The Flicking Candle Company has staked out an unusual niche in the candle market. Instead of offering candles with the scent of a summer beach or a field of wildflowers, it sells ones that "celebrate the fresh scent of failed marriages, ruined friendships, rejection, criminal activity, unprotected sex, and unexpected weight gain."
The problem here is the product, first of all. Who wants to smell like a hillbilly? We all know what hillbillies smell like: manure, chewing tobacco, unwashed linens and athlete's foot. Given this product to tout, all the advertising guy could come up with is a Daisy Mae-type figure totally emasculating the wearer of this cologne. Good going!
Talk about a mammoth appetite, when most of the world’s large mammals went extinct roughly 10,000 years ago, the vast majority of the vanished species were herbivores. This of course meant that they were no longer around to eat the plants they otherwise would have, and - according to Christophers Doughty and Field from Oxford and Stanford Universities respectively – this freed up an extra 1.4 trillion kilos of food, roughly 2.5% of the net product of all Earth’s dry land. However, the researchers add, this excess had been ‘used up’ by burgeoning human numbers by around 1700 and today we consume six times as much as the Pleistocene critters ever did while simultaneously driving down land productivity by 10% (Nature)(PDF).
That’s not to say that our massive consumption doesn’t have it’s upside, As Vangelis Kapatos of Manhattan discovered when he attempted suicide by jumping from his ninth floor flat, only to survive when his fall was broken by a pile of uncollected garbage. Mr. Kapatos’ timing, from his perspective, couldn’t have been worse, the unusually large garbage pile was due to collections being suspended because of snow. They were due to resume the day after his impromptu dumpster dive (Today Online).
Mind you, we’re not the only animals prone to excess. After finding the bodies of dozens of starlings near the city of Constanta in Romania, locals were concerned that the cause might be bird flu, instead post-mortems of the birds have revealed that they in fact died of alcohol poisoning, having ‘drunk’ themselves to death on the discarded leftovers of the local winemaking industry. A least they died happy (BBC News).
Better than dying happy, though, is living happy, and the secret of that, says the UK’s Office for National Statistics, is having a job. But it’s not the pay but the job security that counts, say the government statisticians, which ironically are facing staff cuts themselves due to the economic downturn. Other key happiness factors, according to the preliminary report, are good personal health and a decent family life. What will we do without these people (Telegraph)?
In the future, all people will smell this way! Well maybe not, but design house Genki Wear has launched three Star Trek themed scents for the trekkie who has everything, including B.O.
For the men there's a choice of Tiberius or Red Shirt. The former refers to the "T" of James T. Kirk, and presumably makes you smell like a womanising maverick. The latter an allusion to the numerous expendable extras from the original series; though why smelling like someone with a life expectancy of minutes is supposed to be a turn on is not explained. For the women there's Pon Farr, named for the stage of a Vulcan's life where their emotions come to the surface and they become both aggressive and sexually receptive. Fortunately for Earthwomen (and their partners) the pointy ears and domestic violence are optional, and staging fights to the death with gardening implements is not advised.
Dr. Fred Hass of San Rafael, California found a recipe for the perfume worn by Pope Pius IX in a limited-edition 1963 cookbook. On a whim, he whipped some up in his kitchen and was quite pleased with the result: "Surprisingly fresh, with notes of citrus and violet." Soon he went into business producing and selling the stuff, which he markets as The Pope's Cologne.
Some details about Pope Pius IX: He had the longest reign in Church history, from 1846 to 1878. During his reign the First Vatican Council decreed that Popes were infallible. He defined the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary. And he was a very nice smelling man.
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.