Weird Universe Archive

January 2009

January 29, 2009

Smoke Circles

Residents of Felixstowe are wondering what caused the giant smoke circles that recently were seen floating in the sky. One resident says: "They appeared for a good ten to 15 minutes. No-one had ever seen anything like them - they just rose slowly then melted into the clouds."

Could smoke circles be the new crop circles?
(via Prof. Hex)

Posted By: Alex - Thu Jan 29, 2009 - Comments (6)
Category: Unsolved Mysteries

January 28, 2009

The Caterer

One of the weirdest books you'll ever read is by my pal, Steve Aylett, and it's titled Lint. (You can order it through the Amazon link below.)

Lint is the "biography" of Jeff Lint, poverty-stricken, mad genius, hack writer, who is basically a cross between Kilgore Trout and Salvador Dali.

One of Lint's fictional creations was a comic-book character dubbed "The Caterer." And now you can read an actual issue of this gonzo masterpiece, thanks to Floating World Comics. A sample is to the right.

You must investigate this saga of one man and his senseless quest for perfect absurdity in a violent world, or risk being rendered null and void!

Posted By: Paul - Wed Jan 28, 2009 - Comments (4)
Category: Literature, Books, Science Fiction, Superheroes, Writers, Comics, Surrealism

Motor Patrol

For those of you who are wondering about the possible ancestors of the famed TV show CHiPs--and there must be at least six of you--here comes the 1950 film MOTOR PATROL. I watched it recently, and it's not as goofy as many cheap films of this era. But the fact that ninety percent of the action and intrigue does NOT involve motorcycles has to count for something.

Isn't that fellow in the white suit really channelling Clark Gable pretty badly?

Posted By: Paul - Wed Jan 28, 2009 - Comments (1)
Category: Crime, Stupid Criminals, Movies, Regionalism, 1950s, Motorcycles

Nervous Weird News Blogger Writes Short Post Today, Has to Go Take “Break”

News of the Weird Daily
Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Dead man blogging
A University of Nottingham study of more than 800 men showed researchers that men who masturbate frequently in their 20s and 30s show a higher propensity for prostate cancer later. On the bright side, w—, uh, those people can help themselves later in life by continuing to masturbate a lot because, the researchers guessed, that helps eliminate toxins. Science Daily
Comments 'masturbation_study'

What's her problem, indeed
The Chicago Tribune's What's Your Problem? columnist got this stumper in November from a woman in Plainfield, Ill.: A Comcast lineman hanging wire on a pole outside her house was so fat that he broke the pole; Comcast said it was a Commonwealth Edison pole so they couldn't fix it; ComEd said it wasn't their pole, and if she didn't fix it in 30 days, they'd cut off her power; contractors said the ground was too cold to dig in a new pole; ComEd said it'd lay underground cable for $6k; homeowner's insurance wouldn't pay because the original pole was too old and thus had probably decayed. (Yeah, the Trib's man got it worked out for the woman, but jeez . . ..) Chicago Tribune
Comments 'comcast_fatman'

More Things to Worry About

You're not a good mother if the first time it dawns on you that your 4-yr-old is missing is when you're watching the news on TV and see her picture as a "lost girl" found. WBAL-TV (Baltimore)

And this 16-yr-old probably has Intermittent Explosive Disorder if she went after her parents with kitchen knives (and wouldn't drop them, even when police arrived), just because dad took away her cell phone. Associated Press via KYW-TV (Philadelphia)

A New York City theater company has permission to bewilder subway riders this coming weekend by staging a production in a train car (props, costumes, crew of 35 involved, with duration depending on whether it's an express or a local). New York Post

Is it an insane man, or just a guilty man, who brings his feces to court and rubs some in his lawyer's hair before hitting juror number 9's briefcase with the rest? KGTV (San Diego)

Is it an insane man, or just a blagojevich-type man, who systematically mails his bodily fluids from his jail cell to a St. Louis court official? ("He's mailing himself out of jail, one envelope at a time.") St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Comments on Things to Worry About?
Comments 'worry_090128'

