Weird Universe Archive

June 2014

June 30, 2014

Vegetarian Water


The makers of the Prestige LifeStraw water filter claim that their filter is so good that it produces "vegetarian water."

Prestige LifeStraw uses Ultra filtration with hollow fibre technology that physically REMOVES all virus, bacteria and Cysts, leaving only pure and Vegetarian water with NO germs, dead or alive in it. This is termed as VEGETARIAN water.

Posted By: Alex - Mon Jun 30, 2014 - Comments (18)
Category: Vegetarians and Vegans, Soda, Pop, Soft Drinks and other Non-Alcoholic Beverages

5-Day Deodorant Pads



Do you have to abstain from washing your pits for five days to make this work and get your money's worth? I note this item still exists. Any experience with it among WUvies?

Posted By: Paul - Mon Jun 30, 2014 - Comments (12)
Category: Body, Business, Advertising, Products, Hygiene, 1950s

June 29, 2014

Things Happen

The Eleganza fashion catalog for men. Circa 1972.



Posted By: Alex - Sun Jun 29, 2014 - Comments (17)
Category: Fashion, 1970s

News of the Weird (June 29, 2014)

News of the Weird
Weirdnuz.M377, June 29, 2014
Copyright 2014 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Lead Story

Scott Fistler, twice a loser for electoral office in Phoenix, Ariz., as a Republican, decided in November 2013 that his luck might improve as a Democrat with a name change, and legally became “Cesar Chavez,” expected to poll better in a heavily Hispanic, Democratic Congressional district. (“Cesar Chavez” is of course the name of the legendary labor organizer.) Furthermore, according to a June report in Arizona Capitol Times, “Chavez”’s campaign website features photographs of frenzied supporters holding “Chavez” signs but which are obviously scenes from the streets of Venezuela at rallies for its late president Hugo Chavez. (At press time for News of the Weird, a judge had removed “Chavez” from the ballot but only because some qualifying signatures were invalid. “Chavez” promised to appeal.) [Arizona Capitol Times, 6-2-2014] [Arizona Republic, 6-17-2014]

Compelling Explanations

U.S. District Judge Richard Kopf of Omaha, Neb., trying to be helpful, he said, advised female lawyers appearing in his courtroom to lower their hemlines and cover their cleavage because males, including Judge Kopf himself, are “pigs.” Writing in his personal blog in March, he said, “I have been a dirty old man ever since I was a very young man” and that the women in his office are similarly contemptuous of daringly-dressed female lawyers. The lifetime-tenured judge later said he regretted any harm to the judiciary that his remarks might have had. [Slate.com, 3-27-2014]

Almond Upton, 60, charged with murder for “intentionally” striking a New York state trooper in May with his pickup truck, denied everything. He told reporters following his first court appearance that he is bewildered by the accusation: “I was [close to] the Connecticut border, and all of a sudden, I’m in New York, Binghamton, New York [about 140 miles from Connecticut], and this cop got killed, I don’t know how it happened. It had to be a time warp.” [United Press International, 5-30-2014]

The National Security Agency admitted in a June court filing that it had disobeyed two judicial orders to stop deleting accusatory evidence in its databases (which judges had ordered preserved to help determine if NSA was illegally violating privacy). NSA’s reasoning for its chutzpah: Its data-gathering systems, it claims, are “too complex” to prevent the automatic deletions routinely programmed into its data, and it cannot reprogram to preserve the data without shutting down its entire intel-gathering mission. The challenging party (the Electronic Frontier Foundation) called NSA’s explanation disingenuous and, in fact, further proof that NSA is incapable of properly managing such massive data-gathering.) [The Daily Caller, 6-10-2014]

Michael Adrian, 26, was arrested in Lakeville, Minn., in June for frightening officials at Lakeville North High School by skateboarding in front of the school, in military dress, face covered by a bandana, with an arrow strapped to his arm, and concealing knives, a box-cutter, a slingshot, and pepper spray. Adrian told police he was merely “testing” the school’s security system by “looking like an a**hole.” (A judge ordered a mental evaluation.) [St. Paul Pioneer Press, 6-11-2014]

