Judging Judy




According to the NY Times, Judge Judy's annual salary is "$26 million more than the combined annual salaries of all nine United States Supreme Court justices."

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/31/arts/dance/31john.html?ref=arts

handy skirt!


Aya Tsukioka has started a Japanese clothing line aimed at those who fear crime. Featured above is a skirt which folds out to disguise the wearer as a vending machine. Also featured is a purse resembling a manhole cover and a backpack that can disguise a child as a fire-hydrant. Aya admits, " These ideas might strike foreigners as far-fetched, but in Japan, they can become reality.” She has already sold 20 skirts at $800 apiece.

costly split


Madame Tussauds is a series of international celebrity waxwork museums which paid £10,000 to separate their wax models of Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston. Even more ironic, Brad and Jennifer were the first human waxworks they had ever joined together.

Wow!


Paul Smith (1921-2007) had severe cerebral palsy but created fantastic pieces of art on his typewriter. For each key, he had to use his left hand to steady his right hand. Using only the symbols:
@ # $ % ^ & * ( ) _
he created hundreds of pieces of art, often giving them away. The pictures above, like all of his art, was created entirely by him on his typewriter.
To learn more about Paul, visit http://www.paulsmithfoundation.org/index.html
To see more of his amazing artwork, see http://www.paulsmithfoundation.org/main_gallery.html

Blobfish


Behold, the blobfish that lives off Australia and Tasmania. To remain buoyant in the deep ocean, it mainly is a "gelatinous mass." Because it is slightly less dense than water, the fish floats above the sea floor and eat what floats by.
To see more interesting animals, check out http://www.alistoflists.com/animals/10-weird-as-hell-animals#comments

free trade?


In a "conceptual art" project, Kristian von Hornsleth offered to give Ugandan villagers free goats, sheep and pigs if they adopted his name. His exibition in Copenhagen, "We Want to Help You, but We Want to Own You," has pictures of 108 villagers holding ID cards with his name. Before the project was stopped in October 2006, 270 villagers had changed their names.

George Sabadu Hornsleth commented: "Africans adopting European names for gifts - that's nothing new. We've been doing that since colonial times. Why do you think I'm called George?"

From his press release, the artist comments: "“Basically I believe in free trade. You sell something to me, and I buy something from you. In this case the Africans are fond of the animals that I offer them – and I am happy to be able to give them a beautiful name and to make some art. The result is that both parts are happy. Nothing else matters."

For pictures of the villagers: http://www.hornsleth.com/template/t03.php?menuId=52.

For an article: http://news.scotsman.com/topics.cfm?tid=609&id=1715632006

I will never understand some art



  • Samuel Beckett wrote the 35 second play Breath. The one page script decribes a debris filled stage filled with faint light, then stronger light, then faint light again. Also included is a faint human cry, a human breath and another faint human cry. Rather unsuprisingly, Petherbridge, who brought the play to London, descibes the audience's reaction as "respectful silence" or "uncontrollable mirth." http://samuel-beckett.net/Londoners_gasp.htm

  • Marcel Duchamp created the piece Fountain by signing a urinal "R. Mutt." In 2004, it was voted the 20th century's most influential artwork. >http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fountain_%28Duchamp%29

tierd arms

Picture by Sheila Rock
In Vienna, after playing the Moor of Venice in the opera Othello, Placcido Domingo received 80 minutes of solid clapping and took 101 curtain calls.

Recommended: To hear him sing, listen to http://www.musicremedy.com/p/Placido_Domingo/videos/TAmo_Piu-5483.html

To read more about him, check out http://music.yahoo.com/read/news/40730923.

Much easier to remember!

The world's longest acronym was found in the USSR:

NIIOMTPLABOPARMBETZHELBETRABSBOMONIMONKONOTDTEKHSTROMONT

Meaning:
Laboratory for Shuttering, Reinforcement, Concrete and Ferroconcrete Operations for Composite-monolithic and Monolithic Constructions of the Department of Technology of Building Assembly Operations of the Scientific Research Institute of the Organization for Building Mechanization and Technical Aid of the Academy of Building and Architecture of the USSR.

