February 1958: A jury of "celebrated painters" convened for the Mona Lisa Grand Prix awarded the title of "Mona Lisa 1958" to Luce Bona. What made the award slightly unusual is that Bona hadn't been a contestant. The judges just happened to see her as she was walking by outside and decided she was the one. At least, that was the story reported in the press.
Louisville Courier-Journal - Feb 19, 1958
Here's the winner from the previous year, Maria Lea. Apparently the gimmick of this contest was that the winner posed in a picture frame, which made her somehow like the Mona Lisa.
The Lincoln Star - Jan 13, 1957
Later in 1958 a jury of French mystery writers selected Luce Bona as the girl with the "Most Devilish Eyes." I'm assuming she was actually entered into that contest.
I can't find any references to Luce Bona after 1958. Perhaps she gave up modeling, despite such a promising start.
Robert Lucas and Rita Cohen met while both were undergraduates at the University of Chicago, and they got married in 1959. They had two sons together, but eventually things didn't work out. They separated in 1982 and divorced a few years later, citing "irreconcilable differences."
But Rita evidently had faith in Robert's talent, because she instructed her lawyer to add a clause to the divorce settlement specifying that if Robert won the Nobel Prize by October 31, 1995, she would receive half the prize money.
Robert was awarded the Nobel Prize in economics on October 10, 1995 — 21 days before the clause would have expired.
Asked about having to pay half the prize to his ex-wife, he noted philosophically that, "A deal is a deal." But added, "Maybe if I'd known I'd win, I would have resisted the clause."
Female ventriloquists are pretty rare. So it's always weird to find a forgotten one, especially one who might be remembered for garnering the first Emmy award ever given. Shirley Dinsdale might have been talented, but Judy Splinters was surely ugly as all get-out.
This 1945 radio show (not embeddable) features her act in its prime, starting after the 3-minute mark.
Nationwide Insurance has created the "Hambone Award" which, for the past five years, it's been giving to the most unusual pet insurance claim of the year. It seems to be like a Darwin Awards for animals, except they only give awards to animals that recover from their mishaps, not the ones that die. (Are Darwin Awards given to animals? I'm not sure.)
The Hambone Award was named after a "dog that got stuck in a refrigerator and ate an entire Thanksgiving ham while waiting for someone to find him."
The most recent winner is Curtis, a 5-year-old Boxer, who ate an entire BBQ skewer during a birthday party. He was rushed to the hospital, but doctors couldn't find the skewer. It was only a year later, when he was taken back to the doctor because he still wasn't feeling well, that surgeons found the skewer, which had become a "baseball-sized mass" encapsulated by the body, located between the dog's stomach and pancreas.
The Illinois State Lottery is not currently paying out jackpots above $25,000 until the state budget is passed. There's not even an estimated time frame for the winners who are waiting for their payouts. As you can imagine, the winners have a problem with this.
Robbers broke into a store in Germany and took 1200 Koenig beer caps. That's right, just the caps, the bottles of untouched beer were left in the crates. Apparently the company is running a promotion giving away prizes on certain caps. The company also says there is no way to trace where the winning caps were delivered so if the criminals are careful in how they redeem the winners they are home free.
The town of Van Meter, Iowa is holding a raffle to benefit the police department. Each $5 ticket buys a chance to taser either the city Administrator or a city Councilman. The money is going for new equipment, like tasers.
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Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction books such as Elephants on Acid.
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