Weird Universe

April 6, 2009

[News] Chuck’s Links for Monday, April 6, 2009

The ol' gas pedal/brake pedal problem . . on a mobility scooter. BBC News

7 yrs, $100k fighting foreclosure, all because he's defiant over a homeowner restriction requiring leashing his dog. St. Petersburg Times

Authorities raid home of a couple that bragged about shoplifting, on a "Dr. Phil" show. San Diego Union-Tribune

Cops in Haderslev, Denmark, searched the house for him but couldn't find him, until he went on a farting spree from a closet. Copenhagen Post

Another of those mindless teenage sleep-outs that supposedly sensitize kids to the plight of the homeless.

A mudding park where you can take your lovingly-customized monster trucks and slosh around all day for $30 (the "Redneck Yacht Club" near Naples, Fla.). Sarasota Herald-Tribune

You'll get my gun only when you pry it from my cold, dead hand (OK, no prob!). Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Murder and drugs give Detroit cops a problem, but they're all over the pillow-fighters. Detroit News

Fairfax County, Va., public schools rules: Heroin, 5-day suspension. Birth control pill, 2 weeks. Washington Post

Your guess is as good as mine on what his crime was. The Smoking Gun

Today's Newsrangers: Peter Smagorinsky, Karl Olson, David Swanson, Joe Littrell
Posted By: Chuck | Date: Mon Apr 06, 2009 | Comments (7)

April 5, 2009

Celtic/Hip-hop Mashup

The secret link between Celtic music and hip-hop. Just a couple of weeks late for St. Patrick's Day!

Posted By: Paul | Date: Sun Apr 05, 2009 | Comments (4)
Category: Music, Europe

April 4, 2009

The Woman Who Swallowed a Fork

All the blogs have been posting the x-rays of the Chinese man who swallowed a pair of scissors. He was using them to clean his teeth. But here at Weird Universe we don't like doing what everyone else is doing. So instead, I present you with a similar case, from 1919, of an Irish woman who swallowed a fork, reported in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine:

This Irish girl, a domestic servant, aged 25, had been in England only a week when this happened, last Christmas Day. She had recently lost most of her upper teeth, and had not yet had a plate put in, so her powers of mastication were very poor. After eating a portion of giblets she was seized with a violent feeling of indigestion and she vomited, and the undigested portion came up and stuck in her throat, leading to some dyspnoea. She therefore hastily seized the nearest object, which was this fork, and, holding it by the prongs, she pushed the handle behind her tongue and down her throat. She succeeded in moving the piece of meat and withdrew the fork, but as she felt it was still sticking in her gullet, she proceeded to try the same moneouvre a second time, and this time she got the fork, according to her own description, a long way down. Then, to her surprise, the handle of the fork was seized by an "unseen power" -- probably the constrictor muscles -- and having only a slimy hold on the fork, she lost grip of it and it went down. She went to the hospital on Christmas afternoon, where her story was received with diffidence.

Unfortunately, the X-ray department was not working on that day, and it was two days before a plate could be got to prove that she had swallowed a fork. The plate shows the fork in the stomach, with the handle resting near the pylorus, and the prongs towards the cardia. I operated upon her fifty-four hours after she swallowed the fork, making a small incisiion in the epigastric region to the right of the mid-line, and making a ¾ in. incision in the anterior wall of the stomach, near the pylorus, I seized the prongs of the fork and extracted it. The stomach had made an attempt to pass it on: the handle was in the duodenum, and the hilt of the fork in the pylorus, the prongs in the stomach. Suture was done in the ordinary way, and she made a very successful recovery, going out in a fortnight. Later she said she felt no ill-effects and had no indigestion.
Posted By: Alex | Date: Sat Apr 04, 2009 | Comments (14)
Category: Medicine, Surgery

Highest Bungee Jump

What!?! The guy doesn't bounce up back to the helicopter?!? Ripoff!!!!

