Weird Universe


Think before you build

Back in the 1930s, Benjamin Klinger spent 4 years building a boat in his basement. Then discovered he couldn't get the boat out of his basement.

Unfortunately, I can't find any report that tells what ended up happening. Did he tear down a wall to get the boat out? Or is the boat still sitting there to this day?

Sources: Milwaukee Sentinel - Jun 22, 1935; and San Bernardino County Sun - Jun 22, 1935.
Posted By: Alex | Date: Fri May 15, 2015 | Comments (13)
Category: Boats, 1930's

Towing The Boat

A mobility scooter pulling a boat. You don't see that every day.
Posted By: patty | Date: Sat Mar 28, 2015 | Comments (8)
Category: Boats, Disabilities, Eccentrics

Happy Hunter

If you were willing to pay $745.00 for a toy boat, would you risk it by giving your drunken buddy a ride in his inflatable?
Posted By: Paul | Date: Thu Dec 09, 2010 | Comments (2)
Category: Boats, Hobbies and DIY, Toys

A Little Light Weirdness – 7

banana skins ahoy
It’s an election year in the UK, and politicians there are suddenly more image conscious than ever. None more so than incumbent Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who - at his wife’s suggestion - has swapped his regular Kit-Kat munching habit for a diet of bananas in an effort to slim down a bit. While it’s nice to know that the British PM’s wife is perhaps a reader this blog, she’s obviously not a regular one, or she’d have known that portly politicos are more trusted. Now if only he’d show the common touch by going on a bacon binge (Orange News).

Mind you, Mr. Brown is not the only statesman trying to avert a bleak future this week, an unnamed Arab ambassador got the shock of his life when he finally lifted his new bride’s niqab, only to find she had cross-eyes and a beard. The groom immediately went to court to have the marriage annulled, claiming he had been tricked into the marriage and that the bride’s parents had used pictures of her attractive older sister to deceive him. The court found for the groom and dissolved the marriage, but turned down his demand for $150000 compensation (Daily Mail).

But perhaps he’s been a bit quick to judge by appearances. Two Chinese men certainly were when the found a hoard of 20 clay artefacts in an old tomb they discovered in a field near their home, only to later sell the whole lot to a collector for less than $2000. Unfortunately for the pair, theirs were rare finds from the Sui-Tang Dynasty, making the collection over 1000 years old. One item alone, a pottery figurine, recently reached $150,000 at auction (Daily Times).

More fortunate was Wendy Jones of Aberglasney in Wales, who took the old plate she’d had perched on her sideboard for years – except on those odd occasions it had fallen off it - to a TV antiques show, in a plastic carrier bag, only to be told it was part of a rare, Prussian royal service worth over £100000 (Telegraph).

More >>


While a 53-year-old man was competing successfully in the swimming section of the National Senior Games in Palo Alto, California, his 61-year-old brother was back home in Madison, Indiana, at the Yacht Club. When the brother called home to his mother to tell her he had just won a 500-yard freestyle, she told him his older brother had just been swept away in the rain-swollen Ohio River and could not be located. The Madison Courier. His body was later found.

Starved of Everything but Luxury!

Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner includes the line "Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink!" to evoke the torment of Tantalus that was visited on the eponymous anti-hero for killing an albatross. It seems a similar punishment may have befallen two fugitives from justice after they starved to death on board the luxury yacht they stole to escape in.

Peter Clarke and Sharon Arthurs-Chegini went on the run in the last weeks of 2005 after being charged and bailed for theft and fraud. Dubbed a modern-day "Bonnie and Clyde", the pair had previously enjoyed a "champagne and cocaine lifestyle", according to Ms Chegini's step-daughter, before one of Clarke's schemes, claiming to be refurbishing a Devon hotel - to include a heliport among other extravagances - so as to serve the celebrity elite, came crashing down. Clarke and Chegini had thrown lavish parties to separate potential investors from hundreds of thousands of pounds, but were caught trying to sneak out of their hotel without settling the £1000 bill and placed under arrest. When Clarke was unable to settle the debt, he and Sharon jumped bail and stole a yacht, only to sail it a scant 25 miles round the coast of England before being caught and charged with its theft. This time when the ran, they made a better job of it, finally making their way to Portugal in May 2006, where they stole another yacht and sailed it out to sea.

They were not seen again until September of that year, when the yacht was spotted drifting off the coast of Senegal, storm-damaged and with a torn sail. On board were the badly decomposed bodies of Clarke and Chegini, along with Chegini's diary, in which she detailed how they had not eaten for weeks and had only urine mixed with sea-water to drink. In her entry for June 19th, Sharon wrote "I dream of my mum’s steak and kidney pie, steak pie and sausage and mash" (Telegraph).
Posted By: Dumbfounded | Date: Thu Jul 23, 2009 | Comments (4)
Category: Boats, Crime, Death, Frauds, Cons and Scams, Body Fluids

WaterCar Amphibious is Half Ram, Half Corvette, and Half Boat

Many of you may have heard of the Amphicar, the classic half boat, half car that did neither job well, but at least it looked good not doing its job. The same could not be said about the 2009 WaterCar Amphibious, however. Supposedly styled after the 2002 Camaro convertible, it looks more like someone welded the front half of a Dodge Ram truck to the back half of a Chevrolet Corvette, and then replaced the chassis with the bottom of a speedboat. The link contains several pictures of the vehicle on land as well as in the water.
Posted By: Salamander Sam | Date: Thu May 07, 2009 | Comments (8)
Category: Boats, Transportation, Goofs and Screw-ups

Follies of the Mad Men #26

[From Ladies' Home Journal for June 1957.]

You just know that the contents of those plates are the raw remnants of their fellow castaways.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Fri Sep 12, 2008 | Comments (4)
Category: Boats, Business, Advertising, Products, Food, 1950's


Recently I watched the 1963 Japanese SF flick ATRAGON. I knew I was in true weirdo territory when the undersea empire of Mu turned out to be ruled by Cyndi Lauper.

Not really, but check out the gal in the pink wig in this trailer for the film.

Posted By: Paul | Date: Sat Aug 16, 2008 | Comments (10)
Category: Boats, Explosives, Fashion, Hair Styling, Inventions, Movies, Science Fiction, 1960's


It's generally very pleasant living with easy access to the ocean, especially in summer.

But yesterday, Rhode Island experienced some waterspouts.

A waterspout is basically when a tornado comes and sucks up swimmers and boats and brings them to Oz.

Such as in this video. But they escaped. (No flying monkeys were harmed in the filming.)

Posted By: Paul | Date: Fri Aug 15, 2008 | Comments (1)
Category: Boats, Nature, Weather, Regionalism
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All original content in posts is Copyright © 2008 by the author of the post, either Alex Boese ("Alex"), Paul Di Filippo ("Paul"), or Chuck Shepherd ("Chuck"). All rights reserved. The banner illustration at the top of this page is Copyright © 2008 by Rick Altergott.