Of course, not everyone had bad ideas in those old issues of Popular Science. Many of the ideas for new products were quite brilliant. This series will look at ideas that were ahead of their time. Today's lesson: In Car Tape Deck.
(from the March 1954 issue of Popular Science)
For a little background, the modern tape recorder came about in 1939, but it wasn't refined enough for commercial use until the late 1940s. Reel to reel tape recorders started to become common home recording machines in the mid 1950s and as a professional home audio format in the late 1950s. The first automobile tape player was the Muntz Stereo-Pak of 1962 which evolved in the Lear Jet Stereo 8 (better known as 8 Track) in 1964. Even so, 8 track players didn't become common in cars until the late 1960s, so unfortunately A. P. Sabol had another fifteen years to wait before his request was answered...
First a little background for those non-catholic wu-vians. By the doors in catholic churches there are fonts containing holy water. Upon entering and leaving worshippers dip a finger in the holy water and cross themselves. Recently in some places the church has suspended this age old practice due to the fear of spreading the H1N1 virus. Now Italian inventer/catholic, Luciano Marabese, has supplied the solution. He felt fear was damaging church traditions so he built a holy water dispenser. It works like a public restroom soap dispenser, the parishioner waves their hand under the dispenser and a sensor makes it spray out holy water. The invention is being used in a church in Fornaci di Briosco, a northern Italian town. But since more churches are suspending the rite Luciano has been receiving orders for the dispenser from around the world. Yes, he does charge for them, apparently he's not THAT religious. http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/reuters/091111/odds/odd_us_italy_flu_holywater_odd
[From The Saturday Evening Post for October 10 1953. Two scans, top and bottom.]
Nothing like aligning your product with a civilization that practiced human sacrifice. The Incas weren't the Aztecs, but as Wikipedia reminds us: "There is [sic] archaeological discoveries supporting the presence of sacrifice within Inca society according to Reinhard and Ceruti: 'Archaeological evidence found on distant mountain summits has established that the burial of offerings was a common practice among the Incas and that human sacrifice took place at several of the sites.The excellent preservation of the bodies and other material in the cold and dry environment of the high Andes provides revealing details about the rituals that were performed at these ceremonial complexes.'"
And did they actually make the best ink ever? I can't find any reference to such an accomplishment.
Earlier this year we heard of the national lottery that drew the same numbers two weeks running. Now meet the man who has just won a lottery jackpot for the second time!
The unnamed 34 year-old from the Limpopo province of South Africa beat 24 million to one odds to take the country's "PowerBall" draw for 30 million rand ($4 million), just seven years after winning 11 million rand ($1.5 million) from an earlier state lottery system with odds of 14 million to one. His feat is all the more remarkable given he claims to spend only 100 rand ($13) a month on tickets (Telegraph).
Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.
Chuck is the purveyor of News of the Weird, the syndicated column which for decades has set the gold-standard for reporting on oddities and the bizarre.
Our banner was drawn by the legendary underground cartoonist Rick Altergott.