Weird Universe Blog — August 21, 2017

Cats Eyes Removed

The Suffolk County Council has decided to get rid of the road signs that warned motorists, "Cats Eyes Removed." Too many people, especially tourists, thought the signs were warning of the imminent blinding of felines, instead of referring to the reflective road markers known as 'cats eyes.'

The new signs will read, 'Caution - Road Studs Removed.' Though locals are complaining about that because none of them have ever heard of a 'road stud.'

More info:

Another potentially confusing UK sign — the ones that warn of 'Humped Zebra Crossing.'

via Flickr

Posted By: Alex - Mon Aug 21, 2017 - Comments (1)
Category: Signage

Len Solomon and the Bellowphone

Posted By: Paul - Mon Aug 21, 2017 - Comments (0)
Category: Eccentrics, Inventions, Music

August 20, 2017

Golden Tower

Transgender Canadian artist Cassils will display the following installation at New York's Ronald Feldman Fine Arts gallery on Sept. 16. Description from the artist's website:

The centerpiece is PISSED, a minimalist glass cube containing 200 gallons of urine: a collection of all the liquid the artist has passed since the Trump administration rescinded an Obama-era executive order allowing transgender students to use the bathroom matching their chosen gender identities. The sculpture is contextualized by audio recordings from the Virginia school board and the Fourth Court of Appeals articulating the ignorance and biases that run through every level of judicial proceedings.

My first thought was, that's a lot of pee. Trump rescinded Obama's executive order on Feb. 22. So 206 days will have passed between the rescinding and the exhibit on Sep 16, which means Cassils, in turn, must be passing about a gallon of urine per day. According to MedlinePlus, it's normal to excrete about half-a-gallon a day, assuming you're drinking 2 liters of water a day. Cassils must be drinking about 4 liters of water a day to be peeing that much.

My second thought was that urine art is one of those things that Chuck would describe as no longer weird.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Aug 20, 2017 - Comments (3)
Category: Art

August 19, 2017

Yellow Snow Experiment

An experiment conducted by animal behavior expert Marc Bekoff of the University of Colorado, Boulder with his dog, Jethro:

While talking Jethro on his daily walk I conducted a study of his sniffing and urination patterns. To learn about the role of urine in eliciting sniffing and urinating, I moved urine-saturated snow ("yellow snow") from place-to-place during five winters to compare Jethro's responses to his own and other dog's urine. Immediately after Jethro or other known males or females urinated on snow, I scooped up a small clump of the yellow snow in gloves and moved it to different locations. For some reasons passers-by thought I was strange and generally left me alone. Moving yellow snow was a useful and novel method for discovering that Jethro spent less time sniffing his own urine than that of other males or females.

More info: Psychology Today - June 29, 2009

Posted By: Alex - Sat Aug 19, 2017 - Comments (0)
Category: Animals, Experiments, Body Fluids

Artwork Khrushchev Probably Would Not Have Liked 6

The artist is Federico Beltran Masses.

"Hints of drugginess in the eyes, and suggestions of Sapphic eroticism laid on with a trowel, created a sultry visual cocktail that appealed equally to celebrities of the order of Rudolph Valentino, Joan Crawford and King George VI, all of whom had their portraits painted, and the general public."

Full essay here.

Posted By: Paul - Sat Aug 19, 2017 - Comments (1)
Category: Addictions, Art, Sexuality, Russia, Twentieth Century

August 18, 2017

Manatee Alerting Device

Edmund Gerstein claims to have invented a "Manatee Alerting Device" (aka MAD) that, when attached beneath a boat, will emit a beam of sound alerting manatees to get out of the way. But it's controversial. Other researchers insist the device will just add more noise to an already noisy underwater environment. It would be like "putting a siren on every car on a highway." And that manatees wouldn't be able to tell where the sound is coming from.

Complicating the controversy, it turns out Gerstein has a history of advancing unorthodox manatee theories. Back in the 1990s he claimed to have discovered that manatees can hear high-speed boats better than low-speed ones. His claim was promoted by boaters who wanted no speed regulations, but after paying tens of thousands of dollars on extra manatee research, the state of Florida decided Gerstein was wrong. He was also busted for faking a degree. Which is why researchers aren't exactly welcoming him with open arms now.

More info:

"Demonstration of an acoustic warning system to alert manatees" [pdf]

Posted By: Alex - Fri Aug 18, 2017 - Comments (2)
Category: Animals, Inventions

Art Arfons and the Green Monster

Love that rocketship design!

Posted By: Paul - Fri Aug 18, 2017 - Comments (1)
Category: Contests, Races and Other Competitions, 1960s, Cars

August 17, 2017


Minipoo Dry Shampoo was sold from the 1940s until the 1960s. I'm assuming that 'poo' must not have had the same slang meaning back in the 1940s? Otherwise why would a manufacturer choose a name suggesting a small bowel movement?

I came across a newspaper column from 1980 commenting on the strangeness of the name. So at least by then the name had started to sound odd to people.

Muncie Evening Press - Mar 19, 1980

I found the Minipoo images at the National Museum of American History website. The very first comment there, posted in 2015, was from a woman, Dolores Mitchell Byrne, claiming to have been the model on the label. I googled her name and found that a woman of the same name won the title of "Miss Subways" back in January 1961. (Paul has posted about this unusual beauty contest here.) She's got a different hairstyle, but I think it's her, the Minipoo model. You can see a more recent photo of her at

Dolores Mitchell Byrne, aka 'Miss Subways' - via Facebook

Posted By: Alex - Thu Aug 17, 2017 - Comments (12)
Category: Hygiene, Excrement, Hair and Hairstyling, Slang

Italian Caveman Rock ‘n’ Roll

Posted By: Paul - Thu Aug 17, 2017 - Comments (1)
Category: Movies, Music, 1960s

Page 1 of 34 pages  1 2 3 >  Last ›
Custom Search
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.

Go to top