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Weird, offbeat and bizarre news from around the world. Funny, strange & odd news stories that make you wince, laugh and fear for humanity.

Artist adds smiles to female prisoners and victims of Khmer Rouge genocide

Deeps fakes, fake news and now adding to the list of repurposed media (aka ‘your truth’) are happy victims of genocide and smiling female prisoners. Vice has apologized for its profile of artist Matt Loughrey. Vice failed to note why people in dire straits were apparently smiling for their portraits. (You can see the original photos of female prisoners here).

The Guardian reports:

Cambodia has condemned images published by Vice media group that featured victims of the Khmer Rouge genocide, colourised and with some apparently edited to add smiles to their faces.

The artist Matt Loughrey modified images taken at the notorious Tuol Sleng prison, where thousands of people were tortured and interrogated before they were sent on to the killing fields of Choeung Ek.

Detailed records were kept by jailers, who took black-and-white photographs of every prisoner. The images were profiled by Vice on Friday, in an article that has since been removed.

File under: before and laughter.

Spotter: BB

Posted: 17th, April 2021 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment


Rocky Horror Picture Show plays to empty house for 54 weeks

You can watch The Rocky Horror Picture Show every Saturday night at Clinton Street Theater in Portland, Oregon. But for the past 54 weeks, the cinema’s Covid-enforced closure has meant no-one besides staff has been there to see it Nathan Williams, host of the venue’s weekly Rocky Horror nights, has been hitting the ‘play’ on the VT. The Oregonian:

“I watched it alone. I watched it during the snowstorm,” said Williams, who serves as emcee for the theater’s “Rocky” nights. “I was in a position to keep a flame burning, to keep a torch lit.

“I’m just a guy holding a torch for the city of Portland, for all the weirdos, for all the people who don’t have a safe place to call home, we’re home […]

Since 1987, members of the Clinton Street Cabaret have acted out “Rocky” on a stage below the screen at the Clinton Street Theater, mimicking the film in what’s called a shadow cast.

“‘Rocky’ has always been a place for the weird, quiet kid and the loud extrovert and the person who’s just looking for something fun to do and the theater kids and LGBTQ kids,” said Loren Thompson, the current president of the cabaret. “It’s where all the misfits come to find family.”

The Clinton Street Theater has re-opened.

Posted: 12th, April 2021 | In: Film, News, Strange But True | Comment


The Brains Trust Bandits: Gun Assault criminals caught on CTV refused to wear Covid-19 masks

In America, such the bolshiness in refusing to wear a mask to stop the spread of off Covid-19, that one alleged criminal let his slip from his face. So here he is on CCTV, wearing his mark as a chinstrap. The other two being sought by police in Washington DC, didn’t even bother to go that far.

MPD seeks assistance in identifying suspects in an Assault with a Dangerous Weapon (Gun) & Assault on a Police Officer offense that occurred on 4/8/21 in the 5000 blk of Benning Rd, SE. Have info? Call (202) 727-9099/text 50411 Release: bit.ly/39W0fad

No-one said you had to be bright to be gun-toting criminal.

Posted: 9th, April 2021 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment


Nuns sell convent, ‘buy £60,000 Mercedes, some racehorses’ and escape to new chateau in south of France

nuns belgium sell covent

In 1990, 8 nuns of the Poor Sisters of Clara sold their convent in Flanders, Belgium, allegedly bought a £600,000 Mercedes car, some racehorses and disappeared to a new chateau in the south of France.

As @brennajessie_ notes: ‘I want to be clear that when I talk about inspirational women this is who I mean.’

Posted: 8th, April 2021 | In: Money, Strange But True | Comment


Musical Knives from the Renaissance

If you didn’t know the tune at a Renaissance dinner party sing-along, you could read the lyrics and music score etched on your fish knife. Maya Corry, of the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, says these musical knives (notation knives) offer “insight into that harmonious, audible aspect of family devotions”. That’s the kind of well-educated guess future generations with access to digital files won’t have to make when they eye a post-prandial karaoke machine. “The sharp, wide steel would have been ideal for cutting and serving meat,” writes Eliza Grace Martin at WQXR, “and the accentuated tip would have made for a perfect skewer.” Knives for cutting and stabbing..? Well, if you say so.