That's easy to remember. Now just tell me what it means!

http://news.bbc.co.uk/cbbcnews/hi/teachers/literacy_7_11/word/newsid_1651000/1651769.stm

Odd but helpful

If you are planning a wedding and want to save money, rent your wedding cake. You heard me! For $100-150 dollars, display a pristine plastic foam, gum paste and fondant cake to your guests. Pull the happy couple's special slice of wedding cake out of a secret compartment in the back. Then serve cheap sheet cake to your guests. Odd, but extremely practical and thrifty.

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2007/06/12/business_rents_out_fake_wedding_cakes/

Cool but not for the easily dizzy.

Ah. The dear old American Gov.


Due to a policy of the Department of Defense usually paying shipping bills to US bases or combat zones automatically, the twin sisters who own C&D Distributors made $20.5 in illegal money over 6 years. They once charged $998,798 shipping to send two 19-cent washers to a base in Texas. They were caught and charged when they tried to send two more washers, this time for $969,000. Said Pentagon investigator Stroot: "“They took a lot of vacations."
http://www.litwc.com/2007/08/16/pentagon-paid-999798-to-ship-two-19-cent-washers-to-texas/

Cockroaches

eeek!


Hungry and Broke

Are you hungry and have money to spend? Why not have a look at my specialized menu of most expensive food?

Drinks:

Food:

Dessert:

And not to put a damper on the party, but this month (Oct 2007), a 52 year old man living in urban Japan starved to death. His last words in his journal: "3 a.m. This human being hasn’t eaten in 10 days but is still alive. I want to eat rice. I want to eat a rice ball.”

I'm confused.

Stanford's University's team name used to be "the Indians," but was changed to "The Cardinals" in 1972. Their mascot is now a tree. Seen in the Cardinal's picture above, the dollies (dancers) walk with their Tree mascot down to the field, led by by the leader of their band in an astronaut costume. Hmmm.
Another team name that was considered was the Thunder Chickens, and two other considered mascots were the French Fry and the Manhole.
Anonymous explains: "Just so you know - It's the Stanford Cardinal. It's the color, not the bird.
And the tree is derived from the Stanford logo and Palo Alto city seal, both of which prominently display a lone tree."
I still love it. I wish my school had an interesting mascot.

To read the full story, check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanford_Tree

Use those pennies!

Working with monkeys

Zookeepers in England had to learn French to communicate with baboons from a French zoo. Said Veronica Chrisp, "I expect we'll have to carry on speaking French to them forever."

Still Loving the Game


There was no gravestone for "Steady" Ed Headrick when he died. Instead, as he wished, his ashes were molded into Frisbees and given to his family. Known for his sense of humor, he quipped, "We used to say that Frisbee is really a religion — ‘Frisbyterians,’ we’d call ourselves. When we die, we don’t go to purgatory. We just land up on the roof and lay there."


On the tip of my tongue


  • The next time you can't remember a word, explain to others that you are experiencing Lethologica. If you can remember that word.

No Live Taps


It costs $25 for live taps to be played inside a state cemetery and $50 for live taps to be played outside a state cemetery. This, and a lack of bugle players, has prompted a shift toward electronic bugles where the "player" presses a button and holds the bugle to their mouth. Even England has switched to these new bugles. The American bugle costs $525, and the British Bugle costs $500. On the bugles, up to 10 playlists can be created through USB hook-up. in 2003 when the US military introduced electronic taps, 2,000 bugle players registered to play live funeral taps.

To see the ceremonial bugle's site, go to http://www.ceremonialbugle.com/

This is where I heard of it http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/stlouiscitycounty/story/6E40D35EAC67FF2C8625735600108C36?OpenDocument

Part of a radio show about it from 2003. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1501549

Can't you hear that?



Go ahead, click and listen:

Did you hear anything? If you did, chances are that you are under 25 (or 20 depending on the source). For those of you who can't hear it, the sound is a very annoying high-pitched grating noise.

The sound is called "the mosquito." Although not the actual sound of a mosquito, it can be just as pesky. Howard Stapleton invented boxes with loudspeakers and markets them to businesses who want to drive away loitering teenagers. It works.

