Weird Universe Archive

May 2022

May 25, 2022

The Prayer

A concept by Diemut Strebe. “The Prayer” is probably the first robot that speaks and sings to God, all Gods. A rough design (inspired to a machine produced by Japanese scientists that replicates the human vocal tract) is combined with a cutting edge neural language model, fine tuned on thousands of prayers and religious books from all over the world. The prayer generates original prayers vocally articulated by Amazon Polly's Kendra voice, and sings religious lyrics to the Divine.

Text by Enrico Santus. More info: Diemut Strebe



Diemut Strebe has made a previous appearance on WU:

Artist Diemut Strebe offered his 3-D-printed re-creation of the famous ear of Vincent van Gogh for display in June and July in a museum in Karlsruhe, Germany--having built it partially with genes from a great-great-grandson/nephew of van Gogh--and in the same shape, based on computer imaging technology. (Van Gogh reputedly cut off the ear, himself, in 1888 during a psychotic episode.) Visitors can also speak into the ear and listen to sounds it receives. [Wall Street Journal, 6-4-2014]

Posted By: Alex - Wed May 25, 2022 - Comments (0)
Category: Music, Religion, Technology, AI, Robots and Other Automatons

Army Basic Training in Sound

Want to pretend at home that you've been drafted? Here you go!



Posted By: Paul - Wed May 25, 2022 - Comments (1)
Category: Military, Vinyl Albums and Other Media Recordings, Simulations, Make-Believe, Cosplay and other Pretend Situations, 1950s

May 24, 2022

The Health Dangers of Sleeping on a Hartmann Line

My Great Aunt recently died at the age of 100. Throughout her life she was very much into alternative medicine, and she kept hundreds of newsletters from various alt-health practitioners. Most of them aren't particularly interesting, but while going through her stuff I've found a few oddities, such as a 1990 newsletter warning of the danger of sleeping on Hartmann Lines.

I'd never heard of Hartmann Lines. Wikipedia describes them as "a scientifically unproven grid of invisible energy lines of the Earth's inherent radiation".

But how to know if you're sleeping on a Hartmann line? Well, if you've got a cat and it likes to sleep in your bed, you may be in trouble because apparently cats love sleeping on Hartmann lines. (I'm in trouble!)

I've posted a few snippets from the newsletter below, and also uploaded the full newsletter as a pdf file.







Posted By: Alex - Tue May 24, 2022 - Comments (3)
Category: Health, Patent Medicines, Nostrums and Snake Oil, Cats

Inception of the Golden Lotus Temple of the Self-Realization



Still operating.

Women in togas at dedication of Golden Lotus Temple of the Self-Realization Fellowship Church in Los Angeles, Calif., 1950


Photo source.

Posted By: Paul - Tue May 24, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Fashion, Religion, 1950s

May 23, 2022

The Pressed Frog Phenomenon

I found the image below at the Texas History site of the University of North Texas. It appears there as is, without any further explanation (or date).



I realize that the indentations on top of bricks are called 'frogs', but why were actual frogs being placed inside bricks?

As far as I can tell, it must have been an experimental demonstration of the 'pressed frog phenomenon' — this phenomenon being that one can place a living frog inside a brick as its being made, apply thousands of pounds of pressure to the brick to mold it, and the frog will survive. The frog won't be happy about the experience, but it won't burst. Whereas the same pressure applied to a frog that isn't in a brick will definitely cause it to burst.

Obviously the brick hasn't been heated in a kiln, because that would definitely cook the frog.

The article below from 1925 explains the science of why a frog in a brick doesn't burst. The key part of the (overly long) explanation is this sentence:

when the pressure was exerted gradually there was a tendency for the particles of clay around the body to "wall up" the body by the grains of clay moving instead of a tendency of the body "bursting" by the particles of the body moving.

However, this doesn't solve the mystery of who first decided to put a frog in a brick.



Clarion Ledger Sun - Aug 16, 1925

Posted By: Alex - Mon May 23, 2022 - Comments (5)
Category: Animals, Science, Experiments, 1920s

May 22, 2022

Sergeant Sunshine



Scott French, The Complete Guide to the Street Drug Game (1976):

One of the heroes of the Hashbury days was Sergeant Sunshine, a San Francisco cop who became upset at a system where you could easily buy a gun but get arrested for smoking a harmless vegetable. On April 14, 1968, Sgt. Richard Bergess demonstrated his feelings by lighting up a joint on the courthouse steps. Hippies threw a carpet of flowers before the cop, who was promptly arrested by agents in the crowd. Needless to say, this was Sgt. Bergess' last day with the San Francisco police.

He served six months in jail, and subsequently became a plumber.

Posted By: Alex - Sun May 22, 2022 - Comments (0)
Category: Drugs, Smoking and Tobacco, Police and Other Law Enforcement, 1960s

Follies of the Madmen #533

Posted By: Paul - Sun May 22, 2022 - Comments (0)
Category: Domestic, Technology, Advertising, Twentieth Century

May 21, 2022

The Eleven Commandments of Revenge

From Spite, Malice & Revenge: The Complete Guide to Getting Even, by M. Nelson Chunder and George Hayduke (1988).

These commandments seem like they would be broadly applicable to many types of criminal activity.



Posted By: Alex - Sat May 21, 2022 - Comments (1)
Category: Pranks and Revenge

The Witch Dance

I am a little late to this fad, initiated in 2016. But since it is still currently surging (this article ((possibly paywalled))) cites a current instance in my native state, I thought we needed to know about it.

This older article explains.

But at the end of April, the women of Wolfshäger Hexenbrut (in English: The Wolf Hunter's Coven), located in Wolfshagen im Harz, Germany, do something a little different.

They get together to celebrate Walpurgis, a holiday celebrating fertility, celebrations including lots of dancing, foods, and drinking, which usually occurs every year on April 30th.

However, in 2016, their celebrations included a choreographed dance to Schüttel deinen Speck, in English: Shake Your Bacon, by German Reggae-Pop artist, Peter Fox, in 2008.

The dance went viral once posted to YouTube -


Posted By: Paul - Sat May 21, 2022 - Comments (0)
Category: Holidays, Supernatural, Occult, Paranormal, Bohemians, Beatniks, Hippies and Slackers, Europe, Twenty-first Century

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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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