Weird Universe Archive

November 2018

November 21, 2018

Plain Raisin Sandwich

Yum or yuck?


Posted By: Paul - Wed Nov 21, 2018 - Comments (7)
Category: Food, 1960s, Nausea, Revulsion and Disgust

November 20, 2018

The Moniac

Created by William Phillips in the 1940s, the Moniac was a device that used water flowing through pipes to simulate how money moves around within the economy. From the NY Times:

Water flows through a series of clear pipes, mimicking the way that money flows through the economy. It lets you see (literally) what would happen if you lower tax rates or increase the money supply or whatever; just open a valve here or pull a lever there and the machine sloshes away, showing in real time how the water levels rise and fall in various tanks representing the growth in personal savings, tax revenue, and so on. This device was state of the art in the 1950s, but it looks hilarious now, with all its plumbing and noisy pumps.

More info: wikipedia

The Sedalia Democrat - Dec 23, 1951

Posted By: Alex - Tue Nov 20, 2018 - Comments (0)
Category: Technology, Computers, 1940s

Gunhild Carling

Jazz bagpipes.

Three trumpets simultaneously.

Her web page (Swedish).

Thanks to Jim Woodring.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Nov 20, 2018 - Comments (5)
Category: Human Marvels, Music, Reader Recommendation, Europe

November 19, 2018

Lady Sarah’s dissolving bathing suit

Back in the summer of 1975, there was a brouhaha about a 24-foot-long outdoor painting of a reclining nude (aka Lady Sarah) that featured a dissolving bathing suit. It was the creation of artist William Newman. Details below from Wikipedia.

Note: the wikipedia article says that the painting was meant for the "inside of the building," but I think it should read the "inside of the construction site." The whole idea was that it was an outdoor painting created for the benefit of construction workers.

In 1975, Newman had already begun as a full-time teacher at the Corcoran School of Art. He was hired to paint a mural at the Construction site across from the Old Executive Office building, where he and twenty students created 35 - 40 magnified insects and animals and cut them out of plywood to place around the site. Since that project was a great success, Newman offered to create a painting for the inside of the building of a large nude. They accepted his proposal, so he began working. When he was finished, the painting was twenty four feet long. When the General Services Administration came to the Corcoran before it went up, they decided not to show the original piece. They refused to put the piece up, unless Newman painted a bathing suit over the woman in the mural.

"At the time I was just thinking, great, I'll paint a bathing suit on it, but that bathing suit is coming off as soon as it rains. I mixed tempera paint with that famous Corcoran bathroom soap, and I knew it would wash off right away. I told Paul Richard, the art writer at the Washington Post, about it, and he wrote a story titled "Praying for Rain." The painting came to be called Lady Sarah, named after its model."

During the first night it was up, rain fell. There was a line of about 300 people waiting to look through the peephole, in reaction to the article. Before the bathing suit could be completely washed off by the rain, the piece was taken down. Newman washed off the soap bathing suit and repainted it to become permanently present. He gave the piece to the Corcoran to raise money.

The Wilmington News Journal - Aug 15, 1975

Asbury Park Press - Aug 14, 1975

Orlando Sentinel - Aug 15, 1975

Apparently that wasn't Newman's last work featuring 'Sarah.' Two more followed, one of which again had a dissolving suit. From Washington City Paper:

Newman did two more outdoor Sarahs: Sarah Claus, at a building site at 18th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW, and Sarah and Strawberry Shortcake, for the Third Edition restaurant in Georgetown. The first painting featured a wash-away Santa suit, but the dry snow that winter didn't do the job. So some Corcoran students in firefighter outfits, with Newman's blessing, hosed down the mural. The second work was approved and then contested by the federal Commission of Fine Arts.

