Weird Universe Archive

September 2008

September 26, 2008

Airbag for People

A Japanese company has invented an airbag for people that deploys in the case of an accidental fall. It explains that it is designed particularly for elderly people with epilepsy, but of course it would also be very useful for drunks and klutzes.

I imagine it could also be used for recreational purposes -- like the game of trust. Do you dare to fall backwards and trust that the airbag will deploy?

The BBC has video of the people's airbag in action.

Update: Oops, hadn't noticed that Chuck had already posted this in his "more things to worry about." We need an airbag to protect against accidental double-posting!

Posted By: Alex - Fri Sep 26, 2008 - Comments (17)
Category: Inventions

Chuck’s Hand-Picked Overnight Weird News for Friday

Mother of middle-schooler insists: A main reason why "school" exists is to enable my son to express his style
It's his right to wear makeup, lipstick, and nail polish (if not black then pink). Well, one thing it does teach the other kids at Garfield Middle is forbearance because it takes character for them to refrain from regularly ass-kicking the kid. WCPO-TV (Cincinnati)
Comments 'lipstick_boy'

Homeland Security tests mind-reading technology
They tried out the face-recognition software on 140 volunteers in Maryland and claim a 75-80 percent hit rate for ID'ing people who were supposedly trying to be deceptive or thinking dangerous thoughts. Sensors remotely scan a person's temperature, pulse, respiration, and gestures, even to the point (they say) of being able to distinguish ordinary, stressed-out airline passengers from those up to no good. Daily Telegraph (London)
Comments 'mind_reading'

Sheffield (England) Council rubs its forehead on the floor, to the god of political correctness
Ya can't have a funeral in Sheffield on a Saturday unless you're Muslim because all the parlors have to be on standby for those speedy burials required by Islam. One infidel family that had out-of-towners available only on Saturday found out the policy the hard way. Daily Telegraph (London)
Comments 'saturday_funerals'

Gerontological tragedies: Alzheimer's, osteoporosis, brake failure
All of a sudden, an SUV came barreling up the hill at 50 mph (up the hill, not down) on a fairway at Cloverleaf Golf Course near Pittsburgh, stopping only after it had careened into two trees, spun around, and burst into flames. The five seniors aboard were rescued, including the 82-yr-old driver, who insisted that he'd just "lost his brakes." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Comments 'brake_failure'

What a country!
China's space technology is obviously years ahead of the U.S.'s, in that its mission control had the ability, on September 25th, to quote in-flight dialogue among Shenzhou 7 astronauts . . who hadn't even launched yet . . and, according to its official news agency, wouldn't actually have the quoted conversation until September 27th. Associated Press via Yahoo
Comments 'china_astronauts'

Readers' choice
I didn't do a good job with the news yesterday, and some reader contributions piled up. Many thanks to many people for these tips. (1) Kentucky man went in for circumcision, woke up minus his stuff (Doctor: Umm, I happened to see a cancer, and I couldn't imagine you'd want a second opinion, so I sliced it off. You're welcome.) (2) Jose Cruz, 21, arrested for DUI in South Charleston, W.Va., had a "battery" charge tacked on when he allegedly lifted his leg several times and gassed the arresting officer (but the prosecutor said he's only doing the DUI). (3) A Wisconsin man was cited for disorderly conduct for buying a beer for his sons, ages 4 and 2, at the county fair (Bonus: It's not illegal for kids to hoist a few with their parents in Wisconsin). WLKY-TV (Louisville) /// Associated Press via Yahoo /// Post-Crescent (Appleton)
Comments 'readers_080926'

Your Daily Jury Duty
[no fair examining the evidence; verdict must be based on mugshot only]
According to the police, when her live-in boyfriend popped the question, Celeste Lagrant, 39, declined, via a knife-and-fist attack. WTSP-TV (St. Petersburg-Tampa)
Comments 'celeste_lagrant'

Eyewitness News
[news videos goin' around]
I can't find this slide show on a U.S. source, so beware of this, but it says here that recently in Houston (and irrespective of Hurricane Ike), a landlord happened to wander into one of his apartments to discover a new high in disgustingness. I mean, really. Daily Telegraph (Sydney) [click link inside the story for the slide show]
Comments 'houston_apartment'

