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Strange But True Category

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

Spank the Peacock: The Songbook of Zeghere van Male

Chansonnier of Zeghere van Male, Bruges 1542 (Cambrai, Bibliothèque municipale, ms. 126B fol. 76v)

The Songbook of Zeghere van Male, also known by its call number MS 125-128 in Cambrai’s Mediathèque Municipale, consists of four complementary part-books: Superius, Altus, Tenor, & Bass. The chansonnier became part of this public collection after the French Revolution, beforehand it was in the Bibliothèque de Saint-Sépulcre, also in Cambrai.

The MS contains 229 compositions, extremely varied, some of them present only in this source. The special aspect of this manuscript is its marriage of music, art and culture: drawings adorn each folio. Executed by quill and with lively colors the drawings describe realistic scenes of daily life, leisurely activities, and include animals and monstrous creatures, obscene depictions and vegetal decorations. With mixed elements inherited from the Middle-Ages, the Antiquity and the vogue of the grotesque, they are a testimony of the prevailing taste in Flemish civil society in the first half of the 16th century”

E like Enjoy

initial 'E' animated by Obarski Chansonnier of Zeghere van Male, Bruges 1542 (Cambrai, Bibliothèque municipale, ms. 126B fol. 76v)

Posted by Discarding Images on Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Text via here.

Posted: 19th, February 2020 | In: Strange But True, The Consumer | Comment


Sexology – a 1953 guide to spotting lesbians

Sexology - a 1953 guide to spotting lesbians

In October 1953, readers of Sexology were taught about the “three classes of lesbians”.

Spotter: Flashbak

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


How to blow a massive soap bubble

In the journal Physical Review Fluids we read the research and findings of physicists at Emory University. Their mission: to find the perfect way to blow a massive bubble. The University says that besides being a lot of fun, their findings “could potentially lead to improving processes such as the flow of oils through industrial pipes and the clearance of polluting foams in streams and rivers”. That’s how you get finding to blow bubbles.

“This study definitely puts the fun into fundamental science,” says Justin Burton, associate professor of physics at Emory University and senior author of the paper.

Fluid dynamics is one of the focuses of Burton’s lab. “The processes of fluid dynamics are visually beautiful and they are everywhere on our planet, from the formation and breakup of droplets and bubbles to the aerodynamics of airplanes and the deep-sea overturning of the world’s oceans,” he says…

“We basically started making bubbles and popping them, and recorded the speed and dynamics of that process. Focusing on a fluid at its most violent moments can tell you a lot about its underlying physics…

“The polymer strands become entangled, something like a hairball, forming longer strands that don’t want to break apart. In the right combination, a polymer allows a soap film to reach a ‘sweet spot’ that’s viscous but also stretchy — just not so stretchy that it rips apart…

“We did the physics to explain why and how polymers can make a fluid film stretch as far as 100 square meters without breaking.”

Bubble, eh. We’re mad for ’em:

Spotter: Emory University

Posted: 5th, February 2020 | In: Strange But True | Comment


Mind-blowing high resolution images of the sun’s surface

Surface of the sun

The above image is of the surface of the sun. Each cells is roughly the size of Texas. The National Science Foundation took the images and others with its Inouye Solar Telescope in Hawaii. the Foundation explains how it works:

To achieve the proposed science, this telescope required important new approaches to its construction and engineering. Built by NSF’s National Solar Observatory and managed by AURA, the Inouye Solar Telescope combines a 13-foot (4-meter) mirror — the world’s largest for a solar telescope — with unparalleled viewing conditions at the 10,000-foot Haleakala summit.

Focusing 13 kilowatts of solar power generates enormous amounts of heat — heat that must be contained or removed. A specialized cooling system provides crucial heat protection for the telescope and its optics. More than seven miles of piping distribute coolant throughout the observatory, partially chilled by ice created on site during the night.

