Weird Universe Archive

March 2018

March 22, 2018

Follies of the Madmen #356



The metaphor is so strained and odd, that the reader will surely just go, "Huh?"

Source of ad. (Scroll forward one page.)

Posted By: Paul - Thu Mar 22, 2018 - Comments (7)
Category: Business, Advertising, Products, Surrealism, 1940s

March 21, 2018

Unfair Falsies

From June 1970:
"Sprinter Valerie Peat is one athlete who agrees on the importance of that extra fraction of an inch. She said she would have been second instead of third in last year's European games 200-meter race in Athens if her bust had been bigger."


Baltimore Evening Sun - Jun 19, 1970



See Valerie Peat in competition:

Posted By: Alex - Wed Mar 21, 2018 - Comments (3)
Category: Sports, 1970s

Real Hoodoos vs. Faux Hoodoos

Posted By: Paul - Wed Mar 21, 2018 - Comments (2)
Category: Regionalism, Natural Wonders

March 20, 2018

Automatic Pancake Machine

Invented by J. Clarence Sebring of Dundee, New York, circa 1990. It could make one pancake every seven seconds.



Elmira Star-Gazette - Jun 5, 2006

Posted By: Alex - Tue Mar 20, 2018 - Comments (2)
Category: Food, Inventions, 1990s

March 19, 2018

She devours the paper

The case of Blanche English, addicted to marginalia.


Wilmington News Journal - July 22, 1970



Update: I found a follow-up about Blanche English written in 2006 by Garth Wade, the Star-Gazette reporter who first discovered her unusual talent:

Blanche English became a nurse later in life but she was running a diner in Blossburg when I visited one morning to ask if she ate newspaper. My friend Dick Spencer told me she did, but I wanted proof. With some fear for my health, I blurted, "Pardon me, Mrs. English, but do you eat newspaper?"

Blanche laughed. I laughed. I had to because Blanche had one of those contagious laughs. Then we laughed some more.

This happy, marvelous lady admitted to eating newspaper. The craving started when she was pregnant with Douglas, the first of her five kids, she said. She would strip the edge of the newspaper where there was no ink, roll it up, chew a spell and swallow. The only newspaper she liked was the Star-Gazette.

So, I sat Blanche in one of her booths with a plate full of Star-Gazette and took her photo. The story generated Blanche's 15 minutes of fame. Talk shows called and newspapers sent copies imploring her to try their newsprint. Blanche remained faithful to the Star-Gazette. And her husband, Leonard, loved to tell about his wife's special talent.

Blanche became an LPN later and worked at the Broad Acres Nursing Home in Wellsboro. "She loved those folks and they loved her," said Linda English Cheyney, Blanche's daughter. Linda said her mother's habit continued well after Douglas' birth. "I remember her sitting at the breakfast table with a cup of coffee and the edges of the Star-Gazette were gone."

Blanche was 68 when she died 13 years ago. Leonard joined her last year.

Elmira Star-Gazette - Jun 5, 2006

Posted By: Alex - Mon Mar 19, 2018 - Comments (2)
Category: Journalism, 1970s

Rita Pavone:  Datemi un Martello



Her Wikipedia page.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Mar 19, 2018 - Comments (4)
Category: Music, Tools, 1960s, South America

March 18, 2018

Finger Food

From June 1979:
A Barrie family is suing a grocery store for selling them a package of ground veal containing part of a human finger...
"They were very upset," said the lawyer for the family, which includes two children. "For six months, they could not eat any ground meat. All they ate was steak."

How they must have suffered!

Springfield Leader and Press - June 29, 1979

Posted By: Alex - Sun Mar 18, 2018 - Comments (2)
Category: Food, 1970s

The Blue Marble

Posted By: Paul - Sun Mar 18, 2018 - Comments (2)
Category: Rube Goldberg Devices

March 17, 2018

Peekaboo Mask and Triffids

Continuing with the theme of odd masks...

London designer Hugh Skillen created this unusual "peekaboo" mask in 1952.

He later went on to design the man-eating plants in the 1963 horror movie The Day of the Triffids.

Newsweek - Jan 5, 1953



Janette Scott being attacked by a triffid — via IMDb.com





Update: I tried to track down more info about Hugh Skillen and have concluded there's some confusion about his biography. Seems there were two Hugh Skillens who both lived in London at around the same time.

There was a Hugh Skillen who was a military officer who helped to develop the Enigma machine at Bletchley Park during World War II, and then later worked as a schoolmaster at Harrow County School for Boys. More info about him here.

And then there was the Hugh Skillen who was a costumier, designing costumes for theater productions in London and occasionally working on movies such as The Day of the Triffids.

I don't think these two Hugh Skillens were the same, but IMDb lists the birth/death of the costumier as being the same as the military officer: Aug 22, 1915 to Jan 4, 2004. I'm betting the info is only correct for the military officer.

Posted By: Alex - Sat Mar 17, 2018 - Comments (0)
Category: Fashion, Headgear, Special Effects, 1950s

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