Weird Universe Archive

June 2013

June 18, 2013

Gustav Fassauer-Ferron

Although he was hardly as famous as Stradivarius, Gustav Fassauer-Ferron created some violins that still have their fans today. As one site says, "Pupil of Oswald Schaller of Frankfort (Germany), with whom he underwent a thorough training, proof of which is found in his work. Well made instruments after the Guarneri I. H. S. model, adorned with an orange oil varnish. His violins are esteemed by both artists and amateurs." You can hear one of his instruments in the video.

But when he wasn't busy making full-size ones, he turned out the occasional miniature. Don't you wish you had this for those times when you wanted to mock someone's self-indulgent hard-luck story?

Here is an image of the creator with his miniatures. Copyright prevents reproduction here.

Source of story.


Posted By: Paul - Tue Jun 18, 2013 - Comments (3)
Category: Art, Crafts, Eccentrics, Enlargements, Miniatures, and Other Matters of Scale, Music

Miss Typical

I guess it's some kind of achievement to be judged the most entirely average, but still, I don't think "Miss Typical" pageants are often held nowadays. They seem to belong to an age when conformity was thought to be more of a virtue. Rachel Reber here won "Miss Typical Freshman Coed" title back in 1941.

Marilyn Charleston was judged Miss Typical Teen of Nevada:

Reno Gazette Journal - Sep 3, 1948

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jun 18, 2013 - Comments (3)
Category: Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues, Contests, Races and Other Competitions, 1940s

June 17, 2013

Johnson Smith Catalog Item #29

[From the 1950 catalog. Click to enlarge.]

Did showing a woman your "Kiss me again I'm still conscious" ring really help you score, even in 1950?

Posted By: Paul - Mon Jun 17, 2013 - Comments (7)
Category: Jewelry, Johnson Smith Catalog, 1950s

Some women are more alive than others

1975 ad for Hanes pantyhose. Is the corollary of this that some women are more dead than others? Also, is Sandy Duncan about to play the piano with her crotch? (via arts-stew)

Posted By: Alex - Mon Jun 17, 2013 - Comments (4)
Category: Advertising, 1970s

News of the Weird 2.0 (June 17, 2013)

News of the Weird 2.0
Angst, Confusion, Cynicism, Ridicule

Prime Cuts of Underreported News from Last Week, Hand-Picked and Lightly Seasoned by Chuck Shepherd
June 17, 2013
(datelines June 8-June 15) (links correct as of June 16)
© 2013 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

★ ★ ★ ★!

Britain’s “weirdest support group," AMMACH, got a nice write-up in the Daily Mirror. The “Anomalous Mind Management Abductee Contactee Helpline” comforts about 1,500 true believers a yr, including the lady who inexplicably has been abducted more than 1,000 times. Co-founder Miles Johnston uses a wall stud detector to find the alien “signature” on the abductee’s skin’s atoms--a signature sure to have been registered by the other dimension--and the atoms show up under UV light. These people need support precisely because they’re sane, i.e., being sane, they know full well that all of us know they’re nuts. Daily Mirror

Sounds Like a Joke a Nestlé Marketing Executive Who’s Just Taken Sodium Pentathol: Introducing the company’s new bottled-water, “Resource,” which is just “water” but for a woman “who is a little more on the trendy side and higher-income side”--a reflection of who she is as a woman in the very deepest and most personal sense of her very being, the executive said. It’s for the woman who is “proud to carry around Resource as her bottled water accessory . . ..” In other words, it’s for women who were crushed to find out that Walmart sells Evian.

Beauty Park Medical Spa in Santa Monica offers the $575 “Male Laser Lift,” aka “tackle tightening”--removing hair, discoloration, and wrinkles on the scrotum. It was supposedly inspired by a joke George Clooney made a while back in an interview--that H’wood’s latest craze was “ball-ironing,” which itself was just a step up from Lewis Black’s observation that Wall Street executives’ latest perq was the personal ball-washer. Yo, gettin’ real.

More Things to Worry About

Journalist Stacie Borrello toted the numbers up, and it’s 11 to 4, or 21-4. “4" is the number of Americans killed domestically so far this year by terrorists (all in Boston). “11" is the number of Americans killed by gun shooters aged 3-6. Add 10 to get the number wounded by gun shooters aged 2-6.