As Josh Jones notes, Kristen Kalber, curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum, says “diners in very grand feasts didn’t cut their own meat.” That right? No, “we are not entirely sure” what the knives were used for, she adds.

But we do know that each knife had a different piece of music on each side, and that a set of them together contained different harmony parts in order to turn a roomful of diners into a chorus. One set of blades had the grace on one side, with the inscription, “the blessing of the table. May the three-in-one bless that which we are about to eat.” The other side holds the benediction, to be sung after the dinner: “The saying of grace. We give thanks to you God for your generosity.”

Chopsticks wasn’t written until the late 19th Century, and spoons didn’t get going until the 1950s. But pass the tuning fork, and we’ll sing for our supper.

Spotter: Open CultureWQXR/@tedgioia

Posted: 6th, April 2021 | In: Music, Strange But True | Comment


Uri-Ka! 14 tugs boats witness spoon bender Geller using mind power to move Ever Given from Suez Canal trap

brain crime

We’ve yet to see the state of the cutlery aboard the Ever Given, but Israeli spoon bender Uri Geller says he played a part in moving the massive ship that was blocking the Suez Canal.

“Keep up the good work. Focus every day at 11:11 am and 11:11 pm send your energy to free the ship. Help the tug boats too,” Geller wrote on Twitter. And then it moved. Fourteen tug boats and crew were there to witness the happening.

“This was a mammoth task but with your mind-power and self belief we all together freed the ship!” said Geller to everyone who joined him in the Big Shunt. “Your sheer positive energy also helped the ground crew efforts well done to them too!”

Posted: 29th, March 2021 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment


Guns and weed in America: Adam Vannoy is coming to a town near you


“I can’t stop thinking about this,” says Shannon Watts of self-described firearms enthusiast, Adam Vannoy, 40. “Just days after the Boulder mass shooting, a Denver man was pulled over in Nebraska for driving 120 mph. He tells a trooper his neighbors don’t like him, he had a breakdown, quit his job, left the state in his car. This is where it gets weird…”

Vannoy, of Colorado, was arrested when he tried to buy a big gun at an Iowa gun store. He fancied a semi-automatic rifle. But he failed to get one because he told the shop worker he was surprised his mates didn’t suspect he was the Boulder mass shooter who earlier this month shot dead 10 people, including a police officer, at King Soopers market. The store called the police.

Got it? Now let’s rewind. Get this. A few days earlier, Nebraska State Patrol had stopped Vannoy as he drove at great speed (reportedly up to 120mph) on Interstate 80 in Lancaster County. In his truck, police found: a handgun, an AR-style semi-automatic rifle (loaded) with an illegal silencer, four more firearms, ammunition, a bulletproof blanket, a bulletproof vest, two brown wigs and an Air Force costume. Oh, they also found marijuana.

Off to jail he went. He posted the $5,000 bond. But before leaving jail, reports says he’d busied himself. He threatened to kill a guard, exposed his penis to guards and threw poo from his cell into a common area, according to a federal complaint. He told a trooper that he would use his time in jail to “think about getting even with people.” So they let him go.

And six days later, Vannoy is at the Sportsman’s Warehouse in Ankeny, Iowa, trying to buy more weapons. Agents arrested Vannoy on a new federal charge stemming from the Nebraska traffic stop – illegal possession of a firearm as an unlawful user of marijuana.

Because, you know, the weed…

Posted: 28th, March 2021 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment


‘Hefty Girls Wanted For Police Force’ – the Metropolitan Police seeks ‘fairly good looking’ female officers

Hefty police met

London’s Metropolitan Police Force was looking for “Hefty Girls”. “They Must Be Hefty.” They “must never marry or their career with end”. And they must be “fairly good looking”. They will answer to Sir Philip Game, the Met’s Chief Commissioner from 1935 until 1945. His vital statistics are not revealed.

