The YouTube user who goes by the handle "Mr. Teenagedreams" has nearly 2000 rare TEEN AND WHITE DOO-WOP videos up at his channel. Some of them are delightfully weird and demented, but all are utterly captivating glimpses of a strange and remote, now vanished era.
The Snowbowl resort in Arizona had to fight a long time to obtain the legal right to make artificial snow out of sewage. So it turned on the snow machines this season... and yellow snow sprayed out. The Snowbowl management insists the snow is yellow because of rusty residue in the snow-making equipment. Everyone else thinks it's yellow because of the sewage. [nytimes]
Awesome: These four grown-ups, since high school and for 23 yrs now, play an all-consuming game of “tag” among themselves every February to see who becomes “it” for the year (the last one tagged as the month expires). Since they live in different cities, this is not simple. Creativity flourishes, and relaxing during February will be costly. Wall Street Journal
Smoking Kills: The pair are not dead yet, but maybe soon, after they lit up while on top of oil storage tanks at 3 a.m. Dallas Morning News
Seaford, England: To raise money for repairs, St. Peter’s Church, built in the 12th century and apparently eerily quiet inside, is selling 30-minute CDs of that sound of silence. (And if you listen to it with noise-canceling headphones, you time-travel [rim shot!].) World’s Greatest Newspaper
Broward County, Fla.: Bless labor unions’ hearts. The union did its damnedest, but transit driver Larry Moore, 62, is finally out. Nineteen disciplinary actions (some bad driving, some for getting in passengers’ faces), 9 chargeable accidents, on the verge of firing in 2008 but given one more (zero-tolerance) chance (after which they gave him 7 more zero tolerances). Two weeks ago, he took the opportunity to “retire.” South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Lake City, Fla.: Derek Lee, 24, home-invaded a women’s jewelry party, but despite a gun still lacked street cred with the women, who thought it was a party gag and that the gun was a toy. As Derek’s anger built, the hostess arose: “In the name of Jesus, get out of my house now!” The others joined. “Je-sus! Je-sus! Je-sus!” Derek fled (and wouldn’t you?). Lake City being a small town, he was soon arrested. WJXT-TV (Jacksonville)
Cottages Row, England: Either the Least Competent Dog--or a canine thrill junkie--was zapped when he lifted his leg and let a lamppost have it, but there was an electrical short, and a flash, and the dog fell back, shaking. But then (recall an old Steve Martin shtik!) he went back again, same leg, same lamppost, same result. Sunderland Echo
Jury Duty [In America, you're presumed innocent . . until the mug shot is released]:
Louisville, Ky.: The charge was merely trespassing on federal property, but the U.S. Constitution still prevents the railroading of men who might be innocent, like, maybe Greg Parker, Earl Allen, and James Tully. (btw, Earl might want to see somebody about that neck.) WHAS-TV
I venture to suggest that there is no mystery as to what will appeal to the recipient of such gifts. Most men, if presented with an old dishrag by a Christmas "elf" in such attire, would be quite happy.
Artist Julie Green creates plates that show the last meals of death-row inmates. She's been creating these plates for 13 years and now has around 500 of them. The most popular last-meal request? Junk food from KFC and McDonald's. [Daily Mail]
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Wednesday, January 29, 2013
The Rich Recent History of Austrian (Croatian) (Romanian) Times: Yr Editor never uses stories from these great websites (without warning readers) but admits to long being stumped by the abilities of the editors to find particularly good news from the nether regions of reporting--China, the Balkan states, other East European countries, etc. The stories are so often (from my point of view) pitch-perfect and wholly unbelievable masterpieces. I haven't resolved yet whether (a) it's all a big con that I'm not in on or (b) AT's editors read (and often have to translate into English) true and false provincial news from places inaccessible to serious English-language journalists. Here (and I'll get around to hyper-linking these, if I can, later this week) are just some of the stories I've been sitting on for months and years. (English-language Times stories, it says, are published out of Canterbury, England.)
* commercial cans of cow gas sold as authentic countryside smell;
* a Chinese man with a tumor on his chin offers to sell ad space on it to fund tumor surgery;
* a holy man who stands on top of babies to heal them;
* since dogs chase airplanes taking off in New Delhi, an airline charges a dog-catcher fee to ensure safe take-offs;
* a Croatian man killed his mom after she caught him choking the turkey;
* a Moscow driver charged with DUI after trying to call his mother via a cigarette package (Money Quote: "Well, we were driving, and we were almost there, and now we are here [stopped by cops]";
* reporting to an ER in Bucharest with a 4-ft-long anaconda around his neck, requesting treatment;
* Berlin police say women can flash but not men, because with turgid men, their required "sexual motive" is obvious; aroused women are not as obvious;
* wheels of justice turn slowly in Blazevdol, Croatia, where a donkey bit an 8-yr-old girl, and her family sued, and the girl reached 16 before a court finally acquitted the donkey's owner;
* a Serbian man had his wife's hoo-hah carved on her headstone because her dying wish that he never look at another women, and the gravestone helped him;
* a Chinese woman named her dog after her hated neighbors so she could freely cuss the neighbors out by pretending to yell at her dog;
* a Taiwan fashion designer created an anatomically-correct dog chastity belt that did not impede other "functions";
* a driver in Olkusz, Poland, whose car crash left him inches away from a Virgin Mary statue--which rescuers found him praying to as they arrived
An old-model Fujitsu flip phone has a devoted fan base in Japan because of its enhanced privacy features. It allows you to designate certain contacts as private, and, according to the Wall Street Journal, "If one of those acquaintances gets in touch, the only signal of that communication is a subtle change in the color or shape of how the battery sign or antenna bars are displayed. If ignored, the call doesn't appear in the phone log."
This makes the phone perfect for philanderers, and has earned it the nickname "uwaki keitai" or "infidelity phone." Apparently no other phones offer such robust privacy features. For which reason, people are sticking with their old flip phones rather than upgrading to new models.
I can see a flaw in their strategy. Now that the phone is known as the phone-of-choice of philanderers, having one is a sign of what you are.
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 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.
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