Back in the 80s and 90s, Jay Schiffman had big hopes for his AutoVision system, which allowed a person to watch TV while driving a car. His device projected the image onto a small mirror positioned on the windshield, so that the driver could look at the road and a TV show simultaneously.
Schiffman says he was surprised to discover that television improved the drivers' concentration. He believed the moving and talking images enticed the drivers to keep their eyes on the road as they peeked at the projections in front of them.
In addition, the images kept the drivers alert, he said, stimulating their sympathetic nervous system, or fight-or-flight response.
I don't think many people were convinced by his argument. But maybe self-driving cars will create a new market for his invention.
When she was 15, her parents sent her to a private school for a couple of years, convinced she needed straightening out due to her rebellious behavior. Now that she is more mature, they expect her to pay back thousands of dollars in school fees.
This reminded me of the story that the artist Ernest Thompson Seton told in his 1940 autobiography (Trail of an Artist-Naturalist). He claimed that when he turned 21 his father presented him with an itemized bill for $537.50, which his father said was what it had cost to raise him, including the doctor's fee for his delivery. His father expected him to pay it.
According to Seton, he briefly considered paying the bill, but then decided against it, figuring he needed to keep all the money he had to establish himself as an artist.
Miss Margaret Gorman presenting the wooden loving-cup to "Miss" Alexandria, winner of the Advertising Club's "beauty" contest, held at the Raleigh yesterday. In business life pretty "Miss" Alexandria is Sylvan Oppenheimer. "Miss Congress Heights," the young "lady" with the rolling pin, is Allan De Ford. The debonair "Miss" Georgetown is Sidney Selinger and the charming young lady with the raven locks, "Miss Four-and-a-Half Street," is none other than Paul Heller] [1921 September 21]
the most bizarre of Irénée's pastimes was his large collection of iguanas. Irénée spent thousands of dollars to breed, feed, and keep these crocodile-like lizards in specially constructed pens. Some of these tough, vicious lizards grew to 3 feet in length under Irénée's loving care, and more than once the old industrialist was seen marching about with one of these ugly beasts crawling next to him on a leash. Irénée derived a peculiar kind of pleasure from these lizards. By barking a command, he could make them all come out of their pens and surround him, standing at attention. He had trained them, on another command, to attack a target to kill. It was an appalling example to the Cubans of the degeneracy of the idle rich. In a moment of the bizarre captured for history, a Life photographer in 1957 recorded old Irénée feeding his iguanas papaya from a jar at a time when most of the Cuban population was suffering from malnutrition.
"Irénée du Pont, 80, bends to pat an iguana on his Cuban estate where many of these lizards wander. He feeds them papaya from jar he holds" Life - Aug 19, 1957
This is another example of the military's interest in using sound to demoralize the enemy. This device was rather straightforward: "Dropped from a plane, the balloon bomb would drift to earth while the recorder blared out surrender demands or other morale-breaking messages to the enemy."
Patent medicine earned Dr. A. B. Seelye a fortune that allowed him to build a fine mansion that is open to the public today.
What was in his fabled Wasa Tusa?
A.B. Seelye made his fortune in patent medicines with the A.B. Seelye Medical Company. At one time he had over 500 salesmen traveling through 14 states. The Wasa Tusa they sold contained 65 percent “non-beverage alcohol, chloroform and sulphuric ether.”
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.
Our banner was drawn by the legendary underground cartoonist Rick Altergott.