Weird Universe Blog — July 12, 2019

Alternative Opening Sequences for The Simpsons

The Russian arthouse version:

The fever dream version:

via Reddit

Posted By: Alex - Fri Jul 12, 2019 - Comments (2)
Category: Television | Cartoons

July 11, 2019

Shoo: The Deterrer of Pooping Dogs

Thirteen-year-old Noah De La Paz of California has invented a device to stop dogs from pooping on the lawn of his family’s house. It uses a camera and image-detection software. When a dog is identified, his device emits a high-pitched sound to encourage the dog to move on. Although still in the prototype stage, Noah hopes to eventually bring his invention to market.

I can see some potential problems with his invention. Such as that it doesn't seem to differentiate between pooping and non-pooping dogs. But even so, it sure would beat the currently most popular method of preventing unwanted poopers, which is to put up angry, threatening signs on your lawn.

More info: Spectrum News

Posted By: Alex - Thu Jul 11, 2019 - Comments (4)
Category: Inventions | Excrement | Dogs

July 10, 2019

Death Awareness Cafe

It's a coffee shop that encourages you to contemplate the Grim Reaper while sipping your cup of Joe. Seems like a perfect place to serve those Decomposition Cupcakes we posted about a few months ago.

The Death Awareness Cafe in Bangkok features mortuary-inspired decor and coffins placed for customers to spend time closed inside after their purchased beverages.

More info:

(You can find a transcript of what the guy in the video is saying here.)

Posted By: Alex - Wed Jul 10, 2019 - Comments (2)
Category: Business | Death | Coffee and other Legal Stimulants

Signs of Health

Alas, this positive sign was not an accurate forecast of the fate of William Schroeder.

Article source.

Posted By: Paul - Wed Jul 10, 2019 - Comments (2)
Category: Body | Death | Health | Surgery | 1980s | Alcohol

July 9, 2019

Wrong-Way Race

The runners must have been thinking that it seemed like the longest seven miles ever.

Sheboygan Press - Mar 23, 1970

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jul 09, 2019 - Comments (1)
Category: Sports | 1970s

Follies of the Madmen #433

Our zippers are for crazy people.


Posted By: Paul - Tue Jul 09, 2019 - Comments (3)
Category: Business | Advertising | Fashion | 1950s | Brain Damage

July 8, 2019

Colgate Kitchen Entrees

One of the classic brand-extension blunders of all time has to be when toothpaste-maker Colgate decided to come out with a line of frozen dinners. The story is told in many places, and it's usually described as having occurred in 1982. For instance, here's the HuffPost's take on it:

We suppose the idea behind Colgate Kitchen Entrees was the fact that you’d eat the Colgate frozen dinner and then brush your teeth with Colgate toothpaste, but this one just simply didn’t work. The frozen food market was already pretty saturated when these dinners were released in 1982, and when people think of Colgate they tend to think of clean teeth, not frozen Swedish meatballs.

Lots of other sites refer to this as having happened in 1982, such as here, here, and here. But when I took a closer look at the story I couldn't find any primary sources from 1982 about it. But there are several 1960s-era sources (Washington Food Report, Weekly Digest) that refer to Colgate having test-marketed a line of frozen dinners in Madison, Wisconsin in 1964. A 1966 article in Television Age magazine offered some insight into what inspired the company to do this:

To enlarge its business, now dependent almost entirely on soaps and toiletries against the P&G and Lever competition, Colgate has long wanted to get into the $4.2-billion convenience food field. Its efforts here have been fruitless. A line of dried chicken and crabmeat entrees under a Colgate Kitchen label was introduced and quickly withdrawn. An apple-chip called Snapples has been tested off-and-on over a two-year period, and one or two other food items are in various stages. The company has specialty foods operations in France and Italy, but evidently is finding it hard to duplicate their success here.

So, unless someone can find some primary sources that indicate otherwise, I'm going to assume that the Colgate Kitchen debacle actually happened in 1964, not 1982. And it was only a test-marketing trial run, not a full product roll-out. It would definitely be bizarre if, after the 1964 failure, Colgate tried the same thing again in 1982.

There's a couple of images of Colgate Kitchen entrees floating around the Internet, but I think they're all photoshops or mock-ups. For instance, the one below is a recent mock-up created by the Museum of Failure in Sweden.

Posted By: Alex - Mon Jul 08, 2019 - Comments (9)
Category: Business | Products | 1960s

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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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