Fair Game

Posted: 23rd, March 2021 | In: Key Posts, Strange But True | Comment


Posho birth announcement: Triptych Alabama Bliss is among us

In the Times Births column today, the announcement that Triptych Alabama Bliss is born to Olivia and Hugo Von Halle. Tripe / Trip is sister to Hieronymus (English: Jerome) and Dionysus.

Spotter: Harry Wallop

Posted: 2nd, March 2021 | In: Strange But True | Comment


Video: motorcyclist accidentally somersaults onto car roof at speed

The motorcyclist seems ok. That’s him sat on the roof of the car he’s just careened into. No sunroof open, so no crash landing on the car driver’s head.

Video: motorcyclist accidentally somersaults onto car roof at speed

Spotter: Jason Weisberger

Posted: 25th, February 2021 | In: Strange But True | Comment


Amber Says : Facebook scammer uninvited to potato salad BBQ

The message asked Amber Jacobs for $50 to fix a flat tyre. “Hello it is your neighbor with some car trouble can you assist me.” Amber replied: “What type of neighbor would I be if I didn’t help you.”

scams

Spotter: Amber Says

Posted: 25th, February 2021 | In: Money, Strange But True | Comment


Woman upsets bear using toilet in woods

poo bear toilet

Do bears shit in the woods? Yes, but only if the toilet is vacant. And even then they watch out because in Alaska one woman didn’t notice the cubicle was occupied.

She “jumped up and screamed” after she was “attacked by a bear while using the toilet” says the BBC, putting the kind of spin on the story that will further strain human-bear relations.

After hearing her scream, Ms Stevens’ brother went to see what had caused the injury, only to find a bear’s head in the hole of the toilet. Ms Stevens says the wound was caused by either a bite or a swipe from the animal’s claw. She was spending the weekend in a yurt with her brother Erik and his girlfriend when the incident occurred. Earlier in the evening they had cooked sausages on an open firepit.

“I got out there and sat down on the toilet and immediately something bit my butt as I sat down,” she say. “Right there at the level of the toilet seat was a cinnamon-coloured bear face.” Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologist Carl Koch told KTOO News that he thinks the animal was a black bear.

File under: Poo Bear

Posted: 20th, February 2021 | In: Strange But True | Comment


Nominative determinism: Mr Slaughter becomes new head of Western Australia’s largest beef processor

In Nominative Determinism News, Ted Slaughter has been appointed the new chief executive officer for Harvest Road Group – Western Australia’s largest beef processor.

Image: Interior of a cow for sale at flashbak prints.

Spotter: Farm Weekly

Posted: 19th, February 2021 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment


The Better Babies Bureau

Better Baby Bureau

The Better Baby Bureau was created by Woman’s Home Companion in 1913. Children were scored according to mental and physical criteria:

Organizers of Better Babies shows varied in their aims and purposes. Some wanted a simple beauty contest. Others sought to promote the new practice of pediatrics. For many it was part of a process of presenting science-based facts to reinforce notions of racial superiority.

“These initiatives relied on standards for normal child development, as well as input from healthcare professionals and public health officials,” notes the Eugenics Archive. “Better Babies Contests addressed this concern for child welfare and physical development, becoming the first eugenic competitions held at state fairs.”

Eugenics And Making The American Master Race One Better Baby At A Time

Posted: 16th, February 2021 | In: Strange But True | Comment


William Charles Flynn: Breeding the perfect child through eugenics – 1915

This photograph shows William Charles Flynn, a winner of perfect “eugenic baby” contests in the early 20th Century.

