Weird Universe Archive

January 2021

January 6, 2021

Samsara Perfume

Samsara the perfume was created by Jean Paul Guerlain in 1989, and it's still for sale. Here's Guerlain's publicity blurb about the perfume:

In Sanskrit, Samsara means the eternal cycle of life. It is an imaginary place, sacred and mysterious, where Orient and Occident meet. Samsara is the symbol of harmony, of absolute osmosis between a woman and her perfume. It is a spiritual voyage leading to serenity and inner contemplation. The bottle, in the sacred red of the Orient, echoes the figure of a Khmer dancer in the Musée Guimet in Paris, her hands folded in a gesture of offering, expressing plenitude and femininity. The stopper evokes the eye of Buddha. A tantalizing floral-oriental perfume, Samsara is a harmonious blend of all-natural essences, including jasmine, ylang ylang, sandalwood and tonka bean.

I'm no expert on Hindu-Buddhist religion, but I'm pretty sure that Samsara isn't supposed to be a good thing. My understanding is that it's the endless, repeating cycle of birth and death from which we're supposed to hope to awake. Kind of like the endless cycle that Bill Murray's character, in the movie Groundhog Day, finds himself trapped in. Which makes it odd to name a perfume after this.

Of course, I'm over-analyzing this. Guerlain probably a) didn't understand the concept, and b) wouldn't have cared anyway because he just figured the name sounded exotic.

Posted By: Alex - Wed Jan 06, 2021 - Comments (2)
Category: Religion, Perfume and Cologne and Other Scents

January 5, 2021

Anti-Suicide Nasal Spray

Back in 2012, the Army awarded a grant to Dr. Michael Kubek of the Indiana University School of Medicine to develop an "anti-suicide nasal spray". TheMarySue.com gives some details:

the spray would deliver an extra dose of thyrotropin-releasing hormone, (TRH for short) which causes a “euphoric, calming, antidepressant effect.” TRH has been used in the past to treat severe depression and bi-polar disorders. Between the quick-acting effect of the chemical and fairly direct delivery system, the drug might be able to literally stop people from killing themselves on the spot.

The Military Suicide Research Consortium offers some more info, similarly emphasizing that a primary benefit of the nasal spray was that it would be quick-acting. So I'm assuming the idea was that if someone was thinking about suicide, they could squirt the spray up their nose and the thoughts would go away. Although this suggests a problem. If someone was serious about suicide, wouldn't they purposefully not use the nasal spray?

The Army grant was for three years. But I can't find any follow-up indicating whether the spray was successfully developed. Although I did find that Dr. Kubek died in 2019.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jan 05, 2021 - Comments (3)
Category: Medicine, Suicide

January 4, 2021

Animal psychic clears dog of eating owner

After Dean Goodman crashed his car into a canyon in early 1978, something ate his body. His mother assumed it was his German shepherd, Prince, who had survived the crash and remained at the scene for three weeks until Goodman's body was found. She wanted the dog put down.

More details from Skeptical Inquirer magazine (Winter 1978):

this gross injustice was narrowly averted when North Hollywood psychic Beatrice Lydecker interviewed the dog and found that Prince had in fact been wrongfully accused. "I have this ESP with animals," Mrs. Lydecker explained. "Prince had been traumatized by the accident. All Prince could talk about was his dead master."

Coyotes and wild dogs, the German shepherd said, had eaten the body, despite Prince's valiant efforts to drive them off. The canine hero's life was spared, owing to this timely information. A local police sergeant observed, "She says she got the information from the dog—and I've no evidence to dispute that."

Santa Rosa Press Democrat - Feb 28, 1978



As far as I can tell, Beatrice Lydecker is still active, and still talking with animals. She's got a website where she sells various "natural products," as well as her book: You Too Can Talk With the Animals.



Beatrice Lydecker - 1988 press photo

Posted By: Alex - Mon Jan 04, 2021 - Comments (4)
Category: Paranormal, Dogs, 1970s

Artwork Khrushchev Probably Would Not Have Liked 31

Love Jan Zrzavý's look!

His Wikipedia page.





Posted By: Paul - Mon Jan 04, 2021 - Comments (2)
Category: Art, Avant Garde, Europe, Russia, Twentieth Century

January 3, 2021

Cheese-Filtered Cigarettes

We've previously posted about "cheese candy", which was the invention of Wisconsin lumberman Stuart Stebbings. Another of his inventions was cheese-filtered cigarettes. He was, apparently, a man driven to find new uses for cheese.



Lab tests demonstrated that a cheese filter could remove 90 percent of the tar in cigarettes. A hard cheese worked best, such as Parmesan, Romano, or Swiss. Although an aged cheddar could also be used. Or even a blend of cheeses.

In 1966, Stebbings was granted Patent No. 3,234,948. But as far as I know, his cheese-filtered cigarettes never made it to market.

Mason City Globe-Gazette - Feb 8, 1960

Posted By: Alex - Sun Jan 03, 2021 - Comments (3)
Category: Food, Inventions, Smoking and Tobacco, 1960s

Follies of the Madmen #496



Tarzan chews Dentyne.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Jan 03, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Business, Advertising, Foreign Customs, 1940s, Teeth

January 2, 2021

I am sitting in a room

An experiment in feedback and reverb by composer Alvin Lucier, 1969.

I am sitting in a room different from the one you are in now. I am recording the sound of my speaking voice and I am going to play it back into the room again and again until the resonant frequencies of the room reinforce themselves so that any semblance of my speech, with perhaps the exception of rhythm, is destroyed. What you will hear, then, are the natural resonant frequencies of the room articulated by speech. I regard this activity not so much as a demonstration of a physical fact, but more as a way to smooth out any irregularities my speech might have.

It's a fairly famous piece of experimental music. But I wonder how many people have actually listened to the entire thing from start to finish, as opposed to skipping ahead to see how his voice changes.

More info: ubu.com

Posted By: Alex - Sat Jan 02, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Music, 1960s

Cartoons by Moebius



The artwork of French cartoonist Moebius was eternally weird. Here are some animations of his stuff.

Playlist of all 14 here.

Posted By: Paul - Sat Jan 02, 2021 - Comments (2)
Category: Comics, Cartoons, Europe

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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.

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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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