Weird Universe Archive

July 2015

July 9, 2015

DeSotos in Space!



This subject line will definitely be the title of my next SF novel.

Posted By: Paul - Thu Jul 09, 2015 - Comments (3)
Category: Aliens, Advertising, 1950s, Cars

July 8, 2015

Taser Raffle

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The town of Van Meter, Iowa is holding a raffle to benefit the police department. Each $5 ticket buys a chance to taser either the city Administrator or a city Councilman. The money is going for new equipment, like tasers.

Posted By: patty - Wed Jul 08, 2015 - Comments (5)
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests, Charities and Philanthropy, Pain, Self-inflicted and Otherwise

Meat Glue

Why pay high prices for expensive cuts of meat? Here's how to make a ribeye from cheap scraps... using meat glue.


via TYWKIWDBI

Posted By: Alex - Wed Jul 08, 2015 - Comments (3)
Category: Food

Mystery Illustration 7

imageimage

What is the meaning of this display?

The answer is here.

Posted By: Paul - Wed Jul 08, 2015 - Comments (4)
Category: Animals, Children, 1940s

July 7, 2015

Rampaging Bible Seller

A Bible salesman who wouldn't take no for an answer.


Source: The Massillon Evening Independent - Nov 6, 1957

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jul 07, 2015 - Comments (13)
Category: Religion, Retailing, 1950s

How the Bank Sneak Works

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After a lifetime of crime, Harry Schindler was thoughtful enough to divulge all his tricks for the edification of bankers and other monied types.

Read the whole thing here.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Jul 07, 2015 - Comments (6)
Category: Crime, Books, 1910s

July 6, 2015

Lipstick Art



Famous landmarks carved out of lipstick. Created by artist Hedley Wiggan for an exhibit at Terminal 5 of Heathrow Airport. The exhibit is called the International Lipstick Colours of the Year showcase.

Lipstick isn't Wiggan's normal medium. He more often carves miniatures out of pencil leads.

Posted By: Alex - Mon Jul 06, 2015 - Comments (3)
Category: Art

Confusion Corner

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A traffic roundabout so jumbled, it earned fame and its own postcard.

Concise explanation.

Longer story.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Jul 06, 2015 - Comments (6)
Category: Highways, Roads, Streets and Traffic, Regionalism, North America

July 5, 2015

News of the Weird (July 5, 2015)

News of the Weird
Weirdnuz.M430, July 5, 2015
Copyright 2015 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Lead Story

Update: California inventor Matt McMullen, who makes the world’s most realistic life-sized female, the RealDoll (with exquisite skin texture and facial and body architecture and which sells for $5,000-$10,000 depending on customization), is working with engineers experienced in robotics to add animation--but according to a June New York Times report, faces a built-in problem. As a pioneer Japanese robotics developer observed, robots that become too human-like tend to disgust rather than satisfy. Hence, the more life-like McMullen makes his RealDolls, the more likely the customer will be creeped out rather than turned on--perhaps forcing the virtuoso McMullen to leave enough imperfection to reassure the customer that it’s just a doll. [New York Times, 6-11-2015]

Cultural Diversity

A low-caste minor girl was beaten up by several higher-caste women in the village of Ganeshpura, India, in June (in retaliation for the girl’s having disrespected a male relative of the women--by allowing by allowing her shadow to partially cover the man). The girl’s family managed to get to a police station to file charges, but in some remote villages like Ganeshpura, higher-caste aggressors can intimidate the victims into silence (and in this case, allegedly threatened to kill the girl and members of her family for the shadow-casting). [Press Trust of India via Times of India, 6-16-2015]

Yunessan Spa House in Hakone, Japan, recently began offering guests supposedly soothing, skin-conditioning baths--of ramen noodles (elevating to health status what might be Japan’s real national dish). The pork broth that fills the tub is genuine, but because of health department regulations, only synthetic noodles can be used, and it is not clear that the artificial ramen achieves the same (allegedly) beautifying collagen levels as actual noodles. [Metro News (London), 5-12-2015]

Government in Action

The federal Medicare Fraud Strike Force obtained indictments of 243 people in June in a variety of alleged scams and swindles, and among those arrested was Dr. Noble U. Ezukanma, 56, of Fort Worth, Tex., who once billed the government for working 205 hours in a single day (October 16, 2012). (Other indictees were similarly accused of inflating the work they supposedly did for Medicare patients, but Dr. Ezukanma clearly had the most productive day of the bunch.) [Dallas Morning News, 6-18-2015]

Republican presidential contender Carly Fiorina, who with her husband earned $2.5 million last year, disclosed that the U.S. tax system required her to file not just a federal return but returns in 17 states, as well, and a June New York Times report chose one state (Michigan) to highlight the Fiorinas’ plight. Ultimately, the Fiorinas determined that they owed Michigan income tax of $40, but they had no way of knowing the exact amount until they had completed 58 pages of documents (to rule out various Michigan attempts to collect more because the tax they owed was more justly payable to other states and could thus be excluded). [New York Times, 6-12-2015]

Canada’s naval vessels stationed in Halifax, Nova Scotia, currently lack supply-ship capability, according to a May Canadian Press report. One of the only two vessels has been decommissioned, and the other, 45 years old, is floating limply because of corrosion, and work on a replacement will not begin until 2017. Consequently, according to the report, the navy has been forced to order repair parts for the ship by advertising for them on eBay. [Canadian Press via CTV News, 5-18-2015]

News You Can Use

A brief Washington Post review in June heralded the new edition of the Routledge International Handbook of Ignorance Studies, covering “different types of ignorance” in a range of subjects by authors from various countries. Among the valuable conclusions in the book is that while “individual ignorance” may be rational in some cases, it is unlikely that “collective ignorance” advances the society. In any event, the author concluded, “The realm of ignorance is so vast that no one volume can fully cover it all.” [Washington Post, 6-16-2015]

Florida!

