The Weird Universe explores a human and natural cosmos that is not only stranger than we imagine, but stranger than we can imagine. The usual suspects are Paul Di Filippo; Alex Boese, curator of the Museum of Hoaxes; and Chuck Shepherd, purveyor of News of the Weird.
- The Art of Emanuele TagliettiWUvians will surely be interested in a great new art book showcasing the weird comics covers of Emanuele Taglietti.
- Beware of Killer UmbrellasAs people enjoy the beach this Fourth of July weekend, the Ocean City Beach Patrol would like to remind everyone to beware of killer umbrellas. About five years ago (on June 30, 2010), Lynn Stevens was sitting on the beach, minding her own business, when an umbrella came plummeting out of the sky and impaled her leg. Here's her account of the incident: "It was a very windy day and the umbrella was lifted straight up in the air. It came straight back down and went through my thigh. The pole went into my leg about four inches and it just missed my femoral artery. It didn’t tumble like you see them do so often. Instead, it went straight up and came straight down... It took four men to hold the umbrella steady in the wind to prevent it from doing more damage. They literally sawed off the pole right there on the beach and left about a 12-inch length of the pole sticking out of my leg. They took me to PRMC and the rest of it was taken out in the operating room. It was a little unnerving because the nurses and doctors looked a little astonished to see the umbrella pole sticking out of my leg because I figured they had probably seen everything." That's pretty terrifying. The worst part is that there's not much you can do to prevent randomly being attacked by an umbrella that falls silently from the sky, because it's other people's umbrellas (improperly set in the sand) that are going to get you. You're at the mercy of their stupidity. Image source: Nikos Patsiouris, Flickr.
- Exploding ChickensSpontaneously exploding chickens startle German farmer. Source: The Ogden Standard - Nov 17, 1950
- Paddle PopsMore proof that everything is upside-down in Australia, as good old Popsicles become Paddle Pops. Also, as in our previous entry on Gaytime Raspberry Roughs, I could easily imagine someone getting more than they bargained for when they requested a "paddle pop," especially if you went into a sketchy corner grocery store and asked for the flavor known as "dragon popper" and got some amyl nitrate instead.
- Debtor’s RevengeIn my latest about.com article, I explore the phenomenon of Debtor's Revenge — when debtors decide to get even by paying fines with pennies. Though it's not always pennies. Might be $1 bills, or some other form of deviousness intended to spite the debt collector. There were so many examples of this that I could easily have made the article 10x as long as it was. Also might have mentioned that, if I remember correctly, Chuck once declared this phenomenon "no longer weird."
- Laundry ShamingThis would be so great if it happened today. Can you imagine the ruckus on social media if some darling tyke came home with an accusatory advertisement pinned to its clothes? Original ad here.