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Jack The Squeezer: Attack of the Serial Hugger

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Getty Images

Street harassment is no laughing matter. Unwanted touching is gross and intimidating. But we promise not to judge if you chuckle, just a little, at the following story.

For two years in the late 1800s, an anonymous rogue terrorized the young women of Pomona, California with hugs. He was known as "Jack the Squeezer," a heavy-handed reference to a far more malicious Jack that was embraced by the press. A Los Angeles Herald article from October 18, 1891 describes it best, or at least, the most self-seriously:

The squeezer is at work again. He had several victims last week and another on last Monday evening—the names being suppressed for good reasons. The last lady to be caught by the fellow was hastening down Third street, to call upon a neighbor, about 7 o'clock, and when near the corner of Ellen street a well-built man, coming from the shadow of trees in the rear, passed her rapidly, and then, before she had time for even a look, turned as quick as a flash, and grabbed her about the waist with his arms. He gave her several violent hugs, turning his face away at the same moment, and dashed suddenly across the road in the shadow of trees, and was gone. The young woman sank exhausted against the fence, and says that it was several minutes before she recovered her reason. When she did she went to a neighbor's, and her brother was called to help her home.

There is no doubt that the squeezer is some fellow whose mind is turned upon the subject of terrifying or hugging women. The man's operations, extending over seven months' time, are as carefully planned and executed as those of the notorious Jack the Ripper of London. The man is certainly daft on the subject of squeezing, but all his acts show that he has much scheming, deep cunning, and is devilish in his attempts to cause as much and as sudden terror as possible. He is by no means a fool—a cool, planning and designing rascal. He selects the times when the public of Pomona is not thinking of his acts and he never perpetrates his peculiar operations twice in the same locality.

He shows a preference for young women, and he takes them either alone or in couples. He is very fleet of foot, and what makes his work the more alarming is that he acts so violently and so quickly. Two young ladies fainted dead away on the sidewalk after he had squeezed them, and one lady, in a delicate condition, nearly lost her life in consequence of the awful shock to her nervous system. Another lady was in bed several days from nervous fright.

An article from the following year identifies "Jack" as C. E. Wolfe—a perfectly pun-able name—and this time he's on trial for his lewd behavior.

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Pierluigi Luceri, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
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Weird
Two Human Toes Were Stolen From an Anatomy Exhibit
Pierluigi Luceri, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Pierluigi Luceri, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

A 28-year-old New Zealand man walked into an anatomy exhibition with 10 toes and walked out with 12. We don't know why or how he did it, but the man stole two human toes from a Body Worlds display in Auckland last month, The New Zealand Herald reports.

The unnamed man appeared in court Monday and pleaded guilty to improperly interfering with the corpse "of an unknown person" and purloining two toes, which alone are valued at about $3800. The motivation for the human remains heist wasn't stated. (Fulfilling a dare seems a likely explanation, or maybe he's just a fan of The Big Lebowski.)

Whatever the reason may be, the story has a happy ending, at least: The digits have since been returned to their rightful place in the "Vital" exhibit, which explores the human body in motion. "Vital," which will remain open in Auckland until July 13, is one of several traveling exhibitions curated by Body Worlds. Two other Body Worlds exhibits are currently on view in the U.S., including "RX" (showcasing the effects of disease) in Toledo, Ohio, and "Animal Inside Out" (an "anatomical safari") in Richmond, Virginia.

The bodies, all of which are donated for exhibition purposes, are preserved via plastination, a process that "replaces bodily fluids and soluble fat in specimens with fluid plastics that harden after vacuum-forced impregnation," according to the Body Worlds website. More than 16,000 people around the world have signed up to donate their bodies after their deaths.

[h/t The New Zealand Herald]

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Dominique Faget, AFP/Getty Images
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entertainment
David Lynch's Amazon T-Shirt Shop is as Surreal as His Movies
Dominique Faget, AFP/Getty Images
Dominique Faget, AFP/Getty Images

David Lynch, the celebrated director behind baffling-but-brilliant films like Eraserhead, Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive, and Twin Peaks, is now selling his equally surreal T-shirts on Amazon.

As IndieWire reports, each shirt bears an image of one of Lynch’s paintings or photographs with an accompanying title. Some of his designs are more straightforward (the shirts labeled “House” and “Whale” feature, respectively, drawings of a house and a whale), while others are obscure (the shirt called “Chicken Head Tears” features a disturbing sculpture of a semi-human face).

This isn’t the first time Lynch has ventured into pursuits outside of filmmaking. Previously, he has sold coffee, designed furniture, produced music, hosted daily weather reports, and published a book about his experience with transcendental meditation. Art, in fact, falls a little closer to Lynch’s roots; the filmmaker trained for years at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts before making his mark in Hollywood.

Lynch’s Amazon store currently sells 57 T-shirts, ranging in size from small to triple XL, all for $26 each. As for our own feelings on the collection, we think they’re best reflected by this T-shirt named “Honestly, I’m Sort of Confused.”

Check out some of our favorites below:

T-shirt that says "Honestly, I'm Sort of Confused"
"Honestly, I'm Sort of Confused"

Buy it on Amazon

T-shirt with a drawing of a sleeping bird on it
"Sleeping Bird"

Buy it on Amazon

T-shirt that says Peace on Earth over and over again. The caption is pretty on the nose.
"Peace on Earth"

Buy it on Amazon

T-shirt with an image of a screaming face made out of turkey with ants in its mouth
"Turkey Cheese Head"

Buy it on Amazon

T-shirt with an odd sculpted clay face asking if you know who it is. You get the idea.
"I Was Wondering If You Know Who I Am?"

Buy it on Amazon

T-shirt with an image of a sculpted head that is not a chicken. It is blue, though.
"Chicken Head Blue"

Buy it on Amazon

T-shirt with a drawing of a lobster on it. Below the drawing, the lobster is labeled with the word lobster. Shocking, I know.
"Lobster"

Buy it on Amazon

T-shirt with an abstract drawing of what is by David Lynch's account, at least, a cowboy
"Cowboy"

Buy it on Amazon

[h/t IndieWire]

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