Weird Universe Archive

January 2009

January 27, 2009

The Lloyds Bank Coprolite

Companies compete to get naming rights for stadiums, buildings, and parks. However, Lloyds Bank didn't have to pay anything to get the largest known fossilized human turd named after it. They must be thrilled.

The Lloyds Bank Coprolite is so named because it was found on a site that later became a location of a Lloyds Bank. Apparently the turd was planted hundreds of years ago by a Viking who, scientists guess based on the size of the thing, "probably hadn't performed for a few days". The composition of the excrement reveals he (or she) ate a lot of meat and grains, and his intestines were riddled with worms.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jan 27, 2009 - Comments (11)
Category: Excrement

January 26, 2009

Judgment-Challenged Rapists, Plus Freelance Herpes-Testing

News of the Weird Daily
Monday, January 26, 2009 [part two]

He's a rapist, and he's also tone-deaf
Joseph Pettis, 36, pointed out to the sentencing judge that he was nice to the woman during the ordeal. "It was not excessively brutal, overly monstrous," he said, asking for leniency. And of his crime, "Unfortunately, I was found guilty." Judge: "40 years." Cincinnati Enquirer
Comments 'joseph_pettis'

He's a (statutory) rapist (according to police), and he's also emotionally about age 8 (according to Chuck)
Hattiesburg, Miss., gymnastics coach Zachary Riley, 23, was arrested for fooling around with underage girls, which is not so unusual these days, but, jeez, Zach's MySpace page is! Gross (and Not Safe For Work)! WDAM-TV (Laurel, Miss) /// MySpace page [from]
Comments 'zachary_riley'

More Things to Worry About

A Church of Ireland proposal for families of the "Northern Ireland's Troubles," as it's referred to, calls for £12k (about $16,650) per family . . but irrespective of whether the deceased had been a bomber or a bomb-ee. The Guardian

Can you imagine a newspaper editor's glee at finding a carton of eggs in the supermarket with "Allergy Advice: Contains Egg" printed on it? Daily Mail (London)

Records show that Richard Fuld (ex-CEO of Lehman Brothers, blamed by all kinds of potential plaintiffs for riding the company to its September bankruptcy) sold his $13.3m F State mansion in November . . to his wife . . for $100. New York Times

Feel safe in Chicago, knowing that a 14-yr-old boy, in a cop's uniform, walked into a police station and actually talked 'em into putting him on shift in a squad car? Associated Press via Yahoo

Things You Thought Didn't Happen: In Mogadishu, a jam-packed stadium to watch . . a basketball game . . a women's basketball game. Reuters via Yahoo

Sounds Like a Joke: Wealthy man, girlfriend of 10 yrs (and three children), she didn't take the break-up well, demands to be treated as a common-law wife, says he even proposed to her, but he said, Oh, that, yeah, but that was just an April Fool's joke.

Comments on Things to Worry About?
Comments 'cycle_090126'

Your Daily Loser
Joshua Isome, 19, and a buddy were arrested in Cincinnati and charged in aggravated robberies and shootings. Joshua's a piece of work, with "you" tattooed under his left eye and that familiar word that often precedes it tattooed under his right eye. Charming. [As of now, no unexpurgated mug shot is available; link goes to one with a black bar over the magic word] WKRC-TV (Cincinnati)
Comments 'joshua_isome'

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
Muhammed Atif Bhatti, 38, was charged in Bantam, Conn., with the old "I've got to personally check the new au pair for herpes" explanation for genitally examining her. He might have also inspected four of her predecessors. Register Citizen (Torrington)
Comments 'herpes_inspector'

Your Daily Jury Duty
["In America, a person is presumed innocent until the mug shot is released"]
Jason Osborn, 41, Rockaway Beach, Mo., might have shown criminally poor judgment in the deaths of two boys who were surfing and hanging on his car. (There's a sub-plot, but you don't need it, do you?) Springfield News-Leader
Comments 'jason_osborn'

Today's Newsrangers: Ginger Katz, Bruce Leiserowitz, Brian Rokos, Sandy Pearlman, Jerry Whittle, Paul Mahood, Don Schullian, and many finders of the Nigerian goat story

Posted By: Chuck - Mon Jan 26, 2009 - Comments (0)

Still More Texas “Justice,” Plus No Stimulus Package Needed for California Dope Growers

News of the Weird Daily
Monday, January 26, 2009 [part one]

