Weird Universe Archive

March 2017

March 27, 2017

7 Clicks (March 27, 2017)

7 Clicks
A Weird Universe News Service
March 27, 2017

Least Shocking News: FBI offices have trouble hiring tech security geeks because: marijuana. []

Channeling Henny Youngman: 65-yr-sentence for rape and near-murder was too harsh on a juvenile perp, ruled SCOTUS so do a re-hearing. The F State: 2nd Opinion--life in prison! [WTVT]

Of Course! Turmoil in one side of the Maison family--dad Eric is now the stacked blonde, Erica, and son Corey, 15, is now daughter Corey. [ABC News]

Arkansas has scheduled 8 executions (for 1989-1999 murders) over a 10-day period in April, but has problems getting volunteers to watch, to make them legal. [NY Times]

Ewwwww: Vietnamese man, 58, shows off his 21-inch-long fingernails (and he's not even close to the Guinness Book record). You bet there are photos! [Daily Mail]

Shannon Dowler, the Asheville (N.C.) rapping physician, has a video: "Stop, collaborate, and listen / Rap DktaD's rap intention / Calling out all you fellas and ladies / STDs are tearing through folks in their 80's" [CTV News]

UPDATE: That Barcelona RealDoll whorehouse mentioned here March 13th was forced to move from its debut location due to local resistance--from the dolls' human competitors. [Daily Express (London)] [story littered with NSFW photos]

Thanks to Joe Littrell and Paul Music.

Posted By: Chuck - Mon Mar 27, 2017 - Comments (3)

Atomic Bomb Car

In 1953, Corwin D. Willson of Flint, Michigan patented the Atomic Bomb Car. Though the official title on the patent was a "sedan having versatile structure."

His idea was that if the United States were "atomically attacked," people would need to flee the cities, and then they'd have to live in their cars. But most cars aren't designed to be lived in. The solution: turn cars into mobile bomb shelters that could provide temporary housing for people. Essentially, he was patenting a camper car, but he was trying to market it as a defense against atomic attack.

From the patent:

Obviously, today's family car, while as numerous as dwellings, would fail, under threat of atomic attack, to meet the needs of millions of families simultaneously for widely diffused family shelter during an emergency probably timed to occur in mid-winter and to be of some duration. yet, once some practical: i.e., simple and economically possible, means is found for making the average car quickly convertible to housekeeping use, then the threat of the atom bomb to our cities loses some of its menace.

And also:

It is commonly acknowledged that the physical structures of congested areas are doomed once atomically attacked, The real problem is: how sensibly to save the lives of the inhabitants of cities thus marked for destruction and temporarily house them so that the business of resistance may go on in spite of the chaos engendered? Americans own as many motorcars as dwellings: 30,000,000 cars. If these cars were built as taught herein and if the civilian masses, against whom the next war acknowledgedly will be waged, were trained to diffuse in an orderly fashion to points prepared in advance and to occupy their convertible motorcars as temporary family dwellings till the danger passed, then one of the greatest problems to face the coming generation would have found a simple, economically sound and eminently satisfying solution.

More info: JF Ptak Science Books, Patent #US2638374A

Posted By: Alex - Mon Mar 27, 2017 - Comments (1)
Category: Inventions, Patents, Atomic Power and Other Nuclear Matters, 1950s

Vine-Grown Booze Fruit

Surely in this day of genetic engineering, science could help realize this dream of Samuel Untermeyer's.

Original article here.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Mar 27, 2017 - Comments (2)
Category: Eccentrics, Food, 1930s, Alcohol

March 26, 2017

Inmate Escape Pod

1980: Fred Caddedu escaped from Millhaven penitentiary in Kingston, Ontario by concealing himself inside an "escape pod" made out of a hollowed-out stack of dirty food trays.

The food trays were loaded onto a truck and taken to the unguarded, off-site kitchen to be cleaned. Once there, Caddedu just walked away. He was caught and returned to prison several months later.

His escape pod later became an exhibit in the Correctional Service of Canada Museum.

