Weird Universe Blog — February 3, 2024

“Tomorrow’s bombs will destroy fires”

Unfortunately, Seagram's got this prediction totally wrong. Forest fires are now a far bigger problem than they were in the 1940s.

Newsweek - Aug 14, 1944

Posted By: Alex - Sat Feb 03, 2024 - Comments (0)
Category: 1940s | Yesterday’s Tomorrows

February 2, 2024

Craved for Liquor from Compass

Gloucestershire Echo - June 21, 1949

Birmingham Post - Sep 10, 1951

Posted By: Alex - Fri Feb 02, 2024 - Comments (1)
Category: Inebriation and Intoxicants

Deranged Robot

A 'mentally disturbed' robot at the World Fair in San Diego, 1935/36. A robot provides entertainment at the California Pacific Exposition in San Diego, [but] instead of giving the planned speech, it suddenly began to speak in a boisterous cabaret voice and afterwards emitted the sounds of an orchestra. After a little bewilderment the cause for this 'mental confusion' was discovered: due to a circuit error, the robot had transmitted the program of the exhibition's broadcast station. The photo shows the robot during a thorough inspection of its speech organs and its circuits.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Feb 02, 2024 - Comments (0)
Category: Robots | Expositions, World Fairs, Celebrations | 1930s | Mental Health and Insanity

February 1, 2024

Hubert the Goober

In the early 1950s, McColl's Fine Foods adopted 'Hubert the Goober' as the mascot for its peanut butter. But by the late 1950s, it had dropped him.

Thanks to Hubert, I just learned that a 'goober' originally meant a peanut before it came to mean a foolish person. Apparently it's a Southern term. Maybe that's the reason Hubert didn't last long as a corporate mascot. McColl's was a Canadian company, and how many people in Canada would have known that a goober was a peanut?

More info: A Legume With Many Names: The Story Of 'Goober'; Historical Information Service

Vancouver Sun - Apr 21, 1951

image source: eBay Canada

Posted By: Alex - Thu Feb 01, 2024 - Comments (9)
Category: Corporate Mascots, Icons and Spokesbeings | 1950s

You Are All Alone

Several famous works of science fiction, horror and fantasy play with the solipsistic notion that only certain individuals are "real," while the rest of the world is fake. One of the best such tales is Fritz Leiber's highly recommended "You're All Alone," depicted below.

But it seems weird for an ad campaign to promote such a notion, as Van Heusen shirts did in the late 60's. A critical survey explains:

Posted By: Paul - Thu Feb 01, 2024 - Comments (1)
Category: Fashion | Paranoia, Suspicion, Solipsism, and Non-Player Characters | Advertising | 1960s

January 31, 2024

Tumor Paintings

In 1834, Dr. Peter Parker obtained a medical degree from Yale University and then traveled to China as a medical missionary. There he commissioned Chinese painter Lam Qua to make portraits of patients at the Canton Hospital who had large tumors. Yale now has 86 of these portraits in its collection.

Peter Parker seems to have been a fairly common name before it became permanently associated with Spider-Man.

More info: Yale University Library

via Design You Trust

Posted By: Alex - Wed Jan 31, 2024 - Comments (0)
Category: Art | Medicine | Nineteenth Century

January 30, 2024

Anti-Bear Flamethrower

David Girag of Glendale, CA recently was granted a patent (11,877,572) for a "portable flame propelling device" to deter an attack by an animal "such as a bear, lion, dog, or human."

I think this would just anger a bear, and then cause a forest fire.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jan 30, 2024 - Comments (3)
Category: Animals | Fireworks and Pyrotechnics | Patents | Weapons

The Highwaymen, “The Bird Man”

For our category of Actors Who Unwisely Attempt "Singing"

Posted By: Paul - Tue Jan 30, 2024 - Comments (1)
Category: Animals | Crime | Movies | Music | 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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