Weird Universe Archive

August 2014

August 14, 2014

Musical Celebration of Innocent Verdict

After being deemed innocent on charges of attempted terrorism while trying to smuggle 20,000 euros out of the UK in her underwear, Nawal Msaad gave her unique public reaction to the verdict in the form of the video above.

Many more odd and fascinating details (Chanel-enhanced ankle monitor) at the link.

Posted By: Paul - Thu Aug 14, 2014 - Comments (9)
Category: Terrorism and Terrorists, Sex Symbols, Europe, Middle East, Cacophony, Dissonance, White Noise and Other Sonic Assaults

August 13, 2014


Dirty Bird Fried Chicken has a strangely familiar looking logo. I can't place what it reminds me of...
NSFW at link.

Posted By: Alex - Wed Aug 13, 2014 - Comments (8)
Category: Advertising

Pop Carter

This is Otto "Pop" Carter, 90 years old, in 1947. He was known as "America's oldest and best-known roller skater." At his advanced age, he had been a professional roller skater for 82 years. But even after this he kept on going for quite a while. According to his listing on IMDB, "At age 104, participated in the Southwest Pacific Roller Skating Championships and the Rollerama Show in 1960."

I don't know when he died. Perhaps he's still alive.

Source: Newsweek - July 28, 1947

Posted By: Alex - Wed Aug 13, 2014 - Comments (6)
Category: Sports, 1940s

August 12, 2014

The Death Of A Legend

The world is a little darker today for the loss of Robin Williams. He gave us the gift of laughter in a unique and wonderful way. May he now find the peace that seems to have eluded him in life. Above is his comedy special 'Weapons Of Self Destruction' which I found available on You Tube.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Aug 12, 2014 - Comments (6)
Category: Homages, Pastiches, Tributes and Borrowings

Mexican Twist

"Hey, Manuel, why go to the bullfight when you can do the tweest?"

The Twisting Kings were apparently the studio musicians who later became known as the Funk Brothers.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Aug 12, 2014 - Comments (11)
Category: Music, Stereotypes and Cliches, 1960s

Unique Auto Horn

Walter George Newman definitely sounds like he was a bit of a character. I like the idea of having a guy blowing on a trumpet instead of a horn.

The New York Times - Aug 17, 1910

Posted By: Alex - Tue Aug 12, 2014 - Comments (7)
Category: Eccentrics, 1910s, Cars

August 11, 2014

Last Week in Weird (August 11, 2014)

Last Week in Weird
datelines 8/1/2014--8/8/2014 (Part II)
[Links, chronological, on Extended page]
Copyright 2014 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

[Ed. Note: There’s no coding here. I hate to code. However, Links to each story (14 in all) are on the Extended page, in chronological order. Yeah, yeah, I know it’s failing to exploit the blogging technology. Tough.]

The New Normal (Facebook-Inspired): First, a piece in L’Espresso magazine that a mid-or-so-level Palermo, Sicily, mobster, Domenico Palazzotto, 28, had created a Facebook page (with an ineffective pseudonym) showing his bare, tanned chest and fashionable beard, referencing his “business.” “Do I need to send a CV?” asked a potential applicant. “Yes, brother. We need to consider your criminal record. We do not take on people with clean records.” Then, another young hunk, the overeducated Egyptian Mr. Islam Yaken, created a page on a social media site called YK replete with narcissistic poses but inviting followers into his new vicious-jihad caliphate.

“It Was a Good Throw. It Hurt a Little Bit.”: So said a 20-yr-old man in court in Christchurch, New Zealand, low-balling the time a few months back when his angry girlfriend threw a kitchen knife at him, embedding it in his skull until doctors removed it.

Gentleman’s Sport: Two golfers in Uniontown, Pa., brawled on the 7th hole over the rule on “casual” water hazards (e.g., rain puddles). One got in a full 3-wood whack; the other dished out a fat lip, a swollen jaw, and an eye scratch.