Your Daily Loser
A 26-yr-old man was detained by police in Omaha, Neb., after being caught sticking three regulation baseball bats inside his baggy pants and then trying to tell the manager that he was working freelance for a security company and was only trying to make a point to management about their lax procedures. Omaha World-Herald
Comments 'baseball_bats'

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
Daniel Cormier, 57, who says he's a "pastor" at the Church of Downtown Montreal, was sentenced to 5 yrs in prison this week for having sex with a then-10-yr-old girl, even though he said he tried to do the right thing by tying the knot with her (though Church of Downtown Montreal weddings are not recognized in Quebec). Canadian Press
Comments 'daniel_cormier'

Your Daily Jury Duty
["In America, a person is presumed innocent until the mug shot is released"]
Ronald Kercher II, 29, Billings, Mont., may not be a bad person at all but just forgetful, like forgetting that he had to register as a sex offender. Billings Gazette [NOTE: You'll need to click the photo to enlarge to a full head shot . . to give Ronald due process of law, of course]
Comments 'ronald_kercher'

Today's Newsrangers: Jerry Whittle, Ken Vermette, Jake Feezell, Sandy Pearlman

Posted By: Chuck - Wed Jan 28, 2009 - Comments (0)

Bollywood Numerology

Some examples of Bollywood film names: Heyy Babyy, Singh is Kinng, Krazzy 4, Karzzzz, A Love Issshtory.

Notice the strange spellings? It's not just variant Indian spellings. It's numerology. Apparently Bollywood directors swear by it. From the Deccan Herald:

Names of films like ‘Mujhe Kucch Kehna Hai’, ‘Zubeidaa’, ‘Kabkakkth Ishq’, ‘Kyaa Kool Hai Hum’ are all products of numerological calculations. Some of them have done good business...
The upcoming ‘Maan Gaye Mughall-E-Azam’, starring Rahul Bose and Mallika Sherawat, has recently been respelled after the director consulted a numerologist. Even a director like Ashutosh Gowariker added an extra ‘a’ in ‘Jodhaa Akbar’.

In other news, we've decided to change the name of Weird Universe to Weirrrdd Universe.

Posted By: Alex - Wed Jan 28, 2009 - Comments (14)
Category: Languages, Movies

Cap and Mask in One

A lovely bathing fashion from 1930. I wonder what reaction you'd get if you hung out at the neighborhood pool wearing one of these. From Popular Science, Aug 1930:

When the first wearer recently appeared on the Los Angeles beach, the startling, round eyeholes of the mask might have suggested to a fanciful observer the appearance of a feminine Martian or a lady robot. Despite its oddity, the mask serves the practical purpose of protecting the eyes and ears in diving. Celluloid eyepieces keep out the water. The lower portion of the mask covers half the swimmer's face, leaving the nose and mouth uncovered. It may be turned up when not needed.

Posted By: Alex - Wed Jan 28, 2009 - Comments (6)
Category: Fashion

January 27, 2009

Paris Motorcycle Run

It might not be the King's Highway, but this looks every bit as dangerous.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Jan 27, 2009 - Comments (6)
Category: Europe, Motorcycles

Sister Mayo

Does the world need the hybrid music of Sister Mayo, blending a squeaky anime voice with Latin American rhythms?

Decide for yourself.

Love Tropicana - Sister MAYO

Posted By: Paul - Tue Jan 27, 2009 - Comments (5)
Category: Music, Asia, South America

Common Sense Takes a Dive, Plus Beyond Slumdog Millionaire

News of the Weird Daily
Tuesday, January 27, 2009

They dared him, he dove, he's paralyzed, he wins $76m lawsuit
It's a little more subtle than it looks, actually. The defendant dock company that employed the 20-yr-old might have instigated the dare, but maybe not. (The "facts" are unreliable because the dock company filed for liquidation bankruptcy and did not show up in court to challenge the plaintiff's version of facts. However, it could be that the plaintiff initiated the dare, himself, diving off a 10-ft platform into what he didn't realize was 1-ft of water.) Plus, the guy's really messed up. Orlando Sentinel [link from]
Comments 'paralyzed_diver'

