Weekly WTF?! – It’s a thing!

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WeeklyWTF.net

WeeklyWTF.net

For several weeks I did a Weekly WTF?! here on Midnight Showing, but I’ve decided to make it a separate project at WeeklyWTF.net.

Sign up now and each Monday morning (at 10am UK time) you’ll receive an email with a brief dose of WTF?!

The two recently released issues were Lina Medina and the Toynbee Tiles.

I’ve lined up more awesomeness such as; Bubbly Creek, Numbers Stations, Taman Shud, Capgras, Leyak, Tarrare, and soooooo much more strangeness.

So, sign up and add @weeklywtf.net to your email filter (to keep it from plopping into your junk/spam folder).


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Yongary, Monster from the Deep (1967) aka: Taekoesu Yonggary

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Yongary, Monster from the Deep (1967) aka: Taekoesu Yonggary

Yongary, Monster from the Deep (1967) aka: Taekoesu Yonggary

Think of Yongary as the Seoul mate of Godzilla. Seoul. Ha! I made a funny. Yongary is a South Korean film. Unfortunately, that means there’s no Kim Jong Un. He’d have whooped that monster himself and the film would have been five minutes long, so it’s probably just as well he’s not here. Anyway, big cracks start appearing in South Korea (see Kim Jung Un) which turn out to be the mythical Yongary about to destroy South Korea.

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Penny Dreadful – S01E01

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Penny Dreadful (2014)

Penny Dreadful (2014)

I long for a good horror TV series. I loved American Horror Story (Season 2) but the ending pissed me off greatly and put off watching the other seasons. Having seen giant billboards (here in the UK) with the rather dapper Timothy Dalton and seeing the name Penny Dreadful I decided to give it a shot.

Why would I care about the name Penny Dreadful? Because there’s a long lasting legacy behind those old cheap magazines. They were like a print precursor to things like Tales from the Crypt and such like. Here’s a quote from the Wikipedia page:

“A penny dreadful [...] was a type of British fiction publication in the 19th century that usually featured lurid serial stories appearing in parts over a number of weeks, each part costing one (oldpenny. The term, however, soon came to encompass a variety of publications that featured cheap sensational fiction, such as story papers and booklet “libraries”. The penny dreadfuls were printed on cheap pulp paper and were aimed primarily at working class adolescents.”

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Weekly WTF?! – Josef Fritzl

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The Fritzl case emerged in April 2008 when a 42-year-old woman, Elisabeth Fritzl (born April 6, 1966), told police in the town of Amstetten, Austria, that she had been held captive for 24 years in a concealed corridor part of the basement area of the large family house by her father, Josef Fritzl (born April 9, 1935), and that Fritzl had physically assaulted, sexually abused, and raped her numerous times during her imprisonment. The abuse by her father resulted in the birth of seven children and one miscarriage; four of the children joined their mother in captivity, and three were raised by Josef and Rosemarie Fritzl and reported as foundlings.

On August 29, 1984, Elisabeth’s father lured her into the basement of the family home, saying he needed help carrying a door. This was the last piece needed to seal the chamber. Elisabeth held it in place while Josef fitted it into the frame. Then he held an ether-soaked towel on Elisabeth’s face until she was unconscious, and threw her into the chamber.

Discovery

On April 19, 2008, eldest daughter Kerstin fell unconscious and Josef Fritzl agreed to seek medical attention. Elisabeth helped Fritzl carry Kerstin out of the dungeon and saw the outside world for the first time in 24 years. He forced her to return to the dungeon, where she would remain for a final week. Kerstin was taken by ambulance to a local hospital (Landesklinikum Amstetten) and admitted in serious condition with life-threatening kidney failure. Fritzl later arrived at the hospital claiming to have found a note written by Kerstin’s mother. He discussed Kerstin’s condition and the note with Dr. Albert Reiter. Medical staff found aspects of the story to be puzzling and alerted the police on April 21, who then broadcast an appeal via public media for the missing mother to come forward and provide additional information about Kerstin’s medical history. The police then reopened the case file on missing Elisabeth. Fritzl repeated his story about Elisabeth being in a cult, and presented what he claimed was the “most recent letter” from her, dated January 2008. It was posted from the town of Kematen.

