Weird Universe Archive

July 2022

July 31, 2022

Lavaforming

Icelandic architect Arnhildur Palmadottir has proposed creating buildings (and entire cities) out of lava. From her website:

Lava flow has shaped the landscape for billions of years, but in human times lava has been a destructive force. Basaltic lava flows can contain enough building materials for the foundations of an entire city that would rise in a few weeks. The Lavaforming project is a story of a world that has recognised that traditional building materials such as concrete and steel that have huge environmental impact are no longer usable to build the cities that are needed.

The basic idea is to create trenches and forms to direct the flow of the lava. Then just wait for the volcano to erupt and hopefully flow in the intended way.

More info: Surfaces Reporter





Update: Paul tells me that the Santa Maria Church in Randazzo, Sicily was built with black lava stones.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Jul 31, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Architecture

Naeviology

Naeviology is divination by bodily moles.





Learn about this science at this book link, along with many other occult practices.



Posted By: Paul - Sun Jul 31, 2022 - Comments (0)
Category: Body, Fate, Predetermination and Inevitability, Predictions, Supernatural, Occult, Paranormal, Nineteenth Century

July 30, 2022

Courting Stick

The 'courting stick' was a device that allowed young couples, in puritan New England, to talk in private while being chaperoned in the family home. More info: New England Folklore

image source: NY Public Library



The Trukese people of Micronesia also had a courting stick (or 'love stick'), though its use differed from the New England version. According to the Smithsonian:

The Trukese allow sexual experimentation among young people, provided it is kept discreet. To arrange for an evening rendezvous, a young man used to insert a 'love stick' through the thatch of the hut where a young girl slept. The girl recognized the suitor by the carving on the stick and then either pushed the stick out to signal 'go away,' wiggled it to indicate 'come back later,' or drew it inside to signify 'come right in.'

Posted By: Alex - Sat Jul 30, 2022 - Comments (3)
Category: Love & Romance

July 29, 2022

Bingo claim denied

Verdev said she suffered nearly $90,000 in injuries when a 300-pound board fell off the stage at a bingo night in 1990. She also claimed that she found herself sexually attracted to women and experienced spontaneous orgasms, sometimes in clusters.

The judge dismissed her case, and when she appealed it was again dismissed. You can read the appeal ruling here.

The Streator Times - Apr 19, 1996



Posted By: Alex - Fri Jul 29, 2022 - Comments (1)
Category:

Sexy TV Showering

Surprised this passed the censorship of the times, as it's just one step away from having the (presumed, but never explicitly stated) husband and wife sharing the same shower stall.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Jul 29, 2022 - Comments (1)
Category: Food, Hygiene, Sexuality, Public Indecency, Husbands, Wives, 1970s

July 28, 2022

Pyrophobia

In 1964, the pro-smoking, German scientist Helmuth Aschenbrenner argued that anti-smokers were suffering from 'pyrophobia,' or fear of fire. Specifically, they were suffering from 'fear of the 'big fire' or atom bomb."

Details from Robert Proctor in The Nazi War on Cancer (1997):

After the war, Helmuth Aschenbrenner continued on as secretary general of the International Association for Scientific Tobacco Research. In the March 1964 issue of the London journal World Tobacco, the Bremen tobacco apologist is cited suggesting that "before reports on smoking and health are taken seriously [the reference is to the 1964 U.S. surgeon general's report], those making the reports should have psychiatric certification that they are not suffering from pyrophobia (fear of fire)." Aschenbrenner is taken to have proven that "tobacco antagonism often springs from a morbid (and often unconscious) pyrophobia—a phenomenon whose many manifestations include suppressed fear of the 'big fire' or atom bomb." See "International Perspective on Smoking and Health," World Tobaco, March 1964, pp. 19-20.


On a somewhat unrelated note, here's a news item from 1981 about a young woman who was also suffering from fear of the 'big fire'.