More Things to Worry About on Friday
A female F State firefighter is being investigated for stealing a traffic-accident victim's foot from the scene (Seriously) . . . . . We've heard of dentists who use their tools to extort overdue bills from patients, but only when the patients return for subsequent treatment, but this German dentist didn't wait; he went to the deadbeat's house and yanked out the dentures . . . . . A Utah mother, driving her Ford Expedition, let her little tykes ride on the running board while she drove slowly around (only this time she went over a speed bump, and one kid's in critical condition) . . . . . Another one of those loco Japanese inventions: a personal, wearable airbag, in case you fall [Ed.: Oh, wait; this is a great invention, as anyone with elderly parents will recognize] . . . . . Update: A Nebraska man abandoned his nine children (ages 1 to 17) at a hospital, under the state's baby-drop-off law (no penalty for parents who give up their infants, except that Nebraska's law applies to all "minors"). Today's Newsrangers: Larry Ellis Reed, Candy Clouston, Emory Kimbrough, Bruce Alter, Mark Svevar, Pete Randall (and a slew of "Readers' Choice" finders)
Comments 'worry_080926'

Posted By: Chuck - Fri Sep 26, 2008 - Comments (0)

September 25, 2008

Follies of the Mad Men #30

[From Life magazine for June 9 1952.]

This ad was part of a long campaign for the product, which depicted men and boys doing common tasks in public in their underwear. Kinda the male equivalent of the famous "I dreamed I went to work in my Maidenform bra" series of ads. No matter the possible plausible logic of the creators, this series conjures up nothing so much as a kind of weird nation solely populated by mentally challenged males, where outer clothing has yet to be invented.

Posted By: Paul - Thu Sep 25, 2008 - Comments (17)
Category: Business, Advertising, Fashion, Stupidity, 1950s, Men

Fecal Scoring System

Don't you wish that the Purina pet food company would issue a handy chart by which to grade your dog's poop? Well, your wish has come true!

Visit the hidden portion of this post, if you have a high tolerance for pictures of dog poop.

More in extended >>

Posted By: Paul - Thu Sep 25, 2008 - Comments (21)
Category: Animals, Pets, Dogs, Scatology, Excrement

Unsolved Mystery: Lumps from the sea

Mystery lumps are washing ashore in New Zealand. What they are: large, barrel-shaped lumps of grease ("like rancid fat or lard") covered in barnacles. Where they come from: nobody knows. The theory that they could be ambergris from whales was quickly disproven. Some entrepreneurs are carving them up and selling the stuff as moisturizing sunblock. Link:

Posted By: Alex - Thu Sep 25, 2008 - Comments (10)
Category: Nature, Unsolved Mysteries

Chuck’s Hand-Picked Overnight Weird News for Thursday

Editor's Note
Regret the brevity. Busy last night and this morning. Catch-up by tomorrow.

Worst idea of 2008
The Clown Conservatory in San Francisco announced it has become the latest outfit to try to raise money by selling its own fancy themed calendar . . of clowns . . naked clowns. Contra Costa Times /// [not exactly a surprise that that domain was available!]
Comments 'naked_clowns'

Your Daily Jury Duty
[no fair examining the evidence; verdict must be based on mugshot only]
Schoolteacher Alyson Perry-Jarvis has been accused of having sex with a kid, but the thing is, isn't she enough of a babe that she could pretty much have sex with any grown-up she wants? St. Petersburg Times
Comments 'alyson_perryjarvis'

More Things to Worry About on Thursday
Woman sued Vibe magazine for publishing photos of her topless, in a mermaid outfit, at a big P.Diddy party, but the judge ruled by popping open a can of common sense (Bonus: Her day job is hedge-fund money manager) . . . . . Least competent traveler: A Buenos Aires woman, buying a plane ticket on the Internet for Sydney, Australia, wound up in Canada, on a puddle-jumper in Halifax that was taxiing for take-off to Sydney, Nova Scotia . . . . . Police sketch-artist technology gives way to a "composite image" of the perp (and what a perp!).
Comments 'worry_080925'

Posted By: Chuck - Thu Sep 25, 2008 - Comments (0)

Slime Molds and Techno Music

After watching this, I've developed a sudden fear of being eaten alive by fungi.

