Weird Universe Blog — March 25, 2017

The Glidden Tours

At the start of the Automotive Age, merely driving from, say, Detroit to Kansas City was a challenge and endurance test. Thus the AAA-sponsored Glidden Tours.

Here is a good write-up of the 1909 one.

Posted By: Paul - Sat Mar 25, 2017 - Comments (4)
Category: Contests, Races and Other Competitions, Twentieth Century, Cars

March 24, 2017

7 Clicks (March 24, 2017)

7 Clicks
A Weird Universe News Service
March 24, 2017

Evangelist Lance Wallnau, emboldened in the current climate, told his 200,000 followers that he "heard about" (therefore: true) a born-again ex-hooker who baked a special cake so great it turned a gay man straight. Case closed. [Dallas Morning News]

Nashvillians finally learned who "Fred Douglas" was (as in the city's "Fred Douglas Park"). (Hint: Think "Marty King.") [NPR]

Spoiler: Texas A&M researchers, who know their peacocks, concluded via body cams that females do not choose mates based on erect plumage. [Austin America-Statesman]

Least Competent Principal: Dude, it's a child's "water snake wiggly"--not a sex toy. Free (12-yr-old) Frances!! [WFTS-TV via WTMJ-TV]

Meet Edgard Brito, DVM, Sao Paulo, the surgeon who does facelifts, nose jobs, and junk-dewrinkling--on dogs--making them so adorable that, in a crunch, the uglier pugs are sure to be put down first. [New York Post]

Things That Must Be Quite a Sight: (1) "Expert witness" (describing "tests" he conducted) helping a doc on trial for rubbing his stuff against a patient, and (2) the in-development smartphone app (very accurate!) that measures sperm count (No, not from Pornhub, but that does raise the question of how . . ya hold the phone . . oh, never mind). [Global News] [New York Times]

Thanks to Paul Music, Bob Stewart, and Joe Littrell.

Posted By: Chuck - Fri Mar 24, 2017 - Comments (1)

Target Practice

Did she hit her target, or miss?

Grand Prairie Daily News - May 13, 1954

In Gutersloh, Germany, police arrested Friedelina Kleine-Beek after she followed her husband to a local tavern, watched through the window as he raised a glass of beer to his lips, then carefully aimed a rifle and fired, shattering the glass, but leaving her husband unscathed.

Posted By: Alex - Fri Mar 24, 2017 - Comments (1)
Category: Marriage, 1950s, Couples

The Vidifont Titling Device

How did TV put a caption on the screen in the Sixties?

Graphics, including all title graphics (i.e. "President Lyndon B. Johnson” or "Walter Cronkite”) were set in type or drawn by graphic artists. The graphic was photographed using 35-mm film, the film developed, and a 35-mm slide generated. The time to generate a slide exceeded one hour. The slide, when used, was placed in a special projector, scanned by a television camera, and keyed into the studio video feed. This method was known as ‘Superimposition’. Since the news department had to be prepared to identify any speaker who might appear before the cameras during the convention, Bass was faced with creating in excess of 4000 slides in advance for each convention. If an individual who was not a delegate or an alternate was called upon to give a seconding speech or to participate in an interview, a title slide probably would not be available. Bass was seeking an instantaneous, graphics-quality titling capability solution to the problem. The goal was to produce graphics that could be transparently mixed with artwork created using traditional methods.

Imagine then the delight when the Vidifont device was invented.

Original ad here.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Mar 24, 2017 - Comments (0)
Category: Technology, Television, 1960s, 1970s

March 23, 2017

Star Wars Celica GT

Back in 1977, as a stunt to help promote the opening of Star Wars, Toyota created a custom Star Wars Celica GT. Then they raffled off the car. Somebody won it, but nobody knows who. The fate of this car has become something of an obsession among fans of the movie. Was it destroyed? Is it still sitting in a garage somewhere? The mystery endures...

More info: SpeedHero, jalopnik

Santa Ana Register - Oct 8, 1977

Posted By: Alex - Thu Mar 23, 2017 - Comments (2)
Category: Motor Vehicles, Cars, Movies, 1970s

Follies of the Madmen #308

Yes, I want my product associated with the destruction of property and possible loss of life. That's a glamorous ambiance!

Original ad here.

Posted By: Paul - Thu Mar 23, 2017 - Comments (6)
Category: Business, Advertising, 1960s, Cars

March 22, 2017

Reverse Tolerance

I had never heard of "reverse tolerance" before, but apparently it's a real thing. It describes a condition in which some habitual users of a drug will, over time, require less of the drug (instead of more) to achieve the same effect. It's most often discussed with reference to marijuana, but sometimes alcohol also.

One theory is that marijuana accumulates in the body for a long time and that's what produces the effect -- i.e. you think you may be having just a little, but you've already got a lot in you. Another theory is that it's just a psychological illusion. As users become more familiar with how to smoke it, they do so more efficiently and learn to identify the effects earlier. Therefore, they think they need less to achieve the same effect.

When people develop a reverse tolerance to alchol, it's usually because of liver damage. They lose the ability to break down alcohol, so a little bit produces a big effect.

Minneapolis Star Tribune - Dec 18, 1970

St. Cloud Times - Feb 17, 1973

Posted By: Alex - Wed Mar 22, 2017 - Comments (0)
Category: Drugs

The Girlfriend of the Whirling Dervish

Lately I have been listening to a lot of Martin Denny, the inventor of exotica music. I think he certainly qualifies as weird. As do Exotik-A-GoGo, modern interpreters of his work.

Posted By: Paul - Wed Mar 22, 2017 - Comments (1)
Category: Space-age Bachelor Pad & Exotic, 1950s

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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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