Weird Universe Archive

September 2010

September 30, 2010

It Takes All Kinds

Posted By: Paul - Thu Sep 30, 2010 - Comments (2)
Category: Marriage, 1950s

Who Is This?

Guess who this is a bust of and what medium was used. Hint: Guessing the name of the subject should help you guess the material used. The answer and a link to the article in extended.

More in extended >>

Posted By: Alex - Thu Sep 30, 2010 - Comments (5)

September 29, 2010

Girl with the Snaggletooth

A touching ode to a dental abnormality.

Posted By: Paul - Wed Sep 29, 2010 - Comments (2)
Category: Body, Music, Natural Wonders

September 28, 2010

Boredom at Work:  The Empty Life

This is like some episode of MAD MEN created during the actual era. "He makes friends with every ten-dollar tramp that comes along..."


Posted By: Paul - Tue Sep 28, 2010 - Comments (7)
Category: PSA’s, Work and Vocational Training, 1960s, Mental Health and Insanity

News of the Weird / Pro Edition (September 28, 2010)

News of the Weird/Pro Edition
You're Still Not Cynical Enough

Prime Cuts of Underreported News from Last Week (Part II), Hand-Picked and Lightly Seasoned by Chuck Shepherd
September 28, 2010
(datelines September 18-September 25) (links correct as of September 27)

Weird 2.0
"To see what is in front of one's nose requires a constant struggle"—George Orwell
"That's close enough for government work"—unknown
"Nero Fiddles While Rome Burns"—Rome Daily Inquirer, 7-18-64A.D.

The Los Angeles Times found a contract written by the Border Patrol to pay some ex-employees about $85,000 a year to . . encourage agency executives to speak to each other. (It's not for "meeting planning"; that's specifically not covered.) It's just, like, What's the matter with y'all, anyway? Cat got yer tongue? Hey, you, there, call this guy, OK? . . . That'll be $85,000, please. (Bonus: As any federal executive will tell you [ed.: including, once upon a time, Yr Editor], contracts like this are not unusual.) Los Angeles Times

Update: Mumia Abu-Jamal, who's been on death row in Pennsylvania for 28 years for killing a cop, is not only not dead yet but is bound to live longer than some of you reading this. Here is his latest appeals status. [ed.: Yr Editor is not sure about the death-penalty part, and Yr Editor was not present on the street that night in Philadelphia, but the evidence of murder has been described over and over in the press, and Yr Editor concludes that if the "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard urged by Abu-Jamal's sympathizers were applied across-the-board . . the "crime" rate would drop precipitously.] Associated Press via New York Times /// Philadelphia Daily News

USA Today did the math on the degree to which southern coastal states are only softly insured, and it turns out that Florida has 41 times as much insured property as there is cash and reinsurance to pay claims. Louisiana has 58 times as much (but, at least, with a shorter hurricane coastline). The figure for Texas is actually 486, but the vast majority of land is far away from the coast. (On the other hand, the state has only $150 million cash and reinsurance in the Act of God kitty.) USA Today

Privacy advocates regularly dog that Facebook thingie, but one by one we see examples of Facebook users who believe they're too cool for the room--screwing themselves with their promiscuous detail of biography. It's No Longer Weird how criminals get caught bragging about their crimes online (so that detectives don't even break a sweat making the collar). And here are two divorcing husbands pleading poverty to their wives' lawyers but taking to Facebook to tout their upscale lives. ABA Journal

Don't Tell the Tea Party: Turns out (based on this study by researchers at Duke and Harvard) that Americans are more comfortable with European-style income-distribution than with American-, all-or-nothing- style and that they don't realize just how badly skewed income is in this country. Harvard Business School report [link from Huffington Post]

Johnson & Johnson lawyers: We didn't stage a secret recall of problem Motrin last year (secret--to avoid an embarrassing public recall). In fact, we told the FDA we were doing it. FDA lawyers: Nuh-uhh, did not! Associated Press via Las Vegas Sun

The prime minister of Somalia, Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, resigned. (Reading between the lines: Somalia actually had a prime minister!) Reuters via New York Times

As we close in on the two-year anniversary of Bernard Madoff's arrest, it's time to tally up how many Securities and Exchange Commission staffers have been fired (or publicly demoted) for the five failed "investigations" of Madoff beginning in 1992 that went nowhere and for the agency's indifference toward fellow Ponzi-er R. Allen Stanford before 2009 despite ongoing knowledge of his crookedness since 1997. Answer: zero. (Correct interpretation: The SEC was interested only in slam-dunk prosecutions. When, as Senator Dodd put it, investigators screamed there was a fire, the enforcement side of the agency responded, "Ooooo, Too hard to put out.")

