The Bone House


What to do when you run out of room in the local grave yard? In Hallstatt, Austria they built a Bone House with the remains. It no longer gets new additions but many of the skulls in there already have their names on them. RIP

Posted By: patty - Mon Jul 25, 2016 - Comments (0)
Category: Buildings and Other Structures, Skulls, Bones and Skeletons

Shotgun Fashion

Back in 1993, Ed Kirko gave up his job as an engineering assistant and became a fashion designer. His fashion idea was that, for a fee, he would blast your clothes with a shotgun. He came up with the idea after seeing an episode of 60 Minutes about ripped jeans selling for $90 and thought he could do that — but better! He offered a "Honeymoon Special," which was a bra, panties, and boxer shorts riddled with bullet holes.

Palm Beach Post — Jan 17, 1994



San Bernardino County Sun — Sep 29, 1993

Posted By: Alex - Mon Jul 25, 2016 - Comments (3)
Category: Fashion, 1990's

Site Update

Ever since we started this blog, back in 2008, we've been using the same blogging software to run it. As in, the same version of the software. We never updated it.

The software company regularly came out with updates, but we just ignored them. This wasn't just laziness on our part. Over at the Museum of Hoaxes, which runs on the same software, I had a traumatic experience trying to update from version 1.7 to 2.0. The update took the site offline for an entire week while I struggled to fix it. Lots of other people had similar experiences. It was a very buggy update.

So over here at WU, I figured if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Everything seemed to be working fine with version 1.7 of the software. So I never changed it.

The problem was, eventually the blogging software could no longer run on a modern server. So our webhost moved the site to a Victorian-era server in their back closet. (It's like trying to run Microsoft Word 97 on a modern computer. You can't do it. It can only run on an old computer.)

This is the condition we've been living in for quite a while. But finally, I decided it was time to return to the 21st century. So this weekend I updated the software from version 1.7 to 2.11. That doesn't get us to the most recent version of the software (which is 3.something), but it does let us return to a modern server!

However, the upgrade comes at a bit of a cost. We've lost some things in the right-hand colum, such as the list of Recent Comments, as well as the list of Recent Posts Ranked by # of Comments. I'm trying to figure out how to restore these.

But the site, otherwise, should be the same. Hopefully just a little faster. However, if you notice anything not working as it should, definitely let me know.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Jul 24, 2016 - Comments (7)
Category: Weird Universe

The Yellowstone Zone of Death



Yellowstone National Park contains a 50-square mile "zone of death" where, legal scholars suggest, a person could commit murder without fear of prosecution. This zone is the part of the park that extends into Idaho.

The reason for this free-pass-for-murder lies with the Sixth Amendment which guarantees a defendant the right to a trial by a jury "of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed." The zone is in the State of Idaho, but because of the unique legal status of Yellowstone, it's in the judicial District of Wyoming. Therefore, to prosecute anyone a court would need to form a jury of people who live simultaneously in the State of Idaho and the District of Wyoming, and no one fits that bill because no one lives in the Idaho part of Yellowstone. Without being able to create a jury, a trial couldn't proceed.

A similar zone exists in the part of Yellowstone that extends into Montana. However, a few people live there, so a jury could, in theory, be formed from its residents.

This legal loophole was first pointed out in 2005 by Brian Kalt, a professor at Michigan State Law School, in an article published in the Georgetown Law Journal. Kalt urged Congress to pass legislation to fix the loophole before someone tested the loophole by committing murder in the death zone. The simplest fix, he proposed, would be to change the district lines so that the part of Yellowstone in Idaho would be included in the District of Idaho.

To date, Congress has not done anything to fix the problem. Part of the reason for this is political inertia. But there's also resistance to changing the District lines because this would place part of Yellowstone under the jurisdiction of the more liberal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals which, it's feared, environmentalists could use to their advantage. So the "zone of death" remains.

The idea of a legal "zone of death" has naturally appealed to the imaginations of artists. The zone was featured in a best-selling mystery novel, Free Fire, by CJ Box. And in 2016 it became the subject of a film, Population Zero (trailer below).

