Weird Universe

June 10, 2009

Does it Only Do Beans?

Heinz (of ketchup fame) recently introduced the Beanzawave, a tiny microwave that is powered by a computers USB port and would be the world's smallest microwave (7.4 inches tall x 6.2 inches wide x 5.9 deep). Only a prototype at the moment, the Beanzawave is a major breakthrough for its use of cell phone radio frequencies to cook your food in under a minute. If you don't like to lug a laptop around with you when you leave your house, but still have the need to microwave your food wherever you go there is an option to use a battery. When/If Heinz decides to go ahead and manufacture this microwave it'll cost about $160 and you'll never have to leave your computer every again. Daily Mail
Posted By: mdb777 | Date: Wed Jun 10, 2009 | Comments (3)
Category: Inventions, Products

Inventions of Buckminster Fuller, Part 5: Dymaxion Sleep

This was more a concept than an invention. It is also known as polyphasic sleep, meaning sleeping at more than one interval during a day. Although not really invented by Fuller, he did popularize it and gave it a catchy nickname. Bucky claims to have slept only 30 minutes every 6 hours and did not suffer any ill effects. You can read a story about it in Time Magazine's archives.
Posted By: fyshstyxx | Date: Wed Jun 10, 2009 | Comments (7)
Category: Health, Science, Sleep and Dreams, 1940's, Brain

Love Day

As any fan of The Simpsons knows, Springfield once celebrated a totally bogus and greed-stoked holiday known as Love Day.

Utterly oblivious to any satirical implications that make them look like idiots, the famed jeweler Cartier has decided to celebrate Love Day too. I find references to this "holiday" going back to 2007.

Here's their home page.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Wed Jun 10, 2009 | Comments (4)
Category: Business, Advertising, Holidays, Humor, Overpriced Merchandise, Cartoons

Street With A View

Last year, with the cooperation of Google, two artists and a bunch of helpers turned a little alley in Pittsburgh into "the most interesting street in the world."

Visit their site here.

Posted By: Paul | Date: Wed Jun 10, 2009 | Comments (1)
Category: Geography and Maps, Performance Art, North America

Marla Olmstead

Perhaps you recall that artistic toddler, Marla Olmstead, who, as a four-year-old, sold her paintings for big bucks. Born in 2000, could she be washed up at age nine? No! She's still painting.

Here's her site.

Posted By: Paul | Date: Wed Jun 10, 2009 | Comments (7)
Category: Art, Family, Children, Parents, Human Marvels

Forgotten and Unseen Electronics Part 14

This is the Zihotch Retro Phone Watch. It's made to look like a really old phone. This watch has no hands so instead you have to dial 117 and it will tell you the time. It only tells time in Japanese though. You can buy one here:

Posted By: phantomspy1 | Date: Wed Jun 10, 2009 | Comments (6)

June 9, 2009

Charlie the Spider Cat

This seven year old cat impatiently waits at the front door until no one answers, and then climbs the back wall --two stories!! -- to get in the back door.

Details on the story are available at The Sun, and other cat climbers are on YouTube.
Posted By: gdanea | Date: Tue Jun 09, 2009 | Comments (1)

Woody Hockaday

Woody Hockaday (1884-1947) made significant contributions to American history, but he's almost entirely forgotten today. According to the Kansas State Historical Society, he was "the first person to recognize the need for highway marking in the United States." So, on his own initiative, beginning in 1915, he started posting mileage markers on highways. Eventually "Hockaday signs" appeared on 60,000 miles of roads from Washington DC to Los Angeles.

But around 1935 he decided he needed to do something different with his life. So he started calling himself "Big Chief Pow Wow" and launched a "feathers instead of bullets" campaign. Dressed in red shorts, a feather war bonnet, sneakers, a painted sunflower on his chest, and carrying a huge bag of feathers, he would pop up at political rallies and pelt politicians with feathers (or sometimes live chickens). He explained that "to attract attention to peace a man must use sensational methods."

In 1936 he broke into the office of Assistant Secretary of War Harry Woodring and scattered feathers everywhere before being hauled away. And soon after that he launched a feather attack on radio priest Charles Coughlin.

In 1940, he combined a Santa Claus costume with his headdress and showed up in Rockefeller Plaza with a wagonload of 600 chickens. He screamed at the crowd, "I'm Santa Claus from Santa Fe. Peace! The whole world will have peace. Here, my friend, have a chicken."

Soon after that he was committed to an insane asylum. He died in 1947.

Posted By: Alex | Date: Tue Jun 09, 2009 | Comments (2)
Category: Eccentrics, Politics, 1930's

The Past Is Another Country #1

From The Saturday Evening Post for April 13 1963.

I'm guessing by the signature that this is the work of Ronald Michaud.

Posted By: Paul | Date: Tue Jun 09, 2009 | Comments (1)
Category: Cannibalism, Food, Stereotypes and Cliches, 1960's, Africa

Forgotten and Unseen Electronics Part 13

Here's another weird product from Japan. This calculator is called the Takumi Crash calculator. Unlike most calculators this one will just crash whenever it feels like it. I don't know why they decided to make the keys look like Tetris though. Unfortunately you can't buy it because the site ( that sells it is under maintenance.

Posted By: phantomspy1 | Date: Tue Jun 09, 2009 | Comments (4)
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All original content in posts is Copyright © 2008 by the author of the post, 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.