Weird Universe Archive

November 2008

November 17, 2008

Survival Playing Cards

Surely any game of "Go Fish" would be livened up by using these playing cards and contemplating your imminent death by snakebite or hypothermia.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Nov 17, 2008 - Comments (13)
Category: Death, Games, Nature

How Cockroaches Escape, How Paraplegic Bank Robbers Don’t

and the Afternoon Edition of Chuck's News of the Weird Daily for Monday

Cutting-edge work from the Methodological Chemistry Institute of the National Research Council of Italy on . . well . . how American cockroaches plan and execute their escape routes when confronted by a predator (or a shoe). New York Times

A paraplegic guy robbed an F State credit union on Friday, but he didn't get far ("probably miscalculated his ability to flee the scene," said Lt. DeSantis). Florida Today (Melbourne)

An academic's report for Japan's Ministry of Health and Welfare revealed that more than a third of marrieds don't have sex anymore, which in the long term will present taxation problems for old-age benefits. Daily Telegraph (London)

The Dallas (Tex.) public school system got caught systematically making up Social Security Numbers for the foreign-national teachers it was recruiting, just because it made the paperwork easier. (Bonus: Caught 'em earlier doing it, in 2004, and they said they'd stop, but they didn't!) Dallas Morning News

Awesome! Maryland lobbyist Gilbert Genn had a run-in with a crazed deer outside his home, got seriously antlered (in the chest and the "groin area"), fought it off, applied a homemade fix to stanch the bleeding, and hobbled away to Annapolis for a meeting with the state House Speaker. ("There was no way I could miss this meeting.") WTOP Radio (Washington, D.C.)

A candy-oriented dispatch from Dubai: "Nobody thought about using camel milk before, then people from the camel world met people from the chocolate world." Yum! The Times (London)

From The Smoking Gun's weekly collection: Pretty clear, isn't it, which of the three is most guilty, then next-most? Am I right?

Professor Music's Weird Link o' the Day
Here are two whole pages celebrating architects on acid, or some such thing, that led them to not only think of designing structures that look like this, but then actually building the damned things. Unusual Architecture

Today's Newsrangers: Pete Randall, Bruce Townley, Steve Miller, Sam Gaines
Comments on the Afternoon Edition of Chuck's News of the Weird Daily for Monday?
Comments 'cycle_081117'

Posted By: Chuck - Mon Nov 17, 2008 - Comments (0)


Some epidemics recently in the news, in declining order of magnitude (and importance):

• The world is facing a global diabetes epidemic.

• The United States is realizing it has an epidemic of obesity.

• Great Britain is in the throes of a whiplash epidemic.

• Toronto has been hit by a bed bug epidemic.

• Plattsburgh, N.Y. complains that it has an epidemic of public urination. They say, "It happens all the time throughout the city streets, especially in the early morning hours after the local bars close."

Posted By: Alex - Mon Nov 17, 2008 - Comments (4)
Category: Medicine

The Faces in the Broccoli

Cascadian Farm sells frozen organic broccoli florets. That's not particularly unusual.

But look closer. Can you see the tiny disembodied heads floating amidst the broccoli bits?

When contacted about it, Cascadian Farms offered this reply:
The tradition of hiding names or faces on Cascadian Farm packaging began over a dozen years ago. It was unspoken tribute by the package design department to the friends & family of Cascadian Farm. The faces won’t be included on our redesigned packaging.

Posted By: Alex - Mon Nov 17, 2008 - Comments (7)
Category: Food, Advertising

Dissing the City Council, Hiding the Cellphone, Fondling the Atheist

and the Morning Edition of Chuck's News of the Weird Daily for Monday

Small-town mayors continue to charm
(1) The mayor of St. Anthony, Idaho, resigned last week at a city council meeting, going out with flair by informing the council members at a meeting they were too stupid for him to be working with. [Ed.: Gratuitous, face-saving suggestion for George W. Bush: You may have the lowest Presidential approval rating in history, but your approval rating is still twice as high as Congress's. Go out with a little panache: Tell Reid and Pelosi, "Bite me!"] (2) The mayor of Chauncey, Ohio, sued her own town after she fell down on city property and hurt herself, and the lawsuit came along just after a meeting where she got all potty-mouthed with the city council. Standard Journal (Rexburg, Idaho) /// Columbus Dispatch
Comments 'smalltown_mayors'

Can't Possibly Be True: "Symphonic Schizophrenia"
A San Antonio, Tex., high school's competitive marching band actually did several performances of a halftime show that included skits with "padded walls" and where "band members dressed in strait jackets [ran] around the field in an erratic manner." Finally got around to asking themselves what the hell were we thinking. KSAT-TV
Comments 'symphonic_schizophrenia'

Also Can't Possibly Be True: We're certain you're the baby's daddy, so pay up, and shut up about it
He naively signed something in 2001, and a judge says that was enough to admit paternity, but the guy says there's no way he's the daddy. However, the gov't makes him pay ($12k over 6 yrs) until a judge finally takes his side. The gov't swore early on that they had done a proper investigation and that the kid was his, yet a local newspaper reporter tracked down the real dad in less than an hour. Turns out the real father was the guy who . . was living with the child's mother. Patriot-News (Harrisburg, Pa.)
Comments 'not_daddy'