Uh-Oh: The Parkway and Rockwood school districts in Missouri, certain that they're ahead of the curve and not behind it, have decreed that kids will no longer be subject to spelling tests. St. Louis Post-Dispatch

War Is Hell; Nation-Building Is Weird: "War" to Americans is superior boom-boom, plus dazzling high-tech, plus brave young men and women, plus brilliant generals. But what is the reality in Afghanistan? (a) Will the Afghan government ever be less ridiculously corrupt? (b) Opium! (c) Pashtun men (as Pro Edition reported last week) flaunt their little-boy sex-toys all over. (d) Honor killings, where the wayward daughter must be murdered for embarrassing the family. (e) The military contracting process, rife enough stateside with fraud and waste, is orders of magnitude worse in wartime. (f) Once again, Afghan vote-fraud horrors disenfranchised an entire population. News of the Weird! McClatchy News Service [latest contracting mess] /// New York Times [election fraud]

Posted By: Chuck - Tue Sep 28, 2010 - Comments (3)

September 27, 2010

Love Hotels Book

Wouldn't your "significant other" get the hint when you presented this fine book as a gift?

Posted By: Paul - Mon Sep 27, 2010 - Comments (5)
Category: Sexuality, Books, Hotels, Asia

News of the Weird / Pro Edition (September 27, 2010)

News of the Weird/Pro Edition
You're Still Not Cynical Enough

Prime Cuts of Underreported News from Last Week, Hand-Picked and Lightly Seasoned by Chuck Shepherd
September 27, 2010
(datelines September 18-September 25) (links correct as of September 27)

Back-Door Caffeine for Jews, Plus Vampires Loose in Peru and the Fall of a Legendary Procreator

★ ★ ★ ★!

Another Talmudic Loophole: Yom Kippur fasting (nothing by mouth) presents a challenge to caffeine addicts, but in Brooklyn, N.Y., this year, no problem: Caffeine suppositories flew off the shelves! The Brooklyn Paper

You Don't Quite Look Young Enough! In Australia (could be America), an investigator found instances of young teen girls undergoing Brazilian waxes at the behest of their boyfriends–for that ultra-chic porn-model look. Courier-Mail (Brisbane)

A Remedy Worse Than the Malady? No doubt, the group of "prediabetes" symptoms (obesity, passing out) caused by insulin irregularities is undesirable. Researchers at Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam reported a potential cure last week at a conference. They way to fix this, see, is for the patient to get a fecal transplant from a lean, insulin-normal person.

Is There Anything the Mayo Clinic Can't Do? They cut this woman literally in half (except for one connective strand), removed her bone cancer, and put her back together. She's in a wheelchair, but she's fine. Winnipeg Free Press

Can't Possibly Be True: London's The Independent, from a Freedom of Information Act request, learned that the Queen's people, finding themselves with budget problems in 2004, actually asked if they could tap into the government's home-heating subsidy program. (Bonus: Before the Labour Party was against it, they were for it.) Daily Mail

Civilization in Decline: Louis Converso Jr. pleaded guilty to DUI, and is free on bail until sentencing, during which time he will resume his place on the waiting list for a liver transplant--undoubtedly ahead of people who actually beat the demon rum and stand a chance of joie de vivre. Buffalo News

(Update) Holy Prostitutes: News of the Weird has tread this ground before, but an upcoming British TV documentary fills in on Devadasis, who are lower-caste Indian women who decide to forgo the tremendous career opportunities they have--in jobs like hauling human manure--and instead pledge their virginity and beyond to fund their local Hindu temples. It's supposedly illegal (since 1988), but the government doesn't often get to the sticks. Devadasis commit at age 3 or so, start selling sex at puberty, and are washed up fairly young. [LINK CORRECTED] The Independent (London)

More in extended >>

Posted By: Chuck - Mon Sep 27, 2010 - Comments (3)

September 26, 2010

Castaway on the Moon

Looks like a film weird enough for us WU-vies.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Sep 26, 2010 - Comments (9)
Category: Movies, Hermits, Asia

September 24, 2010

Brave Ladies

Two brave women were in the news recently, one for protecting her home and the other for protecting her pet.

First we have a Middleton, Connecticut lady arriving home to hear the toilet flush in her 'empty' house. She quickly leaves again without alerting the intruder. Watching from up the street she calls police and when the thief left her house before police arrived she followed him while keeping the authorities apprised of his location till they could get there.

Then there is the Montana woman who hears a commotion outside at midnight. Going out, she sees a black bear attacking her 12 year old collie. She distracts the bear which charges her. Then as the bear swipes at her she jumps back inside and grabs the first thing she sees. A zucchini on the counter, throwing the vegetable, she hits the bear in the head and it runs off. She was uninjured.

Posted By: Alex - Fri Sep 24, 2010 - Comments (4)


Read more here.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Sep 24, 2010 - Comments (3)
Category: Sports, Fish

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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.

Our banner was drawn by the legendary underground cartoonist Rick Altergott.

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