Weird Universe Archive

February 2009

February 16, 2009

Cobra Woman

I saw Maria Montez's COBRA WOMAN about a year ago. But I had to buy an all-regions DVD player and order the DVD from England, since it's unavailable here. But the expense was worth it, as I think you'll agree after you watch the trailer.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Feb 16, 2009 - Comments (8)
Category: Animals, Magic and Illusions and Sleight of Hand, Movies, Pop Culture, Stereotypes and Cliches, 1940s

Maggots, Karma, Caning, Plus No Doggy Mink Coats

News of the Weird Daily
Monday, February 16, 2009 [Friday catch-up]

10 pet trends that must die
Katie Rolnick, writing on, has all you need to know from the news about pet owners who are much too carried away with their cute little snookumses, like with pet weddings, dog yoga, social networking websites for pets, mink coats for dogs, handcrafted wooden cages for birds, and more. Many of these have been in News of the Weird, but Ms. Rolnick has all the links for you in one place. Well done.
Comments 'pet_trends'

FDA tolerates mold . . excreta . . maggots . . mildew . . .
Of course it's impossible to totally, absolutely purify food, and also we wouldn't like the price if companies had to reduce objectionable stuff by too much so the Food and Drug Administration has lists of "acceptable levels," depending on the type of food. Canned mushrooms, for example, can have 15 maggots per 100 grams of drained mushrooms without drawing FDA attention. "[Y]ou're probably ingesting one to two pounds of flies, maggots, and mites each year without knowing it." Now you do. New York Times
Comments 'fda_tolerates'

Husband was "exercised to death" by wife
Christine Newton-John, 41, pleaded guilty in Chardon, Ohio, after a surveillance video showed her 73-yr-old husband splashing in an apartment-house pool, trying desperately to get out of the water, only to have her block his exit 43 different times, until he had a fatal heart attack. (Bonus: Christine was born "John," but got surgery in 1993 and picked her name as a fan of Olivia N-J.) Plain Dealer
Comments 'christine_newtonjohn'

More Things to Worry About

Montana apparently has no Recession worries, seein' as how the Senate last week had time to hold a hearing on naming the whole-wheat huckleberry variety the official state pancake. Billings Gazette

Unclear on the Concept: A bomb threat forced evacuation of all 1,850 students from a high school in Buda, Tex., . . well, all except the 8 special-needs kids, who had to stay put. (Bonus: The principal said she left 'em in place out of "compassion," because it was cold outside.) KXAN-TV (Austin)

The 9-yr-old in Oregon, Wis., was blocking his dad's view of the TV and wouldn't move out of the way, so dad shot him in the ass with a BB gun, and dad was arrested (but . . the kid got out of the way). Capital Times (Madison)

Karma-get-him: Nicholas Hernandez, 25, awaiting trial in a Houston, Tex., DUI-crash case in which his passenger died, was killed in a crash Thursday while a passenger in a car driven by a drunk pal. Houston Chronicle

19 schoolteachers were identified as poor performers by their pupils' test scores and so were taken out and beaten with the cane, which is, alas, apparently improper in Tanzania. BBC News

Comments on Things to Worry About?
Comments 'worry_090216'

Your Daily Loser
Graham Nickerson, 27, somehow, he said, "lost" his trousers in the process of relieving himself in the woods [Ed.: How does that happen?], and that's why he was roaming around in his underwear and why he broke into a home to find some pants to wear and why he settled on a Depends garment he found and why he was wearing it when the cops rousted him after he passed out in the home of the 92-yr-old woman. AWI. Chronicle Herald (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
Comments 'graham_nickerson'

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
He's still loose, but last Thursday at 11 a.m., he was on the Katy Trail in Dallas, Tex., standing still, waiting for joggers to come along. And he was naked. And his body was painted orange. Dallas Morning News
Comments 'orange_man'

Your Daily Jury Duty
["In America, a person is presumed innocent until the mug shot is released"]
Steven Young, 27, Urbandale, Iowa, might have been drunk and out of control (though that was merely one cop's opinion). (Bonus Standing Fearlessly Against Oppression: "You can't hurt me [with that Taser]. I'm a man.") Des Moines Register
Comments 'steven_young'

