Weird Universe Archive

March 2014

March 18, 2014

The Rib of James V

Wikipedia page.

Doctor Robert Honeyman of Scotland left his son a human rib from King James V. Why? Well, wouldn't you?

To son Robrt [sic] Bruce Honeyman, 900 acres whereon testator resides, negroes (men Bob, John, boy Lewis, deaf & dumb woman Celia & her children Murvin & Beck), 2 work horses, 4 work oxen, 4 cows/calves, 20 sheep, all hogs, farming/kitchen utensils, all furniture in house, all books (except 10 vol to each dau [sic]), watch, guns, all medicines/surgical instruments, microscopes (except best in shagreen case to son), thermometer, diploma, human rib (of James V, King Scotland) in small trunk in chest...


More information:

Among the early settlers of Lauderdale County were Dr. Samuel and Cornelia C. (Honyman) Oldham; her father, Dr. Robt. Honyman [sic], was a noted physician and member of the royal navy, for many years surgeon of the "Portland," a ship of the line, that was sent to St. Helena in 1771, to await Capt. Cook's expected arrival from his first trip around the world, and convey his ship to England. He was also a direct descendant of the Dr. Honyman, who extracted by command, the fifth rib from the side of James V, King of Scotland, which rib was transmitted to him by his ancestors, and he by will to his only son, with the request, "that he will carefully keep the said rib, and carefully transmit it to his descendants."





Posted By: Paul - Tue Mar 18, 2014 - Comments (6)
Category: Children, Parents, Sixteenth Century, Skulls, Bones and Skeletons

March 17, 2014

700 Year Old Find

An archeology dig in Denmark found some barrels from the fourteenth century recently. Take a guess what was inside, answer after the jump.

More in extended >>

Posted By: patty - Mon Mar 17, 2014 - Comments (9)
Category: Culture and Civilization

The Cakes The Thing!

Vicky Knoop wanted to make a a scary over the top birthday cake for her boyfriend. So she put together a very realistic rendition of 'split-face' from John Carpenter's The Thing. Her effort was even praised by John Carpenter himself via a note from his wife Sandy to Vicky. Great job, so good in fact that I don't know if I could have eaten it!

Picture from Yahoo Images.

Posted By: patty - Mon Mar 17, 2014 - Comments (2)
Category: Food

The Halfbike

It's either a half-baked idea or brilliant. I don't know which. The inventor is hoping to raise $80,000 to start producing them. From the Kickstarter page:

It’s a vehicle that combines running and cycling, which turns out to be remarkably exciting and fun for getting around the city. A bicycle revised both in terms of size and functionality, a new kind of personal vehicle designed with rider experience in mind. Halfbike is light, compact and simple. You stand upright and turn simply by leaning your body. The ride is smooth and sometimes feels like gliding.

Posted By: Alex - Mon Mar 17, 2014 - Comments (6)

Diane Torr and MAN FOR A DAY

Diane Torr has captured everything about my own male daily life so accurately that it's scary! I always move about as if I have "little sacks of sand in my shoulders."

Posted By: Paul - Mon Mar 17, 2014 - Comments (9)
Category: Ineptness, Crudity, Talentlessness, Kitsch, and Bad Art, Sexuality, Performance Art, Gender-bending

March 16, 2014

News of the Weird (March 16, 2014)

News of the Weird
Weirdnuz.M362, March 16, 2014
Copyright 2013 by Chuck Shepherd

Lead Story

In February, the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled that David Bell could not avoid being charged with DUI merely because he had been sober enough to pass all six “field sobriety tests” administered during a traffic stop. It was enough, the court said, that he had admitted drinking that night. A few days later, the Austin American-Statesman reported on Texan Larry Davis’s struggle to clear the 2013 DUI arrest from his record--since he had blown a 0.0 alcohol reading that night and then had voluntarily undergone a blood test for other impairing drugs and come up clean on that. Davis had admitted to “one drink” but allegedly failed a “field sobriety test” (in the opinion of the arresting officer, anyway). (Davis’s case is still unresolved, but, since he has been declared an “indigent,” the state covers his legal expenses.) [Associated Press via WRCB-TV (Chattanooga), 2-21-2014] [Austin American-Statesman, 2-24-2013]

