Weird Universe

May 1, 2009

Listen Up, News of the Weird-o’s

Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is with a heavy heart, as they say, that I announce that I have to pull out of the "Daily" business.
Now, many of my readers probably never realized I was in the "Daily" business, but a couple thousand of you have been following me around for parts of eight years in my various "Daily" (aka "blog") versions, and I regret to be disappointing you.
News of the Weird continues, though, in two forms: (1) the weekly column, which I've done for the past, er, 1,109 consecutive weeks, and (2) an additional once-a-week e-mail post (that I'll call News of the Weird/Pro Edition) that I'll start running through Google Groups sometime this month, with links to the best stories I've seen in the past week (along with some personal commentary and high-handed cynicism). (If remains alive, I'll post Pro Edition there, also.)
In other words, News of the Weird, Good; "Daily," Bad.
Thank you for your support.
Chuck Shepherd
[More information on how to keep in touch with my various lists is underneath this post.]
Posted By: Chuck | Date: Fri May 01, 2009 | Comments (4)

How to Stay in Touch with Chuck

(1) Be on the Google Group NewsoftheWeird. I'll let you know when Pro Edition is ready. If you're already on, great. Like to join? Go to this link:
(2) If you're on the Google Group DailyWeird, I'll contact you when Pro Edition is ready. (Except for that, the DailyWeird group becomes dormant after today.)
(3) If you're afraid of Mr. Google and his Groups, send me an e-mail message, and I'll notify you when Pro Edition is ready. But please don't e-mail me if you're already on a Google Group. Please send the e-mail, blank except for your address and the subject line Keep Me Weird, to cshepherd15 at Earthlink dot net. Don't use that address for anything else except the Keep Me Weird message.
(4) Weird news tips and comments welcome, as usual, but better to use one of these two addresses:
WeirdNews at Earthlink dot net
MinisterChuck at GMail dot com
In no event should you use my old WeirdNewsTips address at Yahoo, for I'm closing that account as of June 1.
(5) If remains vibrant, I'll post Pro Edition there once a week.
Chuck Shepherd
Posted By: Chuck | Date: Fri May 01, 2009 | Comments (0)

Get Down Goblin

And now, in response to MohawkWarrior's comment: "Sometimes it seems less and less like WU and more like 'music to irritate people by.'" And thanks to the keen eye of Kingmonkey, we have an "extra" video for the day.

African Pygmy Thrills

Posted By: Paul | Date: Fri May 01, 2009 | Comments (2)
Category: Ethnic Groupings, Movies, Documentaries, Stereotypes and Cliches, 1930's, Africa

Dinner with Drac Part 1

Posted By: Paul | Date: Fri May 01, 2009 | Comments (3)
Category: Horror, Humor, Music, 1950's

The End (but maybe a new beginning?)

To all our readers, sadly I'm the bearer of bad news. It looks like Weird Universe is winding down to a close. We're going to have to pull the plug on this experiment in weirdness.

Chuck and Paul will both be posting their own messages soon, but basically the situation is that the site is proving too time consuming, to the point that it's interfering with our efforts to make a living. (Wish it weren't so... but that's the cold, hard facts.) So we've had to make a choice, and we've chosen to call it a day.

Having said that, I have to admit I feel very bad simply abandoning this community of fellow devotees of weirdness. So I'm searching for some way to allow the site to survive without the need for Chuck, Paul, and I to come up with content every day.

My idea (which may prove to be hare-brained) is to hand the site over to you, the readers. We'd let members post content. In essence, this would turn Weird Universe into a kind of metafilter-style blog.

I haven't thought through all the ins and outs of this yet, but if enough people express an interest to make the idea seem like it might have a shot at working, then I'll keep posting stuff (just not every day), and Chuck, I believe, will continue to post material here, but on a weekly (not daily) basis.

Of course, I can't offer people who are willing to post stuff any money, 'cause the site doesn't make any money to speak of. But I can offer an audience of a couple of thousand readers.

If no one is interested in this, then the site gets mothballed.

Let me know your thoughts!

