Weird Universe

April 23, 2012

Chuck’s Weekly Cite-Seeing (April 23, 2012)

Chuck's Weekly Cite-Seeing Tour
The Crème de la Crème, Every Monday

Hand-Picked and Lightly Seasoned by Chuck Shepherd
April 23, 2012
(datelines from April 13 or later) (links correct as of April 23)

San Diego, Calif: Prof. Vilayanur Ramachandran, who runs the Center for Brain and Cognition at UC San Diego, came up with 30-some people who claim to be periodic gender-shifters, e.g., breasts today, gone tomorrow, same with penises. It’s just a hypothesis, he said. Scientific American

Canterbury, England: University of Kent researcher Sarah Johns, who apparently couldn’t think of anything else to research, tells us definitively that men prefer pink, not red female genitalia. (Bonus: Also, kindly be aware that caterpillars of the large white butterfly prefer to vomit when they’re alone, as opposed to within their protective group. Good to know.) Live Science via Yahoo News /// Science Daily

Shizuoka, Japan: Police officer Tetsuya Ichikawa, 50, was arrested for coming up behind a 25-yr-old woman in a restaurant and licking her hair. “I wanted to lick so I did.” Agence France-Presse via Herald Sun (Melbourne)

Washington, D.C.: Our long national nightmare is over is not over. The FCC now wants the U.S. Supreme Court to re-, re-, re-view the Janet Jackson Nipple ruling. MSNBC

Melbourne, Australia: The Federal Court ruled that a woman on a business trip, though off-duty in a motel room having wall-banging sex, still gets worker compensation if she's injured by a fixture falling off the banged wall. (Bonus: A U.S. appeals court paved the way for a New York City widow to collect on her husband's accident insurance, even though the man had intentionally applied the electric shock to his genitals for sexual excitement.) Sydney Morning Herald /// New York Post

More in extended >>
Posted By: Chuck | Date: Mon Apr 23, 2012 | Comments (7)

April 22, 2012

Do You Kiss Betty and/or Veronica With That Mouth?



This is not an artifact of me fooling around with Photoshop. Nor can I imagine some Google drone did this during the newspaper-scanning process. You're welcome to look at the original here.

My guess is some bored artist or letterer in 1947 seeing what he could sneak past the editor.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Sun Apr 22, 2012 | Comments (12)
Category: Obscenity, Comics, Teenagers, 1940's, Butt

April 21, 2012

Scientists Test “Foolproof” Dynamite

I'm sure these Du Pont scientists knew exactly what they were doing. But I still think I would have backed up a bit as they were doing this. Image from eBay. Article from Chicago Tribune, Jan. 23, 1935:

Posted By: Alex | Date: Sat Apr 21, 2012 | Comments (14)
Category: Explosives

April 20, 2012



A salve made from turpentine? The same stuff you clean your paint brushes with? A wonder drug! And apparently, it cured colds, burns, and so much more!



You say you wish you could get your hands on some of this miraculous stuff? The Russians still make it! Follow the Amazon links below.

Posted By: Paul | Date: Fri Apr 20, 2012 | Comments (15)
Category: Health, Hygiene, Medicine, 1920's, Russia, Diseases

Rubber Chicken At The Edge of Space

Sent there recently by California high school students to measure the radiation from a solar storm. Details here. I wish my high school science projects had been that cool. Instead, they were all intensely boring. The only one I even remember was a water electrolysis experiment that I had to work on for weeks, and which involved the edge-of-your-seat thrill of watching a battery split water into hydrogen and oxygen.

Posted By: Alex | Date: Fri Apr 20, 2012 | Comments (6)
Category: Science, Experiments

April 19, 2012

What Is It?

Take a guess at the above item, what do you think it is?

More in extended >>
Posted By: patty | Date: Thu Apr 19, 2012 | Comments (9)

The Land Eaters

Posted By: Paul | Date: Thu Apr 19, 2012 | Comments (5)
Category: Animals, Death, Destruction, Dreams and Nightmares, Surrealism, Fantasy, Stop-motion Animation

Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, or Braingasms

The Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) Research & Support site defines the phenomenon as, "a physical sensation characterized by a pleasurable tingling that typically begins in the head and scalp, and often moves down the spine and through the limbs." Various stimuli can trigger the sensation -- certain kinds of sights, sounds, and situations. It's sometimes referred to as a "braingasm".

I'm not sure whether ASMR is considered to be a scientifically verified phenomenon. Nevertheless, there's a sizable community of people who actively seek the sensation, and they post videos on youtube designed to trigger it. That's why, if you wade deep enough into the depths of youtube, you'll eventually come across a whole slew of odd ASMR-trigger videos, such as this one of the sounds of gift wrapping

I believe that the whisper videos I posted about yesterday are related to this ASMR phenomenon -- because whispering can be an ASMR trigger. That is, most people simply find it annoying to have to strain to hear someone whispering, but there are a few who are getting a tingly, braingasm feeling from it.
Posted By: Alex | Date: Thu Apr 19, 2012 | Comments (16)
Category: Emotions, Subcultures, Psychology, Brain

April 18, 2012

Cremo and Spit-tipped Cigars

We all know that ad campaigns have often created the disease or deficiency they wish to sell remedies for. "Halitosis" and "BO" were Madison Avenue inventions.

But perhaps no campaign dared quite as much as that for Cremo cigars, with its charge that all its competitors spit on their product.


Original text here.


Original ad here. (Scroll down.)

But although Cremo increased its market share, their scheme ultimately backfired.

As this history says:

During the 1920s, the cigar industry began to suffer from image problems. The rise of organized crime during Prohibition, and the image of the stogie-chomping gangster--developed in part by Hollywood, and personified by such actors as Edward G. Robinson--gave the cigar an aura of disrespect among the public. Later that decade, the cigar industry faced a second crisis, when American Tobacco began promoting new, machine-rolled cigars. Its advertising asked: "Why run the risk of cigars made by dirty yellowed fingers and tipped in spit?" The image proved disastrous for the cigar industry as a whole. Cigar makers rushed to convert their manufacturing from hand-rolled to machine-rolled products, but cigar sales plunged through the 1930s. During this same time period, the cigar industry was hit hard by the rise in cigarette use across the United States. Cigar consumption never recovered to its early 1920s peak.

Posted By: Paul | Date: Wed Apr 18, 2012 | Comments (5)
Category: Business, Advertising, Products, Lies, Dishonesty and Cheating, Smoking and Tobacco, 1920's, 1930's
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All original content in posts is Copyright © 2008 by the author of the post, 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.