Mind-blowing high resolution images of the sun’s surface

Spotter: moss & fog

Posted: 30th, January 2020 | In: Strange But True, Technology | Comment


The Entartete Kunst – when Nazis banned ‘degenerate’ art and music

Entartete Kunst

The Nazis were not ones for jazz and free expression. They damned all as entartete kunst (degenerate art). To let fellow Ubermensch know what wrong thinking looked like, the Nazis created a travelling exhibition called – predictably – Entartete Kunst. The show opened in Munich in 1937, displaying works deemed to be “an insult to German feeling”. How they flocked to be educated and disgusted by stuff purged from museums and stolen by the State for the common good. More than two million visitors attended the exhibition from July 19 to November 30, 1937, in Munich alone.

Part of the purge was listed in the 10 Rules for Combatting Jazz. The whole shebang of depravity formed a brochure, of which London’s V&A holds the only known copy of a complete inventory of Entartete Kunst.

The museum notes:

The list of more than 16,000 artworks was produced by the Reichsministerium für Volksaufklärung und Propaganda (Reich Ministry for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda) in 1942 or thereabouts. It seems that the inventory was compiled as a final record, after the sales and disposals of the confiscated art had been completed in the summer of 1941. The inventory’s two typescript volumes provide crucial information about the provenance, exhibition history and fate of each artwork.

The inventory consists of 482 pages (including blank pages and a missing page), split into two volumes. The entries are organised alphabetically by city, institution and artist’s name. Volume 1 covers the cities Aachen to Görlitz, while Volume 2 covers Göttingen to Zwickau.

It’s pretty much a guide to everything you should enjoy.

Spotter: Flashbak

Posted: 30th, January 2020 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians, Strange But True | Comment


Whodunnit? Ham sandwich posted through letterbox in Wisbech

On the Wisbech Discussion Forum news: who posted a ham sandwich through a man’s door? “Right I’m not happy!,” says Mr Brazil. “Whoever has put a ham sandwich in my letterbox, I suggest you come and retrieve it now before I go to the authorities. You have 10 mins…”

Two days on, nothing…

File under: spam.

Spotter: Facebook

Posted: 25th, January 2020 | In: Strange But True, The Consumer | Comment


Microblading gives woman felt tip-style eyebrows

microblafing

To Kalamazoo, Michigan, where Shannon Bozell has paid $350 for an eyebrow ‘improvement’ process called microblading. She alleges Anne Hicks, salon owner and microblading artist, didn’t do such a great job. Hicks says she a professional and offered to do extra work on them.

“I went from having zero eyebrows to having these monster eyebrows, and it’s hard to swallow,” says Bozell. “They’re big caterpillar eyebrows that don’t fit my face.”

Which begs the questions: whose face would they fit? And can they be hired out?

Spotter: CBS Austin

Posted: 22nd, January 2020 | In: News, Strange But True, The Consumer | Comment


FBI masterclass: how to spot a liar by their body language

Former FBI agent Joe Navarro says he can detect a person’s intentions and true nature by their “body language”. Navarro has a book out so you can take what he says with a little pinch of marketing salts. But the video above is interesting to hear how an agent looks for spies in our midst. The aim of any spy, of course, is to be forgettable.

The upshot seems to be that we like to wear masks and often lie to ourselves. Some thing you cannot hide, like holding a bunch of flowers a certain way – Joe says in Eastern Europe you hold them stems up. (I always hold them this way; it protests the petals and keeps them proud). The hard part is spotting if the other person is up to no good.

Posted: 21st, January 2020 | In: Strange But True, Technology | Comment


Brenda from Waddington solves global warming

Brenda from Waddington solves global warming

Brenda from Waddington, Lincolnshire is 89. She knows what caused global warming: space travel.

Spotter: @angrypiln

Posted: 19th, January 2020 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment


The incredible story of the Soviet hero who removed his own appendix

Leonid Rogozov operation appendix antartica

In 1961, Leonid Rogozov (14 March 1934 – 21 September 2000), was forced by extreme pain and the absence of another doctor for 1,000 miles to remove his own appendix. This diary entries set the scene.

