Weird Universe

September 8, 2014

Chocolate Teapot

Science has solved the problem of how to make a chocolate teapot that can withstand boiling water long enough to let the tea brew for two minutes before pouring. And if you don't stir the water in the pot (that's the key — don't stir the water!) the tea comes out with only a slight hint of chocolate. [telegraph]
Posted By: Alex | Date: Mon Sep 08, 2014 | Comments (13)
Category: Food, Chocolate

Last Week in Weird (September 8, 2014)

Last Week in Weird
datelines 8/28/2014--9/5/2014
[Links, chronological, on Extended page]
Copyright 2014 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

The Aristocrats! Another co-worker hoping for a date by . . ejaculating in the lady’s coffee--always a sure way to win her heart! And an F-State flasher, waving his stuff around while in pink panties and bra . . and age 81.

At the Arizona-Mexico border, armed militia from Colorado confronted . . well, a group of conservationists studying a nighttime habitat of bats. The militia apologized.

A local San Leandro, Calif., marijuana ring was busted, with authorities all fertoutst over finding AK-47 assault rifles with orange plastic tips on the barrels to make them sorta look like toys. (Bonus: Two arrested kingpins: Mike Er and Tony Ho.)

Unclear on the Concept: Well, 10 Texas school districts did get surplus military guns ‘n’ armor, but to calm the public, everything’s locked in an armory when not used for training, and therefore if a school shooting incident occurs, the school officer can go get the heavy weapons to defend the students . . in, oh, a half-hour, 45 minutes, or so. (The median school shooting spree lasts 12 minutes.)

A Frenchman was jailed for acting like a Japanese woman--phoning and texting his ex- about their break-up a total of 21,807 times (average of 73 a day for 10 months).

Philip Hansen was charged in New Zealand with a tooth-pulling habit he seemed to have with three women he dated (using pliers during sex). (Seriously.)

The New Normal: Robert Morris University in downtown Chicago is going all-in on establishing a collegiate video game championship team, offering varsity scholarships.

For the multitudes who consult the U.S. Forest Service website before roasting marshmallows (which is n=0), the website’s blog tells you how to do so expertly and safely. Just what we need gov’t for!

For the 12th consecutive year, Japanese porn actresses have raised money for AIDS research by offering their hootage for squeezing. Pay your money, put on the latex glove, squeeze ‘em, ka-ching!

Lame: Jahanna Baez-Rodriguez, 20, got caught with an actual hand-drawn Massachusetts license plate affixed to her car. (And way-poorly hand-drawn, at that.)

Cruel and Unusual? The penalty in Colorado for texting while driving is . . you get a guardrail pole through your thigh and buttocks, and you barely avoid bleeding out.

That silly ice-bucket challenge sent a man to critical condition in Spain when he agreed to endure a fire-dousing airplane’s dropping 396 gallons of water on him from 22 ft up. And it says here that, anyway, nearly half of all people taking the challenge fail to follow through. [We First-Worlders excel at thinking up ways to make ourselves feel good!]

The Washington Times loves that federal obese-homosexual study that’s now in its 4th yr. Feds have spent nearly $3m answering the burning question of why, exactly, gay males appear so hot but lesbians, well, have less “athletic self-esteem.” Just what we need gov’t for!

Newsrangers: Shannon Russ, Steve Dunn, and Steven Lobejko, and the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors.

More in extended >>
Posted By: Chuck | Date: Mon Sep 08, 2014 | Comments (8)

World Carrot Museum


The thrills start here.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Mon Sep 08, 2014 | Comments (9)
Category: Eccentrics, Food, Museums

September 7, 2014

News of the Weird (September 7, 2014)

News of the Weird
Weirdnuz.M387, September 7, 2014
Copyright 2014 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Lead Story

They Didn’t See This Coming? (1) German Rolf Buchholz, who owns the Guinness Book world record for most body piercings (453), said he was upset to be denied entrance into United Arab Emirates in August to fulfill a performance of sorts at Dubai’s Fairmont Hotel. Buchholz said officials gave no explanation, although in addition to the piercings (example: at least 50 beads stuck to his lips), he has also implanted horns in his forehead. (2) Caius Veiovis, 33, is similarly concerned about his forehead horns. He is preparing for trial in Hamden, Mass., this week in a gruesome 2011 triple murder, and has decided to freshen up somewhat by removing the spikes from his nostrils but still needs the judge’s help to warn prospective jurors not to presume guilt from his six horns. [NBC News, 8-17-2014] [The Republican (Springfield, Mass.), 8-18-2014]