The Way The World Works: It is crucial that we conserve water (e.g., low-flow toilets), plus if we do, your water bill goes down. Except if you do conserve; then, we don’t make enough money to pay for system maintenance. Then your water bill goes up. Unless you have to flush twice all the time.

Legal Technicalities: Denver’s The Wrangler gay bar denied that it discriminated against gay customer Vito Marzano. Vito can’t come in, they said, because he was dressed in drag, and we’re “bear”-oriented (“hypermasculine”). State agency sided with Vito.

Ironies: (1) If you think the Cost of Living is super-high in New York City or London, take a look at the Cost of Dying (or, rather, the cost of full burial, e.g., 756-sq-ft mausoleum in Brooklyn’s Park Slope goes for $320k). (2) Back in the day (well, 2008), Congress agreed to force agencies to publish how much they’re spending on each budget program, to make federal spending more “transparent.” So far, reports GAO, they’ve come pretty close for gov’t work: only $619bn (on 302 programs) still missing in action in the 2012 data.

Not My Fault: NYC stand-up comic Liza Dye is recuperating from her February 13th fall-and-drag on subway tracks (mangled leg) caused, said witnesses, because she was busy “texting” and wandered off the platform. She said she just fainted, and besides, it’s the transit authority’s fault for taking too long to stop the train.

Of Course! Jonathan Thomas, 50, director of a local Indiana animal shelter, was stopped for DUI and refused to get out of the car, and when officers reached in to pull him out, he “show[ed] his teeth to officers in an angry manner”--a look (“growling”) he later repeated at the station.

Weirdly Sane Dad: It’s Sweden’s Carl-Magnus Helgegren--because his kids, 10 and 11, were obsessed with Call of Duty, and so Dad booked them for a “vacation” to Israel and the West Bank (shortly before the current fireworks), into hospitals and refugee camps, so they could see what real “war” looks like--rather than the abstract pixellated “damage” wrought by digital missiles. So far, Helgegren told, it has turned the kids away from Call of Duty.

Updates: (1) In News of the Weird .M266 (2012), it was a pipe dream, but last week the towns of Dull, Scotland, and Boring, Ore., celebrated their second annual paired Boring and Dull Day. (2) A nip-and-tuck Republican primary for a Congressional seat in Tennessee is finally over (35-vote margin), with state Sen. Jim Tracy ignominiously distinguishing himself by losing to Scott DesJarlais, the Tea Party/pro-life M.D. who has admitted to eight extramarital affairs, encouraged a girlfriend to get an abortion, drawn a gun on his first wife in an argument, and had been reprimanded by the state for having sex with patients.

More in extended >>

Posted By: Chuck - Mon Aug 11, 2014 - Comments (5)

Funeral Potatoes

The dish that most people in America know as potato casserole is referred to by Mormons as "funeral potatoes." Because it's customary for Mormons to serve this potato dish at funerals. The logic, I suppose, is that it's comfort food. Wikipedia says that the typical ingredients of funeral potatoes are: "hash browns or cubed potatoes, cheese (cheddar or Parmesan), onions, cream soup (chicken, mushroom, or celery) or a cream sauce, sour cream, and is topped with butter and corn flakes or crushed potato chips."

Funeral potatoes are one of a number of foods specifically associated with funerals in some cultures. Another example, previously mentioned here on WU, is Yorkshire Funeral Biscuits. And the Amish have a dish they call Funeral Pie, which is a raisin pie.

There must be other funeral-specific dishes, but I haven't yet found them.

Posted By: Alex - Mon Aug 11, 2014 - Comments (8)
Category: Death, Food

Trisha Brown in “Accumulation”

It's not much of a dance, but Trisha Brown could certainly have had a career as a sign-language interpreter in South Africa.

Oh, yes, recipient of MacArthur "genius grant."

