Weird Universe


Flying Cows

When I started researching my latest 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.

Posted By: Alex | Date: Thu Nov 19, 2015 | Comments (5)
Category: Accidents, Animals, Alex

Alibi Goat

I've heard about people sucking on pennies or mints to hide the alcohol fumes on their breath. But keeping a goat in the back of the car is new to me. Though I guess it could be an effective strategy.

The Bakersfield Californian - Sep 14, 1937

CHICAGO, Sept. 14. — Policeman Theodore Lambert testified that Larry Radkewicz of Berwyn was intoxicated while driving an automobile, but said he could not smell the man's breath.
"Why not?" asked Judge J.M. Braude.
"He had a goat in the back of the car," said Lambert, "and I couldn't smell anything but the goat."
Radkewicz was placed on probation.
Posted By: Alex | Date: Wed Nov 18, 2015 | Comments (6)
Category: Animals, Inebriation and Intoxicants, 1930's

Follies of the Madmen #265


Hey, wait, most beaches don't allow pets!

Original ad here.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Tue Nov 17, 2015 | Comments (0)
Category: Animals, Fashion, 1950's, Women

The Hambone Award

Nationwide Insurance has created the "Hambone Award" which, for the past five years, it's been giving to the most unusual pet insurance claim of the year. It seems to be like a Darwin Awards for animals, except they only give awards to animals that recover from their mishaps, not the ones that die. (Are Darwin Awards given to animals? I'm not sure.)

The Hambone Award was named after a "dog that got stuck in a refrigerator and ate an entire Thanksgiving ham while waiting for someone to find him."

The most recent winner is Curtis, a 5-year-old Boxer, who ate an entire BBQ skewer during a birthday party. He was rushed to the hospital, but doctors couldn't find the skewer. It was only a year later, when he was taken back to the doctor because he still wasn't feeling well, that surgeons found the skewer, which had become a "baseball-sized mass" encapsulated by the body, located between the dog's stomach and pancreas.
Posted By: Alex | Date: Mon Nov 16, 2015 | Comments (1)
Category: Accidents, Animals, Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests

Parrot Problem


Why is it always a parrot, rather than some other kind of pet bird, at the center of these disputes? A recent case in Rhode Island involved a lawsuit against a parrot taught to swear at neighbors.

Original article here.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Mon Nov 09, 2015 | Comments (4)
Category: Animals, Annoying Things, 1930's

Weirdo the Superchicken

My latest article:

Posted By: Alex | Date: Fri Oct 30, 2015 | Comments (5)
Category: Animals, Alex

Cat Head Bags

Made by Japanese artist Pico. They're entirely artificial. That is, not actual cat heads. But they're realistic enough that people might, for a moment, think that you're using the severed head of a cat as a handbag.

One of these will set you back about $700, but are sold only in Japan. via OhGizmo!

Posted By: Alex | Date: Sun Oct 25, 2015 | Comments (8)
Category: Animals, Fashion, Cats

Soviets Eat Bambi

In 1985, a Soviet production of a live-action film about Bambi (Bambi's Childhood) had to be halted when three of the deer who were playing Bambi and his friends disappeared. Turned out they had been stolen, then butchered and served as the main course at a birthday celebration. The culprits were sent to a labor camp as punishment for their crime.

The news was reported in a lot of papers, but the Weekly World News (below) had the best coverage of it.

Spartanburg Herald-Journal - Feb 7, 1985

Weekly World News - Mar 12, 1985

Posted By: Alex | Date: Thu Oct 22, 2015 | Comments (6)
Category: Animals, Movies, 1980's

Canned Parrot

A soon-to-be-opened San Francisco store called Terrific Street is displaying cans of "canned parrot" in its front window. Two kinds of canned parrot are on display — "free range cherry conures in their own syrup" and "colorful sky rat boiled parrot."

The store isn't actually selling canned parrot. The owner of the store has explained that the display is an "art installment" inspired by Andy Warhol's paintings of canned food, while also referring to the local wild parrot population.

Says the owner: "The thinking behind the display was to make something unusual and fun for folks to walk by between now and the time we are open for business."

More info:

Posted By: Alex | Date: Wed Oct 21, 2015 | Comments (8)
Category: Animals, Art, Food

Rat Art

March 1975: Dr. Richard Cimbalo of Rosary Hill College (now Daemen College) held an exhibition of "rat art" in order to raise money for the school's psychology department. "The rats painted by grabbing with their front paws a brush extended into their cages, and Cimbalo said each of the artists had its own style."

I wonder what became of this rat art. Probably stored away in a box in someone's attic. Or tossed out.

Someone should open a Museum of Animal Art — to collect together in one place all the paintings by rats, chimpanzees, elephants, etc. that have been produced over the years.

The Desert Sun (Palm Springs, CA) - May 12, 1975

The Daily Courier (Connellsville, PA) - Mar 15, 1975

Posted By: Alex | Date: Tue Oct 20, 2015 | Comments (3)
Category: Animals, Art, 1970's
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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.