Weird Universe Archive

June 2014

June 13, 2014

The funeral of Miriam Burbank

In the picture you see Miriam Burbank, sitting at a table, holding a menthol cigarette in her hand. She's dead, and this was the scene at her recent funeral. More info at wgno.com.


Of course, we've seen this kind of stuff before here at WU. Back in 2008, there was a post about Ángel Pantoja Medina "standing tall at his funeral." And also from 2008, a post about the Kuku Kuku of Papua New Guinea who pose their dead sitting up. So perhaps posed corpses at funerals is a phenomenon that is "no longer weird."

Posted By: Alex - Fri Jun 13, 2014 - Comments (5)
Category: Death

Catch Us If You Can

Proof that you do not need video games as flight simulators to encourage hijacking.

Original article here.

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Posted By: Paul - Fri Jun 13, 2014 - Comments (6)
Category: Crime, Flight, Children, 1940s

June 12, 2014

Green Pups

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How cute are these newborn green puppies. They aren't even from Ireland!

Picture from Yahoo Images.

Posted By: Alex - Thu Jun 12, 2014 - Comments (5)
Category: Animals

Cockroach Farming

Here's a weird job you can do at home — raise cockroaches. Yuan Meixia of China is making a good living doing it, having transformed her house into a cockroach farm. This involved cementing shut every crevice and hole in the house so the critters can't escape, and replacing all doors with zippered silk nets.

According to the South China Morning Post: "Yuan places honeydews, apples and rice bran on shelves at each end of the room, where the insects swarm and feast. On the living room table is a bag of glucose for the baby cockroaches, or nymphs, which resemble little red beans."

She sells the roaches to a local pharmaceutical company.

Posted By: Alex - Thu Jun 12, 2014 - Comments (8)
Category: Insects and Spiders, Jobs and Occupations

Stale Puppy-Dog Tails



Let me know how long you last....

Another nice long performance here, by the artist known as Vetza. You get to see her as well.

"Vetza is a multi-talented artist who has full control over a range of disciplines including classical instrumentation, experimental sound improvisation, voice and theater. She is an innovator representing the LA Arts community in the international art world. Vetza is an original member of the the LA Free Music Society. She is a writer, composer and so much more."

Posted By: Paul - Thu Jun 12, 2014 - Comments (12)
Category: Ineptness, Crudity, Talentlessness, Kitsch, and Bad Art, Music, Avant Garde, Cacophony, Dissonance, White Noise and Other Sonic Assaults

June 11, 2014

Okay-Doke!

This was a great moment in American law. From the New York Times - Feb 7, 1935:

Posted By: Alex - Wed Jun 11, 2014 - Comments (6)
Category: Law, Judges, 1930s

The Secret Museum of Mankind

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What did you receive if you answered this ad and paid their fee?

Five books of odd photos. All now digitized and awaiting your perusal here.

Posted By: Paul - Wed Jun 11, 2014 - Comments (8)
Category: Ethnic Groupings, Freaks, Oddities, Quirks of Nature, Books, 1930s

June 10, 2014

Ben the Talking Dog

Back in 1946, a British fox terrier named Ben won international acclaim for his ability to say the phrase, "I want one." I found a brief account of Ben and his fame in Unexplained Phenomena: A Rough Guide Special:

A smooth-haired fox-terrier called Ben, belonging to Mr and Mrs Brissenden of Royston, Hertfordshire, was the subject of two articles in the Daily Mirror in August 1946. A Mirror reporter had visited Ben the previous day, and several times he had heard the little terrier say, clearly and distinctly, "I want one", evidently expressing desire for a cup of tea, a biscuit and other doggy treats. His voice was described as "dark brown" and "a rich baritone", low-pitched and authoritative. The reporter found it quite uncanny the way Ben used different tones of voice in making his requests, "from the wheedling note to the gruff, demanding one".

Contacted by the Mirror, two eminent veterinary surgeons, Professor W.C. Miller and Dr. W. Wooldridge, went to Royston to examine the talking dog. To them he duly made his usual remark, "I want one... oh-h-h... I want one". Professor Miller observed: "In all my experience I have never heard a dog so nearly simulate the human voice." Dr Wooldridge added: "The most amazing thing is that Ben does actually use his mouth and, to some extent, his tongue, to formulate and control the words. He cuts his words clearly, and appears to use his tongue to change from one word to another." while the experts discussed his case in Mrs Brissenden's front room, Ben romped around them with a ball.

Ben became so famous that he was featured in an ad campaign for Comptometer adding-calculating machines that ran in American magazines such as Newsweek:


Newsweek - May 4, 1947

My parents had a welsh terrier that said the word "Out" whenever it wanted to go out. Although the way he said it was "Oooouuuuttttt!". Unfortunately we never thought to film him saying it.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jun 10, 2014 - Comments (7)
Category: Animals, Dogs

VertiBird!







Kids these days, with their miraculous untethered toy helicopters! How could they ever know the true joy of a helicopter at the end of a rod?

Posted By: Paul - Tue Jun 10, 2014 - Comments (9)
Category: Flight, Toys, Advertising, 1970s

June 9, 2014

No More Cartwheels

Diane "DD" Barker, age 65, has been ordered to stop doing cartwheels and splits when she addresses Maricopa County officials at city council meetings. Barker says that it's just her form of personal expression and is a way to show the benefits of exercise. But the city council says it's within its rights to "impose reasonable time, place and manner restrictions on speakers."

CBS 5 - KPHO

Posted By: Alex - Mon Jun 09, 2014 - Comments (7)
Category: Exercise and Fitness

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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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