Weird Universe Archive

November 2008

November 8, 2008

Chocolates

A few unusual chocolates:

• Artist Cosimo Cavallaro sparked controversy with his anatomically correct Chocolate Jesus.

• More recently, a Swiss chocolatier has created a chocolate bar to commemmorate the 500th anniversary of Protestant reformer Jean Calvin: "The first layer is based on a classic smooth and runny praline mix. 'But we have 'reformed' it,' says the Vevey chocolatier, by using crunchy caramelised hazelnuts, and using salt from the Swiss Alps to make the praline slightly savoury. The second layer uses a 'chocolate Grand Cru from Bolivia', made from 68 percent cocoa paste, to represent Calvin's theology of the glory and perfection of God."

• In 2006 the chocolatier Martucci Angiano discovered that chocolate drippings in one of its vats looked kinda/sorta like the Virgin Mary.


• Chocolatier Fassbender & Rausch has a chocolate model of the Titanic displayed in the window of their Berlin store.



• And on the subject of things that are sinking, chocolatiers are doing their best to take advantage of the current financial crisis. Some of the crisis-themed chocolates include Credit Crunch chocolate and Financial Crunch.

Updates:

Chocolate Ammo. "Real chocolate bullets in a real mini ammo can!"

Lenny, the life-size Chocolate Moose. On display in Len Libby Candies, near Portland, Maine.

• A 1lb solid chocolate foot, available from Toe-Food Chocolates.


Thanks to Andy and Mark for their contributions to the list.

Posted By: Alex - Sat Nov 08, 2008 - Comments (2)
Category: Food

Advanced Mission Extender Device

For those times when you're flying a jet fighter and you just gotta go. Instructions:

Insert the male member through the white foam ring. Make sure the cup hose is facing front and to the right. When correctly worn, the foam ring will be snug against the pelvis and the bottom of the cup should not be folded or pinched.

Attach the Cup/Pad hose velcro end to the velcro patch on the front of the undergarment or keep the hose external to each suit except just under the first layer. Dispose of the male cup after your mission.




Related, possibly apocryphal fact: At least three F-16s have been lost due to pilots losing control of their planes while attempting to attach "piddle packs" in mid flight. Source: F-16.net

Posted By: Alex - Sat Nov 08, 2008 - Comments (7)
Category: Bathrooms

November 7, 2008

Stuffed Skunk

Beware of pranksters with stuffed skunks on sticks.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Nov 07, 2008 - Comments (4)
Category: Animals, Pranks

Take My Ambassador, Please!

It's not too soon for the new administration to be thinking about appointing some ambassadors...

Posted By: Paul - Fri Nov 07, 2008 - Comments (1)
Category: Movies, Music, Diplomacy and Foreign Relations, Comedians

The Snoring Judge, the Motoring Dog, the Concealed Crack Pipe

and the Morning Edition (and only edition today!) of Chuck's News of the Weird Daily for Friday

"Licensing" parents
A legislator in the Netherlands has boldly offered up a partial solution for those of us who have been asking how society can prevent, say, bad cosmetologists from doing further damage, but not the worst-of-the-worst parents. The law would kick in only when a parent screwed up on one or more urchins, but if the gov't then decided a parent was awful, and if they refused contraception, then any future little bundle of their DNA would be confiscated at birth. The list of downsides is lengthy, though, which no doubt means that baseball card collectors are likelier to be rigorously tested than are parents. The Guardian (London)
Comments 'licensing_parents'

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
Tony Guerra, 20, a former Disney food services worker in the F State, pleaded guilty to possessing a particularly troublesome collection of child porn, and he might as well have because, as you can see from his mugshot, he'd have no chance at trial. [Warning: The second link has some details about the collection that might certainly be TMI] Central Florida News 13 (Orlando) /// Daily Telegraph (Sydney)
Comments 'tony_guerra'

Your Daily Jury Duty
[no fair examining the evidence; verdict must be based on mugshot only]
The police say that Evelyn Russo was concealing a glass crack pipe inside her actual crack, but we'll be the judge of that (of her guilt, not her crack). TCPalm.com (Stuart, Fla.)
Comments 'evelyn_russo'

More Things to Worry About on Friday

Israel's Supreme Court ruled last week that the planned Museum of Tolerance in Jerusalem could go forward even though part of the site used to be a Muslim graveyard, and now we'll see how tolerant they are of the protests. Associated Press via MSNBC

Australian High Court judges overturned the convictions of two drug traffickers merely because their judge kept falling asleep during the trial (and snoring) (up to 20 minutes at a time). Daily Mail (London)

Recurring Theme: Dog, driving car. Associated Press via Fort Worth Star-Telegram

It says here that golfer Curt Hocker made five holes-in-one last week, giving him seven for the year, and that "15" people have witnessed one or more (Bonus: They're all "friends and family."). Associated Press via Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, Ill.)

Readers' Choice: Another clumsy home-improver (cleaning out cobwebs, with a blowtorch) Times-Herald (Newnan, Ga.)

