Weird Universe

September 22, 2009

The New Witch Hunt

A.J. and Lisa Demaree of Peoria, Arizona have been through hell. It all started with taking a memory stick to the local Walmart for photo prints. Some of the pictures of the Demaree's three children, all girls under the age of five, were taken at bath time. Most of us have a picture or two of our children in the tub. Apparently a Walmart employee was so troubled by these pictures that they called the police. The Demarees house was searched and their children taken by Child Protective Services. After screening the family videos, in some of which the girls are playing nude, the couple was charged with child pornography and put on a sex offender list. Now after Lisa has been suspended from her job at a school for a year and she and her husband have spent $75,000 in legal fees the state has cleared them of all charges. All this for childhood photos most of us have both appeared in as children and taken of our own kids as adults. What happened to innocent till proven guilty. The pendulum has definitely swung too far. Story and sample picture here:
Posted By: patty | Date: Tue Sep 22, 2009 | Comments (7)

September 21, 2009

Florence Foster Jenkins

Worst opera singer ever? Read about Florence Foster Jenkins here.

Then, if you want more, buy this CD!

Posted By: Paul | Date: Mon Sep 21, 2009 | Comments (5)
Category: Eccentrics, Ineptness, Crudity, Talentlessness, Kitsch, and Bad Art, Music, Nineteenth Century

Bring Me More Tuberculosis Spit . . More Sacrificial Goats . . More Oxygen for My Bank Robberies

News of the Weird / Pro Edition
September 21, 2009
(juicy and/or disturbing news from September 12-19)

Has Anyone Composed The Ballad of Janet Jackson's Nipple Yet?
It has grown into a watershed moment for American culture: monumentally inexplicable and embarrassing yet almost perfectly representative of our roiled values: How in the world can we tolerate a several-billion-dollar annual hard-core porn industry yet flinch mightily at a micro-second's worth of aureola on a dark-skinned woman? We're now in Year Six of this saga (Year Seven of NYPD Blue's bare-buttness that was at least recognizable as a butt, and a quite attractive butt). (No, not Sipowitz's butt; that was different.) From the FCC to the U.S. Court of Appeals to the Supreme Court back to the Court of Appeals and now back to the FCC and surely back to the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court again. Broadcasting & Cable

A Brand-New Paraphilia?
There's a guy who says his name is Dale, who hangs around Bonney Lake (Wash.) High School and seems taken with the athletes. For instance, he offered to help one with a term paper, but when the guy politely walked away, "['Dale'] jumped on the student's back and asked for a piggy back ride," according to police. Cops said they'd heard stories before about this "Dale." News Tribune (Tacoma)

Romell Broom Signs On as a Nurse's Assistant in Ohio
He couldn't have been more helpful to the medics, and what did he get for it? Why, they're gonna kill him this week. He was scheduled for a lethal injection last Tuesday, but no one could find a vein. Romell helped them in every way he could . . for two solid hours . . flexing his arm, changing positions, enduring so much pain that he needed a roll of toilet paper to wipe the tears. Finally, the governor stayed the execution . . for a week. Well, OK, he did rape and murder a teenager 25 yrs ago, but still ---. (Update: A federal court has extended him 10 more days.) Associated Press via Dayton Daily News

Real Lawsuit Over Make-Believe Sex Toys
SexGen, the makers of sex-accessory make-believe "products" (i.e., graphic symbols of products) used in the online game SecondLife, is suing Linden Lab (SL creator) for not somehow prohibiting other companies from making knock-off make-believe products, which include your usual array of sex toys, plus things like a make-believe "cuddle rug" and a make-believe coffin that's apparently good for having sex in . . if you're make-believe. Threat Level blog (

Tax Law Is Pretty Complicated, But Still . . .
New York lawyer William Halby was turned down by the U.S. Tax Court in his quest to deduct $100,000, as "medical expenses" in 2004 and 2005, for prostitutes and pornography. (Who knew? Halby had only been practicing tax law for 40 yrs. Besides, he was defiant: "It's a holistic approach to medicine," he told Forbes magazine.) Now, Prof. Robin Magee hasn't been at it for 40, but she does teach at Minnesota's Hamline Univ. law school, had a tax law practice, and did her own taxes — well, not really. According to prosecutors, she didn't file at all for several yrs and missed a lot of obvious stuff in the yrs she did file. So far, she has offered up only "severe attention deficit disorder" as an excuse. Forbes /// ABA Journal (9-10-2009)

