Weird Universe Archive

February 2011

February 8, 2011

Forgive Me iFather…


The Roman Catholic Church has formally approved a confession app. Even as a lapsed (recovering?) Catholic I find this rather disturbing. Can't stop progress I guess.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Feb 08, 2011 - Comments (7)
Category:

News of the Weird / Pro Edition (February 8, 2011)

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

Below The Fold
Prime Choice Cuts of Underreported News from Last Week, Hand-Picked and Lightly Seasoned by Chuck Shepherd
February 8, 2011
(datelines January 29-February 5) (links correct as of February 7)

Undignified Deaths: Wade Westbrook, 26, fatally bitten by a copperhead because he was determined to ascertain its gender, and Jose Ochoa, 35, fatally stabbed by the leg blade attached to his fighting rooster. Reuters via Yahoo News /// Bakersfield Californian

We're So Old Now, Folks . . .: Alpha Cradle-Robber Mary Kay LeTourneau is now a grandmother (via her earlier son, not the two daughters she's had with her boy-toy/husband, who are now 12 and 13). Associated Press via WLS Radio (Chicago)

Otago University (Japan) scientists say Labrador retrievers are so heroic that they can detect colon cancer by smelling breath (95% success) and stools (98%). New Zealand Press Association via New Zealand Herald

The least popular kid in kindergarten three years ago just won $350,000 as a lawsuit settlement for his humiliation. (He has Asperger's syndrome, but his classmates and teacher just thought he was a screw-up, and voted him off the island. Still, humiliation continues to be an uncompensated activity in most schoolrooms.) South Florida Sun-Sentinel

We Have Too Much Federal Regulation? The sewer system of Gary, Ind., overflows a third of the year, every year, into the Little and Grand Calumet rivers. The feds say they have been meaning to do something about that. WBBM-TV (Chicago)

Virginia Has Standards! Del. Jackson Miller's bill (to permit machine guns to be carried as concealed weapons) failed to make it out of committee. Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk)

Sounds Like a Joke: Here's the password (before it was changed!) for the hard-up, job-seeking alumni of Lewis & Clark Law School (Portland, Ore.) to access the online employment board: fail8ure AboveTheLaw.com

Once again, the world has produced someone who accomplishes something it would never occur to the rest of us to accomplish. David Morice has written a 1,00010,000-page-long poem. (Bonus: The University of Iowa published it.) MediaBistro.com

They play hardball city politics in Raleigh, N.C. David Cox and his neighbors went beyond just asking for two residential neighborhood traffic lights; they petitioned, with maps, diagrams, and traffic projections. Their reward: The town's chief traffic engineer reported them to the state for "engineering" without a license (Seriously). News & Observer

Swedish Affirmative Action for Recovering Perverts: A convicted pedophile was discovered to be running three private schools in the Stockholm area. Oops, yaaa, our bad, said the country's education minister. The Local (Stockholm)

Not what you're thinking: [Headline in the The Press of Atlantic City: "Showboat Casino Hotel to Become First Dog-Friendly Casino in Atlantic City"] (Nope, they're still not allowed seats at the poker tables.) The Press of Atlantic City

Entry-Level Web Editor on Duty: This lady [mugshot] was arrested for drug-possession, and police apparently found additional drugs in her hoo-hah when she was booked. Then she made bail. Still, the headline could be something other than "Alleged Vagina Smuggler Leaves Jail." After all, she was smuggling drugs. WBBH-TV (Fort Myers, Fla.) [headline is at the video link]

Finally, the people at AfricaNews.com, showing their prowess at Search Engine Optimization, took a law, or proposed law, in Malawi that makes pollution a crime, and wondered whether police would be issuing fines to farters. Magnificent. Reuters

Posted By: Chuck - Tue Feb 08, 2011 - Comments (3)
Category:

H-Bomb over Bikini Atoll



You know what's weird? Atmospheric nuclear bomb tests. What were we thinking?

Other items in the newsreel your bonus window into the general, lesser weirdness of the 1950s.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Feb 08, 2011 - Comments (5)
Category: 1950s, Weapons

February 7, 2011

The Center Of The Universe

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Pretty cool huh?

Posted By: Alex - Mon Feb 07, 2011 - Comments (5)
Category:

Japan on Ice

Posted By: Paul - Mon Feb 07, 2011 - Comments (1)
Category: Art, Seasonal, Asia

Goodbye Pussycat…

Sad news today for fans of weird and cult movies. Tura Satana, star of Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! and the Astro-Zombies series has died, aged 72. Famed, and much admired, for her impressive build and distinctive looks, Tura's portrayal of the psychopathic Varla in Faster... won her a sizeable cult following. Which, having somewhat presciently thought to trademark her likeness, belatedly brought Tura some success (Yahoo News).

