Weird Universe Archive

March 2017

March 7, 2017

Fred and Barney Meet the Thing

A mashup no one ever asked for.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Mar 07, 2017 - Comments (1)
Category: Ineptness, Crudity, Talentlessness, Kitsch, and Bad Art, Television, Comics, Cartoons, 1970s

March 6, 2017

Ears instead of eyes

People with ears where their eyes should be is a creepy recurring theme in print ads for radio and music.

98.0 FM Radio, 2009 - via Ads of the World

Steinhof Music Production, 2004 - via Joe La Pompe

7 Secrets of Creative Radio Advertising, 2013 - via Amazon

Posted By: Alex - Mon Mar 06, 2017 - Comments (2)
Category: Advertising

Mystery Gadget 44

This machine is packing something. What?

The answer is here.

And after the jump.

More in extended >>

Posted By: Paul - Mon Mar 06, 2017 - Comments (3)
Category: Technology, 1910s

7 Clicks (March 6, 2017)

7 Clicks
A Weird Universe News Service
March 6, 2017

Water $100 a bottle (but it's "perfect"--from a Norwegian fjord 800 mi from the North Pole) [Fox Business]

Russian proposal to deal with hooligan violence at 2018 World Cup: 20-hooligan teams, England v. Russia, fight it out in a stadium in front of ticket-buyers [The Guardian]

Toilet paper shortage in Beijing brings the paperless poor out to raid tourist restrooms [South China Morning Post]

This particular 5-yr-old McD's cheeseburger and fries continues on display in Omaha, Neb. [Omaha World-Herald]

Again: Perp avoiding parole officer caught (Provo, Utah) when his escape happened upon a SWAT training session. [Fox News]

Last week's "crushed to death by porn collection" story, in the original Chinese, had him only "fall onto" a porn stash after his heart attack. (The "crushed by" lede was a London Daily Mail touch.) [Gizmodo]

Worse Sex Life Than Yours: (1) tongue-kissed the fence, then humped it; (2) carrier at least didn't hoard the mail (but only humped the dog) [Austin America-Statesman] [St. Paul Pioneer Press]

Thanks to Jeremy Norcutt, Bob Stewart, Steven Lobejko, and Tom Barker.

Posted By: Chuck - Mon Mar 06, 2017 - Comments ()

March 5, 2017

News of the Weird (March 3, 2017)

News of the Weird
Weirdnuz.M517, March 6, 2017
Copyright 2017 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Lead Story

Suspicions Confirmed: Despite California's 2015 law aimed at improving the fairness of its red-light cameras, the city of Fremont (pop. 214,000, just north of San Jose) reported earning an additional $190,000 more each month last year by shortening the "yellow," by two-thirds of a second, at just two intersections. Tickets went up 445 percent at one and 883 percent at the other. (In November 2016, for "undisclosed reasons," the city raised the speed limit on the street slightly, "allowing" it to reinstate the old 0.7-second-longer yellow light.) [KPIX-TV (San Francisco), 2-3-2017;, 2-8-2017]

Updates of Previous Characters--and Some Recurring Themes:

Tammy Felbaum surfaced on News of the Weird in 2001 when she, originally Mr. Tommy Wyda, consensually castrated James Felbaum (her sixth husband), but he died of complications, resulting in Tammy's manslaughter conviction. (Among the trial witnesses: a previous spouse, who had also let "expert" Tammy castrate him: “She could castrate a dog in less than five minutes.”) Felbaum, now 58, was arrested in February at the Westmoreland County (Pa.) Courthouse after mouthing off at security guards searching her purse. She quipped sarcastically, "I have guns and an Uzi [and] a rocket launcher. I am going to shoot a judge today." (She was in court on a dispute over installation of a sewer line to her trailer home.) [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 2-7-2017]

Marissa Alexander of Jacksonville, Fla., convicted and given a 20-year sentence in 2012 for firing a warning shot into a wall to fend off her domestic-abusing estranged husband, finally had the charges dropped in February. The persnickety trial judge had earlier determined that Florida's notorious "Stand Your Ground" law did not apply, even though the husband admitted that he was threatening to rough Alexander up and that she never aimed the gun at him. (With that defense not allowed, Alexander was doomed under Florida's similarly notorious 20-year mandatory sentence for aggravated assault using a gun.) [New York Times, 2-8-2017]

