Weird Universe Archive

October 2020

October 21, 2020

St. Louis Heat Experiment

Google Arts & Culture hosts a series of images showing a bizarre-looking experiment conducted at the St. Louis University Medical School in 1956. The photos were taken by Life photographer Albert Fenn.

Google offers no more details about the photos, but some searching reveals the same photos on Getty Images where they're identified as "an experiment about the effects of heat on a body during highspeed jet flight."

Who the researcher was, I don't know.









Posted By: Alex - Wed Oct 21, 2020 - Comments (0)
Category: Experiments, 1950s

Chartreuse

A song even more topical today than it was seventy years ago.

Posted By: Paul - Wed Oct 21, 2020 - Comments (1)
Category: Music, 1950s, Hair and Hairstyling

October 20, 2020

Laboratory Land

At a 1932 meeting of the British Association, scientist Miles Walker proposed the creation of a colony, initially to consist of 100,000 people, that would be entirely "under the auspices of engineers, scientists and economists." He suggested that it might be located somewhere in North America, or perhaps France. And he figured that the colony would be so successful that it could eventually be expanded to include the entire world.

Walker didn't offer a name for his new colony, but the media dubbed it "Laboratory Land." More details from New Scientist (Aug 25, 1983):

A striking vision of the rationalist utopia was unfolded by Miles Walker (an engineer with the British Westinghouse Company and professor of electrical engineering at Manchester University) when president of the Engineering Section at the 1932 British Association meeting. "Politicians are not engineeringly minded," he proclaimed, "and that is the reason why they make a failure of state management". He challenged the government to establish an experimental, voluntary, self-supporting colony of 100,000 people "under the auspices of engineers, scientists and economists" in order to demonstrate that, "when freed from the constraints and social errors of modern civilisation", a society run on rationalist lines would indeed operate more effectively than conventional society. Once the prototype was functioning properly, "the region under sane control would be extended until it gradually embraced the whole world".


Santa Cruz Evening News - Apr 1, 1933 (click to enlarge)



The key to the success of the colony, he believed, would be its efficiency and elimination of waste. Interestingly, one of the things he had in mind that would allow this efficiency was electric cars:

Instead of thousands of cars burning petrol, costing the nation eighteen millions per annum, and polluting the air of our towns, we would have cars driven by home-generated electricity. Imagine hundreds of battery-charging stations, 20 miles apart along our main roads, at which we could in the course of a few seconds drop our partly discharged battery and take a new one that would carry us for the next three or four stages of our journey along the highway.

Almost 100 years later, and we're slowly working our way toward Walker's vision. At least, we are here in California where, by 2035, all new cars will have to be emission-free.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Oct 20, 2020 - Comments (6)
Category: Utopias and Dystopias, 1930s, Yesterday’s Tomorrows

October 19, 2020

Living in a grocery store

Here's one for the 'unauthorized dwellings' category: man found living in the ceiling of a Raley's grocery store.

Sgt. Dan Lynch tells KOLO 8 News Now, 35-year-old Matthew Hammar had fallen through the tile in the ceiling and had crawled back into the crawlspace while employees were preparing to open the store just after 5 a.m. on September 30, 2020.
Employees called authorities who surrounded the store. After a while, they got him to come outside and he was arrested for commercial burglary.
Authorities said Hammar had been living in area above the deli for at least a couple of days, and had been stealing food from the store. They say they found some of his property in the rafters.




images via Google Maps

Posted By: Alex - Mon Oct 19, 2020 - Comments (1)
Category: Unauthorized Dwellings

October 18, 2020

Wrinkle Mask

Adelaide Smith was granted a patent for this "wrinkle mask" in 1911. It has a certain Bride of Frankenstein look to it.



The object of my invention is to provide a comparatively simple and practical wrinkle mask constructed of suitable pliable material preferably of rubber, which is adapted to envelop or cover the face or portion thereof to be treated and further for providing suitable means forming a part of the same for embracing the hair or head portion of the user, whereby the wrinkles or other deformities of the face may be easily and readily removed as will appear...

My invention dispenses with the usual work in massaging, employed for removing the wrinkles or blemishes from the face, and can be used at any time more particularly, however, at nights while the patient is sleeping.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Oct 18, 2020 - Comments (3)
Category: Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues, Inventions, 1910s

Artwork Khrushchev Probably Would Not Have Liked 29



"Carpenter," 1927, Kazimir Malevich.

The artist's Wikipedia page.

His complete works here.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Oct 18, 2020 - Comments (2)
Category: Art, Avant Garde, 1920s, Russia

October 17, 2020

Home heated by cows

Back in 1951, Swedish engineer Marten Blomquist figured out, through experimentation, that the heat from 18 cows could heat his home.

I wonder how many humans it would take to heat a cow shed?

The Hanover Evening Sun - May 14, 1951

Posted By: Alex - Sat Oct 17, 2020 - Comments (8)
Category: Cows, 1950s

Tomato



Posted By: Paul - Sat Oct 17, 2020 - Comments (0)
Category: Anthropomorphism, Government, Police and Other Law Enforcement, PSA’s, Sexuality

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