Weird Universe Blog — December 9, 2019

Worm Painting

How to paint with worms.

Though I believe there's another technique, in which you first dip the worms in paint, and then set them loose on a canvas.

Posted By: Alex - Mon Dec 09, 2019 - Comments (3)
Category: Art

Joe Wardle’s Emergency Landing

This photo illustrates the more likely intersection of plane and car. But in 1952 a certain Joe Wardle got lucky.


Posted By: Paul - Mon Dec 09, 2019 - Comments (5)
Category: Accidents | Air Travel and Airlines | 1950s | Cars

December 8, 2019

Laser Windshield Cleaner

Tesla recently applied for a patent to use laser beams to clean a car's windshield. They justify the lasers by explaining that they're needed to make sure the driver-assistance system maintains a clear field of view.

It's a long, technical application, which I didn't bother to read completely. So I assume they must have considered how it might be a bad idea to have lasers suddenly blasting away at a windshield while someone is driving the car... or even just sitting in the front seat.

More info: Car and Driver

Posted By: Alex - Sun Dec 08, 2019 - Comments (2)
Category: Inventions | Cars

Medieval Illustration Re-enactors

"A Group Of Czech Students Recreate Weird And Strange Scenes From Medieval Books"

Many more at the source.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Dec 08, 2019 - Comments (1)
Category: History | Hobbies and DIY | Humor | Performance Art

December 7, 2019

Banana duct-taped to wall

Artist Maurizio Cattelan’s latest piece, consisting of a banana duct-taped to a wall, sold recently for $120,000.

Gallery owner Emmanuel Perrotin defended the work by saying, “It looks like a joke, but step back and look at it again, and it becomes so much more.”

The new owner will receive a certificate of authenticity. However, they’ll also be expected to periodically replace the banana (and presumably the duct tape also). Which begs the question: what did they actually buy? The idea of a banana duct-taped to a wall, apparently.

I'm curious to know how long the owner will actually bother to replace the banana. Twenty years from now, will they still be replacing it every few days?

More info:

Posted By: Alex - Sat Dec 07, 2019 - Comments (8)
Category: Art | Overpriced Merchandise

Shake-a Pudd’n

Recipe for disaster.

Posted By: Paul - Sat Dec 07, 2019 - Comments (3)
Category: Accidents | Food | Advertising | Children | 1960s | Dance

December 6, 2019

Ex-Lax Movies

An 'Ex-Lax Movie' doesn't sound like something I'd want to watch. Actually, it's something I'd actively avoid. And I can't imagine the phrase sounded much better back in 1939 and '40 when Ex-Lax ran these ads in magazines such as Life and Woman's Home Companion.

"The girl who punished herself"

Betty: I don't know which is worse... constipation or the remedy!
Sally: You're silly to punish yourself that way. Why don't you try Ex-Lax?

Betty: Ex-Lax? You expect that to work for me... a little chocolate tablet?
Sally: Don't let its pleasant taste deceive you. Ex-Lax is a dependable laxative—thorough and effective!

Betty: No more strong, bad-tasting laxatives for me! That Ex-Lax was just the thing. It fixed me up fine!
Sally: What did I tell you! We've used Ex-Lax in our family for over 30 years.

The Awakening of "Mr. A."

Mr. A: Whew! I hate the very thought of having to take a cathartic.
Mr. B: You wouldn't if you'd try Ex-Lax. It tastes swell—just like chocolate.

Mr. A: Ex-Lax? That's what we give the youngsters. What I need is dynamite!
Mr. B: Don't kid yourself! Ex-Lax is plenty effective, if that's what's worrying you!

Mr. A: Boy, I feel like a million this morning! That Ex-Lax sure is great stuff!
Mr. B: You said it, pal! We've been using Ex-Lax in our family for more than thirty years!

"Mr. Wright found out he was wrong!"

Mr. Wright: Gee, Honey, this stuff is awful! Why do all laxatives taste so bad?
Mrs. Wright: All of them don't. Ex-Lax tastes like delicious chocolate.

Mr. Wright: Ex-Lax! That's all right for you and Junior, but I need something stronger!
Mrs. Wright: No you don't! Ex-Lax is as effective as any bad-tasting cathartic.

