In 1962, East German researchers conducted a bizarre medical experiment in an attempt to find out if fear could cure cancer. They inoculated some "mice, rabbits, rats, and cocks" with cancer cells. Then they put these animals into a cage which they lowered "into a zoo-like enclosure where 30 ravenous African polecats paced for food. The polecats would leap upon the little cage, shrieking and clawing at their hoped-for prey." This terror experience was repeated every two hours for several days.
The result: the cancer cells grew more slowly in the terrorized animals.
Of course, this begs the question, what it is about fear that would fight cancer? Was it the elevated adrenalin levels? Or was there some other biochemical change that caused the effect?
Unfortunately, I can’t find any other details about this unusual experiment except for the brief news report below. I'm assuming there was never a human version of the experiment. Though one never knows, given some of the other stuff that researchers got up to behind the Iron Curtain.
The YouTube channel "I Open Doors" is all about opening doors. Every day the guy who runs it (he remains anonymous) posts a short video of himself opening a door. It's usually a different door each day. He’s been doing this now for almost a year.
His most popular video (below) shows him opening a toilet door in an airplane.
He only shows himself opening doors with his left hand, but he promises that if his channel ever reaches 100,000 subscribers he’ll reveal his right hand. As of now (Mar 2020) he’s at 513 subscribers. So he's got a ways to go.
His idea was to hollow out a cucumber and stuff it with ingredients. He then used one end of the cucumber to plug up the other stuffed side. He called this a 'gorilla sandwich'.
The site dailytitan.com offers some details about how Stenzel came up with his idea:
artist and philosopher, Alex Stenzel, 44, of Pacific Palisades, Calif., has developed a new kind of breadless sandwich that has taken the raw food community by storm. Stenzel's invention, known as the 'Gorilla Sandwich,' substitutes traditional sliced bread for a hollowed-out cucumber filled with kale, olives, mustard greens, walnuts and avocado - among other healthy ingredients.
The name 'Gorilla Sandwich,' according to Stenzel, was chosen after researching gorillas and discovering their diet consists of many greens that are high in protein.
"I'm very much into health," Stenzel said. "I've always been playing around with different types of herbs and different kinds of vegetables."
Stenzel, who is originally from an industrial area in Germany, came across this idea when confronted with a choice: eat his salad at home or store it inside a hollowed-out cucumber to make it portable enough to take to the beach with him. For Stenzel, who is a surfing enthusiast, the answer was obvious, and he was soon off to the beach to 'kiss the waves,' as he calls it, with his new edible invention. Stenzel also has had a world ranking for three different sports: tennis, mountain biking and the Iron Man World Championships in Hawaii in 1986.
"To reach the highest performance level possible, I experimented with different healthy diets," he said.
Stenzel has posted a series of videos on YouTube that provide complete instructions on how you can make your own gorilla sandwich.
We've reported a few cases on WU of people who have experienced accidental (and improbable) cures, such as the woman whose deafness was cured by a sneeze. One of the most famous examples of this phenomenon is the case of Edwin Robinson, who claimed that being struck by lightning cured him of his blindness and near-total deafness.
The lightning strike occurred on June 4, 1980 when he ventured outside of his home in Falmouth, Maine to rescue his pet chicken from the rain. After lying unconscious for 20 minutes, the 62-year-old Robinson awoke to find himself cured of the ailments that had plagued him since a road accident nine years earlier. An ophthalmologist who examined him, Dr. Albert Moulton of Portland, said: "There is no question but that his vision is back. He can't move his eyes, but his central vision is back... I can't explain it. I don't know who can. I know some of my peers in Washington, maybe, will say it's hysterical blindness. I can't see it. It couldn't have lasted this long. From the physical findings originally, he was definitely blind."
Edwin Robinson reads about his miraculous recovery
Later, Robinson even claimed that new hair had begun to grow on his bald head. He remarked to the NY Times, "I'm all recharged now, literally... It's coming in thick. My wife is all excited about it. I was bald for 35 years. They told me it was hereditary."
Los Angeles Times - July 5, 1980
Later, Timex took advantage of Robinson's fame to feature him in a 1990 ad. Although the messaging seems a bit confused. Once broken, but now miraculously fixed?
Also, it's hard to tell, but he doesn't seem to have a full head of hair. He must have lost it again.
In this unusually broad comedy for Fairbanks, the acrobatic leading man plays "Coke Ennyday", a cocaine-shooting detective who is a parody of Sherlock Holmes. Ennyday is given to injecting himself from a bandolier of syringes worn across his chest, and liberally helps himself to the contents of a hatbox-sized round container of white powder labeled "COCAINE" on his desk.
Invented in the late 1970s by Vincent Siano and his cousin Nicholas Piazza. They named it the Tarottells Machine. However, it doesn't seem to have ever made it onto store shelves. So, for now, tarot readers remain unthreatened by the automation that has swept other industries.
Nicholas Piazza with the Tarottells Machine
Some details about the Tarottells Machine from an AP News story by Kay Bartlett (June 11, 1978 in the Allentown Morning Call):
Siano and Piazza have high hopes for their Tarottells Machine, an invention that so excites Vinnie, the spokesman, that he likes to take off his jacket and stand as he describes it.
Siano, an artist at Grumman Aircraft and a textbook illustrator, rises to lyrical heights demonstrating his machine: "This is the first time in the history of the world — the first Tarot machine. Automation has come to Tarot..."
The machine, with cursor and compass, has a custom carrying case. The game is made of black plastic and bright orange Tarot cards and measures some 27 inches square.
You get the cards' message by pressing a lever to cut the cards three times to the left — mandatory procedure in Tarot. Then they spin around until another lever activates a silver pointer that singles out the card.
"We have also incorporated astrology to get the best possible reading," says Siano, whipping out a tray of beautifully drawn figures of the Zodiac. "And we have also adopted ESP into this machine.
"You'll get a better answer from this than any Ouija Board. What we need is a dynamic corporation that has the guts to turn this thing out."
Siano says a big toy manufacturer had the machine in its vaults for six weeks, but the man who thought it a good idea was fired and the machine was returned.
Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.
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