It is perhaps some small comfort that Ms. Satana will now be spared seeing Kim Kardashian's proposed reprisal of her role in the Tarrantino remake of her signature film, expected out in 2012. For connoisseurs of the original, here's the title sequence, with music courtesy of The Bostweeds.



(Image from AmpedAsia.com)

Posted By: Dumbfounded - Mon Feb 07, 2011 - Comments (7)
Category: Movies, Obituaries, 1960s

Spruce Goose on the Loose

image
Howard Hughes's folly "The Spruce Goose" is of course famous for the tiny bit of actual airtime it enjoyed before being permanently docked. But who knew it had gotten to travel--in segments--down the nation's roads beforehand?

Read about its trip here.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Feb 07, 2011 - Comments (1)
Category: Eccentrics, Hermits, Transportation, 1940s

News of the Weird / Pro Edition (February 7, 2011)

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
February 7, 2011
(datelines January 29-February 5) (links correct as of February 7)

Culling the School Herd, Plus Rednecks in Training and AIDS Drugs Gain Value

★ ★ ★ ★!

You're Still, Still, Not Cynical Enough: (1) An ex-Atlanta-area elementary school principal admitted that she dis-enrolled 13 of her problem kids for a few days so they wouldn't be around to take state tests--and afterward, enrolled 'em back in. (2) In Allen County Independent School District, north of Dallas, Tex., they (like like all school districts) have trouble avoiding cutbacks and layoffs, but in May 2009, at the height of the recession, voters OK'd borrowing $119 million for a new Allen High School football stadium. It's just about ready. Atlanta Journal-Constitution /// New York Times

People Still Pay for Internet Porn?: A California Court of Appeal ruled that sites that give away Internet pornography (as teasers) do not violate the state's "unfair competition" law even though it's extremely annoying to pay-as-you-go porn sites. [ed.: The judges appear not to understand that, unlike teasers on major Hollywood films, porn "teasers" are often all a viewer needs, or so Your Editor has heard.] ArsTechnica.com

China's Mole People: Seriously, China may be way ahead of the U.S. in economic growth, but its income is horribly disproportionately divided: filthy-rich entrepreneurs . . and plain-filthy, barely surviving worker-servants (many of 'em college graduates!). In fact, hundreds of thousands of Beijingers live underground . . in civil-defense lockers built by Mao when he feared Soviet Union bombs: 30 square miles' worth, with some lockers as small as 6' x 9', at monthly rents starting at around £30 ($48). Daily Telegraph (London)

Update: Burmese Stork Girls: The main thing different since News of the Weird last brought the ring-necked girls of Burma into your eyeballs [NOTW 541, 6-19-1998] is that at least one large American company (a poultry producer) is recruiting among the Kayan tribe in Burma to bring kids to Texas (to debone chickens for a living), thus offering an alternative to the career field of having parents load up daughters' necks with 11-25 pounds of rings, smooshing down their clavicles so they'll grow into long-necked tourist attractions for Thailand entrepreneurs. (Isn't that painful, the tourists ask. [Real answer: Duh-uh!] Why, yes . . yes, it is, they answer politely, but it apparently beats having to live in Burma.) Global Post /// KTRE-TV (Lufkin, Tex.) [Jan. 12th]

Prisoners 29, IRS 0 Apparently IRS is still paying prisoners who make bogus claims on their income tax returns. The U.S. Treasury Department's inspector general reported that, in the first seven months of 2010, 12,910 taxpayers claimed, "erroneously," tax credits for electric and hybrid cars. (No, tax credit for golf carts is not what Congress had in mind.) That number included 29 people who were in prison the entire tax year. TaxProf Blog

This Is Why We Need Hatchets: "Some people are jealous" is how Ms. Sinkfield rationalizes the massive revulsion that she provokes among people who encounter her for the first time. Why their disgust? After all, she's merely making "a fashion statement" that she believes is appreciated by "most women." She is Ms. Jazz Ison Sinkfield, of Atlanta, Ga., and the subject matter is her 10 crooked, curling fingernails, whose individual lengths vary between 20 and 24 inches. WXIA-TV (Atlanta) [with recoil-provoking photo]



More in extended >>

Posted By: Chuck - Mon Feb 07, 2011 - Comments (5)
Category:

February 5, 2011

About Fallout

Posted By: Paul - Sat Feb 05, 2011 - Comments (4)
Category: Death, Destruction, PSA’s, Technology, War, Weapons, 1950s

February 4, 2011

Worst Theme Park Experience Ever

image

image

Click either image to enlarge.

More info here.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Feb 04, 2011 - Comments (6)
Category: Crime, Fairs, Amusement Parks, and Resorts, 1950s

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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.

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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