Weird Universe Archive

July 2015

July 16, 2015

Pistol-Packin’ Mouse Trap


I am just going to go out on a limb and say that this is the best goddamn mousetrap ever invented!

Original article here.

Posted By: Paul - Thu Jul 16, 2015 - Comments (7)
Category: Animals, Death, Hygiene, Appliances, 1930s

July 15, 2015

Tests theory that he cannot die

Having recently got religion, and consequently filled with the fire of faith, young Albert Strate decided that "God would not let him die." So he took strychnine to test the theory. The coroner pronounced it suicide. Give Albert a Darwin Award.

Source: Lincoln Evening Journal - Apr 19, 1926

More in extended >>

Posted By: Alex - Wed Jul 15, 2015 - Comments (9)
Category: Death, 1920s

Way Out

Posted By: Paul - Wed Jul 15, 2015 - Comments (3)
Category: Technology, Computers, Surrealism

July 14, 2015

Displayed In Pairs

Someone in Portland, Oregon must have gotten a deal on a large quantity of orange and white dildos. They are turning up around town tied in pairs and thrown over the power lines. No reason has been given and no one has claimed responsibility yet.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jul 14, 2015 - Comments (8)
Category: Pranks and Revenge, Publicity Stunts

Exploding Beaches

Another danger you need to worry about if you go to the beach: random, unexplained beach explosions.

Kathleen Danise, 60, was sitting in a chair on Salty Brine Beach in New Jersey, minding her own business, when suddenly the sand beneath her erupted, throwing her, as if shot out of a cannon, 10 feet into the air. She landed on the rocks of a jetty. Luckily she didn't die, but she did suffer a concussion and fracture two ribs.

Investigators are, so far, at a loss to explain what caused the explosion. They can't find any man-made device that would have done it. Was it a freak build-up of methane gas in the sand? Who knows! But plenty of conspiracy theories are already circulating online.

Danise, meanwhile, has vowed she isn't returning to the beach until the cause of the blast is determined.

More info:,

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jul 14, 2015 - Comments (11)
Category: Explosives

Mystery Gadget 30


I've deliberately blotted out the product name here, so you can't google the device. After you register your guess, visit here for the answer

Posted By: Paul - Tue Jul 14, 2015 - Comments (14)
Category: Technology, 1920s

July 13, 2015

The Bible Diet

The spiritual nourishment was too rich for this boy's system.

Source: Florence Morning News - Jan 9, 1926.

More in extended >>

Posted By: Alex - Mon Jul 13, 2015 - Comments (6)
Category: Food, Religion, Books, 1920s

Pin-Up Girl Pistol Lighter


This product really has everything: women, guns and smoking.

Original ad here.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Jul 13, 2015 - Comments (6)
Category: Tobacco and Smoking, Sex Symbols, 1950s, Weapons

July 12, 2015

Vegans Have The Right To Contract SalmonellaToo!

People are getting salmonella from cuddling chickens because apparently that's a thing now. Just another Darwinesque way to thin the herd.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Jul 12, 2015 - Comments (9)
Category: Animals, Disease

News of the Weird (July 12, 2015)

News of the Weird
Weirdnuz.M431, July 12, 2015
Copyright 2015 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Lead Story

The enormous compensation large-corporation CEOs receive is justified in part by their bringing prosperity to their shareholders, but last year (an excellent one for most investors), two of the nation’s best-paid chief executives “earned” handsome raises despite presiding over losses: Philippe Dauman of Viacom Inc. (paid $44.3 million, stock lost 6.6 percent) and Jeffrey Immelt of General Electric (an 88 percent raise, to $37.3 million, stock lost 6.7 percent). CEO Steven Newman of Transocean earned only $14.2 million, according to a June Wall Street Journal report, but that was a 2.2 percent boost--for stewardship that resulted in one of 2014's biggest flops--Transocean’s 59.9 percent loss for its shareholders. [Wall Street Journal, 6-25-2015]

The Entrepreneurial Spirit

The Japanese, especially, report a decline of intimacy (for instance, a recent estimate found that about a quarter of 30-year-olds had never had sex with another person)--convenient for a Kyoto research institute’s announcement in June that it had developed a huggable, human-sized, featureless pillow (resembling “Casper The Friendly Ghost”), with skin-like texture, to serve as an embraceable intimacy substitute. For people with actual lovers, the “Hugvie” (retailing for the equivalent of $80) has a mouth slot for a cell phone to enable running sweet talk with a remote “companion.” [, 6-5-2015]

Redneck Marketing Challenges: (1) Scotty and Beverly Franklin of Springfield, Mo., are trying to tempt cowboys to actually wear leather boots retrofitted to be open-toed sandals. KHOU-TV (Houston, Tex.) reported that the Franklins would sandal-up your favorite pair for $75. (2) One of the more reviled consumer products of 2015 is a gun-shaped iPhone case, which so alarms police that it suddenly in early July became hard to find, even at the online Japan Trend Shop, which previously offered models from $5 to $49. Asked one officer, “Why would you want to make yourself look like a threat [to cops]?” [KHOU-TV (Houston, Tex.), 6-23-2015] [CNN Money, 7-1-2015]

Family Values

In a recent BBC documentary, the son of renowned cosmologist Stephen Hawking (Tim, now 36) revealed that his dad is “hugely competitive” and showed him “no compassion at all” when he was growing up. Tim said two of his few avenues of coping with such a famous, oblivious father were when he used to race around in his dad’s specialized (and expensive) wheelchair (pretending it was a go-kart) and, for those deliciously awkward moments, adding cuss words to his father’s synthesized speech software. [Mother Nature Network, 6-17-2015]

