Weird Universe Archive

February 2009

February 5, 2009

Follies of the Mad Men #54

Alex raised the topic of navels earlier, little knowing I had something of a similar nature in store!

This is of course a famous and admittedly effective commercial. But we'll include it in our series of oddities for one trivial reason: no navels shown! In a commercial focusing on several bare stomachs!

It was all part of television broadcast standards back then, just as with the famous I Dream of Jennie prohibition against showing Barbara Eden's navel.

Posted By: Paul - Thu Feb 05, 2009 - Comments (6)
Category: Body, Business, Advertising, Products, Food, 1960s

1979 Disco Riot

With these hard times, who's to say that anti-disco riots will not spontaneously break out again?

Posted By: Paul - Thu Feb 05, 2009 - Comments (11)
Category: Fads, History, Music, Riots, Protests and Civil Disobedience, 1970s

February 4, 2009

The Flying Serpent

You have never experienced the wonders of the cinema until you have seen Vampire Quetzalcoatl in THE FLYING SERPENT. Thanks goodness our radio-star mystery writer is on hand to solve the crime--after allowing several pals to die needlessly in what can only be a bid to boost his show's ratings.

Posted By: Paul - Wed Feb 04, 2009 - Comments (6)
Category: Movies, 1940s, Fictional Monsters

Dog Hates Own Foot

Posted By: Paul - Wed Feb 04, 2009 - Comments (11)
Category: Dogs

Some Root Causes of Weird (Besides Alcohol), Plus Referees’ Secret Desire

News of the Weird Daily
Wednesday, February 4, 2009 [part one]

Root cause: "principles"
Why would a guy go nuts on a state trooper he was tailgating on Interstate 4 in the F State? Without benefit of alcohol, Kevin Allen boisterously challenged the traffic stop (video available), including calling 911 while physically resisting, enough that two troopers called for backup (12 cars arrived!). Said one, "[Allen] told the troopers afterwards, it was a matter of principle, that he felt he did nothing wrong" and therefore had to rough up those first two officers "to prove a point." WFTV (Orlando)
Comments 'kevin_allen'

Root cause: need for cool
Markham, Ill., is one of the still-few jurisdictions that take seriously enough judges' orders of driver's license suspensions that they actually watch defendants when they leave the courthouse, to see if they try to drive home. David B. Johnson, 31, is a local legend for dressing pimp-like, in purple, with an immaculate, tricked-up, purple 1988 Caddy (with back cover reading "Mister Oldskool") and had just been sentenced to 10 days in jail (starting Friday) for driving on his 13th suspension. The judge noted (when Johnson was hauled right back into court) that it was "22 minutes" between the first court hearing and Mister Oldskool's resumption of giving the people of Markham the privilege of seeing him behind the wheel. Chicago Sun-Times
Comments 'mister_oldskool'

Root cause: inexplicable social manias
The latest Japanese craze is to determine everything one needs to know about people by which of the four blood types they are (A, B, AB, O), and professional exploiters are raking in money feeding the craze. The data suggest that, as usual, the practitioners of crazes are of two minds: In situations requiring intellectual sobriety, they say, of course, it's all light fun. But then, in the next breath, it's inescapable that they form important impressions of people based on their new-found, clear-cut knowledge of human nature. Associated Press via Seattle Times
Comments 'japan_bloodtype'

Root cause: being Zimbabwe
"Our national currency is a fundamental economic pillar of our sovereignty," said the country's chief finance officer. Hence, the country is now acknowledging its inflation rate of roughly a billion percent, which is roughly a billion minus 3 higher than the U.S.'s, and remedial action now includes taking Z's currency in the denomination of "one trillion dollars" and re-naming it "one dollar." Presto! (On the open market, $1 U.S. is going for Z$300 [which used to be Z$300 trillion] [but that was yesterday, so it's probably more than Z$300 now].) You know about people who do the same thing over and over, expecting a different result. CNN
Comments 'zimbabwe_zeros1'

Recurring theme: God's will
A house burned down (probably a faulty heater) in Port Charlotte, Fla., Sunday while a devout family was at church. When he returned, he had things partly figured out, anyway: "God works in mysterious ways. We don't know why things happen, but they happen for a reason." WWSB-TV (Sarasota)
Comments 'gods_will'

Fine Points of the Law: Former car owners find out they still own them
Only some of the 50 states protect ya if ya trade in to a dealer a car that ya still owe money on. The dealer "agrees" to pay off your loan and then resells the car. In the states without protective laws (California!), if the dealer hasn't yet paid it off and then files for bankruptcy, the owner of the car is still you, and the lienholder expects you to continue your payments you thought the dealer had bought your way out of (along with your payments on the new car that the trade-in was part of). Sur-prise! Associated Press via KOVR-TV (Sacramento)
Comments 'car_liens'

The secret desire of all referees and umpires
Your Editor, a former high school basketball referee, can speak for all my colleagues at all levels about how sweet the game would be if we, like Indiana high school referee Glen Fifield, simply had the power to make arrests of people abusing the officials. Of course Fifield's day job is state trooper so when the 64-yr-old man came down from the stands to berate him and then tried to choke him with his whistle neckstrap, Fifield 'cuffed him. Yes! Associated Press via Yahoo
Comments 'referees_desire'

Your Daily Jury Duty
["In America, a person is presumed innocent until the mug shot is released"]
Bradford Sheldon, 44, Gainesville, Fla., must be innocent because why would anyone want to challenge a traffic stop so violently (attempted murder of the cop) just because he had a headlight out? Ocala Star-Banner
Comments 'bradford_sheldon'

Posted By: Chuck - Wed Feb 04, 2009 - Comments (0)

Weird Theory: Belly Buttons as a Sign of Mating Health

According to Dr. Aki Sinkkonen belly buttons are a sign of mating potential in fertile women:

"the symmetry, shape, and position of umbilicus can be used to estimate the reproductive potential of fertile females, including risks of certain genetically and maternally inherited fetal anomalies."

