In 1991, the Pennsylvania legislature's Youth and Aging Committee changed its name to the Aging and Youth Committee. Why?
Some suggested that the change was made because people got confused about the panel’s name. "When you say ‘youth and aging’ repeatedly and quickly, some people hear the word euthanasia,” said Kevin Murphy, press secretary for the state Department of Aging.
For a very brief time, in the early 1990s, 717 E Magnolia St. in Arcadia, Florida was home to the "Conscience Adherent Paradise Government" — a separatist state that had declared its independence from the United States. Details from the Tampa Tribune (Apr 4, 1992):
[Soloman and Mona Frommell] — who are manic-depressive, according to their lawyer — had created their own government, the “Conscience Adherent Paradise Government.” They established their own rules, which they followed while living at Parker Apartments on East Magnolia Street. Soloman Frommell claimed to be an ambassador and United States separatist president. He called himself the “fair judge,” while his wife was the “honest judge.”
DeSoto sheriff’s Capt. Will Wise and Deputy Gary Holsomback went to their apartment in May to serve the couple with an eviction notice that was prompted by unusual behavior.
When deputies arrived, Soloman Frommell grabbed a pair of nunchukas, his wife had a butcher knife, and they fled to the front of the apartment, according to reports.
The material for Crackers was recorded during a residency at Gallery 101 in Ottawa, Canada, in October 1997. Crackers were solicited through the radio, classified ads in the weekly paper, and via the Gallery’s membership. The recording sessions consisted of an interview succeeded by a cracking session...
The tapes were edited at Avatar in Quebec City. Crackers was then first presented as an installation in a group show curated by Emmanuel Madan entitled “Incredibly Soft Sounds” at Gallery 101, in January 1998.
He notes that a follow-up show, in January 2000, featured "a video of my right ankle cracking repeatedly for twenty minutes ."
Introduced in 1993, Thuggies were dolls that came with a "rap sheet". As described in the Philadelphia Daily News (Feb 3, 1993):
Carolyn Clark claims that playing with make-believe crooks helps young children avoid becoming real one. To that end, Clark and her partner, Rennie Resmini, both Philadelphians, have designed “Thuggies,” a line of 17 dolls.
Each comes packaged in a cardboard “jail cell” with a “rap sheet” describing his or her crime — and the penalty being paid. For instance, “Bonnie Ann Bribe” is said to be serving time by reading to senior citizens an hour a day. Bonnie, who did not read in first grade, wanted to bribe her way through school. “Dwight Collared Grimes,” who wears a pin-striped suit and a tie and, according to his rap sheet, used to have his hand in other people’s cookie jars, is said to be “presently on cookie-baking duty.”
According to Clark, the positive effect of cuddling these criminals comes from the notion that the doll’s young owner plays a role in “reforming” them. She explained that the dolls, expected to cost about $35 each, have a report card that explains what they have to do to go straight.
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.
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.