Weird Universe Archive

February 2014

February 19, 2014

The Art of Marilyn Monroe


There have been many, many paintings done of Marilyn Monroe. But I wasn't aware that Monroe was, herself, an artist. She contributed the above sketch, described as being in the surrealist style, to an art exhibit in 1956. The organizer of the exhibit praised Monroe as "a midget picasso." Source: Newsweek - Nov 19, 1956.

Posted By: Alex - Wed Feb 19, 2014 - Comments (2)
Category: Art, Celebrities, 1950s

The Bullet Knife

image

Don't bring a bullet-knife to a gun fight. Or a knife fight. Or to any fight, really. It's just plain dumb.

Original ad here.

Posted By: Paul - Wed Feb 19, 2014 - Comments (7)
Category: 1910s, Weapons

February 18, 2014

Vox Wah-Wah Pedal Commercial



"You can even make your guitar sound like a sitar!"

The history.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Feb 18, 2014 - Comments (6)
Category: Music, Technology, 1960s

February 17, 2014

Pathogen Art

What some people will do for art! Anna Dumitriu is a UK artist who creates works of art out of clothing and textiles exposed to deadly pathogenic bacteria. However, she "takes pains to tell exhibition-goers that she kills all of the potentially-dangerous bacteria through heat sterilization" before putting it on display. In order to avoid infecting herself she does some of her work (the stuff that involves the most deadly pathogens) in a "custom-built biosecure container."

Below is her VRSA Dress. It's been exposed to Vancomycin-resistant strains of the Staph bacteria. More details at smithsonianmag.com.

Posted By: Alex - Mon Feb 17, 2014 - Comments (5)
Category: Art

Life in America:  1915









Posted By: Paul - Mon Feb 17, 2014 - Comments (5)
Category: Customs, 1910s, North America

February 16, 2014

SQUIRREL


Zapping the poor little squirrels, how cruel!

Posted By: patty - Sun Feb 16, 2014 - Comments (9)
Category: Animals

VHS

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Kayla Finley rented the movie 'Monster-In-Law' on VHS in 2005. Something she likely had forgotten all about in the years since. But back in the day when you rented a VHS tape 2 things were expected of you: 1) Be kind and rewind 2) Return the tape. Kayla forgot number 2. So the store, which has since gone out of business, obviously filed a criminal complaint. Now, I told you that story so I could tell you this, during a routine records check on the young lady the 9 year old warrant for failure to return a VHS tape turned up. Ms Finley was subsequently arrested and jailed for the offense So be warned by this cautionary tail. If you have any old movies laying around the house that you forgot all about, return them. And for God's sakes, be kind and rewind!


Update: Charges were dropped by the store owner.

Posted By: patty - Sun Feb 16, 2014 - Comments (6)
Category: Scary Criminals

News of the Weird (February 16, 2014)

News of the Weird
Weirdnuz.M358, February 16, 2013
Copyright 2013 by Chuck Shepherd

Lead Story

The semi-obscure Florida Statute 790.15 took center stage in January following a Miami Herald report of a resident of the town of Big Pine Key who routinely target-shoots his handgun in his yard, with impunity, to the consternation of neighbors. The statute permits open-firing on private property (except shooting over a public right of way or an occupied dwelling), and several cities have tried, unsuccessfully, to restrict that right, citing “public safety” in residential neighborhoods. (A 2011 lobbying campaign by the National Rifle Association, and a state supreme court decision, nixed any change in the law.) “Negligent” shooting is illegal but only a misdemeanor. Thus, even skillful shooting next door to a daycare center or in a small yard that abuts a high-trafficked pedestrian street is likely perfectly legal. One Florida legislator who was originally from Alaska noted that even in Anchorage people cannot fire at will in their yards. [Miami Herald, 1-26-2014]

Cultural Diversity

South Korea is a well-known hub for cosmetic beautification surgery, with a higher rate, per capita, than the U.S., but the procedures can be expensive, inspiring many young women recently to resort to do-it-yourself procedures for their professional and romantic upgrades. A December Global Post dispatch noted that some might try to force their eyes to stay open without blinking (using a novel $20 pair of glasses for hours on end) as a substitute for costly “double-eyelid” surgery. Also in use: a $6 jaw-squeezing roller device for the face to push the jaw line into a fashionable “oval” form. One teen told the reporter she applies an imaginative contraption to her face for hours a day, to pressure her nose into more of a point, which is considered a desirable Western look. [Global Post (Boston) via Denver Post, 12-19-2013]

Acquired Tastes: (1) In December, thieves in Wicklow, Ireland, raided a field at the Dominican Farm and Ecology Center, stripping it of its entire run of Brussels sprouts. A relative of the owner said the family was devastated to miss out on the lucrative market for high-end Christmas dinners. (2) In January, Walmart in China recalled its “Five Spice” donkey meat sold in some locations because the popular snack was found to be tainted--with fox meat. [Irish Independent, 12-5-2013] [Reuters, 1-2-2014]

PREVIOUSLY ON WEIRD UNIVERSE: Labor’s Influence in France: The French social security agency URSSAF initiated an enforcement action in December against the Mamm-Kounifl music-bar in the town of Locmiquelic for underpaying employee contributions--in that the tavern encourages customers to bus their own tables and thus reduces its need to hire more servers. The owner denied he was trying to save money. “It’s [just] our trademark. We want the customer to feel comfortable, a bit like he’s at home.” [The Local (Paris), 12-18-2013]

Questionable Judgments

Interesting Life Ahead: From the birth register of Elkhart (Ind.) General Hospital, reported by The Elkhart Truth, January 19, 2014: “Tamekia Burks, Elkhart, son (named La’Soulja Major La’Pimp Burks, 6 lbs., 8 oz.), 3:20 p.m. Wednesday, January 15, 2014.” [Elkhart Truth, 1-19-2014]

