Weird Universe Archive

February 2009

February 28, 2009

Wallypop Toilet Wipes

This must have been what people used back in the days before the invention of toilet paper. You just wipe and then throw the soiled cloth into a bag, ready to be taken out to the laundry. One benefit is that it allows you to wipe with a wet cloth, which gets you a lot cleaner. However, it would seem to me that it's going to substantially increase the amount of laundry you've got to do (since you want to keep the soiled wipes separate from the rest of your laundry). So would they really save you money, or be any better for the environment?

Thanks to Prof. Music for the contribution.

Posted By: Alex - Sat Feb 28, 2009 - Comments (8)
Category: Bathrooms, Hygiene, Excrement

Nine-Year-Old Drives Dune Buggy

Note lack of helmet on child--really, the least of this Dad's transgressions.


Nine Year Old Drives Dune Buggy - Watch more Funny Videos

Posted By: Paul - Sat Feb 28, 2009 - Comments (14)
Category: Stupidity, Children, Parents, Cars

Brain Surgery in Awake Patient

Posted By: Paul - Sat Feb 28, 2009 - Comments (14)
Category: Surgery, Brain

February 27, 2009

Balancin’ Fool

From Life magazine for March 10 1952, we get eight photos of one Robert Dotzauer, who liked to...well, balance things.

image image

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Posted By: Paul - Fri Feb 27, 2009 - Comments (13)
Category: Eccentrics, Human Marvels, 1950s

Fishmen

Posted By: Paul - Fri Feb 27, 2009 - Comments (9)
Category: Gods, Holidays, Horror, Humor, Parody, Literature, Music, Regionalism, Video, Body Fluids

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 - 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 blather.net, "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 - 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?) TheSmokingGun.com
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 - Fri Feb 27, 2009 - Comments (0)
Category:

February 26, 2009

Surf Dogs!

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

Afterlife

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

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Who We Are
Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction books such as Elephants on Acid.

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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