Weird Universe Blog — July 6, 2021

Miss Air Force Recruiting Detachment 215

Celeste Yarnall may be best remembered for playing Yeoman Martha Landon in the 1967 Star Trek episode "The Apple".

She also starred in the 1971 cult hit The Velvet Vampire.

She was also quite successful outside of modeling and acting. According to wikipedia, she owned "one of L.A.'s top office real-estate firms".

Given all this, being awarded the oddly specific title of "Miss Air Force Recruiting Detachment 215 for 1964" has to rank as one of her lesser life achievements.

The Red Bank Daily Register - Mar 30, 1964

Celeste Yarnall as Yeoman Martha Landon

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jul 06, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests | 1960s

July 5, 2021

The Lunar Hilton

Back in 1967, as the first landing on the moon approached, Hilton prepared plans for opening hotels in space. They envisioned first opening an Orbiter Hilton, soon to be followed by a Lunar Hilton.

Details from an article in the Boston Globe (July 20, 1969):

The first moon tourists will enjoy comfortable earth-style living in a tri-level underground resort. Bottom level will contain mechanical equipment and the center level will consist of two 400 feet guest corridors containing 100 rooms. Top level will be for public space.

Hilton said the three floors will eliminate elevators and should minimize power requirements. Multi-story underground moon hotels will come later.

Guest rooms will have wall-to-wall television for closed circuitry views of space and to receive programs from earth. A nuclear reactor kitchen will prepare dehydrated freeze dry foods. Cleaning will be done by small laser units.

The Lunar Hilton's most popular spot will probably be the Galaxy Lounge where thermopane windows will provide a view of outer space and earth. Pre-measured, pre-cooled, "instant" drinks will be served by push buttons.

Hilton even created a key for a room in its lunar hotel and printed up a form so that people could book a reservation.

More info: CNN Travel

Posted By: Alex - Mon Jul 05, 2021 - Comments (3)
Category: Hotels | Space Travel | 1960s

July 4, 2021

Uncle Sam Eagle

Happy Fourth of July!

Mary E. Harris of San Francisco was so proud of her patriotic idea of grafting the face of Uncle Sam onto the body of a bald eagle, that she decided to patent it, receiving US Design Patent No. 51415 in 1917.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Jul 04, 2021 - Comments (2)
Category: Art | Holidays | Patriotism

Beauty Knows No Pain

A species of Independence Day-style patriotism--I guess.

You will learn of this miraculous slogan around the 11-minute mark.

The Wikipedia page.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Jul 04, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues | Regionalism | Sports | Sex Symbols | 1970s | Attractiveness, Sexiness, Allure and Personal Magnetism

July 3, 2021

International Stop Continental Drift Society

The International Stop Continental Drift Society (ISCDS) was founded in 1976 by geologist John Holden with these demands: "the continents to stop moving, the sea floor to stop spreading, and such inconveniences as major earthquakes and volcanic eruptions to cease immediately." Its motto was "Eschew Sea-Floor Spreading." It also issued a newsletter that "like natural disasters will appear without warning".

By 1981 it had grown to 300 members. Mostly fellow geologists. However, Holden admitted, "So far, our demands have not been satisfactorily met."

By the mid-1980s it seems to have faded away. Although it does have a Facebook page (set to private) with 154 members.

More info: Science Year 1982,

"Dutch geologists drive a giant screw into the ground at Leiden, The Netherlands, in an attempt to stop the Eurasian tectonic plate from moving. The scientists are members of the International Stop Continental Drift Society whose purpose is to put some stability in the earth's crust."

Jack Holden - founder of the ISCDS
Longview Daily News - Sep 15, 1981

Posted By: Alex - Sat Jul 03, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Clubs, Fraternities and Other Self-selecting Organizations | Humor | Science

Follies of the Madmen #511

Entice customers by showing something disgusting.


Posted By: Paul - Sat Jul 03, 2021 - Comments (3)
Category: Business | Advertising | Food | Twentieth Century | Nausea, Revulsion and Disgust

July 2, 2021

Self-castration in early Christianity

Some ancient weirdness: The First Council of Nicaea, in 325 AD, was a meeting of Christian bishops in which they tried to establish the rules and doctrines that all Christians were supposed to follow. Wikipedia says:

Its main accomplishments were settlement of the Christological issue of the divine nature of God the Son and his relationship to God the Father, the construction of the first part of the Nicene Creed, mandating uniform observance of the date of Easter, and promulgation of early canon law.

However, one of the lesser-known rules that the bishops enacted at the Council was to ban men who had castrated themselves from being in the clergy. Because, apparently, self-castration had become something of a fad among early Christians. Enough so that the bishops felt the need to put an official stop to the practice.

The historian Daniel Caner has examined this issue in his 1997 article "The practice and prohibition of self-castration in early Christianity".

Caner notes that the fad had its origin in a passage from the New Testament, Matthew 19:12, in which Jesus appears to endorse the practice of self-castration. As the passage reads in the King James translation:

For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb; and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men; and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.

Most interpreters of the Bible, ancient and modern, argue that when Jesus used the word 'eunuch' he meant it as a synonym for 'celibacy'. Apparently this was a common use of the term 'eunuch' in the ancient world.

Nevertheless, he used the term eunuch. So some early Christians decided the passage should be taken literally. In which case, Jesus seemed to be saying that, while self-castration was not appropriate for all men, for an elite few it was an ideal to strive for. Inspired by this passage, a number of men "took the sickle and cut off [their] private parts."

The most prominent Church father who was said to have castrated himself was Origen of Alexandria (c. 185 - c. 253). But Caner notes that there was an entire sect of early Christians, the Valesians, who embraced the practice. Wikipedia says that, in addition to castrating themselves, "They were notorious for forcibly castrating travelers whom they encountered and guests who visited them."

According to Caner, the more widely adopted Christianity became in the Roman empire, the more the Church tried to present itself as the upholder of mainstream values, and self-castration really didn't fit into that image. Therefore, "Radical manifestations of an ideal de-sexualization... became a 'heretical' threat to the orthodox community."

Posted By: Alex - Fri Jul 02, 2021 - Comments (5)
Category: Body Modifications | Fads | Religion | Ancient Times | Genitals

The Boeing Sky Commuter

Another car-plane hybrid that never made it into production.

Article here.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Jul 02, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Technology | Air Travel and Airlines | 1990s | Cars

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