In 2008, Vince Li, a passenger on a Greyhound bus in Canada, stabbed another passenger, then beheaded him and started to eat him, and in 2009 was "convicted"--but "not criminally responsible" because of schizophrenia. He has been institutionalized and under treatment since then, and in February, doctors signed off on an "absolute" release back into society for Li (now known as Will Baker)--declining a "conditional" release, which would have required continued monitoring. Manitoba province law requires absolute discharge if doctors conclude, on the "weight of the evidence," that the patient is no longer a "significant" safety threat. [Canadian Broadcasting Corp. News, 2-10-2017]

Doris Payne, 86, was arrested once again for shoplifting--this time at an upscale mall in an Atlanta suburb in December--but according to a 2013 documentary, she careerwise has stolen more than $2 million in jewelry from high-end shops around the world. No regrets, she said on the film, except "I regret getting caught." Said a California lawyer, "Aside from her 'activities,' she is a wonderful person with a lot of fun stories." [WXIA-TV (Atlanta), 12-14-2016]

When disaster strikes, well-meaning people are beseeched to help, but relief workers seem always bogged down with wholly inappropriate donations (which take additional time and money to sort and store and discard). (Instead, all such charities recommend "cash.") A January report by Australia's principal relief organization praised Aussies' generosity in spite of recent contributions of high heels, handbags, chain saws, sports gear, wool clothing, and canned goods--much of which will eventually go to landfill. (Workers in Rwanda reported receiving prom gowns, wigs, tiger costumes, pumpkins, and frostbite cream.) [Australian Broadcasting Corp. News, 1-15-2017]

Least Competent Criminals: (1) Alvin Neal, 56, is merely the most recent bank robber to begin the robbery sequence (at a Wells Fargo branch in San Diego) after identifying himself to a teller (by swiping his ATM card through a machine at the counter). He was sentenced In January. (2) Also failing to think through their crime were the group of men who decided to snatch $1,200 from the Eastside Grillz tooth-jewelry shop in St. Paul, Minn., in February. They fled despite two of them having already provided ID and one having left a mold of his teeth. [Los Angeles Times, 1-4-2017] [St. Paul Pioneer Press, 2-16-2017]

No Longer Weird: (1) Matthew Mobley, 41, was arrested in Alexandria, La., in February (number 77 on his rap sheet)--after getting stuck in the chimney of a business he was breaking into. (2) Former postal worker Gary Collins, 53, of Forest City, N.C., pleaded guilty in February to having hoarded deliverable U.S. Mail as far back as 2000. (He is far from the worst mail hoarder, by volume, that News of the Weird has mentioned.) [KALB-TV (Alexandria, La.), 2-3-2017] [Gaston Gazette via Burlington Times-News, 2-23-2017]

Luckiest (Bewildered) Animals: (1) In December, a 400-lb. black bear at the Palm Beach, Fla., zoo ("Clark") got a root canal from dentist Jan Bellows, to fix a painful fractured tooth. (2) In January, a pet ferret ("Zelda") in Olathe, Kan., received a pacemaker from Kansas State University doctors, who said Zelda should thus be able to live the ferret's normal life span. (3) In January, an overly prolific male African tortoise ("Bert"), of Norwich, England, who had developed arthritis from excessive "mounting," was fitted with wheels on the back of his shell to ease stress on his legs. [WPTV (West Palm Beach, 12-16-2016] [Associated Press via Kansas City Star, 1-31-2017] [BBC News, 1-13-2017]

More People Who Might Consider Relocating: (1) In January, another vehicle flew off a Parkway West exit ramp in Pittsburgh, Pa., plowing into (the eighth crash in nine years) the Snyder Brothers Automotive parking lot. (2) Leonard Miller, 88, once again (the fifth time) picked up the pieces in January from his Lanham, Md., home after a speeding car smashed into it. [KDKA-TV (Pittsburgh), 1-27-2017] [WTTG-TV (Washington, D.C.), 2-1-2017]

"I grew up fishing with my dad," Alabaman Bart Lindsey told a reporter, which might thus explain why Lindsey likes to sit in a boat in a lake on a lazy afternoon. More challenging is why (and how) he became so good at the phenomenon that turned up in News of the Weird first in 2006: "fantasy fishing" (handing in a perfect card picking the top eight competitors in the Fishing League Worldwide Tour event in February on Lake Guntersville. "It can be tricky," he said. "I've done a lot of research." [Tuscaloosa News, 2-10-2017]

Each December reviews public records of the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission to compile a list of items that caused emergency-room visits when they somehow got stuck inside people. Highlights from 2016: In the Nose (raisin, plastic snake, magnets in each nostril). Throat (pill bottle, bottle cap, hoop earring). Penis (sandal buckle, doll shoe, marble). Vagina (USB adapter, "small painting kit," heel of a shoe). Rectum (flashlight, shot glass, egg timer, hammer, baseball, ice pick "to push hemorrhoids back in"). [Deadspin, 12-25-2016]

Armed and Clumsy (All-New!)

