Weird Universe Archive

November 2009

November 9, 2009

Lena Horne, Rock Star



Last week, we saw Ethel Merman go disco. Well, in 1971, someone thought it would be a good idea for Lena Horne to issue an album of rock standards. Here she is covering Paul McCartney. Much more palatable, but I just don't know about the fit between her talents and rock.


Posted By: Paul - Mon Nov 09, 2009 - Comments (2)
Category: Music, 1970s

Professor Music’s Weird Links

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What Happens After I Die?

Please be patient - This Page is Under Construction!

Eminem. In Klingon.

Didja ever wonder about the architectural floorplan(s) of the house(s) of Fred and Wilma Flintsone? Rob and Laura Petrie? Space Family Robinson? Wonder no more.

Eyecandy (Flash)

Lovingly-crafted hoax: Baragami is the ancient Welsh decorative art of "toast arranging"

Sadly, NOT a hoax: HARC, the Hoarding of Animals Research Consortium

Semi-Oxymoronish: A Forum for Reclusive People

Toilet waterfall

A collection of bank robbery notes

The Maskatorium

Posted By: Professor Music - Mon Nov 09, 2009 - Comments (2)
Category:

News of the Weird / Pro Edition (11-9-2009)

News of the Weird/Pro Edition
November 9, 2009
(juicy and/or disturbing news from October 31-November 7)

Weekly Gold

Attorney Lawrence Reich, 69, finally threw in the towel, giving back his lifetime New York government pension that he "earned" by working a loophole to claim full-time-employee status in five school districts — simultaneously — while also operating a private practice. Several lawyers had nibbled at the loophole, though Reich was the biggest biter, having one year clocked 1,271 days. ABA Journal

Hear the Scranton (Pa.) Catholic Diocese's confessions: First, Father Edward Lyman, during an early Mass, used his personal computer to display information on an upcoming charity drive . . and accidentally clicked on photos of four bare-chested young men posing provocatively. Then, the Diocese disavowed Father Virgil Tetherow's behavior for offering Mass at an off-message church in York and also too-aggressively protesting at a Planned Parenthood clinic, especially after he was discovered to have pleaded guilty 4½ years ago to an offense that was originally child porn possession but downgraded in a plea deal. And yet another Diocese priest, Father Robert Timchak, waived a preliminary hearing last week on charges of having child porn on his computer. Times-Tribune (Scranton) /// York Daily Record /// Pocono Record

Why "government" is unpopular: On the one hand, it can't manage to keep tabs on predatory mortgage lenders, or compile a useful no-fly list, or find Jaycee Dugard in sex offender Phillip Garrido's house. But the government does other things very well . . . like catching $200 tax cheats (in Detroit) and bringing its "A" game to the job of shutting down a massage parlor (in Harrisburg, Pa.). Detroit News /// Associated Press via CBS News

What does a sect do when the only person with a direct line to the Lord dies? The Church Universal and Triumphant of Bozeman, Mont., still has an executive board, but it has been busy disapproving would-be successors to the late Jesus-channeling Elizabeth Claire Prophet (finding the pretenders insufficiently omniscent). The Church still has "thousands" of followers, it says, despite the hit it took in 1990 when the world failed to end as Prophet warned. (The several well-stocked, concrete-and-steel shelters inside a mountain north of Yellowstone Park are still ready, just in case.) The most exciting work ahead for the board? Someone gets the "pleasure" of transcribing 22,000 hours of audio and video narratives that Prophet left behind. Associated Press via KTVB-TV (Boise)

Ouija Warriors: Which of these characters more deserves Absurdity Gold? The UK firm ATSC Ltd. is getting quite rich selling worthless dowsing rods that purportedly point to explosives (at up to $60,000 a rod, mostly to the underdeveloped countries' underdeveloped police forces). The other contestant is the Iraqi police commander, who loves the rods and ridicules the Pentagon for denouncing them — and is embarrassment-proof, in that when the device fails test after test before his very eyes, he attributes it to testers' lack of "training." The commander would ordinarily just be silly, but these magic wands are the first line of "protection" at 400 Baghdad checkpoints. Sniffer dogs would be much more effective, but the commander recoils at the thought of running a "zoo." (Physics sage Bob Park said the Pentagon, too, fell for the devices in the early 1990s but was spared public humiliation because the project was "classified.") New York Times