Image source: Museopathy

The Ottawa Journal - July 14, 1980

Posted By: Alex - Sun Mar 26, 2017 - Comments (1)
Category: Prisons, 1980s

News of the Weird (March 26, 2017)

News of the Weird
Weirdnuz.M520, March 26, 2017
Copyright 2017 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Lead Story

A highlight of the recent upmarket surge of Brooklyn, N.Y., as a residential and retail favorite was the asking price for an ordinary parking space in the garage at 845 Union Street in the Park Slope neighborhood: $300,000 (also carrying a $240 a month condominium fee and $50 monthly taxes). That's similar to the price of actual one-bedroom apartments in less ritzy Brooklyn neighborhoods like Gravesend (a few miles away). [DNAInfo, 3-6-2017]

Compelling Explanations

Saginaw, Mich., defense lawyer Ed Czuprynski had beaten a felony DUI arrest in December but was sentenced to probation on a lesser charge in the incident, and among his restrictions was a prohibition on drinking alcohol--which Czuprynski acknowledged in March that he has since violated at least twice. However, at that hearing (which could have meant jail time for the violations), Czuprynski used the opportunity to beg the judge to remove the restriction altogether, arguing that he can't be "effective" as a lawyer unless he is able to have a drink now and then. (At press time, the judge was still undecided.) [, 3-10-2017]

Fine Points of the Law

Residents in southern Humboldt County, Calif., will vote in May on a proposed property tax increase to fund a community hospital in Garberville to serve a web of small towns in the scenic, sparsely populated region, and thanks to a county judge's March ruling, the issue will be explained more colorfully. Opponent Scotty McClure was initially rebuffed by the registrar when he tried to distribute, as taxpayer-funded "special elections material," contempt for "Measure W" by including the phrase "(insert fart smell here)" in the description. The registrar decried the damage to election "integrity" by such "vulgarity," but Judge Timothy Cissna said state law gives him jurisdiction only over "false" or "misleading" electioneering language. [North Coast Journal (Eureka, Calif.), 3-7-2017]

Can't Possibly Be True

News of the Weird has written several times (as technology progressed) about Matt McMullen's "RealDoll" franchise--the San Marcos, Calif., engineer's richly-detailed flexible silicone mannequins that currently sell for $5,500 and up (more with premium custom features). Even before the recent success of the very humanish, artificially-intelligent (AI) android "hosts" on TV's "Westworld," McMullen revealed that his first AI doll, "Harmony," will soon be available with a choice of 12 "personalities" including "intellectualism" and "wit," to mimic an emotional bond to add to the sexual. A recent University of London conference previewed a near future when fake women routinely provide uncomplicated relationships for lonely (or disturbed) men. (Recently, in Barcelona, Spain, a brothel opened offering four RealDolls "disinfected after each customer"--though still recommending condoms.) [Forbes, 2-28-2017]

Scientists at Columbia University and the New York Genome Center announced that they have digitally stored (and retrieved) a movie, an entire computer operating system, and a $50 gift card on a single drop of DNA. In theory, wrote the researchers in the journal Science, they might store, on one gram of DNA, 215 "petabytes" (i.e., 215 million gigabytes--enough to run, say, 10 million HD movies) and could reduce all the data housed in the Library of Congress to a small cube of crystals. [Wall Street Journal, 3-3-2017]

An office in the New York City government, suspicious of a $5,000 payment to two men in the 2008 City Council election of Staten Island's Debi Rose, opened an investigation, which at $300 an hour for their "special prosecutor," has now cost the city $520,000, with his final bill still to come. Despite scant "evidence" and multiple opportunities to back off, the prosecutor relentlessly conducted months-long grand jury proceedings, fought several court appeals, had one 23-count indictment almost immediately crushed by judges, and enticed state and federal investigators to (fruitlessly) take on the Staten Island case. In March, the city's Office of Court Administration finally shrugged and closed the case. [New York Times, 3-8-2017]


A chain reaction of fireworks in Tultepec, Mexico, in December had made the San Pablito pyro marketplace a scorched ruin, with more than three dozen dead and scores injured, leaving the town to grieve and, in March, to solemnly honor the victims--with even more fireworks. Tultepec is the center of Mexico's fireworks industry, with 30,000 people dependent on explosives for a living. Wrote The Guardian, "Gunpowder" is in "their blood." [The Guardian (London), 3-10-2017]

Miscellaneous Economic Indicators

(1) "Bentley" the cat went missing in Marina Del Rey, Calif., on February 26th and as of press time had not been located--despite a posted reward of $20,000. (A "wanted" photo is online, if you're interested.) (2) British snack food manufacturer Walkers advertised in February for a part-time professional chip taster, at the equivalent of $10.55 an hour. (3) An Australian state administrative tribunal approved a $90,000 settlement after a cold-calling telemarketer sold a farm couple 2,000 ink cartridges (for their one printer) by repeated pitches. [Fox News, 3-8-2017] [Leicester Mercury, 2-23-2017] [The Age (Melbourne), 3-9-2017]


American chef Dan Barber staged a temporary "pop-up" restaurant in London in March at which he and other renowned chefs prepared the fanciest meals they could imagine using only food scraps donated from local eateries. A primary purpose was to chastise First World eaters (especially Americans) for wasting food, not only in the kitchen and on the plate but to satisfy our craving for meat (for example, requiring diversion of 80 percent of the world's corn and soy just to feed edible animals). Among Barber's March "WastED" dishes were a char-grilled meatless beetburger and pork braised in leftover fruit solids. [, 3-3-2017]