Compelling Explanations

Jack Harvey, 42, drew a three-plus-year sentence in England's Truro Crown Court in February following his guilty plea on drug charges. Earlier, he had insisted that police had planted the drugs they found in his house and car and even that a stranger (maybe "some filthy woman," he said) must be the owner of that cocaine and heroin that police found taped to his testicles. [, 2-6-2014]

Logical: (1) John Rogers of Geneva, Fla., recently acquitted in a shooting death (using Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” defense), convinced a judge in February to return his gun, which police had confiscated when they arrested him. Rogers said he needs the gun for protection because he is particularly vulnerable--in that he is blind. (2) Rogerio Scotton, challenging federal charges in January that he lied to immigration officials about his “marriage” to a Cuban woman (a “sham,” said prosecutors), offered to prove the matrimony’s bona fides by showing the couple’s conjugal-bed videos in open court. (The judge instructed Scotton to find a “less intrusive” way to make the same point.) [WESH-TV (Orlando), 2-21-2014] [South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 1-22-2014]

The Continuing Crisis

PREVIOUSLY ON WEIRD UNIVERSE: The firm 3D Babies has begun selling (for $800) 8-inch-long fetal sculptures manufactured from 3-D ultrasound images developed with computer graphics and 3-D printing technology (“printing” successive layers of material continuously, eventually creating a physical object). (Four-inch and two-inch models are available for $400 and $200, respectively.) For celebrity hounds who are not planning imminent parenthood, the company sells one fetal sculpture off the shelf: the Kim Kardashian-Kanye West fetus (“Baby North West”) for only $250. [, 1-17-2014]

Ms. Blondie Bennett (her recently-acquired real name), 38, is not just a California model selling provocative “Barbie doll” photos of herself online (featuring her recently-augmented 32JJ breast implants). She is at work on a longer-range project to remake herself completely as a human Barbie doll--to include the popular critique that Barbie represents not only bodily perfection but mindlessness. Bennett said she has had 20 hypnotherapy sessions to “help” her appear more confused and vacant, according to news reports. “I want people to see me as a plastic sex doll, and being brainless is a big part of that.” She said she is doing well, in that she recently got lost driving to her mother’s house. [Daily Mail, 2-19-2014; Huffington Post, 2-19-2014]


First-World Problems: The designer Giorgio Armani is one of the most recent one-day sponsors of a United Nations project to send safe drinking water to help some of the planet’s 768 million people without access to a clean supply. The “Tap Project” program signs up smartphone users with a reward: that it will donate one day’s clean water to a child for anyone who can manage to refrain from picking up his or her phone for a 10 consecutive minutes. “Tap Project” screens even feature a 10-minute countdown clock to help do-gooders remain strong in the face of anxiety over the brief loss of access to Facebook, online games, et al. [, 2-26-2014]

The Litigious Society

PREVIOUSLY: Litigant Jane Mulcahy was turned down twice recently in her attempts to sue her former divorce lawyers for negligence--although they had won her case, defeatinher husband’s contentions. The lawyers were negligent, she said, because they never told her that if she “won” the lawsuit, the marriage would be over. Lord Justice Briggs, in the second appeal, said that Mulcahy’s Roman Catholic faith should have tipped her off that “divorce” ended the marriage. [The Independent (London), 1-10-2014]

Clients Richard and Sandra Weiner filed a lawsuit in Paterson, N.J., in January against their former real estate agents, who they said had a blatant conflict of interest while offering the Weiners’ house for sale. The agents allegedly, purposely, high-balled the asking price so that the house would remain unsold longer--so that the two agents (Robert Lindsay and Jeannemarie Phelan) could meet there frequently, using a duplicate key to bypass the lockbox recorder, and have sexual liaisons. The agents denied the charge, but Coldwell Banker terminated their service. [Courthouse News Service, 12-20-2013]


As Americans know, Canada’s healthcare system, funded largely by taxes, is dramatically less expensive than America’s--well, unless you’re a dog. The Canadian news service CTV reported in February that increasingly, pet owners in Winnipeg, Manitoba, are making the 120-mile car trip to Grand Forks, N.D., because U.S. veterinarian prices are significantly lower than comparable services by Canadian vets. One Winnipeg family, facing a $650 teeth-cleaning plus blood work for “Jackson,” their Shitzu, took him on the road trip to Grand Forks, where the bill came to $205. [CTV News, 2-13-2014]