Posted By: Alex | Date: Fri May 01, 2009 | Comments (28)

[News] Chuck’s Links for Friday, May 1, 2009

Shreepriya Gopalan, whoever he is, filed a federal lawsuit in California against Microsoft and every other mega-corporation you've ever heard of, demanding that they stop conducting business without him, in that he owns them. (How could that be?) "These companies were I Chinged in through a metaphysical layer created and owned by me." He's also a little short of scratch right now and would like the court to accept his lawsuit at public expense. TG Daily ///

Awesome OCD: Teresa Tambunting, 50, a 27-yr employee of a New York City jewelry company, has been lifting small pieces of gold out in her purse, daily, for the last six yrs, until she had at least 600 lbs. (at $900/oz.!). New York Daily News

Florida funeral director Lawrence Epps Jr. said he has "complied with the basic laws," which, if that's true, apparently don't prohibit funeral directors from stacking bagged bodies in an unrefrigerated room for three months waiting for the county's payment to arrive. Tampa Tribune

She knew she was endangering her two small kids riding with her, but she just had to ram her car into her husband's pick-up truck because . . he was drunk, and it was her duty to stop him from driving (and his carousing that night had nothing to do with it). Palm Beach Post

Least Competent: (1) A 26-yr-old man dug a 5-ft hole in his yard to work on a problem with his well. He got stuck, head down, only his feet sticking out, for 20 hours. Seriously. (2) Jason Durant, 32, knocked off a Connecticut bank, accidentally fell down a steep slope in back of the bank, broke his leg in several places, lost his gun, lost all the bank loot (except for $2), and crashed against a snowplow blade, slashing himself. Daily Journal (Vineland, N.J.) /// Republican-American (Waterbury)

[Jury Duty] James Marino, 17, White Plains, N.Y., might have shoplifted some condoms, but on the other hand, the charge is kinda unbelievable, since another thing he supposedly lifted was a cosmetic, which would likely be used only by someone concerned about his looks, which does not describe James very well. Journal News (White Plains)

Today's Newsrangers: Dave Ewan, Steve Dunn

Posted By: Chuck | Date: Fri May 01, 2009 | Comments (4)

April 30, 2009

Mexican Hat Dance

Posted By: Paul | Date: Thu Apr 30, 2009 | Comments (7)
Category: Movies, Music, 1940's, Dance

World’s Largest-Ever Model Rocket Launch

Okay, "model rockets" are about a foot long, right? This thing is something the North Korean military aspires toward!

Posted By: Paul | Date: Thu Apr 30, 2009 | Comments (5)
Category: Explosives, Geeks, Nerds and Pointdexters, World Records, Weapons

[News] Chuck’s Links for Thursday, April 30, 2009

District of Calamity: A high-volume alarm screeched out Tuesday morning in an upscale northwest Washington, D.C., 'hood, and, literally, no one knew what it was . . until much later. (It was an emergency gov't alarm installed in the 1970s, and no one is around now who remembers anything about it.) WRC-TV (Washington)

It was no different than having breast augmentation, said the local-gov't official in Australia, but she was describing how her career had gotten a boost from that paaaainful bone-lengthening procedure, where surgeons break your legs on purpose, separate them a bit, and encourage the bones to fuse back, just to gain maybe an inch or two of height. Reuters via Yahoo

Update: Our ol' friend Akinwale Arobieke, 47, Liverpool, England, has apparently violated the terms of his court order—the one that forbids him from approaching strangers and feeling up their biceps. BBC News

A Minnesota emergency-response agency kids' coloring book (endorsed by FEMA on its website and distributed widely across America) actually featured a colorable illustration of a plane about to hit the World Trade Center (but now FEMA has re-thought it). Albert Lea Tribune (Albert Lea, Minn.) /// WKMG-TV (Orlando) [the illustration]

All over the news today is the annual Wacky Warning Label contest winners, e.g., instructions for a wart-removal kit that includes this disclaimer: "Do not use if you cannot see clearly to read the information in the information booklet." Associated Press via Yahoo /// Foundation for Fair Civil Justice

Leaders of Kenya's Women's Development Organization, riled up that men can't seem to get together on a national unity gov't, have called for women to refrain from giving it up for at least seven days (and even paying prostitutes to shut down during that time). BBC News

In Thailand, a senior Buddhist monk said he'd issue a book of guidelines for proper priest behavior, mainly, none of that gay stuff like lipstick and tight robes, but also against flaunting wealth and using the toilet improperly. BBC News

[Jury Duty] Elizabeth Grube and her sister Elaine Volkert, Stroudsburg, Pa., accused of moving $10k/week worth of heroin and found with an inventory of more than 1,000 bags in their homes. BTW, Elizabeth's 70, and Elaine's 65. WNEP-TV (Scranton)

Today's Newsrangers: Kathryn Wood, Gerald Sacks
Posted By: Chuck | Date: Thu Apr 30, 2009 | Comments (13)
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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.