I have a friend who's a couple of decades older than me. Recently, he happened to mention that his daughter, when a teenager in the Sixties, had been a member of a hippie commune in Oregon, the Family of the Mystic Arts. He recalled that Life magazine had done a photospread on the commune back then.
I remarked that all of Life's photos were now online.
We found several photos. (Alas, his daughter is not pictured.)
One is posted below.
For the other two, I'm directing you to the Life archives, rather than reproduce them here.
Because they feature bare-breasted female children.
Yes, that's right. Due to the prevailing cultural insanity, this blog cannot safely feature photos which a general-interest G-rated magazine that sold millions of copies each week could show forty years ago.
So here's a little tribute to a more innocent and less paranoid time, when "weird" was almost the dominant cultural mode.
Dr. Tsai trained a cat and a rat to cooperate together in order to get food. From the LA Times, July 15, 1951:
The latest research was done with the aid of special apparatus composed of three sections separated by electrically controlled screen gates. First section is the entrance or release box, where a cat and a rat assemble for a test. The second section is the reaction chamber where cooperation takes place.
To get into the third section, where a dish of food awaits, the cat and mouse must each step on a floor button simultaneously. When this is done by perfect cooperation the gate drops and both animals thus gain admittance to the food chamber.
Dr. Tsai reported that, "Soon all the pairs of cats and rats began to work together. Finally their cooperation was so perfect that they took only three seconds to reach their food from the entrance."
Dr. Tsai figured that these results disproved Darwin's concept of the Survival of the Fittest. He told the LA Times reporter: "In the face of the fact that even alley cats and rats live together, eat together, sleep together, play together and work together, Darwin's theory seems at most only a half-truth."
What's really amazing is that this guy was a professor of biology at first the University of Chicago, then Tulane, then UCLA, and yet he didn't seem to have a clear understanding of what Darwin meant by the Survival of the Fittest. Nor, as far as I can tell, did anyone ever call him out as a crackpot. In fact, there was talk of nominating him for the Nobel Peace Prize.
and the Afternoon Edition of Chuck's News of the Weird Daily for Monday, December 22, 2008 [and the last news post until December 29!]
Your Daily Jury Duty [no fair examining the evidence; verdict must be based on mugshot only]
Carol Ann McCaleb, 50, New Port Richey, Fla., was arrested most recently for battery. St. Petersburg Times Blogs Comments 'carol_mccaleb'
Eyewitness News [news video goin' around]
This is the predictable result when two bus drivers not much good with snow/ice then fail to respect a steep hill. KOMO-TV (Seattle) [scroll down at link for photos] Comments 'eyewitness_081222'
Professor Music's Weird Link o' the Day
It says here you can actually buy an Artificial Virginity Hymen to stain the sheets just right. Salon///Gigimo.com Comments 'artificial_hymen'
More Things to Worry About on Monday
Even in a recession, there's one town so rich that they tip all the municipal employees about $1,000 at Christmastime. Associated Press via Yahoo
Sneezing, doctors found, can be triggered by sunlight, eyebrow-plucking, or, er, thinking about sex. The Independent (London)
Karmic revenge writ large: A fire that killed 100 cats was caused by mice chewing through electrical wiring. Toronto Star
Throwback: Kyle Davies, who makes $427k (probable Kansas City Royals' number-three starting pitcher), actually has a 9-to-5 off-season job. (Bonus: He works construction, is "the most dependable worker you can find.") Kansas City Star
A middle school in Norwalk, Conn., caught three kids selling mixed drinks (seriously) on a school bus. Norwalk Advocate
What's the world coming to? "Kentucky Asks Feds For Help As More Horses Diagnosed With STD" WLWT-TV (Cincinnati)
Two of the hot toys this season are the Gotta Go Doll ($39.99), with the, er, interactive toilet, and Baby Alive ($59.99), which comes with its own food and toilet and "may stain some surfaces" if Baby's got the runs. Washington Post
Today's Newsrangers: Stephen Taylor, Mindy Cohen, Gil Nelson, Sandy Pearlman, Caroline Lawler, Jessica McRorie, Tom Carney, Ian Pert, Ginger Katz, Peter Hine, Sara Scharf Comments on the Afternoon Edition of Chuck's News of the Weird Daily for Monday? Comments 'cycle_081222'
Back in the early 1960s, researchers at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab created one of the first autonomous robots. They called it "The Beast." From Popular Science, Sep 1964:
A computer brain and a flexible arm with microswitch fingers enable a robot to "stay alive" at the Johns Hopkins physics lab. Called "The Beast," the wheeled, two-foot high robot "senses" when its batteries are beginning to run down. It then feels its way along a wall until its fingers find an electrical outlet, plugs itself in and gets a revitalizing charge. "The Beast" has no function other than to satisfy the impish sense of humor of the Hopkins scientists.
and the Morning Edition of Chuck's News of the Weird Daily for Monday, December 22, 2008
You'll recall from Friday that Your Humble Daily News Editor is taking the rest of the week off (following another post this afternoon). I'll be back on Monday morning, December 29. My pals Alex and Paul will continue to keep you entertained.
