The building of a Catholic church from ice and snow is a 100 year old tradition in Mitterfirmiansreut, Germany. At that time parishioners request for their own house of worship was denied by the town. Building "God's Igloo" started as a protest to that denial. Have to respect the fact that these believers put some effort into their faith each year.
Tom Carnwath and Ian Smith offer this definition of a "yen-shee baby" in their book Heroin Century:
All opiates cause constipation. The old opium smokers used to talk about a 'yen-shee baby'. 'Yen-shee' was the concentrated residue of opium that formed inside the pipe bowl after smoking. A yen-shee baby was what was produced with much travail after a long period of constipation. 'Wrap it up in a towel and it'll live, it's a yen-shee baby.'
And Seth Morgan offers this description of the delivery of a yen-shee baby in his novel Homeboy:
Then the Big Hurt pushed aside all thinking and Joe could only lie hugging his cramped middle and suffer the agony that gnawed on itself, metastasised, grew like a cold malignant fetus in him. A reeking viscous sweat like cold bacon drippings filled him. The jailhouse stinks... dizzied him with nausea.
Orgasm after electric hairtrigger orgasm convulsed his groin. His entire being became the shortcircuiting terminus of a billion scraped and shrieking nerves. And then came ripping down from his intestines that glacial fecal boulder compacted by months of bowel paralysis, and through gritted teeth he cried: 'Christ! The Yenshee baby.'
He bailed out of his bunk and staggered to a rear toilet where he sat bent double for minutes or hours, he didn't know, trying to pass this bowel monster; until sudden pain flashed the darkness and he felt himself tearing in two. Blood vomited into the toilet. His sweatslick buttocks slipped off and he was on the floor, shrieks percussing his skull; and from a great distance heard Smoothbore shouting at the bars: 'MAN DOWN!'
The existence of such a thing as a yen-shee baby is the only reason I'll ever need never to touch heroin.
According to the Candy Professor, Chicken Dinner Candy Bars were introduced by the Sperry Candy Company of Milwaukee in 1923. They soon became one of the best selling candy bars of their day. Despite the name, they had nothing to do with chicken or dinner. The bar was a chocolate-covered nut roll. (Sounds pretty good!)
Wikipedia claims the name was a reference to President Herbert Hoover's promise of a "chicken in every pot." But that can't be right if the bars were introduced in 1923. The Candy Professor argues that the name was just an advertising gimmick to get people's attention.
Wikipedia also says that early TV commercials for Chicken Dinner Candy had a jingle that went, "Chick - Chick - Chick - Chick - Chicken Dinner" -- in the cadence of a rooster crowing.
The image of the Chicken Candy advertisement comes from an eBay auction. The seller wants $175 for the vintage cardboard advertisement, which seems a lot, though perhaps not if that's the kind of thing you collect.
The Pepsi Company has taken an interesting position about the 2009 mouse-in-the-Mountain-Dew-can lawsuit that is still dragging on. They are claiming that if a mouse had been sealed in the can at the time of manufacture the soda would have dissolved it. There is a charming little factoid about a product we put in our bodies provided to us by the company that makes it.
I recently picked up a copy of George Soloveytchik's biography of the eighteenth-century Russian statesman Grigory Potemkin at my local used bookstore (Maxwell's House of Books in La Mesa). Potemkin was fantastically rich, one-eyed, and the lover of Catherine the Great. (Wikipedia link). But he was also more eccentric than I ever realized. For instance, he sometimes received official visitors wearing an old dressing gown and no pants. This anecdote also caught my eye:
He could be vulgar and cynical beyond belief. One day he was passing through his dressing room with two important courtiers who stopped to admire his famous silver bath. "If you can excrete enough to fill it," said Potemkin to one of them, "I will give it to you." The courtier turned to his companion, who was notorious for his voracity, and said: "How about attempting this business on a fifty-fifty basis?"
News of the Weird/Pro Edition You're Still Not Cynical Enough
Prime Cuts of Underreported News from Last Week, Hand-Picked and Lightly Seasoned by Chuck Shepherd
January 2, 2012
(datelines December 23-December 31) (links correct as of January 2)
Yet Another Distinction Between Jennifer Lopez and Chuck Shepherd, Plus Other Things to Worry About
★ ★ ★ ★!
Who can possibly be surprised that if security access can be restricted by fingerprints, eyeballs, or facial-recognition, it could not also be done by "ass"? Professor Shigeomi Koshimizu of Japan's industrial technology think tank has created a car-theft prevention system to disable the engine if the driver's booty doesn't match the owner's (using 256 sensory points). [Pause for Oneal Ron Morris jokes]PhysOrg.com via Slashdot /// Oneal Ron Morris
Don Aslett's Museum of Clean has opened in Pocatello, Id., with interactive exhibits and historical devices on, y'know, window-washing, bedmaking, vacuuming, etc. Aslett said he knew he was different from an early age. "I love to clean." And you may recall Kyle Krichbaum, 12, of Adrian, Mich., celebrated in News of the Weird M019 (8-19-2007) for his kinda-obsessive-compulsive-disordered vacuuming. Now comes Dustin Kruse, 4, who is well on his way to serious abnormality with his fetish for dual-flush toilets. The Kohler company has bestowed one on Dustin (from Santa Claus). Supposedly, Dustin loves to explain toilet mechanics to strangers. Daily Mail (London) /// Kohler.com press release
Slime grown in petri dishes is "intelligent," Japanese scientists say, in that it can "navigate" its way out of a maze. Scientists previously found slime that could organize itself as well as whoever designed the railway system in Japan's Kanto region could organize that. [Yr Editor hasn't the slightest idea how slime "navigates." This must be one of those discrediting stories planted by anti-science politicians.]Daily Telegraph (London)
Further evidence that "science" took a beating in 2011: If it's not Professors Bachmann (HPV vaccine causes mental retardation) and Snooki (oceans are salty because of whale sperm), it's serious, peer-reviewed work concluding that, for example, pigs love mud, fashion magazines glorify youth, parents don't think their own kids do drugs, and [ahem!] you waste time when you're online. Reuters via Huffington Post /// LiveScience.com
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 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.