Internal Revenue Service might have second thoughts about suing William Berroyer to recover a $60,000 tax underpayment since, by the time Berroyer was finished with them, the federal government had been ordered to write Berroyer (now age 66) checks totaling nearly 15 times that much. Berroyer, who was on his way out of the IRS office in Hauppage, N.Y., after his first meeting in 2008, tripped over a phone cord and fell against a filing cabinet, injuring himself so severely that he required a 17-day hospital stay and rehabilitation and alleged long-term confinement to a wheelchair. [New York Post, 1-20-2014]

In February, after a 43-year-old rape victim in Cowlitz County, Wash., missed court hearings, prosecutors, needing her testimony, filed for a rare “material witness” warrant to assure her availability--by asking the judge to jail her. She acknowledged her anxieties but promised to do better if the judge would dismiss the warrant. She pointed out that prosecutors were seeking to lock her up against her will--to force her to testify that a rapist had once locked her up against her will (in addition to committing other indignities). (The sympathetic judge dismissed the warrant, but the woman has since missed another date.) [The Daily News (Longview, Wash.), 2-21-2014]

Least Competent Criminals

Unclear on the Concept: (1) Michael Williams, 53, was arrested in Sumter, S.C., in February after his debit card was rejected as payment at the Applebee’s restaurant. Police were called when Williams’s backup form of payment was a “U.S. currency” bill in the denomination of $1 trillion. (2) Dyonta Rose, 29, in police custody the night of February 22nd in Dallas, Tex., for possession of narcotics, fled the police cruiser still wearing his handcuffs. Rose was tracked down a short time later when he called 911 to ask for an ambulance because “handcuffs” were cutting off circulation in his arm. [The State (Columbia, S.C.), 2-21-2014] [KMOV-TV (St. Louis), 2-25-2014]

Undignified Deaths

(1) Twenty-two people were killed just north of Baghdad in February (and 15 injured) from a devastating suicide-bomb blast. The 37 were Sunni militants attending a class on how to be suicide bombers when the teacher’s vest accidentally exploded. (2) An 86-year-old man, celebrating his selection in November by the Howard Stern radio show to be treated to a fancy meal followed by a menage-a-trois session with prostitutes at Nevada’s famed Bunny Ranch, called it “the greatest day of my life.” However, he failed to make it through dinner, as he choked to death on a piece of steak. [New York Times, 2-10-2014] [New York Daily News, 12-14-2013]

Thanks This Week to Paul Peterson, Mel Birge, Russell Bell, Tim Kirby, Sam Scrutchins, and Milford Sprecher, and to the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors.

Posted By: Chuck - Sun Mar 16, 2014 - Comments (10)

Mystery Gadget 20


Taking into account the presence of a wired-up conch shell, please explain what this gadget from the 1920s does.

Answer after the jump.

More in extended >>

Posted By: Paul - Sun Mar 16, 2014 - Comments (10)
Category: Technology, 1920s

Good with first names

This photo was taken by Time-Life photographer David Scherman in 1943. According to the caption, it shows a local businessman in Kerry, Ireland who "claims to know everyone in Ireland by their first name."

If he knew everyone in Ireland by their first name, that means he must have met everyone in the country, which would have been an impressive feat. Or he was lying. Or he called everyone by the same name.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Mar 16, 2014 - Comments (9)
Category: 1940s

Anonymous Tip Line

Florida Judge Victoria Brennan seems to be unclear on the concept of Crime Stoppers anonymous tip line. It appears that way since she has chosen to incarcerate the Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers director, Richard Masten, for refusing to identify an anonymous tipster. So, Mr. Masten who is a former Chief of Police is facing 14 days in jail because he'd rather be in contempt of court than break his word there by risking someone's life. Stand your ground sir, in the old traditional meaning of the phrase, not the newer violent one.

Posted By: patty - Sun Mar 16, 2014 - Comments (14)
Category: Not Clear On The Concept

March 15, 2014

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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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