June 30, 2016

Slip Slidding Away 2: Slime Of The Snails

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The insects appear to be rising up against us by sabotaging the roadways! First the mayflies here and now snails sliming the Autobahn. Drive carefully or you may get bugged too!

Posted By: patty - Thu Jun 30, 2016 - Comments (0)
Category: Insects, Transportation

June 29, 2016

Death by Dishwasher

This is disturbing, but also definitely weird. Of all the possible ways to off yourself, why choose a dishwasher? Evidently some psychiatric issues were involved.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch - May 18, 1984


Woman Found Dead Inside Dishwasher
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — A woman was found dead inside her dishwasher, and police say they believe that she committed suicide.
The body of Carolyn Matsumoto, 25, was found about 1 p.m. Wednesday by her mother, said police spokesman Michael Holland.
Holland said the dishwasher's interior trays had been neatly stacked along with some personal effects next to the machine. The top-loading machine was activated automatically when the door closed.
The Alameda County coroner's office was conducting an autopsy.

Posted By: Alex - Wed Jun 29, 2016 - Comments (3)
Category: Death, Suicide, 1980's

Williams-Dekker Piano-Teaching Computer

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This oddball hybrid technology seems to have vanished from history, as I can learn little about its fate after its 1970 launch.

Original article here.

Posted By: Paul - Wed Jun 29, 2016 - Comments (2)
Category: Music, Technology, 1970's

June 28, 2016

Its The Real Thing


Some think of a pool full of Coca Cola and Mentos and say, "Why?" These guys said, "Why not!"

Posted By: patty - Tue Jun 28, 2016 - Comments (6)
Category: Drones, Excess, Overkill, Hyperbole and Too Much Is Not Enough, Candy, Soda, Pop, Soft Drinks and other Non-Alcoholic Beverages, Nausea, Revulsion and Disgust

Slip Slidding Away

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Havana, Illinois has a bug problem. Not bed bugs or cockroaches, mayflies. Their bridge is covered in them and by covered I mean up to six inches deep. The resulting bug goo all over the bridge has caused a number of accidents, cars and motorcycles. A certain kind of water bug grows wings and swarms as mayflies before laying eggs. I am thinking there will be far fewer of the water bugs this season because so many got squished on the bridge before laying eggs.

Posted By: patty - Tue Jun 28, 2016 - Comments (7)
Category: Highways, Roads, Streets and Traffic, Insects

Eels smelling alcohol

Various sources report that the sense of smell of the eel is so acute, that if you were to pour a few drops of alcohol into the Great Lakes (or Lake Constance, according to who's telling the story), an eel would be able to smell it.

From Consider the Eel, by Richard Schweid:

"You can take one liter of a certain type of alcohol, pour it into the Great Lakes, and an eel will smell it," said Uwe Kils, a 48-year-old German oceanographer at the Rutgers Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences field station at Little Egg Harbor on the New Jersey coast. "The Great Lakes compose about 19 trillion liters, so you are talking about being able to smell something at one part per 19 trillion. That's a very acute sense of smell."

And from The Eel, by F.W. Tesch & R.J. White:

In painstaking conditioning experiments it was shown that the eel can perceive the scent of roses (β-phenylethyl alcohol) even when the latter is diluted by 1:2.857 X 1018. Such a degree of dilution corresponds to a solution of one ml of scent in a volume of water 58 times that of Lake Constance (Bodensee).


The original source from which this info seems to come is a 1957 article in a German scientific journal: Teichmann, Harald. (January 1957), Das Riechvermögen des Aales (Anguilla anguilla L.). Naturwissenschafter 44(7), 242.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jun 28, 2016 - Comments (6)
Category: Animals

Bob “Bazooka” Burns



Full story here.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Jun 28, 2016 - Comments (2)
Category: Inventions, Outsider Art, 1940's, Comedians

June 27, 2016

Said no at altar

I guess that's why it's posed as a question. You don't have to say "I do."

Anyway, if you're 16, the correct response to a marriage request is 'No.' Unfortunately, it seems that Lois did end up getting married a week later, despite her initial reluctance.

The Ottawa Journal - May 1, 1971


Girl Says 'No' At the Altar
SIBSON, England (UPI) —Radiant and demure in white lace, Lois Elliott walked down the aisle on her father's arm as the organ intoned "Here Comes the Bride."
"Wilt thou," said Rev. Frank Best, "take this man to be thy lawfully wedded husband, to love and to cherish 'til death do you part?"
Lois, 16, smiled at Mr. Best, at her father and at the groom. "No," she said quietly. Then she turned and walked out of St. Botolph's Church.
Lois offered no immediate explanation for her change of heart. But her father, Barry Elliott, said he thought a chance remark by one of the groom's relatives "may have upset her."

