Weird Universe Archive

August 2022

August 15, 2022

The Fuse Ball

In 1926, Philip S. Kane of Pennsylvania received a patent for his "fuse ball" (Patent No. 1,583,721). It was a golf ball with a fuse. Before teeing off, you'd light the fuse, which would then start emitting smoke. That way, you could find the ball wherever you hit it, even if it landed in tall grass.

According to various media reports, while testing his ball Kane accidentally set a wheat field on fire, but I haven't seen any proof to back up that story.

Posted By: Alex - Mon Aug 15, 2022 - Comments (0)
Category: Sports, Patents, 1920s

Mystery Gadget 102

Automatic fingernail painter? What's your guess?

The answer is here.

Or after the jump.



More in extended >>

Posted By: Paul - Mon Aug 15, 2022 - Comments (0)
Category: Technology, 1950s

August 14, 2022

Can’t Miss the Show

January 1985: The women of the Thurlow family proved they were serious fans of the TV show St. Elsewhere. Even as their house burned down around them, they remained parked in front of the TV set, watching the latest episode through the haze of the smoke, unwilling to miss a single moment. The firefighters had to drag them away. But as soon as the fire was extinguished, the women rushed back into the house and were able to catch the final 10 minutes.

Ocala Star-Banner - Jan 23, 1985

Posted By: Alex - Sun Aug 14, 2022 - Comments (6)
Category: 1980s

The American Association of Psychiatrists from India

This group was founded in 1979 and later changed its name — but not because they were concerned that the name sounded oddly contradictory. Instead, they wanted to avoid being confused with the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin. The group is now known as the Indo-American Psychiatric Association. Details from its website:

In the fall of 1979, six psychiatrists of Indian origin from the metropolitan area of New York City met to discuss the need of an organization that would address the professional needs and interests of psychiatrists from India.

It was estimated at that time that there were approximately 1000‐1200 psychiatrists of Indian origin practicing or in training in the US.

The group also agreed that the organization should include all mental health professionals interested in the vision and mission of this organization.

This group started out as a professional, educational and social group.

The organization was named as the American Association of Psychiatrists from India (AAPI).

Posted By: Alex - Sun Aug 14, 2022 - Comments (0)
Category: Clubs, Fraternities and Other Self-selecting Organizations

August 13, 2022

Can you speak Venusian?

In his 1972 documentary, Can You Speak Venusian?, the British astronomer Patrick Moore examined the astronomical theories of various "independent thinkers" — otherwise known as kooks. It's probably now the only footage of most of these odd folks, talking about their odd ideas. Moore released an accompanying book of the same name.

My favorite of his independent thinkers is John Bradbury and his 15-lens telescope, viewable at around the 15:30 mark. His basic idea was that if two lenses are good, then fifteen must be even better. Bradbury claimed his telescope was so powerful that it could show "the actual background casing of the universe."



source: Can you speak Venusian?

Posted By: Alex - Sat Aug 13, 2022 - Comments (3)
Category: Science, Spaceflight, Astronautics, and Astronomy, 1970s

Melvin Purvis’s G-Men Detective Game

Play along with current headlines!



The object of the game is to capture the Public Enemy. The player who brings a G-Man together with the Public Enemy wins the game. The game starts with one G-Man chasing the public enemy, but after 30 minutes a second can be brought into play.


More pix and info here.

Melvin Purvis at Wikipedia.

Posted By: Paul - Sat Aug 13, 2022 - Comments (0)
Category: Crime, Games, 1930s

August 12, 2022

Knocked unconscious by falling urine

The Argus reports that "A builder was knocked unconscious when he was hit with a bottle of pee which dropped from a 50-metre crane."

The story reminds me of a viral image that circulated widely about 20 years ago, claiming to show a woman "pierced by a shaft of frozen urine." (The image was a hoax).

Posted By: Alex - Fri Aug 12, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Accidents, Body Fluids

Burma Blockade Deodorant

Nothing like naming your product so that it sounds like a military operation, then touting it with a stereotyped "Oriental" gal.

Of course, we'd have to relaunch this as "Myanmar Blockade" today.

Bonus video: the same gal touting the more famous Burma Shave.



Posted By: Paul - Fri Aug 12, 2022 - Comments (1)
Category: Ethnic Groupings, Hygiene, Stereotypes and Cliches, Advertising, 1960s, Asia

August 11, 2022

Breast Douche

When a simple washcloth just won't do.

Full patent is here.



Posted By: Paul - Thu Aug 11, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Body, Hygiene, Patents, 1910s

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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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