Scotland’s parliament will vote soon on a bill to formally assign a social worker to every child in the country. It’s still to be determined just how active or powerful the shadow parent will be. In principle, it’s as much to help dumb parents as it is to rescue at-risk children. Still . . .. Daily Telegraph (London)

Wait, What? Elementary school teacher Carie Charlesworth was fired by a Catholic school near San Diego . . because her husband was threatening to kill her--which supposedly put her kids in danger. KNSD-TV (San Diego)

The Aristocrats!

Destination--Ninth Circle of Hell: Cheryl Tchida, 51, has a 19-yr-old daughter with dwarfism and a mental age of 5 so the thing to do with her, Cheryl thought (according to police), was pimp her out at $200/per to several men over a six-week period, and now the kid’s pregnant. New York Daily News

Laura Fong, 18, of Barrow, Ga., ignored several reasonable inquiries by her mother as to who had eaten her fried chicken, and then apparently grew weary of the inquisition. Fong was arrested later after her mother, her shoulder bleeding from a deep bite and a dumbbell attack, called the cops. Barrow Patch

Pictorial Aristocrats (from last week’s The Smoking Gun collection): a toothless Hal Holbrook and a young Jabba

Weekly Cite-Seeing

Complaint About Smelly Juror Collapses Kingston Oceana Murder Trial --- Your Local Guardian (London)

Marshall U. Dismissed from Bottle-Rocket-Shot-Out-of-Anus Lawsuit --- West Virginia Record

8-Month Erection Leads to Malpractice Lawsuit --- United Press International

Saudi Prince Sues Forbes Over His Rank on Billionaires List --- Los Angeles Times

Strange Old World

Recurring Theme: Oldenberg, Germany,’s annual cow beauty contest is back, with 250 contestants. The money fact here is that there are 12 professional cow hairdressers who work the show, trimming belly and leg hair (to display the veins, the powerful legs, bulging udders, and strong bone structure). The Local (Berlin)

Colombian poet Raffael Medina Brochero, vowing that he’d never run out of money again on the road while performing, said he’s aiming to pre-fund his upcoming trip to Europe . . . by selling his testicles for US$20,000. Colombia Reports

Urban Legend? Probably not, since, after all, it’s Japan. Teens’ latest craze is when a girl lets you lick her eyeball. Apparently it’s like getting to 2nd base with her. Ophthalmologists are horrified (pinkeye and eye chlamydia)

Americans Starting to Suck at BS’ing

The best Aron Roy, 23, could do when arrested for kidnaping a teenage girl in Fremont, Calif., was to ‘splain that it was an accident, that he got into the wrong car, which is why he ordered her to take off her clothes. ABC News

In Fort Pierce, Fla., Martin Perez, 33, took off his shoes to reveal that he had a packet of cocaine between his toes . . but that it wasn’t his cocaine, that it belonged to someone else. (Stuart, Fla.)

Rodger Kelly, 50, was arrested in St. George, Utah, for rape, but, y’see, what happened was that he put his penis inside the woman only to warm her up because it was cold outside where he found her, and he needed to get her temperature up. Seriously. Salt Lake Tribune

Your Weekly Jury Duty
[In America, you're presumed innocent . . . until the mug shot is released]

Randy Zipperer, 49, arrested in Deltona, Fla., for stabbing his brother because he thought the guy stole his mac-and-cheese. The brother also might have made Randy spill his beer. [ed.: Sometimes ya need to take a look at the victim, too, before you judge.] WPBF-TV (West Palm Beach)

Newsrangers: Steve Manousos, Aaron Nachsin, Steve Dunn, Bob Wagner, and Perry Levin, and the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors

Posted By: Chuck - Mon Jun 17, 2013 - Comments (2)

June 16, 2013


Exit from Rebel Banana on Vimeo.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Jun 16, 2013 - Comments (2)
Category: Annoying Things, Anthropomorphism, Destruction, Motor Vehicles, Cartoons

Brainwave Art

Artist Lisa Park wears a headset that monitors her brainwaves, which are then translated into sound waves that vibrate pans of water. So she's making the pans of water splash and bubble with her mind.

Or, at least, that's what she says. It occurs to me that no one would know the difference if she sat there looking very serious, wearing a headset that did absolutely nothing, while speakers randomly turned on and off beneath the water.