Posted By: Paul | Date: Sat Apr 04, 2009 | Comments (5)
Category: Sports, Stupidity, World Records

April 3, 2009

[News] Things to Worry About Today

Am I the only person who didn't know that a man could "fracture" his penis (i.e., "I heard a pop," the victim said)? In a courtroom this week in Media, Pa., urologist Pierre Ghayad is having to answer for not recognizing the symptoms. Delaware County Daily Times

Alcohol Was Involved: (1) Carlos Lupercio, 49, was sentenced in Lincoln, Neb., to 2-to-4 yrs in prison for shooting at his neighbor with a crossbow to "settle" the dispute over whether his pit bull was a Labrador or not. (2) Three teenagers shot up a trailer home in Lakeville, Minn., Wednesday, apparently because of disappointment that there weren't no women at that-there party they had showed up fer. Associated Press via Yahoo /// Associated Press via WCCO-TV (Minneapolis)

Miracle: Mr. Jory Aebly was shot in the head in Cleveland, Ohio, in February, and no doctors, none, gave him any chance of survival, yet he was discharged this week, and now the hospital chaplain's endorphins are in overdrive because he had "treated" Aebly with a rosary once extra-specially blessed by Pope John Paul II. ABC News

Texas Justice: They don't do "death penalty" cases very well, but they nailed this one: The State Commission on Judicial Conduct charged Judge Gustavo Garza with improper sentencing, i.e., he would waive a $500 fine for parents of truants if they'd spank their kids (clothed) right there in the courtroom. Associated Press via KENS-TV (San Antonio)

Your Daily Loser
It says here that a woman was arrested when she tried to leave a Schnucks grocery store in the St. Louis suburb of Arnold with $1,200 worth of shoplifted stuff but might have gone free had she (a) tried to leave via the correct automatic door rather than the one that wouldn't open for her, or (b) not made such a scene about the door not opening and just quietly eased over to the correct door. Naturally, she did neither. KSDK-TV (St. Louis)

Your Daily Jury Duty
["In America, a person is presumed innocent until the mug shot is released"]
David Brown, 48, Oak Hill, Fla., charged in a strange arrangement: Looks like there was kinda a neighborhood community tanning bed in a "shed" in his back yard, and neighbor girls used it, and then there was a secret camera in there. [Ed.: I dunno. That's what it sounds like. It's a small, rural town so maybe tanning beds are scarce.] Orlando Sentinel

Today's Newsrangers: Paul Pruitt, Willy Carswell, Phil Carhart
Posted By: Chuck | Date: Fri Apr 03, 2009 | Comments (12)

Hippo Sweat Sunscreen

Would you slather yourself in hippo sweat to avoid sunburn? Even if you replied yes, perhaps you'd prefer that the unguent came in a tube, rather than straight off the back of a hippo.

The sweat sample saga @ Yahoo! Video
Posted By: Paul | Date: Fri Apr 03, 2009 | Comments (9)
Category: Animals, Science, Body Fluids, Natural Wonders

Build your own hug machine offers complete instructions on how to build your very own, low-cost hug machine. For those times when you need to feel the comforting press of two mattresses around you.

The Hug Machine was invented by Temple Grandin as a way to treat her autism. From Wikipedia:

The idea for the hug machine was devised during a visit to her aunt's Colorado ranch, where she noted the way cattle were vaccinated while confined in a squeeze chute, and how some of the cattle immediately calmed down after pressure was administered. She realized the deep pressure from the chute had a calming effect, and decided that might well settle down her own hypersensitivity. Whereas psychologists at her high school sought to confiscate her prototype hug machine, her science teacher encouraged her to determine just why it helped resolve her anxiety and sensory issues.
Posted By: Alex | Date: Fri Apr 03, 2009 | Comments (9)
Category: Inventions, Psychology

The Sourtoe Cocktail Club

The rules for joining the Sourtoe Cocktail Club are simple. Go to the Downtown Hotel in Dawson City, Yukon. While there consume any drink that has floating in it a severed human toe that has been dehydrated and preserved in salt. The bar conveniently keeps a supply of such toes. While consuming the drink, your lips must touch the toe. And that's it. You're a member of the club.