The Spokesman-Review, of Mar 27, 1915, reports that Flynn, 37 months old, had won 14 first prizes in baby eugenics shows. His mother and the mother of 17-months-old Alene Calvert Houck, a girl with 6 wins under her nappy ban, hoped their “perfect 100-point” children would later marry produce the perfect human.

The Eugenics Archive has more:

When one considers the strong contribution of agricultural breeding to the eugenics movement, it is not difficult to see why eugenicists used state fairs as a venue for popular education. A majority of Americans were still living in rural areas during the first several decades of the 20th century, and fairs were major cultural events. Farmers brought their products of selective breeding — fat pigs, speedy horses, and large pumpkins — to the fair to be judged. Why not judge “human stock” to select the most eugenically fit family?

This was exactly the concept behind Fitter Families for Future Firesides — known simply as Fitter Families Contests. The contests were founded by Mary T. Watts and Florence Brown Sherbon — two pioneers of the Baby Health Examination movement, which sprang from a “Better Baby” contest at the 1911 Iowa State Fair and spread to 40 states before World War I. The first Fitter Family Contest was held at the Kansas State Free Fair in 1920. With support from the American Eugenics Society’s Committee on Popular Education, the contests were held at numerous fairs throughout the United States during the 1920s.

At most contests, competitors submitted an “Abridged Record of Family Traits,” and a team of medical doctors performed psychological and physical exams on family members. Each family member was given an overall letter grade of eugenic health, and the family with the highest grade average was awarded a silver trophy. Trophies were typically awarded in three family categories: small (1 child), medium (2-4 children), and large (5 or more children).

All contestants with a B+ or better received bronze medals bearing the inscription, “Yea, I have a goodly heritage.” Childless couples were eligible for prizes in contests held in some states. As expected, the Fitter Families Contest mirrored the eugenics movement itself; winners were invariably White with western and northern European heritage.

Top Ten Unlikely and Surprising Eugenicists

Posted: 13th, February 2021 | In: Key Posts, Strange But True | Comment


Winner of the 2021 Underwater Photographer of the Year Contest

Escape the pandemic by stapping on an aqualung and diving into the oceans. its gorgeous down there. The winners of the Underwater Photographer of the Year 2021.

The winning entry was ‘Sharks’ Skylight’ by Renee Capozzola: “This image was taken in French Polynesia, which happens to be one of my very favorite places to photograph sharks.”

Lead image: by Oleg Gaponyuk.

Posted: 11th, February 2021 | In: Strange But True | Comment


‘Queen Bitch’ Margaret Marilyn DeAdder’s obituary is the best read of 2021

Great obituary

Margaret Marilyn DeAdder (1942-2021), of New Brunswick, Canada, loved coupons, bitchiness and menace on the roads. Her obituary is choice:

Margaret Marilyn DeAdder, professional clipper of coupons, baker of cookies, terror behind the wheel, champion of the underdog, ruthless card player, and self-described Queen Bitch, died on Tuesday, January 19, 2021. Marilyn, the oldest of four siblings, was born Marilyn Joyce in 1942, to parents Hannah and Edgar Joyce, in New Glasgow, NS. She grew up in a modest home, which still stands on the top of a hill where the Westville Rd. forks to the Town of Westville in one direction and the old drive-in in the other. Growing up with very little taught her how to turn a dime into a dollar, a skill at which she’d excel her whole life.

Marilyn loved all children who weren’t her own and loved her own children relative to how clean-shaven they were. She excelled at giving the finger, taking no sh!t and laughing at jokes, preferably in the shade of blue. She did not excel at suffering fools, hiding her disdain, and putting her car in reverse. A voracious reader, she loved true crime, romance novels and the odd political book. Trained as a hairdresser before she was married, she was always doing somebody’s hair in her kitchen, so much so her kitchen smelled of baking and perm solution. Marilyn had a busy life, but no matter what she was doing she always made time to run her kids’ lives as well. Her lifelong hobbies included painting, quilting, baking, gardening, hiking and arson. Marilyn loved tea and toast. The one thing she loved more than tea and toast was reheated tea and toast. She reheated tea by simply turning on the burner often forgetting about it. She burned many a teapot and caused smoke damage countless times, leaving her kids with the impression that fanning the smoke alarm was a step in brewing tea.

