Weird Universe Blog — December 4, 2019

The Obesity of Emperor Maximus

The things you learn from perusing old comics!

Source (page 19).


Posted By: Paul - Wed Dec 04, 2019 - Comments (2)
Category: Addictions | Eating | Body | Differently Abled, Handicapped, Challenged, and Otherwise Atypical | Obesity | History | Historical Figure

December 3, 2019

Chewing Gum Stigma

In Oct 2013, the chewing gum company Beldent gathered five sets of identical twins. In each set, one twin was instructed to chew gum while the other sat motionless. Visitors to the Buenos Aires Museum of Contemporary Art were then asked questions about the twins.

Their answers indicated that 73 percent of people had a more favorable impression of the gum chewing twins. Beldent claimed that this disproved the "chewing gum stigma."

Though I disagree. I think gum chewing does turn off some people. What the experiment showed was that there's an even greater stigma attached to being expressionless, showing no emotion at all

Posted By: Alex - Tue Dec 03, 2019 - Comments (0)
Category: Experiments | Psychology | Candy

The Magic Egg

State-of-the-art CGI--in 1984, that is!

Posted By: Paul - Tue Dec 03, 2019 - Comments (4)
Category: Movies | Special Effects | 1980s

December 2, 2019

Beware of Female Spies

During World War I, the U.S. Navy created a sign to warn its personnel of the threat posed by "inquisitive women".

By World War II, the sign was considered an odd curiosity, but it inspired a number of news photos of women reading the sign with interest.

source: Temple University Library

Shreveport Times - Mar 26, 1939

The Missoulian - Apr 2, 1939

Posted By: Alex - Mon Dec 02, 2019 - Comments (2)
Category: War | Armed Forces | Spies and Intelligence Services

Follies of the Madmen #455

Imagining oneself swimming through filthy dishwater is not the turn-on the advertisers imagine it to be.


Posted By: Paul - Mon Dec 02, 2019 - Comments (1)
Category: Business | Advertising | Miniature People in Ads | Domestic | 1950s

December 1, 2019

An improved container for shoe polish

Carl Herold of Pittsburgh didn't think it made sense to sell shoe polish in tin containers, because the containers were so expensive that they added substantially to the cost of the shoe polish. So, back in 1872, he came up with a solution, which he patented: pack shoe polish in animal guts.

The object of my invention is to provide a cheap and convenient mode or means for packing the ordinary shoe-blacking of commerce, which is now almost universally put up in shallow tin boxes, which, being expensive, comparatively, greatly enhances the price of the blacking thus packed... My improvement consists in putting shoe-blacking upon the market packed in the guts of animals, which will add but a trifle to the cost of the blacking.

Figure 1 is an elevation of a package of blacking put up in accordance with my invention. Fig. 2 is a transverse section thereof...

The blacking is packed in suitable lengths of animal guts A, which are then firmly tied up at both ends, presenting the appearance of a sausage. Each package should be wrapped in paper to prevent the grease or oil upon the outer surface of the package from soiling the hands in handling it. The blacking thus packed will retain its moisture, and consequently remain in a proper plastic state for a great length of time. In this condition it may be sold by the pound, each purchaser or user providing himself with a small saucer or other shallow vessel into which to empty portions of the package from time to time for use.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Dec 01, 2019 - Comments (0)
Category: Inventions | Shoes | Nineteenth Century

Carved Meerschaum Pipes

I never knew that Meerschaum pipes came in so many carved varieties.

Sale site.

Foto source.

This model seems rarer.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Dec 01, 2019 - Comments (1)
Category: Tobacco and Smoking | Carvings

November 30, 2019

Gorbachev’s Pizza Hut Commercial

In 1997, Mikhail Gorbachev, the final leader of the Soviet Union, made an ad for Pizza Hut. Political Scientist Paul Musgrave discusses it in a feature-length article in Foreign Policy magazine.

Since his involuntary retirement, Gorbachev has raised money for worthy causes, attempted to make a comeback in Russian politics, and, notoriously, made an advertisement for Pizza Hut. The ad would have become a footnote were it not for its long second life online, where it’s rediscovered every few years. There’s an undeniable voyeuristic frisson of seeing a man who once commanded a superpower hawking pizza.

Posted By: Alex - Sat Nov 30, 2019 - Comments (0)
Category: Politics | Advertising | 1990s

Prices Unlimited

Greedy, unpatriotic girls receive a visit from the Ghost of Meat Rationing Present.

Posted By: Paul - Sat Nov 30, 2019 - Comments (2)
Category: Food | PSA’s | Public Humiliation | War | 1940s

November 29, 2019

Bewitched by a sandwich

Compelling excuse. Back in 1947, when police apprehended 18-year-old Raymond Adame as he was attempting to kidnap Celina Jarmillo, he explained, "Last April she made me a sandwich of potatoes, beans, and macaroni, and according to our legend she bewitched me... I couldn't get out of her spell."

Vancouver Sun - Nov 7, 1947

Celina Jarmillo

Raymond Adame
source: Los Angeles Public Library

A follow-up report, from January 1948, noted that Adame was, in the end, only charged with assault rather than kidnapping. And it revealed that the bewitching sandwich had also included "fish eyes".

Does that literally mean eyes from fish, or is "fish eyes" a term for some less disgusting type of food?

Arizona Daily Star - Jan 9, 1948

Posted By: Alex - Fri Nov 29, 2019 - Comments (5)
Category: Crime | Food | 1940s

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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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