The rules used to be a bit more strict. Namely, that the toe had to be floating in a beer glass full of champagne. But over the years they've relaxed that requirement.

If you're really brave, you can order a Five Toe Sourtoe Cocktail.

The tradition dates from 1973 when a dried up toe was discovered that, legend had it, belonged to a 1920s rum-smuggler named Louie Liken. What better use for the toe, the hotel figured, than to put it in a drink. Over the years the original toe was lost, but apparently it hasn't been hard to find replacements.
Posted By: Alex | Date: Fri Apr 03, 2009 | Comments (9)
Category: Body, Food, Inebriation and Intoxicants

April 2, 2009

[News] Things to Worry About Today

Always better to be able to pay full price for the funeral. Watch out if you prepaid, or, even worse, get an indigent's burial. In Allendale, S.C., a home might have fit a 7-footer into a 6-foot, prepaid coffin, and in Houston, a home might have confused a male with a female and cremated the wrong one. Associated Press via Charlotte Observer /// Houston Chronicle

Encouraging: an Israeli Jew working closely with Palestinians.(but the project was the robbery of a bank in Ramallah) (and guess who the mastermind was, you anti-Semites, you!). Agence France-Presse via Australian Broadcasting Corporation

In the last 6 yrs in hospital ERs in and around Austin, Tex., a total of 2,678 of the visits were made by only 9 people, who of course know the secret words that require the hospital to treat them ("chest pain"). American-Statesman

Indonesia apparently permits criminals to profit from their "celebrity," so "Ryan," the gay serial killer awaiting sentencing (which could be "firing squad"), whose autobiography is already on the shelves, is set to debut his angelic voice in an album of pop songs, My Last Performance. Agence France-Presse via Herald Sun (Melbourne)

It was published yesterday, but The Sun's story is certainly real, about one of Sir Richard Branson's health clubs in Acton, England, starting a program for pets. It's just that the pictures look a little April-Fool-ish (but, as with the health clubs themselves, the pets in the pictures all seem to be buff). The Sun

Comments on Things to Worry About Today?
Comments 'worry_090402'

Your Daily Loser
This one's a tossup: (1) There's poor Edwin Calix, 19, who tried to snatch a bottle of Hennessey cognac and run out the front door of Sykes Liquor Store in Trenton, N.J., but the clerk pushed the auto-lock, sealing the door. Calix's backup plan was a gun, which he pointed at the clerk, but that only allowed him to see that it wasn't a real gun, and by then, he had 911 on the phone, anyway. Said the clerk, "[Calix] just came up and sat on the floor and started crying." Among Calix's mumbles, the clerk said, was, "I have a child," which complicates the question of why he wanted the Hennessey's. Times of Trenton /// KYW-TV (Philadelphia) [mugshot]

(2) The other contenders are two unidentified men captured on surveillance video trying to break into an alarmed private residence in St. Petersburg in daylight. WFTS-TV: "One placed himself in a football stance and ran the length of the yard into the porch door with his body. The latch held quite nicely. The impact sent the would-be thief flying backwards and onto the ground, where he is seen writhing in pain." The alarm sounded; they gone. WFTS-TV (Tampa)
Comments 'losers_090402'

Your Daily Jury Duty
["In America, a person is presumed innocent until the mug shot is released"]
Arlene Smith, 47, stands accused of several petty thefts from the little store located inside the courthouse in Cincinnati (Reese's cups, Slim Jims, etc.), but let's be fair: No one could possibly be so heartless as to shoplift from a store run by an obviously-blind proprietor, right? Cincinnati Enquirer
Comments 'arlene_smith'

Today's Newsrangers: Kurt Knochel, Neil Gimon, Ginger Katz, Stephen Taylor, Paul Blumstein
Posted By: Chuck | Date: Thu Apr 02, 2009 | Comments (0)

Trader Thorne

Maybe the ailing car retailers of 2009 could benefit from watching this old training video. It's short, but in six parts, the subsequent five of which are after the jump.

More in extended >>
Posted By: Paul | Date: Thu Apr 02, 2009 | Comments (3)
Category: Business, Advertising, 1950's, Cars
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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.