Weird Universe Blog — March 30, 2023

Oh Great, Now What?

Artists Paul Velick and Francis Shishim joined forces in 1975 to create the personae of "Bob & Bob." As Bob & Bob they engaged in performances such as the following:

A piece called Oh great, now what? consisted of eating lavish meals at expensive restaurants in Beverly Hills, then "discovering" they were broke, saying "Oh great, now what?" and being thrown out.

Text from Source book of California performance art.

I'm surprised the restaurants only threw them out. I figured an expensive restaurant would report you to the police, at the very least.

image source:

Posted By: Alex - Thu Mar 30, 2023 - Comments (2)
Category: Restaurants | Performance Art | 1970s

America’s Most Beautiful Back Contest

I can't be sure if all these videos and photos refer to the same Galveston contest, but it's likely. Except of course for the specifically Florida one.

Read about the event--which was briefly revived a decade ago--here.

Posted By: Paul - Thu Mar 30, 2023 - Comments (2)
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests | Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues | Regionalism | Twentieth Century

March 29, 2023

“I get all excited” by Joyce Drake

From her 1983 album, Joyce.

Given the devotional purpose of the album, the song title seems out of place. And for this reason, it became her most famous song.

Joyce Drake died in 2021. Her obituary at the Sealy News.

More info:

Posted By: Alex - Wed Mar 29, 2023 - Comments (1)
Category: Innuendo, Double Entendres, Symbolism, Nudge-Nudge-Wink-Wink and Subliminal Messages | Music

Follies of the Madmen #560

Posted By: Paul - Wed Mar 29, 2023 - Comments (1)
Category: Anthropomorphism | Body | Cryptozoology | Health | Advertising | 1960s | 1970s

March 28, 2023

Miss Alarming of 1952

Canonsburg Daily Notes - Oct 8, 1952

Posted By: Alex - Tue Mar 28, 2023 - Comments (2)
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests | 1950s

March 27, 2023

The Dynasphere

Invented by Dr. John Purves in the early 1930s. The driver in the pictures and video is his son.

image source:

Many have noted the limitations of the Dynasphere. For instance, this is from Joe Rhatigan's Inventions That Could Have Changed The World But Didn't (2015):

the Dynasphere's driver had trouble steering, braking, and seeing the road in front of him. There was also a chance that the driver and his passengers would spin head over heels like a hamster that suddenly stops running in its wheel. These limitations kept the Dynasphere from ever appearing on our roads and highways.

It seems to me like these are all problems that computer-aided technology could overcome. So, given that the Dynasphere looks like it would be fun to drive, I'm surprised that a version of it isn't in production somewhere.

More info: wikipedia

Posted By: Alex - Mon Mar 27, 2023 - Comments (6)
Category: 1930s | Cars

G.I. Hamlet

During WWII, Shakespeare's HAMLET was adapted for soldiers in the Pacific theater. As TIME magazine revealed:

The Theater: Hamlet in Hawaii
Monday, Nov. 27, 1944

The Army, taking the Bard by the horns in Hawaii, has come up with a G.I. Hamlet. Moreover, it has come up smiling. With Major Maurice Evans bossing the job and playing the introspective Prince for the first time since 1940, the effect on the dogfaces has been, for Evans, "simply staggering." They even rise above normal behavior by refraining from hollering or whistling when performers go into a clinch. Commented one G.I.: "They certainly must have done a lot of rewriting to bring that play so up to date."

A blue pencil, not a pen, helped do it: a third of the play has been hacked off.

The modernish costumes helped, too: Hamlet wears trousers instead of tights, delivers "To be, or not to be," in a dinner jacket with silver-brocade lapels. No help at all were the unpoetic sergeants who inevitably shattered the high-tragic mood of the soldier cast's rehearsals, with such prose passages as "Hey, Polonius, you and those other guys get some brooms and clean up the theayter."

Wikipedia reveals:

[the] highly truncated version of the play that he played for South Pacific war zones during World War II...made the prince a more decisive character. The staging, known as the "G.I. Hamlet", was produced on Broadway for 131 performances in 1945/46.

This interesting article has more details, and another picture.

Regarding the quote below, I can just picture Hamlet in a fistfight with his stepfather.

Evans’s romantic, extroverted, unneurotic, virile, and soldier-like Hamlet suggested Lord Byron.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Mar 27, 2023 - Comments (0)
Category: Theater and Stage | War | Adaptations, Reworkings, Recastings and New Versions | 1940s

March 26, 2023

A comparison of teflon and plastic

From the Hagley Archive's collection of DuPont Product information photographs.

Definite industrial chemist as dominatrix vibe.

source (1945)

An explanation:

From a boiling bath of hot sulfuric acid, a laboratory technician lifts two rods of plastic. One has charred and deteriorated. The other-a rod of DuPont's new Teflon tetrafluoroethylene resin-is not affected at all by the highly corrosive hot acid. Teflon resists the most corrosive acids and solvents to a degree unequaled by any other plastic. It is not attacked even by aqua regia which dissolves gold and platinum.

A photo of another chemist doing the same thing, but it doesn't have the same vibe to it:

source (1945)

Posted By: Alex - Sun Mar 26, 2023 - Comments (3)
Category: Mad Scientists, Evil Geniuses, Insane Villains | Photography and Photographers | Science | 1940s

Power Athletic Shoes Commercial

Our shoes will crush all opposition and restore the Fatherland!

Posted By: Paul - Sun Mar 26, 2023 - Comments (2)
Category: Dictators, Tyrants and Other Harsh Rulers | Excess, Overkill, Hyperbole and Too Much Is Not Enough | Advertising | Shoes | 1990s

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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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