Weird Universe Archive

August 2019

August 31, 2019

Fancy perfume doubles as bug repellent

Bombshell by Victoria's Secret quickly became a bestselling perfume after its launch in 2010. But in 2015, researchers at New Mexico State University discovered that the fragrance didn't only smell nice. It also repelled mosquitoes. Almost as well as DEET. From the study:

Other studies have shown that floral scents attract mosquitoes, and it is suggested to avoid floral scented perfumes to reduce mosquito attraction. Surprisingly, the perfume we tested, Victoria Secret Bombshell (Fragrance type: Fruity floral notes: Purple passion fruit, Shangri-la peony, Vanilla orchid) has shown to be a strong repellent with effects lasting longer than 120 min. It must be noted that the concentration of perfume we used in this test was rather high and that lower concentrations of the same fragrance might have different effects.

It's not a bad quality for a perfume to have, although Victoria's Secret doesn't seem to be interested in publicizing it.

More info: people.com

Posted By: Alex - Sat Aug 31, 2019 - Comments (1)
Category: Perfume and Cologne and Other Scents

Follies of the Madmen #442



Those who drink our booze are eccentric tree-climbing idiots.

Source.

Posted By: Paul - Sat Aug 31, 2019 - Comments (2)
Category: Bad Habits, Neuroses and Psychoses, Business, Advertising, 1960s, Alcohol

August 30, 2019

The Bielefeld Conspiracy

Ever since 1993, a conspiracy has circulated online alleging that the German city of Bielefeld doesn’t exist. Now the city is pushing back by offering a million euros to anyone who can definitively prove it doesn’t exist.

Entries can be submitted in either German or English, but the deadline is Sep. 4. So there’s not much time left.



It seems to me that the contest has set an impossible task, because it's well known that a negative can never be proven. For instance, we can't definitively prove that the Loch Ness Monster doesn't exist. We can only say that we haven't found her yet.

But on the other hand, the opposite is equally true. It's impossible to definitively prove anything with absolute certainty. For instance, what if someone believes that Bielefeld exists because they've lived there their entire life? Well, that doesn't actually prove anything. As Bertrand Russell pointed out in his five-minute hypothesis, it's possible that the entire universe sprang into existence five minutes ago, complete with our memories of an older history. It may seem unlikely, but it's possible. So likewise, just because someone remembers living in Bielefeld, it's possible that their memories are false.

Which is to say that even if no one wins the million euros by proving that Bielefeld doesn't exist, that doesn't mean the city actually does exist. The existence of Bielefeld can never be definitively proven or disproven.

More info: epoch times

Posted By: Alex - Fri Aug 30, 2019 - Comments (1)
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests, Geography and Maps, Conspiracy Theories and Theorists

August 29, 2019

Dog Dryer

Available at thedogdryer.com.

There needs to be a human version of this.





Posted By: Alex - Thu Aug 29, 2019 - Comments (4)
Category: Inventions, Pets, Dogs

Mall with Indoor Canal

Singapore mall features indoor canal with rentable boats.

Posted By: Paul - Thu Aug 29, 2019 - Comments (1)
Category: Excess, Overkill, Hyperbole and Too Much Is Not Enough, Oceans and Maritime Pursuits, Retailing, Asia

August 28, 2019

The Concrete Enema

It provided the title for Chuck’s classic 1996 collection of weird news (and if you don't have Chuck's book you really should do yourself a favor and get it. It deserves to be in every home library). However, we’ve never posted about the incident itself here on WU. So I thought I'd remedy that oversight.

In 1987, two doctors reported an unusual case in The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology. It involved a 20-year-old man who had shown up at an emergency room complaining of rectal pain. Examination of his rectum revealed a “hard stony mass,” and eventually the patient disclosed how the mass had gotten there:

The patient said that approximately 4 h earlier he and his boyfriend had been “fooling around.” After stirring a batch of concrete mix, the patient laid on his back with his feet against the wall at a 45° angle while his boyfriend poured the mixture through a funnel into his rectum. After the concrete mass hardened, it became so painful that he sought medical care.


Remarkably, the doctors were able to remove the concrete mass without any damage to the patient's rectum. It had formed a perfect cast of the interior of the rectum, even showing “grooves produced by mucosal folds.”

Removal revealed another unusual detail: a ping-pong ball mixed in with the concrete. Apparently the patient didn’t explain what the ball was doing there. The doctors hypothesized that it had been "inserted after the enema as a plug to promote retention… Instead, peristaltic contractions forced the air-filled plastic ball deeper into the hardening concrete, accounting for its location in the upper end of the mass."



After resting overnight, the patient was able to leave the hospital the following morning, no worse for wear. One can only hope that he had learned a valuable life lesson: that it's really not a good idea to use concrete as an enema.

I wonder what became of the concrete enema. Was it thrown away in the trash? This seems most likely. Or perhaps it's sitting in a box in a medical archive. Or, and this is my favorite idea, perhaps one of the doctors saved it to use as a paperweight. Whatever the case may be, if it still survives it definitely would be a great exhibit to include in a museum of the weird.

More info: Peter J. Stephens and Mark L. Taff. (1987). “Rectal Impaction Following Enema with Concrete Mix.” The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology, 8(2): 179-182.

Posted By: Alex - Wed Aug 28, 2019 - Comments (0)
Category: Health, Sex Toys, 1980s

August 27, 2019

How to catch a shoplifter

Some tips, according to Dick Deal, professional shoplifter:

"Watch people’s hands. We steal with them! Don’t let their hands out of your sight."

Also, "Watch for the dance, the almost ritualistic dance. The strange movements [shoplifters] make."

Posted By: Alex - Tue Aug 27, 2019 - Comments (1)
Category: Crime, 1980s

Alastair MacLennan

Let us know how long you last.

His Wikipedia page.


Alastair MacLennan and Sandra Johnston : Ash She He from arts-news on Vimeo.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Aug 27, 2019 - Comments (3)
Category: Performance Art

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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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