Weird Universe Archive

February 2009

February 18, 2009


I've just turned off comments on the original Contest Post, so no more entries allowed!

Next up: voting!

Posted By: Paul - Wed Feb 18, 2009 - Comments (20)
Category: Weird Universe, Contest

The Purpose-Driven Wardrobe Malfunction, Plus He Married The Bitch

News of the Weird Daily
Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Things to Worry About

Troy Brisport, 34, was charged with kidnaping and restraining a 22-yr-old woman for three days, but the only assaulting he did during that time was bombarding her with Bible verses. Toledo Blade

Can't stop himself: Arrested last year for doing immunizations, mammograms, and colonoscopies without a license, "Dr." Jack Readnour got out on bail, but now he's opened another "clinic" at the Holiday Inn Express (and it's an extra $10 if he provides transportation). WLWT-TV (Cincinnati)

A city council meeting in Sarasota, Fla., was the scene that Mr. Steve Lightfoot chose for releasing his bombshell information that John Lennon was actually murdered by, um, eerie-ol' Stephen King (who has a home near Sarasota), and not Mark David Chapman. WWSB-TV

Castle Hills, Tex. (near San Antonio) has just instituted a $55 fee for responding to 911 medical emergencies (but your first call a year is free!). KENS-TV (San Antonio)

Another day, another ridiculous wedding in India (boy, age 1½, to a dog, to keep kid from being eaten by a tiger because that's what happens to toddlers with out-of-place teeth coming in). Agence France-Presse via Yahoo

Readers' Choice: Man in China has wife and 5 squeezes. Economy sours. Needs to pink-slip 4 squeezes. Holds a contest (with independent judge). The 5 don't know what contest is for. Categories: beauty, talent, alcohol capacity. First-one-cut gets word, sets up the man and other 4 squeezes, driving everyone off a cliff. She dies, others merely injured. Plan exposed. Everyone dumps man (including wife). Ta-daaaa! CNN [UPDATE: The Chinese reporter on this story was fired for plagiarism, and the editor is investigating whether the story was true-plagiarized or fiction-plagiarized.]

Comments on Things to Worry About?
Comments 'worry_090218'

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
In Clackamas County, Ore., police arrested Byron Earl Huff, 47, and confiscated his pants, which they said were of "specialized tailoring" to enable him easier access to, y'know, his goodies. KGW-TV (Portland)
Comments 'byron_huff'

Your Daily Jury Duty
["In America, a person is presumed innocent until the mug shot is released"]
What kind of a man would take a dump in, and then flush, an already-clogged toilet? Maybe Ephrim Coburn, 51, Lakewood Park, Fla., who maybe threatened to kill that work-crew manager who got ticked at him. (Stuart, Fla.)
Comments 'ephrim_coburn'

Editor's Note
If you're an editor anywhere in America, and ya put the word "wedgie" in a headline, you're gonna get traffic. So here's that story. I wish it were more interesting, but ultimately it's just a story with a "wedgie" reference. Associated Press via Yahoo
Comments 'wedgie_editors'

Today's Newsrangers: Bruce Alter, V. Berthelsdorf, and, on the Chinese-mistresses story, I stopped counting after Eli Christman, Emory Kimbrough, Scott Loflin, and Don Schullian. Sorry.

Posted By: Chuck - Wed Feb 18, 2009 - Comments (0)

The Hamburger Bed

To complement the Hamburger Dress, here is the Hamburger Bed, compliments of Prof. Music. Once again, no bacon!

Posted By: Alex - Wed Feb 18, 2009 - Comments (13)
Category: Food, Furniture

GM’s Report to the Nation

This week General Motors is asking for $16 billion more from the government. But take a trip back to a happier time, 1943, when General Motors could claim with a straight face that "Victory is Our Business!" From the New York Times, Apr 23, 1943:

Posted By: Alex - Wed Feb 18, 2009 - Comments (9)
Category: Business

February 17, 2009

Second WEIRD UNIVERSE Contest!!!

Welcome to the Official Second WEIRD UNIVERSE Contest. Those of you who recall the first one might remember that it was too short and mired in controversy. We aim to remedy that this time around.

First, though, to get you all excited, let's discuss the prize.

We've debated before on WU whether Germans possess a sense of humor. Now I can prove they do! There's a book about it! You'll see its title page immediately below. (What does not show is the copyright, which is 1903. So perhaps the question of whether the Germans have any sense of humor after starting two World Wars remains open.)


Want a sample of the contents? Here it is! (Please pardon the blurring on the RH page. I think it's still readable enough for our purposes.)


Weren't those hilarious kneeslappers? The winner of the contest will get 300 pages of similar material, delivered to him or her in a genuine DiFi Mailart Envelope!

Now, onto the contest itself.

We're stealing a trick from THE NEW YORKER. Below is an old cartoon from PUNCH. I've removed the caption. Your job is to provide a new one.

Here are the technical details.

1) Offer your new caption in the Comments section of this thread.

2) You have approximately 24 hours in which to play, from the time this post goes up.

3) When all the entries are submitted, I will declare a halt to submissions and compose a new post, repeating the entries in the main body of the post.

4) The readers of WU will vote for a winner! I will attempt to embed one of those online poll widgets via Polldaddy. But if I can't, you'll vote in the Comments section of the new post, and I'll tabulate manually.

5) Voting itself will last 24 hours from the arrival of the second post with the choices.

Got all that? Okay, start composing!