Posted By: Alex - Thu Sep 25, 2008 - Comments (3)
Category: Nature, Video

September 24, 2008

Pig Farms

Still on the bacon thread!

Sure, we all love bacon! But who wants to live next to a pig farm? Not these folks in Massachusetts, who, according to today's Boston Globe (registration required), suffer smells like those "at the bottom of a dumpster." But this new Congressional report finds the EPA ready to relax their rules for such farms.

Here's an article about a manure lagoon spill in 2005 that released 3 million gallons of pig poop!

Posted By: Paul - Wed Sep 24, 2008 - Comments (12)
Category: Agriculture, Animals, Bathrooms, Disasters, Food, Scatology, Lawsuits, Excrement

Survival Under Atomic Attack

A reader named John, commenting on the WHY STUDY SCIENCE? thread, asked to see a film about surviving atomic attack. Here it is, John!

(There's no static image on the screen, but just click the PLAY button on the bottom of the viewing window.)

Posted By: Paul - Wed Sep 24, 2008 - Comments (8)
Category: Armageddon and Apocalypses, Disasters, History, Military, Movies, Patriotism, Technology, War, Weapons, Reader Recommendation, 1950s, Yesterday’s Tomorrows

Chuck’s Hand-Picked Overnight Weird News for Wednesday

Mom helped arm a Columbine wannabe
Dillon Cossey, 14, has, as they say, "a weight problem," which provoked bullying, which he dropped out of school to get away from, but that apparently didn't end his revenge fantasies. He's going to juvy until age 21, but it turns out his mom had bought him gunpowder and a rifle with a laser scope, but, she said, only to "improve his self-esteem," as she had no idea what was bubbling in Big Dillon's mind. Associated Press via Charlotte Observer
Comments 'dillon_cossey'

Chimps can recognize friends by their butts
If you're a primatologist (Emory Univ., Atlanta), this is probably a major piece of work. Actually, chimps don't just acknowledge a butt they've seen before; they recall a mental image of the entire chimp whose butt is in front of them. New Scientist
Comments 'chimps_butts'

Roundup of new reports of old news
If you've been keeping up with your News of the Weird reading, you don't need to click these links, since there's nothing here I haven't already told you about. But if you've been bad . . lazy(!) . . disrespectful of the hard work I put in here(!), you can catch up on these recent stories and (better late than never) achieve the Total Consciousness that comes with reading NOTW regularly: (1) It's now surgically viable to remove gall bladders and kidneys not through cuts in the skin but via "natural orifices" (mouth, vagina, anus). (2) There's a kid in Washington state with a genetic anomaly that makes him so far almost as tall as Yao Ming. (3) More women are opting for designer vaginas despite the actual medical literature's being really thin on the subject. (4) The chaste-daughter movement is supposedly growing, where fathers step in and show the girls how to have fun (dancing, dining) without fooling around. Washington Post /// Seattle Times /// BBC News /// The Times (London)
Comments 'newold_updates'

Your Daily Loser
You're a loser if you're 21 years old and haven't learned how to spell your own name yet. (If you just started trying when you were, say, age 7, you'd have 7 yrs to practice your first name, then 7 more years to practice your last name, and there you go.) But Brandon Bethea, 21, Smithfield, N.C., was arrested when he didn't know how to spell whatever names he was trying to tell the cops were his. WTSB-AM (Smithfield) [click Local News, scroll down; link expires soon]
Comments 'brandon_bethea'

Your Daily Jury Duty
[no fair examining the evidence; verdict must be based on mugshot only]
Kathy Wilcox, 51, might possibly have driven through a locked, barbed-wire gate of a Tampa airport, right down the runway. But then again, maybe it's all a mistake. Up to you. WTSP-TV (St. Petersburg-Tampa)
Comments 'kathy_wilcox'

