Weird Universe Blog — September 22, 2017

Cobra Asparagus

Weird biology.

Green Bay Press Gazette - July 20, 1965

Posted By: Alex - Fri Sep 22, 2017 - Comments (1)
Category: Freaks, Oddities, Quirks of Nature, 1960s

The Internet Pinball Database

With over 67,000 images, you could spend endless hours at the IPDB.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Sep 22, 2017 - Comments (0)
Category: Games, Twentieth Century

September 21, 2017

The Exploding Recipe

May 1978: Random House issued a recall of a cookbook, Woman's Day Crockery Cuisine, after realizing that one of the recipes "could cause a serious explosion."

The recipe in question was for "Silky Caramel Slices." The problem was that it instructed people to heat an unopened can of condensed milk in a crockpot for four hours. A statement from Random House noted, "If the recipe is followed, the condensed milk can could explode and shatter the lid and liner of the crockery cooker."

What the recipe neglected to mention was that you should add water into the crockpot surrounding the can. Initially I thought you should open the can also, but my wife (who's heard of this technique of cooking condensed milk on a stove top) corrected me. You keep the can closed so that the milk doesn't boil out of the can.

Marilynn Marter, writing in the Chicago Tribune (May 25, 1978) explains:

The recipe in question was for Silky Caramel Slices and called for heating a can of sweetened condensed milk in a crockpot. Because of an unfortunately elusive line that should have instructed folks to fill the pot with water, following the recipe appears to have resulted in some unintentional pop-top cans and badly damaged crockpots...

The conditions that have made this underground recipe successful and therefore popular, especially with children, are water and temperature. By being heated in boiling water, the temperature of the can and milk do not exceed the boiling point. After a few hours of this, the sugared milk turns to a caramel pudding. In the Crockpot, however, especially without water, the temperature can build up rather like a pressure cooker. That was the most immediate cause of the problem.

Front Cover

Back cover
The 'exploding' recipe (Silky Caramel Slices) is listed third from bottom, right-hand column.

The Tennessean - May 9, 1978

Posted By: Alex - Thu Sep 21, 2017 - Comments (2)
Category: Food, 1970s, Weapons

A Kookie Little Paradise

Since when did Tarzan inhabit the jungles of the Caribbean?

Posted By: Paul - Thu Sep 21, 2017 - Comments (0)
Category: Fey, Twee, Whimsical, Naive and Sadsack, Music, Nature, 1960s

September 20, 2017

No Trespassing Gun-Trap

1935: John Nardo, 61, repeatedly told William Cavin, 58, to stop coming around calling on his daughter Marion, 27. After all, Cavin was already married with two kids. Plus, it doesn't seem that Marion wanted him coming round either. But Cavin persisted.

So Nardo rigged up a deadly trap for Cavin. He connected a concealed pistol to a 'No Trespassing' sign. When Cavin tried to take the sign down, which Nardo guessed that he would because he had torn down previous signs, it triggered the gun to fire, killing Cavin.

Nardo was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 4 to 15 years.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Jan14, 1935

Sayre Evening Times - Jan 17, 1935
(It says in the caption here that Marion was 17, but every other source I've found says she was 27)

John Nardo

Posted By: Alex - Wed Sep 20, 2017 - Comments (4)

Follies of the Madmen #326

1) Sturgeons are the ONLY ones to make caviar, therefore they are best by default, and the point is moot.

2) The mental juxtaposition engendered by this ad between a fishy taste and the taste of coffee is most unpleasant.

Original ad here.

Posted By: Paul - Wed Sep 20, 2017 - Comments (4)
Category: Animals, Business, Advertising, Products, Food, 1940s

September 19, 2017

Endurance Bowling

Back in 1930, George Kinder of Milwaukee set a record for endurance bowling. He bowled for 50 hours 20 mins, rolling 362 ½ games. He had to quit because "his thumb was badly split, blistered and torn, and he couldn't grasp the ball."

Courier News - Jan 13, 1930

41 years later, Richard Dewey of Kansas City set a new endurance record. He bowled for 98 hrs 45 mins, rolling 1220 games. But Dewey also had to quit because of injuries:

During his four days on the lanes, Dewey suffered a sprained right arm, severe blisters and swollen fingers. To overcome the problem of the sprained arm, he alternated arms, throwing left, then right-handed. To take the pressure off swollen and blistered fingers, his eight-pound bowling ball was drilled out every 20 hours. But after he was unable to stop the bleeding from his fingers, officials said enough was enough.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch - May 26, 1971

More recently, in 2010, Stephen Shanabrook of Plano, Texas set a new record, bowling for 134 hrs 57 min. However, he completed only 643 games, which is only about half the number Dewey rolled in less time. Nevertheless, according to Guinness, Shanabrook is the current record holder.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Sep 19, 2017 - Comments (3)
Category: Sports, World Records

The Untouchables vs. the Touchables

One of Eliot Ness's less well-publicized duties.

Full article here.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Sep 19, 2017 - Comments (1)
Category: Crime, Medicine, Sexuality, 1940s

September 18, 2017

Respect for the Aged Day

Today is Respect for the Aged Day in Japan.

Japan Tobacco has long celebrated the day by giving senior citizens each ten packs of cigarettes.

Baltimore Sun - Sep 15, 1999

More info: Japan Times

Posted By: Alex - Mon Sep 18, 2017 - Comments (1)

Malvaz Malt Tonic

Oh, it's not beer, despite coming from Monarch Brewing--it's just a healthy Malt Tonic!

As this site says of a similar brand from the same period: "the concoction—actually just simple beer with the addition of honey—was advertised as a 'liquid food' for the treatment of various ailments, from insomnia to 'old age' to 'expectant motherhood.'"

Posted By: Paul - Mon Sep 18, 2017 - Comments (1)
Category: Advertising, 1930s, Alcohol

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All original content in posts is Copyright © 2016 by the author of the post, which is usually either Alex Boese ("Alex"), Paul Di Filippo ("Paul"), or Chuck Shepherd ("Chuck"). All rights reserved. The banner illustration at the top of this page is Copyright © 2008 by Rick Altergott.

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