New from Ave Maria Press comes the Catholic Hipster Handbook. According to the publisher's blurb, the book is about "yearning to learn more about the faith by seeking out 'Catholic cool'—overlooked saints, forgotten prayers and feast days, and traditional practices long set aside by mainstream believers."
The book sounds interesting. But it reminded me that four years ago I posted about a Catholic ad campaign to promote Jesus as "the original hipster."
So I detect a weird recurring theme: catholics trying to rebrand themselves as hipsters.
Haven't read the book, but I've got a few ideas. Take your date to the Dollar Store and tell her you'll treat her to any one thing. Or take her to McDonald's and tell her she can get any one thing she wants off the dollar menu.
The title of this 1971 recipe book was somewhat misleading. It claimed to feature "Man-Pleasing Recipes," but really it was a collection of recipes featuring rice as the main ingredient. The booklet was put out by the Rice Council for P.R. purposes. Part of an effort to promote rice as a manly food.
Can't say it succeeded. When I think of foods traditionally perceived as "manly," rice isn't one of the things that comes to mind.
The Snelgrove method was first described by Leonard E Snelgrove in his 1934 book, “Swarming - It’s Control and Prevention”. It follows on from decades of hive manipulation using various kinds of board to separate queen from brood. Leonard Snelgrove introduced his specific design of board that makes use of entrances above and below the board to “bleed” bees from one box to another.
However, what Snelgrove (I assume that's him) is demonstrating on the cover is Bee Bearding. I'm guessing that you need to master swarming control before attempting bee bearding, but I don't think he reveals the tricks of bee bearding in his book, which you can download here if you're curious to read it.
Comedian Jamie Loftus recently posted a video commemorating the first year of her plan to eat an entire copy of the novel Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace, one page at a time. She's never read it. She's just eating it.
This caught my attention because, as it turns out, I've got a folder on my computer where I've been filing examples of people who eat books, aka bibliophagia.
In 1370 Barnabo Visconti compelled two Papal delegates to eat the bull of excommunication which they had brought him, together with its silken cord and leaden seal. As the bull was written on parchment, not paper, it was all the more difficult to digest.
A similar anecdote was related by Oelrich in his "Dissertation de Bibliothecarum et Librorum Fatis," (1756), of an Austrian general who had signed a note for two thousand florins, and was compelled by his creditor, when it fell due, to eat it.
A Scandinavian writer, the author of a political book, was compelled to choose between being beheaded or eating his manuscript boiled in broth.
Isaac Volmar, who wrote some spicy satires against Bernard, Duke of Saxony, was not allowed the courtesy of the kitchen, but was forced to swallow his literary productions uncooked.
Still worse was the fate of Philip Oldenburger, a jurist of great renown, who was condemned not only to eat a pamphlet of his writing, but also to be flogged during his repast, with orders that the flogging should not cease until he had swallowed the last crumb.
Back in 1977, photographer Douglas Curran began taking photos of objects built by people in anticipation of the arrival of extraterrestrials. Eight years later, he collected these photos together in his book In Advance of the Landing: Folk Concepts of Outer Space.
"The words in the title," [Curran] said, "came to me in a dream in 1975. I wrote them down and carried them in a book for two years before I had any ideas as to what I was going to do with them."
Curran was asked how the people he photographed received him. Were they suspicious or secretive? He replied that they were open to him.
"I arrive on their doorstep," he said, "tell them my name, and explain that I heard about their work and want to talk to them. They're usually surprised that somebody from so far away heard about them. Also, they feel I'm ordained to do this. I've become great friends with many of them."
I haven't had a chance to read the book, but it seems like it belongs in any library of weird reading material. You can get a copy either via Curran's website or from Amazon.
Curran also made a documentary film of the same name that he released in 1993.
In 1977, Lieutenant Jim Bullard of the Memphis police department published a self-defense manual for women titled Looking forward to being attacked. The general theme was that if a bad guy attacked you, it gave you the chance to beat him up, which could be fun. His idea was to use some humor to make the self-defense lessons more interesting.
Some of the self-defense tips from his book:
If you're grabbed, don't scream. Even if he didn't intend to hurt you, it'll be an automatic reflex to shut you up.
If he grabs for your purse or any personal belongings, let them go. Defend personally. Don't defend property.
Don't try to kick, scratch or punch him. Instead, through the principle of attack the "weakest point" you can escape 90 percent of the time.
If you have a chance, jab any sharp object including your thumb into his trachea — his adam's apple. That is a man's most vulnerable area.
One hundred and fifty pounds of pressure will kill a person. Seven pounds of pressure is all anyone can comfortably stand.
The ears are the second most vulnerable area. Slap your hands against them.
The eyes are the third choice and always carry your car keys when going to your car in a dark parking lot. If you can, scrape them across the assailant's eyes. Use a ball point pen, if you have it out of your purse.
A fourth choice, especially when held around the waist from behind, is to reach back and strike at a man's testicles.
If you find a burglar is outside your home, warn him first, and then you can take a cannon and blow him into the next county. 99.6 percent of the time you scream when someone's outside, warn him, he'll run. If he doesn't, you can legally assume he's coming in to kill you. A shotgun is the most efficient weapon. Kill him. You're doing society a favor when you do do it. I've seen those that didn't do it, and it's a very sad case.
Noting that "the role of smells in how we perceive heritage has not been systematically explored until now," researchers at University College London have developed a "Historic Book Odour Wheel."
They tested it on visitors to St Paul's Cathedral's Dean and Chapter library in London, who characterized the smell of the library as 'woody,' 'smoky,' 'earthy,' and 'vanilla.'
The researchers say, "the Historic Book Odour Wheel could potentially be used to recreate smells and aid the design of olfactory experiences in museums, allowing visitors to form a personal connection with exhibits by allowing them to understand what the past smelled like."
Books Selected and endorsed for Pure Weirdness by Your WU Team
Who We Are
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.
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.
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