“It seems that I have appendicitis. I am keeping quiet about it, even smiling. Why frighten my friends? Who could be of help? A polar explorer’s only encounter with medicine is likely to have been in a dentist’s chair…

“I did not sleep at all last night. It hurts like the devil! A snow storm whipping through my soul, wailing like 100 jackals…

“Still no obvious symptoms that perforation is imminent, but an oppressive feeling of foreboding hangs over me… This is it… I have to think through the only possible way out – to operate on myself… It’s almost impossible… but I can’t just fold my arms and give up…

“I’ve never felt so awful in my entire life. The building is shaking like a small toy in the storm. The guys have found out. They keep coming by to calm me down. And I’m upset with myself – I’ve spoiled everyone’s holiday. Tomorrow is May Day. And now everyone’s running around, preparing the autoclave. We have to sterilise the bedding, because we’re going to operate…

“I’m getting worse. I’ve told the guys. Now they’ll start taking everything we don’t need out of the room…

“My poor assistants! At the last minute I looked over at them. They stood there in their surgical whites, whiter than white themselves. I was scared too. But when I picked up the needle with the novocaine and gave myself the first injection, somehow I automatically switched into operating mode, and from that point on I didn’t notice anything else.

“The bleeding is quite heavy, but I take my time… Opening the peritoneum, I injured the blind gut and had to sew it up… I grow weaker and weaker, my head starts to spin. Every four to five minutes I rest for 20 – 25 seconds.

“Finally here it is, the cursed appendage! With horror I notice the dark stain at its base. That means just a day longer and it would have burst… My heart seized up and noticeably slowed, my hands felt like rubber. Well, I thought, it’s going to end badly and all that was left was removing the appendix.”

Read more on Flashbak.

Posted: 16th, January 2020 | In: Strange But True | Comment


Sex toy mishap at Bongo’s Bingo rips out woman’s eyelashes

eyelashes sex toy

Eyes down for news from Newcastle. The headline in the local Chronicle: “Woman’s eyelashes ripped out after sex toy hits her at Bongo’s Bingo in Newcastle.” Says Tegan Denham on twitter:

“You actually couldn’t write my life, tonight I went to Bongo’s Bingo and got hit in the face with a double ended dildo and it took a full lashes work of extensions off. What. The. Heck.”

One for the family album. Wye-eye!

Posted: 15th, January 2020 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment


Avian Arsonists: the three Australian birds that start fires to flush out prey

Bird experts have identified the three types of birds that start fires in Australia:

Black kites (Milvus migrans), whistling kites (Haliastur sphenurus) and brown falcons (Falco berigora) all regularly congregate near the edges of bushfires, taking advantage of an exodus of small lizards, mammals, birds and insects — but it appears that some may have learnt not only to use fire to their advantage, but also to control it.

“At or around an active fire front, birds — usually black kites, but sometimes brown falcons — will pick up a firebrand or a stick not much bigger than your finger and carry it away to an unburnt area of grass and drop it in there to start a new fire,” says Bob Gosford, an ornithologist with the Central Land Council in Alice Springs, in the Northern Territory, who led the documentation of witness accounts. “It’s not always successful, but sometimes it results in ignition.”

Spotter: @christopherjobs

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


A girl’s 1940s ledger of her Cat’s Whiskers

cat whiskers 1941

These pictures show us a handmade book by Janet Gnosspelius. The book contains her cats’ whiskers. Janet collected the whiskers she found in her home from 1940 to 1942. She then wove each and every whisker into the pages of her book and catalogued them, noting when, where and how they were found.

Janet Gnosspelius had artistic pedigree. Her mother was Barbara Collingwood, granddaughter of W.G. Collingwood, John Ruskin’s secretary. She was one of the first women to attend the Liverpool School of Architecture. Archivists say the meticulous nature Gnosspelius exhibited in creating her book remained throughout her life as she worked in “local history and building conservation, regularly posting samples of masonry to Liverpool City Planning Office, neatly labelled with their provenance and date, demanding their restoration.”

Gnosspelius continued her love of cats. At age 40 she wrote a diary. “The diary is no ordinary one,” says her archivists. “It is written from the perspective of her beloved ginger cat Butterball, recording the dates of his fights, illnesses, and stays with friends: ‘9 March 1965: wrapped my mouse in the mat outside kitchen door.’”

cat whiskers 1941
cat whiskers 1941

Spotter: Colossal, Flashbak, The Collingwood Archive of the Cardiff University Special Collections 

Posted: 7th, January 2020 | In: Books, Key Posts, Strange But True | Comment


‘#Babyintheoven’: pregnant Spanish influencer uses Holocaust to boost her celebrity

Simon Hunter shares news of the “pregnant Spanish influencer” who he claims captioned a photo of herself ‘doing’ the Berlin’s Holocaust Memorial with the hashtag #babyintheoven.

