Weird Universe Archive

April 2017

April 22, 2017

Artwork Khrushchev Probably Would Not Have Liked 3

Continuing our survey of "Early Twentieth-Century Art That Might Have Irked A Soviet Premier, Based On His Explicit Disdain For Such Experimental Creations."



"In the Beginning" by Lawrence Atkinson.

Atkinson's Wikipedia entry.

An essay on Atkinson.

Posted By: Paul - Sat Apr 22, 2017 - Comments (4)
Category: Art, Avant Garde, 1930s

April 21, 2017

7 Clicks (April 21, 2017)

7 Clicks
A Weird Universe News Service
April 21, 2017

The Russell 2000 small-stock index does very well (since mid-2014 up, oh, around 18%), but not as well as one of the 2,000--the mysterious Chinese loan company called Wins Financial Holdings, which bafflingly gained 4,555 percent at one point before falling back. [Business Week (4-3-2017)] (paywall!)

Nor can anyone figure out why Juicero should exist: a $700 machine (with wi-fi) that squeezes the juice out of pre-cut fruit and veggies. (Do it by hand, you say? Juicero's CEO calls that "hacking.") [BBC News]

This very day, a jury is still deliberating super-Sovereign tax-avoider Winston Shrout. His "foolproof" defense for issuing homemade "International Bills of Exchange" supposedly "worth" $1tn [yep, with a T] came with the fine print: "Void where prohibited by law." [The Oregonian]

A court in Ivrea, Italy, convinced itself (wussily, but OK) of a link between cell phone overuse and a brain tumor. [Associated Press]

Sussex University researchers' magnetic scanning of brains of people on psilocybin, ketamine, or LSD found way-different brain functioning. Way, way-different. [Daily Mail]

City University of NY biologists remind us that the "hangdog" look is evolutionary, adopted by dogs from wolves that needed to give off subservience vibes. [NY Post]

The Elves and Fairies Woodland Nursery in Dorset got preschool accreditation with its all-day-outdoor curriculum of kids working with their hands--and knives, saws, kitchen utensils, etc. (Learn arithmetic? Hey, count the carrot slices in that soup you're making.) [Metro News]

Posted By: Chuck - Fri Apr 21, 2017 - Comments (0)
Category:

Longest Sermon Ever

Back in 1937, Rev. A. Earl Lee set a record for preaching the longest sermon ever, preaching continuously for 21 hours. "He ate regular meals, preaching between bites, changed his clothes, and even took a bath while continuing the sermon by talking into a portable microphone."

Bradford Evening Star - June 29, 1937



However, it seems that world's longest sermon has been a hotly contested record. Today the record is up to 53 hours and 11 minutes. That record was set in 2014 by Florida pastor Zach Zehnder. Although it seems that he took some brief breaks for power naps. Is that allowed? Apparently so. In the video below you can watch the last 11 minutes of his sermon — and most of the rest of it is on YouTube if, for some reason, you want to sit through it.


Posted By: Alex - Fri Apr 21, 2017 - Comments (2)
Category: World Records, 1930s

Billie Carleton’s Death and the Birth of a Genre



Original article here.

How did the hedonistic death of one minor actress lead to Fu Manchu and the Yellow Menace?


Read the whole story here.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Apr 21, 2017 - Comments (0)
Category: Addictions, Crime, Death, Literature, Stereotypes and Cliches, 1910s

April 20, 2017

IKEA Tote Bag

The latest ridiculously overpriced merchandise making headlines is the Balenciaga large shopper bag, which sells for $2150. A lot of people have been pointing out that it looks suspiciously similar to IKEA's "frakta" shopping bag, which sells for $0.99.

However, the two bags are not identical. The Balenciaga bag is made of leather. The IKEA bag is plastic.

Balenciaga large shopper



IKEA frakta shopper



More info: bbc news

Posted By: Alex - Thu Apr 20, 2017 - Comments (2)
Category: Overpriced Merchandise

April 19, 2017

The Knife-Fork

Edward Towlen of Detroit invented the "knife-fork" around 1917, but he only got around to selling it as a product in 1945. It looks like you can still buy one (or something like it), such as here for $17.99. Although science has moved on. There are now rivals, such as the Knork (see video below).

Wilkes-Barre Times Leader - Dec 15, 1945



Popular Science - Aug 1946



Posted By: Alex - Wed Apr 19, 2017 - Comments (3)
Category: Inventions

Musical Prisoner



In 1949, LIFE told us about Frank Grandstaff, who composed a cantata while jailed, and earned a brief release to hear it performed. But what happened afterwards?

Original story here.



Original article here.

Posted By: Paul - Wed Apr 19, 2017 - Comments (6)
Category: Crime, Music, 1940s, 1950s

April 18, 2017

Allergic to wife

1966: After suffering from asthma for 15 years, Sigurd Lindh learned that he was allergic to his wife, Greta. He moved into a cabin 600 yards from their home, and his asthma cleared up.

It's pretty rare for spouses to be allergic to each other (as in, actually having a physical reaction to the other's presence, not just hating each other's guts). But it's doubly rare for a husband to be allergic to a wife. So Lindh was pretty unique. For whatever reason, the overwhelming majority of these spousal allergy cases involve wives allergic to their husbands. See here and here.

Detroit Free Press - June 2, 1966



Akron Beacon Journal - Sep 12, 1966

Posted By: Alex - Tue Apr 18, 2017 - Comments (1)
Category: Health, Marriage, 1960s

General Electric’s 1965 Walking Truck





Walking robots, such as those from Boston Dynamics, are all the rage these days.

But does their ancestor, the human-operated Walking Truck, ever get any credit?

Well, this fellow did a magnificent article on the device.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Apr 18, 2017 - Comments (2)
Category: Anthropomorphism, Robots, 1960s

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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.

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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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