Weird Universe Archive

September 2018

September 30, 2018

Crying Sumo

A 400 year-old Japanese festival in which sumo wrestlers lift infants in the air, and the first infant to cry is the winner.

More info: NHK World. It was also mentioned by Chuck in a 2010 column.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Sep 30, 2018 - Comments (1)
Category: Parades and Festivals, Asia

Rollerskating as Art

This artform is pretty well extinct, so far as I can tell.









Posted By: Paul - Sun Sep 30, 2018 - Comments (5)
Category: Bicycles and Other Human-powered Vehicles, 1930s, Dance

September 29, 2018

Are Crunchberries real?

A classic, weird lawsuit from 2009. As summarized by legalinfo.com:

The plaintiff, Janine Sugawara, says shes bought the Cap’N'Crunch with crunchberries because she thought crunchberries were real fruit. She subsequently learned that the “berries” were actually nothing more than brightly colored cereal balls, and that the cereal contained no real fruit.
She sued on the grounds that the cereal advertised falsely. She reported that she was suing for herself, and every other consumer that had been “tricked” by the cereal company. According to the complaint, Sugawara and other consumers were misled not only by the use of the word “berries” in the name, but also by an image on the front of the box, which features the product’s namesake, Cap’N'Crunch, aggressively “thrusting a spoonful of ‘Crunchberries’ at the prospective buyer.” The plaintiff brought claims for fraud, breach of warranty, and the California Unfair Competition Law and Consumer Legal Remedies Act.

Long story short, the judge didn't buy her argument. You can read the full decision here (pdf).



Posted By: Alex - Sat Sep 29, 2018 - Comments (5)
Category: Lawsuits

September 28, 2018

Follow a stranger

Apparently there's a long history of artists surreptitiously following strangers around in cities, just to see what happens. It's called the Art of Following. More details from Debbie Kent in the Guardian:

“Follow a stranger” is one of the instructions I’ve been given by Serbian artist Miloš Tomić in what is billed as an alternative tour of the city, and I really enjoy it, while also feeling as if I’m doing something a little bit wrong...
My assignment from Tomić is, of course, not intended to upset anyone. Rather, what I’m doing is a one-off exercise, and, as artist and writer Phil Smith puts it, is handing over control of exploring the city to someone else, chosen at random.
Smith regularly gives this task to students of theatre and performance at the University of Plymouth, seeing it as a valuable exercise. “The idea is that you’re exploring the space but someone else dictates it to you – it neutralises your will,” he says. “The intention – or hope – is that the followed person will lead you into places you haven’t been before.”

I don't see anything that could possibly go wrong with following a complete stranger around.

Posted By: Alex - Fri Sep 28, 2018 - Comments (1)
Category: Art, Really Bad Ideas

Mystery Gadget 66



What's it for?

The answer is here.

Or after the jump.

More in extended >>

Posted By: Paul - Fri Sep 28, 2018 - Comments (4)
Category: Technology

September 27, 2018

Longest Trailer

Filmmaker Anders Weberg plans on releasing his great masterpiece Ambiancé in 2020. It'll clock in at 720 hours long (30 days). But to whet everyone's appetite, he released a trailer in 2014 that's a mere 7 hours and 20 minutes long.

More info: thelongestfilm.com



Or you could watch the speeded-up version, only 1 minute long.

Posted By: Alex - Thu Sep 27, 2018 - Comments (3)
Category: Boredom, Movies

The Heaven Pacers Hot Rod Club



Oakland, Calif.--A "Hot Rod" racing club here is believed to be the only organization of its kind in the country which combines auto racing with the practice of Christianity. Known as the Heaven Pacers of the East Bay, the club's 20 active members consider their racing fraternity as a missionary field. Members attend a brief non-denominational service before every race that is held on Sundays, in addition to praying individually during a race. Here. Don Marker, past president of the club, kneels in prayer before his "hot rod." The Heaven Pacers have as their motto this verse from I Corinthians: "Know ye not that they which run in the race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run that ye may obtain." (9:24) To join the club, applicants must "know the lord as your own personal saviour," and own or be able to build a "hot rod."


Source.

Posted By: Paul - Thu Sep 27, 2018 - Comments (1)
Category: Motor Vehicles, Religion, 1950s

September 26, 2018

Skydiving fish

I never realized that wildlife managers stock lakes by dropping fish out of planes, but apparently they do, as shown by a short video recently posted online by Utah's Division of Wildlife Resources.



And here's a piece about skydiving fish from CNN:

Posted By: Alex - Wed Sep 26, 2018 - Comments (5)
Category: Fish

Paco Rabanne Metal Dresses

Posted By: Paul - Wed Sep 26, 2018 - Comments (0)
Category: Fashion, 1960s

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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.

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