Weird on the Web

The GashlyCrumb Tinies by Edward Gorey

"A is for Amy who fell down the stairs..." So begins the ghastly alphabetical series from author/illustrator Gorey, who's best known for his drawings that animated the credits for the PBS series Mystery! Each of the 26 drawings offers up a grim demise of different schoolchildren, with each death arguably more disturbing than the last. If you consider that "K stands for Kate who was struck with an axe," you can imagine the awful fate suffered by poor Yorick. The site is actually rather cool, but Gorey's drawings are just too unnerving.

"You chase cars and bark at them, you stringy, dandruff-sucking, squid-groping, sordid progeny of a profoundly disturbed city administrator!" If you're hungry for a little humble pie, then maybe it's time to head over to the Abuse-A-Tron -- a little interactive site that attacks your character, your taste in clothes and also accuses you of all kinds of wrongdoing. Take the abuse, hit the button that says, "Abuse me again!" and receive repeated thrashing to your heart's lament. Are you man enough to handle such maledictions as: "You use dirty underwear instead of teabags, you grimy, dung beetle-kissing, duck-waving, belligerent brat of Richard Nixon's secret indiscretions!" Woe is us, we weren't.
Help Scott

Scott Florance never explains why he requires more help than the rest of us, but he certainly feels as though he deserves some kind of special treatment, particularly with his financial situation. Scott's needs are simple, really: All he needs is a cheap car (under $2,000 will do), a computer and a bullet-proof vest. He's very accommodating. Scott doesn't have e-mail, but he does have a pager and will return your call, collect of course, anytime during normal business hours to retrieve whatever it is you might have to give him (assume West Coast time since he lives in Everett, Wash.). Scott even posts a list of local retailers carrying the kind of level-3 bullet-proof vest he desires as well as a list of auto dealers in the Everett area that might have used cars suitable for his needs. Now, don't think Scott is expecting money for nothing. He offers two pay-back incentives: "I thought of two inventions. One is a social novelty, the second is a unique, widely usable lifesaving security device (electronic)." Gee, thanks Scott.
Resurrecting the Dead Project

Essentially, this site believes that we can "overcome" death by figuring out the proper frequency to keep the human body alive. You can find out the details in the amazingly odd "Overcome Death Research Miracle Kit." It also discusses bringing back one Dr. Fink by timing the birth of a newborn (who will thereby take on Fink's lost soul) in the section entitled "Best Time to Reincarnate Specific Individuals." There's also some discussion of the Harmonic Convergence in 1987 and its impact on the stock market. All the information is very kookish, but rather entertaining. We're all quite curious as to what happened to Dr. Fink...
Rate Your Risk

Ever wonder about your chances of being murdered? Or your risk of being raped, robbed, stabbed, shot or beaten? Now you can find out if you should be packing heat by taking these online tests that assess your risk of being the victim of any number of heinous crimes. Questions asked include: "How many acts of adultery have you committed (in the last two years)?" "(Are you) going camping or partying on a boat in the next year?" and the telltale question, "(Do you) walk in public more than five times per month?"
The Iguana Fun Page

Just because it's weird doesn't mean it can't be practical. This Webmaster is the Dr. Spock of the iguana world. The "Iguana FAQ" will teach you to feed your iguana a diet of escarole, watercress and Swiss chard, and even suggests specific brands of diet supplements. The iguana story page allows you to enter your own anecdote as well as read others' tales, such as one about the iguana that saved its owner's life. The Webmaster spotlights the life of his own iguana, Ignatious, sharing the delightful fact that the creature "craps in his bed." You might want to take into account that he has not been able to keep this from happening when you consider his iguana training advice.
Endangered Feces

Looking for that special Father's Day gift? Maybe dad would appreciate a paperweight from Endangered Feces. The company sells what it calls authentic, guaranteed coprolites -- fossilized animal droppings from dinosaurs and their cretaceous companions who lived some 65 million years ago in what is now the American Southeast. As time passed, the original material fossilized and was replaced by iron pyrites: yellow fools gold or silvery marcasite. "Now they have been gathered, gently cleaned to bring out their natural beauty and made available to you," the site notes. You can choose a "touchstone" with a minimum weight of 200 carats (40 grams) of beautiful pyritized coprolites, hand-picked for color, clarity and character. Each comes nestled in a soft leather pouch and then gift-wrapped for only $24. Large coprolites, for use as paperweights, are available for $60. How do you know this isn't just a pile of cow chips? The company promises to send a geologist-signed affidavit and numbered certificate of authenticity for each poop sold. If only we could get something that assured us the site was authentic...