Posted By: Alex - Mon Jun 27, 2016 - Comments (2)
Category: 1970's, Weddings

Skinny Suicides Survival Rate

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I had this post in the queue before Alex did his story about the woman jumping yesterday. Maybe this is the explanation for her miracle.

Apparently, it's best to put on a few pounds before jumping from a high place, if you are serious about doing yourself in.

Original article here.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Jun 27, 2016 - Comments (2)
Category: Suicide, 1980's, Women

News of the Weird (June 26, 2016)

News of the Weird
Weirdnuz.M481, June 26, 2016
Copyright 2016 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Lead Story

Getting Fannies in the Seats: The Bunyadi opened in London in June for a three-month run as the world's newest nude-dining experience, and now has a reservation waiting list of 40,000 (since it only seats 42). Besides the nakedness, the Bunyadi creates "true liberation" (said its founder) by serving only food "from nature," cooked over fire (no electricity). Waiters are nude, as well, except for minimal concessions to seated diners addressing standing servers. Tokyo's Amrita nude eatery, opening in July, is a bit more playful, with best-body male waiters and an optional floor show--and no "overweight" patrons allowed. Both restaurants provide some sort of derriere-cover for sitting, and all require diners to check their cellphones at the door. [The Guardian (London), 6-7-2016] [Mashable.com, 6-10-2016]

Cultural Diversity

Milwaukee's WITI-TV, in an on-the-scene report from Loretta, Wis. (in the state's northwest backwoods) in May, described the town's baffling fascination with "Wood Tick Racing," held annually, provided someone finds enough wood ticks to place in a circle so that townspeople can wager on which one hops out first. The "races" began 37 years ago, and this year "Howard" was declared the winner. (According to the organizers, at the end of the day, all contestants, except Howard, were to be smashed with a mallet.) [WITI-TV, 5-30-2016]

Government in Action

The Department of Veterans Affairs revealed in May that, between 2007 and last year, nearly 25,000 vets examined for Traumatic Brain Injury at 40 VA facilities were not seen by medical personnel qualified to render the diagnosis--which may account for the result that, according to veterans' activists, very few of them were ever referred for treatment. (TBI, of course, is the "signature wound" of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.) [WVEC-TV (Norfolk), 5-26-2016]

The Entrepreneurial Spirit!

Basking in its "record high" in venture-capital funding, the Chinese Jiedaibao website put its business model into practice recently: facilitating offerers of "jumbo" personal loans (two to five times the normal limit) to female students who submit nude photos. The student agrees that if the loan is not repaid on time (at exorbitant interest rates), the lender can release the photos online. (The business has been heavily criticized, but the company's headquarters said the privately-negotiated contracts are beyond its control.) [The Guardian (London), 6-15-2016]

Awesome!

For the last 17 months, Stan Larkin, of Ypsilanti, Mich., has gone about his business (even playing pick-up basketball) without a functional heart in his body--carrying around in a backpack the "organ" that life-savingly pumps his blood. Larkin, 25, was born with a dangerous heart arrhythmia, and was kept alive for a while with a defibrillator and then by hooking him up to a washing-machine-sized heart pump, leaving him barely mobile--but then came the miraculous SynCardia Freedom Total Artificial Heart, weighing 13 pounds and improving Larkin's quality of life as he endured the almost-interminable wait for a heart transplant (which he finally received in May). (An average of 22 people a day die awaiting organ transplants.) [Washington Post, 6-10-2016]

An ordinary green tree frog recently injured in a "lawn-mowing accident" in Australia's Outback was flown about 600 miles from Mount Isa to the Cairns Frog Hospital. CFH president Deborah Pergolotti spoke despairingly to Australian Broadcasting Corp. News in June about how society underregards the poor frogs when it comes to rescue and rehab--suggesting that "there's almost a glass ceiling" between them and the cuter animals. [Australian Broadcasting Corp. News, 6-6-2016]

News You Can Use: When they were starting out, the band Guns N' Roses practiced and "lived" in a storage unit in Los Angeles, according to a book-review essay in May 2016 Harper's magazine, and "became resourceful," wrote the essayist. Wrote bass player Duff McKagan in one of the books, "You could get dirt-cheap antibiotics--intended for use in aquariums--at pet stores. Turned out tetracycline wasn't just good for tail rot and gill disease. It also did great with syphilis." [Harper's, May 2016]

