Weird Universe Archive

January 2013

January 3, 2013

Les Baxter

It's never not a good time to contemplate the miracle of Les Baxter and his music.

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Posted By: Paul - Thu Jan 03, 2013 - Comments (2)
Category: Music, Space-age Bachelor Pad & Exotic, 1950s, 1960s

The Art of Explosionism

Andrew Lausman of Lakeland, Florida has created a new genre of art. He calls it "explosionism." As far as I can tell, it involves dipping firecrackers in paint and shooting them at a canvas. A few of his works, which I found on his facebook page, are below. He focuses on space themes — galaxies and nebulae — perhaps because it would be hard to do a still life with flowers using firecrackers.

Lausman's art hasn't allowed him to quit his day job yet. (He's a dental assistant.) But he does have his first exhibition opening this Friday. []

Posted By: Alex - Thu Jan 03, 2013 - Comments (3)
Category: Art, Explosives

January 2, 2013

Oompa-Loompa’s On The Attack

When Oompa Loompas attack, watch out!! Or perhaps emerging from a kabob place at 3:30 a.m. is discouraged in England.


Here's a link to the story:

Sorry -- only two of the four attackers were Oompa Loompas. At least these two already have their hands up to be arrested.

Posted By: gdanea - Wed Jan 02, 2013 - Comments (6)
Category: Movies

Pronounciation Help Needed

[From The Providence Journal 12/31/12]

Was there a shortage of vowels in this woman's homeland, when her husband's surname, and hers by marriage, was coined? How do you even begin to say it?

"Marker-tosh-jan"? "Maker-tisch-jan"? "Muck-root-sack-hyj-an"?

Posted By: Paul - Wed Jan 02, 2013 - Comments (18)
Category: Weird Names

Patrick O’Connor, Wrestler and Artist

There aren't that many people who seriously pursue art and wrestling at the same time, but Patrick O'Connor was one of them. Back in the 1940s, he was heavyweight wrestling champion of Ireland, but also had a Greenwich Village art studio. He was an artist of the "conservative Realist and Romantic school." Apparently he viewed art as his true passion. Wrestling was just a way to make money. From The Evening Independent, Sep. 9, 1944:

His portraits were too realistic. If a rich dowager had three chins, he refused to conveniently omit two of them. As a result there was no rush of customers, so the painter turned to wrestling as a means of earning an honest dollar.

Unfortunately I haven't been able to find any examples of his art, except for the ones that can be seen behind him in the pictures below. O'Connor is the one with the beard. The pictures were taken in his art studio.

Posted By: Alex - Wed Jan 02, 2013 - Comments (3)
Category: Art, Sports, Wrestling, 1940s

January 1, 2013

News of the Weird (1-1-2013)

The News of the Weird Blog
Angst, Confusion, Cynicism, Ridicule

Hand-Picked and Seasoned by Chuck Shepherd
Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Delhi: U.S. government in disrepute? What about India's? A respected political action group said 162 out of 552 members of the lower Parliament face criminal charges (up to rape), 6 state legislators face rape charges, and 36 other local pols are charged with crimes against women. Wall Street Journal

Cincinnati: Ms. Aubrey Ireland, 21, a music prodigy at the Univ. of Cincinnati, went to court for a keep-away order against two stalkers who were constantly harassing her: her parents. They hung out on campus and spread rumors that she put out and had mental issues. Evidence is the brain is on the other foot.

Tokyo: Japan’s pornography industry, which somehow remains robust even though required to pixelate all thingers and hoo-hahs, treats its stars at least as well as America’s B-list actresses, so when Uta Kohaku asked her fans to send her vials of their bodily essence for her latest oeuvre Semen Collection 2, many shamelessly responded--more than the 100 she expected. “I will care for them as if it were my own child,” she said, reassuringly.

Zadar, Croatia: It isn’t yet the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, but ya never can tell. When unranked Bulgarian chess player Borislav Ivanov beat three Croatian grandmasters in a tournament last week, officials strip-searched him. They didn’t find anything, but Bulgarians weren’t happy. Sofia News Agency (Sofia, Bulgaria)

Ibi, Spain: Let’s get this straight. The European Union is still teetering on collapse in large part because Spain can’t balance a checkbook, and still, it has ceremonial food fights? The August La Tomatina festival is the most famous, but each December 28th, the “Enfarinats” “take over” the town, institute some strange laws, and then “La Oposicio” runs them off by throwing food at them (mostly flour bombs). New York Daily News

Error: In this week’s NOTW M299 (12-30-2012)*, please change Mr. Jason Schall’s fishing experience from a “lake” behind his home to some sort of saltwater body behind his home. (I don’t think it’s a “fjord,” but I do long to use “fjord” in a story.) (Also, I wrote “brain on the other foot” just to see if anyone reads my posts.) [* On 1-6-2013, this link changes to this one.]

There, That Was Easy: Next week’s NOTW (M300, 1-6-2013) will be the, umm, 1,300th (i.e., Roman M plus 300), which factors to 52 times 25, which means birthday number 25. Yr Editor would be prouder of that if it weren’t for the fact that when I started, I had so many options for my life but at this moment, News of the Weird is absolutely the only thing I know how to do. Thus, I won’t be stopping . . . ever.

Dessert: Year-end news-sorting brings forth the September arrest of recidivist exposure cutie Lee Hazen Williamson, 57, at the Chalet Motel in Lakeport, Calif. The Smoking Gun

© 2012 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Posted By: Chuck - Tue Jan 01, 2013 - Comments (6)

Happy New Year!


Posted By: Paul - Tue Jan 01, 2013 - Comments (3)
Category: Holidays

Predictions for 2013, made in 1913

Sir Vansittart Bowater, predictor of the future

Back in 1913, Sir Vansittart Bowater, London's new lord mayor, made some predictions for how the world would look like in 2013 [Evening Independent, Dec. 6, 1913]. Now that 2013 has arrived, we can judge how accurate he was:

a horse will excite far more wonder and curiosity in the city than an aeroplane or a dirigible flying over St. Paul's does today

the drone of great airships, each carrying perhaps many hundreds of passengers, will also probably be heard across both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans

these new aircraft will require "the protection of pedestrians and householders, possibly by wire netting laid over the housetops and even over the streets."
I'm not sure if he was foreseeing chunks of frozen poop falling from planes (blue ice). If so, his powers of prediction were impressive. But as for the netting, he was incorrect.

the channel tunnel scheme may be a commonplace of actuality, with train services running every few minutes direct from London to Paris
The trains don't run every few minutes, but he got the general idea right, so I'll give him this.

London will assuredly find part relief from the congestion between now and 2013 by the extension of her suburbs

postmarks and stamps may exist only as curiosities
Stamps are gradually on the way out, but they're not gone yet. So I'm judging him incorrect on this.

a visit to Mars or the moon [may] be practicable in 2013... by harnessing the elusive ether, by electricity, or by some other at present unknown force capable of off-setting gravitation.
Correct! It was actually in 1914, one year after Bowater made his predictions, that Robert Goddard filed his first patent for a liquid-fuel rocket that would make spaceflight possible.

such awful scourges as cancer and the hidden plague will be as much a memory as plague and the 'black death' are to us today
Not sure what he meant by the 'hidden plague,' but as far as cancer goes, he was unfortunately incorrect.

he certainly will be a bold man in that year who will venture to say a person is dead beyond hope of resuscitation.
No. Dead is still dead.

Overall he scored 5 out of 9. Not bad. Better than most 100-year forecasts.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jan 01, 2013 - Comments (11)
Category: Utopias and Dystopias, Yesterday’s Tomorrows

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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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