Another way the noise is being marketed? Ringtones. Especially useful because teacher's can't hear your phone ring.

To read more, check out http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/12/05/earlyshow/living/main1095665.shtml

The search is on


Have you ever thought about how much people pay for their "sponsored links" on Google searches?


If you went to Google, typed in "mesothelioma treatment options" and clicked on a "sponsored link," you would be costing the advertiser $69.10. "Mesotheliona risk" pulls a close second at $66.46 per click. And a surprising third most expensive, "personal injury lawyer Michigan." (In case you are wondering, mesotheliona is a cancer caused by inhaling asbestos. )


"Brittney Spears Nude" goes for a mediocre 21 cents.


Speaking of odd keywords, "linguistics" is currently the fifth most searched keyword. Who would have guessed? (This website is updated in real time, so it might have changed by now.)


Bubble Wrap!!!

Do you love the sound of bubble wrap? For $59, you can pre-order a pack of 5 PuchiPuchi Virtual Bubble Wrap toys. For that essential element of surprise, every 100 "pops" there is a random nose like a sexy voice or a fart.

To preview the popping sounds, go to http://www.asovision.com/putiputi/. And preview their ad with a catchy song at http://www.asovision.com/putiputi/movie.html. One of their promotion pictures is translated above.

To see lots of unique inventions coming from Japan including canned bottled water and home seismographs, go to http://www.kilian-nakamura.com/blog-english/index.php/category/gadgets-toys-trends-technology-japan-tokyo-shibuya/
I have to admit, as odd as I find this whole bubble wrap thing to be, I secretly want one.

Bush not the only one



1. (Canadian Parliament-2006) -

Jack Layton: "After all these years of inaction, will the Prime Minister finally get something done and do something the former government would not, and cancel the subsidies to big oil and big ass, big gas and start putting–"

Stephen Harper: Mr. Speaker, I promise to get to the bottom of it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7bkaMAyZAM&eurl=

2. Reagan with an error repeated 9 times.

"The United States has much to offer the third world war."

3. Dan Quayle (former US vice-president)

""What a waste it is to lose one's mind. Or not to have a mind is being very wasteful. How true that is."

4. Fiorello La Guardia (from The New Book of Lists)

"My first qualifications for mayor of the city of New York is my monumental ingratitude to each and every one of you."

5. Congresswoman Barbara Boxer

"Those who survived said, 'Thank God, I'm still alive,' but of course those who died...well, their lives will never be the same."

For a website of quotes like this, go to http://www.rinkworks.com/said/

Funny quotes

More of amusing quotes than odd facts, but I couldn't help myself. All of these appear in the reviews of the Oct 12th edition of the NY Times. http://www.nytimes.com/pages/movies/index.html.

  • The performances tend to deliver the airless, self-consciously synthetic dialogue like untutored violinists dutifully sawing away to the steady tick-tock of a metronome." (Sleuth)

  • In the actor's case...[it seems] as if he has chosen to interpret grief as a form of petrification. His elbows and shoulders stiffen, and he lumbers across the sets like a Frankenstein monster...Mr Grey, meanwhile, strides manfully into a thicket of cliches and heavy grandiosity." (We Own the Night)

  • The movies explicit sex scenes earned it a NC-17, but put me more in mind of high school geometry." (Lust, Caution)

  • You could imagine her soothing customers through the speakers at Starbucks." (St. Vincent)

This is Art?

Finally!



Tired of sweaty shirts? Buy an air conditioned one! Buy the USB-powered cool-shirt for $159.


Unusual Chorus Line



Opening today in Manhattan is the play "Naked Boys Singing." It delivers on what it promises as 8 men are fully nude for 90% of the show. The musical includes the song "Nothin' but the Radio On."

