Have we found a contender to match those in boredom? The speech is out of sync with the lip movements, and there's annoying media broadcast in the background. Plus, the test notes he blows are atrocious!
Dr. Gordon Volkenant seems like he was quite the character. In 1947, he invented a gadget he called the "husband detector." It was basically a motion detector, designed to help wives catch their husbands who were trying to sneak unheard into the house after a late night at the bar. When it sensed someone coming through the door, it set off a loud siren. link: Pittsburgh Press
Volkenant promptly became the first husband to be caught by his own device, when it rang the alarm as he tried to sneak into his house at 3 a.m. link: Washington Reporter
And based on the look of him, I'm guessing he wasn't just at the bar until 3 a.m. Here he is in 1948 demonstrating another of his gadgets, which he called an "electronic humidistat." He claimed it could detect hosiery defects in nylon stockings when he waved it up and down a woman's leg. It looks a lot like a regular lightbulb to me. I'm sure he found it necessary to test on many women.
Yeah, she was blind and socialist. But the important question is -- can her name help sell sunglasses? A Chinese eyewear company thinks the answer is yes. Which proves, I guess, that the Chinese have become just as adept as us Americans at recycling cultural heroes into hawkers of overpriced crap. (Thanks to Bob Pagani for the link!) Check out the Helen Keller Sunglasses ad below:
I'm young enough that I can't remember the first time I used an ATM machine. Their presence was something I always took for granted. But people 50 or older probably remember when these machines started to appear in the 70s.
Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.
Chuck is the purveyor of News of the Weird, the syndicated column which for decades has set the gold-standard for reporting on oddities and the bizarre.
Our banner was drawn by the legendary underground cartoonist Rick Altergott.