Weird Universe Archive

October 2014

October 12, 2014

News of the Weird (October 12, 2014)

News of the Weird
Weirdnuz.M392, October 12, 2014
Copyright 2014 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Lead Story

Police in Japan's Kyoto Prefecture raided a shoe manufacturer in July and commandeered a list of about 1,500 purchasers of the company's signature "tosatsu”'s--shoes with built-in cameras. Investigators have begun visiting the purchasers at home to ask that they hand in the shoes (but, out of fairness, said they would not cause trouble for customers who could produce a legitimate reason for needing to take photographs and video by pointing their shoe at something). (The seller was charged with "aiding voyeurism" and fined the equivalent of about $4,500 under a nuisance-prevention law.) [United Press International, 9-23-2014]

The Entrepreneurial Spirit

Doris Carvalho of Tampa is raising venture capital to expand her hobby of crafting high-end handbags from groomed, recycled dog hair (two pounds’ worth for each bag). With investors, she could lower her costs, and the $1,000 price tag, since it now takes 50 hours’ labor to make the yarn for her haute couture accessory. [BayNews9.com (St. Petersburg), 9-9-2014]

Among the suggestions of the Brisbane, Australia, company Pets Eternal for honoring a deceased pet (made to a reporter in September): keeping a whisker or tooth or lock of hair or having the remains made into jewelry or mixed with ink to make a tattoo. Overlooked was a new project by the Houston, Tex., space-flight company Celestis, known for blasting human ashes into orbit (most famously those of “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry). Celestis, working with a California company, will soon offer to shoot pets’ remains into space and back ($995) or perhaps even to the moon ($12,000). [News.com.au (Sydney), 9-23-2014] [Associated Press via KRLD-TV (Dallas-Fort Worth), 7-30-2014]

The Continuing Crisis

Ontario's top court rejected Bryan Teskey's complaint in August over how Roman Catholics continue to be discriminated against by the laws of British royal succession. Even though Ontario (along with many Commonwealth countries) recently removed some aspects of bias (ending the ban on the royal family's marrying Catholics), Teskey pointed out that, still, Canadian Catholics do not have a fair shot at becoming King or Queen (although Teskey did not claim that he, personally, had been a candidate). [Canadian Press, 8-27-2014]

Names in the News: (1) One of the three suspects in an August arrest for making fraudulent purchases at a Jupiter, Fla., shop: Ms. Cherries Waffles Tennis, 19. (2) The president of the Alabama Public Service Commission (who invoked prayer in July as the most effective way to fight federal restrictions on coal-fired power plants): Ms. Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh. The investigator for the Ohio state auditor’s office who was ordered by his supervisor in July to end a romantic relationship with another government official: Jim Longerbone. [Palm Beach Post, 8-21-2014] [Al.com (Birmingham), 7-28-2014] [Columbus Dispatch, 7-30-2014]

Venezuela, already in a recession, suffered a particularly cruel blow (according to a September Associated Press dispatch from Caracas) with the recent shortage in availability of breast implants for its beauty-obsessed senoritas. Restrictive currency controls are limiting enhancement surgeries from the 85,000 performed last year and, according to a local joke, will force Venezuelan women to start developing their personalities. (However, according to leading surgeon Dr. Daniel Slobodianik, when potential patients are told their preferred size implant is back-ordered, many merely choose the next-largest available size.) [Associated Press via CTV News (Toronto), 9-15-2014]

But It’s About “Safety,” Not “Money”: On the same day in September, Washington, D.C., and New York City made traffic-camera announcements, with Washington declaring a revenue crisis and New York revealing that just one speed camera in Brooklyn had earned the city $77,550 in a single day. The District of Columbia had projected $93 million in annual camera income, but estimated it would collect only $26 million, and New York City, which has many fewer cameras, was marveling at the 1,551 tickets the Brooklyn camera zapped on July 7th. [Washington Post, 9-29-2014] [Theother Washington Post story that day]

American Scenes

(1) Staci Anne Spence, 42, was hauled to jail for assault in Sandpoint, Idaho, in September, but when the squad car arrived at the station, officers learned that during the ride, she had completely gnawed through the back seat--foam padding and seat cover. (2) A 38-year-old man was taken, unconscious, to St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, Minn., in August. He had been allegedly choking the mother of his (male) spouse, and when police were called, they tried a stun gun to no effect, at which point the man dramatically KO’d himself with an empty beer bottle. [KXLY-TV (Spokane, Wash.), 9-23-2014] [Post Bulletin (Rochester), 8-25-2014]

Doctors Just Want to Have Fun

An August West Virginia Board of Medicine report accused Martinsburg doctor Tressie Montene Duffy, age 44 and owner of a “weight and wellness” clinic, of over-prescribing drugs and repeatedly exposing herself to co-workers--including forcing one employee to “motor boat” Duffy’s surgically-enhanced breasts. [Charleston Daily Mail, 8-12-2014]

Perspective

Leonard Decides Whether You Can Be Nervous or Not: Leonard Embody was spotted in September marching up and down a sidewalk in front of Hillsboro High School in Nashville, Tenn., in military clothing and with a rifle on his back and a GoPro camcorder attached to his chest--just his latest street demonstration supporting Tennessee's "open carry" gun law. According to a WSMV-TV report, this episode made even some supporters edgy because of the school setting, but Embody failed to see the problem. "Other people may think I look terrifying," he acknowledged, but he doesn’t think he does, and if you disagree, he suggests psychology counseling. (Tennessee bans guns on school property, but a few inches away, on the sidewalk, Embody has decided that there is no problem.) [WSMV-TV, 9-19-2014]

