February 1, 2016

No one cared about Rayo

1952: Rayo the Fakir nailed his tongue to a wooden board, but no one cared about the feat.

Lethbridge Herald - Feb 29, 1952



Franklin News Herald - Mar 28, 1952



Fredericksburg Standard - Jun 18, 1952

Posted By: Alex - Mon Feb 01, 2016 - Comments (12)
Category: Human Marvels, 1950's

Conception Days Indicator

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It's the Swiss engineering that sold me!

Original ad here. (Page 55.)

Posted By: Paul - Mon Feb 01, 2016 - Comments (5)
Category: Technology, 1960's, Pregnancy

January 31, 2016

Under Fire


It takes ba...determination to stand in the path of a high powered rifle round. Even when that round is fired under water.

Posted By: patty - Sun Jan 31, 2016 - Comments (2)
Category: Guns, Swimming, Snorkeling, and Diving

Objected to taking out trash

One for the weird death file. The tragic case of Jamella Jackson, age 12. She threw her life away.

Cincinnati Enquirer - Feb 15, 1985

Posted By: Alex - Sun Jan 31, 2016 - Comments (3)
Category: Death, 1980's

Mystery Illustration 15

image

Why was this horse brought inside a house, if not just as a photo stunt?

The answer is here.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Jan 31, 2016 - Comments (8)
Category: Animals, Interior Decorating, 1960's

January 30, 2016

Anti-Aircraft Dumpling Cannon

February 1967: Munich resident Helmut G. Winter was sick and tired of the noise of military aircraft flying low over his house. So he built a catapult and started launching Bavarian potato dumplings at the planes.

In one week he launched 120 dumplings. He never managed to score a direct hit. But eventually both the West German Luftwaffe and American pilots conceded defeat and agreed to a flight path that avoided his house.

Reportedly, he gave the Americans a model of his dumpling cannon as a gesture of thanks, inscribed "As a souvenir and a warning — Helmut G. Winter, The Bavarian Dumpling Shot." I bet this model has now been lost or thrown away, instead of being in a museum where it belongs.

Cincinnati Enquirer - Feb 20, 1967



Newsweek - Mar 13, 1967



Newsweek - Mar 13, 1967



St. Louis Post-Dispatch - Mar 1, 1967

Posted By: Alex - Sat Jan 30, 2016 - Comments (7)
Category: Military, 1960's, Weapons

January 29, 2016

Smoking Periwinkle

Every so often the media needs to sound the alarm about a new drug that's corrupting the youth of the nation. In the summer of 1967, that drug was the periwinkle plant. The entire scare was based on one group of teenagers in Florida who experimented with the plant, but still it generated plenty of headlines.

Can smoking periwinkle actually get you high? Probably. Over at erowid.org there are some reports of people experimenting with it. Though despite the scare of 1967, it never caught on as a popular drug.

Dr. George Dame, a health officer in Manatee County, warned that periwinkle could have all kinds of unpleasant side effects (such as "withering of muscle tissue") because periwinkle is the source of some drugs (vinblastine and vincristine) used in chemotherapy. However, an expert on those drugs disagreed with him. From Newsweek (June 26, 1967):

A chemist at Eli Lilly & Co. of Indianapolis, where the drugs vincristine and vinblastine were developed, said last week that the perils may not be as great as Dame suspects. Both vincristine and vinblastine, he pointed out, are highly unstable and probably do not get into the smoke of burning periwinkle leaves in an active form. Nonetheless, the chemist was quick to put down the periwinkle cult. "Periwinkle," he said, "like most inedible plants, is toxic. You might get pretty sick to your stomach."


Sydney Morning Herald - Jun 4, 1967

Posted By: Alex - Fri Jan 29, 2016 - Comments (9)
Category: Drugs, Psychedelic, Smoking and Tobacco, 1960's

Newest Must Have Trend

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These creepy so called "God dolls" are a new popular trend coming out of Thailand. Not all of them have the disturbing third eye markings but all are supposed to be inhabited by a child's spirit. They are purported to bring good luck when loved and cared for. Because, yeah, that's where I hope kids spirits go, into a creepy doll to bring good luck to some yuppie jerk.

Posted By: patty - Fri Jan 29, 2016 - Comments (5)
Category: Gods, Toys, Myths and Fairytales

La Bruja

I regret that I cannot find a subtitled-in-English version of this Mexican film, where a mad scientist creates a formula that turns an extremely ugly woman into a beauty, as in the before-and-after pix below. But those of you who know Spanish--or who just want visuals--can enjoy the full movie.

image

image

Posted By: Paul - Fri Jan 29, 2016 - Comments (2)
Category: Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues, Drugs, Mad Scientists, Evil Geniuses, Insane Villains, Movies, 1950's

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Alex is best known as the curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the weird news "expert" at about.com.

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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.

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