And yet, Slimming Insoles are still being sold. I'm not sure if Dr. Metz himself is selling them. But you can buy some at Amazon, and they make specific claims about causing weight loss: "These slimming magnets emit magnetic waves which weaken fat cells in your body... Lose weight by walking with magnetic insoles."
Since his involuntary retirement, Gorbachev has raised money for worthy causes, attempted to make a comeback in Russian politics, and, notoriously, made an advertisement for Pizza Hut. The ad would have become a footnote were it not for its long second life online, where it’s rediscovered every few years. There’s an undeniable voyeuristic frisson of seeing a man who once commanded a superpower hawking pizza.
Lawyer Garry Hoy worked on the 24th floor of the Toronto-Dominion Bank Tower. Hi’s favorite trick, during office parties, was to demonstrate how the building's glass windows were unbreakable. He did this by hurling himself at them. But when he performed his trick in July 1993, the window unexpectedly broke, sending him plummeting to his death.
Based on notoriety alone, I’d say this has to qualify as one of the top 25 weird news stories of all time. Wikipedia notes that it’s been featured on a number of television shows (such as Mythbusters), and was also re-enacted in the 2006 movie The Darwin Awards.
Along similar lines, when comic book writer Mark Gruenwald died in 1996, some of his cremains were mixed into the printer's ink for the trade paperback compilation of his Squadron Supreme graphic novel. As explained by his widow:
The whole ash thing was a complete fluke when we wrote up our wills in 1992; he put in a direction to have me cremate him and put his ashes into a comic book. Yeah, yeah…that will never happen, I thought to myself. Little did I know, four years later I’d be doing just that. And Marvel cooperated and we did it! I drove up to the plant in Connecticut and stirred the ashes into the ink that was used for Squadron Supreme, his best-selling graphic novel. That all happened between 1996-97.
Paul's post yesterday, in which he suggested the idea of fine-art fragrances that would allow people to smell like their favorite artist, reminded me that back in 1995 a Pavarotti perfume did come to market, allowing the wearer to smell like the famous tenor.
If there were a Cheapskate's Hall of Fame, the Chicago Board of Education would surely have to be in it. In 1994, after gym teacher Clarence Notree heroically saved a group of children from a gunman who had entered the school gym by shielding them with his body, the Board of Education informed him that he wasn't entitled to Workers Compensation for his injuries because saving children wasn't technically part of his job.
After a protracted legal battle, he did finally get a settlement of $13,447.
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.