Weird Universe Archive

December 2013

December 4, 2013



Original ad here.


Original ad here.

Read the fascinating history of this device, plus others of the "vacuum suction" mode, at this site.

Posted By: Paul - Wed Dec 04, 2013 - Comments (4)
Category: Technology, Baths, Showers and Other Cleansing Methods, 1910s

December 3, 2013

The Tattoo Hall of Fame

Back in June 2012, I posted about a guy down in Australia, Geoff Ostling, who hopes to have his tattooed skin hung on a gallery wall as art after he dies. I got the impression that Mr. Ostling thought his idea of displaying tattoo art postmortem was something new, but it turns out there already is a decades-old tattoo hall of fame.

The April 3, 1950 issue of Life magazine included an article about Dr. Sei-ichi Fukushi, curator of the Imperial University of Tokyo's collection of tattooed human skins. As of 1950, he had already acquired 38 human skins which were on display in the University's gallery, and Dr. Fukushi was eager to expand the collection.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Dec 03, 2013 - Comments (5)
Category: Art, 1950s, Tattoos, Skin and Skin Conditions

Destruction:  Fun or Dumb

Be sure to hang in at least long enough for the unforgettable theme song, starting around the minute-and-a-half mark.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Dec 03, 2013 - Comments (1)
Category: Destruction, PSA’s, Juvenile Delinquency, 1970s

News of the Weird 2.0 (December 3, 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
December 2, 2013 (part II)
(datelines November 23-November 30) (links correct as of December 1)

More Things to Worry About

Upskirt: Didn’t mean to, “everything went astray” when Jeffrey Kosinski bought that damned camera. People don’t take upskirts; cameras take upskirts! Grand Rapids Press

Obamacare Canada-Care! Or anything! If the girl stays here, they’ll make her do chemo, so her Amish parents--God bless ‘em--border-jump. Asssociated Press

“Police Warn of Clown Epidemic in Norfolk [UK]”

How stupid are anti-marijuana zealots willing to sound to make it seem like there are no dopers in Colorado? A few parents complain they’re helpless to ‘splain to their kids just why people might be toking on their front porches, and Denver city councilors think that’s a good point. Denver Post

n.b. If you read on the Internet last week that Greeks are purposely self-HIV-infecting to get gov’t benefits, change that to “couple of Greeks.” Washington Post

Boy becomes girl, girl becomes boy, new boy meets new girl. Hey, they look a hell of a lot happier than you! me! World’s Greatest Newspaper

15 Minutes: Anthony Weiner’s sext-receiver figures she can pay for her labia-tightening by auctioning off the flap. [Wanna bet against her? I didn’t think so.] Jezebel

The protest movement in Thailand don’t want your stinkin’ democracy and wants to eject the Shinawatra gang (most notably “Stupid Crab Bitch Water Buffalo Face”). Global Post

Julann Roe is a prominent libertarian on Yr Ed’s home turf and hit the news when she paid off her $11k property tax bill in $1's. Damn the gov’t, she says! [It’s so-o-o-o easy to be a libertarian when you live on 41 acres after being born (or married) on 3rd base and thinking you hit a triple.] (Tampa)

What if one guy has a bigger database of child-abuse/porn images than every law-enforcement agency in the country? Maybe John Bidmead, 65, Cullompton, England, is that guy. (Bonus: He was watching stuff at the moment he was raided.) (Double Bonus: He’s also a bad, bad hombre.) BBC News

Survivalist in Barrie, Ontario: Here’s a photo of William Feldhoff’s command center. Whoa!.

Israeli Rabbinic court says to parents, Ya gotta snip, It’s the law. Associated Press via Fox News

“Giant Prehistoric Toilet Unearthed” --- BBC News [Word of the day: coprolite]

Last week, Santa groped an elf at Hanover Mall (Hanover, Mass.), but this story is only a placeholder for Yr Ed to re-explain again why he does not cover Santa weirdness--because when ya do “News of the Weird,” which is the gold standard, ya're under an obligation for the genre, and that would be too much for me each holiday season, given the limited payout (since all news organizations everywhere run all the cute stories they see). Washington Times

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

His lawyer’s work is cut out for him for this accused burglar (and, what, he is he leaking chromosomes? What are those strands across his face? Some of it's hair, but--.). The Smoking Gun

Newsrangers: Peter Swank, and the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors.

Posted By: Chuck - Tue Dec 03, 2013 - Comments (5)

December 2, 2013

Delivery Drones

Amazon has announced their intention to eventually deliver small orders by drones. Dominoes Pizza is also talking about the idea for pizza deliveries. If things go down that road we could have some very busy skies!

