Weird Universe Blog — January 17, 2020

Harmless Hunter

In 2012, the brothers Randy and Michael Gregg tried to raise money to produce their 'harmless hunter' or 'kill shot' gun. Though it wasn't actually a gun. It was a camera shaped like a gun. From their Kickstarter page:

This can be used year round when game is out of season to satisfy the lust for hunting while getting you ready for the harvest season.  The cross hairs will show on the photo where the shot would have been, the background will show if the shot was safe or unsafe.  It will help teach gun safety by operating like a lethal hunting rifle, except, it takes pictures and fires no projectiles...  Ethical shot placement and the sport of hunting are taught all in one!  You will be able to post "KillShots" on a website that will come with the rifle. 

They never succeeded in raising enough money. Apparently the idea appealed neither to hunters nor to wildlife photographers.

Posted By: Alex - Fri Jan 17, 2020 - Comments (1)
Category: Guns | Inventions | Photography and Photographers

Screwball! Comics

My pal Paul Tumey just released his magnum opus, a history of "screwball" comics. I'm reading my copy now, and it's great.

If you go to the link, you get a PDF copy of one of his newsletters to sample what he's all about.

Order yours today!

Posted By: Paul - Fri Jan 17, 2020 - Comments (0)
Category: Humor | Comics | Books | Twentieth Century

January 16, 2020

Capitalist Man

The New York Post has an interview with the performance artist who calls himself "Capitalist Man." His gimmick is that he carries around a see-through briefcase, which he claims contains $500,000 in hundred-dollar bills, and he's trying to find someone willing to buy it for a million dollars.

The price tag, he says, is "$500,000 for the cash, $500,000 for the concept." Any interested buyer gets to examine the bills before purchase.

Capitalist Man says that if someone does buy his briefcase full of money, his profit will go entirely to charity. But so far, he has no takers.

Image source: Facebook

Posted By: Alex - Thu Jan 16, 2020 - Comments (2)
Category: Money | Performance Art

January 15, 2020

Youth and Aging

In 1991, the Pennsylvania legislature's Youth and Aging Committee changed its name to the Aging and Youth Committee. Why?

Some suggested that the change was made because people got confused about the panel’s name. "When you say ‘youth and aging’ repeatedly and quickly, some people hear the word euthanasia,” said Kevin Murphy, press secretary for the state Department of Aging.

Philadelphia Inquirer - Jan 23, 1991

Posted By: Alex - Wed Jan 15, 2020 - Comments (0)
Category: 1990s | Puns and Other Wordplay

Mystery Illustration No. 91

Why is this fellow dressed in this manner?

Answer is here.

Or after the jump.

More in extended >>

Posted By: Paul - Wed Jan 15, 2020 - Comments (1)

January 14, 2020

Latawnya the Naughty Horse

This book, first published in 1990, must be in demand by collectors. The cheapest used copy on Amazon is $50, while to get a new copy you've got to fork over $318.25.

The reviews are worth checking out.

There was a sequel, published in 2010, titled (boringly) Latawnya The Naughty Horse Two.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jan 14, 2020 - Comments (2)
Category: Drugs | Books

Louise Arner Boyd

If you can get past the robot voice in the video, you'll get all the amazing facts of this gal's life.

Her Wikipedia page.

Text source. (Page taken from hardcopy, not available online.)

Posted By: Paul - Tue Jan 14, 2020 - Comments (1)
Category: Animals | Eccentrics | Explorers, Frontiersmen, and Conquerors | Twentieth Century

January 13, 2020

The boy who was trained to be an astronaut

Jeanne Granveaud wanted her six-year-old son Paul to be an astronaut who would fly to the moon. So she began training him for this role. What made this unusual is that she came up with this plan back in the 1920s.

Some details about little Paul's training from the San Francisco Examiner (Aug 28, 1927):

The body of Baby Paul will be trained by exercises and food and careful scientific supervision to withstand the enormous strains of the starting of that wonderful voyage. He will be accustomed to breathe as little air as possible; to live in a rarified atmosphere or to endure the close confinement of the moon projectile.

So far as the hardships of a moon voyage can be foreseen, young Paul will be seasoned to them in advance. His scientific training will include the parts of astronomy which he must learn in order to navigate his queer craft when it gets well out in space. Every fact that terrestrial scientists can learn about the moon will be written down, not in any book for Paul to take along and read, but in a book which he cannot forget or leave behind. These facts will be poured into his brain. Better than an ordinary child knows the alphabet or the multiplication tables, Baby Paul Granveaud will learn to know each scrap of fact about the moon that the astronomers of the world can supply.

The mother's plan seemed incredibly eccentric to people in the 1920s, but in hindsight, her timing was pretty good. Paul was born in 1921, and Alan Shepard, who went to the moon in 1971, was born just two years later, in 1923. So it wouldn't have been impossible for Paul to have grown up to become a lunar astronaut. If only he had been born in America rather than France.

Edmonton Journal - Nov 12, 1927

Posted By: Alex - Mon Jan 13, 2020 - Comments (1)
Category: Spaceflight, Astronautics, and Astronomy | 1920s

Follies of the Madmen #461

Most hideous and amateurish product mascot ever?


Posted By: Paul - Mon Jan 13, 2020 - Comments (1)
Category: Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues | Business | Advertising | Corporate Mascots, Icons and Spokesbeings | 1970s

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All original content in posts is Copyright © 2016 by the author of the post, which is usually 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.

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