Weird Universe Archive

February 2020

February 19, 2020

Insect Butter

The latest effort to convince everyone to eat insects comes from Ghent University in Belgium where researchers tested whether people could tell the difference between waffles, cookies, and cake made with butter, versus butter combined with fat from black soldier fly larvae.

They claimed that a mixture of 75% butter and 25% insect fat was undetectable to people. And, in some cases, even a 50/50 mix of butter/insect fat couldn’t be detected.

So they’re hopeful that bakery products made with insect butter may soon be on shelves. They note:

Products with insects such as insect burgers have not yet proved to be a great success. Bakery products with insect fat are more likely to be appreciated, because the insects are merely a form of fat substitute.

More info: Ghent University

Posted By: Alex - Wed Feb 19, 2020 - Comments (2)
Category: Food, Insects

February 18, 2020

Elm Farm Ollie Day


Feb. 18 is Elm Farm Ollie Day, commemorating the first flight in a plane by a cow. An article posted over at rootsweb.ancestry.com tells us that Elm Farm Ollie (aka Sunnymede Ollie, Nellie Jay, or Sky Queen) is remembered each year at the dairy festival in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin:

Celebrated as a pasteurized legend of the pasture, Ollie has for 60 years remained the star attraction at the Feb. 18 dairy festival held each year at Mount Horeb, Wisc. In addition to having her praises sung in such works as "The Bovine Cantata in B-Flat Major" (from Madame Butterfat) and the stirring "Owed to Ollie," she has been the subject of stories, cartoons and poems. E. D. Thalinger even painted her portrait for posterity.


A 1930 news-wire story provided details about the historic flight:


Will Milk Cow in Air
Claude M. Sterling, of Parks Air college, will pilot Sunnymede Ollie, Guernsey from Bismarck, Missouri, over the city in a tri-motored Ford.
The cow will be fed and milked and the milk parachuted down in paper containers. A quart of milk will be presented to Colonel Lindbergh when he arrives.
Weighing more than 1000 pounds, the cow will be flown to demonstrate the ability of aircraft. Scientific data will be collected on her behavior.
-The Evening Tribune (Albert Lea, Minn.) - Feb. 18, 1930.

More info at wikipedia and mustardmuseum.com.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Feb 18, 2020 - Comments (7)
Category: Animals, Farming, Air Travel and Airlines, 1930s

Advertising Chairs

Back in 2018, Paul posted about an "advertising chair" patented in 1910. As a person rocked in it, advertisements scrolled in the armrests.

Patent No. 958,793 (1910)



I recently discovered that this invention wasn't a one-off. In the early twentieth century, inventors were actively competing to perfect advertising chairs and inflict them on the public. I was able to find four other advertising chair patents (and there's probably even more than this). To my untrained eye, they all look very similar, but evidently they were different enough to each get their own patent.

Patent No. 934,856 (1909)



Patent No. 993,397 (1911)



Patent No. 1,094,154 (1914)



Patent No. 1,441,911 (1923)



A newspaper search brought up an 1895 article that described advertising chairs as the "latest in advertising." It also explained that the concept was to put these chairs in various places where there were captive audiences, such as "hotel lobbies, public libraries, depots and in fact in all places where tired humanity is used to taking a quiet little rest during the day."

Minneapolis Star Tribune (Dec 8, 1895)



But although entrepreneurs may have been keen to build advertising chairs, the public was evidently far less enthusiastic about them. An editorial in the Kansas City Journal (reprinted in Printer's Ink magazine - Jan 2, 1901) described an advertising chair as "comfortable enough physically, but mentally it is a torture... Just who invented the advertising chair is not known. He has no reason to be proud."



There must have been a number of these advertising chairs in existence, but I'm unable to find any surviving examples of them. Searching eBay, for instance, only pulls up chairs with advertisements printed on them.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Feb 18, 2020 - Comments (4)
Category: Furniture, Inventions, Advertising

February 17, 2020

Relationship of noise tolerance to martini consumption

Back in the sixties, researchers weren't afraid to tackle the really important questions...

Knoxville News Sentinel - Dec 2, 1962

Posted By: Alex - Mon Feb 17, 2020 - Comments (6)
Category: Science, 1960s, Alcohol, Cacophony, Dissonance, White Noise and Other Sonic Assaults

February 16, 2020

Shoe Gongs

Anthony Faranda of Yonkers, NY worried that children didn't like wearing rubber-soled shoes because they made no noise when walking on a pavement. So, he invented a shoe gong. Or, as he called it, a "footwear actuated noise maker." He patented it in 1957.

