Weird Universe

February 27, 2009

The history of three-holed panties

After I posted about the "pantyhose garment with spare leg" yesterday, several people pointed out prior art, which to my mind calls into question the validity of the patent.

In the comments, Dumbfounded noted: "In a 1987 Judge Dredd story, the father of child serial killer P.J. Maybe shows off a design for trousers with a third leg, 'in case one wears out'. The spare leg was kept tucked in a pocket when not in use."

And then Chuck recalled that in the first News of the Weird paperback (1989), he included an anecdote from the Wall Street Journal about a Japanese worker who had invented six-day underwear with three leg holes.

I tracked down the WSJ article in question. It ran on Oct. 16, 1987 and described a creativity contest at Honda Motor Co. in which workers were encouraged to design whimsical new products, one of which was indeed underwear with three leg holes: "The garment is supposed to last for six days, with the wearer rotating it 120 degrees each day--and then wearing it inside out for three days."

Other products from the contest included:
  • musical bath slippers
  • a hot tub installed in the back of a car
  • a fig tree that dances to the music of Karen Carpenter
  • a toothbrush with built-in toothpaste
  • a child's motorized sled that climbs back uphill by itself
  • a pillow with an internal alarm
  • and a rickshaw pulled by a manikin made of papier-mache and plaster (designed to resemble Honda's 81-year-old founder, Soichiro Honda)
Posted By: Alex | Date: Fri Feb 27, 2009 | Comments (13)
Category: Fashion, Underwear

Happy Cheese Parings Day

Let's take a moment to remember Thor Bjørklund, the Norwegian inventor of the cheese slicer. From Wikipedia:

He was annoyed that he could not get slices as thin as he wanted when he sliced cheese with a knife. Therefore in Lillehammer he began to experiment with a plane in the hope that he could create something similar for use in the kitchen. He succeeded.

And on this day, in 1925, he received a patent for the cheese slicer. According to, "27 February ever since has been celebrated as osteskorperdagen, 'cheese-parings day', the biggest holiday in the Norwegian calendar, when everyone gorges themselves on thin slices of cheese in the cold, icy streets."

Sounds to me like a good way to spend the day.
Posted By: Alex | Date: Fri Feb 27, 2009 | Comments (10)
Category: Food, Holidays, Inventions

Happiness Workshops And A Radioactive Pedophile, Plus Spit

News of the Weird Daily
Friday, February 27, 2009

Court-ordered respect is still a buyer's market
Two Portland, Ore., women have decided that $50,000 each is fair compensation for being forced to show a cop their underwear during a traffic stop in 2006. The cop was convicted and has resigned, but do Portland taxpayers realize how many months strippers have to work, night after night, showing far more than their underwear, to make $50,000? (Also this week, Edith Freemon got a second life in her lawsuit against a Nashville restaurant that she knew, and maybe everyone in Nashville knew, specialized in customers' throwing peanut shells on the floor. Yes, Clumsy Edith fell down, and sued, and the state appeals judges said she is entitled to her day in court.) KATU-TV (Portland) /// The Tennessean
Comments 'buyers_market'

More Things to Worry About

Researchers from Germany's venerable Max Planck Institute conclude that regardless of where on Earth you live, the range of bacteria in your spit shows pretty much the same variations. Reuters via Yahoo

A judge warns cops to watch out when trying to apprehend that UK child pornography fugitive . . because he's radioactive! Daily Mail

Good news for U.S. trade balance: The Australian gov't spent about A$1m (US$640k) last month on sending a bunch of bureaucrats and teachers through "happiness workshops" run by U.S. feel-good guru Martin Seligman. The Australian

Copying the notorious al-Qaeda strategy of killing Muslims in pursuit of Islamic dominance, anti-U.S. protesters in central Sweden burned down three Swedish-owned stores. BBC News

A county court supervisor in Newnan, Ga., took on a second job last month after cost-of-living increases were eliminated, leaving him at $93k. (Bonus: He's manning the drive-thru window at Wendy's) (Seriously) Times-Herald (Newnan)

Comments on Things to Worry About?
Comments 'worry_090227'

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
Oh, my, another phone freak: Some guy called a KFC in Manchester, N.H., said he was from corporate and needed 'em to check the fire extinguisher and that if they got their clothes wet, they needed to take them off right then because of the chemicals. WMUR news report: "The workers said they became suspicious when the caller then told them to urinate on each other." WMUR-TV
Comments 'manchester_kfc'

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours (Bonus)
And here's this Cincinnati morgue attendant again. Kenneth Douglas was the recent final solution to a convoluted murder case of 25 yrs ago [NOTW M073, 8-31-2008], in that it was his sperm inside the victim but only because he had sex with the body in the morgue after someone else had murdered her. Douglas is serving prison time as we speak, but now further DNA testing has shown that he got busy with at least two other corpses, and he has been charged again. Associated Press via WTOL-TV (Toledo)
Comments 'kenneth_douglas'

Your Daily Jury Duty
["In America, a person is presumed innocent until the mug shot is released"]
The backstory is just plain weird so Donna Greenwell and Brandy Romero could well be innocent. (Really, now, trade two kids for $175 cash and a cockatoo?)
Comments 'greenwell_romero'