Eunoia from Lisa Park on Vimeo.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Jun 16, 2013 - Comments (1)
Category: Art

News of the Weird (June 16, 2013)

News of the Weird
Weirdnuz.M323, June 16, 2013
Copyright 2013 by Chuck Shepherd

Lead Story

PREVIOUSLY ON WEIRD UNIVERSE: Orestes De La Paz’s exhibit the Frost Art Museum in Miami, Fla., in May recalled Chuck Palahniuk’s novel and film “Fight Club” in which the lead character Tyler Durden’s principal income source was making upscale soap using discarded liposuctioned fat fetched from the garbage of cosmetic surgeons (thus closing the loop of fat from rich ladies recycled back to rich ladies). De La Paz told his mentor at Florida International University that he wanted only to display his own liposuctioned fat provocatively but decided to make soap when he realized that the fat would otherwise quickly rot. Some visitors to the exhibit were able to wash their hands with the engineered soap, which De La Paz offered for sale at $1,000 a bar. [WLRN-TV (Miami), 5-16-2013]

The Entrepreneurial Spirit

PREVIOUSLY: As recently as mid-May, people with disabilities had been earning hefty black-market fees by taking strangers into Disneyland and Disney World using the parks’ own liberal “disability” passes (which allow for up to five relatives or guests at a time to accompany the disabled person in skipping the sometimes-hours-long lines and have immediate access to the rides). The pass-holding “guide,” according to the New York Post, could charge as much as $200 through advertising on CraigsList and via word-of-mouth to some travel agents. Following reports in the Post and other outlets, Disney was said in late May to be warning disabled permit-holders not to abuse the privilege. [New York Post, 5-14-2013; NBC News, 5-31-2013]

PREVIOUSLY: After setting out to create a protective garment for mixed martial arts fighters, Jeremiah Raber of High Ridge, Mo., realized that his “groin protection device” could also help police, athletes, and military contractors. Armored Nutschellz underwear, now selling for $125 each, has multiple layers of Kevlar plus another fabric called Dyneema, which Raber said can “resist” multiple shots from 9mm and .22 caliber handguns. He said the Army will be testing Nutschellz in August, hoping they can reduce the number of servicemen who come home with devastating groin injuries. [KSDK-TV, 5-6-2013]

PREVIOUSLY: “Ambulance-chasing” lawyers are less the cliche they formerly were because of bar association crackdowns, but firetruck-chasing contractors and “public adjusters” are still a problem--at least in Florida, where the state supreme court tossed out a “48-hour” time-out rule that would have given casualty victims space to reflect on their losses before being overwhelmed by home-restoration salesmen. Consequently, as firefighters told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel in May, the contractors are usually “right behind” them on the scene, pestering anxious or grief-stricken victims. The Sun-Sentinel found one woman being begged to sign up while she was still crying out for her dog that remained trapped in the blaze. [South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 5-18-2013]

Unconventional Treatments

Researchers writing recently in the journal PLoS ONE disclosed that they had found certain types of dirt that contain antimicrobial agents capable of killing E.coli and the antibiotic-resistant MRSA. According to the article, medical “texts” back to 3000 B.C. mentioned clays that, when rubbed on wounds, reduce inflammation and pain. [Popular Science, 5-22-2013]

PREVIOUSLY: Researchers writing in May in the journal Pediatrics found that some infants whose parents regularly sucked their babies’ pacifiers to clean them (rather than rinsing or boiling them) developed fewer allergies and cases of asthma. (On the other hand, parental-cleansing might make other maladies more likely, such as tooth decay.) [New York Times, 5-6-2013]

Leading Economic Indicators

PREVIOUSLY (and, in fact, last week the nine Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court agreed with Yr Editor that this story is weird; they ruled that human genes cannot be patented.): Until recently, apparently, gene mutations were considered merely freaks of nature, but that was before Myriad Genetics obtained binding U.S. patents for mutations it discovered--now known as BRCA-1 and BRCA-2. Those mutations were in the news in May when actor Angelina Jolie announced that she had chosen to have a double mastectomy based on the presence of the cancer-causing mutations, which she had learned through a Myriad Genetics test costing about $4,000. There is no price competition for the test, due to the patent, and Jolie, along with oncologists and ob-gyn doctors, fret that the test is too expensive for tens of millions of women around the world whose lives could be saved by knowing their status. [, 5-14-2013]

More in extended >>

Posted By: Chuck - Sun Jun 16, 2013 - Comments (3)

June 15, 2013

Mean Mother

If you enjoy the trailer above, find the whole film below!

