Weird Universe Archive

February 2015

February 11, 2015

Lionlike snorer sues wall-banger

Classic headline and story from The New York Times - Jan 21, 1964.

My favorite line: "Mr. Scheir's snores of gigantic proportions are an animalistic roar, lionlike, that vibrate the rooms. The very anticipation of their beginning at about 2:30 A.M. every day has shaken my client and his wife, deprived them of sleep, injured their health, and, in fact, constitute an assault upon their persons."

The case was subsequently resolved by the construction of a soundproof wall.

Posted By: Alex - Wed Feb 11, 2015 - Comments (9)
Category: Noises and Other Public Disturbances of the Peace, Lawsuits, 1960s

Cartoon Insect with Dog’s Head


1) Multiple limbs.

2) Insect antennae.

3) Called a "jitterBUG."

4) Dog's head.

One of these things does not belong.

Original image here.

Posted By: Paul - Wed Feb 11, 2015 - Comments (6)
Category: Anthropomorphism, Comics, Surrealism, 1940s, Fictional Monsters

February 10, 2015

The hen that laid an egg shaped like a light bulb

Rural electrification brought many benefits. But one of its stranger effects occurred on the Kentucky farm of Albert Clark in 1939. One of his hens stared and stared at the new light bulb hanging in the hen house, as if hypnotized by it. Then she laid an egg shaped like a light bulb. Clark sent the egg to the Rural Electrification Administration in D.C. as proof of what had occurred. This was big news in 1939.

Spokane Daily Chronicle - Jan 28, 1939

Harrisburg Sunday Courier - Feb 5, 1939

Posted By: Alex - Tue Feb 10, 2015 - Comments (9)
Category: Farming, Eggs, 1930s

Bookkeeping and You

More patented boredom for your snooze-inducement.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Feb 10, 2015 - Comments (2)
Category: Boredom, Teenagers, Documentaries, 1940s

February 9, 2015

Water Sommelier

"arno steguweit is europe's only water sommelier, and a certified wine sommelier in germany. after ten years in the hospitality business, including creating europe's first water menu, arno's role focuses on how best to taste and recognise quality within different waters."

You have to give Arno credit for creating his own job category. I wonder how much business he gets. Check out his website here. [via]

Posted By: Alex - Mon Feb 09, 2015 - Comments (12)
Category: Food, Jobs and Occupations

Can You Flick It? A Subbuteo Story

The thrilling, incomprehensible, unnerving history of tabletop soccer.

Home page of Subbuteo.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Feb 09, 2015 - Comments (5)
Category: Eccentrics, Games, 1940s, Europe

February 8, 2015

News of the Weird, February 8, 2015

News of the Weird
Weirdnuz.M409, February 8, 2015
Copyright 2015 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Lead Story

Good Ol’ Boy: A miles-long traffic jam on Interstate 20 near Tuscaloosa, Ala., on January 25th and on into the 26th was caused by a 18-wheeler that jackknifed and overturned when the 57-year-old driver took his hands off the wheel to pull out a tooth with his fingers. Efforts to haul the truck from the roadside required an hours-long detour of traffic off of the Interstate. (The driver’s mission was “successful”; he had the tooth in his pocket when rescued.) [, 1-30-2015]

Unclear on the Concept

Luis Moreno Jr., 26, was pursued by police in Fort Lee, N.J., after he entered the carpool lane approaching the George Washington Bridge in January because he appeared to be alone in his SUV. After ignoring several signals to pull over, he finally stopped and, when informed of his offense, told the officer, “I have two passengers in the back” and rolled down a window to show them (in the vehicle’s third row), apparently satisfying the officer. However, as Moreno pulled away, one passenger began screaming and banging on the back door. Moreno sped off with his hostages but was subsequently stopped again and charged with kidnaping and criminal restraint (but no HOV violation!). [New York Daily News, 1-25-2015]

Mike Montemayor, until recently a county commissioner in Laredo, Tex., pleaded guilty to bribery charges in June and had argued in January 2015 that he should get a light sentence because, after all, he had subsequently helped FBI agents in a sting against three other officials accused of bribery. However, the prosecutor immediately countered that Montemayor had in fact tried to steal the recording devices and Apple computer the FBI had furnished him to do the undercover work. (He got six years in prison and a $109,000 fine.) [Laredo Morning Times, 1-27-2015]

Compelling Explanations

Lame: (1) Briton Roberto Collins, 51, was sentenced to 13 months in jail by Manchester Crown Court in January after being caught standing on a ladies’ room toilet and peering into the next stall. He told police he stood only to better scratch an itch and was in the ladies’ room only because, wearing faulty glasses, he thought it was the men’s room. (2) Scotsman Dean Gilmartin, 25, actually persuaded a judge at Perth Sheriff Court in January of his “innocence”--that he might not have been masturbating at the front window of his home. He admitted he was nude (changing clothes) but pointed out that he plays musical instruments and was probably just picking out tunes on his ukelele (rather than “holding” his genitals and moving “side to side,” as a neighbor had charged). [Manchester Evening News, 1-26-2015] [STV (Glasgow), 1-13-2015]

Explanation for Child-Porn Possession Never Before Heard: Poet Les Merton, 70, denied in January that he had ever abused children but had a more difficult time explaining why a child-porn website had his credit card information. Merton holds the appointed title of “Cornish bard,” in Cornwall, England, and is the author of the Official Encyclopaedia of the Cornish Pasty--and explained in Truro Crown Court that he must have mindlessly entered his credit card information while researching the 19th-century Russian figure Rasputin. [BBC News, 1-15-2015]