Update on "Diaper Man"
Two weeks ago (NOTW M126, 9-6-2009), I reported the guy who appeared set for a free pass from police despite having tricked a woman into giving him near-total-care for three weeks on the false claim that he was disabled. Florida Today (Melbourne) had the police saying that, since the woman knew diaper-changing was part of the service, and since she agreed on the price, there was no crime. It turns out that either the police or Florida Today erred—that, in fact, the man had skipped out on the bill. Hence, Sean Kelly, 39, has been arrested and charged with "organized fraud." And there might be another victim, too. Florida Today

More in extended >>
Posted By: Chuck | Date: Mon Sep 21, 2009 | Comments (6)

September 20, 2009

Globetrotters Costume Party

Here is a history of The Globetrotters Club, which is still in operation today.

Shortly after their founding, in 1947, they threw a costume party, pictured here.

I hope such events are still part of their activities.









September 19, 2009

World’s Largest Orgy

Leave it to the Japanese to organize an orgy. The world record setting event had 500 participants half men and half women. A warehouse was used for the orgy and it was professionally filmed and photographed. DVDs are being sold. Be warned, the link is definitely NSW.
Posted By: patty | Date: Sat Sep 19, 2009 | Comments (9)

Forgotten and Unseen Electronics Part 43

A lot of people would remember back on their eighth birthday (or younger) that they wanted a remote control car and when they got it, they realized after five minutes this isn't as good as the commercial made it look. Now you can buy a remote control Ramen Noodle Cart which in real life doesn't move unless it's being towed. It's only for sale in Japan so here's the link for the people that live there.

Posted By: phantomspy1 | Date: Sat Sep 19, 2009 | Comments (3)

September 18, 2009

If It Weren’t For Bad Luck…

A Sandusky, Ohio couple had a really bad day Monday. Gregory and Judith Moses were hit by a car while crossing the street. His knee was injured and she was bruised. That alone would be bad enough, but while they were being treated at the hospital their son arrived home to find his parents' car gone as well. Two teens were later arrested driving the car in Cleveland and charged with receiving stolen property. Now that's a lousy day!
Posted By: patty | Date: Fri Sep 18, 2009 | Comments (1)

Robot with Bones

Though these robot bones are made of plastic and the muscles are motors, this robot moves more like humans than any other robot.

With kite strings for tendons and elastic to aid movement, it more closely mimics human movement. But I still don't want to shake a robot hand -- is that intolerant?

Here's another animatronic rocker -- very fun and starring at Universal Orlando.

Robo Bones singing "Mustang Sally"!!

RoboBones from Chris on Vimeo.

Here's "Robo Bones" My Space page:
Posted By: gdanea | Date: Fri Sep 18, 2009 | Comments (8)
Category: Robots

What’s The Chances?

A freak coincidence, that's what a spokesperson for the Bulgarian national lottery is calling it. It being the drawing of the same 6 numbers, in different order, on September 6th and again on the 10th. The Sports Minister, Svilen Neikov called for an investigation. The chairman of the lottery commission, Konstantin Simeonov, states that the resulting investigation found no wrong doing. The Bulgarian lottery has been drawn for 52 years this being the first time for repeat numbers. The numbers are picked by machine on live television. A mathematician was quoted as saying that the chance of the same 6 numbers being picked on consecutive drawings is more than 1 in 4 million, but not impossible. No one won the first time, but 18 people had the winning numbers on the second drawing. Each received the equivalent of $7,700. At least 18 people expected the same numbers to come up, and lucky them, they were right.
Posted By: patty | Date: Fri Sep 18, 2009 | Comments (6)

Barry White Comes To The Rescue Of Zorro!

A six year-old male shark imported by the London Aquarium to breed with their resident female was initially a disappointment. Zorro the zebra shark showed little interest in London girl Mazawabee, despite having built a reputation as a lover at his previous home in Belgium. Staff at the aquarium floundered around for a solution before suggesting that perhaps Zorro's uncharacteristic shyness could be overcome with a little masterly mammalian mood music from legendary sole-singer, Barry "Great" White?

Surprisingly, the treatment has almost worked too well, to the saving of Zorro's reputation and further enhancement of Barry's. Zorro and mate Maza are now so ardent that their frequent, and violent, public courtship has alarmed some visitors, with Zorro's "love-bites" being misinterpreted as an attack. But with a "tiger in their tank" the aquarium staff are happy, Zorro is happy, Maza is (probably) happy and maybe, somewhere, Barry is smiling too (Annova).
Posted By: Dumbfounded | Date: Fri Sep 18, 2009 | Comments (6)
Category: Animals, Music
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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.