The Continuing Crisis

The New Normal: In America, TV pundits merely shout at each other, but twice recently in Middle East TV debates, discussants have roughhoused on the air. Journalist Shakir al-Johari was involved both times, on the Jordanian 7 channel in May and on Dubai TV in July. In the first, the studio was wrecked, according to Al-Arabiya news service, and the latter incident was calmed only after al-Johari threw his chair at lawyer Saleh Khrais. [BBC News, 5-7-2014] [, 7-21-2014]

From the Foreign Press: (1) After police issued a plea for help in July to identify the perpetrators of a porn movie filmed inside an Austrian church and in which actors’ faces were obscured, a serious fan of Austrian porn spoke up, naming the 24-year-old female lead. The nude breasts of the star, he said, were unmistakably those of “Babsi,” a popular actress, and she was subsequently charged with trespassing in the church. (2) Wilfred Mashaya told a magistrate in Harare, Zimbabwe, in June that he wanted to divorce his wife because, when they sleep together, “She would not even make any sexual sound”--which was, to him, unbearable. The magistrate took the case under advisement. [The Local (Vienna), 7-14-2014] [ (Harare), 6-29-2014]

Compelling Explanations

Not Our Fault: In July, two of the four fertilizer manufacturers operating in the vicinity of the April 2013 massive explosion and fire in West, Tex., filed motions contesting the city’s lawsuit against them. According to the companies, it was actually the city’s ill-trained first-responders and volunteer firefighters that caused many of the injuries. [Waco Tribune, 7-26-2014]

A Matter of Scale: (1) Police in Cologne, Germany, wrote a bicycle-equipment infraction against Bogdan Ionescu in April because his bike had no right-side handlebar brake. But since Ionescu has no right arm, he fought the ticket, and in July received a police apology. (2) David Rainsford, 44, is contesting the fee charged for a routine eye exam by Specsavers in Cramlington, England. He wants a discount because he has no right eye. (However, Specsavers says Rainsford’s glass eye can pose risks for the good eye and that the area surrounding both eyes must be checked, as well.) [Agence France-Presse via Daily Telegraph (London), 7-1-2014] [The Chronicle (Newcastle upon Tyne), 7-21-2014]

Leading Economic Indicators

Despite all that has transpired in Ukraine this year, the country’s defense-industry manufacturers continue to sell military gear to Russia (including “key parts for ship engines, advanced targeting technology for tanks, and upkeep for Russia’s heaviest nuclear missiles,” according to an August Washington Post dispatch). The Ukrainian government may be hostile to Russia, but workers at companies such as Motor Sich fear loss of jobs in an already deep recession. Said a Motor Sich spokesman, “We have our own [political] party, the party of Motor Sich.” [Washington Post, 8-15-2014]

Dilemmas of the One-Percent: In July, New York City approved construction for a 33-story condominium/apartment tower housing both luxury units (219, facing the Hudson River) and “affordable” units (55, facing the street)--with separate entrances so the beautiful people could avoid the more-downscale. (The developer, Extell, said it deserves credit for carving out the “affordable” units because the luxury units are more profitable.) [New York Post, 7-20-2014]

Considering the height restrictions zoned into London’s super-prime real estate, the only practical way for some owners to expand is to go underground (as deep as five stories’ worth of “basement”), which requires heavy digging machines. However, by the time the excavation is finished, the machines are mired at the bottom of a huge pit with no easy way to bring the behemoths up. Consequently, on some jobs, reported the New Statesman in June, property owners have elected merely to leave the machines buried under what would be their sub-basement. [New Statesman, 6-5-2014]

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species recently estimated that nearly 50,000 African elephants were killed for their tusks in the last two years, continuing the century-long drastic decline in wild pachyderms. The Fish and Wildlife Service has thus proposed new rules to curb ivory imports into the U.S., to discourage American buying. However, in July, the National Rifle Association warned that the FWS rules would be “disastrous” for America’s collectors of antique pearl-handled guns and urged members to fight the regulations (even though, as NRA advocates acknowledged, few gun owners would be affected). [The Hill (Washington, D.C.), 7-12-2014]


