Weird Universe Archive

May 2016

May 13, 2016

L.A. 2017





Just a year away from seeing if Steven Spielberg nailed his predictions from 1971, the year he made this show, L.A. 2017. Seeing elderly hippes still performing some fifty years after the Summer of Love, and knowing the Rolling Stones still go on tours, I think Spielberg might have been on to something!

Posted By: Paul - Fri May 13, 2016 - Comments (7)
Category: Television, Science Fiction, Bohemians, Beatniks, Hippies and Slackers, 1970s

Art by random people approached on the street

1937: As an experiment, art teacher Helen Beach approached random people on the streets of Chicago and offered them a free 12-week art course. Among the 75 volunteers who accepted her offer were train guards, an iceman, a school teacher, postmen, a scrubwoman, and policemen. Later that year she exhibited some of the works her students created, offering them as proof that anyone, with a little training, can release their inner artist. Examples below.

Of course, there has to be some selection bias here — weeding out those whose lack of talent was beyond help.

Helen Beach



"Flannel Night Gown" by Edna Hirt, housewife



"Sunday Night Supper" by Edith Willett, Sunday-school teacher



"Indian Summer" by John Golden, dogcatcher



"Abstract of Sewing Machine" by Maude Hopkins, (no career specified)



"Typewriter" by George Prochmow, letter carrier



Image source: Newsweek - Dec 13, 1937

Posted By: Alex - Fri May 13, 2016 - Comments (7)
Category: Art, 1930s

May 12, 2016

Mystery Illustration 20

image

Why is this woman encased like this?

The answer is here.

Posted By: Paul - Thu May 12, 2016 - Comments (11)
Category: Body, Technology

Anti-Aging Gin

Drinking alcohol might make the people you're with seem younger, funnier, and more attractive. However, Warner Leisure Hotels has commissioned the first drink that supposedly has an anti-aging effect on the drinker. It's "anti-aging gin," which is being marketed as Anti-Agin.

The gin is described as being "For those that want to do everything they can to stay young, but don’t want to give up alcohol."

The anti-aging effect comes from "classic botanicals known for their rejuvenating properties and combining it with drinkable collagen." It's said to be "the alcoholic equivalent of a facial."

Posted By: Alex - Thu May 12, 2016 - Comments (4)
Category: Inebriation and Intoxicants

May 11, 2016

Escape Training



Just in case ISIS captures you on your next Middle Eastern vacation.

Posted By: Paul - Wed May 11, 2016 - Comments (7)
Category: PSA’s, War, Armed Forces, 1950s

Negative ESP

Some people who take ESP tests score so badly that ESP researchers have theorized that their low scores can't be attributable to chance alone. These low-scorers must be using "Negative ESP' to avoid getting correct answers.

This phenomenon is also known as "psi-missing." You can find a discussion of it in the Introduction to Parapsychology textbook.

I realize now that this must be why I manage to ALWAYS pick the slowest checkout line at the grocery store. It's not bad luck. I've got Negative ESP!

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Jan 19, 1972

Posted By: Alex - Wed May 11, 2016 - Comments (9)
Category: Paranormal, Psychology

May 10, 2016

The House of Dreams

Received an email from Mark Cersosimo:

Hi there!
Very recently I traveled to London for the first time and stumbled upon this man named Stephen Wright who’s systematically turning his home into a giant piece of artwork he calls “The House Of Dreams”.
I made a super short film about him and his home, and thought it may be of interest to you and/or your readers 😊 Would love to hear your thoughts.

Definitely WU-worthy. In fact, Wright's House of Dreams is a bit like WU itself — a collection of oddities gathered in one place over many years.


The House Of Dreams from Mark on Vimeo.

Posted By: Alex - Tue May 10, 2016 - Comments (12)
Category: Art, Movies, Documentaries

Japanese Obscenity Bust, Explained

image

Do you recall the story about the female Japanese artist who got prosecuted for making a kayak molded into the shape of her vagina?

Now she tells her own tale in a new book.



Posted By: Paul - Tue May 10, 2016 - Comments (7)
Category: Art, Law, Asia, Genitals

May 9, 2016

Edible Nail Polish

KFC Hong Kong has announced that it's created edible nail polish. It will come in two flavors, Original and Hot & Spicy. The company says, "To use, consumers simply apply and dry like regular nail polish, and then lick—again and again and again."

Obviously a marketing gimmick, but seems that they really are going to produce some of this stuff.

More info: adweek.com



Posted By: Alex - Mon May 09, 2016 - Comments (10)
Category: Cosmetics, Food, Advertising

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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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