Editor's Note
I inform you that MSNBC legal talking head Dan Abrams has an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal today making a point that Your Editor has made at various times over the years: "Presumption of innocense" is for jurors inside a courtroom; for everyone else, "presumption of innocence" is bullshit. If the pre-trial public evidence is solid, he's guilty (only exception: if the prosecutor out-and-out made up the evidence). If the accused had exculpatory evidence (and you know the drill, e,g,, Oh, I'm looking forward to the trial so I can present my evidence and clear my name), guess what, he has already presented it to several prosecutors and their bosses, to no avail. Prosecutors hate like hell to embarrass themselves and raaaaaaarely go to trial exposed like that. Thus . . guilty! If you look carefully at the public evidence, you have no business according any "presumption" of innocence. The guy's only chance is if his lawyer can out-worm the prosecutor or smarm the jury. If that works, the guy'll be declared "not [proven] guilty," and he'll be free to go on that charge. But he'll never be "innocent" . . because he did it. The evidence says so. Wall Street Journal
Comments 'presumption_innocence'

Today's Newsrangers: Ginger Katz, Sandy Pearlman, Hal Dunham, Scott Langill, Bill D'Archangelo

Posted By: Chuck | Date: Fri Feb 27, 2009 | Comments (0)

February 26, 2009

Surf Dogs!

Posted By: Paul | Date: Thu Feb 26, 2009 | Comments (6)
Category: Nature, Sports, Dogs


Posted By: Paul | Date: Thu Feb 26, 2009 | Comments (10)
Category: Death, Cartoons, 1970's

Alcohol Was Involved, Plus Deep-Fried Pizza

News of the Weird Daily
Thursday, February 26, 2009

News of the Weird's life-giving protoplasm
(That would be alcohol, of course.) (1) A Washington State Patrolman noticed Joseph Takesgun, 31, driving ever-so-slowly one afternoon and followed him warily, until finally Takesgun crept into a driveway and then into the garage. "I live here," Takesgun explained to the trooper, Trevor Downey. Actually, Takesgun had inadvertently pulled into Downey's own garage. (2) Eric Ambrose, 31, was arrested in the middle of the night in Fort Pierce, Fla., having removed much snack inventory from a convenience store, including three bags of M&Ms. He was quite boisterous when the cops cuffed him and screamed out from the cruiser (according to a police affidavit) "that he had served in the military over in Iraq so he could steal all the M&M's he wanted." He also said he had come to Florida for the crack cocaine, since all that was available elsewhere was methamphetamine, which didn't suit him as well. Tri-City Herald (Kennewick, Wash.) /// (Stuart, Fla.) [mug!]
Comments 'alcohol_newsoftheweird'

More Things to Worry About

Worth a trip to Wilson, Pa. (on the Jersey border), to the Pizza Snobz joint: a deep-fried slice! Morning Call (Allentown) [with video!]

Entry-level copy editor on duty at the Associated Press: "Cop Makes Arrest in Bathroom After Smelling Crack" Associated Press via Google News /// Star Tribune [almost as good]

Jim Moffett, 58, saved two elderly ladies by pushing them out of the way of traffic in Denver and taking the hit himself (resulting in bleeding in the brain, broken bones, dislocated shoulder, possibly ruptured spleen), and his only reward so far: a jaywalking ticket. Associated Press via Yahoo

Collateral damage during a high-speed F State police chase: An 86-yr-old motorist died as a cop pursued a guy for having illegal window tint. (Seriously) Florida Times-Union

FDA doing a FEMA-like job regulating drug devices: In a North Carolina plant making syringes that occasionally contained "specks," "sediment," and "food particles," the "chief microbiologist" was a teenager who dropped out of high school. News & Observer (Raleigh)

It was a cold night on Cape Cod so he built a cozy fire to keep warm while he was on a phone call (but he was in his car at the time). Cape Cod Times

Comments on Things to Worry About?
Comments 'worry_090226'

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
Yet another guy who felt the need to get out of those boxers and into some nice Victoria's Secret: Ronald Rozycki, 54, broke into a Kohl's department store in Joplin, Mo., overnight, and by the time employees started reporting to work, Ronald looked fabulous! Joplin Globe
Comments 'ronald_rozycki'

Your Daily Jury Duty
["In America, a person is presumed innocent until the mug shot is released"]
It couldn't be that Lori Smith of Brooksville, Fla., would be guilty of domestic battery because, c'mon, men need hugs! WTSP-TV (St. Petersburg)
Comments 'lori_smith'

Today's Newsrangers: Bruce Alter, Peter Hine, Les Greenwood, Scott Langill

Posted By: Chuck | Date: Thu Feb 26, 2009 | Comments (0)

Pantyhose Garment with Spare Leg

Patent No. 5,713,081, issued Feb 3, 1998:

A hosiery item including a panty member having three absorbent crotch members provided therein, each absorbent crotch member having a pocket formed therein; and three leg portions secured to the panty member in a manner such that an absorbent crotch member is positioned between any two leg portions, each leg portion having a leg insertion opening in connection with an interior of the panty member.

