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October 20, 2014

Breaking Bad Toys

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Toy'sR Us is going to carry Breaking Bad action figures and accessories which include bags of pretend crystal meth. I think the pretend crystal meth should be pop rocks!
Posted By: patty | Date: Mon Oct 20, 2014 | Comments (3)
Category: Cult Figures and Artifacts, Drugs, Products, Retailing, Can't Possibly Be True

Feces by mail

In the past, if you wanted to send someone a package full of a pile of feces, you had to collect the feces yourself, put them in a box, and take it to the post office. But now the internet can take care of all that messy work for you. The website shitexpress.com offers "a simple way to send a shit in a box around the world." Right now, it looks like you can only send horse manure. But options will surely expand as the service becomes more popular.
Posted By: Alex | Date: Mon Oct 20, 2014 | Comments (6)
Category: Excrement

Octagon Houses

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For a brief time in the USA, eight-sided houses were a thing. Based on the crackpot theories of one fellow.

The example above can be found in my native Rhode Island. I used to marvel at it all the time when I was younger.

Read the history here.

Order a book here.


Posted By: Paul | Date: Mon Oct 20, 2014 | Comments (10)
Category: Buildings and Other Structures, Eccentrics, Nineteenth Century

October 19, 2014

News of the Weird, August 19, 2014

News of the Weird
Weirdnuz.M393, October 19, 2014
Copyright 2014 by Chuck Shepherd. All rights reserved.

Lead Story

"Selfie fever" has begun to sully the sacred Islamic pilgrimages to Mecca, according to scholars who complained to Arab News in September. What for centuries has been a hallowed journey intended to renew the spirit of Islam (that all Muslims are called upon to experience at least once) has become, for some in the so-called “Facebook era,” more resembling trip to Disneyland, with visitors to the Sacred Mosque texting friends the “evidence” of their piety. (Another scholar complained in a New York Times opinion piece in October that Mecca is often experienced more as a packaged tour by marketers, centered around Mecca's upscale shopping malls rather than religious structures.) [Arab News, 9-30-2014; New York Times, 10-1-2014]

The New Normal

Just in time for California's new law requiring explicit consent for students’ sexual activities is the free iPhone/Google app, Good2Go, which the developer promises will simplify the consent process (and even document it). As described in a September Slate.com report, Good2Go requires the initiator to send the prospective partner to at least four smartphone screens, wait for a text message, provide phone numbers (unless he/she is a multiple-user with an “account”) and choose accurately one’s sobriety level--all before “the mood” evaporates (ending the app’s usefulness). It took the tech-savvy Slate writer four minutes to navigate the process--and she was still unclear which sexual activities had been consented to, since those specifics aren’t referenced. (Update: Good2Go was pulled from the market a week later.) [Slate.com, 9-29-2014] [Slate, 10-7-2014]

New York Giants tight end Larry Donnell manages his own "fantasy league" team by “drafting” NFL players for virtual competitions based on their real-life statistics of the previous weekend. Donnell lamented to New Jersey's The Record in October that he had benched virtual “Larry Donnell" on his fantasy team the week before because he thought his other tight end (“Vernon Davis”) would do better. In reality, real Donnell had a career-high game, with his three touchdowns leading the real Giants to a 45-14 victory. However, Donnell's fantasy team lost badly because virtual "Larry Donnell" (and his weekend statistical bonanza) was on Donnell’s bench. [WCBS-TV, 10-2-2014]

A Perfect World

In August Tampa Bay Times reported a dispute in Dunedin, Fla., between 12-year-old lemonade-stand operator T.J. Guerrero and the adult neighbor (Doug Wilkey) trying to close him down as an unlicensed entrepreneur, despite T.J.'s business plan for assisting his favorite animal shelter. Of course, T.J. was quickly inundated with donations, media praise, and more lemonade sales. Wilkey, however, is under investigation by the city after a tipster revealed that Wilkey himself might operate a home-based financial-services business not properly licensed. [Tampa Bay Times, 8-28-2014]

