Weird Universe Archive

April 2009

April 12, 2009

Porky in Wackyland

As you're eating your Easter Ham, what better cartoon icon to think of than Porky Pig!

Posted By: Paul - Sun Apr 12, 2009 - Comments (2)
Category: Cryptozoology, Pop Art, Surrealism, Cartoons

The Man Who Swallowed Clasp-Knives

An account of the life and death of John Cummings, a man who strove to earn a Darwin Award long before the concept of Darwin Awards existed. Reported in the Chicago Tribune, March 14, 1880:

In the narrative of memorable cases connected with Guy's Hospital there is a curious story of a sailor named John Cummings, who, in a spirit of vulgar brag, and mostly when half intoxicated, swallowed clasp-knives. In 1799 he had seen a French juggler perform the trick of assumedly swallowing knives of that kind at a public entertainment. The feat was so cleverly performed that the spectators -- or at least some of them -- were under the belief that the knives vanished down the throat of the juggler, instead of being put by sleight-of-hand in some part of his dress. The sailor, in his simplicity, was one of the credulous sort, and to astonish his messmates he began to swallow clasp-knives. He at first only swallowed four, which, fortunately for him were expelled, and no inconvenience ensued. He thought no more of knife-swallowing for six years. In March, 1805, when at Boston, he was one day tempted, while drinking with a party of sailors, to boast of his former exploits, and was ready to repeat his performance. A small knife was produced, which he instantly swallowed. In the course of that evening he swallowed five more. The next morning crowds of visitors came to see him, and in the course of the day he was induced to swallow eight knives more, making in all fourteen.

He paid dearly for his frolic; for he was seized with constant vomiting, and pain in the stomach. Taken to a hospital, he was by efficacious medical treatment relieved, as he imagined, of all the knives he had swallowed. But in this he would appear to have been mistaken. Portions of knives undissolved remained in his stomach. The amount of relief, whatever it was, did not cure the poor wretch of his folly. When at Spithead in December, 1805, and somewhat tipsy, he resumed his boastfulness of being able to swallow knives, and to amuse the ship's company swallowed nine clasp-knives, some of them of a large size. Again he became ill, and was in the hands of the ship's surgeon for several months, during which portions of knives were discharged. At length he was admitted as a patient at Guy's Hospital in 1807, and again he came to the hospital in 1808. There he remained, sinking under his sufferings, until March, 1809, when he died in a state of extreme emaciation.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Apr 12, 2009 - Comments (5)
Category: Death, Medicine, Performance Art

April 11, 2009

The Treadmill Challenge

Weirdness from the world of Japanese game shows:

Posted By: Alex - Sat Apr 11, 2009 - Comments (4)
Category: Exercise and Fitness, Games, Television, Asia

I Love Tofu

What do you think this license plate says? If you think it says, "I love Tofu" then you think like vegan Kelly Coffman-Lee who tried to order it for her car.

If you think it says, "I love to F.U." then you think like the Division of Motor Vehicles, which denied Coffman-Lee's request. []

Posted By: Alex - Sat Apr 11, 2009 - Comments (9)
Category: Government, Regulations

Colored Easter Chicks

Apparently, if you inject dye into a living chicken egg, the chicks emerge colored.

Read how to do it here.

Happy Easter!

image image image

Posted By: Paul - Sat Apr 11, 2009 - Comments (9)
Category: Animals, Holidays

[News] Chuck’s Links for Saturday, April 11, 2009

That Quebec 12-yr-old, who successfully sued her dad last year for grounding her (in a decision widely expected to be overturned) actually won the damn appeal, i.e., grounding her was too severe. Canadian Broadcasting Corp. News

A widower was charged with casting his wife's absentee ballot last November, but he defended himself by pointing out that (a) she had almost made it to election day before dying, and (b) she was a huge Obama supporter. Journal Sentinel (Milwaukee)

13 yrs after discovering a sewage-contaminated creek in Washington state, the gov't has finally traced the source: a sewer line from a building in Vancouver, Wash., that houses two state environmental agencies. The Daily News (Longview)

