Back in 1926, art historian and cultural critic Dudley Crafts Watson sounded the alarm on a looming problem. The modern American woman, he believed, was fast becoming a "statis dumb bunny" because labor-saving devices were allowing her too much free time which she spent amusing herself with frivolous entertainment, instead of improving her mind.
Today, Watson is best known because he became the guardian of Orson Welles. His warning about the dumbing down of our culture actually sounds like what a lot of cultural critics say. The only unusual thing about it is his focus on women alone.
A petition to secede from the union and join Russia is circulating in Alaska. It gained 10,000 signatures in a three day period, if it gets 100,000 the White House is obliged to respond. They must have brain freeze up there.
On a day when the temperature was 5 below zero with a windchill of -25 a high school in Minnesota showed unbelievably poor judgement during a fire alarm. Smoke from a science project had set off the fire alarm so the school was evacuated as per procedure. Unfortunately one freshman girl was in the pool and was rushed out without being allowed to grab her clothes or shoes from the locker room. Once outside in a wet bathing suit, towel, and bare feet she was not even allowed to sit in a faculty member's car due to school rules. While she stood for 10 minutes in the bitter cold a teacher gave her a jacket and a friend gave her a sweatshirt to wrap her feet in. Finally someone got permission for her to sit in a teacher's car till everyone was allowed back inside the school. The young lady suffered frostbite on her feet and her mother is asking for an apology. Of course the school bureaucrats are making noises about changing some rules in conjunction with the Fire Marshall. So sad, the death of common sense.
If you had $72 burning a hole in your pocket, and you lived in the Denver area, you could have bought a full-day pass to have Croatian faith gazer Braco stare at you for an entire day. [DailyCamera.com]
Braco's silent gaze is said to effect "incredible healings and other spontaneous changes" in people.
And if you're ever in San Diego, I'd be happy to stare at you for a couple of hours, for an appropriate sum. My silent gaze has been known to provoke acute feelings of discomfort in people.
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.
Our banner was drawn by the legendary underground cartoonist Rick Altergott.