Weird Universe Archive

September 2018

September 5, 2018

The Initials Effect

Found by psychologist Nicholas Christenfeld. The effect is that if the initials of your name spell out something positive (such as J.O.Y. or G.O.D.) you'll likely live longer than someone whose initials spell out something negative (B.A.D. or A.S.S.).

From his article in the Journal of Psychomatic Research (Sep 1999):

One's attitude about oneself, and the treatment one receives from others, might be affected, in some small but measurable way, by stigmatic or salutary labeling due to one's name. If names affect attitudes and attitudes affect longevity, then individuals with “positive” initials (e.g., A.C.E., V.I.P.) might live longer than those with “negative” initials (e.g., P.I.G., D.I.E.). Using California death certificates, 1969–1995, we isolated 2287 male decedents with “negative” initials and 1200 with “positive” initials. Males with positive initials live 4.48 years longer (p<0.0001), whereas males with negative initials die 2.80 years younger (p<0.0001) than matched controls. The longevity effects are smaller for females, with an increase of 3.36 years for the positive group (p<0.0001) and no decrease for the negative. Positive initials are associated with shifts away from causes of death with obvious psychological components (such as suicides and accidents), whereas negative initials are associated with shifts toward these causes. However, nearly all disease categories display an increase in longevity for the positive group and a decrease for the negative group. These findings cannot be explained by the effects of death cohort artifacts, gender, race, year of death, socioeconomic status, or parental neglect.


San Francisco Examiner - Mar 28, 1998

Posted By: Alex - Wed Sep 05, 2018 - Comments (4)
Category: Odd Names, Science, Psychology

September 4, 2018

Cigar Tools—For Her!


Posted By: Paul - Tue Sep 04, 2018 - Comments (1)
Category: Business, Advertising, Tobacco and Smoking, Women

They’re Coming To Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!

Made it to No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 popular music singles chart on August 13, 1966. But according to Wikipedia:

"They're Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!" has the distinction of being the song to drop the farthest within the Top 40 in a single week. It charted for six weeks during 1966. In week four, it peaked at #3, scored #5 in week five, and fell to #37 in week six. This was because radio programmers removed the song from their playlists, fearing anger from people who might think it was ridiculing the mentally ill.

The flip side of the single had the same song played backwards.



Posted By: Alex - Tue Sep 04, 2018 - Comments (7)
Category: Music, 1960s

September 3, 2018

Heinz Help Fruit Drink

Heinz's venture into the beverage market during the mid-1970s with its Help Fruit Drink only lasted a few years. The fact that Heinz is so associated with ketchup probably didn't 'help' the product. But also, what an odd name 'Help' was.





Posted By: Alex - Mon Sep 03, 2018 - Comments (0)
Category: Food, 1970s

September 2, 2018

Most Expensive Ice Cream Sundae

Advertising it as "the world's most expensive ice cream sundae," this is what Three Twins Ice Cream will give you in exchange for $60,000:

Travel to the summit of Africa's highest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro, where Three Twins Ice Cream's founder will hand-churn a batch of ice cream with glacial ice from the mountain's summit. The mountain's glaciers are predicted to disappear within the next 10-15 years due to climate change - and your purchase helps raise awareness of this fact with a five-figure contribution to an African environmental non-profit. The sundae's price also includes first class airfare to Tanzania, five-star accommodations, a guided climb, as much ice cream as you can eat and a souvenir t-shirt made from organic cotton.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Sep 02, 2018 - Comments (9)
Category: Overpriced Merchandise

Sparky’s Hazard House

Although not as famous as McGruff the Crime Dog, Sparky the Fire Dog has been around for a while.



I am particularly interested in his "house of death by incineration" diorama.



Apparently you can still purchase one from this company.



You might also want their Hazard Farm model.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Sep 02, 2018 - Comments (2)
Category: Anthropomorphism, Death, Destruction, Domestic, Education, Corporate Mascots, Icons and Spokesbeings, Children, 1950s

September 1, 2018

Macaroni woman of the year

Since I posted a few days ago about eggplants that looked like Richard Nixon, I thought it only fitting to also note that his wife, Patricia, had her own food thing going on. In 1970, she was named Macaroni Woman of the Year by the National Macaroni Institute. She also had her portrait painted out of macaroni by the artist Don Wheeler.

Redlands Daily Facts - Oct 1, 1970



Wilkes Barre Times Leader - Apr 14, 1971

Posted By: Alex - Sat Sep 01, 2018 - Comments (4)
Category: Art, Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests, Food, Politics

Wisteria Princesses



Wisteria Princesses. L to R: Christine Dinwiddie, 15, Linda Nehls, 17, Janet Dickson, 15, Susan Glass, 15, and Meredith Mitchell, 17, princesses of the 1958 Wisteria Vine Festival, Sierra Madre.


Source.

Posted By: Paul - Sat Sep 01, 2018 - Comments (0)
Category: Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues, Parades and Festivals, 1950s

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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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