The police contacted Manfred Wohlfahrt, a church officer responsible for collecting information on religious cults. Wohlfahrt raised doubts about the existence of the cult. He noted that Elisabeth’s letters seemed dictated and oddly written. The news covered some of these issues and Elisabeth watched the story on the cellar television. She pleaded with her father to be taken to the hospital. On April 26, Fritzl released Elisabeth from the cellar along with her sons Stefan and Felix, bringing them upstairs. Fritzl told his wife that Elisabeth had decided to return after a 24-year absence. Governor Lenze told ORF that Fritzl had telephoned him and thanked him and the social services for looking after his family during his granddaughter Kerstin’s illness. Fritzl and Elisabeth went to the hospital where Kerstin was being treated on April 26, 2008. Following a tip-off from Dr. Albert Reiter that Fritzl and Elisabeth were at the hospital, the police detained them on the hospital grounds and took them to a police station for questioning.

Elisabeth did not provide police with more details until they promised her that she would never have to see her father again. Then, over the next 2 hours, she told the story of her 24 years in captivity. Shortly after midnight, police officers completed the three pages of minutes of the interrogation. Josef Fritzl was arrested on suspicion of serious crimes against family members, facing possible charges of false imprisonment, rape, manslaughter by negligence, and incest. During the night of April 27, Elisabeth, her children and her mother Rosemarie were taken into care.

Fritzl’s attorney, Rudolf Mayer, confirmed that a disguised Elisabeth sat in the visitors’ gallery during the second day of proceedings, at the time her video testimony was aired. “Josef Fritzl recognised that Elisabeth was in court and, from this point on, you could see Josef Fritzl going pale and he broke down,” Mayer said. “It was a meeting of eyes that changed his mind.” The next day, Fritzl began the proceedings by approaching the judge and changing his pleas to guilty on all charges.

On March 19, 2009, Fritzl was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for 15 years. He said that he accepted the sentence and would not appeal. Fritzl is currently serving out his sentence in Garsten Abbey, a former monastery inUpper Austria that has been converted into a prison. He is in a special section of the prison for the criminally insane.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fritzl_case


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Weekly WTF?! – Joseph Vacher: The French Ripper

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Would YOU trust this man with your kids?

Joseph Vacher (November 16, 1869 – December 31, 1898) was a French serial killer, sometimes known as “The French Ripper” or “L’éventreur du Sud-Est” (“The South-East Ripper”) due to comparisons to the more famous Jack the Ripper murderer of London, England in 1888. His scarred face, accordion, and plain, white, handmade rabbit-fur hat became his trademark appearance.

During a three-year period beginning in 1894, Vacher murdered and mutilated at least 11 people (one woman, five teenage girls, and five teenage boys). Many of them were shepherds watching their flocks in isolated fields. The victims were stabbed repeatedly, often disemboweled, raped, and sodomized.

After his arrest, Vacher claimed he was insane and attempted to prove it in a variety of ways. He claimed that a rabid dog’s bite had poisoned his blood, causing madness, but later blamed the quack cure he received for the bite. He also claimed he was sent by God, comparing himself to Joan of Arc. Despite his protestations, he was pronounced sane after a lengthy investigations by a team of doctors [and] was sentenced to death on October 28, 1898. Vacher was executed by guillotine two months later, at dawn on December 31, 1898. Reluctant if not insane, he refused to walk to the scaffold under his own power and was dragged to the guillotine by the executioners.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Vacher


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Weekly WTF?! – Dancing Plague of 1518

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The Dancing Plague (or Dance Epidemicof 1518 was a case of dancing mania that occurred in Strasbourg, Alsace (then part of the Holy Roman Empire) in July 1518. Numerous people took to dancing for days without rest, and, over the period of about one month, some of those affected died of heart attack, stroke, or exhaustion.

The outbreak began in July 1518, when a woman, Frau Troffea, began to dance fervently in a street in Strasbourg. This lasted somewhere between four to six days. Within a week, 34 others had joined, and within a month, there were around 400 dancers. Some of these people eventually died from heart attack, stroke, or exhaustion.

Historical documents, including “physician notes, cathedral sermons, local and regional chronicles, and even notes issued by the Strasbourg city council” are clear that the victims danced. It is not known why these people danced, some even to their deaths.