Marilyn liked to volunteer and give back to the community. She was a lifelong volunteer at the Capital Theatre in downtown Moncton, which her sons suspected was her way of seeing all the shows for free. For all of Marilyn’s success in life, her crowning achievement occurred in the mid-to-late eighties, when, left with mounting debt, no job, no car, and no driver’s license, she turned it all around to the point in the early nineties that she had paid down her house, paid cash for all her cars, and got her three boys through university.

Marilyn is survived by her three ungrateful sons Michael (Gail), Paul and David (Trudy), whose names she never got completely right, and whose jokes she didn’t completely understand. She loved them very much, even though at least one of them would ruin Christmas every year by coming home with facial hair, and never forgot that one disastrous Christmas in which all three sons showed up with beards. Everything she did, she did for her sons.

Marilyn is survived by her three granddaughters Meaghan (19), Bridget (16) and Madelyn (5). While her sons committed unspeakable crimes against humanity, her granddaughters could do no wrong. While her sons grew up on root vegetables and powdered milk (funneled directly into the bag to hide the fact that it was powdered, fooling nobody), her granddaughters were fed mountains of sugary snacks as far as the eye could see, including her world-famous cookies and cinnamon rolls. Her love for them was unmatched.

Marilyn is survived by her sisters, Melda and Linda, and her brother, Lloyd, who still owes her $600* (*inside family joke – sorry, Lloyd). Marilyn is also survived by an incredible number of close friends, who cannot be named for fear of missing somebody.

Marilyn, ever the penny-pincher, decided to leave this world on the day Moncton went into red-alert, her sons believe, to avoid paying for a funeral. But, on the other hand, she always said that she didn’t want a funeral, she wanted an Irish wake. She didn’t want everybody moping around, she wanted a party. Marilyn will get her celebration of life when COVID-19 is over. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you do something nice for somebody else unexpectedly, and without explanation. We love you, mom, a bushel and a peck. A bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck.

As seen on. the website of Cobb’s Funeral Home and Cremation Center.

Posted: 28th, January 2021 | In: Key Posts, News, Strange But True | Comment


Bad Car Ma: Car thief threatens to call police on victim whose child he also kidnapped

To Beaverton, Oregon, where a car thief is lecturing a mother on child care. Our hero accidentally kidnapped the woman’s child when he nicked her car. Insider has more:

He soon realized the 4-year-old was in the back seat and pulled back into the parking lot, returning the child to the mother — but not without scolding her, according to Beaverton police.

“He actually lectured the mother for leaving the child in the car and threatened to call the police on her,” a Beaverton police spokesman, Matt Henderson, told The Oregonian.

The thief ordered the mom to take the child before driving off in the car.

“Obviously, we’re thankful he brought the little one back and had the decency to do that,” Henderson said.

Spotter: BB

Posted: 20th, January 2021 | In: Strange But True | Comment


Why my baby sleeps wherever and whenever they want – a beyond parody parenting guide

As Jess Brammar (@jessbrammar) : “Just got the baby out of his cosy prison and ready for another day of baby-led parenting where we checks notes don’t put any clothes on him or feed him any solid food and let him fall asleep when he is self-aware enough to put himself down for a nap.”

Posted: 17th, January 2021 | In: Key Posts, Strange But True | Comment


Sarah Goodridge’s Beauty Revealed (1828) – a statesman’s naked keepsake

In 1828, American artist Sarah Goodridge (February 5, 1788 – December 28, 1853) gave a miniature portrait of her naked breast to US Statesman and would-be President (he tried and failed three times) Daniel Webster (January 18, 1782 – October 24, 1852).

As Flashbak writes, the miniature is painted in watercolours on a sliver of ivory. It’s wrapped in a blood-red leather case and closed with two clasps.

