Maybe it's because today marks the unofficial end of summer, or perhaps I'm still recovering from the shock of a massive surge in readership following an innocuous little post last week about a museum devoted to male mammalian reproductive organs in Iceland that was linked to (approvingly, I might add) by close to 1/2 dozen monster conservative blogs. Here I've been aiming for literary merit and scholarly posts and it turns out that it's pulp that pays. Then again, quirky, oddball humor is part of the package at Walking the Berkshires so here, without apology, are some of the downright oddest things going on around the planet (minus those previously blogged about on these pages).
- There is a cornucopia of "Quirkies" at Anovia.com, but what really caught my eye was a 105 lb woman known as "Black Widow" who just ate 173 chicken wings in 12 minutes at the National Buffalo Wing Festival.
Ms Thomas, 40, originally from South Korea but now living in Alexandria, Virginia, also held the festival's previous record of 161 wings in 12 minutes, set in 2004.
"She's the crowd favourite," Mr Kahle said. "It was 12 huge guys and her."
Ms Thomas has set numerous records in competitive eating events, including 37 hot dogs in 12 minutes, 35 bratwursts in 10 minutes, 11-pounds of cheesecake in nine minutes and 44 lobsters in 12 minutes.
She is ranked number five by the International Federation of Competitive Eating."
- Turns out DE Cloutier knew about the penis museum even before I did. The Jungle Trader is an excellent source for the bizarre, the macabre, and the downright diabolical in man and nature. This last week he revealed that sacred cows in India are getting photo IDs to keep them from becoming Bangladeshi beef, and that "it's good to be the king" in Swaziland with 40,000 bare breasted virgins dancing in review.
- The premier event of the SCA calender, the 36th Annual Pennsic Wars, featured warriors in chain mail from the Kingdoms of the East and the Middle but a ban on imported firewood from Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Michigan. Emerald hoards are OK, but emerald ash borer is not, so if the Knights of Ni command; "Fetch me a shrubbery!", better harvest it locally.
- To the surprise of no one, the BBC announces a study that finds men are less discriminating when it comes to deciding who to kiss or who to have sex with.
"They were more willing to have sex with someone without kissing, to have sex with someone they are not attracted to and agree to have sex with someone they considered to be a bad kisser."
Having a pulse, I believe, is usually a prerequisite. Money well spent on that research.
- The NYT reports on a massive spider web in Texas that covers several acres and contains millions of arachnids. Fair use excerpt:
"Sheets of web have encased several mature oak trees and are thick enough in places to block out the sun along a nature trail at Lake Tawakoni State Park, near this town about 50 miles east of Dallas.
The gossamer strands, slowly overtaking a lakefront peninsula, emit a fetid odor, perhaps from the dead insects entwined in the silk. The web whines with the sound of countless mosquitoes and flies trapped in its folds.
Allen Dean, a spider expert at Texas A&M University, has seen a lot of webs, but even he described this one as 'rather spooky, kind of like Halloween.'
Mr. Dean and several other scientists said they had never seen a web of this size outside of the tropics, where the relatively few species of 'social' spiders that build communal webs are most active."
With reality like this, anything is possible. Now excuse me while I go vacuum under the bed. I don't want my spiders getting any big ideas.