Posted By: Paul - Mon Aug 11, 2014 - Comments (7)
Category: Annoying Things, Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues, Ineptness, Crudity, Talentlessness, Kitsch, and Bad Art, Avant Garde, 1970s, Dance

August 10, 2014

Last Weei in Weird (August 10, 2014)

Last Week in Weird
datelines 8/1/2014--8/8/2014 (Part I)
[Links, chronological, on Extended page]
Copyright 2014 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Weird--the Rule of the Amateur Climatologists: The professional climatologists have mostly agreed that greenhouse gases bumped up by population and technology growth have made Earth’s atmosphere more dangerous. (In fairness, the amateur climatologists pretty much agree, too--that it’s a liberal hoax, but, hey, agreement is agreement.) Last week, a commentator took the view that no matter what dire, near-impossible gov’t regulation of carbon is enacted across the globe, the Earth will still be in trouble because of . . meat-eaters, i.e., because of cattle farming and cattle farts. Ounce for ounce, baked crickets are far superior food. On the regulatory front, if San Diego weren’t so scared about spacing out the medical marijuana shops, people could walk to buy their dope instead of driving, and the Union of Medical Marijuana Patients has sued. (Buried Lede: There is a Union of Medical Marijuana Patients.) And New Zealand granted residency to a refugee family from nearby Tuvalu on the ostensible ground that if forced to return to that island, they would soon be climate-change-flooded.

Not Ready for Prime Time: Bad: If you must use your car to haul marijuana plants, and branches stick out the window, cops can see them. Worse: A guy in Seattle tried to rob a restaurant (turned down), tried to steal from several customers (refused), tried to kick one door open to leave (locked, bouncing him on his butt), tried to steal a woman’s car keys (abandoned when she started to record him on her cellphone), tried to jack another car (declined, but the owner offered him a lift), and finally left with the tip jar contents ($15). Worst: Joshua Pawlak, 27, Woodbridge, N.J., four attempted store robberies, three polite refusals to cooperate--and only $2 from the tip jar.

Can’t Possibly Be True: Two alleged killers of a Border Patrol agent, in a hot escape, were arrested in Raymondville, Tex., while asleep in a shed. They had knocked on a lady’s door at 12:30 a.m. one night and asked for a drink of water and if they could charge their cellphones. Why, sure, the lady said to the total strangers; come on in. Want to get some sleep? There’s a shed out back. She wet her britches a little later when police swarmed the area looking for the suspects.

Funny When You Do It to a Bank, But When It Gets Done to You--: Andres Carrasco won a low-five-figure settlement from an insurance company, which the company has partially paid off with 17 plastic buckets of pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters.

The Way The World Works: AOL revealed it has 2.3 million dial-up customers, still. At $20 a month, that would be $552m/yr income.

First, Clear a Path to the Lifeboats: A professor at Rome’s La Spienza University talked Capt. Schettino (of the Costa Concordia) into delivering a guest lecture on “panic management.” [Answer: Remember Sullenberger, and do the exact opposite.]

R.I.P.: Mr. Nathaniel Horn, 40, of Billings, Mont., was allegedly murdered (neck slashed) by an acquaintance who had become fed up with the pair’s arguing whether the Army or the Marines is the superior military service. (Elsewhere, police in the Bronx said a 37-yr-old “actor” making a rap video at 1 a.m. was still alive but had five gunshot holes in him put by a fellow cast member in a dispute over which of the two was the “star.”)

Perspective: A beloved nun was accidentally mowed down by a hit-and-run driver in 2012 in well-to-do Water Mill, N.Y., and the road was honorarily designated “Sister Jackie’s Way.” Q: Who could object? A: Almost everyone. (When visitors come, we don’t wish to recall that tragedy again; we have to explain who Sister Jackie was all over again; we need to move on.) Down it comes. Sister Jackie fan: “On this road [are] all one-percenters . . . rich, spoiled people.”

People Who Are a Mess: (1) First-year teacher Lorie Hill was discovered inside her Wagoner, Okla., classroom on opening day . . drunk and pantsless. (2) Anthony Rodgers, charged in a Clintonville, Ohio, bank robbery, had all his bad tattooing decisions recorded by mugshot--including a large cross on his forehead separating the words “Truly” and “Blessed” [sic].

More in extended >>

Posted By: Chuck - Sun Aug 10, 2014 - Comments (8)

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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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