Weird Universe Blog — January 16, 2018

Fragrance-coded card catalog

In 1974, the public library in Upper Arlington, Ohio added scratch-and-sniff scents to its card catalog. They called it the "Stick Your Nose in the Card Catalogue" program.

The idea was that the card in the catalog would have a scent, and then the book on the shelf would have a matching scent. So you could find your books by smell. There were about 60 scents in total, including apple, chocolate, garlic, lemon, roses, root beer, leather, pizza, orange, strawberry, candles, pine, cheddar cheese, clover, and smoke.

I was curious what became of the scented catalog, so I emailed the library and asked. The reply came just a few minutes later:

Unfortunately, the UA Library no longer has this catalog, and has not had a physical card catalog since around August 1989. We aren't sure what exactly happened to the scented catalog, but we guess that the cards eventually lost their scent over time, but remained part of the catalog until it was decommissioned.

And they also emailed me a news clipping about the catalog (in extended, below) from the local Upper Arlington paper.

The Vernon Daily Record - Feb 9, 1975

San Antonio Express - Apr 11, 1976

More in extended >>

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jan 16, 2018 - Comments (4)
Category: Libraries, 1970s, Perfume and Cologne and Other Scents

The Candy Tangerine Man

Posted By: Paul - Tue Jan 16, 2018 - Comments (0)
Category: Stereotypes and Cliches, Exploitation and Grindhouse, 1970s

January 15, 2018

Ronald’s no protester

But I wonder how Ronald ever got targeted by the selective service system if he hadn't registered yet.

Press and Sun Bulletin - Mar 13, 1968

Posted By: Alex - Mon Jan 15, 2018 - Comments (2)
Category: Military, War, 1960s

Follies of the Madmen #347

Wait for the radioactive soap traces.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Jan 15, 2018 - Comments (4)
Category: Business, Advertising, Products, Baths, Showers and Other Cleansing Methods, 1950s

January 14, 2018


Breadwoman is a character who wears rags and a loaf of bread on her head while she dances to electronic music. She was created in the mid-1980s by performance artist Anna Homler, apparently having emerged from Homler's "background as an anthropologist and her inexplicable desire to wear bread." Although Breadwoman's mask was originally a hollowed-out loaf of bread, it's now made out of latex.

More info: LA Times, Paper, Brooklyn Vegan.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Jan 14, 2018 - Comments (1)
Category: Food, Performance Art

Cool Breeze

"Cool Breeze is cold business!"

Extra points for the lead actor's extra-juicy name: Thalmus Rasulala.

Wikipedia entry.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Jan 14, 2018 - Comments (1)
Category: Crime, Movies, Stereotypes and Cliches, 1970s

January 13, 2018

Buttless Jeans

The new look in jeans from UK fashion brand The Ragged Priest. Cost: $125. Underwear not included.

More info: Yahoo! Lifestyle

Posted By: Alex - Sat Jan 13, 2018 - Comments (1)
Category: Fashion

The Vidiot

No relevance at all to today's lifestyles.

The artist's Wikipedia page.

Posted By: Paul - Sat Jan 13, 2018 - Comments (2)
Category: Music, Avant Garde, Bohemians, Beatniks, Hippies and Slackers, 1950s

January 12, 2018

Static Copyrighted

From a recent New Yorker article:

Sebastian Tomczak, an electronic musician from Australia, uploaded a ten-hour white-noise video to YouTube, and was promptly walloped with five infringement claims...

White noise is generally defined by hazy and inharmonious hissing—it’s noise-eating noise, anti-noise, a way of drowning out other sounds. Per a BBC report, the claimants accusing Tomczak of infringement included companies who peddle white-noise recordings as sleep therapy. It turns out that his nondescript hissing mirrored their nondescript hissing.

The white noise in question:

Posted By: Alex - Fri Jan 12, 2018 - Comments (2)
Category: Cacophony, Dissonance, White Noise and Other Sonic Assaults

Follies of the Madmen #346

I was unaware that mermaids were lured by cigar smoke.

Full ad here.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Jan 12, 2018 - Comments (2)
Category: Business, Advertising, Products, Cryptozoology, Tobacco and Smoking, 1940s

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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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