Weird Universe Archive

February 2019

February 19, 2019

The Art of Mammarism

Having recently posted about the art of knee reading, here's something along similar lines, though involving a different body part. Patrick Cullen claimed to be a "chest clairvoyant." By examining a woman's breasts, he claimed, he could predict her future. He called this the art of Mammarism. Some details:

He would tell female clients that the ancient Eastern art enabled him to predict the shape of things to come by "reading" their breasts. These were a pointer to the future, a fact well appreciated in India — where, he claimed, Mammarism originated.

The technique — perfected, he boasted in the brothels of Shanghai during a 26-year career in the army — involving daubing the breasts in poster colours with a long camel-hair brush. The breast was then pressed against a sheet of paper to achieve a life-size imprint... After studying the prints — and sometimes the breasts themselves — Mr. Cullen would predict the future.

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find a photo of Cullen at work — nor any photo of Cullen at all.

The Guardian - Dec 5, 1980
(click to enlarge)

Posted By: Alex - Tue Feb 19, 2019 - Comments (1)
Category: Predictions

Killer Rat



Our beloved Chuck Shepherd had a category in NOTW that might even have been finally considered "no longer weird." DOG SHOOTS OWNER.

But so far as I know, he never had a rat pulling the trigger.

Original article here.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Feb 19, 2019 - Comments (0)
Category: Animals, Death, Children, 1920s, Weapons

February 18, 2019

The Burnt Food Museum

It was founded in the late 1980's by harpist Deborah Henson-Conant. She writes:

Deborah put on a small pot of Hot Apple Cider to heat, then received an unexpected . . . fascinating . . . and very long phone call. By the time Deborah returned to the kitchen, the Cider had become a "Cinder" and thus the first, and perhaps still the most impressive, exhibit: "Free Standing Hot Apple Cider" was born.

The museum still seems to be going strong, though its website specifies that it's a private museum, which means that you need to arrange personal tours in advance to see it. A price of $3500 is quoted. For that amount, I'm sure Paul and I could arrange something if you wanted a behind-the-scenes tour of WU.





Boston Globe - May 13, 2001

Posted By: Alex - Mon Feb 18, 2019 - Comments (1)
Category: Food, Strange Websites

February 17, 2019

The Anthem of California

I've lived in California for 26 years, and just learned that we have a state anthem. Lyrics by Francis Beatty Silverwood and music by Abraham Frankenstein. More details: wikipedia.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Feb 17, 2019 - Comments (2)
Category: Music

Follies of the Madmen #413



Thousands of microscopic ballerina feet beat your carpet clean.

Source.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Feb 17, 2019 - Comments (2)
Category: Business, Advertising, Surrealism, Appliances, 1960s

February 16, 2019

The Check Out Suite

The Hotel Bellora in Gothenberg, Sweden has introduced what it calls the 'check out suite'. The price of staying in this room is proportional to how much time you spend online while there. The cost rises the more you use the Internet. Also, a lamp in the room changes color from white to red as your Internet usage increases. If the lamp changes fully to red, you've got to pay full price for the room.

The goal is to encourage occupants of the room to have more real-world interactions with people. But if so, why limit it to Internet usage? What about docking them for time spent watching TV as well?

More details: adweek.com

Posted By: Alex - Sat Feb 16, 2019 - Comments (2)
Category: Internet, Hotels

The Unimog



This one has been turned into a camper.




Posted By: Paul - Sat Feb 16, 2019 - Comments (3)
Category: Motor Vehicles

February 15, 2019

Frozen Sections of a Child

Back in 1881, Dr. Thomas Dwight of Harvard Medical School authored Frozen Sections of a Child, which sounds like the kind of book one might find in the library of a serial killer. As the title indicated, the book consisted of anatomical illustrations of frozen cross-sections of a three-year-old child.

In the preface, Dwight helpfully included advice for those readers who might want to create their own frozen sections of a child:

My experience with frozen sections enables me to offer the following directions for making them. First, be very sure that the body, or part, to be frozen is in precisely the position you desire, and that there are no folds or indentations in the skin. I always use natural cold when possible. Weather much about zero (Fahrenheit) is unsatisfactory; but if the part is thoroughly chilled by several days' exposure to a pretty low temperature, a night of 10° may possibly finish it. Salt and ice, or snow, no doubt, will answer the purpose, but much time and patience are required. It is essential that the melted ice should have a chance to run off. The body should be frozen like a rock—so much so that the operator cannot tell whether he is cutting bone or muscle. Tooth is the only tissue he should be able to recognize. The sections should be made in a cold room, with a very sharp saw that has been chilled. When a section is cut, its surface is obscured by a thick half-frozen saw-dust, which is doubly thick if the freezing is not quite sufficient. It is wisest, if time allows, to remove this at once, which is done by pouring a little hot water over the section and brushing or scraping it off rapidly and carefully. This is a very delicate part of the process, and its successful performance has much to do with the beauty of the specimen. If it is to be kept, it should be laid on a piece of glass or wood, and placed at once, while still frozen, in cold alcohol.

More details: Harvard's Countway Library. You can also read the full book online via Google Books.

Posted By: Alex - Fri Feb 15, 2019 - Comments (0)
Category: Body, Surgery, Books, Nineteenth Century

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Who We Are
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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