More info: npr.org, bbc news, vox.com.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Jul 24, 2016 - Comments (8)
Category: Crime, Geography and Maps, Law

Mystery Illustration 26

image

What domestic problem is this couple undergoing? Halitosis? Bad coffee? Visit by mother-in-law?

The answer is here.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Jul 24, 2016 - Comments (7)
Category: Domestic, Advertising, Husbands, Wives, 1940's

Smarty Pants



image

"They call me smarty pants!"

Wikipedia entry.

Posted By: Paul - Sat Jul 23, 2016 - Comments (3)
Category: Fashion, Music, 1970's

Gobbles the Crazy Eating Goat

via Vintage Toy Archive



Kenner released Gobbles The Crazy Eating Goat toy in 1978, but they soon discontinued it. There may have been concerns that children would eat the plastic bits of fake garbage (designed for Gobbles to eat) that came with the toy. But also, the toy was branded one of the worst toys of the year by the Consumer Affairs Committee of the Americans for Democratic Action organization. They objected to the "concept of paying for garbage," and also didn't think Gobbles taught kids a good message about how to treat animals.

Washington Post — Dec 8, 1979



However, the toy made an impression on filmmaker John Waters. He shared his thoughts about it in his essay "Why I Love Christmas":

For years friends have treated me to the toy annually selected by the Consumer Affairs Committee of Americans for Democratic Action as the "worst toy" to give your child at Christmastime. "Gobbles, the Garbage-Eating Goat" started my collection.

"That crazy eating goat" reads the delightful package, and in small print, "Contains: One realistic goat with head that goes up and down. Comes complete with seven pieces of pretend garbage."

This Kenner Discovery Time toy's instructions are priceless. "Gobbles loves to eat garbage when he's hungry, and he's ALWAYS hungry. (1) Hold Gobbles mouth open by the beard. Stuff a piece of pretend garbage straight into his mouth and (2) pump the tail until the garbage disappears."

It ends with an ominous warning, "Feed Gobbles only the garbage that comes with the toy," and in even smaller print "If you need additional garbage, we will, as a service, send it to you direct. For 14 pieces of garbage send $1 (check or money order; sorry, no C.O.D.) to . . . . "

I can't tell you the hours of fun I've had with Gobbles. Sometimes when I'm very bored, Gobbles and I get naked and play-play.


via PlaidStallions.com



Here's some video of Gobbles doing his thing:

Posted By: Alex - Sat Jul 23, 2016 - Comments (3)
Category: Toys

Priest shoots photographer out of sky

Larry Walters gained weird-news fame in 1982 when he tied 45 helium-filled weather balloons to a lawn chair and took an unscheduled flight over Los Angeles. However, he wasn't the first person to have this kind of aerial adventure.

On September 28, 1937, news photographer Al Mingalone was on assignment in Maine trying to get photos from a "balloonist's point of view." This involved using gas-filled weather balloons to lift him into the air. But with 27 balloons pulling him upwards, the safety line keeping him tethered to the ground snapped, sending him drifting across the countryside, towards the ocean.

He floated 13 miles before a local Catholic priest, Rev. James J. Mullen, who happened to be a crack rifle shot, managed to shoot enough of the balloons to bring Mingalone back to the ground.

Read a longer account of Mingalone's flight here.



The Kane Republican - Oct 2, 1937

Posted By: Alex - Fri Jul 22, 2016 - Comments (1)
Category: 1930's

Flying Wings

In some alternate timeline, the skies are full of flying wing-type airplanes.




Posted By: Paul - Fri Jul 22, 2016 - Comments (6)
Category: Inventions, Air Travel and Airlines, 1940's, Armed Forces

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Who We Are
Alex Boese
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.

Chuck Shepherd
Chuck is the purveyor of News of the Weird, the syndicated column which for decades has set the gold-standard for reporting on oddities and the bizarre.

Our banner was drawn by the legendary underground cartoonist Rick Altergott.

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