Weird Universe Archive

September 2008

September 29, 2008

Chuck’s Hand-Picked Overnight Weird News for Monday

It's good to be a British pris—oops, make that Egyptian prisoner
A "senior security official" said an experimental program during Ramadan would continue indefinitely to allow prisoners to order take-out (at their own expense) from local restaurants instead of eating prison food. It's win-win for the prisons because it helps get those irritating human rights people off their backs, since Egyptian prison food is said to be especially poor. Reuters via Yahoo
Comments 'egyptian_prisoners'

Minister-pimp heavies up his Biblical defense
John LaVoie said he'll appeal the civil forfeiture verdict by the state against his Tucson, Ariz., whore—er, church, because what he does there is have his "angels" engage in providing comfort to the afflicted by "the laying of the hands," which other religions sorta limit to, y'know, the forehead and other benign places. Not like "Oriental Angel," who is 5-foot-2 and whose "Far East delight" will take you "to heaven and back." Arizona Daily Star
Comments 'laying_hands'

"Not many people walk into a bar and walk out with a new leg"
What a great lede! David Huckvale had been saving up for 13 yrs for a bionic leg to replace the amputated one, but hadn't made much progress. At a pub, he happened to run into a surgeon who had a spare leg and offered to fit it for free. I mean . . . whoa . . . Daily Telegraph (London)
Comments 'david_huckvale'

When mindless software-sleuthing becomes more than a bad joke
Yeah, it was a riot to read about that newspaper's software filter's changing the references in a bankruptcy story (the company improving from "red-ink" status to being "in the African-American") or the references to the name of the airplane that dropped the first atomic bomb (to the "Enola homosexual"). Except the city of Tampa gov't's investigation of on-the-job pornography browsing named a fire rescue crew, when apparently all one guy did was access stories about Olympic sprinter Tyson Gay and a sale at the Badcock furniture store. Not that there's anything wrong with that, except that firehouses are not usually the most sexual-orientation-tolerant workplaces. Tampa Tribune
Comments 'software_sleuthing'

Your Daily Jury Duty
[no fair examining the evidence; verdict must be based on mugshot only]
It could be that Peter Lehman, 26, is smart enough to get away with making $20 bills on a copy machine. WPLG-TV (Miami)
Comments 'peter_lehman'

More Things to Worry About on Monday
Turns out that if you get flesh-eating disease, but you're fat enough, you might wear down the bacteria and survive . . . . . The airliner broke down on landing in Zhengzhou, China, and some of the 69 passengers had to help push it to the gate (took 2 hours) . . . . . An Italian lawyer with a part-time gig as a judge took an assignment even though it conflicted with a hearing in court for a client, but fortunately, the lawyer-judge has a twin sister to play the lawyer part (Problem: Sis is not a lawyer) . . . . . Totally Kewl! A tractor-trailer with 26 tons of pudding cups caught fire, and over the following 20 minutes, 60,000 explosions! . . . . . When Fugitives Forget to Keep a Low Profile: Clifford West opened two townfolk-jarring "bikini coffee bars" in Ellensburg, Wash., even though he was on the run from a major sex abuse charge in Oregon. Today's Newsrangers: Paul Music, Bill Warren, Jenny Beatty, Sandy Pearlman, Candy Clouston
Comments 'worry_080929'

Posted By: Chuck - Mon Sep 29, 2008 - Comments (0)

Strange Candidates #3: George Francis Train

Continuing the exploration of strange presidential candidates from American history:

George Francis Train (1829-1904)

Train was a fascinating character. Some facts about his life:
  • He made a fortune in the railway business.
  • He traveled around the world in sixty-seven days, which was a record for the nineteenth-century, and which made him the inspiration for Jules Verne's Around the World in Eighty Days.
  • He ran for President in 1872, as an independent candidate. The issues he stood for included temperance, and women's rights.
  • In later years he campaigned to become Dictator of the United States.
  • Campaigning was a bit difficult because he refused to shake hands with anyone, due to his belief that touching another person's flesh would cause a loss of "psychic force." Whenever he met someone he would "gravely shake hands with himself."
  • He believed that extreme longevity could be achieved by eating no "dead animals" and wearing no underwear.
  • As an old man he took up boxing and fought in a match at the Bowery Theatre. (He believed the boxing gloves served as insulators against the loss of psychic force.)
  • According to Wikipedia, "He spent his final days on park benches in New York City's Madison Square Park, handing out dimes and refusing to speak to anyone but children and animals."
  • When he died, the Thirteen Club (a club of rationalist skeptics -- its name was intended to mock the superstition of 13 at a table being unlucky) passed a resolution declaring Train to be one of the few sane men in "a mad, mad world."