Vancouver Sun - June 22, 1981

Posted By: Alex - Thu Jul 28, 2022 - Comments (1)
Category: Bad Habits, Neuroses and Psychoses, Smoking and Tobacco

Follies of the Madmen #538

Posted By: Paul - Thu Jul 28, 2022 - Comments (3)
Category: Hygiene, Advertising, Surrealism, 1950s

July 27, 2022

The woman who kissed her goldfish

Mrs. George Wolfe must have been horrified by the goldfish-swallowing fad.

Waterloo Courier - Mar 5, 1944



Des Moines Tribune - Feb 21, 1944

Posted By: Alex - Wed Jul 27, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Fish, 1940s

Spanking Toy

Although cats are featured in the drawing, the inventor wants you to know the figures may be generalized to other animals or humans.

The patent is here.



Posted By: Paul - Wed Jul 27, 2022 - Comments (1)
Category: Anthropomorphism, Inventions, Patents, Toys, Sadism, Cruelty, Punishment, and Torture, 1900s

Page 1 of 7 pages  1 2 3 >  Last ›




Get WU Posts by Email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner


weird universe thumbnail
Who We Are
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.

Chuck Shepherd
Chuck is the purveyor of News of the Weird, the syndicated column which for decades has set the gold-standard for reporting on oddities and the bizarre.

Our banner was drawn by the legendary underground cartoonist Rick Altergott.

Contact Us
Monthly Archives
August 2022 •  July 2022 •  June 2022 •  May 2022 •  April 2022 •  March 2022 •  February 2022 •  January 2022

December 2021 •  November 2021 •  October 2021 •  September 2021 •  August 2021 •  July 2021 •  June 2021 •  May 2021 •  April 2021 •  March 2021 •  February 2021 •  January 2021

December 2020 •  November 2020 •  October 2020 •  September 2020 •  August 2020 •  July 2020 •  June 2020 •  May 2020 •  April 2020 •  March 2020 •  February 2020 •  January 2020

December 2019 •  November 2019 •  October 2019 •  September 2019 •  August 2019 •  July 2019 •  June 2019 •  May 2019 •  April 2019 •  March 2019 •  February 2019 •  January 2019

December 2018 •  November 2018 •  October 2018 •  September 2018 •  August 2018 •  July 2018 •  June 2018 •  May 2018 •  April 2018 •  March 2018 •  February 2018 •  January 2018

December 2017 •  November 2017 •  October 2017 •  September 2017 •  August 2017 •  July 2017 •  June 2017 •  May 2017 •  April 2017 •  March 2017 •  February 2017 •  January 2017

December 2016 •  November 2016 •  October 2016 •  September 2016 •  August 2016 •  July 2016 •  June 2016 •  May 2016 •  April 2016 •  March 2016 •  February 2016 •  January 2016

December 2015 •  November 2015 •  October 2015 •  September 2015 •  August 2015 •  July 2015 •  June 2015 •  May 2015 •  April 2015 •  March 2015 •  February 2015 •  January 2015

December 2014 •  November 2014 •  October 2014 •  September 2014 •  August 2014 •  July 2014 •  June 2014 •  May 2014 •  April 2014 •  March 2014 •  February 2014 •  January 2014

December 2013 •  November 2013 •  October 2013 •  September 2013 •  August 2013 •  July 2013 •  June 2013 •  May 2013 •  April 2013 •  March 2013 •  February 2013 •  January 2013

December 2012 •  November 2012 •  October 2012 •  September 2012 •  August 2012 •  July 2012 •  June 2012 •  May 2012 •  April 2012 •  March 2012 •  February 2012 •  January 2012

December 2011 •  November 2011 •  October 2011 •  September 2011 •  August 2011 •  July 2011 •  June 2011 •  May 2011 •  April 2011 •  March 2011 •  February 2011 •  January 2011

December 2010 •  November 2010 •  October 2010 •  September 2010 •  August 2010 •  July 2010 •  June 2010 •  May 2010 •  April 2010 •  March 2010 •  February 2010 •  January 2010

December 2009 •  November 2009 •  October 2009 •  September 2009 •  August 2009 •  July 2009 •  June 2009 •  May 2009 •  April 2009 •  March 2009 •  February 2009 •  January 2009

December 2008 •  November 2008 •  October 2008 •  September 2008 •  August 2008 •  July 2008 •