Sarah Goodridge’s Beauty Revealed

The author John Updike muses on the picture’s meaning in his 1993 essay The Revealed and the Concealed, verbalising the breasts’ message: “We are yours for the taking, in all our ivory loveliness, with our tenderly stippled nipples.”

An early sext, then?

Via: Flashbak. Sarah Goodridge’s Beauty Revealed is at The Met.

Posted: 17th, January 2021 | In: Politicians, Strange But True | Comment


Hacker demands ransom to release BDSM victim from Chastity Cage

“Your cock is mine now,” a hacker told one of their victims. But the BDSM enthusiast can get his penis back by paying a fee. Pay up and the hacker will disengage the lock on his chastity cage. Fail to pay and endure pain and humiliation. Given the nature of BDSM, the hacker might want to reconsider their target market.

The Internet of Things chastity cage is a sex toy that users put around their penis to prevent erections. It is used, it says here, by (proud and less proud) members of the BDSM community. The Internet of Things chastity cage can be locked and unlocked remotely. That’s all fine until a hacker gains control of the devices and asks ‘Robert’ for 0.02 Bitcoin to unlock it.

“Fortunately I didn’t have this locked on myself while this happened,” Robert tells Motherboard. “I wasn’t the owner of the cage anymore so I didn’t have full control over the cage at any given moment,” adds ‘RJ’, another victim.

“Grmmuph fddlumph riggketgflumpng,” adds another, speaking through a zipped hole in a leatherette mask. Like him, the hacker has yet to be unmasked. In the meanwhile, if you’re wary of the chastity cage and still want to prevent erections, try this:

Posted: 11th, January 2021 | In: Strange But True, Technology | Comment


Watch rare insects take off in super slow motion

Dr. Adrian Smith has recorded rare insects just as they take flight. Having attracted the bugs with a black light, plume moth, Smith captured their moves at 3,200 fps.

More from Dr Smith on YouTube.

Posted: 24th, December 2020 | In: Strange But True | Comment


Woman gives birth to triplets carried in two wombs

Humans can create triplets a few ways. There are: fraternal triplets, which come from a polyzygotic pregnancy of three eggs; triplets from a dizygotic pregnancy, where one zygote divides into two identical foetuses – the other does not; and identical triplets – three foetuses from one egg. And now this:

A mother has become the first in the UK to give birth to triplets carried in two separate wombs.

Melanie Bassett, 32, already a mother-of-two, was stunned when doctors discovered she was carrying identical babies in one womb, and another single foetus in the other.

Brooke and Isabelle, along with their younger triplet Beau, were born in January.

Two wombs. And, yes, the mother is a woman.

Spotter: Telegraph

Posted: 24th, December 2020 | In: Strange But True | Comment


Golfer Jack Nicklaus delighted his daughter marries a man called Todger

Todger Strunk Todger Nicklaus Christie Nicklaus

Hyumef golfer Jack Niclaus is delighter to tweet the wedding of his daughter christine to Todger Struknk.

For American readers and Todger’s parents, a Todger is British slang for a penis, a knob, a bellend. you get the idea. The other idea is that if Todger took Chrisine’s name, he’d be Todger Nicklaus.

Posted: 15th, December 2020 | In: Sports, Strange But True | Comment


China cabin crew advised to wear nappies on flights

Back doors to manual on China’s airlines. A guide issued by the country’s civil aviation authority tells Chinese cabin crew to wear nappies and avoid the lavatory for Covid-19 safety. A full nappy might ensure a softer landing and deter all but the most ardent perverts from seducing the cabin crew, but is it dignified to crap yourself at 30,000 feet whilst serving dinners?

In no way linked to the cabin stink, crew are also advised to wear medical protective masks and disposable rubber gloves.

Passengers are advised to bring their own food; to do as Bill Clinton did and not inhale the moving air; and in case of emergency exit by the rear.

Posted: 11th, December 2020 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment