Weird Universe Archive

February 2009

February 3, 2009

Anything and Whatever

A Singapore soft-drinks maker has taken it upon itself to provide refreshment for those people who are willing to have anything, or whatever. According to Wikipedia:

The drinks have a unique packaging concept such that every beverage has a generic design, with no way of telling what flavour is contained in the can. This prevents the consumers from being aware of the flavour of the purchased beverage until they drink it.

This is apparently the Cola version of the Something Store concept. The only certainty is that if you opt for Anything, you're going to get a carbonated drink. If you take Whatever, you'll get a flavored iced tea.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Feb 03, 2009 - Comments (7)
Category: Food

Makeup for Men

Makeup for Men is the hot new thing in the cosmetics industry. A few of the products available include:

Sport & Sun Tone Enhancer, which "simulates the healthy glow that a faint sunburn and exercise create." When sold to women it's called blush.

Confidence Corrector to hide blemishes and tattoos. I think women call this foundation.

Double Stroke Cream Mascara "for men who want handsome looking lashes without a 'made-up' effect."

And Blo-Job Bronzing Powder, "An instant tan at the end of the brush."

via Sociological Images

Posted By: Alex - Tue Feb 03, 2009 - Comments (12)
Category: Fashion, Gender

February 2, 2009

Rectal Technology, Plus Britain’s Clumsiest Arsonist

News of the Weird Daily
Monday, February 2, 2009 [part two]

Prisons' new recto-tector
Britain is installing 102 of them in jails, at the equivalent of about $9,300 a pop. Incoming inmates sit (non-invasively) in an electric-chair-looking thing, and it beeps if they're smuggling in a cell phone in their wazoo. In one lockup, they found 21. 21! Daily Telegraph
Comments 'rectal_scanner'

More Things to Worry About

One novel criticism of Britain's National Health Service: After staff complaints of shadowy figures in the hallway, City General Hospital in Derby said it had hired an exorcist. Daily Telegraph

A tropical marine researcher warned that the Caribbean Turritopsis Nutricula jellyfish is gonna be trouble for us in that it, singularly now, has the ability to simply repeat its own life cycle indefinitely. Daily Telegraph (London)

The stray dog that had fallen into the tank of raw sewage in Kalama, Wash., was so grateful to that cop for getting his arms dirty to pull him out that he . . shook himself off right in the cop's face. Associated Press via Yahoo

"I'm a tattooist. I thought you'd like it" (said Dominique Fisher, now on trial for bloodily carving her name on her brand-new lover's body while he was passed out from a four-day booze-n-sexer). Lancashire Telegraph [link from Arbroath]

How to tell that you've let the yard go too long: When it was finally cleared, there was, to everyone's surprise, a Ford Escort, probably parked there since the early 1980s. Daily Mail (London) [yep, photos]

A Japanese sewage treatment facility just got a higher yield of gold from its gunk than some of the world's best mines get, almost 1kg per ton of ash from incinerated sludge (versus 20-40 grams per ton of ore at top mines). Reuters via Yahoo

Nobody saw this coming? The name of the Tampa middle-school girl who got a stabbing Friday from a classmate: Ms. Special Harris. St. Petersburg Times

Comments on Things to Worry About?
Comments 'cycle_090202'

Your Daily Loser
Briton Lee Sood, 20, a former army gunner, apparently botched an arson attempt last May of the Walkabout Bar, and according to these-here surveillance photos, his shirt caught some flames, then his shoe, and he unwisely decided to jump into the getaway car, setting it on fire, too. He's now been sentenced to 4 yrs in the slammer (having already suffered the indignity of having some of his tattoos peel off). Daily Mail
Comments 'lee_sood'

Your Daily Jury Duty
["In America, a person is presumed innocent until the mug shot is released"]
Rhonda Uselmann, 53, was charged with stabbing her brother-in-law with a sword. 53 yrs old, first offense, guilt unlikely? Oh, wait, she had a nice rap sheet back when she was a man. Baraboo (Wis.) News Republic
Comments 'rhonda_uselmann'

Today's Newsrangers: Scott Langill, Emmitt Dove, Larry Ellis Reed, Charity Taylor, Pete Randall

Posted By: Chuck - Mon Feb 02, 2009 - Comments (0)

The Red Flannel Festival

In 2009, all WU readers are commanded to attend Michigan's Red Flannel Festival, where natives parade in public in their longjohns.

Here's the history of the tradition, taken from the Festival's homepage.

It all began in 1936 in the midst of "the worst winter in years." The whole country suffered in the grip of heavy snow and sub-zero temperatures. A New York feature writer bemoaned the "fact" that, "Here we are in the midst of an old- fashioned winter and there are no red flannels in the USA to go with it."

The local newspaper, The Cedar Springs Clipper, owned and edited by "The Clipper Gals" Nina Babcock and Grace Hamilton answered the writer with a RED HOT editorial stating: "Just because Sak's Fifth Avenue does not carry red flannels, it doesn't follow that no one in the country does. CEDAR SPRINGS' merchants have red flannels!"

The story was picked up by The Associated Press and orders began pouring in from all over the USA.

Seeing the possibility of at least a few years of publicity because of our famous “drop seaters" and lumbering history, a "RED FLANNEL DAY" was planned for the fall of 1939. After the closure of the Red Flannel Factory in 1994, the citizens became concerned as to the fate of their beloved Red Flannels and of the Red Flannel Festival. However, due to the love of their community legacy, volunteers rallied to keep the Red Flannel Festival tradition alive. It has continued to be an annual event, held the last weekend in September and the first weekend in October. The production of Red Flannel garments was reestablished and they are available to purchase in Cedar Springs.

And here are some shots from early on, courtesy of the Life Photo Archive





Posted By: Paul - Mon Feb 02, 2009 - Comments (9)
Category: Customs, Holidays, Parades and Festivals, Regionalism, Fetishes, Underwear, 1940s

The Ape Man

Bela Lugosi's 1943 film THE APE MAN is truly stupefying in its inane plot and lack of action. But it's only an hour long, and after a while, it exerts a hypnotic attraction.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Feb 02, 2009 - Comments (6)
Category: Movies, 1940s, Fictional Monsters

Bad Week for Beetles, Apostrophes, and Hungry Prosecutors

News of the Weird Daily
Monday, February 2, 2009 [part one]

Britain's Apostrophe Protection Society
Somebody has to speak up for oppressed punctuation marks! The Birmingham City Council decided that all place names will officially not carry apostrophes, e.g., "St. Paul's Square" becomes "St. Pauls Square." That's been official policy in the U.S. since 1890, way before texting. Still, the APS head worries that this is one of those Nazi "First, they came for the apostrophes" things: "If you don't have apostrophes, is there any point in full stops, or semi-colons, or question marks?" Daily Mail
Comments 'apostrophe_protection'

Scared to death
For most people, if a bank robber being chased by police broke into their home, they'd be content to merely soil themselves. However, North Carolinian Larry Whitfield, 20 (and perhaps heretofore a virgin at crime), happened last fall to bust into the home of a 79-yr-old woman with a weak ticker, and she died. He never touched her but has now been charged with first-degree murder under the widely-used (but probably unfamiliar to most bank robbers) "felony murder" rule. Associated Press via New York Times
Comments 'scared_todeath'

CSI from the old days is not working out
In Wisconsin, Robert Stinson, 44, was released Friday after serving 23 yrs for a 1984 murder conviction. The reason was, of course, DNA, but at the trial, the clincher was two "forensic odontologists" who had testified, slam-dunk, that bite marks on the victim came from Stinson's teeth. One problem with that was that Stinson had long been (glaringly) missing one tooth from the bite-mark area, but the expert witnesses were "certified" so the jury sucked it up. In the ensuing 23 yrs, most "forensic odontologists" that you'd respect are much more sophisticated in their analysis, but there is still a courtroom market among prosecutors desperate for convictions, thus assuring survival of some old-schoolers. Associated Press via MSNBC
Comments 'bitemark_analysis'

The Army's big on remote-controlled flying beetles
The Pentagon's fabulous DARPA sci-fi unit is testing actual living beetles' ability to handle a few implanted, teensy-weensy electrodes (and eventually carrying a teensy-weensy camera) so that human controllers can send them impulses to (a) get off their butts and into the air and (b) once there, turn left or right. Multiple uses, actually. DARPA previously researched all this using moths, but, obviously, size matters. MIT Technology Review
Comments 'remote_beetles'

Leading Economic Indicators
(1) Who the hell would hire a laid-off Wall Street finance professional these days? Why, Lehman Brothers, of course (which, in order to liquidate the business, needs people to figure out all that complex bogosity that people like them thought up in the first place). (2) During a debate on how to eradicate poverty in a dismal economy, German finance minister Peter Steinbrueck was caught on camera . . checking his lottery ticket. Wall Street Journal /// Agence France-Presse via Yahoo
Comments 'economic_090202'

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
A man driving a tan or gold Dodge Ram truck with a golden retriever inside is being sought in Airdrie, Alberta, after last week stopping outside of Ralph McCall Elementary School at lunch time and, using a loudspeaker, shouting: "Girls in the field, come over to my truck. Come pet my dog." Playground chaperones approached the truck, scaring him off. CTV Calgary
Comments 'loudspeaker_pervert'

Your Daily Jury Duty
["In America, a person is presumed innocent until the mug shot is released"]
Matthew Reynolds, 34, from around Cullowhee, N.C. (Irrelevant facts: His nickname is "Hippie," and cops said they found 59 hits of Ecstasy, 750 hits of acid, and a half-pound of high-grade marijuana, among other things.) Asheville Citizen-Times
Comments 'matthew_reynolds'

Posted By: Chuck - Mon Feb 02, 2009 - Comments (0)

Planar Touchscreens

Nothing weird about the product, but what's the deal with that guy in the picture?

Posted By: Alex - Mon Feb 02, 2009 - Comments (6)
Category: Advertising

Ovary and Egg Floaty Pen

A MUST HAVE for the Floaty Pen Enthusiast! The Limited Edtion Chrissy Caviar Floaty Pen.

Chrissy Conant had some of her eggs removed and put them in a floaty pen. Which means you can "Watch Chrissy's egg float back and forth between her ovary and the jar!"

Best of all, it's available on Amazon.

Apparently this was a limited edition of 1000 pens. That seems like a lot of eggs to have removed.

Posted By: Alex - Mon Feb 02, 2009 - Comments (13)
Category: Babies

February 1, 2009

8-Bit Weapon

Video game music as full-length songs? Yes, it's a whole weird subculture.

Here are two examples from the group 8-Bit Weapon.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Feb 01, 2009 - Comments (14)
Category: Games, Geeks, Nerds and Pointdexters, Music

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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.

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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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