Weird Universe Archive

August 2014

August 20, 2014

Living off the land

A 1955 U.S. Navy training film. Having watched it, I'm now ready to live off the grid.

Posted By: Alex - Wed Aug 20, 2014 - Comments (7)
Category: Food, 1950s

Brigitte Bardot & Serge Gainsbourg: “Comic Strip”

Guardians of the Galaxy was great. But I'd pay twice as much to see a feature-length version of this.

Posted By: Paul - Wed Aug 20, 2014 - Comments (8)
Category: Comics, Sex Symbols, Superheroes, 1960s, Europe

August 19, 2014

Dinner On The Fly

We have all heard cautionary tales about hawks or large owls picking up small dogs as prey while the dogs are outside. But one would think a pet would be safe in the house AND inside a closed cage, maybe not so much. Last Sunday an owl flew into a tenth floor apartment through the balcony door, opened a bird cage, killed one canary and traumatized the other one inside. The pet owner found the owl still in her home, then it flew back out and nonchalantly perched on her balcony for a photo op. The least it could do after killing her pet!

Posted By: Alex - Tue Aug 19, 2014 - Comments (5)
Category: Animals

Skinny Liberation

Barry Goldsmith

Skinny people aren't often recognized as being part of an oppressed minority. But back in 1972, Barry Goldsmith tried to change this by announcing the Skinny Liberation movement and issuing an "emaciation proclamation." His efforts don't seem to have changed public attitudes significantly.

Skinny Lib?
NEW YORK — Is America ready for Skinny Liberation? Here it comes, ready or not.
"The world has been brainwashed by muscle man propaganda," declared Barry Goldsmith in his "emaciation proclamation" Thursday.
Announcing the Skinny Liberation movement, the 6-foot, 118-pound Goldsmith, a doctoral candidate in art history at Columbia University, pronounced thin men and women "America's lost minority."
"We are getting tired of hearing how unhealthy we are, and how healthy fat people are," he said. Other problems are finding clothes that fit and getting dates.
He said one appearance on a daytime television talk show had already drawn responses from 20,000 members of the beanpole set.
With that start and machines grinding out protest buttons and newsletters, Goldsmith said he plans more talk show appearances as leader of "the charge of the light brigade against the battle of the bulge."

Posted By: Alex - Tue Aug 19, 2014 - Comments (6)
Category: 1970s

Beverly Massegee and Erick


Evangelical ventriloquism: I tend to suspect no one does it better than Beverly Massegee. (Ie, no one else does it at all.)

I could not find any clips of her and "Erick," so you'll have to content yourself with her "singing."

Posted By: Paul - Tue Aug 19, 2014 - Comments (13)
Category: Religion, Cacophony, Dissonance, White Noise and Other Sonic Assaults

August 18, 2014

Last Week in Weird (August 18, 2014)

Last Week in Weird
datelines 8/8/2014--8/15/2014 (Part II)
[Links, chronological, on Extended page]
Copyright 2014 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

The Way The World Works: Comcast and Time Warner Cable have to make it past the FCC to consummate their $45bn merger, and they just happen to have recently contributed $132,000 to the FCC chairwoman’s favorite foundation--and, and, and, and there’s absolutely nothing unusual about that, they say. It’s . . . the way the world works.

Multitask Mom: Dropped by Fisher Elementary in Pasadena, Tex., to register her 4-yr-old for pre-K, and by the way, got that pesky childbirth thing out of the way, too.

Do They Sometimes Approve Freedom of Information Act Requests? Reason magazine turned up a U.S. Dept. of Education letter under the signature block of Taylor D. August, “FOIA Denial Officer.” (Bonus: In the letter, he was warning that they might have to grant a request.)

Colander Law: Canada’s CTV reports that at least 4 countries (incl. U.S.) allow driver-license applicants to wear their Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster colanders for their official photos . . . but that authorities in British Columbia say it interferes with identification.

Yo, Let’s Start a Rumor, OK? The truth is only that German political figure Katja Kipping produced a serious proposal for the gov’t to fund free summer vacations every yr for everyone already on gov’t welfare folls. She said she is saddened that “three million children this summer cannot experience what a holiday means.” All right, let’s get out a release changing Katja to “Michelle Obama” and see what happens. Imagine Rush! Sean! O’Reilly!

A Texas appeals court ruled against too-lax homeschool parents, who were claiming a state religious-freedom law protected them if they seriously, cross-their-heart-believed the Rapture was imminent and that intense schooling wasn’t really necessary.

In other religious news, it’s PETA versus the St. Patrick Catholic Parish in Stephensville, Wis., over the latter’s annual fundraiser that features pig-wrestling. [No, not Broadus Clay--real pigs!]

More: (1) From Chula Vista, Calif.: Mother, Daughter Trapped by Aggressive House Cat (2) From Manassas, Va., an elementary school principal got bounced for having a fraudulently inflated resume--a principal named Robin Toogood. (3) A West Virginia M.D. in trouble, in part, because she allegedly ordered a gal on her staff to motorboat her brand-new breasts. (4) And in our latest fashion-failing mugshot, Mr. Daontae Diggs of Frederick, Md.

York County (Pa.) District Judge Ronald J. Haskell Jr. attracted a lot of attention when he posted courtroom signs to head off behaviors that he apparently gets too much of. From now on, No Pajamas in court! And furthermore, if you’re in court to pay a fine or a fee, clerks will not accept money you have removed from your underwear. (One problem: The latter sign is apparently only in Español.)

