Cool Freaks' Wikipedia Club is the leading Facebook group for delivering the weirdest Wikipedia articles, from Tarrare to 52-hertz whale, to the top of every member's Facebook News Feeds. No longer will Belphegor's Prime and Potoooooooo languish in the doldrums of obscurity—instead, they can reach a new audience hell-bent on trivial pursuits and complete world knowledge.
Since its founding a year ago on 24 September 2013, the group has grown from a humble abode of esoterica to a sizable community of nearly 32,000 members. As the group has grown, so has its moderation, ensuring that the future of Cool Freaks sticks to its founding ideal of a "safe-space" for its thousands members—many of whom are queer, transgender or people of color.
While reposts (or "retoasts") abound for regulars—List of animals with fraudulent diplomas, List of inventors killed by their own inventions, and List of lists of lists—new gems like South-up map orientation and Impossible colors surface every day, new and sparkling treasures from the arcane depths.
Not a terrifying new sexual act but an incident of anomalous weather. For several minutes in Bath County, Kentucky on March 3rd, 1876, pieces of meat, appearing to be beef (although some claim it tasted like "mutton, venison, or lamb"), rained down on an approximately 100 by 50-yard area. The meat was later identified as either lung tissue from a horse or a human infant, yet many theories linger over the identity and origin of the flesh related weather. [image via Super I.T.C.H.]
The queen of the Balobedu people, from northern South Africa. The Rain Queen is believed to have powers over the clouds and precipitation. Since 2005, the throne has been empty, due to controversy over the illegitimate children of the most recent Rain Queen, the late Makobo Modjadji, and criticism of Modjadji's "modern" lifestyle.
A few interesting guests over the show's 45 years:
- Ralph Nader, who sang on the 1988 musical special Put Down the Duckie: The Sesame Street Special
- James Earl Jones, in 1969 recited the alphabet on the show's first season
- Former First Lady Laura Bush, who not only starred on Sesame Street, but its Egyptian and Indian adaptations,
Alam Simsim and Galli Galli Sim Sim, respectively.
The nightmare lovechild between a Cessna Skymaster aircraft and the notorious hatchback car, the Ford Pinto. Given that the AVE Mizar went on to later kill its two inventors, the roadable aircraft influenced a scene in the 1974 James Bond film, The Man With The Golden Gun.
A Danish roller coaster at the theme park BonBon-Land in Zealand, Denmark. The name translates to "Dog Fart Switchback," in reference to the candy, Hundeprutter, a dog fart themed candy. One CFWC member reminisced, "They had all those as candy when I was a child, and the BonBon-land is named after the candies. Dog farts, boogers, diapers, stuff like that. Loved it back then." Hersheypark, please take note.
Tibetan Buddhist and poet, "the Madman of the Dragon Lineage," and "The Saint of 5,000 Women." He has been reported to transform demonesses into protective deities though hitting them with his penis, also known as the "Thunderbolt of Flaming Wisdom." Drukpa Kunley is also credited for the esoteric practice of painting phalluses on walls in Bhutan. [image via http://balkhandshambhala.blogspot.com]
Also known as a Vermont window, due to its prominence in the state, a witch window is a diagonal window placed parallel to the roof slope on a house. The name stems from the superstition that witches cannot fly their broomsticks through tilted window, a reasoning a CFWC user finds suspect, because "Only the HARDCORE witches can fly through these windows, which is unfortunate because practically all witches are hardcore."
A staple genre of comics, animated cartoons, and pretty much a great deal of media everywhere. A funny animal is an animal who lives like a human, walking on two feet, wear clothes, live in houses, etc.—like Goofy, but not Pluto. But the funny animal genre has its roots in blackface, the former becoming more and more popular in lieu of the latter's decline and lack of social acceptance in the 20's and 30's. The Wikipedia page writes,
"Early black-and-white funny animals, including Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, Mickey Mouse (perhaps the most enduring of the kind), Foxy the Fox, Felix the Cat and Flip the Frog, maintained certain aspects of the blackface design, including (especially with the advent of sound film) heavy emphasis on song and dance routines. The increased use of Technicolor and other color film processes in the 1930s allowed for greater diversity in the ability to design new "funny animals", leading to a much wider array of funny animal shorts and the near-total demise (except for Mickey Mouse and a few other Disney characters of the era) of the blackface characters."
Easily one of the most influential American cartoonists of the 20th century, Herriman was known for the comic strip Krazy Kat, and its titular character (a "funny animal"). Herriman identified himself sometimes as Greek, or being of French, Irish, or Turkish descent, but his birth certificate lists him as "colored" and he is of mixed-race descent, reportedly Creole and Spanish or Native American (his parents are identified in his Wikipedia article as being mulatto). His hesitancy towards acknowledging his heritage, coupled with some Herriman's more controversial work, opens up a conversation about race, anthropomorphism, and identity in cartoons that will be totally civil and without issue and held in the comments section.