Mr. Wright: I sure am glad I took your advice. It's Ex-Lax for me from now on.
Mrs. Wright: Yes, with Ex-Lax in the medicine chest we don't need any other laxative!

Posted By: Alex - Fri Dec 06, 2019 - Comments (3)
Category: Advertising | Excrement | 1940s


In the Parque del Retiro (Retiro’s Park) in Madrid, Ines Sastre runs to meet Javier Bardem who is waiting for her with his arms wide open and they embrace one another in a passionate kiss. This only one shot which lasts one minute twenty seconds is subjected to a hundred and thirteen changes for one hour and seventeen minutes. “I wanted to exhaust the possibilities of changing a shot by changing the music, the colours, by burning it, by making some holes…” remembers Aguirre; “sometimes, the heads are not visible, or we can only see her legs, or the image seems to be scrapped off”… /… the variations of this shot are preceded by the ones of another couple taken in the beach of La Concha in San Sebastian that maybe acts as a suggestion of a merely real support for this ideal meeting. The images are accompanied by not only Borges’ voice-over but also Fernando Fernan-Gomez and Francisco Rabal’s voices-over among some not so well-known other voices …/ … disparate prints, sometimes unpredictable, that Borges’ literature proposed to moviemakers of this period and from distant cultures. It is the disparity of Javier Aguirre’s experimentation along with the contradiction that seems us so provocative.

Alas, I cannot find this film online, or even any clips. But I felt WU-vies should know about it, in case any art-house showing appears in your neighborhood, or you find it on disc, or on streaming!

Posted By: Paul - Fri Dec 06, 2019 - Comments (0)
Category: Annoying Things | Excess, Overkill, Hyperbole and Too Much Is Not Enough | Movies | Avant Garde | Twenty-first Century | Love & Romance

December 5, 2019

Peter Pain Parody

Alex and I never coordinate our posts, but sometimes they achieve thematic synchronicity. Yesterday, for instance, he posted about losing weight and I posted about obesity.

But his post from today, about Corporate Icon Peter Pain, happened magically to dovetail with my leisure-time reading of last evening, when I was enjoying THE THING FROM THE GRAVE, a collection of the work that artist Joe Orlando did for the fabled EC Comics. I read Orlando's Peter Pain Parody, and then this morning found Alex's post!

BTW: the whole line of EC reprints from Fantagraphics is worthy of your attention.

Posted By: Paul - Thu Dec 05, 2019 - Comments (0)
Category: Corporate Mascots, Icons and Spokesbeings | Comics | Homages, Pastiches, Tributes and Borrowings | 1950s | Parody | Pain, Self-inflicted and Otherwise

Peter Pain

Continuing our ongoing theme of strange corporate mascots: Peter Pain was the villainous mascot of Ben-Gay from 1942 to 1965. He's not to be confused with the British judge named Peter Pain. (or the dentist Dr. Pain).

NY Herald Tribune - 1946 (via Duke Library)

Some more info about him from The Austin American (Oct 13, 1965):

The arch villain with the jaunty black bowler and gnashing teeth made his debut 23 years ago [1942] in a series of comic strips ads for Ben-Gay ointment. He delighted his readers by making life miserable for a succession of poor unsuspecting souls.

Peter Pain's behavior remained steadfast — he was rotten to the core. In his heyday, he threw a kleig light at a television quiz kid, pounded an umbrella into the back of a grandfather celebrating his 50th wedding anniversary, clouted a sweet little old lady with a hammer and spike and turned his pitchfork on the stomach of a nice young farmgirl.

Despite the mayhem, every adventure invariably ended happily. In each strip, someone would reach for the Ben-Gay and in no time the aches and pains of the harried souls would disappear.

"Drat, Ben-Gay," was Peter Pain's frequent lament as the episode came to an end.

Now, with the introduction of a new product (Ben-Gay Lotion), it has been announced, with regret, that the services of Peter Pain will no longer be used.

"We decided Peter Pain is not a fun guy," a Ben-Gay spokesman explained.

Chicago Tribune Magazine - 1953 (via Duke)

Austin American - Oct 13, 1965

Update: After posting this, I noticed that Paul had previously posted a Peter Pain ad in his Follies of the Madmen series (#404).

Posted By: Alex - Thu Dec 05, 2019 - Comments (1)
Category: Corporate Mascots, Icons and Spokesbeings

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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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