More in extended >>

Posted By: Chuck - Mon Aug 18, 2014 - Comments (10)

Follies of the Madmen #227


[Click to enlarge]

Yes, our product is number one among insane vegan fashionistas!

From Woman's Day for April 1962.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Aug 18, 2014 - Comments (6)
Category: Business, Advertising, Products, Fashion, Vegetables, 1960s

The First Robot Ever Arrested

Today is the anniversary of the day on which the first robot was ever arrested. The event occurred on August 18, 1982 when a robot called DC-2 was taken into custody by the Beverly Hills Police Department. Its crime was illegally distributing business cards on North Beverly Drive.

More info at Paleofuture.

Posted By: Alex - Mon Aug 18, 2014 - Comments (4)
Category: Robots, 1980s

Correction to News of the Weird M384

Among the world's foods cited in a London Daily Mirror story mentioned in this space on August 17, 2014, was "Squeez Bacon," which was apparently an April Fool's joke from 2009 concocted by Yr Editor regrets the error that in the ensuing five-plus years, food science has been unable to create a real squeezed bacon. Very much regrets that.

Posted By: Chuck - Mon Aug 18, 2014 - Comments (3)

August 17, 2014

Last Week in Weird (August 17, 2014)

Last Week in Weird
datelines 8/4/2014--8/15/2014 (Part I)
[Links, chronological, on Extended page]
Copyright 2014 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

All War Is Weird (I): Factories in Ukraine are still manufacturing and selling military gear to Russia (parts for ships, technology for tanks and nuclear missiles). The Ukraine “defense industry” says it needs the jobs. And meanwhile, the noted American musician, Mr. Steven Seagal, gave a pro-Putin concern in eastern Ukraine.

All War Is Really Weird (II): And then there’s the U.S., bombing ISIS’s weapons, which used to be our weapons until we gave them to the Iraq army, which abandoned them because we couldn’t train them, because we disbanded Iraq’s regular army in 2003 (well, the ones we didn’t shock-and-awe to death). We have to save Kurds in Iraq because, since we wouldn’t arm them, either, they have to use weapons they captured from Russians in the 1980s. ISIS sleeps comfortably in Syria every night because we declined to help Syrian rebels against Assad--because we were afraid radicals like ISIS would steal all our aid weapons. (Max Fisher: “So now we’re bombing the guns that we didn’t mean to give ISIS because we didn’t give guns to their enemies because then ISIS might get guns.”)

A Generation of Superb Parenting: (1) Kayla McKenzie, 22, DUI in Bismarck, N.D., rammed at least 6 vehicles and structures in one trip while holding her year-old in her lap and with two other toddlers unsecured in the back seat. “I look like a bad mother, but I’m not. I’m actually a really good mom.” (2) Rayvon Campos sentenced to 20 yrs for pummeling his 1-month-old daughter, said, “This is the first time I have ever been in trouble. I’m a real good dude.”

Dogs Might Have Been Her Best Bet: Let’s go to the mugshot! Shari Walters was arrested for poisoning pals because she feared they’d turn her in for having sex with dogs.

Quirks in (a) FDA Regs and (b) Americans’ brains, still: The family, honoring “AJ” Betts’s last wish before his suicide, had no trouble donating his liver, lungs, kidneys, and heart, but the brokers won’t take his eyes because “AJ” . . gay.

The Latest Iteration of the Dilemma: If you are involved in an injury to someone or someone’s property (as in this Redwood City, Calif., incident), do you express regret at the scene or to you go stoic? Expressing regret may becalm a victim to less aggressively seek compensation--or be used against you in court when the victim’s lawyer finds out you squished up at the scene.

Darwin implies that if a black rat snake is so stupid he’ll swallow a ceramic egg (slowly, you know; they should have time to realize), it simply needs to be out of the gene pool, but there’s always a rescue center willing to muck things up.

Speaking of organisms on the left tail of their respective Bell Curves, the police in Moreno Valley, Calif., were tired of drivers who failed to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks by claiming they “didn’t see” the crossers, so they dressed a detective in a large traffic cone and had him go back and forth in the crossing. They still caught 15 drivers, “many” of whom claimed they “didn’t see” Mr. Cone.

Simple As That: University College London academics have figured out a formula to predict “happiness.” (You must take a look.)

How to Completely Confuse a Typical Arizonan: An appeals court ruled that Thomas Beatie can, too, get a divorce from his wife Nancy. Thomas is the husband, Nancy the wife, thus no violation of Arizona’s same-sex marriage prohibition, and everybody needs to forget the pesky fact that Thomas is the one who bore the couple’s three kids (because he, born female, kept his eggs while he was transgendering).

The few residents of the French village La Mort aux Juifs (and a couple of powerful national bureaucrats, apparently) are taking a Daniel-Snyder-like stand against changing the name (in English, it’s “Death to Jews”), which they say, dates to the 11th century.

Said Broward County habitual offender Todd Bontrager, hoping to get the judge to release him on bond on a trespassing charge: “All my arrests were intentional, just to study. Incarceration improves your concentration abilities.” Judge: You’ll “have plenty of time to concentrate on this case.”

More in extended >>

Posted By: Chuck - Sun Aug 17, 2014 - Comments (10)

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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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