If you need to know where someone's buried, there's only one place to go: Jim Lipton's massive database cataloging the final resting places of more than 1,000 noteworthy individuals. Beyond listing the sites by name and location, there's a geographic finder that's a boon to vacation planning ("Honey, remember the time we went to see Chester Arthur's grave?"). Where this useful resource enters the realm of the weird is Lipton's page, detailing his hobby of collecting dirt from famous graves for display in spice bottles. Another of Lipton's pages showcases labels from various cans of potted meat and Vienna sausages. Is there a connection between famous dead people and canned meat? It's worth some speculation. Here Lipton is shown kissing the grave of Al Capone and resting on the final resting place of Marcel Proust.

What a golden opportunity. With a simple click of the mouse, blow any shot you had at eternal bliss and seek the ultimate revenge (for those of us who had to deal with knuckle-beating nuns and God-fearing ministers or rabbis) on the administers of guilt. At the site, an image of an angel statue appears and you must click on the head. If you have done it right, within moments, the angel will reappear without her head, wearing a sanguinary shawl. A triumphant message will ring from on high if this feat is done correctly; if you fail to hit her in the right spot, you will receive messages of eternal damnation and ridicule, somewhat reminiscent of grade school.
Josh Davis' Incredible Choose Your Own Adventure

The perils of being a college freshman are great, particularly at Josh Davis' Incredible Choose Your Own Adventure that takes place in a virtual Web university. As the callow student antihero, you're confronted with the challenge of safely navigating through a day of college life. It may sound simple enough, but Davis' bizarre interactive story line, fraught with mean-tempered security officers, unreasonably hard French exams and a direly tiresome professor, conspires to get you kicked out of school faster than you can register for next semester's classes. Unfortunately, this adventure story wasn't completed at press time, but the site's author had promised an ending soon.
Stark's Museum of Vacuum Cleaners

The Stark's Museum of Vacuum Cleaners in Oregon houses more than 100 vacuum cleaners old and new, and some of them can be seen at this Web site. The Webmaster, a part-time janitor and vacuum maintainer, smuggled a camera inside this museum and took photographs to share the treasure with vacuum fans globally. He explains the various machines in fine detail, occasionally, and astutely, pondering the mechanics of one or another. "...This makes me wonder at the size of the machine's tank, as the arm power needed to suck dirt through it when half full must be considerable." Don't miss the vacuum with the lamp attachment.
How to Speak New Age

"Don't leave your body without it!" That's the slogan of this site, dedicated to educating even non-believers the basic elements of life in the New Age. None of the entries are particularly exhaustive, but instead provide an amusing overview to the likes of karma, channeling, auras, chakras, pyramids, meditation and Shirley MacLaine. This entry, for the one person most likely not to embrace the loving tenets of the philosophy, is typical: "SATAN is also known as the Devil. He is an evil-looking fellow with horns, forked tail and bad breath. Satan has been playing against God (See GOD) for a long time now, trying to take over control of the Universe. Of course God made up the game in the first place, so he's not too concerned about the outcome."

Combine the hair of Ronald Reagan with the eyes of George Clooney and the chin of Bill Clinton and what do you get? Besides a forgetful, cavorting pediatrician, would you guess that those facial features blend into an eerily striking Elvis Presley? At Faces, Cory Gilbert, utilizing Netscape Frame technology, allows you to combine the faces of a handful of celebs and politicians into alternatively mish-mosh or if you're lucky, a whole new celeb. If you're not in the mood to do your own genetic experiments, there are hundreds of "formulas" for making the faces of everyone from Phyllis Diller to Keanu Reeves. Or try the Frankenberry Monster (Jim Carrey + Bob Dole + Reagan).

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