What Researchers Do

“Entomologists are not like other people,” reported in January, revealing that two of them had “proudly” issued “birth” announcements for the “Human bot fly” whose larvae one had let gestate beneath his skin for two months. Scientist Piotr Naskrecki and photographer Gil Wizen had been inadvertently bitten while on assignment in Belize and decided the egg-laying “attack” on a human was an important opportunity for research. After all, Naskrecki said, he had never seen an adult bot fly “crawl out” of its host. [, 1-13-2015] [, 1-9-2015]

New World Order

Last year in Middle East school markets, the worldwide publishing giant HarperCollins was selling a popular atlas whose maps pretended there was no such country as Israel. The space that is Israel was merged into Jordan, Syria, and Gaza. The company said it was merely honoring “local preferences” of potential atlas purchasers, whom HarperCollins presumed were Arabs wishing that Israel did not exist. (In January 2015, the company finally changed course, publicly “regret[ted]” its decision, and recalled all existing stock.) [Washington Post, 1-2-2015]

Montanan John Abarr told the Great Falls Tribune in November that his Rocky Mountain Knights of the Ku Klux Klan opposes the “new world order” pushing a “one government” system on the planet--but also stands against discrimination based on race, religion, or sexual orientation. “White supremacy is the old Klan,” he said. “This is the new Klan” (except that, he said, robes and hoods will still be required, along with “secret rituals”). [Great Falls Tribune, 11-3-2014]

The New Normal: In January, “Mittens” the kitten and “Charcoal” the Chihuahua mix made news as hermaphrodites whose veterinarians had recommended which gender the since-adopted strays should retain. Mittens, of the town of Heart’s Desire, Newfoundland, was scheduled for “gender assignment” surgery to become solely male, and Charcoal, of Boise, Id., is recovering from mid-January surgery to leave her exclusively female. News reports did not disclose why “male” was chosen for Mittens, but the doctor said Charcoal’s pre-surgery problem, urination, would be less stressful as a female. [CBC News, 1-21-2015] [KIVI-TV (Nampa, Id.), 1-20-2015]

Fine Points of the Law

The Supreme Court of Canada turned down Joel Ifergan’s appeal in January, leaving his winning-number lottery ticket from 2008 worthless. He had bought two tickets seconds before the 9 p.m. deadline on May 23rd of that year, and the tickets had started to print on the store’s machine, but only the first one carried that day’s date. By the time the second one--with winning numbers worth $13.5 million--had gone through the lottery’s central computer system and back to the store’s printer, the program had already kicked over to the following day (and to the next week’s drawing, which of course wound up with different winning numbers). [Toronto Sun, 1-29-2015]

Undignified Deaths

(1) Police in Sevilla, Spain, reported in November that a 23-year-old medical student visiting from Poland accidentally fell to her death at the famous Puente de Triana bridge when she maneuvered herself into position on a ledge to take a “selfie.” It was the third “selfie” death on the Iberian peninsula in five months; in August a tourist couple (both also from Poland) fell to their deaths while posing for their photo at Cabo de Roca, Portugal. (2) In January, a tourist visiting the Spanish island of Ibiza with her boyfriend jumped up joyously as he proposed marriage to her, lost her balance, and fell 65 feet off a cliff to her death. [Daily Mail (London), 11-5-2014] [Daily Mail (London), 1-30-2015]

Recurring Themes

Ultra-Expensive Trysts: The ones reported previously in News of the Weird involved celebrities ultimately nailed for high-ticket child support payments based on a single encounter (e.g., tennis star Boris Becker, who admitted conceiving a child in a restaurant-closet rendezvous). British tourist Peter Cousins, 55, is now dealing with a medical bill of $250,000 after deciding that the middle of a Nevada desert was a good place to have sex--which provoked a heart attack, leading to emergency rescue and a five-day hospital stay (and, eventually, breakup with his then-girlfriend). [Daily Mail (London), 1-19-2015]

A News of the Weird Classic (July 2011)

Urban Legend Come to Life: Too-good-to-be-true stories have circulated for years about men who accidentally fell, posterior first, onto compressed-air nozzles and “self-inflated,” to resemble "dough boys," usually with fatal results. However, in May [2011] in Opotiki, New Zealand, trucker Steven McCormack found himself in similar circumstances, and had it not been for quick-thinking colleagues who pulled him away, he would have been killed--not as a “dough boy” but as the air, puncturing his anal cavity, began separating his body’s tissue from muscle. McCormack was hospitalized in severe pain, but the air gradually seeped from his body (according to a doctor, in the way air "usually" seeps from a body). [BBC News, 5-25-2011]

Thanks This Week to Gerald Sacks and Doug Brickett and to the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors.

Posted By: Chuck - Sun Feb 08, 2015 - Comments (2)

Oog Bongo Walsco Fringo

Crazy eyes!

Source: Radio Electronics magazine - April 1952

Posted By: Alex - Sun Feb 08, 2015 - Comments (4)
Category: Advertising, 1950s



Original ad here. (Page 2)

Posted By: Paul - Sun Feb 08, 2015 - Comments (6)
Category: Costumes and Masks, Fashion, Stupid Criminals, Marriage, 1950s

February 7, 2015

B.O. Gone—Romance Comes!

Source: Radio Mirror magazine, April 1934.

See here and here for other examples posted on WU of the ad industry's campaign to scare everyone into buying products to get rid of unwanted body odor.

Posted By: Alex - Sat Feb 07, 2015 - Comments (8)
Category: Hygiene, Baths, Showers and Other Cleansing Methods, Advertising, 1930s

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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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