Weird Universe Archive

January 2016

January 19, 2016

Little Brother

In 1967, Creative Playthings began selling the French-made "Little Brother" doll in America. It was an anatomically correct baby boy doll designed to encourage "acceptance of body differences."

However, some American mothers regarded the thing as an abomination and protested to have it removed from the market. Said one protester, "We believe children should not relate sex organs with play. We think this is carrying 'educational' playthings too far."

Cincinnati Enquirer - Nov 7, 1967

Ebony - Nov 1967

Frank Caplan, founder of Creative Playthings, with "Little Brother"
Newsweek - May 29, 1967

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jan 19, 2016 - Comments (6)
Category: Toys, 1960s

January 18, 2016

Womb Detox Balls

So, there is a company selling herb balls that are meant to be inserted in the vagina to detox the womb. Medical professionals are, of course, advising strongly against using the product, siting infections and toxic shock syndrome amongst other problems. One doctor described the uterus like a self cleaning oven and said the herbs in the product have not been tested for use in the vagina. Ladies, really, stop sticking weird stuff up your hoo hah its contraindicated.

Posted By: Alex - Mon Jan 18, 2016 - Comments (8)
Category: Hygiene, Genitals, Goofs and Screw-ups

Rusty Trash Can

We have a new addition to our ongoing series about overpriced merchandise.

The Atlantic directs our attention to the "West Village Corrugated Can" which Anthropogie is currently selling for $99.95 (on sale from $148). Yes, it's a rusty trash can.

Anthropologie even offers cleaning instructions: "Wipe with dry cloth." I assume a wet cloth might further rust it, which wouldn't be good.

Posted By: Alex - Mon Jan 18, 2016 - Comments (7)
Category: Overpriced Merchandise

What Was the Name of Ted Williams’s Car?


Original ad here.

So what was the winning name? It's a mystery for the ages. As this blogger says, "This car was widely shown and generated considerable publicity. Surprisingly, no one at S.C. Johnson & Son seems to remember the winning name to this day. 'I attempted to find out on numerous occasions during my career with Nash and American Motors -- writing the Johnson company and perusing newspapers and trade journals of the period,' says John A. Conde. 'Unfortunately, nothing turned up.'"

Posted By: Paul - Mon Jan 18, 2016 - Comments (10)
Category: Contests, Races and Other Competitions, Sports, 1950s, Cars

January 17, 2016

Formula One With Snow Chains

A Formula One car going down a ski slope, something you don't see everyday. The car was airlifted to the top of the course and fitted with chains on the tires for the trip. The Formula One Rookie of the Year drove and 3,500 people watched. Apparently a good time was had by all.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Jan 17, 2016 - Comments (5)
Category: Daredevils, Stuntpeople and Thrillseekers, Seasonal, Cars

Guns 101


Do foreign college students need a Guns 101 class ?

Posted By: BrokeDad - Sun Jan 17, 2016 - Comments (19)
Category: Culture and Civilization, Education, Guns

News of the Weird (January 17, 2016)

News of the Weird
Weirdnuz.M458, January 17, 2016
Copyright 2016 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Lead Story

They are simply “‘spas’ designed to attract teenagers,” according to one university official--plush, state-of-the-art “training” complexes built by universities in the richest athletic conferences to entice elite 17-year-old athletes to come play for (and, perhaps, study at?) their schools. The athletes-only mini-campuses include private housing and entertainment (theaters, laser tag, miniature golf)--but, actually, the schools are in a $772-million-plus “arms’ race” (according to a November Washington Post investigation) because soon after one school’s sumptuous, groundbreaking facility opens, some other school’s more-innovative facility renders it basically second-rate. And of course, as one university official put it, the “shiny objects” have “nothing whatsoever to do with the mission of a university.” (Donors and alumni provide much of the funding, but most schools by now also tap students’ “athletic fees.”) [Washington Post, 12-21-2015]

Redneck Chronicles

Police in Monticello, Ky., charged Rodney Brown, 25, with stealing farm animals and equipment from a home in December--but offering to return everything if the victim (a man) had sex with him. Brown allegedly took 25 roosters, a goat, and some rooster pens and other rooster-care equipment. (Because Brown also supposedly said he’d beat the man up if he called police, a “terroristic threatening” count was added to “soliciting prostitution.”) [WKYT-TV (Lexington, Ky.), 1-5-2015]

Made in Heaven: William Cornelius, 25, and his fiancee Sheri Moore, 20, were arrested at the Bay City (Mich.) Mall in January, charged with theft. Police found $80.93 worth of items, swiped from Spencer Gifts (a watch, an edible thong, a vibrator, and “BJ Blast” oral-sex candy), but Moore refused to, she said, “snitch” on Cornelius, who had minutes earlier proposed to her via the mall’s loudspeaker and given her a Walmart ring, to applause from onlooking shoppers as she accepted. Cornelius was apprehended at the food court, having apparently (according to the police report) “fallen asleep at a table while tying his shoe.” [Bay City Times, 1-7-2015]

Latest Religious Messages

Islam Rising: (1) A geography class at Riverheads High School in Augusta County, Va., alarmed some parents in December when students were assigned to copy an Arabic script to experience its “artistic complexity.” However, the phrase the teacher presented for copying was the “shahada” (“There is no god but Allah”). District officials called that just a coincidence--that the phrase was presented only for calligraphy and never translated. (2) A Washington state parent complained in December that a Wolvol toy airplane they bought for their child on, instead of making engine noises, recited spoken words--which a Whatcom County Islamic Society spokesman said was actually a prayer that Hajj pilgrims speak when they journey to Mecca. (Wolvol said it would investigate.) [Schilling Show via Fox News, 12-15-2015] [KING-TV (Seattle), 12-28-2015]