Perspective

News updates from Kim Jong-un's North Korea: In March, a South Korean ecology organization reported that the traditional winter migration of vultures from China was, unusually, skipping over North Korea, headed directly for the South--apparently because of the paucity of animal corpses (according to reports, a major food source for millions of North Koreans). And in June, the Global Nutrition Report (which criticized the U.S. and 13 other countries for alarming obesity rates) praised North Korea for its "progress" in having fewer adults with "body mass index" over 30). [Daily Telegraph (London), 3-25-2016] [New York Times, 6-13-2016]

Recurring Themes

The super-painful "Ilizarov procedure" enables petite women to make themselves taller. (A surgeon breaks bones in the shins or thighs, then adjusts special leg braces four times daily that pull the bones slightly apart, awaiting them to--slowly--grow back and fuse together, usually taking at least six months. As News of the Weird reported in 2002, a 5-foot-tall woman, aiming for 5-4, gushed about “a better job, a better boyfriend . . . a better husband. It’s a long-term investment.” Now, India's "medical tourism" industry offers Ilizarovs cut-rate--but (according to a May dispatch in The Guardian) unregulated and, so far, not yet even taught in India's medical schools. Leading practitioner Dr. Amar Sarin of Delhi (who claims "hundreds" of successes) admits there's a "madness" to patients' dissatisfactions with the way they look. [The Guardian (London), 5-8-2016]

Least Competent Criminals: (1) Damian Shaw, 43, was sentenced in England's Chester Crown Court in June after an April raid revealed he had established a "sophisticated" cannabis-grow operation (160 plants) in a building about 50 yards from the front door of the Cheshire Police headquarters. (2) Northern Ireland's Belfast Telegraph reported in April that a man was hospitalized after throwing bricks at the front windows of a PIPS office (Public Initiative for Prevention of Suicide and Self Harm). As has happened to a few others in News of the Weird's reporting, he was injured by brick-bounceback, off the shatterproof glass. [Winsford Guardian, 6-3-2016] [Belfast Telegraph, 4-13-2016]

No Longer Weird: Once again, this time around midnight in Redford Township, Mich., in June, police surrounded a suspect's home and shut down the neighborhood for the next 11 hours, fired tear gas canisters through windows, and used a robot to scope out the inside--and ultimately found that the house had been empty the whole time. (The domestic-violence suspect is still at large.) [WDIV-TV (Detroit), 6-11-2016]

Armed and Clumsy (All-New!)

More people (all are males, as usual) who accidentally shot themselves recently: Age 37, Augusta, Kan., while adjusting his "sock gun" at a high school graduation (May). Age 28, Panama City, Fla., a jail guard "preparing" for a job interview (May). An unidentified man in Union, S.C., who, emerging from a shower, sat on his gun (January). The sheriff of Des Moines County, Iowa, who shot his hand while cleaning his gun (Burlington, Iowa, December). A movie-goer adjusting in his seat in Salina, Kan., shot himself during the feature (October) (three months after acquiring a no-test-required concealed-carry permit). Age 43, Miami, Fla., demonstrating to a relative how to clean a gun (December). A teenager, Overland, Mo., trying to take a selfie holding a gun (June). (The last two people are no longer with us.)
Augusta: [Wichita Eagle, 5-15-2016]
Panama City: [Panama City News Herald, 5-9-2016]
Union: [WYFF-TV (Greenville, S.C.), 12-29-2015]
Burlington: [KCCI-TV (Des Moines), 12-17-2015]
Salina: [Salina Journal, 10-17-2015]
Miami: [WTVJ-TV (Miami), 12-23-2015]
Overland: [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 6-7-2016]

News of the Weird Classic (June 2012)

Collections of comically poor translations are legion, but the Beijing Municipal government, in sympathy with English-speaking restaurant-goers, published a helpful guidebook recently [2012] of what the restaurateurs were trying, though inartfully, to say. In an interview with the authors, NBC News learned the actual contents of "Hand Shredded A$$ Meat" [sic] (merely donkey meat) and other baffling dishes (all taken from actual menus), such as "Cowboy Leg," "Red-Burned Lion Head," "Blow-up Flatfish with No Result," and the very unhelpful "Strange Flavor Noodles" and "Tofu Made By Woman With Freckles." [MSNBC, 4-20-2012]

Thanks This Time to Stan Kaplan and Gerald Sacks, and to the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors.

Posted By: Chuck - Mon Jun 27, 2016 - Comments (1)
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Who We Are
Alex Boese
Alex is best known as the curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the weird news "expert" at about.com.

Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

Chuck Shepherd
Chuck is the purveyor of News of the Weird, the syndicated column which for decades has set the gold-standard for reporting on oddities and the bizarre.

Our banner was drawn by the legendary underground cartoonist Rick Altergott.

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