Weird Universe

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)

Castles In the Air

Here's the cover to a romance novel that reached the market without anyone noticing a certain anomaly. I held a copy of this book at the house of fabled artist pal Nick Jainschigg recently, so I know it exists.

Read the author's take on the whole affair here.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Wed Feb 25, 2009 | Comments (7)
Category: Art, Books, Goofs and Screw-ups

Farting Evangelical

As we learn in the Wikipedia article on Robert Tilton, this satirical fake video of "Pastor Gas" dates back to at least 1985. Yet it's still getting many views on YouTube and other sites, nearly twenty-five years later.

Now, it seems to me that the very longevity of a simple fart joke makes it weird!

Fart!!! -

Posted By: Paul | Date: Wed Feb 25, 2009 | Comments (3)
Category: Humor, Religion, Flatulence, 1980's

Hands-Free Solution

A few weeks ago I posted about the Cell Mate hands-free device for cell phones. I suggested that a rubber band would be more practical.

But this guy clearly has the best hands-free solution.

(via gizmodo)
Posted By: Alex | Date: Wed Feb 25, 2009 | Comments (10)
Category: Technology

February 24, 2009

The Buddha Car

Read about it here.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Tue Feb 24, 2009 | Comments (4)
Category: Eccentrics, Humor, Religion, Cars

Florin Salam

Please enjoy the Romanian banquet caterwauling of Florin Salam.

Posted By: Paul | Date: Tue Feb 24, 2009 | Comments (3)
Category: Music

Spritzing, Squirting, Stripping

News of the Weird Daily
Tuesday, February 24, 2009

People With Adulteration Issues
Mr. Sahnoun Daifallah, 42, who allegedly concocted his own special feces-urine recipe and spritzed it over large swaths of merchandise in various stores, is on trial this week in Bristol Crown Court. If he's guilty, it would make Shirley Ybarra, 50, of Tamarac, Fla., an absolute amateur, in that she was only caught once, in a grocery store, squirting ammonia-like stuff into baby food. (Bonus: Shirley said it was for her own kid, but Shirley's youngest is 21.) (Double Bonus: Shirley took precautions by gloving up right there in the store.) BBC News /// South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Comments 'foul_spritzing'

More Things to Worry About

The 500th anniversary of Japan's Saidaiji Eyo festival was Sunday, which meant 9,000 men in loincloths waited in darkness to fight over (and walk out with) two pieces of sacred wood (sorta like a pro-wrestling money-in-the-briefcase match). The Japan Times

In easier-to-explain festival news, Ms. Dani Sperle showed up for Carnival in Rio with only a 3cm-long covering on her hoo-hah, beating last year's 4cm-long patch. Associated Press via Yahoo

Undignified Death: A British nature-lover in her 40s, out walking in backwoods Devon, saw a feather she wanted, chased after it in the wind, and fell off a cliff. Daily Telegraph

Recurring Theme: The latest super-non-flight-risk is drug-defendant Stephen Turo, 56, arraigned in a courthouse parking lot in Syracuse, N.Y., where his 570-lb. self was toted in by U-Haul. Post-Standard

Update: News of the Weird reported on yoga gurus' trying to patent ancient positions and movements so their competitors couldn't use them [NOTW 842, 3-28-2004], but now there's a special Hindu legal unit in India fighting back, worldwide. (Bonus: On the books in the U.S. are 130 yoga patents, 150 copyrights, 2,300 trademarks.) Daily Telegraph (London)

That 11-yr-old Pennsylvania boy who blew away his dad's pregnant girlfriend Friday was charged as an adult (Companion Buried Lede: Though charged as an adult, he used what was described as a "20-gauge youth shotgun.") Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Comments on Things to Worry About?
Comments 'worry_090224'

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
Mr. Abdul Aljibari, 43, was arrested one afternoon last week in the parking lot of a Taco Bueno restaurant, perhaps soliciting a man by calling out, "You are sexy." Aljibari at the time had his pants down to his knees and was wearing a black bra. Dallas Morning News
Comments 'abdul_aljibari'

Your Daily Jury Duty
["In America, a person is presumed innocent until the mug shot is released"]
Jerry Lindau, 62, Billings, Mont., may be guilty of operating an unlicensed child-care facility (but maybe it's all his wife's fault). Billings Gazette
Comments 'jerry_lindau'

Today's Newsrangers: Zeke Fezzell, Dave Stout, James Patrick

Posted By: Chuck | Date: Tue Feb 24, 2009 | Comments (0)

Do You Have Biblical Morals?

Apparently I don't. I got 0% on the quiz. But your results may vary. Sample question:

Two strangers visit your home, and you are kind enough to provide them with accommodations for the night. They tell you they are angels appearing on behalf of the Lord. However, later in the evening, an angry mob turns up seeking to sodomize your guests. Do you:
• Protect your guests and call the police.
• Expel your guests and call the police.
• Turn your preteen daughters over to the crowd to be raped.
Posted By: Alex | Date: Tue Feb 24, 2009 | Comments (27)
Category: Religion

Autour du Mondegreens

Mondegreens is the term for mishearings of song lyrics. For instance, many people mishear the Creedence Clearwater Revival song "Bad Moon on the Rise" as "Bathroom on the right".

The Language Log notes that a new spin on this old phenomenon is for people to find foreign language videos and then to interpret the lyrics as if the people were speaking in English. The linguists are calling this "Autour-du-mondegreens" ("autour du monde" means "around the world" in french).

One of the classics of this new genre is a Dutch children's video, which is construed in English as having the recurring lyric "Fart in the Duck" (Warning: the captions are NSFW):

And here's an example in which lyrics are transliterated from English into Bulgarian gibberish:

(via Segal Books)
Posted By: Alex | Date: Tue Feb 24, 2009 | Comments (6)
Category: 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.