Weird Universe Archive

October 2020

October 6, 2020

Elmina

Elmina is a West African film, released in 2010, about a Ghanaian farmer "fighting corruption and the exploitation of the community by a Chinese multinational corporation."

What makes the movie odd is that the lead role of the farmer, in an otherwise all Ghanaian cast, is played by artist Doug Fishbone who's a self-described "white Jewish man from New York." Furthermore, no one in the movie ever makes note of the fact that he's white and everyone else is black.

Fishbone notes on his website: "No reference is ever made to this oddity of casting, which in a quietly radical way completely overturns conventions of race and representation in film, and offers a new perspective on globalization, neo-colonialism, Eastern influence in Africa, and the relativity of audience engagement."




Doug Fishbone: Elmina (2010) Film Trailer from Doug Fishbone on Vimeo.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Oct 06, 2020 - Comments (3)
Category: Art, Movies

The Snow Beauty of Yakutia

Part of our series on odd beauty contests.

The first (?) contest was apparently held in 2017.

Read about it here.



What appears to be the home page has lots of pix and even videos of the 2018 contest. But I cannot find reference to competitions for 2019 or 2020.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Oct 06, 2020 - Comments (2)
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests, Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues, Ethnic Groupings, Nature, Natural Resources, Russia

October 5, 2020

Baby, the Seeing-Eye Cat

1946: Carolyn Swanson of Hermosa Beach, California made headlines on account of Baby, her "seeing-eye cat." Somehow she had trained him to assist her as she walked around town.

Mrs. Swanson lives at 1029 Bayview Dr. in Hermosa Beach. Any day when she goes down the street "Baby" quickly moves along the fence ahead of her, jumps to the top of the first step and slowly waves his full tail, brushing her ankle. He does not move until she begins to count out loud the first of the seven steps down. Then lightly he moves on to the bottom step, meows to tell her the path is clear and out to the sidewalk and curb he moves, and again awaits his beloved mistress. Waving that beautiful tail and brushing her ankle, he without sound tells her of the curb step, and not until the traffic is clear does he stop waving his tail so that she may know to cross. Slowly they both cross, she having confidence in her steps because "Baby" is at her side, brushing her ankle with his tail, keeping her path straight. As they approach the curb he stops, announces the curb, and after she is safely upon it they move on.
The Redondo Reflex - Dec 13, 1946


More info: life





Brattleboro Reformer - Dec 17, 1946

Posted By: Alex - Mon Oct 05, 2020 - Comments (2)
Category: Cats, 1940s, Eyes and Vision

The 1932 Helicron

Propellor-driven car.

Read about it here.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Oct 05, 2020 - Comments (3)
Category: Inventions, Air Travel and Airlines, 1930s, Cars

October 4, 2020

Disease detection toilet using dog

Patent #10,455,817 was granted in Oct 2019 for "animal olfactory detection of disease as control for health metrics collected by medical toilet."

In plainer language, it's a toilet that has a small door built into the side of it (the "scent dispenser"), allowing a dog to smell your poop (or other bodily fluids) in order to detect the presence of disease. From the patent:

The user deposits bodily waste into the toilet through actions which include urinating or defecting into the toilet, vomiting into the toilet, coughing up sputum into the toilet, and depositing mucus into the toilet...
An animal may be trained to sniff the scent dispenser in response to a command or signal. The user may give the animal the command or signal when the user desires the animal to assess the presence of disease in the user.


Posted By: Alex - Sun Oct 04, 2020 - Comments (2)
Category: Bathrooms, Inventions, Dogs

The Gordon Sisters Boxing

Posted By: Paul - Sun Oct 04, 2020 - Comments (1)
Category: Martial Arts, 1900s, Women

October 3, 2020

Dickens 44 Bascom, Glue Artist

Dickens 44 Bascom is a "glue artist" or "gluer" who rose to prominence in the 1960s. One of his most famous pieces was a 1961 Ford Falcon to which he glued just about everything you could imagine: a typewriter, toilet seat, toys, Donald Duck, and other "relics of our civilization". It was one of the first cars ever decorated in this fashion (perhaps the first). He used to earn money by parking it on a busy street and collecting donations from passersby.

Later he hatched a dream of building an entire castle from glued-together stuff. But, as far as I know, his castle project never came to fruition.





Pittsburgh Press - Mar 3, 1974



According to the Marin Independent Journal, Bascomb left the US in 1981 and lived abroad for almost four decades, in a kind of self-imposed exile, before returning a few years ago. As of 2018, he was living in a motel in San Rafael.

His middle name, "44", was given to him by his father because he was born 44 minutes after 4 am on the 44th day of 1944. (I'm sensing a recurring theme of artists with numbers for middle names, since we recently posted about Nancy 3. Hoffman who operates the Umbrella Cover Museum in Maine).

More info: Dickens44.com

Posted By: Alex - Sat Oct 03, 2020 - Comments (2)
Category: Art, Outsider Art, Cars

Henry the Home Run Chicken

No explanation available.

Posted By: Paul - Sat Oct 03, 2020 - Comments (6)
Category: Animals, Sports, Tourists and Tourism, Natural Wonders, Twentieth Century

October 2, 2020

The Rule of 87

The frequency of multiple human births follows an apparent statistical "rule of 87." Twin births in the U.S. and European countries happen once in 87 confinements. Triplets are born once in 872 (87x87) or 7,569 confinements, quadruplets once in 873 (87x87x87) or 658,503 and quintuplets once in 874 (87x87x87x87) or 57,289,761. Though the rule cannot be proven for quintuplets, U.S. statistics otherwise follow it remarkably well.

This "Rule of 87" may have been true in the mid-twentieth century, but I'm guessing that the rise of fertility drugs played havoc with it.

I'll also note that the Minnesota Twins won the 1987 World Series. Coincidence?

Life - Mar 6, 1944



Posted By: Alex - Fri Oct 02, 2020 - Comments (3)
Category: Babies, Science

The Lewis Sisters, “He’s An Oddball”

Our theme song here.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Oct 02, 2020 - Comments (2)
Category: Antisocial Activities, Eccentrics, Music, 1960s

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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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