The identity of 'Lady Sarah' was eventually revealed to be Sarah Tuft, an 18-year-old model and art student. I'm not sure, but I'm guessing this must be the same Sarah Tuft who's now a playwright. Photo below of Sarah Tuft (playwright) for comparison.

image source:

Posted By: Alex - Mon Nov 19, 2018 - Comments (0)
Category: Art, 1970s

Follies of the Madmen #396

George Lucas had to keep his hand in between THX 1138 and the first STAR WARS film.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Nov 19, 2018 - Comments (1)
Category: Aliens, Business, Advertising, Food, 1970s

November 18, 2018

Married to a hologram

We recently posted about a Japanese company (Gatebox) that had created a "digital wife"... a device that created a holographic companion for lonely people. Now 35-year-old Akihiko Kondo has married his hologram companion. From

Since March, Kondo has been living with a moving, talking hologram of Miku that floats in a ShSh280,000 ( $2,800) desktop device.
Gatebox, the company that produces the hologram device has issued a "marriage certificate," which certifies that a human and a virtual character have wed "beyond dimensions".
The singer welcomes Kndo home every evening and tells him when it is time for bed. He even sleeps with a doll of the hologram beside him.

I'd bet money that the 'marriage' is a publicity stunt engineered by Gatebox.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Nov 18, 2018 - Comments (4)
Category: AI, Robots and Other Automatons, Marriage, Love & Romance

Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold

I wonder what more-famous franchise inspired this turkey?

"Sharon Stone...was nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress for this role, for which she lost to Madonna for Who's That Girl."

Wikipedia page here.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Nov 18, 2018 - Comments (7)
Category: Ineptness, Crudity, Talentlessness, Kitsch, and Bad Art, Literature, Movies, 1980s

November 17, 2018

Charles Norman, the toddler who smoked

Charles "Mickey" Norman achieved fame in the 1930s, while only a 2-year-old, because of his love of smoking. He was known as the "puffing prodigy." For a few years the media checked back at each of his birthdays and found him still smoking. Then they eventually lost interest... until his 18th birthday, when they checked and found he was still smoking, and quite healthy. The last news story about him I could find was when he was 25. Not clear what became of him after that. He might still be alive. If so, he'd be 87.

St. Louis Star and Times - July 12, 1933

Public Opinion - July 31, 1934

The Hackensack Record - July 29, 1936

Newsweek - Mar 20, 1950

No Ill Effects: At the age of 14 months, Charles (Mickey) Norman of Paterson, N.J., picked up a smoldering cigar from his father’s ash tray and took a few puffs. He liked it. By the age of 3, Mickey was an inveterate stogie smoker—his pictures appeared in papers from Italy to Australia, bringing an avalanche of fan mail. A short time later he announced: “I drink beer.” None of this seemed to have an ill effect. Now a husky, 6-foot-tall auto mechanic of 18, Norman estimates that he has smoked 13,000 cigars, along with pipes and cigarettes.
-Newsweek, Mar 20, 1950

Philadelphia Inquirer - July 30, 1956

Posted By: Alex - Sat Nov 17, 2018 - Comments (2)
Category: Smoking and Tobacco, 1930s

Mystery Gadget 68

What is this hook used for?

The answer is here.

And after the jump.

More in extended >>

Posted By: Paul - Sat Nov 17, 2018 - Comments (2)
Category: Technology, 1930s

November 16, 2018

The Masculine Toilet

It's a toilet specially designed for men who suffer from being too well endowed. It's been in the news recently because the current acting Attorney General, Matthew Whitaker, once worked as the lawyer for the company that patented (or sought to patent) it. From the 2014 press release announcing the "Masculine Toilet":

The average male genitalia is between 5" and 6". However, this invention is designed for those of us who measure longer than that. I estimate that a 12" distance is adequate enough for most well-endowed men, though I would not be surprised if there are cases who need a greater distance. Nevertheless, for the time being, this is a good starting point.

The Masculine Toilet reminds me of the Toilet Sanitary Shield For Men, which we posted about back in 2015. That was another device designed for men with oversized equipment.

Posted By: Alex - Fri Nov 16, 2018 - Comments (2)
Category: Bathrooms, Inventions

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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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