Undignified Deaths

(1) Smoking Kills: A 78-year-old man in Easton, Pa., died in February from injuries caused when he lit his cigarette but accidentally set afire his hooded sweatshirt. (2) Pornography Kills: A Mexico City man fell to his death recently in the city's San Antonio neighborhood when he climbed to turn off a highway video sign on the Periferico Sur highway that was showing a pornographic clip apparently placed by a hacker.
[, 2-28-2017] [Metro News (London), 3-6-2017]

Least Competent Criminals

Oops! An officer in Harrington, Del., approaching an illegally-parked driver at Liberty Plaza Shopping Center in March, had suspicions aroused when she gave him a name other than "Keyonna Waters" (which was the name on the employee name tag she was wearing). Properly ID'ed, she was arrested for driving with a suspended license. [WMDT-TV (Salisbury, Md.), 3-6-2017]

The Passing Parade

(1) In his third try of the year in January, Li Longlong of China surpassed his own Guinness Book record by climbing 36 stairs while headstanding (beating his previous "34"). (Among the Guinness regulations: no touching walls and no pausing more than five seconds per step.) (2) The online live-stream of the extremely pregnant giraffe "April" (at New York's Animal Adventure Park) has created such a frenzy (and exposed the tiny attention spans of viewers) that, as of March 3rd, they had spent a cumulative 1,036 years just watching. (Erin Dietrich of Myrtle Beach, S.C., 39 weeks pregnant herself, mocked the lunacy by livestreaming her own belly while wearing a giraffe mask.) (By press time, Erin had delivered; April, not.) [Huffington Post, 3-10-2017] [BBC News, 3-3-2017]

A News of the Weird Classic (June 2013)

Maryland state troopers stopped when they caught sight of a drummer working out all alone on the side of traffic-packed Interstate 695 near Windsor Mill Road in Baltimore on May 21st [2013], at about 10:30 a.m. As the troopers later reported, the man had run out of gas and, rather than just sit around in his car, had set up his full drum kit on the shoulder and practiced while he awaited assistance. After a utility truck arrived, with gasoline, the drummer packed up and went on his way. [Baltimore Sun, 5-21-2013]

Thanks This Week to Kevin Corwin and Alyssa Grosso, 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 Mar 26, 2017 - Comments (2)

The Ford House of Aurora, Illinois

1951 article here.

Apparently still extant, according to this great set of current pics.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Mar 26, 2017 - Comments (2)
Category: Architecture, 1950s

March 25, 2017

Jennifer Bornstein, collector

In 1994, Jennifer Bornstein appeared on a local LA cable access program that featured ordinary people and their collections. Bornstein showed off her collection of zip-lock bags, coffee bar merchandise, fast-food containers, potato chips, and breath mints. She had carefully framed and archived all of it.

It would have been funnier if it was a genuine collection, but I think it was actually intended as an artistic statement on how "any worthless mass-market products can be turned into coveted objects via absurd relations and vice versa" (according to So she was essentially pranking the show.

Although she looks quite young in the pictures, Bornstein was at the time a 24-year-old grad student at UCLA. And she's still an LA-based artist.

You can see read more about this (and see some images) here: Radcliffe,, Moscow Biennale, "Obsession, Compulsion, Collection."

Posted By: Alex - Sat Mar 25, 2017 - Comments (2)
Category: Collectors, 1990s

The Glidden Tours

At the start of the Automotive Age, merely driving from, say, Detroit to Kansas City was a challenge and endurance test. Thus the AAA-sponsored Glidden Tours.

Here is a good write-up of the 1909 one.

Posted By: Paul - Sat Mar 25, 2017 - Comments (4)
Category: Contests, Races and Other Competitions, Twentieth Century, Cars

March 24, 2017

7 Clicks (March 24, 2017)

7 Clicks
A Weird Universe News Service
March 24, 2017

Evangelist Lance Wallnau, emboldened in the current climate, told his 200,000 followers that he "heard about" (therefore: true) a born-again ex-hooker who baked a special cake so great it turned a gay man straight. Case closed. [Dallas Morning News]

Nashvillians finally learned who "Fred Douglas" was (as in the city's "Fred Douglas Park"). (Hint: Think "Marty King.") [NPR]

Spoiler: Texas A&M researchers, who know their peacocks, concluded via body cams that females do not choose mates based on erect plumage. [Austin America-Statesman]

Least Competent Principal: Dude, it's a child's "water snake wiggly"--not a sex toy. Free (12-yr-old) Frances!! [WFTS-TV via WTMJ-TV]