Columbus and Eden



Columbus did NOT think the world was round. Also, it was not commonly believed that the earth was flat at that time. In his own words from his Narrative of the Third Journey 1498-1500




"I have always read that the world of land and sea is all spherical. All authorities. . . have constantly drawn and confirmed this picture...I have found such great irregularities that I have come to [the conclusion]. . . that it is not round as they describe it, but the shape of a pear, which is round everywhere except at the stalk, where it juts out a long way; or that it is like a round ball, on part of which is something like a woman's nipple... [The Garden of Eden] lies at the summit of what I have described as the stalk of a pear. . . As I have said, I do not believe that anyone can ascend to the top. I do believe, however, that. . . waters may flow from there. . ."




In other words, Columbus thought the world was shaped like a pear or breast with Eden on the stem or nipple with water flowing from it. Hmmm. Not what I was taught in school.

highschool Spanish

  • A Miami American tried to cash in on the Spanish market and made t-shirts proudly proclaiming "I saw the Potato." Apparently, el Papa is the Pope and la Papa is the Potato.
  • For a full list of odd mis-translations, you can visit http://www.i18nguy.com/translations.html

False Advertising


  • Pepsi's slogan of "Come alive with the Pepsi Generation" was translated in Taiwan as "Pepsi will bring your ancestors back from the dead."

Ah! The confusion!


  • The picture above is an American fanny pack. However, in the UK, a fanny is not a rear, but slang for female genitalia. This lady http://blog.360.yahoo.com/textexin?p=145 tells the story of when her British co-worker fell on her rear. A concerned American man helped her up and asked, "Did you hurt your fanny?" Also, similar bags in Germany are called body-bags, oddly bringing to mind the bags corpses are put into.

selling a life

One day, John Freyer sold almost everything he owned on e-bay, keeping only enough to fit in his car trunk. Among the items sold were his sideburns in a plastic bag, an opened box of taco shells, not-yet-given family Christmas presents, a bag of pork skins, a bowling belt buckle, a half-used bottle of mouthwash and 27 spoons. Then he visited many of his old belongings. He even has a book. To see more, go to http://allmylifeforsale.com/

That will win the war!

The 2007 Ig Noble Prize winner for peace is the The Air Force Wright Laboratory in Dayton, Ohio. In 1994, they asked for 7.5 million dollars to create a "gay bomb." Edward Hammond from a watchdog group said, ""The Ohio Air Force lab proposed that a bomb be developed that contained a chemical that would cause enemy soldiers to become gay, and to have their units break down because all their soldiers became irresistibly attractive to one another." The Pentagon has confirmed this story but insists that the plan is abandoned.
Don't believe me? Go here for the full story and a news video.
For more Ig Noble Prize winners see here.

High Art



What better subject for an opera than the Jerry Springer show? (obviously not for children)

Here are clips from his show: http://video.jerryspringertv.com/player/?fid=24175#videoid=160898
Here is the opera trailer: http://www.jerryspringertheopera.com/trailer/index.html

The Jerry Springer Opera: More exciting than your average opera because our actors fight on stage!

Odd sports



  • On October 13, 2007, spectators will gather in Toronto for the 2007 World Championship games of...rock, paper, scissors? Said Rolling Stone magazine: "The World Rock Paper Scissors Championships is like a high-stakes Star Trek convention except with binge drinking and better looking women." To see the official promo video go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1bWXvS8TYY&eurl=

  • A hole in one golf tournament sounds way too easy. The catch: the hole is almost 3 miles away, they tee-off a mountain and the hole is a fifty-foot dirt patch. The scores range from 75 to an amazing 9 and the participants are allowed 10 balls and 3 spotters. http://www.hiltonopen.com/Elfego.htm

  • What could be better than a boat race, on dry land in Australia? In Henley-On-Todd, one can paddle (ie shovel) you boat along rails for a race, yacht race with a crew of 10 and many other events. To read all about it, go to http://www.henleyontodd.com.au/default.php.

Animal neighbors





  • In 2005, Denmark had 13,233,235 pigs and only 5,432,000 humans. In 2005, the world pig population was 974,801,201. that's a lot of hog!

  • (According to FAOSTAT)

Optical Illusions

In the mood to confuse your eyes? Here's some help. If you easily get dizzy, please be careful on these sites.

Dinner!

