Weird Universe Blog — December 8, 2022

Skina Babe

Skina Babe, produced by Mochida Pharmaceutical Co., has been a popular brand of baby bath oil in Japan for decades. Mochida trademarked the name in the U.S. However, I don't believe it ever tried to introduce the product in an English-language market, which seems just as well.



Incidentally, Mochida also sells "Skina Fukifuki," which is a skin cleanser for senior citizens.

More info: mochida.co.jp

Posted By: Alex - Thu Dec 08, 2022 - Comments (0)
Category: Babies | Odd Names | Asia

December 7, 2022

Poronkusema

As explained by Ziya Tong in The Reality Bubble: how science reveals the hidden truths that shape our world (2019):

In Finland, the indigenous Sami people have a very special unit of measurement. It's called a poronkusema, which is defined as the distance a reindeer can travel before it needs to stop and urinate. The Sami, who have lived alongside reindeer for centuries, attentively noted that the animals won't walk and relieve themselves at the same time. And so, once approximately every 7.5 kilometres, a poronkusema, they stop and empty their bladders. While this measurement may seem a touch absurd to non-reindeer herders, it should be said that before the metric system came along, many countries and cultures had their own rather peculiar systems. It's likely that people of the future will find it just as weird that we described the unfathomable loss of our rainforests in terms of "football fields."

I found a Finnish-language book titled Poronkusema, but the google-translated blurb is somewhat incomprehensible and doesn't mention anything about urinating reindeers.

Poronkusema is a humane, unadorned and dramatic story about acceptance, forgiveness, equality and growing up. Poronkusema is a series of events with a flavor of the life of the main character and his close circle, not too salty smoothed, where treatment and head and tail are missing. Mother's forgiveness and acceptance of loved ones as they are. How can the death of a child change and shape the future of family members and close friends. This is the countdown for this story. You'll jump like a fly on a moldy ceiling and juice up juicy coincidences like peeking into locker rooms in elementary school. We were kind of the usual The Usual Suspects, like from that classic Yankee movie directed by Bryan Singer. The only difference. We weren't that good looking.

Posted By: Alex - Wed Dec 07, 2022 - Comments (3)
Category: Animals | Instruments and Measuring Devices | Body Fluids

The Cherry Tree Carol

This song establishes that the folklore about pregnant women demanding weird foodstuffs--pickles with ice cream, for instance--goes way back. Also, it has Embryo Jesus speaking from the womb.

The Cherry Tree Carol is a bit darker than most Christmas related songs. It is identified as a Kentucky mountain ballad on the record. In fact it is a much older song from the early 15th century. The song is quite lovely and presents an unusual variation on the story of Mary and Joseph.





Posted By: Paul - Wed Dec 07, 2022 - Comments (1)
Category: Food | Holidays | Music | Religion | Pregnancy

December 6, 2022

Hair Rental—You know it makes sense

These hair rental ads ran for about five years in British papers. So I assume the company must have done decent business.

I've heard of wig rentals, but for some reason the idea of toupee rentals seems weirder.

Sunday London Mirror - Mar 11, 1973

Posted By: Alex - Tue Dec 06, 2022 - Comments (1)
Category: Business | Headgear | 1970s | Hair and Hairstyling

The Handsome Cabin Boy

Surely such a filthy song should incite the outrage of censors!

BONUS: Versions by Kate Bush and Jerry Garcia in extended.



In the 19th century, broadside texts of the Handsome Cabin Boy remained steady sellers on the fairgrounds and in the backstreets of provincial towns for sixty years and more. A very widespread song, ashore as well as afloat, it is still not infrequently found among traditional singers in eastern England and north-eastern Scotland.


