Weird Universe Blog — October 5, 2021

Mystery Illustration 103

What job necessitates this woman's outfit?

The answer is here. (Scroll up a tad.)

Or after the jump.

More in extended >>

Posted By: Paul - Tue Oct 05, 2021 - Comments (3)
Category: Costumes and Masks | 1900s | 1910s

October 4, 2021

Long Eggs

Long eggs are either: a) eggs laid by specially bred long chickens; or b) a highly engineered food product created in the 1970s to satisfy the food service industry's desire to have egg slices with a consistent ratio of white and yolk.

You can choose what you want to believe.


The video below shows how long eggs might be engineered. It's in German, but even if you don't speak that it's easy to understand what's going on.

Posted By: Alex - Mon Oct 04, 2021 - Comments (5)
Category: Food

Suzy Homemaker Is a Square

"She even washes regularly!"

Posted By: Paul - Mon Oct 04, 2021 - Comments (3)
Category: Domestic | Stereotypes and Cliches | Toys | Children | Bohemians, Beatniks, Hippies and Slackers | 1960s

October 3, 2021

The Gnathograph

The Gnathograph, or 'dental articulator', was the invention of Los Angeles dental surgeon Beverly McCollum. He was also the founder, in 1926, of the Gnathologic Society.

The name 'Gnathograph' derived from 'gnathology,' this being the study of the jaw and masticatory system, from the greek word 'gnathos' meaning 'jaw'.

"The formidable contraption shown in the mouth of Miss Pearl Nord is a gnathograph, invented by Dr. Beverly B. McCollum of Los Angeles and demonstrated before the chicago Dental Society. It records direction of bite and fit of teeth and accurately guides a dentist in straightening crooked teeth or fitting inlays, crowns, bridges and plates."
image source: Agi Haines

Popular Science - June 1939

The band Femur used the image above from Popular Science as the cover art for their album Red Marks.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Oct 03, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Inventions | 1930s | Teeth

October 2, 2021

Martian Blood Concrete

Researchers at the University of Manchester have proposed that future settlers on Mars can create concrete by mixing Martian dust with their own blood and urine. Details from

Water is scarce on Mars and it costs $2 million to send a single brick to the Red Planet, according to estimates. But astronauts can simply make their own concrete on-site using Martian dust and their own blood, according to findings published this month in the journal Materials Today Bio...
The blood-and-dust mixture alone is equivalent to concrete, but researchers say it becomes even stronger when human urea is added to the mix...
Roberts and his team say that animal blood could eventually replace human blood in Martian construction projects, but that would only happen after we send cows to Mars.

Experimental 'astrocrete' made from blood and dust

We've posted before about the use of blood to make concrete. Charles Laleman was granted a patent for this in 1980, but the practice goes all the way back to Roman times.

Posted By: Alex - Sat Oct 02, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Architecture | Space Travel | Blood

Lucrecia Dalt

Let us know when you bail out!

Article on the creator.

Posted By: Paul - Sat Oct 02, 2021 - Comments (4)
Category: Ineptness, Crudity, Talentlessness, Kitsch, and Bad Art | Music | Avant Garde | South America

October 1, 2021

Portable Pig Launchers

In the pipe industry (that is, pipes through which things flow, not the pipes one smokes), 'pigs' are defined as inspection gauges that travel through pipes (see wikipedia).

This leads to some odd product names, such as Portable Pig Launchers, Bi-Directional Pigs, and Subsea Pig Trackers.

iNPIPE Products offers a full line of portable pig launchers.

Posted By: Alex - Fri Oct 01, 2021 - Comments (7)
Category: Odd Names | Farming

The Odd Couple Opera

Article source: Chicago Tribune (Chicago, Illinois) 20 Aug 1972, Sun Page 363

Posted By: Paul - Fri Oct 01, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Humor | Television | Theater and Stage | Opera

September 30, 2021

The Tax Centinels

April 1938: Students at Renselaer Polytechnic Institute managed to acquire almost all the pennies in the town of Troy, New York — around 250,000 pennies in total. They did this by first going around store-to-store claiming they needed pennies for a "penny-ante poker game." Then they went to the banks and purchased their entire supply of pennies. Since each bank was unaware that the same thing was occurring at all the other banks, they happily sold the students all the pennies they had.

As a result, the town of Troy suddenly discovered that it was in the grip of a "penny famine." Shopkeepers found themselves unable to make change. And more significantly, they found it difficult to charge the state sales tax.

This had been the point of the stunt. It had been organized by a group of students calling themselves the "Tax Centinels" in order to "focus public attention on the taxes which they claim account for 25 per cent of the cost of all necessities of life."

Having cornered all the pennies, the students went into the town the next day and began making purchases, using pennies to pay for one-quarter of whatever the cost of the item was. It was a bit like the time-honored stunt of paying fines with pennies.

Philadelphia Inquirer - Apr 6, 1938

The movement quickly spread to other colleges, so that other college towns were soon beset by penny famines. New members of the Tax Centinels were required to take the following pledge:

To help fight the growth of taxes which now consume 25 cents out of every dollar spent by the average person, I hereby endorse the policies of this non-partisan, non-political organization knwon as the Tax CENTinels.

It shall be the purpose of this organization to focus public attention on the evils of the practice of keeping concealed taxes and to awaken in the public consciousness a realization that 70 per cent of all taxes now collected by more than 175,000 separate taxing bodies in the United States are obtained through secret levies tacked on to the price of necessities we all must buy daily—food, clothing, shelter, luxuries, and semi-luxuries.

Since the average man does not realize the inroads made upon his purse by these vicious hidden taxes and that he himself pays the major costs of the government instead of the Rockefellers, Morgans and du Ponts, I hereby pledge myself to pay 25% of the price of all purchases in pennies in order to dramatize the situation to the end that it may be remedied.

Wisconsin State Journal - Apr 11, 1938

As far as I can tell, the Tax Centinel movement lasted a month or two before fizzling out. But it seems to have been symptomatic of a widespread popular discontent at the time over the sales tax. See, for instance, our earlier post about the guy who in 1939 took a case all the way to the supreme court over his indigation at having been, in his mind, unfairly charged one-half cent of sales tax.

More info: "Tax Centinels," Star and Lamp (Pi Kappa Phi newsletter) - May 3, 1938. Page 4.

Posted By: Alex - Thu Sep 30, 2021 - Comments (3)
Category: Money | 1930s | Universities, Colleges, Private Schools and Academia | Pranks

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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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