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.
- Bacteria Panic"Never play this game with the real victims of disease." Arizona Republic - May 3, 1991 Washington Post - May 7, 1991
- Follies of the Madmen #283"But, Betty, I can't fit the corpse into the upright model so easily!"
- Stealing Boosts Staff MoraleCompanies do all kinds of things to boost staff morale. They hire motivational speakers, have team-building exercises, give employees gifts, etc. But the industrial psychologist Lawrence Zeitlin, in an article published in June 1971 in Psychology Today ("A little larceny can do a lot for employee morale"), argued that the most effective way a business could boost morale was by allowing its employees to steal a little from the company. He argued that theft added to a sense of "job enrichment" by making the job more interesting. It gave employees a sense of satisfaction at getting away with it. Also, workers "often looked upon theft as a condition of employment." Furthermore, he noted, allowing the theft could be cheaper than installing elaborate security precautions. In her book Management and Ideology, business author Judith Merkle provides some background info on Zeitlin's article: Before its publication in Psychology Today the Harvard Business Review had previously turned down the article. It was, after all, a classic application of amoral Scientific Management techniques, and it offended the HBR down to its puritan roots. The interesting point is, however, that the control practices recommended in this article bear a close family resemblance to the working practices of Stalinism. Allowing theft, while keeping the rules against theft, certainly makes theft more thrilling, but it also opens up the way to arbitrary and discriminatory uses of power through the selective application of dead-letter rules. This is, of course, the first step in the destruction of the rule of law, and, in the long run, leads to the introduction of de facto totalitarianism. Sydney Morning Herald - May 30, 1971
- Jackety JackYour language lesson for the day.
- Motivational Bull CastrationContinuing the theme of odd ways coaches have motivated players (started with yesterday's post about the coach who bit the heads off live frogs) — In 1992, Mississippi State Coach Jackie Sherrill arranged for a bull to be castrated in front of his players before a game, as an "educational and motivational experience." Asked how it was motivational, Sherrill replied, "That's everybody's different perception." His team did win the game. The Tennessean - Sep 15, 1992 The Tennessean - Sep 18, 1992 Asbury Park Press - Sep 15, 1992
- Beer Can LauncherSend beer cans flying straight into some innocent bystander's head into space with a .22 shell? I'm sold!