Weird Universe Archive

June 2021

June 30, 2021

Baldness at the FBI

William Sullivan was a high-ranking official at the FBI from 1961 to 1971, when Hoover was director. In his tell-all book about his time there (The Bureau My Thirty Years in Hoover's FBI) Sullivan claimed that one of Hoover's many eccentricities was that he didn't like bald-headed men... to the extent that Hoover wouldn't allow bald men to be hired as agents, because he believed their baldness made a bad impression:

The FBI's main thrust was not investigations but public relations and propaganda to glorify Hoover. Everyone who worked in the bureau, especially those of us in high places around him, bear our share of the blame.

Flacking for the FBI was part of every agent's job from his first day. In fact, "making a good first impression" was a necessary prerequisite for being hired as a special agent in the first place. Bald-headed men, for example, were never hired as agents because Hoover thought a bald head made a bad impression. No matter if the man involved was a member of Phi Beta Kappa or a much-decorated marine, or both. Appearances were terribly important to Hoover, and special agents had to have the right look and wear the right clothes...

Though a bald-headed man wouldn't be hired as an agent, an employee who later lost his hair wasn't fired but was kept out of the public eye.

I guess that means that, under Hoover, Walter Skinner would never have made the cut.

Posted By: Alex - Wed Jun 30, 2021 - Comments (2)
Category: Government, Officials, Hair and Hairstyling

Unauthorized Dwellings 17

Are the entire populations of San Francisco and Sacramento squatters? One person, John Sutter, believed so.





Article source.

Posted By: Paul - Wed Jun 30, 2021 - Comments (2)
Category: Lawsuits, Unauthorized Dwellings, North America, Nineteenth Century

June 29, 2021

The Adventures of Soberman

The Virginia Highway Safety Department published the Soberman comic book in 1979 as a way to encourage teenagers not to drink and drive. Copies of the comic were distributed to 70,000 driver education students.





As far as I can tell, the Soberman comic was a one-time publication. But in 2013 Soberman made an appearance in the flesh. He visited bars in Arlington, Virginia to spread his message of being responsible and having a designated driver when drinking.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jun 29, 2021 - Comments (2)
Category: Comics

Sesame Street Fever



The Wikipedia page

Posted By: Paul - Tue Jun 29, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Fads, Music, Television, Children, 1970s

June 28, 2021

Company seeks frozen sparrows

1978: The Taiei Company of Japan contacted the U.S. State Department seeking an American company willing to provide it with frozen sparrows "at regular intervals". The company was ready to "give guidance on how to catch small birds and how to process them".

Bangor Daily News - Jan 14, 1978



According to the British Food History site, sparrows used to be a common part of the British diet.

Posted By: Alex - Mon Jun 28, 2021 - Comments (2)
Category: Animals, Food, 1970s

Video Village

This is getting meta! A TV game show that uses people as living tokens on a board game set is later replicated as an actual board game. Wow, man!

The Wikipedia page.







The entry at Board Game Geek.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Jun 28, 2021 - Comments (2)
Category: Games, Philosophy, Television, 1960s

June 27, 2021

Miss Continuous Roller Towel

Or, simply, Miss Continuous Towel. I found both forms of the title used.

The title was conferred upon Trudy Germi of Chicago by the linen supply industry in 1949.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch - Dec 25, 1949



I'm always curious what becomes of these people who achieve 15 minutes of fame for weird reasons.

In Germi's case, after performing in a production of South Pacific, she married Lt. Carl Seiberlich in 1952. As far as I can tell, this ended her career as a model/actress.

Her husband eventually became Captain of the USS Hornet, which was the ship assigned to recover the Apollo 11 astronauts from the Pacific. I found a photo on a military website of the two of them together, attending a celebration for the recovery of the astronauts. I assume she's the one wearing sunglasses.

She died in 2018.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Jun 27, 2021 - Comments (4)
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests, 1940s

Dirty Toilets Prompt Relocation

This is like the old joke about selling your car when the ashtrays get full.




Posted By: Paul - Sun Jun 27, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Architecture, Business, Advertising, Hygiene, Twentieth Century

June 26, 2021

Toe-Popper Returns

Olayinka Alege made the news (including News of the Weird) back in 2009. As Assistant Principal of Tampa's King High School, he was in the habit of disciplining students with sagging grades by "toe-popping" them. This involved having them remove their shoes and socks, then bending or pulling a toe until it made a popping noise. This didn't hurt, but the students understandably were weirded out by it. One student was toe-popped twenty times.

Last month Alege was back in the news. He's now up in Providence, RI, but still working in the public school system. He's been charged with forcibly massaging a student's feet. For the record, he's pleading not guilty.

Posted By: Alex - Sat Jun 26, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Crime, School, Feet

Battle of the Amazons

Maybe the popularity of the WONDER WOMAN films will cause this gem to be reissued.

The IMDB page.








Posted By: Paul - Sat Jun 26, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: History, Ineptness, Crudity, Talentlessness, Kitsch, and Bad Art, Movies, 1970s, Women

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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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