Weird Universe Blog — May 8, 2024

Good Waitress, Bad Waitress

Stills from a 1950s-era film made to train waitresses at Krystal restaurants.

Bad Waitress

Info from the Chattanooga Times:

The Bad Waitress terrorizes customers. She chain smokes cigarettes as she jots down food orders. She penciled Groucho Marx eyebrows above her drooping eyelids and a beauty mark onto her face where a dimple would be -- if she ever smiled. Her smeared lipstick can't conceal sneering lips. Her hairstyle is collapsing crazily around her face.

Chattanooga-based Continental Films deployed the Bad Waitress in films and slideshows during the 1950s and early 1960s to teach Krystal employees how to give excellent customer service. (Yes, Krystal once had waitresses.)

The same actress returns as a nonsmoking Good Waitress wearing a spotless uniform. Her hair is swept into a neat bouffant, her eyebrows perfectly plucked and her makeup is modest. She even smiles demurely.

Good Waitress

The film was part of a collection donated to the Chattanooga History Center. But I don't think they've put the film online yet.

Posted By: Alex - Wed May 08, 2024 - Comments (0)
Category: Movies | Restaurants | 1950s

May 7, 2024

Cookin’ With Dr. Pepper

Take pretty much any recipe. Add Dr. Pepper to it. And then you're "Cookin' With Dr. Pepper".

Full text available at the Internet Archive.

Posted By: Alex - Tue May 07, 2024 - Comments (2)
Category: Cookbooks

May 6, 2024

Making Pigeons Pay

Wendell Levi's book is about how to make make money raising pigeons. Not about getting revenge on them. Though the latter would doubtless be a more interesting book.

You can read the entire book for free at the Internet Archive.

Browsing through his book, I learned that squab is the term for pigeon meat. (I'm sure most WU readers knew this already, but it was news to me). I've never eaten squab. Nor can I recall ever seeing it for sale in a supermarket, or on a restaurant menu. But it's readily available online, such as at

Posted By: Alex - Mon May 06, 2024 - Comments (2)
Category: Food | Farming | Books

May 5, 2024

Death by Roses

Aug 1979: Mary A. Koch collapsed and died while at work soon after receiving a bouquet of roses as a wedding anniversary gift from her husband. Medical examiners suspected she had a fatal, allergic reaction to the roses.

Detroit Free Press - Aug 30, 1979

While the death from roses was strange enough, it turns out that her mother had died earlier "under similar circumstances."

Waterville Morning Sentinel - Sep 1, 1979

Posted By: Alex - Sun May 05, 2024 - Comments (1)
Category: Death | 1970s

The Bromo Seltzer Tower

The building's home page.

The original tower was topped by a 51-foot revolving replica of the blue Bromo-Seltzer bottle, which was illuminated with 596 lights and could be seen 20 miles away. Due to structural concerns, the bottle was removed in 1936.

Posted By: Paul - Sun May 05, 2024 - Comments (1)
Category: Architecture | Excess, Overkill, Hyperbole and Too Much Is Not Enough | Regionalism | Advertising | Twentieth Century

May 4, 2024

Reconstructing shredded paper money

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority visitor center sells souvenir glass containers full of shredded paper money. Each container (costing $100 HKD) is advertised as containing 138 complete $1000 HKD banknotes.

Researcher Chunt T. Kong set out to determine whether he could use "computer vision" to reconstruct the shredded banknotes. If he could, this would mean that for an investment of $100 HKD he would be able to reconstruct notes worth $138,000 HKD.

He determined that, yes, in theory the banknotes could be reconstructed. But he encountered a few problems:

First, the souvenir containers often contained far fewer than 138 notes. Some had as few as 20 notes in them. He found stones hidden in some of the containers. This, he complained, was false advertising. He noted, "it appears that the Hong Kong Monetary Authority has broken the law."

The second problem: "even though the shredded banknote pieces could construct a complete banknote, the serial number may not have come from the same banknote, and there is a high chance that it could not be exchanged for real money."

He didn't address how all the little pieces would be stuck back together. With scotch tape?

But, of course, it was all just a theoretical exercise. Though he says that, having informed the Hong Kong Monetary Authority visitor center of what he did, they're now no longer selling the shredded money.

More info: "The possibility of making $138,000 from shredded banknote pieces using computer vision"

via New Scientist

Posted By: Alex - Sat May 04, 2024 - Comments (1)
Category: Money | AI, Robots and Other Automatons | Computers

Crazy Yogi

Posted By: Paul - Sat May 04, 2024 - Comments (0)
Category: Animals | Anthropomorphism | Music | Cartoons | 1960s

Page 4 of 18 pages ‹ First  < 2 3 4 5 6 >  Last ›
Custom Search
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.

Go to top