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)
Category:

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.

image

image

image
image

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)
Category:

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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.

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