaudiness and cheapness that was most undesirable to a person of taste.

Directly before the front door of the house, on a Roman arch, he erected a figure of Washington in his military garb, and on his left, a figure of Jefferson, and on his right one of Adams, the latter being hatless. On columns erected in the garden were figures of Indian chiefs, generals, philosophers, politicians, statesmen, and goddesses of Fame and Liberty. He changed the name of the statues by the aid of the painter's brush as he pleased. General Morgan was thus transformed into Bonaparte, and to the latter Dexter always touched his, hat. There were more than forty of these figures, including four lions, two couchant, and two passant. These images were of wood, life size, and fairly well carved. The lions were open-mouthed and looked fierce. The figures were made by a young ship carver who had just come to Newburyport, named Joseph Wilson, and were gaudily painted. The images were all in good condition when Dexter died, and the first to fall was an Indian. The remainder stood until the great September gale of 1815, when all but the presidents were cast prostrate upon the earth. The images were sold at auction, the specimen that brought the most money, five dollars, was the goddess of Fame. William Pitt was sold for a dollar, and the "Travelling Preacher," fifty cents. It is said that the arch and figures of the three presidents, all the presidents there had been in Dexter's day, cost at least two thousand dollars, the lions two hundred dollars apiece, and the other images a similar amount.

Posted By: Paul | Date: Fri Jul 18, 2014 | Comments (8)
Category: Eccentrics, Landscaping, Eighteenth Century, Nineteenth Century

July 17, 2014

The Art of S. Clay Wilson

image

Surely some of the weirdest underground comix were produced by S. Clay Wilson. Now there's a great new compilation of his work, with more volumes to come. Add it to your Xmas List now.

Posted By: Paul | Date: Thu Jul 17, 2014 | Comments (8)
Category: Comics, Outsider Art, Surrealism, 1960's

Stuff for your cat

I can't imagine a cat ever using this cat exercise wheel (apart from the one cat in the video whom they've somehow convinced to demonstrate it). And yet, the creators of this have not only met their funding goal on Kickstarter but have gone well over it.


And in other unusual cat products, here's a cat feeder that uses "cat facial recognition technology" while dispensing the food so that, if you have multiple cats, you can make sure each one gets the proper amount. No more, no less.

Posted By: Alex | Date: Thu Jul 17, 2014 | Comments (9)
Category: Cats

Crazy Clock Game





Everyone knows Mouse Trap. But who recalls its sister game, Crazy Clock? Why would one become famous, the other forgotten? The vagaries of play....
Posted By: Paul | Date: Thu Jul 17, 2014 | Comments (2)
Category: Games, Rube Goldberg Devices, 1960's
Page 2 of 627 pages  <  1 2 3 4 >  Last »
Custom Search

weird universe thumbnail

This page has been viewed 22523698 times.
All original content in posts is Copyright © 2008 by the author of the post, either Alex Boese ("Alex"), Paul Di Filippo ("Paul"), or Chuck Shepherd ("Chuck"). All rights reserved. The banner illustration at the top of this page is Copyright © 2008 by Rick Altergott.