Latest Religious Messages

Jihadists governing ISIS’s Euphrates province recently outlawed the popular hobby of breeding pigeons and threatened violators with flogging and imprisonment. The ban was initially thought aimed at frustrating pigeon-messaging to the outside world, but the published prohibition mentions other justifications--the hobby’s frivolity (wasting time that could better be spent praying) and the special offense to God (because pigeons are “uncovered,” with exposed genitals). [Daily Mail, 6-2-2015]

God Is Love: (1) In a June YouTube video reported by various news sites, Tempe, Ariz., pastor Steven Anderson (Faithful Word Baptist Church) prayed for God to “rip out the heart” of Caitlyn Jenner, for whom Anderson expresses “a perfect hatred” for announcing she was no longer Bruce. (2) On his “700 Club” TV program in June, Pat Robertson patiently explained to a grieving mother why God could have allowed her 3-year-old son to die of illness--that God saw the big picture and knew, for instance, that the kid could have become a serial killer or contracted a hideous disease, and that she should be relieved that God took him early. [YouTube via RawStory, 6-10-2015] [Mediate, 6-9-2015]

Can’t Stop Myself

Esteban Rocha, 51, was arrested in June in Placerville, Calif., and charged with exposing himself to a woman--about 25 minutes after Rocha had left the Placerville Police Department, where he had dutifully gone to register his location as a sex offender so that police could keep track of him. [Sacramento Bee, 6-23-2015]

Leading Economic Indicators

Sweden has unemployment issues, like most countries, but, still, the Oliver & Eva sex shop was not prepared for the deluge when the nation’s Employment Service website posted its opening to hire a “sex toy tester.” Until the Service was forced to pull the announcement, applications were coming in at the rate of one every 20 seconds, with 14,000 e-mails greeting the employer the first morning. The sex shop emphasized that the tester must be “driven,” “methodical,” and “with patience” and a knowledge of Microsoft Excel. [The Local (Stockholm), 6-25-2015]

Recurring Themes

News of the Weird tracks the “armed and clumsy,” who can’t avoid shooting themselves accidentally, but then there are these guys: (1) Adam Hirtle, 30, of Colorado Springs checked into a hospital on June 10th after intentionally shooting himself in the foot with a .22-caliber handgun--twice, “curious” to see how it felt (with and without his boot, to compare pain levels). (2) Jeremiah Raber, 38, recently commenced a crowdfunding campaign for a kids’ sports version of his “Nutshellz” jockstrap--according to Raber the strongest such apparel in the world, made from breakthrough “Dyneema” (supposedly half the weight of Kevlar but twice as strong). Recently, using a “.22 long rifle,” Raber had business partner Matt Heck shoot him directly in the delicate area, but according to Raber, he felt just a “tap.” [Denver Post, 6-11-2015] [Riverfront Times (St. Louis), 5-11-2015]

Aerobatic Drivers

(1) A 79-year-old woman in Markgroeningen, Germany, hit a ditch coming down a hill and flipped through a wall into the second floor of a storage depot, resulting in only minor injuries (June). (2) A woman driving 100 mph on a freeway near Leicester, England, lost control of her car, which somehow wound up in a tree about 20 feet above the roadway. She and a passenger climbed down and walked away (May). (3) A car speeding over a ramp sailed off a road in Durban, South Africa, crashing back-end- first through the roof of a one-story home, resting with the front end pointing straight up. Neither driver nor resident was hurt (July). [NBC News, 6-1-2015] [Leicester Mercury, 5-26-2015] [ER24 via BBC News, 7-2-2015]

Least Competent Criminals

One Flaw in the Game Plan: Gary Elliott, 19, was arrested shortly after someone had ripped a hole in the ceiling of Al’s Army Navy store in Orlando and--expertly shimmying down a rope, then back up--made off with about 70 guns in a bag. (“It must be Spider-Man,” was proprietor Neal Crasnow’s first thought.) However, minutes after the burglary, Elliott came to a police officer’s attention on the street, bleeding, carrying the large bag--and pedaling away on his “getaway” vehicle, which was a genuine tricycle (yes--three wheels!). [Orlando Sentinel, 7-1-2015]

Also, Recently . . .

(1) While a custom fitting is being prepared, Alyeska Pipeline is “servicing” a leak in the trans-Alaska Pipeline by sending an employee twice a day in June to mop up the oil with rags. (2) A man was spotted and photographed on a riverbank in Nanyang, China, carefully (and oblivious to onlookers) bathing his inflatable doll. (3) In May, at the very moment police in Akron, Ohio, had begun (with a warrant) searching the home of Andrew Palmer, 46, for evidence of drug-dealing, a UPS driver appeared at the door to make a routine delivery--of four pounds of marijuana. [Alaska Dispatch News, 6-23-2015] [Shanghaiist, 5-14-2015] [, 5-16-2015]

A News of the Weird Classic (July 2010)

Fine Points of the Law: Things looked grim for Carlos Simon-Timmerman, arrested by U.S. border agents in Puerto Rico for bringing a child-sex video home from a holiday in Mexico. The star of "Little Lupe the Innocent" looked very young, and federal prosecutors in April [2010] called an "expert witness" pediatrician, who assured the jury, based on the girl's underdevelopment, that she was a minor. However, Simon-Timmerman's lawyer had located "Lupe" via her website, and she cheerfully agreed to fly in from her home in Spain with her passport and other documents to prove, at a dramatic point in the trial, that she was 19 (and “legal”) when the video was made. Simon-Timmerman was acquitted. [New York Post, 4-24-2010]

Thanks This Week to Josh Levin and Steve Sidell and to the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors.

Posted By: Chuck - Sun Jul 12, 2015 - Comments (4)

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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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