It was a disc and clapper that could be worn over shoes. He explained: "The arrangement is such that upon normal walking steps or running strides the clapper is activated to make noise and thereby promote the interest of children in wearing shoes with soles that do not make an audible sound in engaging firm or rigid surfaces."

Maybe kids would have liked these, but not, I imagine, their parents.

He assigned the patent to the NY advertising agency McCann-Erickson. It's unclear what plans they might have had for these things.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Feb 16, 2020 - Comments (2)
Category: Inventions, Shoes, 1950s

Linda Lawson, Miss Cue

From her Wikipedia page:

On May 5, 1955, Lawson was dubbed "Miss Cue"[4][5] in reference to a series of nuclear tests conducted by the US military under "Operation Teapot," and publicized as "Operation Cue" in a short film distributed by the US Federal Civil Defense Administration. [6]






Posted By: Paul - Sun Feb 16, 2020 - Comments (3)
Category: Death, Government, Corporate Mascots, Icons and Spokesbeings, Atomic Power and Other Nuclear Matters, 1950s

February 15, 2020

Goth researcher

This researcher looks strangely out-of-place in the 1930s. He looks more like a singer in a 1980's goth band.

Minneapolis Star Tribune - May 11, 1930



For example, he could easily have been a member of Bauhaus.

Posted By: Alex - Sat Feb 15, 2020 - Comments (3)
Category: 1930s

Page 3 of 6 pages  < 1 2 3 4 5 >  Last ›




Get WU Posts by Email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner


weird universe thumbnail
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.

Chuck Shepherd
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.

Our banner was drawn by the legendary underground cartoonist Rick Altergott.

Contact Us
Monthly Archives
October 2021 •  September 2021 •  August 2021 •  July 2021 •  June 2021 •  May 2021 •  April 2021 •  March 2021 •  February 2021 •  January 2021

December 2020 •  November 2020 •  October 2020 •  September 2020 •  August 2020 •  July 2020 •  June 2020 •  May 2020 •  April 2020 •  March 2020 •  February 2020 •  January 2020

December 2019 •  November 2019 •  October 2019 •  September 2019 •  August 2019 •  July 2019 •  June 2019 •  May 2019 •  April 2019 •  March 2019 •  February 2019 •  January 2019

December 2018 •  November 2018 •  October 2018 •  September 2018 •  August 2018 •  July 2018 •  June 2018 •  May 2018 •  April 2018 •  March 2018 •  February 2018 •  January 2018

December 2017 •  November 2017 •  October 2017 •  September 2017 •  August 2017 •  July 2017 •  June 2017 •  May 2017 •  April 2017 •  March 2017 •  February 2017 •  January 2017

December 2016 •  November 2016 •  October 2016 •  September 2016 •  August 2016 •  July 2016 •  June 2016 •  May 2016 •  April 2016 •  March 2016 •  February 2016 •  January 2016

December 2015 •  November 2015 •  October 2015 •  September 2015 •  August 2015 •  July 2015 •  June 2015 •  May 2015 •  April 2015 •  March 2015 •  February 2015 •  January 2015

December 2014 •  November 2014 •  October 2014 •  September 2014 •  August 2014 •  July 2014 •  June 2014 •  May 2014 •  April 2014 •  March 2014 •  February 2014 •  January 2014

December 2013 •  November 2013 •  October 2013 •  September 2013 •  August 2013 •  July 2013 •  June 2013 •  May 2013 •  April 2013 •  March 2013 •  February 2013 •  January 2013

December 2012 •  November 2012 •  October 2012 •  September 2012 •  August 2012 •  July 2012 •  June 2012 •  May 2012 •  April 2012 •  March 2012 •  February 2012 •  January 2012

December 2011 •  November 2011 •  October 2011 •  September 2011 •  August 2011 •  July 2011 •  June 2011 •  May 2011 •  April 2011 •  March 2011 •  February 2011 •  January 2011

December 2010 •  November 2010 •  October 2010 •  September 2010 •  August 2010 •  July 2010 •  June 2010 •  May 2010 •  April 2010 •  March 2010 •  February 2010 •  January 2010

December 2009 •  November 2009 •  October 2009 •  September 2009 •  August 2009 •  July 2009 •  June 2009 •  May 2009 •  April 2009 •  March 2009 •  February 2009 •  January 2009

December 2008 •  November 2008 •  October 2008 •  September 2008 •  August 2008 •  July 2008 •