Weird Universe Archive

August 2014

August 7, 2014

Name That List, #25

What is this a list of? The answer is below in extended.
  • Kicked in the head by a horse
  • Imaginary female trouble
  • Laziness
  • Masturbation for 30 years
  • Novel reading
  • Over study of religion
  • Bad whiskey
  • Deranged masturbation
  • Egotism
  • Fighting fire
  • Vicious vices
  • Snuff eating for 2 years
  • Gathering in the head
  • Hard study

More in extended >>

Posted By: Alex - Thu Aug 07, 2014 - Comments (13)
Category: Name That List

August 6, 2014

Husband For Sale

1935: Mary Ann and Fred Cordes weren't doing too well with their marriage. But instead of just getting a divorce, like normal people, they (well, it was mostly Mary Ann's idea) hatched a plan to sell Fred for $1500 to any woman willing to buy him. Mary Ann hoped to use the money to travel to Ireland, her childhood home.

I don't know how their plan turned out. It's one of those stories that never got a follow-up in the press. But I can't imagine women were lining up to pay $1500 to acquire "all the rights" to a 40-year-old unemployed ice-cream maker.

Time - Aug 26, 1935

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle - Aug 14, 1935

Posted By: Alex - Wed Aug 06, 2014 - Comments (14)
Category: Divorce, Marriage, 1930s

August 5, 2014

John Glenn’s Fireflies

Did pioneer astronaut John Glenn see aliens?

Not likely.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Aug 05, 2014 - Comments (4)
Category: Aliens, Space Travel, 1960s, Natural Wonders

Latin Valediction

Back in 1978, Lidia Mostovy was chosen to deliver the valedictory address at the 99th commencement of Frank H. Morrell High School, so she decided to give it in Latin. Her speech began: "Olim Alexander Magnus dixit: 'Meis parentibus vitam debeo, meis magistris, vitam bonam.'"

She explained that she "wanted to add dignity to the graduation exercises and... draw attention to the high school's Latin program. 'A lot of people ask why take Latin — you're not going to use it. So now I will.'"

Source: The Ukrainian Weekly - June 25, 1978 (page 11).

Since I took Latin throughout high school, and even participated in our high school's Latin play, I'm sympathetic to what she did. And I guess it probably wasn't any more or less boring than any other high school valediction, just because no one could understand it.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Aug 05, 2014 - Comments (12)
Category: Education, Languages, 1970s

August 4, 2014

Last Week in Weird (August 4, 2014)

Last Week in Weird
datelines (mostly) 7/25/2014--8/2/2014 (Part II)
[Links, chronological, on Extended page]
Copyright 2014 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

America's World-Class System-Gaming (cont'd): The Federal Highway Trust Fund was re-stocked last week to keep up scheduled maintenance on highways and bridges, but here’s how they did it: They voted to relax federal requirements on how much money employers have to keep in their employee pension plans. Thus, theoretically, companies make higher profit, companies pay higher taxes, more money comes into the Treasury--um, in the short term. Long term, not so much. (And Long Term Risk: If the company ever goes belly-up, the feds have to fund the whole pension.) [ed. (yawn) Hey, how 'bout them Kardashians!]

Paleontologists Abuzz: A Beverly Hills gallery auctioned off the longest-ever fossilized turd, 40" long, maybe 33m yrs old. Went for $10k. But wait, there’s more. Old School Paleos said it wasn’t what they said it was, and those paleos apparently know their caca. Go to the Link for the reasons why.

Detroit-area federal appeals judge Wade McCree was ruled judicially immune in a lawsuit for corruption. Oh, his conduct was “reprehensible,” his colleagues said, but he’s still immune.

From the Foreign Press: (1) After failing in an exorcism on a teenage girl, a Polish priest was taunted in a text message by (the apparently digitally-savvy) Satan: “She will not come out of this hell. She’s mine. You pathetic old preacher.” (2) In Yangzhou, China, guy ran into a cement mixer, totaled his car--and, because they couldn’t pull him out right away, concrete hardered around him and almost memorialized him.

Ironies: (1) Police in Scranton, Pa., as is customary in domestic-abuse cases with a reluctant victim, held her against her will as a “material witness” in the case against her boyfriend for holding her against her will. (2) NY state officials suspended the licenses of 40 professional tax preparers for . . . failure to file their own personal tax returns.

Well, Of Course: Even in Philadelphia, if you try to steal from a mosque’s prayer jars, you may get your hand righteously chopped off before you can get out the door.

Wait--This Is a Crime? An Albuquerque Comcast customer, informed that the “free” service call she thought she was getting was actually chargeable, held the repair man at gunpoint while she negotiated with customer service.

Can’t Possibly Be True: A trial judge in a loud 2012 NYC murder case temporarily filled his courtroom for jury selection with jury candidates, inadvertently squeezing out the defendant’s mother from the gallery for one day. Her son was convicted and sentenced to 15-to-life. New trial ordered last week by New York’s highest court--because his trial (or the first day of jury selection, anyway) wasn’t “public.” (2) How in the world do you set up a toilet cam in your workplace, have it discovered, and have your explanation win over the judge? In Tilgate, England, the worker proved his phobia of diarrhea and vomiting and that when he used the same restroom, he had to be sure no one had been sick right before. Hence, check the cam! Hence, not guilty!

