Weird Universe


Amish Marathon Runner

Apparently the Amish practice of "plain dress" extends to marathon running, because Amish runner Leroy Stolzfus has been showing up to races dressed in a long-sleeved shirt, black slacks, and suspenders. However, he does wear sneakers. More: York Dispatch.
Posted By: Alex | Date: Mon Nov 23, 2015 | Comments (11)
Category: Fashion, Religion, Sports

Fox Tossing and Other Sports

This new book by Edward Brooke-Hitching looks like a good read (Amazon link), and potentially of interest to WU readers. From the publisher's blurb:
Have you ever wondered what people did for fun throughout history? Edward Brooke-Hitching began to wonder the same thing while flipping through an eighteenth-century German book on hunting, and found a bygone sport in which German nobles launched foxes into the air. This random discovery of a game that slipped through the mainstream historical cracks led him to wonder: how many other sports have been left out of modern history accounts?

It looks like it was released first in the UK with the title Fox Tossing, Octopus Wrestling, and Other Forgotten Sports. But for the US release, the publisher dropped the "Octopus Wrestling" from the title. Why? I think the longer title is better. Perhaps they thought the idea of octopus wrestling was too weird for us Americans. Or perhaps they figured that Americans don't read much, so we need a shorter title.

Posted By: Alex | Date: Tue Nov 17, 2015 | Comments (4)
Category: Sports, Books

No-Arms Golfer

Posted By: Paul | Date: Mon Oct 12, 2015 | Comments (3)
Category: Body Modifications, Human Marvels, Sports, 1930's

Rogue Cheerleaders

Continuing today's cheerleader theme. My latest article:

Posted By: Alex | Date: Wed Sep 30, 2015 | Comments (7)
Category: Sports

Follies of the Madmen #260


Is the falling-down part of skiing really what the resort wants to highlight?

From the Daily Illini for December 19, 1967.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Tue Sep 15, 2015 | Comments (4)
Category: Regionalism, Screwups, Sports, Advertising, 1960's

Humane Bullfighting

A member of Club Taurino practicing humane bullfighting without bulls in a park near Woldingham, Surrey. 1963. One member played the bull while the others improved their cape work.

Image source: Newsweek - Sep 2, 1963
Posted By: Alex | Date: Mon Aug 17, 2015 | Comments (5)
Category: Sports, 1960's

Rolling Pin Throwing Contest, 1928

Providing the proper motivation:

"The target of the rolling pin is a life-size dummy of a husband and the contestants are 30 women trained by Miss Ann Beggs of the home economics department of the university."

The Salem News (Salem, Ohio) - Aug 17, 1928

Winners of a 1932 rolling pin contest (via NCSU Libraries):

Posted By: Alex | Date: Wed Jul 29, 2015 | Comments (6)
Category: Sports, Husbands, 1920's

Man vs. Horse, 1947

The experts predicted that the man vs. horse tug-of-war organized in Waterloo, Oregon back in 1947 would be no contest at all. The man, 225-pound Chester Fitzwater, was lying on the ground, his feet braced against a wood block. To win, he simply had to remain in place for three minutes. The horse, Big Baldy, was said not to have a chance.

Scientists Favor Man
Dr. Raymond T. Ellickson, physics professor at Reed College in Portland, estimated 1900-pound Baldy would have to exert about 16,000 pounds worth of effort to up-end Fitzwater.
Ellickson figured it would take a 3000-pound pull just to get the long rope taut, and then Baldy would have only an angle of 1 degree from the horizontal to pull against.
Other scientists advised about the same, and an even more discouraging report—for old Baldy—came from rope dealers. They said the one-inch rope would break at approximately 9000 pounds of pull—far short of the 16,000 Dr. Ellickson believes necessary.

It took about a second for Big Baldy to prove the experts wrong. As soon as the rope tightened, "Fitzwater lurched into the air, knocked over a photographer and some spectators, and crashed into the mud."

Several other brawny men subsequently challenged the horse to the same contest, believing they would last longer. They didn't.

The News-Review (Roseburg, Oregon) - Dec 12, 1947

The News-Review (Roseburg, Oregon) - Dec 15, 1947

Posted By: Alex | Date: Tue Jul 28, 2015 | Comments (6)
Category: Sports, 1940's


A Detroit man has come up with a hybrid sport he hopes folks will enjoy on evenings out. A cross between football and bowling called fowling which seems to be fun looking at the video at the link. The name leaves something to be desired though, any ideas for a catchier one?
Posted By: patty | Date: Sat Jul 25, 2015 | Comments (6)
Category: Sports

Hitting a golf ball off an elephant’s ear

"AN ELEPHANTINE HAZARD — Driving a golf ball from the ear of Jenny, a 12-year-old circus elephant, constitutes real sport for Billy Drews, above, as he shoots a game of miniature golf in New York."

Source: Valley Morning Star - May 3, 1931
Posted By: Alex | Date: Wed May 27, 2015 | Comments (3)
Category: Animals, Sports, 1930's
Page 1 of 13 pages  1 2 3 >  Last »
Custom Search

weird universe thumbnail

This page has been viewed 36098811 times.
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.