Today's Newsrangers: Stephen Taylor, Lance Ellisor, Mindy Cohen, Philip Urban, Harry Farkas, Doug Linker, Ginger Katz, Larry Ellis Reed, Kelvin Norton, Cindy Hildebrand, Karl Luhrs

Posted By: Chuck - Mon Feb 16, 2009 - Comments (0)

Yorick’s Skull

Quite a few people, it seems, have bequeathed their skulls to theater companys. They figure that, while they may not have been talented enough to appear in a production of Hamlet during their life, once they're dead they've got the part of Yorick's skull covered. From

Comedian Del Close bequeathed his skull to the Goodman Theatre in Chicago for precisely this purpose. The skull currently residing at the Goodman, though, isn't his: nobody was willing to prepare it. Other aspiring posthumous Yoricks include Juan Potomachi, Andre Tchaikovsky, and Jonathan Hartman. Tchaikovsky's skull finally made it to the stage in the 2008 Royal Shakespeare Company production of Hamlet (starring David Tennant).

So who's going to be the first to bequeath their skull to Weird Universe?

Posted By: Alex - Mon Feb 16, 2009 - Comments (7)
Category: Death

February 15, 2009

Lowrider Oldies

How Anglo-Saxon oldies became associated with the mainly Latino lowrider subculture, I have no idea.....

Posted By: Paul - Sun Feb 15, 2009 - Comments (4)
Category: Ethnic Groupings, Music, Subcultures, Cars

February 14, 2009

The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse

Besides having a great porn-movie title, this film starring Edward G. Robinson is just all over the map. Part comedy, part high-society drama, part courtroom drama, part gangster film, it features the loony premise of a medical doctor who becomes a crook for research purposes. Toss in Claire Trevor's weird lisp, and it's a surefire WU candidate!

Posted By: Paul - Sat Feb 14, 2009 - Comments (14)
Category: Medicine, Movies, Stupid Criminals, 1930s

Clowns for Jesus

The mission of Show Me Clowns for Jesus is to:

Cultivate learning opportunities to develop and refine Christian clowning skills.
Encourage high ethical, professional, and Christian clown standards.
Promote clowning as a ministry to bring joy and the love of Jesus to others

If you hurry, you can still make it to their national conference, Feb 12-15 in Springfield, Missouri.

Posted By: Alex - Sat Feb 14, 2009 - Comments (23)
Category: Religion

February 13, 2009

More Holy Matrimony in India, Plus A Harsh Review of the IHOP

News of the Weird Daily
Friday, February 13, 2009 [part two]

More Things to Worry About

Recurring Theme: A parent (actually, her insurance) has to pay $2.5m after two guys, 19 and 22, visited her daughters and drank beer, and the older guy then drove his pal home and lost control of the car, paralyzing the pal (but unlike other pay-out cases, this parent didn't serve the beer and didn't even know about it). Chicago Tribune

Editor's headline-mongering: OK, Leeuwarden, Netherlands, apparently did in fact lose its "pornography archive," as the AP reported, but, c'mon, it was just one box of stuff. (Bonus: There are jobs in the librarian profession for porn fanatics!) Associated Press via Charlotte Observer

The latest depressing Pentagon stat: From June 2004-June 2008, we lost track of 220,000 weapons sent to Afghanistan. BBC News

Allahmanamjad Barbel, 21, walked into the police station in Barnstable, Mass., Tuesday with a handcuff on, claiming it was part of some silly game, and would they get it off for him, and so they got it off, but then ran his name and found several outstanding warrants, and so they cuffed him. Associated Press via Yahoo

Thomas Teague, 26, used to be an assistant DA in Brownsville, Tex., so it was odd that he's the one they identified as leaving a deposit reflective of poor toilet-training on a bench in front of an IHOP, "in plain view of the customers." The Monitor (McAllen)

Recurring Theme: Once again, there was a solemn marriage in India for the purpose of bringing prosperity to a village, but it wasn't one of those, y'know, woman and a goat things but rather two trees (a male banyan and a female peepal, 'cause same-sex marriage would be an abomination). The Times of India