Wait, What? NPR’s “Morning Edition,” reporting on the violent tornadoes that hit North Texas on the night after Christmas, interviewed one woman who said she was luckier than her neighbors because of her faith. She was entertaining 10 relatives when she heard the “train”-like sound of the winds approaching and took everyone outside to confront the storm: “We . . . started commanding the winds because God had given us authority over . . . airways. And we just began to command this storm not to hit our area. We spoke to the storm and said, Go to unpopulated places. It did exactly what we said to do because God gave us the authority to do that.” [, 12-28-2015]

Weird Science

The most promising current concussion-prevention research comes from a study of . . woodpeckers (according to a December Business Week report). Scientists hypothesize that the birds’ apparent immunity from the dangers of constant head-slamming is because their neck veins naturally compress, forcing more blood into their craniums, thus limiting the dangerous “jiggle room” in which brains bang against the skull. A team led by a real-life doctor portrayed in the movie “Concussion” is working on a neck collar to slightly pinch the human jugular vein to create a similar effect. [Business Week, 12-28-2015]

Researchers from the University of York and the University of St. Andrews wrote in the journal Biology Letters in December that they observed wild male parrots using pebbles in their mouths to help grind seashells into powder and hypothesized that the purpose was to free up the shells’ calcium in “vomitable” form so that they could pass it to females before mating, to help improve their offspring’s health outcomes. [Discovery News via Washington Post, 12-15-2015]

The Continuing Crisis

National Pride: (1) Factory worker Thanakorn Siripaiboon was arrested in December in a Bangkok suburb after he wrote a “sarcastic” comment on social media about the dog that belongs to Thailand’s king. For the crime of “insulting the monarch,” Thanakorn faces 37 years in prison. (2) Michael McFeat, a Scottish man working on contract for a mining company in Kyrgyzstan, was arrested in January after he (on Facebook) jokingly called the country’s national dish “horse penis.” (“Chuchuk” is indeed a sausage made from horsemeat.) The crime he was charged with carries a five-year prison term. [New York Times, 12-14-2015] [BBC News, 1-4-2016]

Leading Economic Indicators

The government of the Netherlands, seeking to boost the economy while simultaneously improving highway skills, enacted legislation in December to allow driving instructors to be paid in sexual services provided the student is at least 18 years old. Though prostitution is legal, the Transport Minister cautioned that the “initiative” for the new arrangement must be with the instructor so that the country gains better-trained drivers as a result. [CNN, 12-21-2015]

Great Moments in Leadership

(1) In November, the president of Mauritania, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, in the stands but “bored” with his country’s “Super Cup” soccer final that had been tied, 1-1, for a long stretch, ordered officials on the field to stop play abruptly and proceed to a game-ending ten-kick “shootout.” (The Tevragh-Zeina team won.) (2) Jorge Servin, Paraguay’s head of indigenous affairs, was fired in November after he apparently kneed an indigenous woman in the stomach as she protested her people’s treatment by the government. (3) The head of Croatia’s human rights committee, Ivan Zvonimir Cica, posing alongside President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic to commemorate International Human Rights Day in December, had his pants inexplicably come loose and fall to his ankles. [NBC News, 12-1-2015] [BBC News, 11-28-2015] [Huffington Post, 12-9-2015]

Least Competent Criminals

Most Recent Net-Cash-Loss Theft: The manager of the Nandos Riccarton restaurant in Christchurch, New Zealand, is pretty sure that he knows who swiped the contents of the store’s tip jar that December evening (based on surveillance video), but the man denied the theft and walked out. The manager told police there was less than $10 in the jar at the time--but also that the man had paid his $14.90 tab for food, yet hurried off without eating it. [ (Wellington), 12-21-2015]

Recurring Themes

Approaching Maximum Capacity: The Smoking Gun website suggested in December that the Fairbanks, Alaska, counterfeiting arrest of Chelsea Sperry, 31, might have set a woman’s “record” for orifice-concealed contraband. Her vaginal inventory included 16 counterfeit bills (face value, $890), one genuine $10 bill (in a different orifice), two baggies of meth, another containing seven morphine pills, two baggies of heroin, and 40 empty baggies (apparently anticipating further sales, although it was not reported why the empty baggies--and the $10 bill--were not stored openly, for example, in her pocket). [The Smoking Gun, 12-11-2015]

A News of the Weird Classic (October 2011)

London Fashion Week usually brings forth a shock or two from cutting-edge designers, but a September [2011] creation by Rachel Freire might have raised the bar: a floor-length dress made from 3,000 cow nipples (designed to resemble roses). Initial disgust for the garment centered on implied animal abuse, but Freire deflected that issue by pointing out that the nipples had been discarded by a tannery and that her use amounted to "recycling." Freire, 32, distracted by the animal-abuse angle, was spared having to explain the other issue--why anyone would want to wear a dress made with cow nipples. [ 26-2011]

Thanks This Week to Eddie Earles, Kelly Fitzpatrick, Ric Adams, Harry Thompson, and Rob Zimmer, and to the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors.

Posted By: Chuck - Sun Jan 17, 2016 - Comments (4)

The Safety Pea Knife

Invented in the 1920s. For those who prefer to eat their peas with a knife rather than a spoon.

The Iola Register - Mar 20, 1929

Posted By: Alex - Sun Jan 17, 2016 - Comments (10)
Category: Food, Inventions, 1920s

Follies of the Madmen #272



Please spend half a minute to contemplate the subtext of this imagery. A pagan housewife (prefiguring BEWITCHED?) performs black magic to seduce and beguile a priest, with hubby nowhere in sight. Happens in 1950s suburbia every Sunday.

Original ad here.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Jan 17, 2016 - Comments (10)
Category: Business, Advertising, Products, Domestic, Food, Mass Transit, Religion, 1950s

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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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