Karma

At an April press conference on a train station platform in Milford, Conn., to critique the allegedly shoddy safety record of the Metro-North rail line, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut set up a chart on an easel to illustrate the problem. Suddenly, a train roared through the station and, according to news reports, “nearly” clipped Sen. Blumenthal, who was standing on the yellow platform line that passengers are admonished to stand behind. [WTNH-TV (New Haven), 4-18-2014]

In June, a jury in Fresno, Calif., decided that Bobby Pearson, 37, was guilty of burglary--but they accidentally signed the “not-guilty” form, instead, and by the time Judge Kent Hamlin caught the error, he could not change it (because of “double jeopardy”). Pearson walked out a free man, went to his sister’s home, got into a fight hours later, and was stabbed to death by the sister’s boyfriend. [Associated Press via OregonLive.com, 6-12-2014]

News That Sounds Like a Joke

The animosity between Brevard County (Fla.) judge John Murphy and public defender Andrew Weinstock festered over the lawyer’s refusal to waive his client’s right to a speedy trial, but came to a head on June 2nd, when the judge told Weinstock, “Stop pissing me off. Just sit down.” Weinstock persisted: “I have a right to stand and represent my client.” The judge responded: “If you want to fight, let’s go out back, and I’ll just beat your a**.” And to a back hallway they went, with the lawyer allegedly just intending to talk out their differences. However, according to Weinstock’s supervisor, Judge Murphy immediately grabbed Weinstock and began punching him. Weinstock was not seriously hurt but vowed to report the incident to the Florida Bar. [WFTV (Orlando), 6-2-2014]

Robert Wallace, 32, a Houston software developer, filed a lawsuit in May to get back some items after a failed romance. According to Wallace, he had loaned a laptop computer, $2,000 cash--and his Harry Potter DVDs--to his sweetheart, Ms. Nomi Mims, a local stripper. Wallace said the loans were made only because he thought she was in love with him and that they were “building a future together,” but now realizes he was wrong. Mims calls the items “gifts” and noted, “I’ve given him gifts, too. You know, how do I get my booty back?” [KRIV-TV (Houston), 5-16-2014, 5-19-2014]

Things America Somehow Still Can’t Figure Out (Even Though We’re Smart Enough to Send a Robot to Mars)

(1) Authorities somehow could not prevent an inmate serving life at a North Carolina prison from arranging, via a contraband cell phone, to have the 63-year-old father of his prosecutor kidnapped and tortured. (The FBI managed to rescue the man five days after his abduction.) (2) The U.S. State Department somehow cannot arrange safe haven for Afghan interpreters who risked their lives daily serving U.S. combat troops and who face almost certain retaliation by militants once Americans have departed. Even the coordinator of the interpreter program, who applied for a U.S. visa in 2012, has not been approved (according to a March 2014 New York Times dispatch). [New York Post, 4-14-2014] [New York Times, 3-25-2014]

World-Class Brazil

The sailing events at the 2016 Summer Olympics will be held on Rio de Janeiro’s Guanabara Bay, but dire warnings have been issued about the filthy, squalid condition of the Bay and the near impossibility of a timely cleanup. A New York Times reporter, in a May dispatch, cited car tires, floating mattresses, dog carcasses, a partly submerged sofa, and free-flowing untreated raw sewage. A Brazilian competitive sailor admitted that he had personally seen four human corpses in the Bay. (By comparison, for the Beijing Olympics, 1,000 cleanup boats were dispatched just to remove algae from the sailing venue, but only three cleanup boats are operating on Guanabara now, with merely several dozen planned.) [New York Times, 5-19-2014]