The Brighton and Hove City Council in Britain has reprimanded a guy for stapling "lost item" posters to trees, thus, according to an official, "wounding" a "living thing." Daily Mail

[Jury Duty] Christy McGaw and Tammy Sharp, alleged absent-minded shoplifters (Bonus: Web editor doesn't know how to spell "weird")

Today's Newsrangers: Bruce Alter, Gary Benoit, Paul Mulherin

Posted By: Chuck - Sat Apr 11, 2009 - Comments (2)

April 10, 2009

Breatharian FAQ

Posted By: Paul - Fri Apr 10, 2009 - Comments (4)
Category: Eccentrics, Food, Frauds, Cons and Scams, Religion, Self-help Schemes

Chewing-gum Sculptures

I don't think any language barriers will affect your amazement at this Itallian video about the chewing-gum sculptures of Maurizio Savini.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Apr 10, 2009 - Comments (1)
Category: Europe

[News] Chuck’s Links for Friday, April 10, 2009

A 55-yr-old woman did a successful suicidal cannonball over a railing at a New York City shopping mall, landing on a guy "relaxing" on a coin-operated vibrating chair. New York Daily News

Once again, a loving mother protectively sends her child to heaven in order to pre-empt Satan, who was surely about to take him the other way. Orlando Sentinel

Sweden's National Library archives copies of everything published in the country, including from the years 1971-1980, when child pornography was legal, and ya can check it out over the counter, apparently. The Local (Stockholm)

Can ya really make crack cocaine with a microwave oven? Fort Pierce Tribune

Last week, it was a funeral home mistakenly cremating a female when the order was for a male; and now another home incinerates a black man when the order was for a white woman. Houston Chronicle

Suddenly, sperm-harvesting is a hot topic again: A Texas mother yearns to be a grandmother even though her son had just been killed (and so she obtained an emergency body-preservation order to keep the sperm viable). And a divorced Michigan couple who earlier divided up their six pedigreed bullmastiffs are back in court fighting over bullmastiff jizm. Austin American-Statesman /// Detroit News

Small-town politics (Duncanville, Tex.) at its best, with the mayor ordering the arrest of a mouthy city councilman, who promptly falls to the floor in pain. (Bonus: It's on video!) Dallas Morning News

People who should've left well-enough alone: (1) A registered sex offender is charged only with failure to submit a change-of-address, but he's got his laptop with him at the station and offers to show the guys an "amazing" flight simulator game he's been playing, and they said, cool, but up should pop what on the screen? (Of course.). (2) This guy was let off with a warning to stop harassing diners at a restaurant and to get home in a taxi because he was drunk, and he did that, but then started stewing about being accused of intoxication, and so drove down to the station and offered to take a breathalyzer to prove he was sober. (You know it.) Anchorage Daily News /// Akron Beacon-Journal

[Jury Duty] Tammy Webb, 43, Milford Center, Ohio, got three DUIs in a six-day period . . disoriented, yes, but with nary a drop of alcohol in her system. WCMH-TV (Columbus)

Today's Newsrangers: Rob Snyder, Gil Nelson, Shannon Thompson, Joe Weckbacher, Harry Farkas, Ken Vermette, Sandy Pearlman, Stephen Taylor

Posted By: Chuck - Fri Apr 10, 2009 - Comments (2)

April 9, 2009

Artificial Blitzkriegs

I came across a description of this experiment in an old newspaper (Reno Evening Gazette, Sep 8, 1941) and have never found any other references to it. The experiment was conducted by British psychologists who wanted to find out if "civilian populations can be made immune, through familiarity, to fear caused by air raid noises." The methodological problems with the design of the experiment are obvious, but it's interesting that it was conducted nevertheless. The details follow:

The London experiment consisted of herding workers, children and bomb-shocked neurotics into underground vaults and there subjecting them to an 'artificial blitz bombing.'
Sound effects used in the test were recordings made during one of London's worst air raids last year, amplified to simulate the real thing. An Associated Press writer who witnessed the experiment reported:
"The sounds swelled in the dark vault. The guns kept banging. Then big bombs burst. The guns kept up. More bombs. Then the crackle of flames. Next clanging fire engines added their noise, the other sounds continuing."
According to the reporter, the subjects stood the test very well: 'No one was crying out. A flashlight swung around the room, revealing drawn faces and frightened eyes. But no one was swooning. The experimenters stepped up the amplification.'
The British psychologists responsible for the experiment were reported delighted with the results. They said it proved their theory that whole populations could be exposed to 'artificial blitzkriegs' and thus rendered immune to fear during air raids.