Texas's proud court system set to execute another man despite way-reasonable doubt
At trial, the county coroner concluded the time of the victim's death exactly coincided with when Larry Swearingen had access to her (25 days before the body was found), but after 4 pathologists concluded that the coroner missed this clue, and that clue, and that-other clue, etc., the coroner now agrees that the victim was killed, oh, 3 days or so before the body was found, and Swearingen has an ironclad alibi for that several-day time period, i.e., he was in jail. Texas's highest criminal court said, Doesn't matter. Said, We can only intervene on "new" evidence, and this was just a change of mind on "old" evidence. Swearingen's meeting with his Maker is tomorrow. Austin American-Statesman
Comments 'larry_swearingen'

One industry flourishing in California: home-grown dope
In Mendocino County, north of San Francisco, they say marijuana farming may account for two-thirds of the local economy. Though it's still against federal law, the state says it's OK as long as you can plausibly claim it's for medicinal sales. Another boost for sales is because border security has been stepped up, keeping out a lot of Mexican grass. Said a DEA agent operating in Mendocino (who seems to have fallen to Stockholm Syndrome), "Nobody produces any better marijuana than we do right here." (Economics: costs $400 to grow a pound of dope, which eventually fetches $6k on the street) MSNBC
Comments 'mendocino_dope'

Not safe for stomachs
(1) Majed al Malki, alleged world record-holder for most scorpions in his mouth at once (22). (2) From Zambia, a baby born with part of his unformed twin inside him (which is rare but happens from time to time, except in this case the twin's foot is protruding from the healthy boy's buttocks) (which you don't want to see, but here it is) Spiegel Online /// Daily Telegraph (London)
Comments 'scorpion_foot'

Readers' Choice: Cornered car thief turns into a goat
Well . . it says here . . in this Associated Press dispatch citing "one of Nigeria's biggest daily newspapers" that when cops caught up to the two thieves, one got away but the other species-shifted. Apparently, a lot of people in Nigeria didn't think that to be impossible. (Bonus: The cops perp-walked the goat through town) Associated Press via Fox News
Comments 'nigerian_goat'

News Noir: Surely, you appreciate the irony of this . . .
A school bus's engine caught fire Friday morning in Boynton Beach, Fla., with 43 kids aboard. They all got out in time and moved away from the flames. Within minutes, the bus was completely incinerated, down to the skeletal frame. The kids were from the [Ed.: Sorry 'bout this] Christa McAuliffe Middle School (named for the teacher on that 1986 Challenger space shuttle mission). South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Comments 'schoolbus_fire'

More Things to Worry About

"I couldn't believe it," said New York City transit driver Peter Williams, after Shelia Bolar bit him on the arm because she was angry that the bus he picked her up in wasn't a hybrid. New York Daily News

The Jurupa Unified School District in southern California may have budget problems now, but they're gonna get worse if new school board member Noreen Considine doesn't start getting addressed as (retired Navy) Captain Considine . . because she's fixin' to sue her colleagues for dissing her. Press-Enterprise (Riverside)

And here's yet another guy run over, fatally, by his own Christine-like vehicle (Greentown, Ind.). WRTV (Indianapolis)

Comments on Things to Worry About?
Comments 'worry_090126'

People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
Elbert Duffy, 45, was charged with disorderly conduct at his new rooming house in Portsmouth, N.H., a month after being tossed out of his last one for having "sexual relations with a Raggedy Ann doll." (Bonus: Bad hair day!) Portsmouth Herald
Comments 'elbert_duffy'

Your Daily Jury Duty
["In America, a person is presumed innocent until the mug shot is released"]
This fun-loving couple, Anne Freeman, 51, and Michael Hartwig, 58, has been accused of driving after having had a touch too much to drink, twice in three days (she on a Monday, he on Wednesday) in Silver Springs, Fla. Ocala Star-Banner
Comments 'freeman_hartwig'

Posted By: Chuck - Mon Jan 26, 2009 - Comments (0)

Weird Theory: Palestinians are actually long-lost Jews

Palestinians and Jews may be bitter enemies, but according to Tsvi Misinai this shouldn't be the case because Palestianians are actually long-lost Jews. The Times summarizes the gist of the theory (which isn't original to Misinai):

Palestinians with whom Israel is at war are, in fact, descendants of Jews who stayed on the land when the Roman legions sent most of their countrymen into exile 2,000 years ago... Gradually, these people lost their ethnic identities, converting first to Christianity under Byzantine rule and then to Islam, as power in the land changed hands and rulers sought to homogenise the population, either through force or the offer of social privilege and tax incentives.

Apparently there are closer genetic matches between Palestinian and Jewish communities than between Palestinians and surrounding Arab communities. So who knows, the guy may be right. But even if he is, it probably won't make any difference to the fighting over there.

