Weird Universe


Fondled while floating to earth

1997: Cockrell couldn't keep his hands to himself.

Bonus: the skydiving school was in Climax, North Carolina.

The Des Moines Register - Feb 9, 1997

Posted By: Alex | Date: Tue Feb 09, 2016 | Comments (21)
Category: 1990's

Bus Driver Asks Kids If He Should Hit Dog, Then Does

January 1994: A school bus driver in Port Washington, Wisconsin insisted he was only joking when he shouted out "Should I hit the dog?" seconds before he hit a dog on the road. The animal belonged to two of the children on the bus. It often came up to the road to meet them. The driver, who later resigned, blamed the accident on icy conditions.

The Journal Times - Feb 4, 1994

Posted By: Alex | Date: Wed Feb 03, 2016 | Comments (2)
Category: Accidents, Animals, Dogs, 1990's

Moldy Fashion

May 1999: Belgian fashion designer Maison Martin Margiela had a fashion/art exhibition at the Brooklyn Anchorage gallery in New York City in which he displayed his latest creation — mold-covered clothes. Reported Time: "The clothes were dipped in agar and treated with mold, bacteria and yeast; they were then left to develop new colors and textures (the smell is a bonus)."

In fairness to Martin Margiela, this was more art than fashion show. According to art historian Ingrid Loschek, the display "compared the natural cycle of creation and decay to the consumer cycle of buying and discarding."

The moldy clothes were burned at the end of the exhibition, since they were in such an advanced stage of decomposition that they were unfit for anyone to wear.

via pinterest

via Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Posted By: Alex | Date: Wed Jan 27, 2016 | Comments (9)
Category: Art, Fashion, 1990's

June’s Creation

A month ago I posted about the rice recipe that caused a woman to have a nervous breakdown.

Summary: In 1989, Bobbie June Griggs submitted her rice recipe to South Carolina Electric & Gas's annual rice cookoff. She didn't win, but they published her recipe in their cookbook anyway. So she sued them, claiming its publication had caused her to have a nervous breakdown. For good measure, her husband sued also claiming "loss of consortium." The case almost made it to the Supreme Court, but they decided not to hear it, thereby letting the previous decisions stand. Those decisions were that: a) you can't copyright a single recipe, and b) "copyright law does not cover infliction of emotional distress." So Bobbie June Griggs was out of luck.

A few of you asked, what was the recipe? Thanks to the magic of interlibrary loan, I finally managed to obtain a copy of it, courtesy of the Charleston County Library, which sent me a photocopy of it free of charge. So here it is — the rice recipe that caused a woman to have a nervous breakdown.

I haven't made it yet, but I plan to try it out sometime in the near future. If any of you make it, let us know how it is, and post a picture of it.

Posted By: Alex | Date: Sun Jan 24, 2016 | Comments (11)
Category: Food, Lawsuits, 1990's

Baked Beans in Boots

One of life's unanswerable mysteries — Why did the man have baked beans in his boots?

London Times - June 30, 1998

What's in the boot, then?
A motorist who was stopped for a routine police check in Colchester, Essex, was found to be wearing wellington boots filled with baked beans in tomato sauce.
Officers warned him to choose more suitable footwear. A spokesman said: "We have no idea why he was doing it, but it is an offence not to be in proper control of a car. Wearing boots could cause the driver to be distracted and have an accident."
Posted By: Alex | Date: Sat Jan 23, 2016 | Comments (20)
Category: 1990's, Cars

Longshot Bet

In 1997 Steve Caldicott of Birmingham placed a bet with William Hill Bookmakers that his son Jack, who was 3½ months old, would score a goal for England in the World Cup final in 2018. If he scores, Steve will win $1.67 million.

Jack is now 19. Any sign that he's a budding soccer star? He's still got two years to go. But, of course, England will also have to make it to the World Cup final.

Southern Illinoisan - Jan 16, 1997

Posted By: Alex | Date: Fri Jan 15, 2016 | Comments (6)
Category: 1990's, Gambling, Casinos, Lotteries and Other Games of Chance

Free Hot Lunch

Did someone say free food?

The Milwaukee Journal — Jun 17, 1990

You can purchase some Free Hot Lunch for only $9.49 at Amazon:

Posted By: Alex | Date: Thu Jan 07, 2016 | Comments (2)
Category: Food, Music, 1990's

Careers for Girls

In 1990, Parker Brothers released a new board game called "Careers for Girls" in which players could choose from six jobs: supermom, rock star, school teacher, fashion designer, animal doctor, and college graduate.

By contrast, the career options in the non-gendered version of Careers included things such as Ecology, Teaching, Sports, Computer Science, Space, Show Biz, Big Business, and Politics. (The game was invented in 1955, and the various career options changed over the years.)

Of course, the company got slammed for being sexist and soon discontinued the "for girls" version of the game, claiming a "lack of mass appeal."

The Big Game Hunter blog offers more background on the history of the Careers game and its original inventor, James Cooke Brown (science fiction author and creator of the artificial language, Loglan).

The Southeast Missourian — Nov 26, 1990

Posted By: Alex | Date: Wed Jan 06, 2016 | Comments (9)
Category: Games, 1990's

The Fainting Woman Sex Case

Classic weird news from 1993. Posted over at

Posted By: Alex | Date: Wed Dec 23, 2015 | Comments (2)
Category: Crime, 1990's

Rice recipe caused nervous breakdown

1992: Bobbie June Griggs sued South Carolina Electric & Gas, claiming that its publication of her rice recipe caused her to suffer a nervous breakdown. Her husband also brought an action for "loss of consortium."

Griggs had entered her rice recipe in the utility's Third Annual Rice Cookoff in 1989. She wasn't picked as a finalist, but the utility nevertheless included her recipe in the cookoff cookbook (Rice, a lowcountry tradition: the official cookbook for the Third Annual South Carolina Rice Cookoff). This is what triggered the nervous breakdown.

The state court dismissed her case, noting that it was really a copyright case and thus belonged in the federal courts. In 1995, the state supreme court affirmed this decision (although one justice dissented). And it seems that Griggs tried to take her case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, because the AP reported in April 1996 that the Supreme Court also refused to hear her case, noting that "copyright law does not cover infliction of emotional distress" and also that you can't copyright a single recipe.

Her recipe, which she said she spent 10 years developing, involved canned tomatoes, meatballs, onions and bell peppers on a bed of rice. She called it "June's Creation."

Spartanburg Herald-Journal - Apr 23, 1996

Posted By: Alex | Date: Fri Dec 18, 2015 | Comments (10)
Category: Food, Lawsuits, 1990'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.