Weird Universe Archive

October 2013

October 24, 2013

Community Mausoleums

When people talk about what they'd like to be done with their body after they die, you don't hear many people nowadays say that they'd like to be placed in a community mausoleum. But back in the early twentieth century, there was a push to popularize these as an affordable above-ground alternative to in-the-ground burial.

A lot of the old community mausoleums have now fallen into disrepair, but community mausoleum burial still remains an option, if that's what you want.



Posted By: Alex - Thu Oct 24, 2013 - Comments (5)
Category: Death

October 23, 2013

Welch’s Family Wine







I'm sure this product, with its lookalike packaging, offered many kids a handy excuse for sampling booze. "But Ma, I thought I was drinking Welch's grape juice!"

Posted By: Paul - Wed Oct 23, 2013 - Comments (7)
Category: Advertising, Children, Teenagers, 1950s, Alcohol

October 22, 2013

Voiceless man learns to sing

After losing his larynx and windpipe to cancer, Herman Schulenberg created a new windpipe for himself by ramming a white-hot ice pick through his flesh. Then he learned to sing through this opening by "closing the windpipe's artificial opening with his index finger and manipulating his neck with his other fingers" in order to "direct the air through the passage in such manner as to get a variety of tones."

Finally, he gave a singing performance before a group of 50 doctors at a meeting of the Milwaukee Oto-Ophthalmic Society. That would have been a strange concert to attend. From the San Antonio Express - March 3, 1935.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Oct 22, 2013 - Comments (7)
Category: Music, 1930s

Football Meat Loaf

I don't think that shaping the meat loaf like a football makes it look more appetizing. And I don't understand at all the pairing of chewing gum and meat loaf.



Posted By: Alex - Tue Oct 22, 2013 - Comments (8)
Category: Food, Sports

Easy Hypnotism Course

image
[Click to enlarge]

Hypnotism = tangible eyebeams? I never knew!

Original ad here.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Oct 22, 2013 - Comments (14)
Category: Scams, Cons, Rip-offs, and General Larceny, Comics, 1950s

October 21, 2013

Stuffed Travelers

image
For between $20 and $55 you can send you favorite stuffed animal on a fabulous vacation! What a great investment!

Posted By: patty - Mon Oct 21, 2013 - Comments (6)
Category: Eccentrics

Suicide Machines

Created by artist Thijs Rijker. They're not machines that help people commit suicide. Instead, they're machines that slowly destroy themselves.

One machine saws into its own structure, until eventually the saws will reach the engine. Another machine pours sand into its gearbox until the gears wear out.

Perhaps it's a metaphor for the planned obsolescence of modern consumer goods, which are designed to break down or wear out sooner rather than later, so that we constantly have to buy new stuff.



Posted By: Alex - Mon Oct 21, 2013 - Comments (6)
Category: Art, Technology

October 20, 2013

Embalming Fluid

Ad from Mortuary Management magazine. Makes me wonder, what would happen if an embalmer didn't feel fully confident? [via Bess Lovejoy]

Posted By: Alex - Sun Oct 20, 2013 - Comments (6)
Category: Death, Advertising

Abstract Controversy

image

This painting was commissioned and displayed in a public building in the 1960s. It immediately aroused ire and controversy and disgust. Can you guess why?

Answer after the jump.



More in extended >>

Posted By: Paul - Sun Oct 20, 2013 - Comments (7)
Category: Art, Confusion, Misunderstanding, and Incomprehension, Death, Politics, 1960s

News of the Weird 2.0 Editor’s Note

There will be no Monday post this week. The post's format is evolving. Another project; all I'm allowed to say right now is "Langley." I've taken ill, and I can't get through to HealthCare.gov to buy insurance. Nothing weird happened last week. All right, all right. I have issues, and I'm dealing with them. Satisfied? Satisfied? Back October 27th.

Posted By: Chuck - Sun Oct 20, 2013 - Comments (5)
Category:

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Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction books such as Elephants on Acid.

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.

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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.

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