Hellen Tabalda seems to have amended her post and – irony of ironies – added the hashtag “#neverforget”.

View this post on Instagram

BERLÍN 🤩🙏 #neverforget

A post shared by Hell 🙋🏼Elena Tablada (@hellentablada) on

Lots more photos of people posing by the memorial to the millions who were tortured, raped and murdered here.

Posted: 3rd, January 2020 | In: Strange But True | Comment


Ghost boat with two human heads on board washes ashore on Sado Island

ghost ships north korea

A modern mystery: how did five human corpses and two severed human heads come to be on a boat shipwrecked on Japan’s Sado Island? The boat’s name has not be confirmed, but there are Korean letters on the side.

How long the boat had been at sea is hard to say, but the corpses are “partially skeletonised”.

Were the bodies eaten, perhaps, by a North Korean crew seeking refuge in Japan or South Korea?

The BBC speculates the the boat is a fishing vessel and the crew were forced by the country’s oppressive regime and a desperate need for food to fish too far from shore.

Boats are made from wood. They have no GPS technology. In November 2017, eight men were found alive on a boat at Yurihonjo marina, Japan. They claimed to be fishermen from North Korea who had gotten into trouble at sea. They are all sent back to North Korea.

In 2016, North Korea sold the fishing rights in some of its territorial waters to China. Japanese media reported in September 2019:

But with Chinese ships now operating along the coast, North Korean fishers are forced to risk venturing farther out, often in foreign waters.

Since September, Russia has apprehended more than 800 North Koreans fishing within its exclusive economic zone. A ship and motorboat seizure late that month turned up about 30,000 illegally caught squid, according to Russian media. In another incident, Russian border guards were injured as crew members of a detained vessel resisted arrest. South Korea has seen a surge since this summer in North Korean fishing operations near the Northern Limit Line, the disputed maritime boundary between the two Koreas. The number of illegal crossings swelled from 51 in all of 2018 to more than 400 so far this year, data from the South Korean military shows.

Can fishing trigger a war?


Posted: 28th, December 2019 | In: Strange But True | Comment


White academic says ‘geek’ should be a hate crime on par with racism

When you hear that an academic has said calling someone a “brainbox” or “geek” should be classed as a hate crime, do you think they’re anything but white? Dr Sonja Falck, of the University of East London, says: “Insulting slurs about age, disability, religion and gender identity remained in widespread use until relatively recently. Society at the time turned a blind eye to their impact by passing them off as harmless banter. It is only with the benefit of hindsight that we realise how wrong we were. The same can be said about anti-IQ words like nerd, brainbox, geek, egg-head, smart-arse and dweeb.”

Got that? Anti-semitic slurs – race hatred against the Jews; a grim story backed by hundreds of years of persecution (the Inquisition; pogroms; the Holocaust) – were “until recently” “harmless banter” on a par with calling someone “brainy”. Calling a black woman a n***** – a word constructed on enduring racist policies that sought to cast blacks as sub-humans, offering a State-endorsed acceptable excuse when they were raped, tortured and murdered by their colonisers and owners; the systematic horror of slavery that lasted for centuries; institutional racism in the police force – is on a par with calling the bloke who did well at maths a “geek”. Verbally abusing a disabled person – the ugly, murderous mistreatment of the disabled is a scar on humanity – is no worse than calling you a “dweeb”, or the “D-word”, as we should call it.

Dr Falck is billed as a “Harley Street psychotherapist”. Her new book is called Extreme Intelligence. It is “a study of discrimination against those with very high IQs”.

Do we now talk about what IQ tests are, if they’re worth a dime and how they impact on thoughts around eugenics and race?

The only way a comment on intelligence can ever be prejudicial is when people look at the demise of Jeremy Corbyn’s racist Labour Party and tell you those “clever Jews” were behind it. Anything else is idiotic.