Because the walkway in front of the Publix supermarket in Fort Lauderdale had seen its share of Girl Scout cookie sellers, Patrick Lanier apparently thought the venue a natural for his product. On June 4th, he plopped down a live, five-foot-long shark he had just captured, and which he hectored shoppers to buy, asking $100 (and occasionally tossing buckets of water on it to keep it shimmering). He had less success than the cookie-peddlers, and in short order loaded it back into his truck, took it to an inlet, and released it. However, he did avoid the police; it is illegal to sell fish without a commercial license.) [WSVN-TV (Miami), 6-5-2015]

Oh, Dear!

The New York Court of Appeals ruled in June that, when a body is taken for official autopsy and organs are removed (including the brain), the deceased’s family does not necessarily have a right to receive the body with organs re-inserted. “[N]othing in our common law jurisprudence,” the judges wrote, mandates “that the medical examiner do anything more than produce the . . . body.” The family had demanded the entire body back for a “proper” Catholic burial. [New York Daily News, 6-11-2015]

Sounds Like a Joke

In May, police in Anglesey, North Wales, called for a hostage negotiator to help with two suspects (aged 21 and 27) wanted for a series of relatively minor crimes and who were holed up on the roof of a building. However, the building was a one-story community center, and the men (whose feet were dangling over a gutter about eight feet off the ground) had refused to come down. Even as a crowd gathered to watch, the men managed to hold out for 90 minutes before being talked down. [South Wales Evening Post, 5-15-2015]

Least Competent Criminals

Marijuana is purported to make some heavy users paranoid, and the January arrest of alleged Bozeman, Mont., dealers Leland Ayala-Doliente, 21, and Craig Holland, 22, may have been cases in point. Passersby had reported the two men pacing along the side of Golden Beauty Drive in Rexburg, Idaho, and, when approached by a car, would throw their hands up until the vehicle passed. When police finally arrived, one suspect shouted, “We give up. We know we’re surrounded. The drugs [20 pounds of marijuana] are [over there].” According to the Idaho Falls Post Register, they were not surrounded (nor had they been followed by undercover officers--as the men claimed). [Post Register, 1-29-2015]

Update

The South Pacific island of Pitcairn (pop. 48, all descendants of the crew of the legendary “Mutiny on the Bounty” ship and their Tahitian companions) made News of the Weird in 2002 when British judges were brought in (and jails built) to conduct trials on the island’s rampant sex abuse of children--said to involve most men and children on the island. (Nine men were convicted, but none served a lengthy sentence.) Pitcairn has resumed being an island paradise, and in May its laconic governing council voted on a sex issue: It legalized gay marriage (even though, according to a June Associated Press report, no one had asked, and only one person had ever identified as gay). One resident told the AP that, well, gay marriage “is happening everywhere else, so why not?” [Associated Press via Daily Telegraph (London), 6-22-2015]

A News of the Weird Classic (October 2010)

Ingrid Paulicivic filed a lawsuit in September [2010] against Laguna Beach, Calif., gynecologist Red Alinsod over leg burns she bafflingly acquired during her 2009 hysterectomy--a procedure that was topped off by the doctor's nearly gratuitous name-"branding" of her uterus with his electrocautery tool. Dr. Alinsod explained that he carved "Ingrid" in inch-high letters on the organ only after he had removed it and that such labeling helps in the event a woman requests the return of the uterus as a souvenir. He called the branding just a "friendly gesture" and said he did not know how the burns on Paulicivic's leg occurred. (Update: In 2012, a court in Orange County, Calif., ruled that Alinsod’s regimen did not constitute malpractice.) [The Smoking Gun, 9-13-2010] [PRLOG.org, 3-18-2014]

Thanks This Week to Hap McUne and Paul Flagler, and to the News of the Weird Senior Advisors (Jenny T. Beatty, Paul Di Filippo, Ginger Katz, Joe Littrell, Matt Mirapaul, Paul Music, Karl Olson, and Jim Sweeney) and Board of Editorial Advisors (Tom Barker, Paul Blumstein, Harry Farkas, Sam Gaines, Herb Jue, Emory Kimbrough, Scott Langill, Bob McCabe, Steve Miller, Christopher Nalty, Mark Neunder, Sandy Pearlman, Bob Pert, Larry Ellis Reed, Peter Smagorinsky, Rob Snyder, Stephen Taylor, Bruce Townley, and Jerry Whittle).

Posted By: Chuck - Sun Jul 05, 2015 - Comments (3)
Category:

News of the Weird Live

I just found out (by accidentally stumbling upon it) that at one time you could have gone to see Chuck's column performed in a theater. The improv comedians Gavin Hawk and Ricky Wayne had a weekly show in which they acted out stories from News of the Weird.

Their show had its last performance in 2013, but below you can see what it was like.

A related example of the cultural influence of NOTW, posted by Paul a few years ago, is that Batman read Chuck's column.


Posted By: Alex - Sun Jul 05, 2015 - Comments (1)
Category: Chuck

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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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