Posted By: patty - Mon Dec 02, 2013 - Comments (3)
Category: Technology

Mystery Criminal


What horrid crime did this nice little old lady commit? Murder? Embezzlement? Drunken driving?

Answer after the jump.

More in extended >>

Posted By: Paul - Mon Dec 02, 2013 - Comments (7)
Category: Crime, 1920s

Exercise in the Bathroom

This book will teach you how. Available on Amazon.

Posted By: Alex - Mon Dec 02, 2013 - Comments (3)
Category: Exercise and Fitness, Excrement

News of the Weird 2.0 (December 2, 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
December 2, 2013
(datelines November 23-November 30) (links correct as of December 1)

No “Hacking” in the 1960s?: The U.S. Strategic Air Command was so dismissive of Defense Sec’y Robert McNamara that they overrode his security instructions and kept the default PIN for triggering silo-based Minuteman ICBMs (PIN: “00000000"). During the height of the Cold War. For almost 20 yrs. With a couple of real-life Gen. Jack D. Rippers roaming U.S. bases.

Is the bra the perfect garment? Men would be healthier if they wore 'em (so sensors could monitor their vital signs). Lucky gals.

He’s “the conscience of the Chinese robbery industry,” Internet wags said. He stole an iPhone, and when the owner sent him a text decrying his loss of contacts, the thief sent back the phone nahhh, but he did hand-copy 11 pages of contacts on paper and send that back to the victim. BBC News

Finer Points of the Law: It’s official (by a 3-1 vote of judges, anyway). A driver trying to recover from a bikini-bra-unfastening prank while behind the wheel is not subject to usual standards of negligence if she smashes into something. Associated Press via ABC News

Where is Norman Kazmierski? Listen, if you run into him, Yr Ed warns, Give the poor bastard some room! (You wouldn’t like Norman when he’s mad.) Chicago Sun-Times

Memorable First-Time-Behind-the-Wheel: James Pratt, achieved lift-off in his Audi, flew it into a house, trapped a couple inside. No insurance, no license, no sobriety, no problem. BBC News

Blast From the Past: (No, wait, they’re still in prison, from the 1990s? No way!) Fran Keller and her husband Dan, who ran a day-care in Austin, Tex., and, according to urchin-victims who never make stuff up, got involved in that whole “cat/dog/baby dismemberment, chain-saw-wielding, Mexican-army-abusing” activity that obviously resulted in a tiny tear on one girl’s hymen, and the great state of Texas threw away the key. Only recently did a pediatric “expert” from the 1990s say, well, I just went to a seminar, and maybe that “tear” in the hymen was a natural thing. Even Geraldo apologized for getting caught in that satanic-abuse frenzy. (I don’t think Anna Quindlen ever did, though.) Jeez. 21 yrs in the slammer so far. (Bonus coverage: has another: the “satanic lesbian rapists” of San Antonio.) Austin American Statesman ///

No Such Thing as Rehab: Henry Earl, 64, was arrested in Lexington, Ky., again, drunk as a skunk. The Smoking Gun says it’s collar number 1,500-plus. The Smoking Gun

Looks Like a Deutsch Trend to Me: For the 2nd time in 8 yrs, here’s a German arrested for arranging a perfectly-consensual cannibal dinner after a meeting on a fetish website. Reuters

Financial writer Henry Blodgett is the latest to make the point that, for intelligent people, we sure do lazily go with the flow, intellectually, instead of critically thinking. His target: Do rich people “create” jobs (and therefore must never have their taxes raised lest they quit “creating”)? But, c’mon, rich people “create” jobs only in the sense that ejaculating males are “fathers.” They create the baby, but whether the baby survives, grows, is good, healthy, moral, productive, etc., could be nurtured by the sperm-dropper but so often depends on the kid’s total surroundings (and “public policy,” as in the ol’ “It takes a village”). Besides, radical feminists (and science) are hard at work as we speak questioning how much longer we’ll need the ejaculator, anyway.) But still, the headlines for the foreseeable future will be “Rich people create jobs (therefore no tax increases).” Business Insider via Slate

Speaking of ejaculators, South Africa’s reputation for rape is about as bad as India’s, yet in the advanced-placement school test recently, there appeared a thought question on just how a test-taker might direct the rape scene in a movie. It was, the creator explained, just an attempt to “[assess] the pupils’ concept of using metaphor as a theatrical technique.” (Still--.) BBC News

Thanks to the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors (and a regular shout-out to Kev at Nothing To Do With Arbroath).