Posted By: Alex - Thu Apr 09, 2009 - Comments (5)
Category: Science, Experiments, Psychology, War

Page 8 of 12 pages ‹ First  < 6 7 8 9 10 >  Last ›

Get WU Posts by Email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

weird universe thumbnail
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.

Contact Us
Monthly Archives
September 2023 •  August 2023 •  July 2023 •  June 2023 •  May 2023 •  April 2023 •  March 2023 •  February 2023 •  January 2023

December 2022 •  November 2022 •  October 2022 •  September 2022 •  August 2022 •  July 2022 •  June 2022 •  May 2022 •  April 2022 •  March 2022 •  February 2022 •  January 2022

December 2021 •  November 2021 •  October 2021 •  September 2021 •  August 2021 •  July 2021 •  June 2021 •  May 2021 •  April 2021 •  March 2021 •  February 2021 •  January 2021

December 2020 •  November 2020 •  October 2020 •  September 2020 •  August 2020 •  July 2020 •  June 2020 •  May 2020 •  April 2020 •  March 2020 •  February 2020 •  January 2020

December 2019 •  November 2019 •  October 2019 •  September 2019 •  August 2019 •  July 2019 •  June 2019 •  May 2019 •  April 2019 •  March 2019 •  February 2019 •  January 2019

December 2018 •  November 2018 •  October 2018 •  September 2018 •  August 2018 •  July 2018 •  June 2018 •  May 2018 •  April 2018 •  March 2018 •  February 2018 •  January 2018

December 2017 •  November 2017 •  October 2017 •  September 2017 •  August 2017 •  July 2017 •  June 2017 •  May 2017 •  April 2017 •  March 2017 •  February 2017 •  January 2017

December 2016 •  November 2016 •  October 2016 •  September 2016 •  August 2016 •  July 2016 •  June 2016 •  May 2016 •  April 2016 •  March 2016 •  February 2016 •  January 2016

December 2015 •  November 2015 •  October 2015 •  September 2015 •  August 2015 •  July 2015 •  June 2015 •  May 2015 •  April 2015 •  March 2015 •  February 2015 •  January 2015

December 2014 •  November 2014 •  October 2014 •  September 2014 •  August 2014 •  July 2014 •  June 2014 •  May 2014 •  April 2014 •  March 2014 •  February 2014 •  January 2014

December 2013 •  November 2013 •  October 2013 •  September 2013 •  August 2013 •  July 2013 •  June 2013 •  May 2013 •  April 2013 •  March 2013 •  February 2013 •  January 2013

December 2012 •  November 2012 •  October 2012 •  September 2012 •  August 2012 •  July 2012 •  June 2012 •  May 2012 •  April 2012 •  March 2012 •  February 2012 •  January 2012

December 2011 •  November 2011 •  October 2011 •  September 2011 •  August 2011 •  July 2011 •  June 2011 •  May 2011 •  April 2011 •  March 2011 •  February 2011 •  January 2011

December 2010 •  November 2010 •  October 2010 •  September 2010 •  August 2010 •  July 2010 •  June 2010 •  May 2010 •  April 2010 •  March 2010 •  February 2010 •  January 2010

December 2009 •  November 2009 •  October 2009 •  September 2009 •  August 2009 •  July 2009 •  June 2009 •  May 2009 •  April 2009 •  March 2009 •  February 2009 •  January 2009

December 2008 •  November 2008 •  October 2008 •  September 2008 •  August 2008 •  July 2008 •