It's worse than Slumdog Millionaire suggests: Hundreds of kids a year are forcibly maimed in India
Gangs in big cities find runaways and either use acid or sedation/amputation (legs, arms) to enhance poor kids' status as beggars. A Daily Mail reporter in Mumbai figures child-beggar earnings (equivalent of about $1.50 a day) shoot up over six times that (drained by their pimps, of course) if they're deformed. Daily Mail (London)
Comments 'maimed_beggars'

More Things to Worry About

Can't Possibly Be True: A quick-draw game between two yee-ha's in that fabulous border area of Va.-West Va.-Tenn ends badly, but alcohol was not involved (nor drugs). Bristol (Tenn.) Herald Courier

Bernard Madoff's Palm Beach mansion was toilet-papered Sunday night, and the reporter said it was by neighbor kids whose trust funds Madoff had looted. Palm Beach Post

Univ. of Alabama at Birmingham researchers pointed out that it's 43 percent easier for us drivers to wipe out kids crossing the street if we only aim at kids who talk on the phone while crossing [Ed.: OK, the researchers didn't express it quite that way . . .] Reuters via Yahoo

An 11-yr-old bullfighter in Mexico gets 6 kills in one day, thus simultaneously enraging both child-welfare groups and PETA types. BBC News

An organization called Japan Toilet Labo unveiled a campaign to hang poetry on public restroom stalls, which it says will save toilet paper, in that research shows people use more TP in public stalls because it's free. (Buried Lede: Japan has a toilet-use support organization.) Reuters via Yahoo

Comments on Things to Worry About?
Comments 'worry_090127'

Your Daily Losers
If you're a couple carrying $2.5m worth of cocaine, you might stay on the highway itself rather than driving on the shoulder, and more important, you might anticipate what your cover story's going to be if you get stopped. Like, if you're visiting "cousins," are they the husband's cousins or the wife's? If they're yours, why don't you know their names? When did you last see them (5 yrs ago, or last month)? Thus, Jose and Virginia Melendez and their 21-yr-old daughter are in lockup. Omaha World-Herald
Comments 'melendez_cocaine'

Your Daily Jury Duty
["In America, a person is presumed innocent until the mug shot is released"]
Zulfaqar Javaid, 41, and Robert Ralston, 44, just out for a drive, maybe, in Westwood, Ohio, and possibly unaware of the illegality of what they were hauling. Cincinnati Enquirer
Comments 'javaid_ralston'

Today's Newsrangers: Kurt Knochel, Ray Reigadas, Kathryn Wood

Posted By: Chuck - Tue Jan 27, 2009 - Comments (0)

Embalming Service

There are a few things I find strange about the choices Snyder's Embalming Service made in the design of its website. For a start, the dancing skeleton at the top. Does it really set an appropriate tone? Referring to themselves as "the embalminator". Again, oddly wacky humor for an embalming service. But the weirdest thing is the decision to also advertise their Mangosteen fruit juice on the site. They say the fruit juice will "promote joint flexibility", but coming from an embalmer, I'm not sure that's a good thing.

However, I do find their "tricks of the trade" section very informative. For instance, I'm dying to try out their cradle cap remedy:

Cradle cap is a term to describe the dead skin and oil mixed in the hair and clinging to the scalp of a person. Oftentimes, when someone has been in the hospital or a convalescent home for a long time, there is a chance of their hygiene being neglected, resulting in a case of cradle cap. Shampooing usually doesn't work to remove this stubborn substance. However, there is a very good remedy for this condition. Using a co-injection chemical to rinse the scalp usually melts the problem away without damaging the hair or scalp. A co-injection chemical such as Pierce Chemical's "One-Point" (which is the best for this) or Dodge Chemical's "Metaflow" works very well to dissolve the build-up on the scalp. After one or two applications, shampoo and rinse as normal.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jan 27, 2009 - Comments (5)
Category: Death

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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.

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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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