Related Posts:
Strange Candidates #1: Live-Forever Jones
Strange Candidates #2: Homer Tomlinson

Posted By: Alex - Mon Sep 29, 2008 - Comments (0)
Category: Politics, Strange Candidates

September 28, 2008

The Tiger Lillies

Witness the weirdness that is the Tiger Lillies.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Sep 28, 2008 - Comments (4)
Category: Art, Pop Art, Surrealism, Eccentrics, Fashion, Humor, Parody, Music, Theater and Stage, Body Painting

Smoki Bacon

And yet more bacon!

Smoki Bacon, that is, glamorous NYC and Boston socialite and literary bon vivant.

How could Smoki's Zelig-like presence at all the great intersections of literary history have escaped me till this very moment?

Sample the tasty Bacon yourself in this highlights reel from her cable-TV show with Dick Concannon.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Sep 28, 2008 - Comments (3)
Category: Celebrities, Literature, Writers, Odd Names, Television

September 27, 2008

The 10th Victim

This article in today's NEW YORK TIMES tells us about "Street Wars," a game played in urban environments by players determined to "kill" each other. Several precedents for this game are cited in the article, but the writer misses the most important and primal one: A 1953 story by famed and beloved SF writer Robert Sheckley, titled "The Seventh Victim."

The story was later filmed as THE 10TH VICTIM. Its most famous scene: Ursula Andress using guns concealed in her bra, as seen in the second clip below.

Posted By: Paul - Sat Sep 27, 2008 - Comments (2)
Category: Explosives, Games, Roleplayers and Re-enactors, Geeks, Nerds and Pointdexters, Guns, Literature, Science Fiction, Movies, Sexuality, Sex Symbols, War, Weapons, 1950s, 1960s, Women, Yesterday’s Tomorrows

As Boys Grow

Let it never be said that WEIRD UNIVERSE is unbalanced or sexist. Here's a companion piece to MOLLY GROWS UP.

Doesn't the coach sound just like Troy McClure on THE SIMPSONS?

Posted By: Paul - Sat Sep 27, 2008 - Comments (6)
Category: Body Modifications, Facial Hair, Domestic, Family, Children, Parents, Hygiene, Body Fluids, Sexuality, Documentaries, 1950s, Men

Chuck’s Hand-Picked Overnight Weird News for Saturday

Britain's least-parentally-successful radical Muslim cleric
Rabble-rousing Omar Bakri Mohammed, who was kicked out, to Lebanon, after the 7/7 London subway attacks, now knows that a daughter he left behind, Yasmin Fostok, 26, is a smokin' part-time model with breast implants, does a little topless here, a little pole-dancing there, despite having worn a veil most of her teen years. Omar said it all must be lies by the infidels. Daily Mail
Comments 'omars_daughter'

Sounds like a joke: Securities and Exchange Commission kills its regulation program for investment banks
Chairman Christopher Cox put his foot down and said, by God, he's ending the program because it hasn't seemed to work. Er, maybe that's because it was voluntary. Seriously. When the European Union threatened in 2002 to regulate U.S. investment banks doing business there (but said they'd hold off if the U.S. regulated them), the gov't's regulatory cowboys came up with this voluntary regulation of disclosure and forbearance, but the companies could drop out any time they wanted. Now, if you haven't been keeping up with the financial news: The five largest investment banks are all dead. New York Times
Comments 'voluntary_regulation'