More Things to Worry About on Wednesday
If your surgeon stapled your rectum shut, there's a good chance you'll have "bowel problems," as alleged by this 64-yr-old man's lawsuit against a doctor in western Maryland . . . . . After the head of an industrial plant in India announced layoffs of hundreds of workers, at least 60 of 'em beat him up and killed him . . . . . That iron-fisted Myanmar military junta (that refused almost all Western aid to their cyclone victims in May) turned all "loving" and emptied the prisons (but not the "political" prisoners, which the junta says they don't have, anyway) . . . . . An Australian woman reported being trapped in her house by a pig "the size of a Shetland pony," which neighbors have named Bruce . . . . . As part of the nightly Ramadan carnival in Kano, Nigeria, the town has a "bachelor catcher," whose job it is to shame men (aka "dogs") into tying the knot. Today's Newsrangers: Bruce Townley, Candy Clouston, Steve Passen, Mickey Lamm, Kathryn Wood, Jonathan Fox
Comments 'worry_080924'

Posted By: Chuck - Wed Sep 24, 2008 - Comments (0)

Page 3 of 12 pages  < 1 2 3 4 5 >  Last ›

Get WU Posts by Email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

weird universe thumbnail
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.

Contact Us
Monthly Archives
June 2024 •  May 2024 •  April 2024 •  March 2024 •  February 2024 •  January 2024

December 2023 •  November 2023 •  October 2023 •  September 2023 •  August 2023 •  July 2023 •  June 2023 •  May 2023 •  April 2023 •  March 2023 •  February 2023 •  January 2023

December 2022 •  November 2022 •  October 2022 •  September 2022 •  August 2022 •  July 2022 •  June 2022 •  May 2022 •  April 2022 •  March 2022 •  February 2022 •  January 2022

December 2021 •  November 2021 •  October 2021 •  September 2021 •  August 2021 •  July 2021 •  June 2021 •  May 2021 •  April 2021 •  March 2021 •  February 2021 •  January 2021

December 2020 •  November 2020 •  October 2020 •  September 2020 •  August 2020 •  July 2020 •  June 2020 •  May 2020 •  April 2020 •  March 2020 •  February 2020 •  January 2020

December 2019 •  November 2019 •  October 2019 •  September 2019 •  August 2019 •  July 2019 •  June 2019 •  May 2019 •  April 2019 •  March 2019 •  February 2019 •  January 2019

December 2018 •  November 2018 •  October 2018 •  September 2018 •  August 2018 •  July 2018 •  June 2018 •  May 2018 •  April 2018 •  March 2018 •  February 2018 •  January 2018

December 2017 •  November 2017 •  October 2017 •  September 2017 •  August 2017 •  July 2017 •  June 2017 •  May 2017 •  April 2017 •  March 2017 •  February 2017 •  January 2017

December 2016 •  November 2016 •  October 2016 •  September 2016 •  August 2016 •  July 2016 •  June 2016 •  May 2016 •  April 2016 •  March 2016 •  February 2016 •  January 2016

December 2015 •  November 2015 •  October 2015 •  September 2015 •  August 2015 •  July 2015 •  June 2015 •  May 2015 •  April 2015 •  March 2015 •  February 2015 •  January 2015

December 2014 •  November 2014 •  October 2014 •  September 2014 •  August 2014 •  July 2014 •  June 2014 •  May 2014 •  April 2014 •  March 2014 •  February 2014 •  January 2014

December 2013 •  November 2013 •  October 2013 •  September 2013 •  August 2013 •  July 2013 •  June 2013 •  May 2013 •  April 2013 •  March 2013 •  February 2013 •  January 2013

December 2012 •  November 2012 •  October 2012 •  September 2012 •  August 2012 •  July 2012 •  June 2012 •  May 2012 •  April 2012 •  March 2012 •  February 2012 •  January 2012

December 2011 •  November 2011 •  October 2011 •  September 2011 •  August 2011 •  July 2011 •  June 2011 •  May 2011 •  April 2011 •  March 2011 •  February 2011 •  January 2011

December 2010 •  November 2010 •  October 2010 •  September 2010 •  August 2010 •  July 2010 •  June 2010 •  May 2010 •  April 2010 •  March 2010 •  February 2010 •  January 2010

December 2009 •  November 2009 •  October 2009 •  September 2009 •  August 2009 •  July 2009 •  June 2009 •  May 2009 •  April 2009 •  March 2009 •  February 2009 •  January 2009

December 2008 •  November 2008 •  October 2008 •  September 2008 •  August 2008 •  July 2008 •