Weird Universe Archive

November 2019

November 30, 2019

Gorbachev’s Pizza Hut Commercial

In 1997, Mikhail Gorbachev, the final leader of the Soviet Union, made an ad for Pizza Hut. Political Scientist Paul Musgrave discusses it in a feature-length article in Foreign Policy magazine.

Since his involuntary retirement, Gorbachev has raised money for worthy causes, attempted to make a comeback in Russian politics, and, notoriously, made an advertisement for Pizza Hut. The ad would have become a footnote were it not for its long second life online, where it’s rediscovered every few years. There’s an undeniable voyeuristic frisson of seeing a man who once commanded a superpower hawking pizza.


Posted By: Alex - Sat Nov 30, 2019 - Comments (0)
Category: Politics, Advertising, 1990s

Prices Unlimited

Greedy, unpatriotic girls receive a visit from the Ghost of Meat Rationing Present.

Posted By: Paul - Sat Nov 30, 2019 - Comments (2)
Category: Food, PSA’s, Public Humiliation, War, 1940s

November 29, 2019

Bewitched by a sandwich

Compelling excuse. Back in 1947, when police apprehended 18-year-old Raymond Adame as he was attempting to kidnap Celina Jarmillo, he explained, "Last April she made me a sandwich of potatoes, beans, and macaroni, and according to our legend she bewitched me... I couldn't get out of her spell."

Vancouver Sun - Nov 7, 1947



Celina Jarmillo



Raymond Adame
source: Los Angeles Public Library



A follow-up report, from January 1948, noted that Adame was, in the end, only charged with assault rather than kidnapping. And it revealed that the bewitching sandwich had also included "fish eyes".

Does that literally mean eyes from fish, or is "fish eyes" a term for some less disgusting type of food?

Arizona Daily Star - Jan 9, 1948

Posted By: Alex - Fri Nov 29, 2019 - Comments (5)
Category: Crime, Food, 1940s

Mystery Gadget 82

What's this box do?

The answer is here.

Or after the jump.





More in extended >>

Posted By: Paul - Fri Nov 29, 2019 - Comments (1)
Category: Technology, 1950s

November 28, 2019

Cramonnaise

Patented An application for a patent on this product was filed by Patrick Kelleher of Monroe, New York in 2009. From the patent application:

Two popular food items, mayonnaise and cranberry sauce, are mixed together to form a new food item which is to be called Cramonnaise. This new item is to be packaged and labeled with the new name—Cramonnaise. The name is derived from parts of the names of the ingredients, cranberry sauce and mayonnaise.

The patent application was abandoned in 2019.

It seems to be a peculiar feature of mayonnaise blends that they inspire weird names. Such as 'mayochup,' posted about previously.

Posted By: Alex - Thu Nov 28, 2019 - Comments (3)
Category: Food

Happy Thanksgiving 2019

Posted By: Paul - Thu Nov 28, 2019 - Comments (3)
Category: Animals, Holidays

November 27, 2019

How much total weight does it take to play a song on the piano?

Pianist Moissaye Boguslawski (popularly known as 'Bogie') calculated in 1927 that "in the four minutes it took him to play Rubenstein's 'Staccato Etude' he exerted force of 14,700 pounds." Apparently he then used this bit of esoterica to impress the ladies.

The wikipedia entry on Boguslawski notes, "Boguslawski was known for skillfully attracting media attention. A 1936 piece in TIME magazine said of him, 'When straight news about himself is scarce, 'Bogie' is likely to come forth with such a project as his proposal to promote world peace through voice culture, since animosity arises when unpleasant tones are heard.'"

Muncie Evening Press - Aug 11, 1927



Ithaca Journal - Nov 23, 1926

Posted By: Alex - Wed Nov 27, 2019 - Comments (1)
Category: Music, 1920s

A Queer Ferry



I would call this an aerial tramway for cars. Seems it would have been much easier just to build a bridge!

Posted By: Paul - Wed Nov 27, 2019 - Comments (8)
Category: Engineering and Construction, Motor Vehicles, Technology, 1930s

November 26, 2019

Dog-Collar Engagement Rings

An unusual fad, as reported by the San Francisco Examiner, June 19, 1927:

Only the other day there came from Denver the startling news that the young women of this western city were wearing dog collars for engagement rings in lieu of the conventional band of gold, silver or diamond-set platinum. To further emphasize the departure from tradition, the girls wore this romantic token around their legs, as shown in the photograph of Miss Fay Rowe, of Denver, on this page. Thus the engagement ring-dog-collar became a garter as well as a symbol of betrothal, combining utility with romance...

The custom was started by a young woman in one of the college sororities and it spread rapidly. It was generally believed to be something entirely new in the way of betrothal tokens, but had the young woman been a careful student in her history class she would have known that the fad she started was an old one long before the Christian era was born. Jeweled anklets have been discovered in the cinerary urns of the ancient Greeks, with inscriptions which indicate they were tokens of engagement. Bracelets were also common in all ages as tokens of betrothal...

The principal objection to the dog-collar engagement token around the leg seems to be, "What's the use of wearing an engagement ring without anybody seeing it?" To which the answer is, "Nowadays a ring worn about the leg can easily be seen with the skirts of women growing shorter and shorter."

I can think of a few more objections a bride-to-be might have, other than that the dog collar wouldn't be visible.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Nov 26, 2019 - Comments (6)
Category: 1920s, Weddings, Love & Romance

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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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