The theory seems to be that if you've got problems as a fetus, somehow they're reflected in the shape of the belly button. And such problems may mean you're a less desirable mate later on in life.

So what does this say about supermodel Karolina Kurkova who reportedly has no belly button.

Posted By: Alex - Wed Feb 04, 2009 - Comments (6)
Category: Body, Weird Theory

Read with Discernment

If you decide to shop for books at LifeWay Christian Stores, you may notice that some of the books are marked Read with Discernment. This label is to warn you that these books "may have espoused thoughts, ideas, or concepts that could be considered inconsistent with historical evangelical theology."

Presumably, if a book hasn't been so tagged, everything in it can be accepted blindly without discernment.

Some of the books marked Read with Discernment include Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith, Searching for God Knows What, and Sex God. They sound pretty heretical to me! (via Friendly Atheist)

Posted By: Alex - Wed Feb 04, 2009 - Comments (9)
Category: Literature, Religion

February 3, 2009

How to Be a Friend

Watch How To Be A Friend (1977) in Entertainment Videos  |  View More Free Videos Online at

Posted By: Paul - Tue Feb 03, 2009 - Comments (6)
Category: Education, Documentaries, 1970s

Gilligan’s No Exit

Today we feature a guest post from that miraculous writer of the fantastical, the great Don Webb.

Take it away, Don!

Many of my generation have discovered (sometimes with the help of a certain herb) that the opening sequence of Wizard of Oz matches up with Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. Co-incidence or happenstance? Who can say? Was Pink Floyd under the "influence" of Frank Baum?

Another strange co-incidence has come to light. The lyrics of Gilligan's Island perfectly match up with Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven."

Happenstance? Then riddle me this -- why does Gilligan's Island have exactly the same theme as Jean Paul Sarte's NO EXIT?


Each one of the characters represents one of the 7 deadly sins:

- Ginger represents LUST - she wears skimpy outfits, is obsessed with her looks, and is a borderline nymphomaniac.

- Mary Ann represents ENVY - she is jealous of Ginger's beauty.

- The Professor represents PRIDE - he is an annoying know-it-all.

- Mr. Howell represents GREED - no explanation needed.

- Mrs. Howell represents SLOTH - she has never lifted a finger to help with their escape plans.

- The Skipper represents two sins: GLUTTONY - again, no explanation needed and ANGER - he violently hits Gilligan on each show.

- This leaves Gilligan. Gilligan is the person who put them there. He prevents them from leaving by foiling all of their escape plots. Also, it is HIS island. Therefore, Gilligan is SATAN.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Feb 03, 2009 - Comments (23)
Category: Drugs, Literature, Music, Synchronicity and Coincidence, Television, Reader Recommendation, 1960s, 1970s, Europe

Where Business Is Booming:  Sperm, Paranoia, Coin-Operated Dog Washes

News of the Weird Daily
Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Today's Leading Economic Indicators
(1) One bank not needing a bailout is CryoGam Colorado (a sperm bank reporting a big jump in potential suppliers since the financial collapse) (as men follow career-counseling advice and concentrate on work they're good at). (2) Business is also up at the Haven in White Plains, N.Y., where rich people go when they panic with economic paranoia ("delusions of poverty"). Turns out that when some Masters of the Universe fail, they get really, really messed up (leading some of us normal people to get manic at their depression). Associated Press via Yahoo /// New York Times
Comments 'economic_090203'

More Things to Worry About

At a Stuart, Fla., full-service carwash: the DogPro Dog Spa, a coin-operated, self-service pet-washing system ($10 for 10 minutes) (the 7th one in the U.S. so far) (Stuart) /// The K9000 dog-washer

David Green, 39, Norristown, Pa., pleaded guilty to burglary, done in after his DNA was matched to doo-doo on the basement stairs in the home he burgled (not explained in the story, but maybe people shouldn't go criming if they've got the runs). Times Herald (Norristown)

A movement of a few revisionist presidential historians is underway to remake Martha Washington into a red-hot mama (Bonus: George was a hunk, too). Washington Post

Recurring Theme: In China, too (not just Japan), unhitched men under pressure from their parents to marry are now renting women to introduce as their girlfriends. Reuters via The Independent (London)

Recurring Theme: Firefighters had to rescue a guy who got stuck in the chimney of a woman's house early Sunday morning in Burlington, Vt., and the guy, rather than concoct some creative explanation, told cops . . he didn't know how he got in there. Associated Press via Yahoo

Comments on Things to Worry About?
Comments 'worry_090203'

Your Daily Loser
A 21-yr-old man went to the trouble of drilling a big hole though the wall of a bank in Marseilles, France, and after all that hard work, found out he had mis-estimated . . and was now in the bank's restroom, not the vault. Reuters via Yahoo
Comments 'marseilles_driller'

Today's Newsrangers: Joe Church, Les Greenwood

Posted By: Chuck - Tue Feb 03, 2009 - Comments (0)

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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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