When I started researching my latest about.com article
, I figured that most of the alleged cases of people hit by flying cows were probably urban legends. But now I've concluded that, although there is one famous flying-cow urban legend (involving a Japanese fishing boat being sunk by a cow falling out of the sky), people actually do get hit by flying cows pretty regularly.
According to my research, the first case of assault with a frozen turkey occurred in the 1940s. But by the end of the 20th Century, the use of frozen turkeys as deadly weapons had become fairly common. More details over at about.com.
I posted this on about.com a day ago. A look back at the tree-sitting craze of 1930.
No list of weird collections would be complete without the inclusion of one of our WUvian founders. Alex
and his Museum of Hoaxes is, of course, one of the top weird collections on the net!
In my latest about.com article, I explore the phenomenon of Debtor's Revenge — when debtors decide to get even by paying fines with pennies
. Though it's not always pennies. Might be $1 bills, or some other form of deviousness intended to spite the debt collector. There were so many examples of this that I could easily have made the article 10x as long as it was. Also might have mentioned that, if I remember correctly, Chuck once declared this phenomenon "no longer weird."
Just a brief note to let you know I recently landed a new, part-time writing gig as the weird news "expert" for About.com
. Of course, I'm very aware that I'm not anything like a weird news expert when compared to Chuck. But hey, it's their term, not mine. (Chuck tells me he was offered the job back in the 1990s, but didn't take it.)
The deal is to produce 8 short articles a month, on any topic related to weird news that strikes my fancy. Or more broadly, weird stuff in general. The focus will be on themes in weirdness, rather than breaking weird news. I've already got two articles posted: 12 facts about poop that falls from planes and the people it hits
and 7 logo design disasters that made headlines
The latter article, I should note, was inspired by one of Chuck's recent columns
in which he mentioned the state of Tennessee's minimalist new logo, produced at a cost of $46,000. I expect I'll be getting a lot of ideas from here at WU and fleshing them out in more detail over at About.com, and that'll give me the opportunity to crosslink from there back to here. So it'll kinda be like a marriage between the two sites. And I'll periodically give everyone a heads up here when I've posted new material there.
In other words, all the weirdness will continue as usual here. But 8 times a month I'll also be posting over there. So overall, an increase in weirdness!
Tomorrow is April Fool's Day — a day on which the vast majority of people will go about their lives as usual, oblivious of what day it is, and a very few people will go to extreme lengths to prank and play jokes on unsuspecting victims.
I have to confess that I've never played an April Fool prank in my life, and don't really have any interest in changing that. But over at my other home
online, I've delved pretty deeply into the history of this unusual holiday. And this year I took the time to give my list of the Top 100 April Fool's Day Hoaxes of All Time
a complete overhaul. So check it out, if interested.
And if you're in the Nova Scotia area, you can catch me on a CBC radio show tomorrow, Maritime Noon
, talking and answering questions about the history of April Fools.