Weird Universe Archive

June 2017

June 16, 2017

Eating Infinite Jest

Comedian Jamie Loftus recently posted a video commemorating the first year of her plan to eat an entire copy of the novel Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace, one page at a time. She's never read it. She's just eating it.



This caught my attention because, as it turns out, I've got a folder on my computer where I've been filing examples of people who eat books, aka bibliophagia.

I've already posted one of the examples here on WU. It was the case from 1926 of the boy who was eating his family's Bible.

Then there's a report from 1936 of a schoolboy who, in order to win a bet of 20 cents, ate all 138 pages of "The Mountain Garland," a dramatic poem by Petar Petrovic Njegos.

The Uniontown Morning Herald - May 5, 1936



And a bunch of examples can be found in The Excursions of a Book-Lover by Frederic Rowland Marvin:

In 1370 Barnabo Visconti compelled two Papal delegates to eat the bull of excommunication which they had brought him, together with its silken cord and leaden seal. As the bull was written on parchment, not paper, it was all the more difficult to digest.

A similar anecdote was related by Oelrich in his "Dissertation de Bibliothecarum et Librorum Fatis," (1756), of an Austrian general who had signed a note for two thousand florins, and was compelled by his creditor, when it fell due, to eat it.

A Scandinavian writer, the author of a political book, was compelled to choose between being beheaded or eating his manuscript boiled in broth.

Isaac Volmar, who wrote some spicy satires against Bernard, Duke of Saxony, was not allowed the courtesy of the kitchen, but was forced to swallow his literary productions uncooked.

Still worse was the fate of Philip Oldenburger, a jurist of great renown, who was condemned not only to eat a pamphlet of his writing, but also to be flogged during his repast, with orders that the flogging should not cease until he had swallowed the last crumb.

Posted By: Alex - Fri Jun 16, 2017 - Comments (5)
Category: Food, Books

The Funeral of Mike Merlo






Original picture here.


A wax and flower effigy of the deceased featured at his funeral, attended by ten thousand people.

His Wikipedia page.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Jun 16, 2017 - Comments (3)
Category: Death, Excess, Overkill, Hyperbole and Too Much Is Not Enough, 1920s

June 15, 2017

Recipes for Cooking Muskrat

How the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service came to publish a muskrat meat cookbook:

The Escanaba Daily Press - Mar 22, 1949



The recipes include Wine-fried Muskrat, Muskrat a la Terrapin, Maryland Shredded Muskrat, Muskrat Salad, Muskrat Pie, Pickled Muskrat, and Stewed Muskrat Liver. However, it doesn't include Cream of Muskrat Casserole, a delicacy that we posted about back in 2013.

You can read or download the full booklet at archive.org.





A muskrat - via wikipedia

Posted By: Alex - Thu Jun 15, 2017 - Comments (4)
Category: Animals, Food

Cosmetic Frame for Bent Legs



The vanished horrors of the past.

Original ad here.

Posted By: Paul - Thu Jun 15, 2017 - Comments (3)
Category: Technology, 1920s, Differently Abled, Handicapped, Challenged, and Otherwise Atypical

June 14, 2017

Name That List, #40

What is this a list of? The answer is below in extended.

  • Bart Simpson
  • Battery Acid
  • Blue Chair
  • California Sunshine
  • Contact Lens
  • Cupcakes
  • Dental Floss
  • Dinosaurs
  • Ellis Day
  • Golden Dragon
  • Grape Parfait
  • Hawaiian Sunshine
  • Kaleidoscope
  • Mind Detergent
  • Owsley
  • Pink Robots
  • Russian Sickles
  • Square Dancing Tickets
  • Tail Lights
  • Valley Dolls
  • Window Glass
  • Yellow Dimples


More in extended >>

Posted By: Alex - Wed Jun 14, 2017 - Comments (9)
Category: Name That List

Artwork Khrushchev Probably Would Not Have Liked 4



Of course, before the Soviets took a stance against "degenerate" avant-garde art, they had a flourishing avant-garde scene in their own country.

Mikhail Larionov was one such native Russian artist.

Here is his "Venus" from 1912.

This new book on the topic seems very interesting and relevant.

Posted By: Paul - Wed Jun 14, 2017 - Comments (3)
Category: Art, Avant Garde, 1910s, Russia

June 13, 2017

The Mayonnaise diet

What exactly is the mayonnaise diet? Googling the term produces various vague references to such a thing, but no specifics. So, like the Dial-A-Dietitian, I have no idea what this diet involves... beyond a lot of mayonnaise and eggs.

My guess is that it was either an alternative name for the Atkins Diet, or an eccentric variant of it, since the book Dr. Atkins' Diet Revolution first came out in 1972, which makes the timing about right for this person inquiring about a mayonnaise diet in 1974.

Honolulu Star Bulletin - June 19, 1974

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jun 13, 2017 - Comments (3)
Category: Food, Mayonnaise, Dieting and Weight Loss

Munyon’s Homeopathic Cures

Once, these remedies were state-of-the-art.



More photos here.

His Wikipedia page.

Although Munyon appears to be clutching a cigar in his upraised hand, that is indeed supposed to be his signature gesture of upraised index finger.



Original ad here.



Certificate here.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Jun 13, 2017 - Comments (3)
Category: Forgotten Figures and Where Are They Now?, Patent Medicines, Nostrums and Snake Oil, 1900s

June 12, 2017

Mayor Max

In 2012, the residents of Idyllwild, California elected Max as their mayor. He was a golden retriever. Tragically he died of cancer a year later, but the people of Idyllwild agreed that Maximus Mighty-Dog Mueller II, aka Mayor Max II, could complete his term of office. The new Max was subsequently granted a perpetual term as mayor. So he's still in charge there.

Check out the official Mayor Max website.

Mayor Max I



Posted By: Alex - Mon Jun 12, 2017 - Comments (3)
Category: Animals, Politics

Underworld Lingo



Source: page 51 of this magazine.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Jun 12, 2017 - Comments (6)
Category: Crime, Languages, 1930s

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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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