Comments on Things to Worry About?
Comments 'cycle_090213'

Your Daily Jury Duty
["In America, a person is presumed innocent until the mug shot is released"]
Neil Ackerman, 35, might have asked a colleague if he could have Ackerman's girlfriend killed for him. Those he-said/he-said stories are hard to prove so it's a good thing we have the mug shot. Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, Ill.)
Comments 'neil_ackerman'

Today's Newsrangers: Don Schullian, Stephen Taylor, Edwin Cook, Tim Clark

Posted By: Chuck - Fri Feb 13, 2009 - Comments (0)

Duck and Cover

Posted By: Paul - Fri Feb 13, 2009 - Comments (7)
Category: Education, Government, War, Weapons, Documentaries

Russian Ark

What's so weird about the film titled RUSSIAN ARK? It's 90-some minutes long--and shot entirely in one continuous take. The camera--a special digital one--was turned on and never turned off for the duration of the shoot. They had to try four times before they suceeded.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Feb 13, 2009 - Comments (9)
Category: Movies, Technology, Russia

All-Time Whipped Man, Plus A Fingernail Tragedy

News of the Weird Daily
Friday, February 13, 2009 [part one]

No budget crisis: Berkeley's dog statues
Artist Scott Donahue earned his $196k because the city of Berkeley, Calif., thought it'd be nice to have statues at both ends of a pedestrian bridge over Interstate 80, and there they are: tributes to man's best friend. But the big monuments also contain little medallion-like thingies with scenes of dogs doing what dogs do, like chasing each other, pointing at birds, humping, and taking a dump. A reporter found a recently-laid-off worker, who was happy to comment on the gov't's priorities. Fox News
Comments 'berkeley_statues'

Whipped big-time, right up to the end
John Klein, 82, was arrested in Spokane County, Wash., for manslaughter because he basically left his fallen wife, 73, on the floor of their home for 10 weeks, until she died. But, he insisted, that was because she growled at him every time he tried to help her and ordered him not to call the authorities. Yes, dear. So he brought her food and water, and he even, y'know, cleaned her . . for 10 weeks. KXLY-TV (Spokane)
Comments 'whipped_bigtime'

The Way The World Works: Merrill Lynch's bonuses
New York Attorney Gen'l Cuomo is the man right now trying to administer the most aggressive beatdowns of corporate high rollers, and first in his crosshairs is Merrill Lynch, which shamelessly paid $3,600,000,000 in bonuses for 2008 to reward its best and brightest for presiding over the company's 2008 $27,000,000,000 loss. But at least Merrill didn't give it all to the CEO and a few cronies; why, nearly 700 execs got bonuses of over $1M each. Cuomo said if the $3.6B had been spread equally among all Merrill workers, each would have gotten $91k. New York Times
Comments 'merrill_bonuses'

More Things to Worry About

A 39-yr-old man in New Zealand is no longer with us after grossly underestimating the seriousness of a stunt he thought up to frighten his girlfriend: shooting himself in the heart three times with a nail gun. Taranaki Daily News

Ms. Lee Redmond survived just fine the car crash in Salt Lake City Wednesday, but her Guinness-book-record, 33-inch-long fingernails didn't. Salt Lake Tribune [See the Weird Universe post that follows this!]

The chief justice of the highest court in the Indian capital of Delhi said, basically, if you're thinking of filing a lawsuit there today, you'll get to trial in, oh, somewhere around the year 2475 A.D. BBC News

The thief in Pompano Beach, Fla., got away from the Wal-Mart, a tribute to his aggressive, knife-wielding stance when security guards confronted him over that one $9 tube of foot cream he was shoplifting. South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Comments on Things to Worry About?
Comments 'worry_090213'

Your Daily Jury Duty
["In America, a person is presumed innocent until the mug shot is released"]
Matthew Selk, 22, Largo, Fla., was accused of punching his girlfriend's cat (but so far has not been duly charged with felony fashion crime). Tampa Tribune
Comments 'matthew_selk'

Posted By: Chuck - Fri Feb 13, 2009 - Comments (0)

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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.

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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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