One of the most notable and popular Egyptian and Arab singers, and is considered one of the Great Four of Arabic Music. His music believed to have inspired the 2011 Egyptian revolution, is known as "the son of the revolution," and whose death in 1977 reportedly lead to suicides. The world would never have the 2000 classic "Big Pimpin" without Abdel Halim Hafez's Khosara Khosara, for that we are eternally grateful for him.
The Christian ascetic answer to Harvey Danger's "Flagpole Sitta." (The Stylites had a bit more staying power.) St. Simeon Stylites the Elder, who lived for 37 years upon a small platform on a pillar in Aleppo, Syria, starting in the year 423. Other Stylites, women included, would ascend up pillars for centuries afterwards, and later inspired David Blaine's Vertigo stunt in 2002. Blaine came down from the 100 foot high, 22 inch wide pillar after 35 hours.
Instead of drilling downwards for oil, why not extract it diagonally from the earth? While there are advantages to the practice of directional, or slant, drilling, like the reduced environmental impact or accessing reservoirs underneath towns or lakes safely, directional drilling has its downsides, companies and countries literally stealing oil from underneath each other, and the attempted murder of a beloved and wealthy nuclear power plant owner.
Like something direct from a Philip K. Dick sci-fi novel, the "phantom time" hypothesis proposes that the events of the early Middle Ages never happened (or were wrongly dated).
John Munch, the ever-cynical conspiracy theorist on the Law and Order franchise and early 90's tv show Homicide: Life on the Street, has been on television for over two decades. Munch is currently the only fictional character, and by extension the actor Richard Belzer, to appear on ten different shows as the same character. A major branch of the Tommy Westphall Universe Hypothesis tree.
The inventor, along with his brother Will Keith Kellogg, of the breakfast cereal staple Corn Flakes. Kellogg's influence isn't limited to end of the body, as chief medical officer of the Battle Creek Sanitarium, he "made sure that the bowel of each and every patient was plied with water, from above and below. His favorite device was an enema machine that could rapidly instill several gallons of water in a series of enemas. Every water enema was followed by a pint of yogurt — half was eaten, the other half was administered by enema, 'thus planting the protective germs where they are most needed and may render most effective service.'" Famous patients of Kellogg's include Amelia Earhart, Henry Ford, and Thomas Edison.
The "Painter of Light," and the shouter of "Codpiece! Codpiece!" at a Siegfried and Roy performance. Approximately one out of every 20 Americans owns a copy of the late artist's paintings, and his images have appeared on everything from calendars to Walmart gift cards. Some of the pages that are linked on Kinkade's Wikipedia page include American scene painting, Indianapolis 500, and territorial marking.
An example of a real-life Vogon poet, William McGonagall was often criticized for being deaf to metaphor, rhythm, and poem writing in general. Despite this, McGonagall was famous for recitals where the audience would throw vegetables at him until he finished reading.
Lurking in the nation's capital: ghost cat! Nicknamed "Demon Cat" or "D.C.", this feline phantom has been reported to range from the size of a "regular housecat" to that of "a giant tiger."
This article has transmogrified from a merely annoying repost to an endearing meme ("retoast") in the hearts and minds of many Cool Freaks. While proclaimed by the Royal Society of Chemistry as "Britain's cheapest lunchtime meal" valued at 7.5p, the new contender of the title is (according to Historic Heston ): "an oatcake flavoured with peanut butter and beef dripping" at a whopping 7p.
Perhaps my most mundane contribution to Wikipedia: I wrote an article on Taco Bell's new value menu since an Adweek review called the "Cheese Roll-Up" the "toast sandwich of Taco Bell cuisine." Given Wikipedia's notability guidelines, I spruced up the article with citations galore and nifty facts as: "Magazine Time pointed out the increase in price from 99¢ to a dollar." or the contest "Everlasting Dollars" for a "lifetime" of free food timed out at only 46 years.
A child prodigy born in 1898, Sidis researched and wrote under several assumed names in myriad matters spanning cosmology to constructed languages. Utterly fascinated by public transport systems, Sidis wrote an entire tome on the subject (Notes on the Collection of Transfers ) under the name "Frank Folupa" explaining how one can ride the rails indefinitely.
From the best bestiary on North American mythical creatures of lumberjack lore— Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods, With a Few Desert and Mountain Beasts (1910), "Fearsome critters" lists the fantastic animals ranging from the "Axehandle Hound" to "the Squonk," considered "the most melancholy of creatures which because of its deformed countenance refuses contact with all life and will dissolve in tears if ever gazed upon." This list spawned one of the first instances of fan-inspired music among the Cool Freaks community.