Weird Universe Archive

August 2015

August 25, 2015

Men of Mortuaries

Following up on yesterday's post about the sexy mortuary calendar from 1948, here's a more recent example of the same kind of thing, but featuring sexy "men of mortuaries."

It was released as a one-off thing in 2008 in order to raise money for a breast cancer charity.

Sociological Images posted an article about how the calendar could be seen as an attempt to "humanize funeral directors."





Posted By: Alex - Tue Aug 25, 2015 - Comments (6)
Category: Death, Sex Symbols

Father Pierre Monastery Herbs

image

Original ad.

I wish I could find a picture on the internet of the packaging for this product. Or learn who the legendary Father Pierre was. Alas, even the mighty Web does not have the answer to everything.

But I did find out the ingredients.

image

As to the recipe's effectiveness, I cannot attest.

Apparently, this current-day Russian product also known as "Monastery Herbs" has a different composition.

image

"Ingredients: rose hips, currant leaves, birch leaves, roots and rhizomes Elecampane, grass oregano herb St. John's wort, willow (willow-herb)."

Russian page.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Aug 25, 2015 - Comments (7)
Category: Body, Nature, Religion, Advertising, Excrement, 1940s, Russia

August 24, 2015

Crosscut Saw Filer



You know, I was actually getting into this a little bit, finding the esoteric knowledge somewhat alluring. But five parts adding up to over two hours? I'm gonna call the total program a fit candidate for our "Boring Video" competition.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Aug 24, 2015 - Comments (6)
Category: Boredom, Eccentrics, Tools

Beautiful Bodies by Chambers

The Washington DC mortuary of W.W. Chambers caused a scandal when it issued a calendar for 1948 featuring scantily-clad models to advertise its embalming business. Tagline: Beautiful Bodies by Chambers.

Time magazine (Jan 12, 1948) criticized it as "frank vulgarity." Although that didn't stop them from reprinting a page of the calendar (below) for the benefit of its readers.

You can read an obituary of Chambers himself here. He died in 1954 and was quite a character.

Posted By: Alex - Mon Aug 24, 2015 - Comments (8)
Category: Death, 1940s

August 23, 2015

News of the Weird (August 23, 2015)

News of the Weird
Weirdnuz.M437, August 23, 2015
Copyright 2015 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Lead Story

The distress across the Western world in July over the big-game killing of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe was apparently misdirected, according to veteran “animal communicator” Karen Anderson of Elk, Wash., who told Facebook and Internet visitors [www.AnimalCommunicating.com] that Cecil and she had discussed his demise and that he was over it. Also, Cecil apparently speaks in formal, graceful English, as Anderson quoted him (according to London’s The Independent): “Let not the actions of these few men defeat us,” said Cecil, “or allow darkness to enter our hearts.” “I am,” he added, “grander than before as no one can take our purity, our truth, or our soul.” (Anderson’s usual fee to speak with deceased pets is $75 for 15 minutes, but she did not disclose whether she had a client for Cecil’s tab.) [The Independent, 7-31-2015]

Chutzpah!

In May, three Santa Ana, Calif., police officers who had just raided the unlicensed Sky High Holistic medical marijuana dispensary were caught on the facility’s surveillance video eating supposedly seized cannabis-infused chocolate bars, and an “internal affairs” investigation was opened. However, on August 3rd, the Orange County Register reported that the cops went to court to have the video suppressed. Their familiar legal argument is that the video violates their right to privacy--in that they had purposely disabled the cameras before they began munching the contraband and thus had the requisite “expectation of privacy” that triggers the right. (Possibly, they had missed a camera.) [Update: The judge this week rejected the officers’ shameless privacy argument.] [Orange County Register, 8-3-2015] [Update]

