Weird Universe Blog — June 30, 2020

Sack O’ Sauce

I'm sure the product tasted fine, but the name would give me pause.

Life - Jan 16, 1950

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jun 30, 2020 - Comments (3)
Category: Food | Advertising | 1950s

Tony Galento’s Training Regimen

Wikipedia tells us:

Galento, who claimed to be 5'9 (177 cm) tall, liked to weigh in at about 235 lb (107 kg) for his matches. He achieved this level of fitness by eating whatever, whenever he wanted. A typical meal for Galento consisted of six chickens, a side of spaghetti, all washed down with a half gallon of red wine, or beer, or both at one sitting. When he did go to training camp, he foiled his trainer's attempts to modify his diet, and terrorized his sparring partners by eating their meals in addition to his.

He was reputed to train on beer, and allegedly ate 52 hot dogs on a bet before facing heavyweight Arthur DeKuh. Galento was supposedly so bloated before the fight that the waist line of his trunks had to be slit for him to fit into them. Galento claimed that he was sluggish from the effects of eating all those hot dogs, and that he could not move for three rounds. Nevertheless, Galento knocked out the 6'3" (192 cm) DeKuh with one punch, a left hook, in the fourth round.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Jun 30, 2020 - Comments (0)
Category: Excess, Overkill, Hyperbole and Too Much Is Not Enough | Food | Hygiene | Sports | 1930s

June 29, 2020

World Championship Sardine Packing Contest

The World Championship Sardine Packing Contest was launched in 1970 in Rockland, Maine. But by 1990 the contest had fizzled out, due largely to an inability to find anyone willing to compete in it. This reflected the decline of the sardine packing industry in the region, as well a shift to mechanization.

The contest in 1972. Source: facebook

Circa 1971. Source: Digital Maine

Five-time champion Rita Willey became known as "the Mahammad Ali of all sardine packers." There's an exhibit honoring her in the Maine Coast Sardine History Museum. According to the museum:

when Rita was the reigning champion, she could pack 400 cans per hour. That means cutting and packing five fish per can. Her fame landed her on "The Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson, "What's My Line?", "To Tell The Truth", and "Real People".

image source: Maine Travel Maven

Evidently there must still be sardine packing contests held on occasion, though no longer in Rockland. The video below shows a 2005 contest sponsored by the Canadian firm Connors.

Posted By: Alex - Mon Jun 29, 2020 - Comments (3)
Category: Sports | World Records | Fish

June 28, 2020

Apparatus for temporarily immobilizing earthworms

Worms wiggle. This can make it hard for fishermen to impale them on a hook. But in 1989, Loren Lukehart of Boise, Idaho offered a solution. He received a patent (No. 4,800,666) for a method of "dewiggling" earthworms.

His invention was essentially a rectangular box full of sand. From his patent:

To dewiggle a worm, the fisherman has to simply set the worm in the rectangular container on top of the sharp grained sand. During the worm's natural locomotion process, the sand becomes partially imbedded in the earthworm and causes an immediate reaction wherein the earthworm completely relaxes. The earthworm is then effectively dewiggled and ready to be impaled onto the fishing hook.

Once the sand coated earthworm is immersed in water, the sand rinses free and the earthworm resume its normal wiggly character.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Jun 28, 2020 - Comments (0)
Category: Inventions | Sports | 1980s

Forty Commercial Minutes from 1969

An absolutely fascinating time capsule of absurdity, sincerity and mendacity in a vanished era.

Note how much pop culture had infiltrated advertising, such as the YELLOW SUBMARINE-style animation in several cases.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Jun 28, 2020 - Comments (2)
Category: Advertising | 1960s

June 27, 2020

Falling Cats

The physics of falling cats. Narrated by Australian physicist Karl Kruszelnicki.

The Age (Melbourne, Australia) - Sep 4, 1991

Posted By: Alex - Sat Jun 27, 2020 - Comments (3)
Category: Science | Cartoons | Cats

“The Fish” by PES

Posted By: Paul - Sat Jun 27, 2020 - Comments (0)
Category: Animals | PSA’s | Environmentalism and Ecology | Stop-motion Animation

June 26, 2020

“Oh, it was my cruel parents who first did me trepan”

To trepan means to perforate the skull with a drill. Which makes the title of this old folk song from Norwich extremely odd.

However, the song itself isn't actually about parents drilling a hole in the skull of their child, despite the title. Turns out, 'trepan' has another, archaic meaning, which is to trap or ensnare, and that's how it's used here.

But even though it isn't about pediatric brain surgery, it's still quite a dark and violent song.

It's performed below by Jon Wilks. He starts singing the song about halfway through the clip.

Oh, it was my cruel parents that first did me trepan;
They married me to an old man for the sake of money and land.
If they'd married me to a young man without a penny at all,
He'd have took me in his arms and have loved me all the more.

Oh, it's, "Hush, my dearest Nancy, oh, wait 'til we go to town,
I'll buy you a lady's bonney, likewise a mus-e-lin gown;
There is no lady in the land your beauty can compare,
And I'll buy you a little lapdog to follow you everywhere."

"I want none of your little lapdogs nor none of your gentle care;
It's a pity that such an old man my beauty you should snare.
I am not sixteen years of age and scarcely in my bloom;
Oh, you are my cruel torment, both morning, night and noon."

When he comes to bed at night he's as cold as any clay:
His feet are as cold at midnight as corpse, I've heard them say;
His pipes are out of order and his old flute's never in tune:
Oh, I wish that he was dead and a young man in the room.

[Now some they do persuade me to drown him in a well,
And others do persuade me to grind him in a mill.
I'd rather take my own advice and tie him to a stake,]
Oh I'll get a big stick and labour him well, until his bones I break.

Source of lyrics

Posted By: Alex - Fri Jun 26, 2020 - Comments (1)
Category: Languages | Music

Follies of the Madmen #481

Isn't it the offending husband who is usually the spouse assigned to sleep in the tub?


Posted By: Paul - Fri Jun 26, 2020 - Comments (2)
Category: Business | Advertising | Domestic | Excess, Overkill, Hyperbole and Too Much Is Not Enough | Husbands | Wives | 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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