Least Competent Criminals

Not Ready for Prime Time: (1) Police in West Valley City, Utah, searched for an exceptionally unintimidating man in August after reports that the man tried to rob a Subway sandwich shop and a Family Dollar. In each episode, an employee told the man to wait while the employee went to a back room, but then simply failed to return, leading the “robber,” eventually, to walk away empty-handed. (2) In Londonderry, Northern Ireland, in August, Kevin Clarence, 20, was arrested for an inept attempt to rob a supermarket. He entered the store, and only then, according to witnesses, put a plastic garbage bag over his head and decided to wait in line for his opportunity to address a cashier. He quickly got tired of waiting and said, "I'll be back," but was caught by police minutes after leaving the store. [KSTU-TV (Salt Lake City), 8-30-2014] [BBC News, 8-14-2014]

Update

In 1993, News of the Weird introduced readers to Kopi Luwak coffee--whose beans had first passed through the digestive tracts of Asian civet cats (to give them, supposedly, a certain tartness, as well as a certain hipster price tag). Canadian entrepreneur Blake Dinkin, 44, now believes his Black Ivory Coffee tastes even better because his pre-digested beans are recovered from elephant dung in Thailand--and less bitter, in that the pachyderms, unlike civets, are herbivores. Dung-farming labor in Thailand may be inexpensive, but it takes 33 pounds of Arabica beans to achieve the precise blend Dinkin demands, and he told NPR in August that he anticipated sales only to upscale resorts in the Middle East (and to one elephant-themed store in Comfort, Tex.). [NPR, 8-20-2014]

A News of the Weird Classic (October 2010)

Donald Denney and his father (also named Donald Denney) concocted a plan on the telephone for Dad to smuggle a ball of black-tar heroin into the son’s Colorado prison during visiting hours, to be passed by mouth via kiss from a female visitor. However, Dad failed to find a woman with a clean-enough rap sheet to be admitted as a visitor. Still enamored of the plan, however, the father decided to be carrier, himself, and inserted the “package” into his rectum for later transferral to his mouth (though the eventual messy kiss of the son would be awkward). Neither Denney realized, despite audio warnings, that all phone calls were monitored, and in September [2010], prison officials were waiting for the father, with a body-cavity search warrant, as he arrived. [TheSmokingGun.com, 9-21-10]

Thanks This Week to George Bayrd, Chuck Hamilton, Bruce Leiserowitz, Steve Dunn, and Sam Scrutchins, and to the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors.

Posted By: Chuck - Sun Oct 12, 2014 - Comments (5)
Category:

Dion McGregor



Full explanation here. In short, recordings of a man unconsciously narrating his dreams.

Full album below.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Oct 12, 2014 - Comments (3)
Category: Dreams and Nightmares, Eccentrics, 1960s

October 11, 2014

Noisy Falls

No one disputes that the scenic waterfall near the Italian town of Bellano is very loud when its running (see video below). Sometimes the water is diverted to power a hydroelectric plant. But an unusually wet summer has made the falls even louder than normal, causing tensions to flare in the town. Some residents complain they can't easily hear their TVs over the sound. So they've taken their complaints to a regional environmental protection agency, which has now fined the town €650 for noise pollution. [Telegraph]

Posted By: Alex - Sat Oct 11, 2014 - Comments (4)
Category: Government, Natural Wonders

Follies of the Madmen #231

Posted By: Paul - Sat Oct 11, 2014 - Comments (3)
Category: Anthropomorphism, Business, Advertising, Products, Education, 1970s

October 10, 2014

Mystery Balloons

In 1967, the U.S. Coast Guard found a crate containing seven inflated yellow balloons floating off the coast of Florida. The crate was marked "made in U.S.S.R." and was addressed to "The institute of mineral resources of Cuba."

Why were the Soviets shipping seven balloons to Cuba? Why were the balloons inflated? How did the crate end up floating in the ocean? As far as I know, these questions remain unanswered.


Chicago Tribune - June 30, 1967

Posted By: Alex - Fri Oct 10, 2014 - Comments (15)
Category: Unsolved Mysteries, 1960s

Johnson Smith Catalog Item #32

image

Can we believe that this is a genuine taxidermied fox head? Even if not, very cool accessory even for today's bikes. Anger vegans everywhere!

Posted By: Paul - Fri Oct 10, 2014 - Comments (12)
Category: Animals, Taxidermy, Bicycles and Other Human-powered Vehicles, Johnson Smith Catalog, 1950s

October 9, 2014

Who’s responsible?

Megan Campbell's parked car was hit by a van driven by a city worker, so now she wants the city to pay for the damages. Sounds reasonable. But Campbell was the city worker driving the van that hit her own car. The city is reviewing the incident. [twincities.com]

I'm pretty sure Chuck has posted about similar cases in the past. So perhaps this kind of thing is no longer weird?

Posted By: Alex - Thu Oct 09, 2014 - Comments (8)
Category: Lawsuits, Cars

Appreciating Our Parents



Insidious adult-slanted propaganda!

Posted By: Paul - Thu Oct 09, 2014 - Comments (10)
Category: Domestic, Family, PSA’s, 1950s

October 8, 2014

Remco Land-Mine

Toy land-mines have definitely gone out of fashion. Hakes Collectibles explains that the toy was "designed with a trip wire which you were to attach to tree or other stationary object and when wire was bumped, grenade would shoot in the air and cap would fire on base." Also, the toy was "similar to actual weapons used in the Vietnam war."

Posted By: Alex - Wed Oct 08, 2014 - Comments (11)
Category: Toys, 1960s, Weapons

The Edibility of Animal Spleens

image

Read the whole four pages here.

A tip of the hat to pal Brad V. for finding this one.

Posted By: Paul - Wed Oct 08, 2014 - Comments (4)
Category: Animals, Junk Food, Nineteenth Century

Page 6 of 8 pages ‹ First  < 4 5 6 7 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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