Weird Universe Archive

July 2012

July 10, 2012

Shopping Cart Art

Residents of Campbelltown, Australia woke on Sunday to find that someone (presumably teenagers) had stacked shopping carts from local stores into a big pyramid outside the train station. This has sparked a debate in the town about the definition of art. Specifically, is the shopping cart pyramid art, or just vandalism? The mayor of Campbelltown, for one, feels that shopping carts (or shopping trolleys, as they say down there) have no legitimate place in art. Carts, he says, "are only to be used to carry groceries from the shops to your car." Links: Macarthur Chronicle, Facebook.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jul 10, 2012 - Comments (6)
Category: Art

July 9, 2012

How to anesthetize a hippo

Science Daily reports that progress has been made on the problem of how to anesthetize a hippopotamus:

for a variety of reasons it has proven difficult to anaesthetize hippopotamuses. The thick skin and the dense subcutaneous tissue make it difficult to introduce sufficient amounts of anesthetics and opioid-based anesthetics often cause breathing irregularities and occasionally even death. In addition, the level of anesthesia is only rarely sufficient to enable surgery to be undertaken: few vets wish to be around when a drugged hippopotamus starts to wake up.

The solution involves "a new anesthetic protocol based on the use of two non-opiate drugs." This protocol was experimentally tested on 10 hippos, all of which "recovered rapidly and completely from the procedure and showed no lasting after-effects."

The interesting detail left out of the Science Daily article, but which can be found in the original article in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, is that all 10 hippos were castrated while asleep. If they had woken up while that was happening, I'm sure they really would have been angry!

Posted By: Alex - Mon Jul 09, 2012 - Comments (4)
Category: Animals, Medicine, Surgery

News of the Weird 2.0 (July 9, 2012)

News of the Weird 2.0
Two or Three Times a Week, Since May 21, 2012

Underreported News, Hand-Picked and Lightly Seasoned by Chuck Shepherd
July 9, 2012
(datelines from June 10 or later) (links correct as of July 9)

Editor's Note

Miss me yet? I'm fine, thank you, but I now have to read almost everything three times (versus two before that, provoked by my advancing age), and I must reserve my most brilliant spells for my weekly News of the Weird column, which still provides a bit of income. So, I'm back to merely guiding you upon a cite-seeing tour, at least for a while longer.

★ ★ ★ ★!

Somewhere: "Nick" and "Ethan" have formed Virtuous Pedophiles, "many" of whom pose no danger to kids, they say. Just admire 'em at a distance, like art gallery patrons. Sez Ethan: "Almost any group in the world can hold a convention, look out on a sea of faces, and say, 'These are people like me.' We can't." Salon

Raleigh, N.C.: The governor vetoed a pro-fracking bill, but pro-frackers worked to override it. However, governor's allies, led by Rep. Becky Carney, had the veto beat, by one vote--except that when it came time to actually vote, Carney pushed the wrong button, and the veto won. Carney: "Oh my gosh." ABC News (tip: The Atlantic)

Chicago: Win-Win! Chicago has a sky-high murder rate this summer. So, do-gooders sponsored a $100 buy-back for every gun turned in (regardless of condition). Winners: People get $100 a gun. Criminals know that fewer victims will be armed. Pro-gun group organizes hand-ins of rusty guns to fund a youth camp to encourage gun ownership. Chicago Sun-Times

Las Vegas: Can't Possibly Be True! Prof. Tom Kubistant of Western Nevada College ran his Human Sexuality course about like a spittle-encrusted, bottom-feeding pervert would have run it, with minimal academic overlay--at least if Karen Royce's lawsuit is to be believed. (Karen, at age 60, balked at the "required" number of masturbations she had to journalize in order to pass.) Courthouse News Service



More in extended >>

Posted By: Chuck - Mon Jul 09, 2012 - Comments (19)
Category:

July 8, 2012

Up In Smoke

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Natalie Shoemark's best laid plans for retirement went up in smoke when her parents' home burned recently. She had collected Barbie dolls since she was a child, 1500 of them, all stored in her parents' attic. The dolls, estimated to be worth $6196 (4000 pounds) were Barbie-Qed.

Posted By: patty - Sun Jul 08, 2012 - Comments (6)
Category:

Happy Anniversary to Us!

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[Left to right: Paul, Alex, Chuck and Patty]

Whoops! Meant to get this one up yesterday, but was swamped with work! Anyhow.....

The first post on WU was July 7, 2008.

Four years of weirdness! Nearly 14 million pages views! That's a lot of oddball fun!

Our thanks to all our readers and reader-posters. This blog simply would not work without you all!

Posted By: Paul - Sun Jul 08, 2012 - Comments (11)
Category: Anniversary, Weird Universe

Improve Your Face

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Original ad here.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Jul 08, 2012 - Comments (3)
Category: Body Modifications, Self-help Schemes, 1910s

July 7, 2012

Devil Girl from Mars



If you're intrigued by the excerpt, watch the full film in the lower window!


Posted By: Paul - Sat Jul 07, 2012 - Comments (4)
Category: Aliens, Costumes and Masks, Ineptness, Crudity, Talentlessness, Kitsch, and Bad Art, Movies, Sex Symbols, 1950s

Jewel Spew

Artist Kourtney Keller offers the following explanation of what's going on in her video:

The subject of JEWEL SPEW is literally saturated with light…so much so that it endlessly sprays out of her in the form of light beams and jewel plumes. Likewise, her environment is saturated with jewels and she is choking on them. In the futile act of trying to shake them off, she activates the possibility that her predicament is terminal...
the subject of JEWEL SPEW is caught in a hypnotic video loop of spewing bling. She is not only surrounded by what is afflicting her, but appears contagious.


Posted By: Alex - Sat Jul 07, 2012 - Comments (7)
Category: Art, Jewelry, Video

July 6, 2012

Witches, USA

A big theme of NOTW is the persistence of belief in witches in foreign countries, right down to the present. Hardly a week goes by without a report of some poor soul being put to death for occult suspicions.

How far back in the history of the USA are such beliefs--among the non-immigrant population?

Try at least as recently as 1929. Original article here.

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Posted By: Paul - Fri Jul 06, 2012 - Comments (8)
Category: Death, Superstition, 1920s

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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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