Weird Universe Archive

January 2020

January 26, 2020

Diapers with pistol holsters

Patented by Harriet Y. Clough of Meadville, Pennsylvania in 1958.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Jan 26, 2020 - Comments (0)
Category: Babies, Guns, Inventions

The Antikamnia Calendar

Not certain that skeletons were the best imagery for a patent medicine company.

You can see a lot more calendar pages here, the results of Google Image Search.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Jan 26, 2020 - Comments (5)
Category: Patent Medicines, Nostrums and Snake Oil, Twentieth Century, Skulls, Bones and Skeletons

January 25, 2020

Most Glamorous Chassis of 1957

I see Paul's Miss Brake Special of 1951, and raise him Most Glamorous Chassis of 1957, a title awarded to Hollywood star Debra Paget.

Actually, this seems to be another example of the weird thematic synchronicity that we've mentioned before. Having worked on this blog together now for over a decade, the minds of Paul and I seem to have achieved a state of spooky quantum entanglement, in which, without any coordination at all, and separated by a distance of over 3000 miles, we will independently focus on similar subjects at the same time. So, as Paul was preparing his post about Miss Brake Special, I was simultaneously researching a post about Most Glamorous Chassis. I almost posted it yesterday.

Opelousas Daily World - Apr 11, 1957



Anyway, wikipedia notes that in 1957 Paget was at the peak of her career, considered an A-list star, having appeared in The Ten Commandments and headlined Love Me Tender with Elvis Presley. But beginning in 1957 "Paget's career began to decline." Could it be mere coincidence that this was also the year she accepted the title of "Most Glamorous Chassis"?

Although what is arguably Paget's most famous performance was still before her — her snake dance scene in Fritz Lang's The Indian Tomb (1959). Wikipedia says that the scene was "risque (for the time)." I think it's still risque even for 2020.

Posted By: Alex - Sat Jan 25, 2020 - Comments (5)
Category: Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues, 1950s, Cars

Dorothy Ashby, Bebop Harp

Unlike most of the music we revel in here at WU, this piece is actually beautiful and accomplished. The weirdness factor is the chosen instrument, the harp, not generally accorded a place in jazz.

The Wikipedia page for Dorothy Ashby.

Posted By: Paul - Sat Jan 25, 2020 - Comments (1)
Category: Music, Twentieth Century

January 24, 2020

Magazine for the nearsighted

The magazine Leisure debuted in 1963. It was distributed exclusively at barbershops and featured articles intended to be of interest to male readers, on subjects such as hunting, fishing, boating, camping, golf, skiing, travel, hobbies, photography, etc. But what made the magazine unique was that all the articles were printed in extra large type. This was so that barbershop customers who took off their glasses to get their hair cut could still read the magazine.

I’ve found several newspaper articles referencing the existence of this magazine, but I haven’t been able to find any copies of it archived anywhere. It doesn’t even appear in library databases.

Eureka Humboldt Standard - Sep 18, 1963

Posted By: Alex - Fri Jan 24, 2020 - Comments (4)
Category: Magazines, 1960s, Eyes and Vision

January 23, 2020

Eefin Music

NPR’s Jennifer Sharpe has defined eefin music as "a kind of hiccupping, rhythmic wheeze that started in rural Tennessee more than 100 years ago."

Back in the early 1960s, some in the record industry thought that eefin was going to be the next big thing. Though the hopes for it never panned out. The biggest eefin hit was "Little Eefin Annie" by Joe Perkins, which reached #76 in the charts in 1963.



But if you're a fan of Benny Hill, you might appreciate the song 'Eefin Nanny Stomp,' released in 1960 by Billy Hutch His Harmonica And Orchestra. You can clearly hear the Benny Hill theme (Yakety Sax) during parts of it.



Posted By: Alex - Thu Jan 23, 2020 - Comments (5)
Category: Music, 1960s

Gaddafi: A Living Myth

With Libya in the news, perhaps it's time to revisit Gaddafi: A Living Myth, the 2006 opera that was billed as an "all singing, all dancing, free-spirited version of the Dictator's life."



Here's a catalog of contemporary reactions.

Speaking before the September premiere of his new commission, Gaddafi: A Living Myth, English National Opera artistic director John Berry averred that it could "redefine opera".

The piece, written by members of Asian Dub Foundation, was billed in advance as a venture of extraordinary audacity, addressing contemporary politics in music that would set our old friend the Classical Music Establishment by its ears.

Some of us had doubts long before the premiere. In December 2005, writing in this paper about the state of affairs at English National Opera, I said: "A commissioned opera from Asian Dub Foundation has had to be put off - and it's not hard to guess why."

When it was finally unveiled, there was not much pleasure to be had from seeing this gloomy prognostication confirmed.

The critics did their worst: "Cliche and bombast ... "repetitive and incoherent ... laughably wooden" ... "as cynical as Simon Cowell" ... "embarrassingly redolent of sixth-form earnestness" ... "long stretches of jaw-dropping banality" ... "risible moments that look and sound like a Middle Eastern version of Springtime For Hitler". Worst of all, almost every review used the word "brave".


Alas, I cannot find a video of the actual production. Here are two of the creators discussing it.



Posted By: Paul - Thu Jan 23, 2020 - Comments (0)
Category: Bombast, Bloviation and Pretentiousness, Crowds, Groups, Mobs and Other Mass Movements, Dictators, Tyrants and Other Harsh Rulers, Music, Avant Garde, Twentieth Century, Twenty-first Century, Cacophony, Dissonance, White Noise and Other Sonic Assaults

January 22, 2020

Turnpike Toll Gun

Introduced circa 1962 by Lyman Metal Products, the Turnpike Toll Gun allowed drivers to shoot quarters and nickels into toll baskets. I imagine that, nowadays, whipping one of these things out at a toll booth could get you in trouble. But it's still possible to pick one up on eBay if you gotta have one.



Source: airgunenthusiast.com



Cedar Rapids Gazette - Nov 4, 1965



Spokane Chronicle - Jan 23, 1963

Posted By: Alex - Wed Jan 22, 2020 - Comments (2)
Category: Guns, Money, Travel

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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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