Out-of-control performance artist Oleg Kulik has been censored in France
One of his shtiks was a two-week show at a New York gallery ("I Bite America") in which he, naked, pretended to be a dog, on all fours, growling and biting at visitors. Photos of that show were on display in Paris, and since one was of Kulik simulating sex with a real dog, all the photos were yanked. (Among his previous stunts: hanging from the ceiling while covered in mirrors, as the "human mirror ball," which of course, as anyone knows, was a "critique of the worlds of art, entertainment, and mass culture and their crucifixion of the artist." Of course.) The Times (London) Comments 'oleg_kulik'
Brighton, Mich.: land of opportunity
The City Council just passed an ordinance making it illegal to be annoying in public, "by word of mouth, sign, or motions." Unfortunately, violators can't be jailed but only ticketed and fined. Of course, such a law is way-unconstitutional, but courts are busy, and it'll take a while before challenges get there. Could be they're just making a play to become America's Vacation Paradise. Associated Press via Detroit News Comments 'brighton_annoying'
Why do academics do so much frivolous research?
Well, as The Times of London noted yesterday, (1) quixotic gov't and foundation funding, leading people to go where the money is; (2) changes in incentives within the scholarly profession itself, where being known and cited are more important than they used to be; and (3) companies paying dearly for research that will tout their products. The Times's selections of 2008's actual classics included proving that watching junk food ads on TV leads to eating more junk food and that children who lack confidence are more likely to grow up fat. [Ed.: Suggested rules of thumb for academia: (1) News of the Weird will cover any research that seriously attempts to prove something that the NOTW editor's mother already told him. (2) If your research is cited in NOTW, you should be automatically disqualified from research grants five years.]The Times Comments 'frivolous_research'
"Ariel," the maltese terrier, lives better than you
Winnie Ng, who's well off but not filthy-rich, in Melbourne, Australia, has built a major designer wardrobe inventory for Ariel, serves him only organic food (spoon-fed) and mineral water, gives him frequent tummy massages, takes him strolling in the park in his own darling carriage, and bought a convertible car just so Ariel could sniff the wind better. There's more. Herald Sun (Melbourne) Comments 'ariel_pampered'
Stalking m.o.'s that are inexplicable are the most frightening of all
Arpan Shah, 26, was arrested in Cypress, Calif., after (police said) from 13 to more than 100 instances in which he (using FedEx) sent women mysterious shipments (mainly of blank sheets of paper and envelopes) after getting their home and e-mail addresses from Facebook. But that's all the prosecutor's alleging right now. Stalking doesn't have to make sense. Orange County Register Comments 'stalking_cypress'
Adam Owens really, really hated his mom
At his trial in Australia, he received a 17-yr-plus sentence for viciously stabbing her to death and then immediately shouted at the judge that the time was "manifestly inadequate," that he deserved much harsher. He said he had no remorse. "I regret perhaps not having done it 20 years earlier when the idea first occurred to me." Daily Telegraph (Sydney) Comments 'adam_owens'
The 8-yr-old Saudi wife got trapped in a catch-22
Dad dowried her away for the equivalent of about $7,500 to a 58-yr-old man, but her mother went to court to demand that the couple divorce. The judge said no but ruled that the girl should come back to court when she's old enough to evaluate by herself whether the marriage is working out for her. Daily Mail (London) Comments 'saudi_8yrold'
Your Daily Loser
Michael Reed, 50, tried an armed robbery of Eddie's Fried Chicken in Fort Worth, Tex., with the "armed" part being a tree branch. An employee, 56, grabbed a broom and dueled him down. The aristocrats! Dallas Morning News Comments 'michael_reed'
Your Daily Jury Duty [no fair examining the evidence; verdict must be based on mugshot only]
Christopher Rogers's murder trial is taking up a lot of resources of the town of Palmer, Alaska. If they'd only have asked us earlier whether the trial was necessary . . .. Anchorage Daily News Comments 'christopher_rogers'
This was news to me: Australia has one of the largest wild camel populations in the world. There are so many camels there, that they're becoming an environmental problem. Therefore, scientists are urging Australians to control the camel population by eating more camel.
According to Wikipedia, "camel meat tastes like coarse beef, but older camels can prove to be tough and less flavorful."
I'd try camel meat, but I've never seen it on sale in the States. Link: Daily Mail
a) What in the world does it have to do with shampoo?
b) How can a deaf person learn to play a musical instrument?
Some answers to the second question can be found at physorg.com, which notes that deaf people can feel the vibration of sound. Therefore, percussion instruments that make a lot of vibrations are the easiest for them to learn. But what highly accomplished deaf musicians (such as Beethoven and Evelyn Glennie) share is "musical training, perfect pitch and excellent hearing before they suffered its loss."