Comments on More Things to Worry About on Friday?
Comments 'worry_081107'

Professor Music's Weird Link o' the Day
OK for work but Not Safe For Stomachs because there are some photos: an annotated list of the 28 fattest people of the last 75 yrs or so (and a couple of older ones) (and the heralded Manuel Uribe apparently gained weight too recently to have come to the writer's attention, plus, of course, Uribe slimmed down this year, for his nuptials). Dimensions Magazine
Comments 'music_fattest'

Editor's Note
Honestly, it's hard to collect the weird news in a week in which so much ink and bandwidth have been sucked out by the monumental U.S. elections (hard, that is, without lowering my standards too much). I mean, we had a local Supervisor of Elections here in Weird Central who announced Wednesday morning that he was comfortably ahead in his re-election vote tally (despite the fact that he was, bar none, the worst candidate for any office on the ballot), which led to hand-wringing by all the local commentators about how stupid we voters could be to re-elect him, and then it turned out yesterday that, oh, by the way, the guy's office didn't count two weeks of heavy early-voting ballots yet. (Sweet irony: When they counted those, he lost by 18,000.) Yikes. Anyway, maybe the news world will get back to normal next week. Tampa Tribune
Comments 'editors_081107'

Today's Newsrangers: Scott Schrier, Steve Miller, Candy Clouston, Gary Abbott, Mark Neunder

Posted By: Chuck - Fri Nov 07, 2008 - Comments (0)
Category:

Does coffee shrink breasts?

A recent study, published in the British Journal of Cancer, found a relationship between breast size and coffee consumption. Namely, coffee (more than three cups a day) can cause women's breasts to shrink. For those who are worried by this idea, the author of the study has reassuring words: "Coffee-drinking women do not have to worry their breasts will shrink to nothing overnight. They will get smaller, but the breasts aren't just going to disappear."

I tracked down the journal article itself, which offered a more nuanced version of the study's findings:

Among healthy premonopausal non-hormone users, 3+ cups per day was associated with lower volume only in C-allele carriers, which is consistent with reports that coffee protects only C-allele carriers against breast cancer.

The good news: hormonal contraceptives counteract the coffee-shrinkage effect. But maybe they would also eliminate coffee's cancer-protecting qualities? (Thanks, Donald!)

Posted By: Alex - Fri Nov 07, 2008 - Comments (17)
Category:

Baby Laugh-a-Lot

Could this commercial have been the inspiration for The Exorcist?

Posted By: Alex - Fri Nov 07, 2008 - Comments (11)
Category: Babies, Video, Advertising

November 6, 2008

Shlongs, Buffaloes, Shlongs, More Shlongs

and the Morning Edition of Chuck's News of the Weird Daily for Thursday (and, I'm sorry to report, there's still a scarcity of non-uplifting-political news, meaning no Afternoon Edition today, either)

It's good to be a British prisoner (as we all know from News of the Weird), but it's even better to be a British academic convicted of possessing child porn
Dr. Nicholas Hammond, 45, of Cambridge Univ., convicted of having more than 1,000 boy-porn images, will not go to jail (but will have "restrictions"), and hence, Cambridge will take him back starting in April (with more "restrictions"). "[Y]ou were seeking refuge from life in a halcyon part of your youth, relived by looking at low-level [but pornographic] images of boys," said an exceedingly sympathetic judge (who was, go figure, a Cambridge U. graduate!). Daily Mail
Comments 'nicholas_hammond'

Our favorite nation of Bhutan (which measures "gross national happiness") has a new king
Well, it's the incumbent king's son, both being members of the Wangchuck (no relation) dynasty. (Bonus: Bhutan originally broke in to News of the Weird because of its historical fascination with fertility gods and the surviving plethora of penile images in its culture.) Bloomberg News /// NOTW 904 (5-29-2005)
Comments 'king_wangchuck'

Your Daily Jury Duty
[no fair examining the evidence; verdict must be based on mugshot only]
Jonathan Wood, 39, couldn't possibly have killed his own mother, could he? Chicago Tribune
Comments 'jonathan_wood'

More Things to Worry About on Thursday

Just his time to go: A crew of New Zealand farmers tracked down a marauding water buffalo, but one of their rifle shots missed, hit a tree, and ricocheted approximately into the brain of another of the crew, sitting in a utility vehicle. New Zealand Herald

Robert Aldrich was locked up for several months on a robbery charge that ultimately went nowhere, and he claimed compensation from the state for lost income, but his normal day job was "con man." Boston Globe

Update: a $170k settlement by the state of Oklahoma to that court reporter who was fired for squealing on the judge who used the penis pump during four trials. Tulsa World /// Associated Press via MSNBC (background)

The latest female stone-the-rape-victim death (under Muslim Sharia): a 13-year-old girl in Somalia, in front of 1,000 pious spectators. BBC News

Update: San Francisco voters turned down the proposal to name a waste-treatment facility The George W. Bush Sewage Plant. San Francisco Chronicle

Wall Street money cowboys' year-end bonuses will surely be down this time, from 20 percent to as much as 70 percent, but what American taxpayers want to know is: Bonuses? WTF? RUSM? New York Times

Today's Newsrangers: Michael Buck, Candy Clouston
Comments on More Things to Worry About on Thursday?
Comments 'worry_081106'

Posted By: Chuck - Thu Nov 06, 2008 - Comments (0)
Category:

Techno Viking

You DO NOT want to mess with this guy. You don't want to make fun of his dancing either.



Some of you may have seen the video before. Apparently it's well-known on the internet, but it was new to me. Urban Dictionary has a brief discussion of it.

Posted By: Alex - Thu Nov 06, 2008 - Comments (3)
Category: Video

Fonzarelli Syndrome

image
From a recent issue of the journal Neurology:

A 77-year-old man presented with a 1-year history of upper limb rest tremor, rigidity, and bradykinesia. He reported focal dystonia affecting the right thumb over the preceding 7 years, resulting in a constant "thumbs up" gesture reminiscent of the fictional television character Arthur Fonzarelli. Subsequent levodopa therapy reduced his bradykinesia and rigidity, but did not ameliorate the dystonia.

While foot dystonia is a common feature in late Parkinson disease (PD), dystonia may precede the development of PD by several years. Writer's cramp has been described as an early manifestation, with extension of the great toe also noted (the striatal foot).

Posted By: Alex - Thu Nov 06, 2008 - Comments (19)
Category: Medicine, Science, Television

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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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