Meet Edgard Brito, DVM, Sao Paulo, the surgeon who does facelifts, nose jobs, and junk-dewrinkling--on dogs--making them so adorable that, in a crunch, the uglier pugs are sure to be put down first. [New York Post]

Things That Must Be Quite a Sight: (1) "Expert witness" (describing "tests" he conducted) helping a doc on trial for rubbing his stuff against a patient, and (2) the in-development smartphone app (very accurate!) that measures sperm count (No, not from Pornhub, but that does raise the question of how . . ya hold the phone . . oh, never mind). [Global News] [New York Times]

Thanks to Paul Music, Bob Stewart, and Joe Littrell.

Posted By: Chuck - Fri Mar 24, 2017 - Comments (1)

Target Practice

Did she hit her target, or miss?

Grand Prairie Daily News - May 13, 1954

In Gutersloh, Germany, police arrested Friedelina Kleine-Beek after she followed her husband to a local tavern, watched through the window as he raised a glass of beer to his lips, then carefully aimed a rifle and fired, shattering the glass, but leaving her husband unscathed.

Posted By: Alex - Fri Mar 24, 2017 - Comments (1)
Category: Marriage, 1950s, Couples

Page 2 of 8 pages  < 1 2 3 4 >  Last ›

Get WU Posts by Email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

weird universe thumbnail
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.

Contact Us
Monthly Archives
April 2024 •  March 2024 •  February 2024 •  January 2024

December 2023 •  November 2023 •  October 2023 •  September 2023 •  August 2023 •  July 2023 •  June 2023 •  May 2023 •  April 2023 •  March 2023 •  February 2023 •  January 2023

December 2022 •  November 2022 •  October 2022 •  September 2022 •  August 2022 •  July 2022 •  June 2022 •  May 2022 •  April 2022 •  March 2022 •  February 2022 •  January 2022

December 2021 •  November 2021 •  October 2021 •  September 2021 •  August 2021 •  July 2021 •  June 2021 •  May 2021 •  April 2021 •  March 2021 •  February 2021 •  January 2021

December 2020 •  November 2020 •  October 2020 •  September 2020 •  August 2020 •  July 2020 •  June 2020 •  May 2020 •  April 2020 •  March 2020 •  February 2020 •  January 2020

December 2019 •  November 2019 •  October 2019 •  September 2019 •  August 2019 •  July 2019 •  June 2019 •  May 2019 •  April 2019 •  March 2019 •  February 2019 •  January 2019

December 2018 •  November 2018 •  October 2018 •  September 2018 •  August 2018 •  July 2018 •  June 2018 •  May 2018 •  April 2018 •  March 2018 •  February 2018 •  January 2018

December 2017 •  November 2017 •  October 2017 •  September 2017 •  August 2017 •  July 2017 •  June 2017 •  May 2017 •  April 2017 •  March 2017 •  February 2017 •  January 2017

December 2016 •  November 2016 •  October 2016 •  September 2016 •  August 2016 •  July 2016 •  June 2016 •  May 2016 •  April 2016 •  March 2016 •  February 2016 •  January 2016

December 2015 •  November 2015 •  October 2015 •  September 2015 •  August 2015 •  July 2015 •  June 2015 •  May 2015 •  April 2015 •  March 2015 •  February 2015 •  January 2015

December 2014 •  November 2014 •  October 2014 •  September 2014 •  August 2014 •  July 2014 •  June 2014 •  May 2014 •  April 2014 •  March 2014 •  February 2014 •  January 2014

December 2013 •  November 2013 •  October 2013 •  September 2013 •  August 2013 •  July 2013 •  June 2013 •  May 2013 •  April 2013 •  March 2013 •  February 2013 •  January 2013

December 2012 •  November 2012 •  October 2012 •  September 2012 •  August 2012 •  July 2012 •  June 2012 •  May 2012 •  April 2012 •  March 2012 •  February 2012 •  January 2012

December 2011 •  November 2011 •  October 2011 •  September 2011 •  August 2011 •  July 2011 •  June 2011 •  May 2011 •  April 2011 •  March 2011 •  February 2011 •  January 2011

December 2010 •  November 2010 •  October 2010 •  September 2010 •  August 2010 •  July 2010 •  June 2010 •  May 2010 •  April 2010 •  March 2010 •  February 2010 •  January 2010

December 2009 •  November 2009 •  October 2009 •  September 2009 •  August 2009 •  July 2009 •  June 2009 •  May 2009 •  April 2009 •  March 2009 •  February 2009 •  January 2009

December 2008 •  November 2008 •  October 2008 •  September 2008 •  August 2008 •  July 2008 •