Posted: 18th, December 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Strange But True | Comment


Nativity play angel gives everyone the finger for 20 minutes

“It was so funny because she didn’t realise what she was doing,” says the mother of the nativity play angel who for 20 minutes gave the crowd of parents, guardians , teachers and classmates the finger. Carla adds that Ella was trying to show mum her hangnail.

“It was pretty much for the majority of it she was there with her middle finger up,” says Carla. “Because I didn’t run over there she kept holding it up as if she was saying, ‘mum, look!’.

Mum did not respond to Ella’s finger by raising her own, either in solidarity or response. She did take a few photos. It being what Jesus would have wanted…

Posted: 18th, December 2019 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment


Wixing with Wix : Germany wanks for a better web

Wix, the cloud-based web development platform, went to Germany to talk about Wixing. In Germany, wixing means wanking. In times gone by, wixing lent habtual wankers a “a greenish tint around the eyes” (women) and acute shrinkage (men).

Posted: 17th, December 2019 | In: Strange But True | Comment


How to open a book – a vintage primer

William Matthews Bookseller instructs us ho to open a lovely book for the first time.

how to open a book

Spotter: Flashbak

Posted: 6th, December 2019 | In: Books, Strange But True, The Consumer | Comment


Senior quotes from a 1911 high school yearbook

Senior quotes from a 1911 high school yearbook

Here’s a lovely old selection of words and aspirations explaining how three students in 1911 saw their lives.

Spotter: Flashbak

Posted: 5th, December 2019 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment


Hero fought terrorist on London Bridge with huge Narwhal tusk

Narwhal tusk

Two people were murdered today in another attack on London. The killer was brought to a standstill and taken to the ground by passers-by on London Bridge.

Amy Coop was there. She tweets: “A guy who was with us at Fishmongers Hall took a 5’ narwhale [sic] tusk from the wall and went out to confront the attacker.”

Tour guide Stevie Hurst helped restrain the attacker. He spoke to BBC radio. “We saw a guy being accosted to the floor,” he said, adding that people were “screaming” the attacker had “stabbed a couple of women”.

“Everyone was just on top of him trying to bundle him to the ground,” he added.

“We saw that the knife was still in his hand… I just put a foot in to try and kick him in the head.We were trying to do as much as we could to try and dislodge the knife from his hand so he wouldn’t harm anyone else.

“The guys that were there were absolutely amazing. Heroes beyond belief.”

The suspect was shot dead by police.

Posted: 29th, November 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Strange But True | Comment


Photoshop nightmares: Cloned human beings spotted on Eurostar

Ian Martin has spotted something strange on the Eurostar.

The full render is more worrying. “Have you seen the fuller render,” asks @pistosophy. Here it is:

Eurostar photo
shop

Spotter: @IanMartin

Posted: 24th, November 2019 | In: Key Posts, Strange But True | Comment


The Shining In Gingerbread

Twin brother Aaron and Austin Keeling recreated scenes from The Shining with Gingerbread. They’re pretty tasty:

the shining in gingerbread
the shining in gingerbread
the shining in gingerbread
the shining in gingerbread
the shining gingerbread

Spotter: Flashbak

Posted: 21st, November 2019 | In: Film, Key Posts, Strange But True | Comment


Narwahl the dog has a tail on his head

tail max dog

Meet Narwahl, an 10-week-old abandoned puppy with a tail on the middle of his forehead. If he likes walking in the rain, Mac can wipe the water from his eyes as he goes.

Narwahl was abandoned in Missouri. Why? Your dog has a tail on his head! People have built Hollywood careers with less.

Posted: 14th, November 2019 | In: Key Posts, Strange But True | Comment


Listen to the site bellbird – the loudest bird in the world

Listen to the site bellbird - the loudest bird in the world

Listening to wildlife in the northern Amazon, scientists find that the white bellbird is the loudest bird in the world. It’s mating call reaches 125 decibels. 

Visitors to the mountains of the northern Amazon can get unusually close to the white bellbird. Ornithologists have long suspected this bird’s call is the loudest in the world, but a recent trek into the mountains and some careful measurements confirm that male white bellbirds do indeed have the loudest birdsong ever recorded.

Posted: 28th, October 2019 | In: Strange But True | Comment