The Campaign Trail

"My Friends, I Am a Man of Action!": Roger Weber, running for a Minnesota House seat in November, is now being sued by a neighbor over a property-line dispute near Nashwauk, Minn. Rather than working with an arbitrator or mediator or letting the legal process run its course, Weber in 2013 took a chain saw and sliced completely in half the large, two-car garage that Weber says sat half on his property and half on the neighbor's. [St. Paul Pioneer Press, 9-22-2014]

Sensitive in Vermont

(1) Lianne and Brian Kowiak of Waterbury, Vt., complained to Ben & Jerry's in September that its new ice cream flavor, "Hazed & Confused," was "shock[ing]" and "upset[ting]" and should be changed immediately. Though most customers recognize the name only as a play on the 1993 cult movie "Dazed & Confused," the Kowiaks insist that they never be reminded that their 19-year-old son died in a college hazing incident. (2) In Winooski, Vt., in August, the local eatery Sneakers Bistro earned public advertising space by beautifying one of the city's flower beds, and managers used it for the quixotic ad, "Yield Sneakers Bacon." After one woman complained that the sign disrespected those who do not consume pork, Sneakers took it down. [WCAX-TV (Burlington), 9-22-2014] [WPTZ-TV (Plattsburgh, N.Y.), 8-25-2014]

The Foreign Press

Medical Marvels: (1) In October, workers at a clinic in Honda, Colombia, reported helping a 22-year-old woman who came in several days earlier with vegetation growing from her vagina. She said her mother had told her that inserting a potato (now sprouting) was effective contraception. (2) An 18-year-old woman was admitted to Bishkek Hospital in Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic, in September with severe stomach pains, which doctors discovered was due to her long-standing habit of chewing both discarded hair and her own. Doctors removed a hairball that weighed 8.8 lbs. (and a Yahoo News report had a photo). [United Press International, 10-2-2014] [Yahoo UK News, 9-29-2014]

The family of Kai Halvorsen of Lillestrom, Norway, planning a holiday in Thailand, feared that their bulldog, Igor, would be traumatized, having never been left alone. Halvorsen and a friend arranged with Labben Kennel to make a replica of the family living room to calm Igor’s anxiety. The two men painted walls the same shade of gray, brought in the family couch, built a replica coffee table, and moved in Igor’s bed, carpet, pillows, and blankets. (However, according to the friend, Igor spent most of the holiday cavorting outside with his new friend, Helga, the St. Bernard.) [United Press International, 9-8-2014]

Perspective

Prosecutors in Killeen, Tex., are seeking the death penalty for Marvin Guy, who in May shot one SWAT officer to death and wounded three as they conducted an unannounced (“no-knock”) drug raid on his home at 5:30 a.m.--leading Guy to believe hoodlums were breaking in and thus provoking him to grab his gun and start firing. (The tip given to police was bogus; no drugs were found.) However, in December, 90 miles away in another Texas county, a mistaken SWAT-raid victim, Henry Magee, also killed an officer under similar circumstances (except that Magee actually had some marijuana) but was cleared in the shooting by a grand jury’s acceptance of self-defense. Guy is black; Magee is white. [Killeen Daily Herald, 9-22-2014] [KBTX-TV (Bryan-College Station), 2-7-2014]

Creme de la Weird

Harmonic Convergence of Perversions: (1) Palm Beach County, Fla., sheriff’s deputies searching the home of child-pornography suspect Douglas Wescott, 55, stumbled upon about 50 dead cats stored in four freezers. Wescott’s computers were seized, but he seemed to protest more their removal of his 30 to 35 live cats. (2) In September, following a months-long trial in Canada’s Nunavut territory, defrocked Catholic priest Eric Dejaeger, 67, was found guilty of 31 counts of raping children and one of raping a sled dog. [South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 9-10-2014] [Agence France-Presse via Yahoo News, 9-12-2014]

Least Competent Criminals

Not Ready for Prime Time: (1) William Dixon, 21, was arrested in Brentwood, Tenn., in August fleeing a Best Buy store after arousing suspicion. According to the police report, Dixon, on foot, ran across all lanes of Interstate 65, but the chase ended when he collided with a tree. (2) In October, a man unnamed in news reports snatched a bottle of wine from the shelf of a Sainsbury’s supermarket in East Grinstead, England, and dashed for the door. However, he ran into a shelving unit and knocked himself unconscious. [BrentwoodHomePage.com, 8-21-2014] [East Grinstead Courier, 10-9-2014]

Walter Morrison, 20, a United Parcel Service baggage unloader at Phoenix’s Sky Harbor airport, apparently intended only to swipe random parcels but inadvertently came upon, in one package, a diamond (later found to be worth about $160,000). Police charging him in September said he took the diamond to his apartment, where he traded it to his roommate for a gram of marijuana (around $20, retail). [The Smoking Gun, 9-26-2014]

A News of the Weird Classic (Novemebr 2010)

Surreal Estate: Sixty-two percent of the 12 million people of Mumbai, India, live in slums, but the city is also home to Mukesh Ambani's 27-story private residence (60,000 square feet, 600 employees serving a family of five), reported to cost about $1 billion. According to an October [2010] New York Times dispatch, there are "four-story hanging gardens," "airborne swimming pools," and a room where "artificial weather" can be created. Ambani and his brother inherited their father's textile-exporting juggernaut but notoriously spend much of their time in intra-family feuding. A domestic-worker neighbor told the Times that she makes the equivalent of about $90 a month. [New York Times, 10-29-10]

Thanks This Week to Steven Lobejko and Ken Wilkens, and to the News of the Weird Board of Editorial Advisors.
Posted By: Chuck | Date: Sun Oct 19, 2014 | Comments (5)
Category:

Radish Animals

A new book going on sale soon in Japan teaches the art of making "radish animals." All you need is a pile of grated daikon radish. Then mold it into the shape of whatever animal strikes your fancy. And delight and amuse your guests. [via RocketNews24]





Posted By: Alex | Date: Sun Oct 19, 2014 | Comments (3)
Category: Animals, Art, Food

Hasbro’s Mr. Carrot Head



Is it just me, or was there more creativity in the old days, when you could use "any fruit or vegetable" with Mr. Potato Head, and arrange the features anyplace on the head, instead of in the pre-drilled slots?

I was also curious if "play doctor" sets were still made, and they certainly are, as you can see in the link below. Thank goodness children are still abetted in their, ahem, innocent early vocational explorations!

Posted By: Paul | Date: Sun Oct 19, 2014 | Comments (5)
Category: Medicine, Toys, 1950's

October 18, 2014

Frog Protection

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It is always embarrassing when a credit card is declined, but one would imagine even more so when you are the leader of the free world. Good thing Michelle had his back. I guess he ordered the frog legs.
Posted By: patty | Date: Sat Oct 18, 2014 | Comments (7)
Category: Retailing, Couples, Goofs and Screw-ups

The Mark Of The Beast

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NewDealDesign, a design house out of San Francisco, is behind an idea for implanted tattoos that carry information about the wearer that could be exchanged by touch. The Bible has long been quoted about the mark of the beast and the Anti Christ being from the Middle East, guess where the CEO of the company is from, just sayin'.
Posted By: patty | Date: Sat Oct 18, 2014 | Comments (15)
Category: Armageddon and Apocalypses, Evil, Gods, Religion, Rituals and Superstitions

Cat takes center stage

November 12, 1951: As British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden was delivering an address at a meeting of the General Assembly of the U.N. in Paris, urging calm in Europe, a black cat suddenly got up on the stage and strolled across it, without a care in the world. This prompted discussion in the media as to whether the cat was a sign of good or bad luck. It was finally agreed to be a sign of good luck since a black cat in France is apparently a good omen (which I didn't know).

I think most political speeches would be greatly improved if cats randomly wandered across the stage during them.




Iowa City Press-Citizen - Nov 12, 1951


The Kokomo Tribune - Nov 20, 1951
Posted By: Alex | Date: Sat Oct 18, 2014 | Comments (9)
Category: Politics, Cats, 1950's

Your Life Work:  The Librarian



"Are books your friends?"

I don't believe the information sciences are much like this anymore.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Sat Oct 18, 2014 | Comments (5)
Category: Education, Books, 1940's
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All original content in posts is Copyright © 2008 by the author of the post, either Alex Boese ("Alex"), Paul Di Filippo ("Paul"), or Chuck Shepherd ("Chuck"). All rights reserved. The banner illustration at the top of this page is Copyright © 2008 by Rick Altergott.