Weird Universe Blog — November 14, 2019

Miss Sasquatch Queen

At the Sasquatch Winter Carnival in Saskatchewan, they annually elected a "Miss Sasquatch Queen." Laura Medland, below, was the 1969 winner. Note the Sasquatch patch she's wearing.

Regina Leader-Post - Feb 25, 1970

And there seems to have been a rival Miss Sasquatch contest: the Sasquatch queen pageant held at the Regina Inn. Dona Doan, below, won that title in 1969.

So, in 1969 there were two Sasquatch Queens in Saskatchewan.

Regina Leader-Post - Feb 17, 1969

Posted By: Alex - Thu Nov 14, 2019 - Comments (2)
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests | 1960s

Benefits from the Space Program

You can read the text at the source.

Posted By: Paul - Thu Nov 14, 2019 - Comments (0)
Category: Business | Advertising | Cosmetics | Spaceflight, Astronautics, and Astronomy

November 13, 2019

The Songbird Saver

Desmond Slattery (1914-1977) claimed to be a naturalist. But I'm not sure how much scientific training he actually had. I suspect that's just how he rebranded himself after his career in Hollywood fizzled.

His 'Songbird Saver,' which he debuted in 1968, was designed to stop cats from attacking birds by conditioning them to think that, if they did so, the birds would explode. As explained in the LA Times (Jan 23, 1969):

Basically, the Songbird Saver consists of a small dummy bird which, when nudged by a cat for any reason, explodes.
Slattery's own news release describes its effectiveness perhaps more vividly:
"Slipping out of the house, the trainee-cat will make its stealthily stalking approach... Seeing it (the Songbird Saver), apparently frozen with terror, the trainee-cat will pounce upon it, and with the resulting explosion, that cat will go about 9 feet in the air and take off for the high timber before its feet touch the ground."
It is with this simple device that Slattery hopes to save civilization "as we know it."
"Songbirds are vital to our ecology of life," he explained. "Our society could not exist without them. Frankly, in six years we'd be up to our neck in insects."
Slattery emphasized his device is harmless to cats and uses merely the same sort of exploding caps used in cap pistols. It is based on common theories of preconditioning and some stuff he read by Mark Twain on a cat's ability to learn.
"It's based, actually, on a combination of Pavlov and Mark Twain. If both those guys are wrong, I'm wrong."
The dapper 54-year-old promoter denied he was "anti-cat" and said that in fact his invention would allow cats and birds to live together in harmony.

El Paso Times - Dec 26, 1968

Los Angeles Times - Jan 23, 1969

Posted By: Alex - Wed Nov 13, 2019 - Comments (0)
Category: Animals | Inventions | Cats | 1960s

November 12, 2019

Opiated Hash

You might think that ‘opiated hash’ would be marijuana laced with opium. But not so. According to Cincinnati policeman Carl Rauschenberger, in a 1970 interview, it was “droppings from guinea pigs which had been fed marijuana.” Presumably people were smoking these droppings.

The clipping below also contains a curious claim about kids supposedly injecting peanut butter or mayonnaise into their veins. I've looked into that claim at some length over at the Museum of Hoaxes.

Cincinnati Enquirer - June 7, 1970

Posted By: Alex - Tue Nov 12, 2019 - Comments (1)
Category: Drugs | Smoking and Tobacco

November 11, 2019

Dirty diapers as art

Artist Mary Kelly’s 1976 exhibit at the Insitute of Contemporary Art in London consisted of a framed series of soiled liners from her kid’s diapers. Below the fecal stains, she listed what her kid had eaten in order to produce the marks.

The exhibit provoked outrage. Siona Wilson, in her book Art Labor, Sex Politics: Feminist Effects in 1970s British Art and Performance, notes, "Kelly was forced to go into hiding for a time to avoid the unwanted media attention."

More info:,

The Twin Falls Times-News - Oct 17, 1976

Posted By: Alex - Mon Nov 11, 2019 - Comments (0)
Category: Art | Babies | 1970s

Follies of the Madmen #452

Nothing like adding a sex element to simple juvenile love of chocolate.


Posted By: Paul - Mon Nov 11, 2019 - Comments (1)
Category: Business | Advertising | Corporate Mascots, Icons and Spokesbeings | Contests, Races and Other Competitions | Sexuality | Chocolate | 1950s

November 10, 2019

Possibly in Michigan

A recent article in the NY Times describes how artist Cecelia Condit’s weirdo 1983 short video “Possibly in Michigan” is finding a new audience via social media site Tik Tok.

At the time of writing, the #PossiblyInMichigan hashtag on TikTok had over 12 million views. The video’s YouTube upload had over 750,000 views, while another recently deleted excerpt had around 875,000. “This is a wild time in my life — you couldn’t predict it,” Condit said. “It’s funny, I don’t have a gallery, I don’t have those things, but the internet has been,”— and here she interrupted herself — “I get so many hits,” she concluded.

Condit describes her video as “A musical horror story about two young women who are stalked through a shopping mall by a the cannibal named Arthur.”

Posted By: Alex - Sun Nov 10, 2019 - Comments (1)
Category: Movies | Outsider Art | 1980s

Jackson Barnett, “The World’s Richest Indian”

From Wikipedia:
With the discovery of oil on Barnett's lands in 1912, a series of court actions by interested parties litigated the control of Barnett's trust. Barnett was declared incompetent and denied access to his affairs simply because he only spoke the Muscogee Creek language and not English. Barnett was permitted a modest income and was installed in a house near Henryetta. In 1919 the courts allowed the diversion of money from Barnett's trust to the construction of the "Jackson Barnett Hospital" in Henryetta. In 1920 Barnett, then in his seventies, married Anna Laura Lowe (1881-1952), a fortune hunter whom he had met only once before. The couple had to marry in Kansas after a marriage license was denied in Oklahoma. Barnett's guardians were unable to annul the marriage and the hospital plans were never pursued. Instead, the trust was divided between Anna Barnett and Bacone Indian College.[3]

The Barnetts moved to Los Angeles and bought a mansion on Wilshire Boulevard, where Jackson passed his time directing traffic at a nearby intersection. Legal actions continued from 1923 to 1929, which provoked congressional hearings on the role of the Bureau of Indian Affairs in establishing and administering the Barnett trust and others like it. The hearings led to criticism of BIA administrator Charles H. Burke's actions, and during the 1930s, to the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934. In 1927 Barnett v. Equitable again proclaimed Jackson Barnett incompetent in federal court. In March 1934 another federal ruling annulled the Barnetts' marriage and Anna Barnett's rights to Jackson's trust on the grounds that Jackson had been "kidnapped" by a woman of suspect moral character, but allowed Anna to act as Jackson's caretaker. Jackson Barnett died on 29 May 1934 of natural causes: allegations that Anna had poisoned him were found to be false.[3][4]

Anna was finally evicted from the Wilshire Boulevard residence after four years, even though she had gained significant support from Los Angeles society,[5] including Los Angeles District Attorney Burton Fitts and California Governor Frank Merriam. Anna had to be tear-gassed after she threw a hatchet during the eviction,[5] and lived the remainder of her life with a daughter while unsuccessfully attempting to regain a share of the Barnett estate, which amounted to $3.5 million in 1934 ($55.4 million estimated value in 2012 dollars).


Lots more info here.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Nov 10, 2019 - Comments (0)
Category: Crime | Unauthorized Dwellings | Forgotten Figures and Where Are They Now? | Frauds, Cons and Scams | Government | Hospitals | Twentieth Century | Native Americans | Weddings

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