UK Elf & Safety: a woman sued her local government council for £5k ($8,400) after her dog suffered a slipped disc chasing a cat through tall grass that the council should have paid to have mowed.

Compelling Explanations: When West, Tex., almost got leveled by fertilizer explosions in April 2013, four manufacturers or suppliers were eventually targeted for lawsuit. Two of those defendants recently offered their defense: Not our fault, really; fault lies with the poorly trained first responders.

The New Normal: Opportunists are supposedly booking sightseeing tours to Ukraine (2-hr and up) (£50 [$84] and up). Eastern Ukraine. Donetsk, Ukraine. (But I’m not so sure of this; it may be a Daily Mail special.)

Thanks to the NOTW Board of Editorial Advisors, and to Kev of Nothing to Do With Arbroath, and to Gerald Sacks.

More in extended >>

Posted By: Chuck - Mon Aug 04, 2014 - Comments (6)

Andrew “Bossy” Gillis, Two-Fisted Mayor of Newburyport

As intermittent mayor, he ran Newburyport, MA, from his gas station, and when out of office was not averse to punching the current mayor in the face.

There's a good summary of his antics here.

The kind of authentic politician so lacking today. The article from 1937 below gives some of his flavor.




Posted By: Paul - Mon Aug 04, 2014 - Comments (6)
Category: Politics, Curmudgeons and Contrarianism, 1920s, 1930s

Suicide Payoff

If you jump in front of a train, is it the train driver's fault if he doesn't stop in time to run you over? Maybe. Back in 1977, Milo Stephens tried to commit suicide in this way and later sued the New York City Transit Authority for running him over. The TA gave him a settlement payment of $650,000 rather than going to trial.

A Time magazine article (Jan 9, 1984) explains why the TA opted for the settlement rather than fighting it:

The new rules, known as comparative negligence, allow a jury to assess the percentage of fault on each side and apportion damages accordingly. This is what worried Richard Bernard, general counsel for the Transit Authority. Stephens' injuries, based on other recent jury awards, "would have justified a verdict of, say, $3.5 million," observes Bernard. If the jury then found that Stephens was only 75% responsible for the accident, the Transit Authority might have been liable for $875,000, plus the cost of going to trial, thus making a $650,000 settlement 'favorable from our point of view.'

Posted By: Alex - Mon Aug 04, 2014 - Comments (11)
Category: Lawsuits, Suicide, 1970s

August 3, 2014

Last Week in Weird (August 3, 2014)

Last Week in Weird
datelines (mostly) 7/25/2014--8/2/2014 (Part I)
[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.]

While You Were Busy Last Week Watching Cat Videos: A New York Times reporter chronicled in fascinating detail how France, Spain, Austria, and Switzerland (at least, but maybe other EU countries) (but not US and the UK) have been bankrolling worldwide Al Qaeda for yrs ($125m!) by back-channel-paying ransoms for their kidnaped citizens. “Rag-tag jihadists”? Try “astonishingly meticulous criminal gangs.” Abdul only got $1m for his bounty? That’s a Fail, and he’s out of the club because the going rate, according to the manual, is $4m-$8m. (Bonus: For those critical of Israel’s mega-assault on Hamas, hey, the “tunnels” that so worry Israel weren’t designed for commerce or munitions; they were to facilitate kidnaping of Israelis and holding them below for concessions--because Hamas knows that Israel is the world leader in not leaving its people behind.)

And, Now, The “News”:

Police in Ohio County, W.Va., stopped a middle-aged couple on a mid-day stroll--she in a purple nightgown, leading a leashed, hooded man on all fours with ankles bound. Relax, she (“B. J.” Geardello) said; it’s a turn-on for him.

Slow Americans: (1) The head of the Nomen Global Language center (ESL specialists) in Ogden, Utah, fired Tim Torkildson because Tim dared used the word “homophones” correctly. (2) It’s really simple in every state in America to legally change your name. So why is this investigator for the Ohio state auditor’s office still named Jim Longerbone?

Think Your Last Plane Flight Was Unpleasant? In May, it was a legitimate assistance dog who dropped a log in the aisle, and last week (though details are still not confirmed) it was on a Delta flight from Beijing to Detroit that a Chinese couple laid down some paper in the cabin for their granddaughter’s potty.

People With Too Much Money: Celestis (the company that periodically blasts rockets containing customers’ ashes into deep space) said they’re accepting ashes of departed pets ($995, or if it’s important to shoot them to the actual moon, $12,000).

Redneck Chronicles: See your ex-boyfriend with his new gal? That’s a pummeling, topped off by grabbing his “dip spit” cup and emptying it on his head.

The Challenge of Governing Alaska: Vote on a tax referendum, and you have to pay to translate the ballots into Yu’pik, Inupiak, Siberian Yupik, Koyukon Athabascan, and Gwich’in Athabascan. (“Una-qaa alerquun ciuniurumannilli?”) (Everybody knows that means, “Should this law be rejected?”)