In use the wearer inserts her legs into two of the leg openings in the conventional fashion of donning a pair of pantyhose. The remaining unused leg portion is then gathered and the toe end tucked into the pocket of one of the absorbent crotch members. If a run or hole develops in one of the leg portions being worn, the leg of the wearer can be easily and rapidly removed from the damaged leg portion and placed into the undamaged spare leg portion. The damaged leg portion is then gathered, folded and tucked into a pocket of one of the absorbent crotch members as wearer to select and use any two of the three leg portions for use.

All Weird Universe readers, male and female, are expected to add this to their wardrobes.
Posted By: Alex | Date: Thu Feb 26, 2009 | Comments (15)
Category: Fashion

Elaine Davidson

After Chuck posted yesterday about Elaine Davidson, the world's most-pierced woman, I wanted to know what she looked like. So here, for your viewing pleasure, is Elaine. Wait for the part when she sticks a sword through her tongue.

Posted By: Alex | Date: Thu Feb 26, 2009 | Comments (3)
Category: Body Modifications

February 25, 2009

Fetal Educator Strap

In the old days an "educator strap" was something teachers applied to a student's backside. (When I was a kid, some of my teacher's had canes which they used quite liberally, but I think that may be illegal now.)

However, this "fetal educator strap" (patent no. 6840775) is a learning system for fetuses while in utero:

More particularly, this invention pertains to a system for moving sound transmitters to positions most properly aligned with an unborn baby's ears.

I guess it's never too early to hook the kids on learning!
Posted By: Alex | Date: Wed Feb 25, 2009 | Comments (18)

Awesome Piercings, Awesome Leeches, Plus the Poor Saudi Underwear Wrangler

News of the Weird Daily
Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The plight of the Saudi lingerie salesman
He usually can't be replaced by a female clerk because women can't work in most of the country. He certainly can't do any hands-on measuring. If he gives the customer bad advice, he gets an earful when she returns the merchandise. If he gives the customer advice that's too good, it might look suspicious to her husband or brother or father. Some women are now demanding change they can believe in. BBC News
Comments 'saudi_underwear'

Of course! Bottled New York City tap water!
It has historically held its own in blind taste tests with the "premium" stuff, and the EPA loves it, so serial entrepreneur Craig Zucker, 29, started selling it. He opens a tap in Brooklyn, filters out the chlorine smell, has it tanked to a Jersey bottler, and delivers it (himself) to retailers in the city, at a price that enables a 35-cent reduction from premium labels. And it's eco-friendly, in that the water doesn't have to be shipped in from Maine (or Fiji!). So now, why would anyone pick a premium brand out of an NYC deli cooler? [Ed.: Because.] Los Angeles Times
Comments 'newyork_water'

Wise second thoughts are our enemy
Your Editor, who needs material, generally does not appreciate people reconsidering their bad decisions, which of course limits our content. For example, Houston, Tex., wanted to use taxpayer money to pay off the credit-card debt of some home buyers so they could get their credit scores up, but after Drudge got wind of it, the mayor changed his mind. And Microsoft, which laid off 5,000 people in January but then realized it had dished out too much severance to about 25 of them, demanded the laid-off give it back (around $5k each), and even Microsoft re-thought that. OK, now. Let's all get back out there, fight clarity, and resume giving Your Editor material. KRIV-TV (Houston) /// CNET News
Comments 'second_thoughts'

More Things to Worry About

A photo spread shows why Brazil's Carnival makes Mardi Gras look like a small-town Shriner's parade.

And speaking of excesses, the world's most-pierced woman wants you to know that she has added to her awesome inventory (n = 6,605), plus she's not all that happy about it but realizes that her title imposes on her a certain responsibility to reach for greatness. Daily Telegraph (London)

And speaking of awesome, an Aussie surfer's hand has been mostly reattached after a shark attack left it hanging by one small patch of skin (Bonus: They're using leeches to re-draw blood to the hand). Australian Broadcasting Corp. News

Comments on Things to Worry About?
Comments 'worry_090225'

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
Christopher Maugher, 21, picked up in Boulder, Colo., on a U.S. Army warrant for desertion, still dressed in camo pants that were Army-issued (but not so much Army-issued were the women's thong he was wearing, and the three women's booty covers in his pocket). Daily Camera (Boulder)
Comments 'christopher_maugher'

Your Daily Jury Duty
["In America, a person is presumed innocent until the mug shot is released"]
Jazmine Finley, 16, Phoenix, Ariz., one of two kids accused of pimping out themselves and some friends. KTVK-TV (Phoenix)
Comments 'jazmine_finley'

Your Daily Jury Duty (Bonus)
["In America, a person is presumed innocent until the mug shot is released"]
James Harris, 18, charged with assault in Kansas City, Mo. [Ed.: Wait, maybe I mistakenly linked the photo of Harris's victim!] Kansas City Star
Comments 'james_harris'

Today's Newsrangers: Paul Music, Emory Kimbrough, Kathryn Wood

Posted By: Chuck | Date: Wed Feb 25, 2009 | Comments (0)
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