On a Japanese runway, models wearing diapers
It's actually a sorta festival sponsored by the Aging Lifestyle Research Center and others to show Japan's swelling numbers of seniors that there are many varieties of absorbent wear. The Japan Today report fails to mention the silent younger audience of diaper perverts (which probably won't switch from baby-style nappies, anyway). Japan Today
Comments 'runway_diapers'

Instant reincarnation in Nakhon Nayok
For the equivalent of about $5, Buddhists line up at a Thai temple to lie inside coffin things for a few minutes while priests chant some magic words, and when they alight, they're supposed to feel like another whole person, kind of. But while you're waiting your turn, don't stand directly behind the coffin, because that's where the current customer's evilness is wafting out. 50.0 percent of one's destiny lies in his name, and the ther 50.0 percent by date of birth, so be careful when making a reservation at the temple. New York Times
Comments 'instant_reincarnation'

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
Peter Abramczyk, 39, Concord, N.H., arrested for prostitution and low self-esteem (having claimed in his Craigslist ad to be only a "passable" crossdresser. You might quarrel with his optimism.
Comments 'peter_abramczyk'

Your Daily Jury Duty
[no fair examining the evidence; verdict must be based on mugshot only]
Ryder Laramore, who is also alleged to be a cross-dresser, but how could that be, because his day job is F State probation officer, and he's the son of the local public defender. Anyway, that's irrelevant under the direction of you, Jury 2.0! Panama City News Herald
Comments 'ryder_laramore'

Eyewitness News
[news videos goin' around]
Here is photographer Chris Jordan's picture of a sorta-illustration of a woman's bare chest [so if you're really, really sensitive, it's Not Safe For Work™], but it's really his commentary on the ridiculous number of U.S. women each month (32,000) who get boob jobs, and the sorta-illustration is composed of 32,000 artistically arranged Barbie dolls. Metro (London) [Link from Abroath]
Comments 'chris_jordan'

More Things to Worry About on Saturday
That beefcake calendar of hunky Mormon men someone sold last year? They're doing it again, and coming in 2010: Hot Mormon Muffins (gals!) (btw, the calendar creator has been excommunicated) . . . . . Colorado police said Nikita Weis, 18, hired a hit man to batter his mom to death (failed!) so he'd be able to afford gazongas for his girlfriend . . . . . A Pennsylvania soccer mom was stripped of her concealed-weapon permit because she carried her Glock 26 openly, so now, legally, she, er, can carry her Glock 26 openly (Seriously) . . . . . The police chief in Palm Bay, Fla., said "85 to 90 percent" of the people who report "car break-ins" actually left their cars unlocked in the first place . . . . . European technology breakthrough: electronic cigarettes that deliver your nicotine in a burst of water vapor (but if you miss your tar and carbon monoxide, you'll have to step outside) Today's Newsranger: Candy Clouston
Comments 'worry_080927'

Posted By: Chuck - Sat Sep 27, 2008 - Comments (0)

September 26, 2008

Dion Fortune

Collecting novels of the fantastic as I do, I eventually and inevitably came across those of Dion Fortune, and bought a few. To this day, they remain untracked by my eyes. Nonetheless, I was sensitized to her name, and could spot her non-fiction selection Psychic Self-Defence readily on the shelf of a used-book store and snatch it up. A bargain at $5.00, I'm sure!

I haven't read it yet, but I'm much looking forward to learning how to protect myself against various types of intrusive mind assaults. Sample a few pages yourselves below.

And thanks to Google Books, you can read the whole thing online here.



Posted By: Paul - Fri Sep 26, 2008 - Comments (8)
Category: New Age, Paranormal, Self-help Schemes, Psychology, Books, 1930s

Molly Grows Up

Posted By: Paul - Fri Sep 26, 2008 - Comments (13)
Category: Babies, Body Modifications, Domestic, Family, Children, Parents, Hygiene, Body Fluids, Sexuality, Video, 1950s, Women

Polish Film Posters

Well Medicated has posted a collection of 50 Polish film posters. I picked out three at random: The Empire Strikes Back, Rosemary's Baby, and The Getaway. Compare them to the American versions below. I like the Polish ones better.

Posted By: Alex - Fri Sep 26, 2008 - Comments (4)
Category: Art, Entertainment, Movies, Advertising

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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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