Posted By: Chuck - Mon Dec 02, 2013 - Comments (10)

December 1, 2013

AMC Gremlin Levi Edition

In the early 1970s, American Motors took a classic and they added denim to it, making it even more of a classic. The result was the AMC Gremlin "Levi" Edition. An economy car upholstered with Levi jeans. The Gremlin Levi is now highly prized by collectors.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Dec 01, 2013 - Comments (7)
Category: Denim, 1970s, Cars

News of the Weird (December 1, 2013)

News of the Weird
Weirdnuz.M347, December 1, 2013
Copyright 2013 by Chuck Shepherd

Lead Story

The Marvels of Science: The notorious white separatist Craig Cobb is currently soliciting like-skinned people to move to his tiny town of Leith, N.D. (pop. 16) to create a deluxe caucasian enclave, but at the urging of a black TV host submitted to a DNA test in November to “prove” his lineage--and turned up 14 percent black (“Sub-Saharan African”). (He has vowed to try other DNA tests before confirming those results.) Bobby Harper (previously, Leith’s only black resident) was gleeful: “I knew there [had to be another] black person in town.” (In mid-November, Cobb was charged, along with an associate, with seven counts of terrorism for walking menacingly through Leith wielding a long gun.) [Bismarck Tribune, 11-11-2013; Los Angeles Times, 11-19-2013]

Government in Action

Recurring Theme: The Environmental Protection Agency, already revealed in June to have allowed a contractor to maintain taxpayer-funded “man caves” (TVs, appliances, couches, videos, etc.) hidden away in a Washington, D.C.-area warehouse, made the news again during the government shutdown in October when soup with a 1997 expiration date was found in a shutdown-ignored EPA employees’ refrigerator. Furthermore, in September, former high-level EPA executive John Beale pleaded guilty to defrauding the agency of $900,000 in salary, expenses, and bonuses dating back to the 1990s by claiming work orders (including secret projects for the CIA) that no one at EPA appears ever to have tried to verify. [Washington Post, 10-17-2013] [Washington Post, 9-27-2013]

PREVIOUSLY ON WEIRD UNIVERSE: In October, Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro created a “Vice Ministry of Supreme Social Happiness” to coordinate the welfare programs begun by the late President Hugo Chavez. Critics charged, however, that there is much to be unhappy about, given the country’s annual rate of inflation (near 50 percent), and an Associated Press dispatch quoted one critic who said she would be happy enough if only stores were not constantly out of milk and toilet paper. (Another skeptic said he looked forward to maybe a Vice Ministry of Beer). [Associated Press via Huffington Post, 10-25-2013]

The U.S. government has engaged in some legendarily wasteful projects, but leaders in China’s Yungai village (pop. 3,683), in Hunan province, have surely raised the bar for epic squander after borrowing the equivalent of $2.4 million and building an impressive seven-story government headquarters--but with 96 still-unlooked-out front windows because there is no activity beyond the first floor. According to an October London Daily Telegraph report, the only occupants are the village government’s eight employees. [Daily Telegraph (London), 10-24-2013]

PREVIOUSLY: Though many people might agree with blind musician Stevie Wonder that it is “crazy” to let people like him carry guns, federal and state laws seem ambiguous, according to a lengthy analysis of Iowa’s supplied by the Des Moines Register in September. Some Iowa sheriffs believe that federal anti-discrimination law limits their discretion (though they can deny permits for lack of physical or mental ability to handle the gun). The National Federation of the Blind generally trusts its members never to use guns recklessly, a spokesman said, and blind Iowa activist Michael Barber emphasized his right. “[Y]ou take it out and point and shoot,” he said, “and I don’t necessarily think eyesight is necessary.” “For me, the inspiration is just to see if I run into any difficulties.” [Des Moines Register, 9-8-2013]

Great Art!

Leandro Granato, 27, said that he discovered, as a kid in Argentina, that liquids sucked up through his nose could then be squirted out of his eye--and an art career was born. News sites reported in October that Granato’s “eye paintings” of ink colors, splattered out as tears on canvas in various motifs (from up to 1.5 pints of ink each), are offered for sale at a top-end price of the equivalent of $2,400 each. (Huffington Post’s story also reminded readers that Chilean artist Carina Ubeda is another who uses her body functions as a medium--specifically, her menstrual blood, which she employed in the form of 90 used sanitary napkins arranged in a hoop featuring an apple, symbolizing ovulation. Her June show ran in Quillota, Chile.) [Huffington Post, 10-3-2013 (Granato)] [Huffington Post, 6-26-2013 (Ubeda)]

