Weird Universe Blog — January 6, 2018

Smoking Ants

The earliest report I can find of people in the Persian Gulf smoking ants is the one below, from 1994. But news stories have continued to report this practice. This one from 2008 explains that it's specifically the red samsun ant that's smoked, and explains, "Smoking the red ant gives a similar sensation to smoking marijuana and sniffing glue because of the high concentration of formic acid found in the ants."

Honolulu Advertiser - Sep 11, 1994

Brachyponera sennaarensis
Image via antweb

Posted By: Alex - Sat Jan 06, 2018 - Comments (7)
Category: Drugs, Smoking and Tobacco

Follies of the Madmen #345

Posted By: Paul - Sat Jan 06, 2018 - Comments (1)
Category: Business, Advertising, Money, 1950s

January 5, 2018

The Encyclopedia of Ethical Failure

This curious book, compiled and published by the U.S. Government, is a catalog of examples of ethical failure among federal employees. As explained in the intro:

The Standards of Conduct Office of the Department of Defense General Counsel’s Office has assembled the following selection of cases of ethical failure for use as a training tool. Our goal is to provide DoD personnel with real examples of Federal employees who have intentionally or unwittingly violated the standards of conduct. Some cases are humorous, some sad, and all are real. Some will anger you as a Federal employee and some will anger you as an American taxpayer.

Some of the categories of ethical failure include Abuse of Position, Bribery, Conflicts of Interest, Credit-Card Abuse, Financial Disclosure Violations, Fraud, Gift Violations, Travel Violations, Misuse of Government Resources and Personnel, and Time and Attendance Violations.

You can download a word document of the entire book for free from the DoD. Or, you can buy a hard copy from Amazon.

It was last updated in 2015. Can't wait for the post-Trump era edition!

Posted By: Alex - Fri Jan 05, 2018 - Comments (8)
Category: Lies, Dishonesty and Cheating, Politics, Books, Ethics and Morals

Cavalcade of Jazz Beauty Pageant

There is very little historical information about the annual "Cavalcade of Jazz" festival held in Los Angeles at Wrigley Field. Surprising, in light of lots of appearances by big-name artists.

But one thing is certain: they also held a beauty contest.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Jan 05, 2018 - Comments (1)
Category: Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues, Contests, Races and Other Competitions, Music, 1940s, 1950s

January 4, 2018

Cooking with your mouth

Why use a food processor when God gave you a mouth? The video was created by artist Nathan Ceddia who claims his intent was to help people avoid cooking-related injuries by encouraging them to use the mouth as an 'all-in-one utensil.'

The idea of eating food that's been mixed with another person's saliva reminds me of the saliva noodles I posted about long ago.

via Daily Mail

Posted By: Alex - Thu Jan 04, 2018 - Comments (1)
Category: Food

January 3, 2018


Back in September 2017, artist Noëmi Lakmaier lay still for nine hours as a team of balloon assistants and a "bondage engineer" attached 20,000 balloons to her immobilised body. Eventually she achieved lift-off, but since she was inside the Sydney Opera House, she didn't float away.

This was the second time she performed this piece, having first performed it in St. Leonard's Church. explains:

the ropes that bind the artist’s immobilized body reflect bondage techniques, including shibari — a japanese art form used to emphasize the female form. in reference to lakmaier’s body, the installation seeks to raise further questions about idealized body standards. in ‘cherophobia’, the artist becomes ‘the (imperfect) object of the viewer’s gaze.’

More info:

Red Bull // Noemi Lakmaier // Cherophobia from Matt O'Brien on Vimeo.

Posted By: Alex - Wed Jan 03, 2018 - Comments (4)
Category: Performance Art

Follies of the Madmen #344

Sleeping couple happy to be awakened by cigarette parade.

Original ad here.

Posted By: Paul - Wed Jan 03, 2018 - Comments (3)
Category: Business, Advertising, Products, Tobacco and Smoking, 1970s

January 2, 2018

LadyCare Menopause Magnets

The manufacturers of LadyCare Magnets claim that women can ease the symptoms of menopause by magnetizing their underwear.

I guess it can't hurt, but might look a bit odd if random metallic objects (forks, paperclips, etc.) are attracted to your crotch.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jan 02, 2018 - Comments (4)
Category: Health, Underwear

The CSS Shenandoah

The ship that continued to fight the Civil War after the surrender of the South.

From the Wikipedia entry:

On June 27, 1865, he learned from a prize, the Susan & Abigail, that General Robert E. Lee had surrendered his Army of Northern Virginia. Her captain produced a San Francisco newspaper reporting the flight from Richmond, Virginia, of the Confederate Government 10 weeks previously. However, the newspaper also contained Confederate President Jefferson Davis's proclamation that the "war would be carried on with re-newed vigor."[9] Waddell then captured 10 more whalers in the space of 7 hours just below the Arctic Circle.

On August 3, 1865, Waddell finally learned of the war's end when he met at sea the Liverpool barque Barracouta, which was bound for San Francisco.[10] He received the devastating news of the surrender of General Joseph E. Johnston's army on April 26, Kirby Smith's army's surrender on May 26, and crucially the capture of President Davis and a part of his cabinet. Captain Waddell then knew the war was over.[9]

Captain Waddell lowered his Confederate flag, and the CSS Shenandoah underwent physical alteration. Her guns were dismounted and stored below deck, and her hull was painted to look like an ordinary merchant vessel.

Article here.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Jan 02, 2018 - Comments (2)
Category: Confusion, Misunderstanding, and Incomprehension, War, Nineteenth Century

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