Woody Hockaday (1884-1947) made significant contributions to American history, but he's almost entirely forgotten today. According to the Kansas State Historical Society, he was "the first person to recognize the need for highway marking in the United States." So, on his own initiative, beginning in 1915, he started posting mileage markers on highways. Eventually "Hockaday signs" appeared on 60,000 miles of roads from Washington DC to Los Angeles.
But around 1935 he decided he needed to do something different with his life. So he started calling himself "Big Chief Pow Wow" and launched a "feathers instead of bullets" campaign. Dressed in red shorts, a feather war bonnet, sneakers, a painted sunflower on his chest, and carrying a huge bag of feathers, he would pop up at political rallies and pelt politicians with feathers (or sometimes live chickens). He explained that "to attract attention to peace a man must use sensational methods."
In 1940, he combined a Santa Claus costume with his headdress and showed up in Rockefeller Plaza with a wagonload of 600 chickens. He screamed at the crowd, "I'm Santa Claus from Santa Fe. Peace! The whole world will have peace. Here, my friend, have a chicken."
Soon after that he was committed to an insane asylum. He died in 1947.
Here's another weird product from Japan. This calculator is called the Takumi Crash calculator. Unlike most calculators this one will just crash whenever it feels like it. I don't know why they decided to make the keys look like Tetris though. Unfortunately you can't buy it because the site (http://www.idea-frames.us/) that sells it is under maintenance.
It's amazing what food sellers will put into a can these days. What's even more amazing is that people will buy it. I am reminded of a quotation from a children's movie, where one of the kids asks another, "What wouldn't you eat for a million dollars?" I think just about everything in this article from the Food Network would make that list. (And what's with the Russian Herring? Do they really have teeth like that? Were these grown in a body of water near Chernobyl?)
A few years ago, a neighbor of my parents, a man who owned a construction company, parked a backhoe in his driveway. The surrounding neighbors nearly had a riot over how the machine was lowering the value of their property just by being there. So you can imagine how this guy's neighbors might feel. Carlos Owens of Wasilla, Alaska, a former Army mechanic, had a dream. His dream was to create a giant metal robot that could mirror the movements of its human pilot. Now the "mecha", as he calls it, has become a reality. It has taken him four years and cost approximately $25,000, but just think of all the fun you could have with one of these.
I see a number of posts here concerning the Pet Industry that I no longer consider weird. Since I work as a Pet Groomer, I am exposed to a wide number of eccentrics, and it takes a lot to surprise me. I've seen Canine Soft Claw Caps mentioned here, Dog Bikinis and other things I don't think twice about. So, you may ask, what do I consider to be among the weirdest of the weird items in my field? Let's start with Gourmet Beaver! Not weird enough? How about a Bully Stick, Knot or Spiral? I sort of feel sorry for the bull that had his post-mortem junk wind up in such a shape, for such a purpose, but what are you going to do?
Nearly twenty-five years ago, I wrote a novel titled CIPHERS, which featured scenes of voodoo in Benin. Long before YouTube was even a concept, I had to do all my research in books. I would have killed to see this video.
I just found out the computer toaster I found the other day turned out to be a fake. The crazypc website used it as an april fools joke but a lot of weird gadgets site are still saying it's a real gadget though. What I found today is real though. It's a bank made to look like a face except it has no eyes. When you put coins in it smells them and then opens it's mouth and eats them. You can buy one here:
Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.
Chuck is the purveyor of News of the Weird, the syndicated column which for decades has set the gold-standard for reporting on oddities and the bizarre.
Our banner was drawn by the legendary underground cartoonist Rick Altergott.