Weird Universe Blog — October 25, 2020

My Old Flame

A song that goes rapidly off the rails around the one-minute mark, with some Halloween relevance.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Oct 25, 2020 - Comments (4)
Category: Hoaxes and Imposters and Imitators | Horror | Music | 1940s | Parody

October 24, 2020

Have a nice day

Officials said the 17-year-old driver delivered a pizza to a local mobile home park late Friday, and after collecting payment and making change he urged the customer to "have a nice day."
The driver said the customer responded with one punch to his face and six to his stomach.

Casper Star-Tribune - Nov 23, 1983

Posted By: Alex - Sat Oct 24, 2020 - Comments (6)
Category: Antisocial Activities | 1980s

Bambi Play Bags

I sure hope there are air-holes in these repurposed drycleaner bags.


Posted By: Paul - Sat Oct 24, 2020 - Comments (10)
Category: Death | Movies | Children | 1950s

October 23, 2020

Unicorn Hunters

In 1976, a group at Lake Superior State University, calling itself the 'Unicorn Hunters,' released a "banished word list" that cataloged words they felt should be banished from the English language "for Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness." Every year since then this group has released an updated new list. Words and phrases for 2020 include 'Quid pro quo,' 'Artisanal,' and 'Mouthfeel'.

'Unicorn Hunters' is an odd name, and as far as I can tell, the origin of the name had nothing to do with the banished word list. It was invented by Wilmer T. Rabe, the public relations director at LSSU, who felt the school needed to let people know it was about more than just engineering. (It was best known, at the time, as a feeder school for Michigan Technical University). More info from the Des Moines Tribune (Aug 2, 1976):

To emphasize the college's non-engineering aspects, Rabe proposed a 'poet's fortnight.' Professor Peter Thomas, Lake Superior's poet in residence, embellished the Rabe proposal and 'Unicorn Hunters' — later refined into Unicorns Ltd., Conglomerate — was born.
"From there," says Rabe, "it kind of just grew and began to embrace more and more things."
Loosely put, unicornism — Lake Superior State style — is an abstraction seemingly devoted to the pursuit of joy.
Conglomerate stationery explains: "The Hunters are dedicated to the proposition that every man has a unicorn which he is predestined to hunt. It is not necessary that he actually find or slay this unicorn, merely that he diligently seek it."

To this day, you can still download a Unicorn Hunting License from the school's website. The Banished Word List was one of the ideas created by this group.

The irony is that, in recent years, the term 'Unicorn Hunters' has come to acquire a very different meaning. Googling the term now brings up this definition:

"Unicorn hunting" is where a male/female couple look to find one person who they can permanently invite into their relationship. They form a "triad" with the couple and the three people have group sex.

Maybe it's time for LSSU to add 'Unicorn Hunters' to its banished word list.

Posted By: Alex - Fri Oct 23, 2020 - Comments (2)
Category: Languages | 1970s

Twenty Minutes of 1960s Hygiene Commercials

If all these products had been properly employed, Americans would have had perfect lives!

Posted By: Paul - Fri Oct 23, 2020 - Comments (1)
Category: Business | Advertising | Hygiene | 1960s | Hair and Hairstyling

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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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