Weird Universe Blog — November 27, 2019

A Queer Ferry

I would call this an aerial tramway for cars. Seems it would have been much easier just to build a bridge!

Posted By: Paul - Wed Nov 27, 2019 - Comments (8)
Category: Engineering and Construction | Motor Vehicles | Technology | 1930s

November 26, 2019

Dog-Collar Engagement Rings

An unusual fad, as reported by the San Francisco Examiner, June 19, 1927:

Only the other day there came from Denver the startling news that the young women of this western city were wearing dog collars for engagement rings in lieu of the conventional band of gold, silver or diamond-set platinum. To further emphasize the departure from tradition, the girls wore this romantic token around their legs, as shown in the photograph of Miss Fay Rowe, of Denver, on this page. Thus the engagement ring-dog-collar became a garter as well as a symbol of betrothal, combining utility with romance...

The custom was started by a young woman in one of the college sororities and it spread rapidly. It was generally believed to be something entirely new in the way of betrothal tokens, but had the young woman been a careful student in her history class she would have known that the fad she started was an old one long before the Christian era was born. Jeweled anklets have been discovered in the cinerary urns of the ancient Greeks, with inscriptions which indicate they were tokens of engagement. Bracelets were also common in all ages as tokens of betrothal...

The principal objection to the dog-collar engagement token around the leg seems to be, "What's the use of wearing an engagement ring without anybody seeing it?" To which the answer is, "Nowadays a ring worn about the leg can easily be seen with the skirts of women growing shorter and shorter."

I can think of a few more objections a bride-to-be might have, other than that the dog collar wouldn't be visible.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Nov 26, 2019 - Comments (6)
Category: 1920s | Weddings | Love & Romance

Follies of the Madmen #454

Mental burdens of college life.


Posted By: Paul - Tue Nov 26, 2019 - Comments (3)
Category: Annoying Things | Business | Advertising | Domestic | Fashion | Hygiene | 1950s | Universities, Colleges, Private Schools and Academia

November 25, 2019

Indlovu Gin

The website for Indlovu Gin describes it, somewhat euphemistically, as "The only gin designed by the African elephant from foraged botanicals." Put in plainer language, it's gin made with elephant dung. As the AP reports:

The creators of Indlovu Gin, Les and Paula Ansley, stumbled across the idea a year ago after learning that elephants eat a variety of fruits and flowers and yet digest less than a third of it. “As a consequence, in the elephant dung, you get the most amazing variety of these botanicals,” Les Ansley said during a recent visit to their operations. “Why don’t we let the elephants do the hard work of collecting all these botanicals and we will make gin from it?” he recalled his wife suggesting.

Posted By: Alex - Mon Nov 25, 2019 - Comments (3)
Category: Animals | Excrement | Alcohol

November 24, 2019

Freestyle Canoeing

Why hasn't freestyle canoeing been made an olympic event yet?

The performance begins at around 1:20.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Nov 24, 2019 - Comments (1)
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests | Sports

Dangers of the Charleston


Posted By: Paul - Sun Nov 24, 2019 - Comments (1)
Category: 1920s | Dance | Pain, Self-inflicted and Otherwise

November 23, 2019

The nonbar

The nonfood company is the maker of the nonbar, an “algae-based nutrition bar.” Sam Bloch, writing for, offers this review:

Chinen and Raspet, a former flavorist at Soylent, are the makers of the Nonbar—an energy bar derived from a blend of three algae, including spirulina. They say algae can revolutionize the food industry, but as is typical of Silicon Valley-backed future foods, the Nonbar doesn’t reimagine eating, but disrupts it. Often, these products represent a total failure of imagination. Take, for instance, the emerging field of cultured meat, where entrepreneurs are wielding a god-like power—growing muscle tissues, practically out of thin air—to make chicken nuggets and hamburgers. The Nonbar, however, is more unusual—it stands no chance of replacing the protein we currently eat because it tastes so bad. Each dense and chewy bite is dominated by tapioca, and has a lingering chalkiness that reminds eaters of the difference between status quo and sacrifice. It is the taste, however repulsive, of reducing global emissions.

You can buy the nonbar here, 10 for $30. Though they're currently listed as being on back order.

Posted By: Alex - Sat Nov 23, 2019 - Comments (2)
Category: Food

November 22, 2019

The (upside down?) art of Prince Andrew

Prince Andrew has been in the news lately, but this post isn't about the various scandals besetting him. Instead, it's about the prince's brief foray into the world of art, when he was a teenager.

At the age of 17, he completed an oil painting which he titled "Canadian Landscape." It was displayed at the Windsor Festival, which was an exhibition that gathered together works related to the Royal Family from Tudor times to the present.

I'm sure his painting must have been in color, but the AP image archive has a photo of it in black-and-white. As seen below.

As I was looking at the picture, I kept thinking that it didn't visually make much sense. Of course, perhaps it was intended to be an abstract work, but out of curiosity I flipped it around, at which point it immediately made a lot more sense. At least, I think so. See below for comparison. So, I'm pretty sure that the AP archive has his picture upside-down — and it's had it that way for years.

What I wonder is if this is just a screw-up by the AP archive, or was his painting actually displayed that way? Does Prince Andrew's painting deserve a place in the WU Gallery of Art Hung Upside-Down?

Posted By: Alex - Fri Nov 22, 2019 - Comments (3)
Category: Art | Royalty

Page 4 of 19 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