Weird Universe Blog — June 11, 2017

ME Pearl and her Opossum

She's been posting videos to YouTube for the last six years featuring her opossum and sometimes a squirrel. Her two most viewed videos are below. You can also check out her website.



Posted By: Alex - Sun Jun 11, 2017 - Comments (2)
Category: Animals, Video

June 10, 2017

Miss Bomarc Interceptor Missile



The missile is the supersonic Bomarc anti-aircraft missile developed by Boeing and the University of Michigan Aeronautical Research Center. The woman is 18-year-old Fran Frost. The year was 1958.

The Hill Top Times, newspaper of Hill Air Force Base, offered the following coverage:

This guided missile hairstyle was inspired by the supersonic Bomarc missile. It’s a swirl-a-wave which features supersonic action from nape to crown. From a siren list, it cruises to a froth of fluff swinging from cheek to tip of ear. The nuclear payload goes into super action and long-range swirls intercepted by flowing lines and high altitude sweeps cruising towards its target of pixie bangs on the brow.

Fran Frost went on to be Miss Utah State Fair, Miss Dairy Queen, and Miss World Contact Lens, but then retired from modeling.

Read her full story at Conelrad Adjacent.

Posted By: Alex - Sat Jun 10, 2017 - Comments (3)
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests, Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues, 1950s, Weapons

Chicago’s War on Syphilis



Imagine the uproar if this were attempted today.

Full article here.




Chicago's War on Syphilis: 1937-1940

Posted By: Paul - Sat Jun 10, 2017 - Comments (5)
Category: Education, Civic Duties, Teenagers, 1930s, Diseases

June 9, 2017

The Art of Hayley Newman

Below are some of the captioned images that artist Hayley Newman displayed at her first solo show, "Connotations - Performance Images 1994-98".

Lock-jaw Lecture Series (1997/1998)
"Over the period of a year I was invited to give a series of lectures on my work. Before each lecture I visited a local dentist and had my mouth anaesthetised. With my mouth made immobile, I gave my feeblest apologies to the students and staff before attempting to talk on my work."



B(in) (1996)
"Sitting in a bin bag waiting for bin men to pick me up in New York. When the bin men arrived at 4pm, I jumped out of the bag and ran home."



Crying Glasses (An Aid to Melancholia) - (1995)
"Over a year I wore the crying glasses while travelling on public transport in all the cities I visited. The glasses functioned using a pump system which, hidden inside my jacket allowed me to pump water up out of the glasses and produced a trickle of tears down my cheeks. The glasses were conceived as a tool to enable the representation of feelings in public spaces. Over the months of wearing the glasses they became an external mechanism which enabled the manifestation of internal and unidentifiable emotions."



Spirit (1995)
"Soho, London: Dressed as a ghost for Halloween I ran into various pubs in London's Soho, stole a drink and then left."



Here's the punchline, which Newman revealed if you read the fine print in the exhibit guide:

The photographs in the series were staged and performed by myself with most of the images being taken by the photographer Casey Orr over a week in the summer of 1998. The dates, locations, photographers and contexts for the performances cited in the text panels are fictional. In all instances the action had to be performed for the photograph but did not take place within the circumstances or places outlined in the supporting text.


Image sources: Lock-jaw, Crying Glasses, B(in), Spirit

Posted By: Alex - Fri Jun 09, 2017 - Comments (3)
Category: Art, Photography and Photographers, 1990s

Reno Divorce Myth





Original photo and article here.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Jun 09, 2017 - Comments (2)
Category: Customs, Regionalism, Divorce, 1930s

June 8, 2017

Tooth Jumping and other DIY dentistry

Over in Salt Lake City, a woman has been charged with felony child abuse for using a pair of needle-nose pliers to extract some of her 7-year-old son's teeth while in a Walmart restroom. She picked up the pliers and some hand sanitizer in the store and then headed to the restroom to perform the dental work. No anesthetic, of course. She claimed her son's teeth were loose and infected. A dentist who later examined the boy disagreed. [ksl.com]

This reminded me of the old backwoods art of tooth jumping. From Smoky Mountain Voices: A Lexicon of Southern Appalachian Speech:

tooth-jumping: [vbl. n. the practice of extracting a tooth with hammer and nail.] "You take a cut nail (not one o' those round wire nails) and place its squar p'int agin the ridge of the tooth, jest under the edge of the gum. Then jump the tooth out with a hammer. A man who knows how can jump a tooth without it hurtin' half as bad as pullin'" [K:] "I have told dentists and physicians in the North about 'tooth-jumping,' and they laughed at me." (Bob) "Well, they needn't to laugh; for it's so. Some men got to be as experienced at it as tooth-dentists are at pullin'. They'd cut around the gums, and then put the nail at jest sich an angle, slantin' downward for an upper tooth or upwards for a lower tooth, and hit one lick." [K:] "Would the tooth come out the first lick?" [Bob] "Ginerally. If it didn't, you might as well stick your head in a bee-gum & fergit about it." [K:] "Back teeth extracted that way?" [Bob:] "Yes, sir—any kind of a tooth"

Tooth-jumping in rural Tennessee

Posted By: Alex - Thu Jun 08, 2017 - Comments (4)
Category: Teeth

Mystery Gadget 49



Part of a household appliance once more common than it is nowadays. But what?

The answer is here.

And after the jump.



More in extended >>

Posted By: Paul - Thu Jun 08, 2017 - Comments (4)
Category: Appliances, 1950s

June 7, 2017

The Big Shave

A lot of famous directors begin their careers by making weird, experimental films. For instance, there's the case of Martin Scorsese and his odd, six-minute film The Big Shave that he made in 1967. It had an alternative title, Viet '67, because it was apparently a metaphor for the war in Vietnam, even though the entire film involves a guy shaving.

According to Slate.com, "the director conceived of the film after emerging from a 'spell of deep depression,' during which he apparently had trouble shaving."

Over at Cinephilia & Beyond, they've posted Scorsese's original script for the film.



In 2011, the singer Dave Hause made a music video that recreated the scenes from the film:

Posted By: Alex - Wed Jun 07, 2017 - Comments (3)
Category: Movies, 1960s

Safe, Sane and Single

Posted By: Paul - Wed Jun 07, 2017 - Comments (2)
Category: Domestic, Music, 1940s, Men, Women

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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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