Cultural Diversity: It should be clear by now to everyone that U.S. teenagers are generally less sophisticated than, say, uncontacted South American tribes. Evidence: A 15-yr-old in Lexington, Ky., just set himself on fire, challenged by a YouTube video. “What they don’t show” on the video is the 2nd and 3rd degree burns that result. What did you think would happen, kid? “I don’t know. I wasn’t thinking, really.”

Perspective: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has new regulations modestly cracking down on ivory imports to perhaps lamely slow down the ugly poaching of African elephants for their tusks (nearly 50,000 poaching deaths in the last 2 yrs). But the Nat’l Rifle Association is fighting it--because it fears interference with our God-given right to buy antique, pearl-handled handguns.

Unlucky Jerrod Christian was charged with theft and burglary for stealing from his neighbors--discovered when the tornado that hit Kingsport, Tenn., last week scattered the neighbors’ (former) possessions all over Jerrod’s yard.

Religious Messages: Pastor Scott Williams of the Christian Assemblies International of New South Wales state in Australia was ratted out by ex-members in an Australian Broadcasting Corp. investigation as claiming “the Lord’s authorization to sidestep biblical commands against homosexuality and [to] sexually train his male members into submission and obedience.”

And Another: EPA versus God, playing out in Alabama: EPA: Reduce your carbon emissions. Alabama: We’re a coal state. In fact, God is the one who put all the coal here. EPA: Ehh--. Alabama: No problem; we’ll just pray away the regulations, “Heavenly Father . . .”. (Bonus: The president of the Alabama Public Service Commission is Ms. Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh.)

Part II on Monday. Hasta . . ."

More in extended >>

Posted By: Chuck - Sun Aug 03, 2014 - Comments (19)

Page 8 of 9 pages ‹ First  < 6 7 8 9 > 

Get WU Posts by Email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

weird universe thumbnail
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.

Contact Us
Monthly Archives
May 2024 •  April 2024 •  March 2024 •  February 2024 •  January 2024

December 2023 •  November 2023 •  October 2023 •  September 2023 •  August 2023 •  July 2023 •  June 2023 •  May 2023 •  April 2023 •  March 2023 •  February 2023 •  January 2023

December 2022 •  November 2022 •  October 2022 •  September 2022 •  August 2022 •  July 2022 •  June 2022 •  May 2022 •  April 2022 •  March 2022 •  February 2022 •  January 2022

December 2021 •  November 2021 •  October 2021 •  September 2021 •  August 2021 •  July 2021 •  June 2021 •  May 2021 •  April 2021 •  March 2021 •  February 2021 •  January 2021

December 2020 •  November 2020 •  October 2020 •  September 2020 •  August 2020 •  July 2020 •  June 2020 •  May 2020 •  April 2020 •  March 2020 •  February 2020 •  January 2020

December 2019 •  November 2019 •  October 2019 •  September 2019 •  August 2019 •  July 2019 •  June 2019 •  May 2019 •  April 2019 •  March 2019 •  February 2019 •  January 2019

December 2018 •  November 2018 •  October 2018 •  September 2018 •  August 2018 •  July 2018 •  June 2018 •  May 2018 •  April 2018 •  March 2018 •  February 2018 •  January 2018

December 2017 •  November 2017 •  October 2017 •  September 2017 •  August 2017 •  July 2017 •  June 2017 •  May 2017 •  April 2017 •  March 2017 •  February 2017 •  January 2017

December 2016 •  November 2016 •  October 2016 •  September 2016 •  August 2016 •  July 2016 •  June 2016 •  May 2016 •  April 2016 •  March 2016 •  February 2016 •  January 2016

December 2015 •  November 2015 •  October 2015 •  September 2015 •  August 2015 •  July 2015 •  June 2015 •  May 2015 •  April 2015 •  March 2015 •  February 2015 •  January 2015

December 2014 •  November 2014 •  October 2014 •  September 2014 •  August 2014 •  July 2014 •  June 2014 •  May 2014 •  April 2014 •  March 2014 •  February 2014 •  January 2014

December 2013 •  November 2013 •  October 2013 •  September 2013 •  August 2013 •  July 2013 •  June 2013 •  May 2013 •  April 2013 •  March 2013 •  February 2013 •  January 2013

December 2012 •  November 2012 •  October 2012 •  September 2012 •  August 2012 •  July 2012 •  June 2012 •  May 2012 •  April 2012 •  March 2012 •  February 2012 •  January 2012

December 2011 •  November 2011 •  October 2011 •  September 2011 •  August 2011 •  July 2011 •  June 2011 •  May 2011 •  April 2011 •  March 2011 •  February 2011 •  January 2011

December 2010 •  November 2010 •  October 2010 •  September 2010 •  August 2010 •  July 2010 •  June 2010 •  May 2010 •  April 2010 •  March 2010 •  February 2010 •  January 2010

December 2009 •  November 2009 •  October 2009 •  September 2009 •  August 2009 •  July 2009 •  June 2009 •  May 2009 •  April 2009 •  March 2009 •  February 2009 •  January 2009

December 2008 •  November 2008 •  October 2008 •  September 2008 •  August 2008 •  July 2008 •