Posted By: Paul - Sat Jun 15, 2013 - Comments (6)
Category: Crime, Death, Destruction, Movies, Racism, Stereotypes and Cliches, 1970s

Shirley Haycock

Back in 1973, Shirley Haycock declared her intention to cross the Atlantic in a 16-foot canoe. Some news reports initially stated that she was 86 years old, which would have made her plan really unusual. She was actually only 40. But she was the Director of Activities at a senior citizens center, and she called her canoe the "Senior Citizens Ark," which was probably the source of the confusion. Her plan was to use the publicity from the trip to raise funds for the center she worked at. [Deseret News - Feb 15, 1973]

The Coast Guard tried to stop her from going, but realized that it didn't have any legal means to do so. But they needn't have worried. She set off twice, but never got very far. It wasn't until 2012 that someone actually did cross the Atlantic in a canoe.

After failing to cross the Atlantic, Haycock decided to become a coal miner, and was Utah's first female coal miner. Seems like she was a bit of a character.

Haycock as a coal miner

Posted By: Alex - Sat Jun 15, 2013 - Comments (2)
Category: Eccentrics, 1970s

Page 4 of 9 pages ‹ First  < 2 3 4 5 6 >  Last ›

Get WU Posts by Email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

weird universe thumbnail
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.

Contact Us
Monthly Archives
September 2023 •  August 2023 •  July 2023 •  June 2023 •  May 2023 •  April 2023 •  March 2023 •  February 2023 •  January 2023

December 2022 •  November 2022 •  October 2022 •  September 2022 •  August 2022 •  July 2022 •  June 2022 •  May 2022 •  April 2022 •  March 2022 •  February 2022 •  January 2022

December 2021 •  November 2021 •  October 2021 •  September 2021 •  August 2021 •  July 2021 •  June 2021 •  May 2021 •  April 2021 •  March 2021 •  February 2021 •  January 2021

December 2020 •  November 2020 •  October 2020 •  September 2020 •  August 2020 •  July 2020 •  June 2020 •  May 2020 •  April 2020 •  March 2020 •  February 2020 •  January 2020

December 2019 •  November 2019 •  October 2019 •  September 2019 •  August 2019 •  July 2019 •  June 2019 •  May 2019 •  April 2019 •  March 2019 •  February 2019 •  January 2019

December 2018 •  November 2018 •  October 2018 •  September 2018 •  August 2018 •  July 2018 •  June 2018 •  May 2018 •  April 2018 •  March 2018 •  February 2018 •  January 2018

December 2017 •  November 2017 •  October 2017 •  September 2017 •  August 2017 •  July 2017 •  June 2017 •  May 2017 •  April 2017 •  March 2017 •  February 2017 •  January 2017

December 2016 •  November 2016 •  October 2016 •  September 2016 •  August 2016 •  July 2016 •  June 2016 •  May 2016 •  April 2016 •  March 2016 •  February 2016 •  January 2016

December 2015 •  November 2015 •  October 2015 •  September 2015 •  August 2015 •  July 2015 •  June 2015 •  May 2015 •  April 2015 •  March 2015 •  February 2015 •  January 2015

December 2014 •  November 2014 •  October 2014 •  September 2014 •  August 2014 •  July 2014 •  June 2014 •  May 2014 •  April 2014 •  March 2014 •  February 2014 •  January 2014

December 2013 •  November 2013 •  October 2013 •  September 2013 •  August 2013 •  July 2013 •  June 2013 •  May 2013 •  April 2013 •  March 2013 •  February 2013 •  January 2013

December 2012 •  November 2012 •  October 2012 •  September 2012 •  August 2012 •  July 2012 •  June 2012 •  May 2012 •  April 2012 •  March 2012 •  February 2012 •  January 2012

December 2011 •  November 2011 •  October 2011 •  September 2011 •  August 2011 •  July 2011 •  June 2011 •  May 2011 •  April 2011 •  March 2011 •  February 2011 •  January 2011

December 2010 •  November 2010 •  October 2010 •  September 2010 •  August 2010 •  July 2010 •  June 2010 •  May 2010 •  April 2010 •  March 2010 •  February 2010 •  January 2010

December 2009 •  November 2009 •  October 2009 •  September 2009 •  August 2009 •  July 2009 •  June 2009 •  May 2009 •  April 2009 •  March 2009 •  February 2009 •  January 2009

December 2008 •  November 2008 •  October 2008 •  September 2008 •  August 2008 •  July 2008 •