Ahmed Salem was known as the "smallest sheikh in Islam." He made it into international news in June 1955 when he was able to walk into the office of Egyptian Prime Minister Nasser undetected because of his size. The AP ran this blurb, with the accompanying photos:
Egyptian Prime Minister Gamal Abdel Nasser lends an ear to the complaints of 62-year-old midget Ahmed Salem who was able to enter the premier's office without being seen because he's so little. He asked for help when his relatives stole his savings. Nasser promised to investigate.
Four months later, Salem was back in the news, but this time for taking other people's money. He tricked three U.S. senators into giving him a donation to help buy Russian weapons for the Egyptian army. (NY Times, Oct 19 1955). Senator Saltonstall, one of the senators deceived, later offered this explanation:
"When we went to see Premier Nasser yesterday there were twenty or thirty people crowded onto the front steps. Among them was this dwarf pestering us, talking a blue streak in Arabic and jingling this tin box.
What were we going to do? The thought went through my mind that it was an Egyptian charity and that a polite way to get out of this difficulty was to drop some coins in the box. I did not have any coins but Senator Stennis had three coins in his hand.
Like a good Yankee, I did not take the biggest one and I did not take the littlest one. I took one plaster, worth 3 cents, and put it into the box and we went on in to see the Prime Minister.
When we came out, there must have been forty or fifty people crowding around and this dwarf was trying to get us to give some more and pushing into every picture. By then we knew what the dwarf wanted and none of us dropped a penny into the box."
First, Thanks to Paul for the post that inspired the title of this post!
In this video we see Allan Savory do something very weird. He spends the first few minutes
talking about how wrong he had been about the causes of desertification and the damage done through
the implementation of his theories, ( 40,000 Elephants killed and the problem got worse ).
He spends the rest talking about the Research he has done since and how MEAT can save the planet!
Podiatrists are horrified by high-heeled sneakers, which are the latest fashion fad among high school girls. For instance, Oregon podiatrist Jon T. Fitzgerald offers these words of wisdom:
"The daily use of a high heeled shoe will ultimately create some very long standing problems. The muscles in the back of the legs will begin to contract, causing tendonitis of the Achilles tendon. With time, this will put pressure to the back of the foot, leading to plantar fasciitis and arch pain for years to come."
Of course, the high school girls don't really care what the podiatrists say. After all, plantar fasciitis and arch pain seem like a small price to pay for the sake of fashion!
I wonder how one went about setting up as a freelance massage therapist in 1949. Did the College of Swedish Massage mail order course culminate with a nice diploma you could display, something along the lines of a "Bra Inspector #23" badge? And exactly how, as a student, did you practice your techniques at home, and on whom?
As the quote below tells us, the College of Swedish Massage eventually was superseded by the more proper Swedish Institute, still teaching massage therapy today. I wonder if you can take their courses online?
Bruce Clayton's survivalist masterpiece, Life After Doomsday, certainly belongs in any collection of weird non-fiction. It comes from a time, not so long ago, when the general consensus was that we were all going to be blown to smithereens in a nuclear war, and Clayton offered detailed instructions on how to stay alive should you survive the actual bombs. Below is the 1981 Newsweek review of the book, as well as Clayton's diagram of how to turn your home into a fortified bunker. And hey, why not read it together with Paul's After the Collapse to get a real apocalypse vibe going!
Bruce Clayton's fantasy derives from the myths of frontier America: we have only to draw our wagons into a circle to survive a nuclear war. The war won't be as bad as you have heard. Assuming the Russians know what they are doing, 90 per cent of America will be fallout free. Clayton is interesting because virtually every point he makes will not have been considered by most of his readers: what about sex in the fallout shelter? he asks, or "How many members of your family are you willing to regard as acceptable losses?"
His point is, you must do something: "The question of which assault rifle you should buy isn't nearly as important as the fact that you must get one" — to mow down ghetto refugees or your neighbors in search of your food supply. In fact, refugees won't be much of a threat because the roads will be blown up along with the cities, but as for your friend next door — well, the Heckler and Koch HK91 heavy-assault rifle firing a 7.62 NATO cartridge works very well. If you're on your roof hosing down the fallout, a Colt Commander .45 autopistol modified for combat is easier to carry. He shows us, too, how to convert our houses into efficient fire zones, and suggests we store away five years' supply of wheat, milk, sugar and salt. A wheat stew in every pot and an Armalite AR-180 in every loophole will see us through, as long as we've ordered our gas masks (Clayton tells us where).
An absolutely terrifying acid trip with two BIC lighters -- at the drive-in, starting out with Peter Max/ Yellow Submarine type animation. Combined with stop-action and claymation, it makes me glad I was only a kid in the '60's and have suffered no lasting effects.
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.