Police Report

Informal Georgia Sobriety Tests: PREVIOUSLY: Rachel Gossett blew a .216 alcohol reading in Loganville, Ga., in November, but that was probably a formality after an officer witnessed her attempt to put a cheeseburger from a Waffle Shop onto her foot as if it were a shoe. And Rashad Williams, 38, was charged with DUI in Atlanta in October after he crashed through the front of a Walgreens drug store and then, according to a witness, calmly exited his vehicle (which was sticking halfway into the building) and resumed drinking next door at the Anchor Bar. [Huffington Post, 11-7-2013] [Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 10-18-2013]

PREVIOUSLY: Round Up the Usual Suspect: Indicted, for rape, in August in Hamilton County, Tenn.: Mr. John Allan Raper, 19. (Other recent miscreants were Mr. Batman Suparman, 19, convicted in Singapore in November of housebreaking and theft, and Mr. Bamboo Flute Blanchard, 18, who was arrested in June in Gainesville, Fla., and accused of trying to stab his father for an unreported provocation--although one possible motive suggests itself.) [Times Free Press (Chattanooga), 9-17-2013] [The Straits Times (Singapore), 11-11-2013] [Gainesville Sun, 6-26-2013]

PREVIOUSLY: Chutzpah!: Sheriff’s deputy Darrell Mathis of Newton County, Ga. (30 miles east of Atlanta), a five-year veteran, was arrested in September and charged with selling marijuana locally--from his squad car, in uniform, and apparently without inhibition. A confidential informant, unnerved by Mathis’s alleged brazenness, convinced FBI agents in April 2013 to do a by-the-book sting (with which Mathis of course naively cooperated, according to Bureau affidavits). (In their final meeting before the arrest, for example, Mathis took pains to assure the agents: “Don’t worry. I’m on your side,” he said. He was reportedly enthusiastic about the sting’s plan to run marijuana and cocaine from Alabama to North Carolina.) [CNN, 9-23-2013]

Sights to Behold

PREVIOUSLY: When Franco Scaramuzza witnessed two men pepper-spraying a couple in a shopping center parking lot in Nashville, Tenn., in September, he bravely responded in the only way he knew. Scaramuzza, who teaches the art of fencing, drew his fencing sword (“epee”) [In html: épée] and challenged the men. With his epee held high and aimed, and chanting fencing-type yells, he charged at the men. As he said later, “They completely panicked and dropped everything . . . and really took off.” Michael Butt and Zachary Johnson were arrested nearby and charged with robbery. [WSMV-TV (Nashville) via KIDK-TV (Idaho Falls), 9-30-2013]

In a courthouse lobby in Kelso, Wash., in October, a woman carrying a cake was approached by Robert Fredrickson, a stranger who was also in the building on business. Without warning, Fredrickson attacked--the cake, not the woman--feeding himself with his hands before washing them off at a drinking fountain. “[S]tand right there. Don’t move,” yelled a deputy, attempting to bring Fredrickson to justice. As soon as the officer looked away, however, Fredrickson returned to clawing at the cake and stuffing his mouth. Finally, several deputies arrived to subdue Fredrickson and charge him with theft and resisting arrest. [KATU-TV (Portland, Ore.), 10-3-2013]

Least Competent Criminals

PREVIOUSLY: Not Ready for Prime Time: Derek Codd, 19, apparently left his cell phone, by accident, at the house in Lake Worth, Fla., that he had burglarized in November, and just as investigating officers were arriving and noticed it, the phone rang. (“Who is this?” an officer asked. The caller answered innocently, “Derek Codd’s mother.” Derek was arrested a short time later.) [South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 11-4-2013]

A News of the Weird Classic (February 2009)

Among the medical oddities mentioned in a December [2008] Wall Street Journal roundup was "Jumping Frenchmen of Maine Disorder," in which a person, when startled, would "jump, twitch, flail their limbs, and obey commands given suddenly, even if it means hurting themselves or a loved one." It was first observed in 1878 among lumberjacks in Maine but has been reported also among factory workers in Malaysia and Siberia. It is believed to result from a genetic mutation that blocks the calming of the central nervous system (but could be merely psychological, from the stress of working in close quarters). [Wall Street Journal, 12-30-2008] .M095

Thanks This Week to Jay Caplan, Steve Dunn, John McGaw, David Swanson, and Bruce Leiserowitz, and to the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors.

Posted By: Chuck - Sun Dec 01, 2013 - Comments (6)

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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.

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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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