Posted By: Paul - Tue Feb 17, 2009 - Comments (18)
Category: Weird Universe, Contest

Trillions and Ziggityboombadillions, Plus Never Give It Up

News of the Weird Daily
Tuesday, February 17, 2009

News Noir (got Cynicism Deficit Disorder?)
You didn't get to read this story unless you were in a hotel yesterday ('cause it was in USA Today), but the newspaper totaled up the value of all the benefit promises that state and local gov'ts have made to their retirees but have no money for (and remember that, unlike the feds, these gov'ts can't just print more), and it's, um, about a trillion bucks. That's another trillion that's not part of any trillion you've been reading about lately. For example, Dover, N.H. (pop. 26,000) will see retiree health care costs "triple to $3 million annually in the next 10 years." USA Today
Comments 'trillions_benefits'

Never give up your story (I)
In Britain, Elda Beguinua, 63, who was convicted of fraud last yr and sent to prison, was additionally ordered this week to pay back victims £850k ($1.21m), which is a bargain in that she continues to insist that she owns gold and gems located in 22 caves in the Philippines worth "300 followed by 41 zeros," presumably in pounds. Judge, please, she begged; I just need a year to work with the 10,000 guards to get the treasure out. BBC News
Comments 'elda_beguinua'

Never give up your story (II)
Your Editor is embarrassed to admit having missed this story the first time around, in 2004, when Michael Labelle was trying to stave off extradition from Arkansas to Idaho on a probation-violation warrant and swore up and down in court that he was really Robert Labelle and that Michael was his identical (and evil) twin. Why is your birth certificate for one person and not twins? (Uhhhh . . We're . . Siamese twins . . yeah . . yeah.) Yesterday, at the 5-year mark, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette revisited the case, and Labelle (on the phone from Idaho, where he's still in the joint) finally admitted to lying. But wait. Only partially. He does have a twin brother, but he himself is the evil one. Even now, with no upside, he can't quite give it up. Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Comments 'michael_labelle'

More Things to Worry About

A former radical Sadrist (as in Moqtada al-Sadr) is now a founder of the resurgent Baghdad arts community (abstract, expressionist, conceptual). New York Times

As two other British boys in addition to the 13-yr-old boy await the DNA test to determine who's the daddy, London's press reports that maybe as many as eight boys have "known" the 15-yr-old mom (Bonus: The London press continues to describe the boys mainly as "sleeping" with the girl, as if they've ever even dozed off once with her.) Daily Telegraph [well . . among 3,000 other cites]

If you have 14 kids to raise (including one with autism, three others with developmental problems, and eight still in the hospital) and are on the dole in a state whose gov't is just about bankrupt, high up on the To-Do List is hiring an agent. Associated Press via WBBM Radio (Chicago)

And if you've been convicted of 8 arsons, and admitted to 12 others, all while you were a fire dept. official, you're still going to demand your $50k/yr pension (if it's "Chicago" we're talking about). Chicago Tribune

Readers' Choice: The Muslim founder of a Buffalo, N.Y.,-area organization that seeks tolerance for Islam was arrested for, er, killing and beheading his wife. Buffalo News

Comments on Things to Worry About?
Comments 'worry_090217'

Your Daily Jury Duty
["In America, a person is presumed innocent until the mug shot is released"]
A waiter spotted Robert Psaty, 57, spiking his date's drink while she went to the head. But he had a reason, he said, and the jury in Colorado Springs bought it. Was he lying? Associated Press via KUSA-TV (Denver)
Comments 'robert_psaty'

Today's Newsrangers: John Brewer, Susan Johnson, Steve Altes, Ginger Katz

Posted By: Chuck - Tue Feb 17, 2009 - Comments (0)

The Hamburger Dress

Nice, but it needs some bacon.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Feb 17, 2009 - Comments (15)
Category: Fashion

Bullet-Dodging Body Armor

IBM recently filed a patent describing body armor that actually dodges bullets. Don't leave home without it!

A method of protecting a target from a projectile propelled from a firearm comprises detecting an approaching projectile, continuously monitoring the projectile and transmitting an actual position of the projectile to a controller, computing an estimated projectile trajectory based upon the actual position of the projectile, determining an actual position of a target with a plurality of position sensors and a plurality of attitude sensors, determining whether the estimated projectile trajectory coincides with the actual position of the target, and triggering a plurality of muscle stimulators operably coupled to the controller and to the target when the estimated projectile trajectory coincides with the actual position of the target, wherein the muscle stimulators stimulate the target to move in a predefined manner, and wherein the target moves by an amount sufficient to avoid any contact with the approaching projectile.
(via The Firearm Blog)

Posted By: Alex - Tue Feb 17, 2009 - Comments (10)
Category: Patents

February 16, 2009

Miss Atom

Meet the women vying for the title of Russia's Miss Atom 2009. They're hot, in more ways than one. (via Wired)

Posted By: Alex - Mon Feb 16, 2009 - Comments (14)
Category: Contests, Races and Other Competitions

Follies of the Mad Men #56


[Upper image from Look magazine for June 20 1961. Lower image from Look magazine for April 24 1962.]

A special "two-fer" installment of the Follies thread. Two splendid representations of our friends, the Native Americans, from within the lifetimes of many WU readers.

They hate cheap cigars, but are experts in premium house paints.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Feb 16, 2009 - Comments (13)
Category: Business, Advertising, Products, Stereotypes and Cliches, 1940s, Native Americans

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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.

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