The makers of a product called Poo-Pourri garnered a “coveted” advertising award from USA Today in December as one of the five worst of the year. Toilet users concerned about smell are encouraged to spray Poo-Pourri on the commode, pre-use, and in the television ad, a British-accented female sits on the throne, extolling the product. Opening line: “You would not believe the mother lode I just dropped.” (Nonetheless, USA Today still found two other ads that upset its editors more.) [USA Today, 12-24-2013]

The Continuing Crisis

The Power of Prayer: Nelson Thabo Modupe threatened a lawsuit in January against South Africa’s Eskom electric utility, unless the company paid him the equivalent of about $2.3 million for “saving” the firm that amount during the weeks of the 2010 Soccer World Cup. Modupe reasoned that he had joined the Zion Christian Church just before the event and had prayed (“successfully”) to God to spare the utility from blackouts and power reductions during that period (which would have cost Eskom millions more). Modupe, open to negotiation, said he would accept a partnership in the company as a compromise. [Independent Online (Capt Town), 1-24-2014]

PREVIOUSLY: World’s Laziest Dog-Sitter: Tyler Smith, 23, was charged in December with violating the city animal care ordinance in Greenville, S.C., after he posted a photograph on Facebook of his father’s dog being lowered by rope from the second-story balcony of an apartment. According to Smith’s post, it was time for the dog to make a call of nature, but it was raining, and Smith preferred not to go downstairs with him. [Associated Press via Post and Courier (Charleston, S.C.), 12-17-2013]

Perspective

PREVIOUSLY: Three million Americans are infected with Hepatitis C (as are millions more overseas), but a very recent drug, Sovaldi, completely cures it with 84 daily doses. However, its manufacturer, Gilead Sciences, has somehow determined that a fair U.S. price for the drug should be $1,000 per pill ($84,000 for the total treatment). Shouldn’t Gilead reduce the price once it has recouped its expensive investment, asked an NPR reporter in December? “That’s very unlikely we would do that,” said Gilead’s Gregg Alton, “but I appreciate the thought.” (According to NPR, Gilead “developed” Sovaldi merely by buying Sovaldi’s actual developer for $11 billion. At $84,000 income per patient, Gilead would “recoup” that investment from the first 150,000 customers, leaving 2.85 million more U.S. patients to pay $84,000 each, for income of $209 billion.) [NPR, 12-30-2013]

People With Issues

Trevor Robinson, 67, of Skellingthorpe, England, was re-arrested in November for violating a previous Anti-Social Behavior Order by pushing a doll-carrying baby carriage in public. (He was also reportedly performing a sex act on himself.) The 2009 ASBO barred him from possessing dolls, baby carriages, and “any other” means in which children might be transported. Robinson has admitted a problem with dolls--due, he said, to his inability to father children himself. [Lincolnshire Echo, 1-24-2014]

Least Competent Criminals

It Pays to Know Your Rap Sheet: Jerry Pancoast, 42, was arrested on at least four charges after a high-speed chase through Iowa’s Polk and Jasper counties in January following an alleged shoplifting of tweezers and an eyebrow pencil--not even taken by Pancoast but by his companion. Pancoast drove at 100 mph, even on deflated tires and three rims that eventually caused his truck to catch on fire. The episode started as “a simple theft-theft case,” said the arresting officer, until Pancoast abruptly took off. He later explained that he panicked because he knew there were already arrest warrants against him--but a subsequent search turned up none. [Des Moines Register, 1-24-2014]

Recurring Themes

Stories That Never Get Old: (1) PREVIOUSLY: Following the early-January winter storm in East Kingston, N.H., emergency crews came to the aid of a 12-year-old girl who had a “what would happen” moment and tried to lick a metal flagpole in her front yard. (2) Police in the Los Angeles suburb of Harbor City were searching in February for the man suspected of stealing surveillance cameras from a home but not before he apparently failed to distinguish between the lenses (which he took with him) and the recording unit (which remained in the home and captured his face clearly as he removed the camera). [WMUR-TV (Manchester), 1-4-2014] [KNBC-TV, 1-24-2014]

A News of the Weird Classic (November 2010)

Can’t Possibly Be True: Kyle Johnson shattered his skull so badly in a high-speed longboard accident in June [2010] that ordinary "decompressive craniectomy" (temporarily removing half of the skull to relieve pressure) would be inadequate. Instead, doctors at McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden, Utah, removed both halves, leaving only a thin strip of bone (after placing Johnson in a drug-induced coma) and kept the skull frozen to prevent brittleness. After the swelling subsided, they reattached both halves of the skull to his head and woke him up gradually over a week's time. Johnson admits some memory problems and cognitive dysfunction, most notably his inability to focus on more than one concept at a time--even when they are part of the same scene, such as two crayons on a table. Johnson said he probably won't go back to the longboard (but would try snowmobiling). [Fox News, 8-17-2010]

Thanks This Week to the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors.

Posted By: Chuck - Sun Feb 16, 2014 - Comments (11)
Category:

Tell the Golden Ear


General Electric Co... is celebrating the golden anniversary of its program in Schenectady by replacing plant suggestion boxes with 'golden ears'; employees step on a treadle that activates tape recorders behind each gold-colored 'ear' and speak what's on their minds.
-Newsweek - Nov 26, 1956

Posted By: Alex - Sun Feb 16, 2014 - Comments (3)
Category: 1950s

Peg-Leg Bates



Unfair career advantage: he had to buy only half the number of tap shoes of other dancers.

Wikipedia entry.

image

Posted By: Paul - Sun Feb 16, 2014 - Comments (3)
Category: Disabilities, Dance, Twentieth Century

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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.

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