The brief, controversial product life of the Chilly Bang! Bang! juice-filled squirt gun. Kids put the gun barrel in their mouth and squeezed the trigger to enjoy a refreshing squirt of juice.
First sales were halted because the plastic tab at the end of the barrel was deemed a choking hazard. Then in 1991 it was banned outright. New York Senator Nicholas Spano noted, "The last thing we should teach our children is to put gun barrels in their mouths."
The splendid sartorial sense of this fellow is explicitly deemed by the advertisement to be inducement to trust his taste in another area. What product would you imagine his clothes are justifying. Liquor? Cars? Hairspray?
Noting that "the role of smells in how we perceive heritage has not been systematically explored until now," researchers at University College London have developed a "Historic Book Odour Wheel."
They tested it on visitors to St Paul's Cathedral's Dean and Chapter library in London, who characterized the smell of the library as 'woody,' 'smoky,' 'earthy,' and 'vanilla.'
The researchers say, "the Historic Book Odour Wheel could potentially be used to recreate smells and aid the design of olfactory experiences in museums, allowing visitors to form a personal connection with exhibits by allowing them to understand what the past smelled like."
I was briefly in L.A. over the weekend, so I took the time to visit the L.A. Pet Memorial, my curiosity about it having been piqued after posting recently about how Blinky the Friendly Hen was buried there. It's up in northwest L.A., in Calabasas. If you're ever in the area, and want to do some sightseeing that's more off the beaten track, it's worth checking out. Some of the highlights below:
The coffin showroom, featuring pet-sized coffins
Inside the mausoleum
The grounds spread out over 8 acres. So the park is pretty big.
Yours truly by the grave of "Room 8" — the cat that lived at the Elysian Heights Elementary School. He was once known as the most famous cat in America.
Satan — We'll Miss You
Sir Pretzel Stick — I'll Remember You
Vicious — Our Precious Baby
I finally found the marker for Blinky the Friendly Hen. The front office didn't have a guide to the graves, so you have to find them on your own. Blinky turned out to be in the area directly across from the front office, about 8 rows back.
There's a number of other famous animals buried at the park, including Tawny the MGM lion, Hopalong Cassidy's horse, and one of the dogs from the Little Rascals. Plus, the pets of many celebrities are there — Charlie Chaplin's cat, Humphrey Bogart's dog, etc.
A Weird Universe News Service
April 10, 2017
The Texas legislature is about to choose a "state gun" (Bowie knife? Colt .45?). Current favorite: a cannon. [The Guardian]
Hawaii officials are freaking out over the Angiostrongylus cantonensis bacterium, but if prevention calls for you not to undercook your worms, problem seems easily avoided. [ABC News]
Business model of several companies in Kenya: they shrink-wrap cash into $1m blocks and parachute them to customers. [NY Times]
France's space program has 24 job openings to just lie around in bed for 2 months (earn €16k). Only catch: You can't get up. [The Guardian]
Cruel joke on the new coal-enraptured EPA administrator: The Kentucky Coal Mining Museum announced it was moving to solar power. [WYMT-TV]
Before there was Rachel Dolezal, some black Americans identified as Moorish--and therefore "sovereign citizens," which soon will not sit well with the crackers ruling sovereignhood. But here are two arrested in February. [al.com]
Yr Editor knows nothng about this (except that it distracts certain people who would likely be dangerous if left undistracted): A giant U.S. robot will square off against a giant Japanese robot in August, and they'll pound and saw and crush each other, and certain people will get really excited. (Better if they just Stooge-slapped each other, but . . ..) [Nerdist.com]
In the mid 1960s, the first reports surfaced of the activities of a sexual assailant who came to be known as the "enema bandit." Disguised by a ski mask, he would enter the rooms of coeds at various college campuses (usually in Oklahoma, but he also showed up in Kansas, Oklahoma, and California).
Holding his victims at gunpoint, he would force them to remove their clothes, then he would tie their wrists and proceed to give them each an enema, always working "slowly and deliberately." His victims agreed that "he knew what he was doing." Otherwise, he didn't harm the women, releasing them when he was finished. His victims also described him as being "extremely polite." Before he left, he would take whatever money he could find.
The enema bandit remained at large for a decade before police finally caught him in 1975, identifying him as Michael Kenyon. From wikipedia:
After his arrest he was judged to be legally sane; in December 1975, he pleaded guilty to six counts of armed robbery and was sentenced to six to twelve years in prison for each count, but was never charged for the enema assaults. He was paroled in 1981 after serving six years.
The enema bandit inspired several songs: "The Illinois Enema Bandit" by Frank Zappa (1976), and "Salute to the Enema Bandit" by Henry Threadgill (1986).
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 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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