More in extended >>

Posted By: Chuck - Mon Nov 09, 2009 - Comments (6)
Category:

November 8, 2009

Divorce Fair

Paris, the city of love, has long held a marriage fair but now is also holding a divorce fair. It is actually called New Start Trade Fair and has 60 stands and 2 days of conferences. Some stands have lawyers, others are about self improvement and self-esteem, still others are fortune telling and tarot readings. The conferences include such things as 'Plastic Surgery's Role in Reconquering Your Self Image' and 'Separation, What Does A Lawyer Do'. In France, with 260,000 divorces annually, nearly 1 in 2 marriages end this way. Most in attendance are women, but the same is true of the Marriage Fairs. There are some men there though. One couple in line for an attorney's booth are married, not to each other, and looking at ways to let their soon-to-be ex-partners down easier. Mighty sweet of them huh?
http://www.statesman.com/news/content/shared-gen/ap/Europe/EU_France_Divorce_Fair.html

Posted By: Alex - Sun Nov 08, 2009 - Comments (2)
Category:

November 7, 2009

Toward Emotional Maturity

Posted By: Paul - Sat Nov 07, 2009 - Comments (3)
Category: Education, Teenagers, Documentaries, 1950s

November 6, 2009

2012 Myth

In response to a recent discussion on one of the WU threads I found an article on Live Science about the 2012 doomsday myth. Yes, myth. The Mayan calendar does end in 2012, but lets face it, it had to end somewhere. There is no corresponding portent of doom. The Mayans did not predict the end of the world, they just ended the calendar, presumably because it was carried out pretty far ahead and could be continued when it got a little closer to 2012. Unfortunately they won't be needing to extend it any further and, in fact, did not need to extend it as far as they did. Not everyone who believes 2012 is important thinks it will spell doom for mankind. Some believe 2012 will be the year an age of global harmony begins. The article explains some of the reasons for the myth and is quite interesting. I hope you all enjoy it.
http://www.livescience.com/strangenews/091105-2021-doomsday.html

Posted By: Alex - Fri Nov 06, 2009 - Comments (17)
Category:

RFD Greenwich Village

Posted By: Paul - Fri Nov 06, 2009 - Comments (3)
Category: Fashion, Bohemians, Beatniks, Hippies and Slackers, 1960s

November 5, 2009

Game Over

PES is an animation company that makes, well, "unique" stop motion short films, most of which feature only every day objects. Check out their other videos at their website


If the video above doesn't work, click here.

Posted By: Salamander Sam - Thu Nov 05, 2009 - Comments (8)
Category: Technology, Surrealism, Stop-motion Animation

Ethel Merman Disco Album

Lat night I watched Ethel Merman's first screen appearance, a little musical short subject titled Her Future. She was loud and brassy and weird even in 1930. But 49 years later, with her venture into disco, she was beyond weird.

The actual Tonight Show singing occurs in part 2.







Posted By: Paul - Thu Nov 05, 2009 - Comments (5)
Category: Music, 1970s

November 4, 2009

Space Elevator

A nonprofit foundation called Spaceward and NASA's Centennial Challenges program sponsor a competition called the Space Elevator Games. Each year, in the Mojave Desert, the participants, 3 teams this year, try to send their entries up a cable extending from a helicopter hoovering a half mile up. The vehicle must reach 6 tenths of a mile up while maintaining an average speed of 16.4 feet per second. There have been no winners yet in 3 years. The hope is to one day have a cable that extends from a ground structure to a structure in a geosynchronous orbit in space. The elevator would be powered by electricity from ground lasers trained on photo voltaic cells on the underside of the elevator. This would allow access to space without the danger of rocket power. Certainly a fascinating concept at least.
http://www.suntimes.com/news/nation/1864101,elevator-space-nasa-110409.article

Posted By: Alex - Wed Nov 04, 2009 - Comments (12)
Category:

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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.

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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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