It's of a pretty female as you may understand
Her mind being bent for ramblin' all unto some foreign land
She dressed herself in sailor's clothes or so it does appear
And she hired with a captain to serve him for a year

The captain's wife, she being on board, she seemed in great joy
To think her husband had engaged such a handsome cabin boy
And now and then she'd slip him a kiss, and she would 'a liked to toy
It was the captain found out the secret of the handsome cabin boy

Her lips they were like roses, her hair allwas all in a curl
The sailors often smiled and said, "she looks just like a girl"
But eating of the captain's biscuit, her color did destroy
And the waist did swell of pretty Nell, the handsome cabin boy

It was in the Bay of Biscayne, our gallant ship did plough
One night among the sailors was a fearful flurry and row
They tumbled from their hammocks, for sleep it did destroy
They swore about the groaning of the handsome cabin boy

"Oh doctor, dear, oh doctor", the cabin boy did cry
"My time has come, I am undone, surely I must die"
The doctor cam a-runnin', and smilin' at the fun
To think a sailor lad should have a daughter or a son

The sailors, when they saw the joke, they all did stand and stare
The child belonged to none of them, they solemnly did swear
The captain's wife she says to him "My dear I wish you joy
For it's either you or me's betrayed the handsome cabin boy"

So each man took his tote of rum, and he drunk success to trade
And likewise to the cabin boy, who was neither man nor maid
"Here's hoping wars don't rise again, our sailors to destroy
And here's hoping for a jolly lot more like the handsome cabin boy"


More in extended >>

Posted By: Paul - Tue Dec 06, 2022 - Comments (1)
Category: Disguises, Impersonations, Mimics and Forgeries | Music | Oceans and Maritime Pursuits | Fables, Myths, Urban Legends, Rumors, Water-Cooler Lore | Pregnancy

December 5, 2022

The Christmas Custom of Dead Bird Postcards

Back in the 19th century, people often sent each other postcards of dead birds during the Christmas season. Collectors Weekly explains:

"The Victorians had some really strange ideas about what served as an appropriate Christmas greeting," says Bo Wreden, who recently organized an exhibition of holiday cards for the Book Club of California. "They liked to send out cards with dead birds on them, robins in particular, which related to ancient customs and legends. There's a famous quotation from the Venerable Bede about a sparrow flying through the hall of a castle while the nobility is celebrating Christmas: The moment from when it enters until it flies out is very brief, a metaphor for how quickly our lives pass." Apparently, killing a wren or robin was once a good-luck ritual performed in late December, and during the late 19th century, cards featuring the bodies of these birds were sent to offer good luck in the New Year.






More info: hyperallergic.com

Posted By: Alex - Mon Dec 05, 2022 - Comments (3)
Category: Customs | Death | Christmas

The Outre Costumes of Louise Glaum

The silent-screen star Louise Glaum had a reputation for eccentric fashions onscreen and off, as well as for odd pets.











Posted By: Paul - Mon Dec 05, 2022 - Comments (0)
Category: Eccentrics | Fashion | Movies | Pets | 1910s

December 4, 2022

Teach your wife to be a widow

Donald L. Rogers was financial editor of the New York Herald Tribune. He originally wrote "Teach your wife to be a widow" as an article for Collier's Magazine, and later expanded it into a book (1952).



The article (and book) urged husbands to educate their wives about finances, so that in case the husband died the wife wouldn't end up going destitute.

I think Jean Mayer's article, "How to murder your husband," pairs particularly well with it. Both appeared in the 1981 Reader's Digest collection, Love and Marriage.











Posted By: Alex - Sun Dec 04, 2022 - Comments (3)
Category: Money | Husbands | Wives | Books | Marriage

Sodaburst Premade Ice Cream Soda

So much easier than 1) pouring a glass of soda and 2) scooping some ice cream into it. Completely eliminates the dreaded element of decision-making (which ice cream, which soda?).



Posted By: Paul - Sun Dec 04, 2022 - Comments (0)
Category: Food | Soda, Pop, Soft Drinks and other Non-Alcoholic Beverages | Chindogu | 1960s

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