The mother of three children in Grandview, Mo., suspected that Dameion McBride, 22, had sexually molested her two daughters (ages 4 and 8) and son (age 3), but McBride indignantly denied it, claiming that he is a child-abuse survivor, himself, and booking himself on the national “Steve Wilkos” TV show in May to take a lie detector test to clear his name. However, he failed the test as to each child and was subsequently arrested. (The Associated Press reported that McBride insisted on a police lie detector test--and failed that, too.) [WDAF-TV (Kansas City), 7-15-2015]

The Continuing Crisis

On August 1st, one of the world’s weirdest border disputes came to an end, as India and Bangladesh exchanged more than 100 “enclaves”--sovereign territory completely surrounded by the other country’s sovereign territory (in principle, making travel out of the enclaves impossible unless the enclave had an embassy or another office that issues visas). In fact, there is one Indian enclave (Dahala Khagrabari) completely within a Bangladeshi enclave that is completely inside India. [Washington Post, 8-1-2015]

The Litigious Society

The estate of Dr. Rajan Verma filed a lawsuit in July against the Tralf Music Hall in Buffalo, N.Y., after Dr. Verma fell to his death following a concert when he lost his balance sliding down the banister. The estate claims that there must have been a sticky substance on the railing. The estate’s lawyers said that since alcohol was served at the concert, the promoters should have known to take extra safety precautions for banister-riders. [Courthouse News, 7-21-2015]

Who gets badly hurt playing “musical chairs”? Robin Earnest, 46, told an Arkansas claims hearing that she broke two fingers and was forced into “years” of surgery and physical therapy over a game that was part of a class at the College of the Ouachitas in 2011 and demanded at least $75,000 from the state. The July hearing was dominated by a discussion of the proper way to play musical chairs because the instructor had ordered three students to contest one chair--with Earnest asserting that everyone knows it would be two chairs for three people. [Arkansas Online, 7-10-2015]

News That Sounds Like a Joke

“Green-Western Daily Pressfingered residents” can show off their hard work each year at the Quedgeley Show in Gloucestershire, England, entering arrangements of colorful, plump garden-grown vegetables. However, attendance has been off in recent years, reported the Western Daily Press, leaving the show’s future in doubt--until organizers announced that this year, to increase the number of entries, supermarket-bought vegetables could be submitted. [Western Daily Press, 7-24-2015]

“Number Two, Turn to the Right and Growl”: Magistrates in Ceredigion, Wales, fined Edward Davies the equivalent of about $1,130 in June, finding that it was his dog that bit a teenage girl last October, sending her to a hospital with swelling and bruising. Aberystwyth authorities had set up a formal police lineup of dogs from the neighborhood, and the girl had made a positive ID of Davies’s dog as the perp. [Wales Online, 6-4-2015]

Least Competent Criminals

Judge Roger Barto, of Waterloo (N.Y.) Village Court, was convicted in August of staging a fake assault on himself, to convince doctors to prescribe him pain medication. Officers arriving at the scene found Barto lying on the ground with shattered porcelain nearby from (he said) being smacked on the head by a mugger. However, doctors found an apparent flaw in Barto’s ruse: He had forgotten to actually hurt himself during the “attack”--as medical personnel had found no mark, cut, or bruise anywhere on him. [Syracuse.com, 8-10-2015]

Recurring Themes

Once again during a police raid of a suspected drug house (this time, in Wood River, Ill., in July), with cops swarming the home and yard, confiscating evidence and arresting occupants, officers had to stop briefly from time to time to answer the front door (10 times during a 90-minute period)--as the dealer’s regular (oblivious) customers continually arrived to buy more heroin. [KTVI-TV (St. Louis), 7-29-2015]

In the face of a declining military budget, the Defense Ministry of the Netherlands issued confidential instructions to commanders in July that during training exercises, to preserve dwindling ammunition, soldiers should simply shout “Bang Bang” instead of firing their weapons. Said a soldiers’ advocate, “Even if you have no bullets, you [still] have to train with your weapon.” [Reuters via RT.com (Moscow), 8-3-2015]