As the dancing plague worsened, concerned nobles sought the advice of local physicians, who ruled out astrological and supernatural causes, instead announcing that the plague was a “natural disease” caused by “hot blood.” However, instead of prescribing bleeding, authorities encouraged more dancing, in part by opening two guildhalls and a grain market, and even constructing a wooden stage. The authorities did this because they believed that the dancers would recover only if they danced continuously night and day. To increase the effectiveness of the cure, authorities even paid for musicians to keep the afflicted moving. Some of the dancers were taken to a shrine, where they sought a cure for their affliction.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dancing_Plague_of_1518


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Weekly WTF?! – Cotard delusion

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The Cotard delusionCotard’s syndrome, or Walking Corpse Syndrome is a rare mental disorder in which people hold a delusional belief that they are dead (either figuratively or literally), do not exist, are putrefying, or have lost their blood or internal organs. In rare instances, it can include delusions of immortality.

The central symptom in Cotard’s syndrome is the delusion of negation. Those who suffer from this illness often deny that they exist or that a certain portion of their body exists. Cotard’s syndrome has been found to have three distinct stages. In the first stage – Germination – patients exhibit psychotic depression and hypochondriacal symptoms. The second stage – Blooming – is characterized by the full blown development of the syndrome and the delusions of negation. The third stage – Chronic – is characterized by severe delusions and chronic depression.

People with the Cotard Delusion often become withdrawn from others and they tend to neglect their own hygiene and well-being. The delusion makes it impossible for patients to make sense of reality, which results in an extremely distorted view of the world. This delusion is often found in psychotic patients suffering from schizophrenia. While Cotard’s Syndrome doesn’t necessitate hallucinations, the strong delusions are comparable to those found in schizophrenic patients.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cotard_delusion


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Weekly WTF?! – Exploding head syndrome

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Exploding head syndrome is a form of hypnagogic auditory hallucination and is a rare and relatively undocumented parasomnia event in which the subject experiences a loud bang in their head similar to a bomb exploding, a gun going off, a clash of cymbals, ringing, an earthquake, or any other form of loud, indecipherable noise that seems to originate from inside the head.

This noise usually happens at the onset of sleep or within an hour or two of falling asleep, but is not necessarily the result of a dream. Although the sound is perceived as extremely loud, it is usually not accompanied by pain. Attacks appear to change in number over time, with several attacks happening in a space of days or weeks, followed by months of remission. Sufferers often feel a sense of fear and anxiety before and after an attack, accompanied by elevated heart rate. Attacks may also be accompanied by perceived flashes of light (when perceived on their own, known as a “visual sleep start”) or difficulty in breathing. The condition is also known as “auditory sleep starts”. The associated symptoms are varied, but the benign nature of the condition is emphasized and neither extensive investigation nor treatment are indicated. Sufferers may experience an inability to vocalize any sound, or mild forms of sleep paralysis during an attack. There is no known treatment.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exploding_head_syndrome


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Weekly WTF?! – Lina Medina

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Lina Medina (born September 27, 1933, in Ticrapo, Huancavelica Region, Peru) is the youngest confirmed mother in medical history, giving birth at the age of five years, seven months and 17 days.

Born in Ticrapo, Peru, to silversmith Tiburelo Medina and Victoria Losea, Medina was brought to a hospital by her parents at the age of five years due to increasing abdominal size. She was originally thought to have had a tumor, but her doctors determined she was in her seventh month of pregnancy. Dr. Gerardo Lozada took her to Lima, Peru, to have other specialists confirm that Medina was pregnant.

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Weekly WTF?! – Hamster zona-free ovum test

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hamster-section-23The hamster zona-free ovum test (HZFO test), or hamster test is a method for diagnosing male infertility due to the inability of the sperm to penetrate the ova.

In this test, sperm are incubated with several hamster eggs. After seven to twenty hours, the number of sperm penetrations per egg is measured. The hamster eggs have had the zona pellucida, the outer membrane, removed- hence, zona-free.

Having all eggs penetrated by multiple sperm is considered to be a positive sign for fertility. Results suggest that men whose sperm fail the hamster test are a third as fertile than those whose sperm pass.

Donated sperm and intracytoplasmic sperm injection techniques are considered more strongly for those whose sperm fail this test.

It is worth noting the human sperm does not fertilize the hamster eggs, which are unable to grow or develop.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamster_zona-free_ovum_test

Aw man! The eggs don’t fertilize? That’d be awesome! Some big giant hamster. It’d be amazing!


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