Men ("Women" rarely appear here) Who Accidentally Shot Themselves Recently: Hunter Richardson, 19, Orange, Mass., December (testing an iced-over lake with the butt end of his muzzle-loader). Three unnamed boys (ages 15, 15, and 16), Williamson County, Ill., January (shot themselves with the same shotgun while "preparing" to go hunting). Suspected convenience store robber, Cleveland, Ohio, July (the old waistband-for-a-holster mishap, shot to the "groin"). James Short, 72, New Carlisle, Ohio, September (reached for his ringing phone in his dentist's waiting room but instead yanked out his gun). Andrew Abellanosa, 30, Anchorage, Alaska (shot himself in the leg in a bar, twice in the same sequence). A 50-year-old man, Oshawa, Ontario, February (making a Valentine's necklace out of a bullet by pulling it apart with vice grips).
Orange: [Associated Press via Worcester Telegram, 1-27-2017]
Williamson: [Herrin Independent (Carterville, Ill.), 1-5-2017] (not online)
Cleveland: [WKYC-TV (Cleveland), 7-4-2016]
New Carlisle: [Springfield News Sun (Springfield, Ohio), 9-2-2017]
Anchorage: [Alaska Dispatch News, 11-7-206]
Oshawa: [Global News (Toronto), 2-15-2017]

Thanks This Week to Jonathan Lake, William Carter, Michael Brozyna, Steve Passen, Russell Bell, Mark Lillicrap, and Pete Randall, and to the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors.

Posted By: Chuck - Sun Mar 05, 2017 - Comments (1)

Gas-Proof Pram

In January 1939, these two photos appeared in numerous newspapers, accompanied by the following caption:

Necessity being the mother of invention, a resident of Hextable, England, recently perfected this baby airing outfit with an eye to the future. The air-tight and gas-proof lid fits over the pram, has an air intake, a window and a filter to insure gas free air. A rubber bulb at the rear of the perambulator keeps the air in circulation. For mother, there's a nice gas-mask.

An example of the strange effort to try to normalize life despite the threat of war. Also evident in such things as the air-raid fashions.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Mar 05, 2017 - Comments ()
Category: Inventions, 1930s

Gustav Metzger, RIP

Farewell to Gustav Metzger and his "auto-destructive art."

Here is the famous "painting" with acid.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Mar 05, 2017 - Comments (1)
Category: Art, Avant Garde, Twentieth Century

March 4, 2017

DDT Wallpaper

Trimz debuted their children's room DDT-impregnated wallpaper in 1946. It was available in two patterns: "Jack and Jill" or "Disney Favorites."

It was certified to be absolutely safe "because the DDT is fixed to the paper. It can't rub off!" But since you're not going to find any similar product sold nowadays, I'm guessing that it actually did rub off.

Popular Mechanics - May 1946

via Envisioning the American Dream

Posted By: Alex - Sat Mar 04, 2017 - Comments (5)
Category: Insects and Spiders, 1940s

Electric Hairdo

Original article here.

Posted By: Paul - Sat Mar 04, 2017 - Comments ()
Category: Hair Styling, 1960s

March 3, 2017

Blinky the Friendly Hen

April 27, 1978: Artist Jeffrey Vallance bought a frozen chicken (a Foster Farms fryer) at a supermarket and then buried it at the Los Angeles Pet Cemetery, following a brief memorial service. He also installed a grave marker for the frozen bird, naming it "Blinky the Friendly Hen." He came to think of Blinky's grave as being like the grave of the Unknown Chicken, representing "all the millions of chickens who are slaughtered and sold as food."

According to, "Ten years later, he would have the body exhumed so an autopsy could be performed by UCLA's head of pathology. The tenth anniversary exhibit on the life of Blinky, at the Rosamund Felsen Gallery in Los Angeles, featured a 'shroud of Blinky,' and a recreation of the cemetery's viewing room, with a rubber chicken lying in state. Blinky was later reburied at the cemetery."

It seems that there were also an event to mark the 30th anniversary of Blinky's funeral. The 40th anniversary is coming up next year, so perhaps there'll be another event in Blinky's honor.

Vallance also wrote a book commemmorating Blinky.

More info: Black Acrylic blog

Bridgewater Courier-News - Nov 3, 1983

Posted By: Alex - Fri Mar 03, 2017 - Comments (2)
Category: Animals, Art, Death, 1970s

Page 7 of 8 pages ‹ First  < 5 6 7 8 > 

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
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 •