Weird Universe Archive

September 2013

September 20, 2013

Worm Cakes

Exploring 20th Century London offers this explanation of these worm cakes:

In the early 20th century, children were regularly fed 'worm cakes' to keep tapeworms at bay. Such 'medicine' was unpopular and often tasted revolting. The cakes in this tin have been made more palatable through the addition of chocolate flavouring.

I wish they provided more information, since I'm not sure whether these cakes actually consisted of ground-up worms or whether they were some kind of anti-worm medication, such as pomegranate extract (which has been known for centuries to be effective against tapeworms).

Posted By: Alex - Fri Sep 20, 2013 - Comments (9)
Category: Medicine

September 19, 2013

Sourtoe Cocktail Club Update

There have been several posts (here and here) on WU about the Sourtoe Cocktail Club. You join the club by going to the Downtown Hotel in Dawson City, Yukon, and consuming any drink that has floating in it a severed human toe. Your lips must touch the toe. Finish the drink, and you're a member of the club.

However, the rules clearly state that you CANNOT chew, swallow, or otherwise damage the toe. If you do, you must pay a fine of $500.

Joshua Clark of New Orleans recently decided that he was willing to pay $500 to be known as the guy that swallowed the toe. So now the Downtown Hotel is looking for a new toe. And they've upped the fine to $2500 to deter any copycats. [Daily Mail]

Posted By: Alex - Thu Sep 19, 2013 - Comments (3)
Category: Alcohol

Grape Nuts Flakes Promotes Fisticuffs

Posted By: Paul - Thu Sep 19, 2013 - Comments (9)
Category: Business, Advertising, Products, Food, Regionalism, Violence, 1950s

September 18, 2013

Pot Kills!

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For all of you who say marijuana is harmless I submit this proof otherwise.

Posted By: Alex - Wed Sep 18, 2013 - Comments (11)
Category: Drugs

Build Your Own Dog Stroller

Posted By: Paul - Wed Sep 18, 2013 - Comments (3)
Category: Technology, Dogs, Asia

September 17, 2013

Beer Gut

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Auto-Brewery Syndrome was the diagnosis for a 61 year old man who kept turning up drunk without drinking any alcohol. Doctors actually isolated him in the hospital with only food and non-alcoholic beverages they supplied and still his blood alcohol content became elevated. The answer they came up with was that the man's intestinal tract contained so much brewers yeast that it acted as an internal brewery. He was becoming drunk from the inside when he consumed carbs. He was looking for a cure for a disease many people would be trying to catch!

Posted By: Alex - Tue Sep 17, 2013 - Comments (6)
Category: Alcohol

The Great Unus

The Great Unus (aka Franz Furtner) had a successful career in the circus, from the 1930s to the 1960s. He was billed as "the man who stands on his forefinger" because his act centered around him doing a series of one-finger handstands.

There was a lot of speculation about how he was able to balance himself on one finger. The main theory was that he must have had some kind of rigid, support device in the glove that he always wore during his act, as you can see in the video below. But in the photo, below left, (from the Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung - Mar 27, 1941), he's doing the trick without a glove. So who knows. Although, of course, the photo could have been staged. As far as I know, he never revealed exactly what his trick was.



Posted By: Alex - Tue Sep 17, 2013 - Comments (4)
Category: ShowBiz

Red-Headed Mutant

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How did an unweaned rugrat manage to grow out three or four feet of bright red hair? Was she born with that mop? If so, Mom must have had one heck of a birthing experience.

Is it a wig? if so, please explain in 1000 words or less.

Original ad here.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Sep 17, 2013 - Comments (7)
Category: Babies, Freaks, Oddities, Quirks of Nature, Comics, 1950s, Hair and Hairstyling

News of the Weird 2.0 (September 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
September 16, 2013 (Part II)
(datelines September 7-September 14) (links correct as of September 15)

Sneaky, Low-Down Trick: 35 submissive men answered a dream-come-true ad--posted by a dominatrix offering to abuse them on her farm in northeast Austria. She hired three, and it took a whole week for the three to realize she had merely tricked them into working as farmhands, in fetish gear. (She said all that happened a yr ago, but it was just reported last week by Spiegel Online.) Spiegel Online

Strokes hit people in funny ways (e.g., hypersexuality, foreign-language speaking). And for instance, this 49-yr-old guy was left with “pathological generosity” after his brain got rewired. World’s Greatest Newspaper

In Australia, even the pigs go rowdy when they get blitzed: “Pig Drinks 18 Pints and Has Fight With Cow” The Guardian (London)

The Way The World Works: North Carolina actually pays, by contract, a $600 “bounty” to the DUI blood-alcohol-testing lab for every test it performs . . . but only “upon conviction.” It took two professors’ study to conclude that that might be a conflict of interest. TheNewspaper.com

“When you shoot a gun, you take it out and point and shoot, and I don’t necessarily think eyesight is necessary,” said Iowa gun store customer Michael Barber, who, by the way, is blind. The state regulators recently deliberately failed to add “blind” to the traditional disabling conditions for a gun permit (under 18, felon, adjudicated insane). Des Moines Register

Soccer Blues: (1) In Brazil, the team on the cusp of a 3-2 win had to settle for 2-2 when the opponent’s team masseur ran onto the pitch and cleared an open shot headed for goal. (2) In Germany, a team physician rushing onto the pitch to treat an injured player pulled a muscle and then broke a finger when he fell (injured player, fine; injured trainer, needs rehab). Yahoo News /// The Guardian (London)

“5 Cops Attacked During Drunken Brawl at Baptism Celebration” KOMO-TV (Seattle)

Oh, Just Give Up, Already: Jeez . . Rituals! Animal sacrifice in 2013 America? The pre-Yom Kippur thingy where a chicken gets its throat cut for your damned atoned sins? Couldn’t they at least make sure the hens get donated to the poor? No, no, no. I’m not gonna chicken out on this: People! . . your sins don’t really get transfered. Period. They don’t. They just don’t. Los Angeles Times

Speaking of those pesky evil thoughts: The Iowa pastor sentenced to 17 yrs’ real time for trying to “cure” gay boys by vanishing their evil thoughts via ejaculation . . . has been re-sentenced . . to probation. Salon.com

Newsrangers: Jay Caplan and the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors.

Posted By: Chuck - Tue Sep 17, 2013 - Comments (2)
Category:

September 16, 2013

Project Apology

South African artist Paul Roux has launched "Project Apology." This involves him "undertaking to apologize, in person and as a member of humanity, to non-human species on the planet that are being adversely affected by human activity."

In this picture, you see him apologizing to a clam. And in the video below, he apologizes to a flock of birds.

Posted By: Alex - Mon Sep 16, 2013 - Comments (8)
Category: Art

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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.

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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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