Weird Universe Blog — March 28, 2022

Mother-In-Law Doors

A mother-in-law door is an exterior door that lacks steps leading up to it, despite needing such steps. They're a common architectural feature in Newfoundland, and no one really knows why.

The Homes and Hues blog offers one possible explanation:

After Newfoundland officially joined Canada in 1949, fire regulations demanded that buildings have two exits, but most existing homes did not. So people carved a second door into their homes. However, since the regulations did not clearly stipulate that the second exit have stairs, they didn't bother with them.

An article by Lisa Moore in the Toronto National Post (Jan 16, 1999) offers another theory:

The traditional Newfoundland house — that is, the saltbox — had no steps leading up to the front door because that entrance was rarely used. Saltbox houses were designed with the kitchen in the back and the parlour in the front, facing the ocean (the main thoroughfare at the time was the water). The kitchen was the heart of the household because that was where the woodstove was located, and most families could only afford to heat one room. Everything happened there — eating and entertaining and playing cards or the fiddle. The parlour, on the other hand, was only used for special occasions.

For many more examples of mother-in-law doors, check out the Mother-In-Law Doors of NL Instagram page.


Posted By: Alex - Mon Mar 28, 2022 - Comments (1)
Category: Architecture

March 27, 2022

Miss Cloak and Dagger

Aug 1957: Pat Strasser was awarded the title of Miss Cloak and Dagger at the National Counter Intelligence Corps Association's 10th annual convention.

The association's new femme fatale was actually chosen by the dispassionate electronic mind of an IBM machine guaranteed not to give way to the weaknesses of ordinary conventioneering beauty contest judges.

Miss Strasser, who is 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighs 118 in a bathing suit, was judged along with nine other finalists by a unique system that considered only one part of her shapely anatomy at a time.

First the 1,000 delegates scored the girls on legs, while the rest of their bodies were hidden. They worked their way up from there and the score cards were fed into the IBM machine.

San Francisco Examiner - Aug 4, 1957

Posted By: Alex - Sun Mar 27, 2022 - Comments (0)
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests | Spies and Intelligence Services | 1950s

Follies of the Madmen #528

Our shirts will enable you to join the cast of Jackass.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Mar 27, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Fashion | Stupid and/or Dangerous Products | Advertising | 1950s

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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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