Posted By: Alex - Mon Jan 26, 2009 - Comments (8)
Category: Weird Theory

Online Mummification

Learn the ancient Egyptian art of mummification at the University of Chicago's interactive mummification tutorial. Use a hook to remove the brain through the nose. Extract the internal organs and place them in canopic jars. Wrap the body in linen, etc.

This would make a nice companion to the Interactive Autopsy site I posted about a few weeks ago.

Posted By: Alex - Mon Jan 26, 2009 - Comments (7)
Category: Death, Religion

January 25, 2009

Japanese Food Fair

How many of these foods can you identify?

For the answer key, go here.

Japanese Food Fair from timtak on Vimeo.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Jan 25, 2009 - Comments (7)
Category: Food, Foreign Customs, Asia

Great Depression Cooking

Since it looks like we're in a second Great Depression, 91-year-old Clara's Great Depression Cooking videos on youtube seem timely. She shows how to cook all the cheap meals she ate as a kid. But Wow! she adds a lot of salt.

I tried her "Poorman's Meal" for Saturday dinner. It was 2 large potatoes (cubed), 1½ onions (chopped), and 3 sliced hot dogs. Just fry all this up and serve. It was more than enough for my wife and I, and cost around $4 for the two of us. I give it a thumbs up! The thumbnail shows my meal. Below is Clara.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Jan 25, 2009 - Comments (18)
Category: Food

January 24, 2009

Pickled Herring Eating Contest

I actually enjoy pickled herring. But there is no way I will ever stand on a stage and consume mass quantities of it.

Pickled Herring Eating Contest from Dave Knows on Vimeo.

Posted By: Paul - Sat Jan 24, 2009 - Comments (1)
Category: Contests, Races and Other Competitions, Food

Plush Uterus Choking Hazard

Warning! If you bought your kid this stuffed uterus, you better return it. The uterus has been determined to be unsafe:

The ovaries may be pulled off
and become a choking hazard,
Keep away from children.

For the love of God, just keep the uterus away from the kids!!! (via Consumerist)

Posted By: Alex - Sat Jan 24, 2009 - Comments (2)
Category: Toys

January 23, 2009

Human Dumbbells (no, not him), Plus the Sweet Smell of Cojones

News of the Weird Daily
Friday, January 23, 2009 [part two]

More Things to Worry About

He's serving 50 yrs for hijacking an airliner in 1980, but his big concern now is that he's a "great songwriter" oppressed by prison officials' keeping his music out of the hands of Britney, Pink, and Springsteen. St. Paul Pioneer-Press

The five guys just sitting around the Gymbox exercise center in London (including two dwarfs and a fat guy) are actually just there to be lifted, for people bored with lifting inert weights (Bonus: They give out "attaboys" while you lift) (Seriously). Reuters via Yahoo

Christian humility sits out three quarters in a high school basketball game as parents and an assistant coach urge their Convent School team to run up the score (and they did, 100-0). Associated Press via Yahoo

Kychene Venable, 36, was caught in Buffalo, N.Y., with 44 containers of deodorant stuffed down his pants (and believe he must've shoplifted them, but on the other hand, possibly it was just a personal thing). Buffalo News

Rhode Island animal-protection advocates got ticked off when a judge ordered only community service and a fine for serious pet-abuse (with "pets" meaning the guy's 280 pet rats). MSNBC

The ex-sheriff in Granbury, Tex., applied for unemployment benefits by likening electoral defeat to being "fired." United Press International

Comments on Things to Worry About?
Comments 'cycle_090123'

Your Daily Loser
Shawn Holden, 26, thought he had successfully fled a traffic stop in Phoenix when he crawled under a parked truck to escape the cops. However, a minute later, with police still standing around the area, the driver got in the truck and drove off, flattening Holden, who was taken to the hospital and later arrested. The Arizona Republic
Comments 'shawn_holden'

Your Daily Jury Duty
["In America, a person is presumed innocent until the mug shot is released"]
Lorinda Burgeson, 53, could be the one who called in bomb threats to a school. On the other hand, the cops asked her why she would do that, and Burgeson did not give an answer . . so maybe she's not guilty. Only one way to tell. Pine City (Minn.) Pioneer
Comments 'lorinda_burgeson'

Today's Newsrangers: Jerry Whittle, Sean Conway, Sam Gaines, Bill Warren, Larry Ellis Reed, Paul Blumstein, Sara Scharf, Michael Bellesiles, Steve Kingsley, David Breth, Grant Crawford

Posted By: Chuck - Fri Jan 23, 2009 - Comments (0)

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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.

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