Weird Universe Archive

October 2017

October 20, 2017

Shadowgraph measures beauty

It's interesting that they always have the contestants stand at a slight angle. You'd think it would be easier to have them stand facing the shadowgraph, in order to standardize the measurements.

Minneapolis Star - July 25, 1939





Chicago Tribune - July 24, 1939



Bristol Daily Courier - July 27, 1939

Posted By: Alex - Fri Oct 20, 2017 - Comments (2)
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests, Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues, 1930s

Follies of the Madmen #331



Puppet experts are always to be trusted.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Oct 20, 2017 - Comments (1)
Category: Business, Advertising, Products, Hair Styling, 1950s, Fictional Monsters

October 19, 2017

Growing Up Skipper

In the Barbie family, Skipper is Barbie's younger sister. The 1975 version of her included the unusual feature that moving her arm caused her to experience "plastic puberty" (as one reporter put it). From wikipedia:

In 1975 Growing Up Skipper was released. The gimmick of the doll, which led to much controversy in the newspapers, was that if Skipper's arm was rotated, the doll would become an inch taller and small breasts would appear on her rubber torso. This concept was later used for Mattel's My Scene brand in 2007 with the "Growing Up Glam" line, which was also controversial.



Appleton Post-Crescent - Dec 19, 1975

Posted By: Alex - Thu Oct 19, 2017 - Comments (2)
Category: Toys

Home on Wheels




Dora Bryan was certainly somewhat homely for a famous actress, with a female assistant prettier than herself. And surely anyone who names their parakeet "Cecil Gibson" must've been a few caravans shy of a trailer park.

Posted By: Paul - Thu Oct 19, 2017 - Comments (4)
Category: Motor Vehicles, 1950s, Actors

October 18, 2017

Oyster Flatulence

I didn't even realize that oysters produced flatulence, but I guess this is now something new to worry about.

A study published in the Scientific Reports journal shows that clams, mussels and oysters produce one-tenth of methane and nitrous oxide gases in the Baltic Sea as a result of digestion. Therefore, researchers have warned that shellfish “may play an important but overlooked role in regulating greenhouse gas production”.


More info: euractiv.com
Original study: nature.com

Posted By: Alex - Wed Oct 18, 2017 - Comments (5)
Category: Nature, Natural Resources

The Fish



An early forerunner of "Rock Lobster."

Posted By: Paul - Wed Oct 18, 2017 - Comments (2)
Category: Ineptness, Crudity, Talentlessness, Kitsch, and Bad Art, Music, Nature, 1950s

October 17, 2017

Left wife, lived in forest for 10 years

Malcolm Applegate claims that he got fed up with his wife's nagging. So he left and went into hiding in a thick woodland outside of London for ten years.

Applegate has since emerged from the woodland, reconnected with his wife, and he says, "We now have a great relationship again."

It reminds me of that story of the Iranian guy who's wife left him, so he lived half-naked in a cave for 30 years.

It also supports my theory that without their wives many men would revert to a stone-age-type existence.

More info: NZ Herald

Malcolm Applegate

Posted By: Alex - Tue Oct 17, 2017 - Comments (1)
Category: Husbands, Marriage

Follies of the Madmen #330



This wife has a problem bigger than an inconsiderate husband--he's a clinical alcoholic!

From THE ELKS MAGAZINE for November 1950.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Oct 17, 2017 - Comments (6)
Category: Addictions, Alcohol, Business, Advertising, Products, Domestic, Appliances, 1950s

October 16, 2017

Weighing the Mayor

The town of High Wycombe in England has an ancient custom of weighing their mayors, first upon taking office and again at the end of their term. To have gained weight is taken as evidence that they've grown wealthy at the taxpayer's expense. It's like an ancient form of fat-shaming.

In the 1950s, the mayor of Minneapolis, Eric Hoyer, decided to adopt this custom. He even arranged to have the official scales flown in from High Wycombe. He apparently was pretty confident that he'd lost weight, but according to the scales he had gained some. He blamed the extra weight on the ceremonial costume he was wearing for the occasion.

It's an interesting custom. Perhaps we should weigh more politicians periodically. Such as an annual weighing of senators and the president.

Pleasant Grove Review - Jan 4, 1952



Cincinnati Enquirer - Dec 1, 1951

Posted By: Alex - Mon Oct 16, 2017 - Comments (6)
Category: Politics, 1950s, Dieting and Weight Loss

The Skewb

If Rubik's Cube is stale, other cube-type puzzles exist. Here's one.

More at the Uwe Meffert link.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Oct 16, 2017 - Comments (0)
Category: Games

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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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