  • In 2001, Doctors performed surgery on a 40-year-old Ethiopian man and removed 750 grams (26.344 ounces) of nails, door keys, hair pins and watch batteries. The man had 222 metal objects in his stomach and one of the nails was 15 cm (5.9 inches) long. Dr. Samuel said, " He must have been eating these objects for at least two years, as the wall of his stomach had thickened to accommodate all the inedible objects." - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/1402616.stm


  • Monsieur Mangetout has made a career out of eating metal objects and has no side-effects. For his performances, he drinks mineral water and then chows down 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) of metal with periodic glasses of water. Perhaps he is best known for eating an entire airplane (Cessna 150-see picture above) which took him about 2 years to eat.

You thought you knew!



In Casablanca:
Wrong: "Play it again, Sam."

Right: "Play it, Sam."

in Star Wars:

Wrong: "Luke, I am your father."

Right: "No, I am your father."

James Cagney:

Wrong: "You dirty rat."

Right: Said by impersonators

Last Prayers


toilets and liberace

According to the book Oddballs and Eccentrics, Liberace owned a piano made from toothpicks and a toilet that could retract into the floor. In his own words, "There is no reason why you should walk into a bathroom and see a toilet - it is unglamorous."

dangers of music

  • Ramon Barrero entertained others by playing on "the world's smallest harmonica." However, during a 1994 performance, he inhaled a D-minor, chocked to death and died.

You'd better clap!


  • When composer George Antheil's unique music inspired his audience in Budapest to riot, the next night he had all the doors locked and set a gun on the piano. That night he enjoyed a quiet performance, but with audiences often strongly disliking his new style of music, he began to carry a concealed gun for concerts. In his words, "I felt for the automatic under my arm and continued playing...but catastrophe and myself at concerts were old pals...Besides, I could always shoot my way out."

  • For more on Antheil and mp3s of his music, go to http://www.paristransatlantic.com/antheil/mainpage/home.html

Rudolph?


There are two rather interesting things about Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. The first is the red nose. The second is that he, along with all of Santa's reindeer, is a girl. Only Female reindeer keep their antlers through winter. If you don't like this possibility, then maybe Santa took a page from the Sami's care of reindeer and all of his reindeer are eunuchs. Rudolph?

101 for 007

What is 007's favorite drink? . . . Not a vodka martini. But that doesn't mean Bond doesn't like his alcohol. on the contrary, in the novels James Bond drinks once about every 7 pages and prefers whiskey, drinking 101 in all. For an in-depth survey go to http://007.atomicmartinis.com/nstats.htm.

The face of a killer

Some hippos facts:

  • Hippos kill more humans than any other African mammal.
  • The skin of a hippo is a bulletproof 1.5 inches thick and a hefty ton (25% of their body weight).
  • Hippos give birth and mate underwater.
  • George Washington had dentures made from hippo teeth. While he might have had a full set of teeth, hippos only have four ivory teeth.
  • The best part of a hippo to eat is their breasts.

Odd names. What were the parents thinking?

  • Both a father and son in the 17th century thrived despite having...unusual names. The father, a parliamentarian was called Praise-God Barebone. His son, Nicholas Unless-Jesus-Christ-Had-Died-For-Thee-Thou-Hadst-Been-Damned Barbon is known as one of the first proponents of a free market.
  • Does a name mean something? One man, with can only be called a unique taste in names, named one of his sons Loser and the other Winner. Winner went on spend two years in jail with 31 arrests and Looser became a policeman and detective. However, an unrelated Mr. Vice of New Orleans was convicted on 421 of his 890 arrests.
  • Spelling may not be linked to education. Supply Clapp Thwing graduated from Harvard in 1837.

Blowing the whistle...on PDA

What are the teacher's at Troy Buchanan High School (MO) blowing the whistle on? PDA.

  • "At first it freaked kids out. I'd just blow the whistle and say 'PDA!' The boys would just bolt down the hall because they were scared off. . . We nailed a couple here," he said. "They leaned in to kiss, and we just blasted them."

To see the full article go to http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/stcharles/story/301535537F50466386257367000FD848?OpenDocument