Arachnophobes (and their snake-fearing cousins, the ophidiophobes) may be in for an interesting 2016 Summer Olympics, in that Brazil seems to be one giant incubator of the scariest insects and vipers on the planet. Chief among them, reported the Wall Street Journal in June, are the Brazilian wandering spider--the world's most poisonous and, in addition, the size of a dinner plate--whose venom at least owns the "redeeming" value of momentarily giving bitten men erections. Off the coast of Sao Paulo is the uninhabited (and barred to visitors) Ilha de Quelmada Grande, overrun by the super-deadly golden lance head pit viper (whose population may be as many as five snakes per square meter of land area). [Wall Street Journal, 6-10-2014]

Recurring Themes

(1) A British National Health Service hospital in Stockton, England, apparently failed to learn from a 2012 tragedy at Scarborough Hospital when, in May, a patient caught fire during surgery. (Tip for Next Time: Either no alcohol sterilizers or no electricity-made incisions.) (2) In the latest creative image-enhancer by a municipal sewage plant, Seattle’s Brightwater Treatment facility is offering to rent its indoor rooms ($2,000 for eight hours) as a wedding venue. According to an official, there is space for 260 guests, including full kitchen--and the plant is reputed to be a “zero odor” facility. [BBC News, 5-23-2014] [KIRO-TV (Seattle), 4-9-2014]

Thanks This Week to Perry Levin, Mel Birge, and John Ellwood, and to the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors.

Posted By: Chuck - Sun Jun 29, 2014 - Comments (2)
Category:

The Nicotine Fairies



Unless he was smoking something else.....

Posted By: Paul - Sun Jun 29, 2014 - Comments (4)
Category: Business, Advertising, Products, Delusions, Fantasies and Other Tricks of the Imagination, Tobacco and Smoking, Cartoons, 1930s, Europe

June 28, 2014

Mystery Postcard

Here's one of the mysteries of the Internet. Over at groovy.net, people have been debating for many years over what this postcard might mean. It appears to have been manufactured in the early 20th century (circa 1907) and bears the statement: "Health Must Be Earned, Get it — you Lobster."


Some of the theories are that "lobster" was slang for a sluggish person or dullard, or that it was referring to an "overweight sunbather." But no one really knows for sure.

Posted By: Alex - Sat Jun 28, 2014 - Comments (4)
Category: Unsolved Mysteries

June 27, 2014

How much paint?

This story ran in the Washington Post on June 26, 1933. It describes how a dispute over how many coats of paint is required to paint a car resulted in tragedy.

But it leaves unanswered the question of how much paint is needed to paint a car. My hunch would be that paint is better nowadays than it was in 1933, so fewer coats are needed. But I'd say it has to be three coats minimum (including the primer). Nine coats (even back in 1933) sounds like too much.

Posted By: Alex - Fri Jun 27, 2014 - Comments (10)
Category: 1930s, Cars

Flameproof Playsuits

image

Were children more prone to catch fire for no reason in the past during innocent recreational activities than they are today?

Original ad here. (Page 23.)

Posted By: Paul - Fri Jun 27, 2014 - Comments (12)
Category: Death, Destruction, Disasters, Fashion, Comics, Children, 1940s

June 26, 2014

Pork Chop Shoes

From the strange legal cases file: Back in 1997, Ross Lucock of Australia won a meat tray during a pub raffle. Informed that he needed to be wearing shoes while in the pub, he proceeded to strap the meat (pork chops) to his feet and parade around the pub, leading to the inevitable accident in which another pub patron slipped on the trail of pork slime and broke his arm. The guy with the broken arm then sued the pub, arguing that it had breached its duty of care by its "failure to remove [Mr. Lucock]... in the knowledge that he was inebriated and was clad with pork chops strapped to his feet." He was awarded $750,000 in damages.

More info at ABA Journal.

Posted By: Alex - Thu Jun 26, 2014 - Comments (13)
Category: Shoes, 1990s

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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.

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