June 1988: Australian researcher Peter Hepper reported in the medical journal The Lancet that fetuses often appeared to learn to recognize the theme tune of their mother's favorite soap opera. As a newborn baby, hearing this tune would then calm them down.
He tested this hypothesis by playing the theme tune of the Australian soap "Neighbours" to a group of newborns whose mothers watched the show. Upon hearing it, he reported, six of the seven babies promptly adopted a "quiet alert state."
It's pretty common to hear people say that they're so disgusted with American politics that they're going to move to Canada and renounce their U.S. citizenship... especially if candidate X or Y wins the election. But people almost never follow through with this threat/promise.
But Joel Slater did. Back in the Reagan era (1987), he became so angry at U.S. policies that he decided to renounce his American citizenship. The problem was that he did this without first arranging to acquire citizenship in another country. So he made himself stateless.
He was in Australia when he renounced his citizenship, and had assumed he would be able to stay there. But no, Australia promptly deported him to the U.S. Then, as a stateless person, he discovered that he was effectively trapped in the U.S. because he couldn't travel anywhere else without a passport. He managed to make it into Canada and Mexico a few times without a passport, but they both eventually shipped him back to the States. He also couldn't legally work without a social security number. So he became homeless, surviving on "odd jobs and the generosity of strangers."
After much begging and pleading, he was able to regain his U.S. citizenship in 1993.
It never really dawned on me that fans would come up with recipes to accompany these movies, but in retrospect, it only makes sense, and the fad appears to go way back, as seen in this 1983 instance below. Will they issue a new recipe for the newest trailer?
February 1980: The Schreiner sisters, Naomi (76) and Ruth (74), were found dead in their Columbus, Ohio home, apparently starved to death. In the house were found "little rolls of newspaper on plates as if the women had been eating them."
Neighbors had sensed something was going wrong with the sisters for a while, and some had offered to help but had been told by the sisters to mind their own business.
December 1989: In Des Plaines, Illinois, a man was reported to be showing up at the door of single women and telling them he was a male stripper hired as a gift by one of their friends. It's not known how often this ploy was successful, but if asked to go, he would leave.
The guy came to the attention of the police after one woman, who had invited him in to do his act, suspected he wasn't on the level because he was wearing "dingy" underwear. She noted, "They were supposed to be white, and in the back the band was torn."
Oddly, he only ever showed up at women's homes on Tuesdays.
Doesn't sound like the guy was caught, but I wonder if they could have charged him with anything. Is it illegal to impersonate a stripper?
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.