Weird Universe Archive

September 2008

September 30, 2008

Playing for you, Madam

Theory 1) The woman has passed out drunk and the musicians are her hallucination.
Theory 2) She's dead and the musicians are ghosts.
Theory 3) The musicians have broken into her apartment, drugged her, and are now performing a weird fetishistic ritual with her.
(via LP Cover Lover)

Posted By: Alex - Tue Sep 30, 2008 - Comments (3)
Category: Music

Man Drought

Australia has been facing a drought in recent years, but according to a new book published down under, it's not just water in short supply. Australia's cities are also suffering from a "man drought." The problem is that there's a "man dam" in rural communities -- which means that all the men are staying on the farm while the women move to the city to find work, thus causing a "sheila shortage" in the outback. This prompted the mayor of the remote town of Mt. Isa to invite all the female "ugly ducklings" to move there to find a man.

Nothing particularly weird about all this. I just like the phrases.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Sep 30, 2008 - Comments (3)
Category: Men

Babies On Parade

How did this fabulous event ever come to cease?

Posted By: Paul - Tue Sep 30, 2008 - Comments (10)
Category: Babies, Games, Parades and Festivals, Regionalism, 1950s

Aristocrats of Fashion

Do you have enough Bemberg rayon clothes in your wardrobe? If not, watch this!

(But be warned! Only a partial video remains to us down the ages. You'll never get to see the implied all-rayon wedding.)

Posted By: Paul - Tue Sep 30, 2008 - Comments (3)
Category: Business, Advertising, Products, Fashion, 1930s, 1940s

Chuck’s Hand-Picked Overnight Weird News for Tuesday

Time for the annual competitive-sneering contest between the conceptual-art community and, well, the rest of the entire world
This year's Turner Prize finalists are headlined by (1) a video of a woman pushing a cup and saucer off a table (spoiler: It breaks on the floor!) and, well, (2) a supermarket checkout counter with dirty dishes on it, accompanied by a mannequin on a toilet, among other features. The Independent (London) /// photo of (2)
Comments 'turner_prize'

Police search for thief who obviously has attention-deficit disorder
Results of several burglaries of offices in Pittsburgh's City-County Building: a laptop and digital camera missing, but also water bottles were taken from one office and placed in another; a stereo was bagged but not taken; coffee cups were stolen; gym shoes were swapped for shoes left behind by the burglar; various other knickknacks were bagged but left on a counter. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Comments 'pittsburgh_burglaries'

F-State suicider survives 197-ft plunge into the Gulf of Mexico
She tried to take The Only Way Out, off the Sunshine Skyway bridge, which means hitting the water at about 75 mph, but give her double style points because she actually survived, in not-that-bad a condition. (Bonus: Two previous Skyway survivors both admitted they regretted their decision . . just before they hit the water) St. Petersburg Times
Comments 'skyway_survivor'

In the U.S., about 2,000 teenagers are serving life in prison
Apparently, Pennsylvania's law is the strictest, with a double-whammy: All first-degree . . and second-degree . . murderers must be tried as adults regardless of age, and all first- . . and all second- . . get mandatory life without parole. Human Rights Watch says this makes the U.S. number one, kicking even Iran's butt. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Comments 'teenage_lifers'

Your Daily Jury Duty
[no fair examining the evidence; verdict must be based on mugshot only]
There's probably a certain look possessed by a woman who shows up at her ex's wedding reception carrying a crowbar and a razor, but who knows whether Lisa Coker has that look? WFTS-TV (Tampa)
Comments 'lisa_coker'

Eyewitness News
[news videos goin' around]
So this horse goes into a bar, see? . . .. Well, he used to go in all the time [CORRECTIONS: a she], but now, he can't because the bar owner put in new carpeting. BBC News [preceded by ad; also, one Tynesdale, England, pub-goer answers questions in an incomprehensible foreign language]
Comments 'horse_pub'