In August, a criminology professor at Rome’s La Sapienza University arranged a two-hour guest lecture on “emergency practices” by an “experienced” hand--Francesco Schettino, the captain currently on trial in Italy for his role in the sinking of the cruise ship Costa Concordia in 2012, when 32 people died. Said the captain, “I was called to speak because I am an expert.” “I know what to do in these sorts of situations.” (Schettino will have to refute alleged evidence that “what to do” included running straight for the nearest lifeboat.) [Associated Press via (Sydney), 8-7-2014]

Least Competent Criminals

Bright Ideas: (1) Bradley Hardison, 24, on the lam in the Elizabeth City, N.C., area from two break-in charges, nonetheless decided to enter a newsworthy contest in August--a public “donut-eating” competition, in which police officers and firefighters were his competitors. Hardison managed to win, downing eight donuts in two minutes, thus attracting even more attention. After one officer recognized him, he fled but was easily caught. (2) Recurring Theme: Raymond Betson became the most recent perp (in July in Swanley, England) to intend to break into a store (this time, a money-lending store) by ramming the wall with a digger--but broke through the wrong wall (and then another wrong wall after that). Police were summoned by the commotion and arrested him. [Reuters, 8-8-2014] [, 7-21-2014]

Readers’ Choice

(1) The tornado that ripped through Kingsport, Tenn., on July 27th damaged Jerrod Christian’s house, leaving furniture and tools strewn about his lawn. Unfortunately, according to police who filed four charges against him the next day, some of the items (an air compressor, a welder, a ratchet, an air hose, a weed trimmer) belong to his neighbors, who had long suspected (without proof) that Christian had burglarized their homes. (2) Russian researchers launched several critters into space on July 19th, including a male and four female geckos (to follow their mating capabilities), but by July 25th reported that they had lost contact with the satellite, drawing comical concern (most notably, from TV’s Stephen Colbert). Although the communication link was restored several days later, with the geckos reportedly still copulating, ultimately only the mission’s fruit flies survived the satellite’s return to Earth.) [ABC News, 7-30-2014] [New York Times, 9-2-2014]

Thanks This Week to Alan Magid, Suzi McCoy, Sarah Del Collo, Tracy Westen, and Christine Van Lenten, and to the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors.
Posted By: Chuck | Date: Sun Sep 07, 2014 | Comments (12)

A Pig Story

I don't know whether this book will really "provoke thinking," but the cover could definitely provoke nightmares. Available from Amazon.

Book description:
A future pig, adopted by a loving family, can communicate through brain-wave actuation via a gadget called b-prompter. Her education of a pet’s place in human society brings her from self-awareness to cannibalism of pig eating pork. Her master’s experience of overseas female enslavement opens her mind to the existence of cruelty and unfairness among humans. Her aspiration to follow her Mistress’ career as an architect is discouraged by virtue of her being a pig.
Posted By: Alex | Date: Sun Sep 07, 2014 | Comments (4)
Category: Books


You've heard the phrase 'don't take a knife to a gun fight', well, with this weapon you would never have the wrong thing at hand.
Posted By: patty | Date: Sun Sep 07, 2014 | Comments (2)
Category: Weapons

Midget Wrestling

I don't follow contemporary wrestling, but some cursory googling seems to reveal that there are still "little people" active in the sport.

But nothing like these glory days, I imagine...
Posted By: Paul | Date: Sun Sep 07, 2014 | Comments (2)
Category: Little People, Wrestling, 1950's, Europe

September 6, 2014

Cat Island

If you remember Japan has a Rabbit Island . Well, they also have Cat Island. Wonder how many of these islands there are? What kind of island would you like to see guys?
Posted By: patty | Date: Sat Sep 06, 2014 | Comments (5)
Category: Animals

Wedding foiled by scream

About a year ago I posted about a wedding at which the bridegroom dropped dead of a heart attack right after saying "I do." I thought that had to qualify as one of the worst weddings ever, but this one is pretty bad also. As reported in the Chicago Tribune - Sep 21, 1907.

Posted By: Alex | Date: Sat Sep 06, 2014 | Comments (4)
Category: Marriage, 1900's, Screams, Grunts and Other Exclamations, Weddings

Follies of the Madmen #229


Upskirt photography: one of advertising's less-utilized tools.

Original ad here.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Sat Sep 06, 2014 | Comments (4)
Category: Business, Advertising, Products, Fashion, Shoes, Public Indecency, 1960's
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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.