Well, maybe this Can't Possibly Be True, either
The Houston Chronicle's investigation found that of all criminals convicted in the Houston area who admit to being illegal immigrants, only a few are ever held for deportation because Immigration (ICE) can't handle them. That includes "scores" of violent felons and long-rap-sheet perps. Meanwhile, ICE deports twice as many noncriminal illegals every year as it does criminal illegals. (No, this whole thing can possibly be true, all right; while politicians hate illegal immigrants, they hate taxes even more, so even ICE doesn't get enough money to do the job right.) Houston Chronicle
Comments 'deport_criminals'

Another inmate with a cellphone in his nether region
[Ed.: This is the way back into the market for the recently-poor-performing Motorola: miniaturization. Running around with a cellphone up your butt is no way to go through life unless it's a really tiny cellphone. More crime, more inmates, more cellphones. Presto! Motorola (Stock symbol: MOT) is back in play!] Houston Chronicle
Comments 'another_buttphone'

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
Y'know, there's still the possibility that this is a huge misunderstanding, but . . naaaah . . Yakov Kramer, 27, a respected Torah scholar, was arraigned last week for fondling the stuff of a patient-stranger in a New York City hospital. According to police, Kramer had first asked whether the man was Jewish. When he said he was atheist, that's when Kramer lifted the gown and felt him up. Kramer's lawyer said Kramer was visiting his pregnant wife at the hospital but heard the stranger's cries of pain and just wanted to find out where the pain was coming from. New York Daily News
Comments 'yakov_kramer'

Your Daily Jury Duty
[no fair examining the evidence; verdict must be based on mugshot only]
Gabriel Saucedo might possibly have been the one who tried to rob a guy but then ran into a bit of trouble with the victim's fists. KPHO-TV via KTAR Radio (Phoenix)
Comments 'gabriel_saucedo'

More Things to Worry About on Monday

An Idaho family filed a $2M lawsuit against the sheriff (aka "jack-booted thug") for warrantlessly breaking into their home to rescue animals in alleged squalor (but keywords include: "double-wide," "two deer living inside"). Spokesman-Review (Spokane)

Policework continues to get easier: Among the items seized in the arrest of a 62-yr-old New York drug dealer was a homemade "biopic" on DVD, basically a documentary celebrating the guy's lifetime achievements in drug dealing. Times Herald-Record (Middletown, N.Y.)

A German prisoner escaped by having himself mailed out in a box supposedly containing stationery from the prison workshop (with the box being reported inadequately as 60 inches by 48 inches but no third measurement). BBC News

It's always something . . but they say if we take this "renewable energy" thing too far, doctors might see an influx of cases of "Wind Turbine Syndrome" (like, vertigo, motion sickness, etc.). KATU-TV (Portland, Ore.)

Legislation in the UK Parliament would require schools to "invite and consider" suggestions from students on serious administrative issues ("not simply on what colour to paint the walls"), which doesn't sound really awful until one considers that legal requirements, if thought by parents to be inadequately met, often deteriorate into . . lawsuits! Daily Mail

Those protests last year in Myanmar against the generals? That'll cost the demonstrators 65 yrs or so in the slammer. (Bonus: It's too much trouble to convict them of treason, etc., so they convicted them of using the Internet and cell phones without gov't permission. 65 yrs for that.) New York Times

Comments on More Things to Worry About on Monday?
Comments 'worry_081117'

Posted By: Chuck - Mon Nov 17, 2008 - Comments (0)

November 16, 2008

American Monsters

I enjoyed visiting the American Monsters site, a resource for cryptozoologists.

But I regret that when I visited Crater Lake in Oregon, its scaly inhabitant was not showing himself.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Nov 16, 2008 - Comments (2)
Category: Cryptozoology, Fictional Monsters, Movies, 1970s

King’s Pathway Hike in Spain

Don't watch this if you're afraid of heights. If I were hiking this, I would have never made it past the sections where the pathway has fallen away entirely. I wonder how many people fall to their death from this path every year? (Thanks, Darren!)

Posted By: Alex - Sun Nov 16, 2008 - Comments (2)
Category: Nature, Video, Europe

November 15, 2008

The Impactors

The first rule of the Impactors Club is that it's For Men Only. The second rule of the Impactors Club is that... well, you get the idea.

The Impactors is for men who enjoy "adult hard riding." They're into "Bareback, Saddle, Naked, etc. Leather, Sweat, and sharp spurs." Sharp spurs are essential. The things they like to ride are horses, ponies, and donkeys.

Poe's Law states that it's almost impossible to distinguish between extreme religious fundamentalism and parodies of it. I think there needs to be a similar law that would apply to sadistic freaks, because I can't tell whether the Impactors is a joke... or not.

Posted By: Alex - Sat Nov 15, 2008 - Comments (3)
Category: Animals, Sports, Stupidity

Underwater Sculpture

Jason deCaires Taylor has received international acclaim for his sculpture park in Grenada, West Indies. Though to view it, it helps to be a diver, because it's underwater.

I think it's a swell idea. If I'm ever in Grenada, I'll make sure to sea it.

Posted By: Alex - Sat Nov 15, 2008 - Comments (1)
Category: Art, Statues, Monuments and Memorials

What Is Money?

How I wish I knew!

Posted By: Paul - Sat Nov 15, 2008 - Comments (1)
Category: Money, Documentaries, 1940s

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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.

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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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