More Things to Worry About on Tuesday
Spanning the globe to find medical conditions you couldn't even dream of: The Aussie gal whose eyes are normal for three days at a time, and then for the next 3 days, she can't open them, and then she can, and the cycle begins again . . . . . Yet another prostitution arrest [Ed.: a couple of days beyond my staleness cut-off; sorry] of a woman named Mi Suk (Mi Suk Yang, Marietta, Ga., not to be confused with Mi Sook You of Broomfield, Colo. [NOTW M074, 9-7-2008]) . . . . . Florida man's story is that he was robbed by four blondes who were topless except for suspenders, and he's stickin' to it . . . . . A Holiday Inn franchisee in Harrisburg, Pa., with a busted refrigerator, was written up for storing food in a regular motel room (hey, management said, we turned the A/C all the way down to 65F!) . . . . . The Garden of Eden group of Dutch Christian nudists said they'd cancel an upcoming prayer meeting because of the hostile reaction of clothing-obsessed Christians. Today's Newsrangers: Kathryn Wood, Ryan Gosdin, Jeff Grunden
Comments 'worry_080930'

Posted By: Chuck - Tue Sep 30, 2008 - Comments (0)

September 29, 2008

Anger and Landscape Art

Do you feel angry and frustrated sitting in your windowless cubicle grinding away at a dead-end job? Recent research (published in the journal Environment and Behavior) indicates there may be an easy way to brighten your mood, at least if you're a man. Hang a few art posters.

Researchers at Texas A&M University conducted an experiment in a simulated office. Participants were told that the researchers were investigating performance on a variety of computer tasks. In reality, the computer tasks were designed to "provoke stress and anger." The question was whether the artwork hanging on the wall (abstract art, nature posters, abstract and nature posters, or no art) would modify people's moods. The conclusion:

We found that nature and abstract art posters have a significant influence on state anger and stress for male participants but not for female participants. Male participants experienced less state anger when there are art posters on the wall of the office setting than when no art posters are present. They also experienced less stress when there were mixed abstract and nature art posters or all nature art posters.

It's not clear why men are calmed by wall art, but not women. Maybe men are just simpler creatures.

Posted By: Alex - Mon Sep 29, 2008 - Comments (5)
Category: Art, Science, Experiments

Breakfast by Svankmajer

Thanks to High Weirdo Sandy Pearlman, we can all enjoy this little gem by filmmaker Jan Svankmajer.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Sep 29, 2008 - Comments (3)
Category: Art, Surrealism, Body Modifications, Food, Movies, Foreign Customs


Jordan Witham is a mechaphile, which means that he likes to have sex with cars. His "partner" is a 1967 VW Beetle. He explains:

“Sometimes I stroke and kiss her bodywork, or rub myself up against her. If I’ve just been driving her, I have to wait for the exhaust pipe to cool down before I have sex. And I always use a condom because of all the dirt and dust inside.”

The article in Closer magazine about him is a bit old (from May of this year), but the best part about it is that Jordan himself (or someone claiming to be him) has been posting in the comments thread, defending his behavior with lines such as, "This article makes it sound like I'm a wild car-rapist. In reality, I just love my cars a lot, and sometimes get kinky with 'em."

Posted By: Alex - Mon Sep 29, 2008 - Comments (4)
Category: Sexuality, Fetishes

Follies of the Mad Men #31

Product placement in entertainment media is nothing new. Here's how the classic fairytale of Cinderella can be improved by the addition of a Chevrolet.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Sep 29, 2008 - Comments (2)
Category: Business, Advertising, Movies, Cartoons, Myths and Fairytales, Marriage, 1930s, Dance, Cars

Donation Meters

How to solve the problem of unruly panhandlers?

The donation meter!

The picture here portrays one in Denver, which I found on the Flickr page of msitarzewski.

Read all about Atlanta's recent experiment with donation meters here.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Sep 29, 2008 - Comments (10)
Category: Bums, Hobos, Tramps, Beggars, Panhandlers and Other Streetpeople, Entertainment, Government, Money, Charity, Signage, Stupidity, Experiments

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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.

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