Thinning The Herd: (1) When two men who had been drinking in the apartment of Brandon Thomas, 30, in Conyers, Ga., on July 23rd wanted to leave, Mr. Thomas objected. “If y’all are going to drink my alcohol, y’all are going to play my game,” he said, announcing that his “game” was Russian Roulette. Minutes later, after spinning the revolver’s cylinder, Mr. Thomas lost the game. (2) Three days later in rural Bell County, Ky., John Brock, 60, asked the Lord once again to certify his righteousness by allowing him to safely handle a rattlesnake during services at Mossy Simpson Pentecostal Church. However exemplary Mr. Brock’s faith had been previously, on that day, apparently, it was found wanting, and he is no longer with us. [Rockdale News, 7-23-2015] [WKYT-TV (Lexington, Ky.), 7-28-2015]

The Aristocrats!

(1) Wallace Berg, 81, was charged with public indecency in Stratford, Conn., in July after a neighbor showed police a video he had made of Berg, naked and (according to an Associated Press report) “performing a sex act with some shrubbery.” (2) “Where the sun don’t shine” is now a standard hiding place for contraband, including for Matthew Smith, 36, arrested in Greendale, Ind., in July. After he drew attention with a long restroom session at a Shell station, police confronted him about the white powder on his nose, and Smith sheepishly handed over the minutes-ago-removed pills and cocaine--but he had also extracted, inexplicably, a fishing bobber, a screwdriver, and an “open tire plug kit.” [Associated Press via Hartford Courant, 7-29-2015] [EagleCountryOnline, 7-22-2015]

News of the Weird Classic (April 2010)

Louis Woodcock, 23, testified at his Toronto trial in March [2010] that he was not involved in the 2005 shooting of a woman, despite being seen on surveillance video approaching the woman with his hand inside his jacket until gunshots rang out. He said his hand was not on a gun but that he often kept his hand inside his jacket to keep from sucking his thumb, which is a habit he picked up in childhood and which did not go over well on the street. (The jury, apparently not seeing him as the thumb-sucking type, convicted him of manslaughter.) [CTV (Toronto), 3-9-2010]

Thanks This Week to Dan Bohlen, Dan Wasserman, Bryce Jackson, and Charles Smaistrla, and to the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors.

Posted By: Chuck - Sun Aug 23, 2015 - Comments (3)
Category:

A Regular Shortcut

Perhaps no one had ever complained before.

Macon Chronicle-Herald - Feb 6, 1954



Suspect Tipsy Driver Took Wrong Short Cut
AUBURN, Ind. (AP)—Carl Wilder, 39, of Pleasant Lake, Ind., was charged with drunken driving Saturday after his truck went through a farmyard, ran over a farmer's automobile and destroyed 100 yards of fence.
Wilder told doubting police: "I always take this short cut."
Police suspected he was thinking about a gravel road a half mile away.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Aug 23, 2015 - Comments (4)
Category: Inebriation and Intoxicants, 1950s

Mr. Machine





Posted By: Paul - Sun Aug 23, 2015 - Comments (5)
Category: Robots, Toys, 1960s

August 22, 2015

Put husband under bed, 1907

This sounds like it was straight-up spousal abuse, and the wife got away with it.

The Washington Post - May 24, 1907



More in extended >>

Posted By: Alex - Sat Aug 22, 2015 - Comments (3)
Category: Husbands, Wives, Marriage, 1900s

August 21, 2015

Grass Eyelashes

Created by artist Mary Graham in an attempt to create a genuinely 100% natural cosmetics product. She writes: "Everything I used was created by nature. Eggs and snow formed the glue to attach the eyelashes to the eyelid. Scavenged foliage from a local forest was used to create the lashes. Each eyelash took about an hour to make demonstrating it is time-consuming to craft completely natural outcomes."

Posted By: Alex - Fri Aug 21, 2015 - Comments (7)
Category:

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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.

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