Weird Universe Archive

September 2022

September 16, 2022

Chuck Shepherd, RIP

This is an incredibly sad post to make. I am honored beyond belief to have counted Chuck as a friend for nearly 40 years. His contributions to culture were immense. All we can do, other than mourn, is to carry on as he would have wanted us to do.

Source.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Sep 16, 2022 - Comments (7)
Category: Death, Chuck

September 15, 2022

Gravy Wrestling

The BBC reports that, after a two-year absence due to Covid, the World Gravy Wrestling Championship has returned.

competitors wrestle in a pool of gravy for two minutes, with points being scored for fancy dress, entertainment value and wrestling ability.

More info: World Gravy Wrestling

Posted By: Alex - Thu Sep 15, 2022 - Comments ()
Category: Food, Sports

September 14, 2022

Contraceptive Underwear

"Le Boulocho" underwear claims to offer an all-natural form of contraception for men. It holds the testes close to the body, thereby raising their temperature and causing temporary sterility. However, it needs to be worn for 15 hours a day to reliably produce this result. And those should be waking hours, not sleeping ones.

Also, the underwear is not yet for sale, pending ongoing testing.

More info: boulocho.free.fr (in French), Thermal Male Contraception



Back in the 1970s, some researchers compared the spermatozoa of humans to that of the other great apes and found that humans tend to have a much higher percentage of abnormal (and presumably defective) spermatozoa. For instance, 18.4% of the human spermatozoa was irregularly shaped, compared to just 0.2% for chimpanzees. The researchers suggested that "testicular damage caused by clothing-induced hyperthermia" was one possible explanation for this high percentage. So arguably all underwear and pants may be slightly contraceptive.

Reference: "Morphological abnormalities in spermatozoa of man and great apes," Nature - Nov 1977.

Posted By: Alex - Wed Sep 14, 2022 - Comments (3)
Category: Underwear

Girl Gang Dodge Ads

This campaign was kinda genius, because they never explained what brought these three or four or five or six "wild & crazy" women together. Were they a troupe of actresses? Bank robbers? Insane asylum escapees? Rogue fashion models? You could stare at the ads all day in wonderment.









Posted By: Paul - Wed Sep 14, 2022 - Comments (3)
Category: Unsolved Mysteries, Advertising, Women, Cars

September 13, 2022

EMAG-3

I did a science fair project in high school, but I put so little effort into it that I'm now embarrassed thinking back on it. The topic I chose was "The Electrolysis of Water." I basically just had some electrodes splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen.

David Ecklein, however, had an extraordinary high school science fair project. Back in 1959, he built a computer, which he named EMAG-3, that was capable of playing "an interesting and reasonable game" of checkers. It was made from 3200 vacuum tubes and three miles of wiring. It stood 15 feet tall.

On his website, he notes that he designed it to fit the science fair floor space requirements, knowing that the regulations had omitted to mention anything about how high a project could be. Height restrictions were introduced the following year.

More info: MIT Museum



Great Falls Tribune - Apr 17, 1959

Posted By: Alex - Tue Sep 13, 2022 - Comments (6)
Category: School, Technology, Computers, 1950s

Woodstock X 3

A little late for the anniversary, but still, I hope, of interest.









Posted By: Paul - Tue Sep 13, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Music, Parades and Festivals, Bohemians, Beatniks, Hippies and Slackers, 1960s, TV News

September 12, 2022

Man accidentally floats 190 miles in a balloon

Over in northeast China, Hu Yongxu was riding in a hydrogen balloon to harvest pine cones when the balloon came untethered and ended up floating 190 miles with him in it before he could be rescued. (More info: Daily Mail)

This reminds me of the 1937 case of the photographer who accidentally floated 13 miles suspended from weather balloons. And, of course, there's also the case of Lawnchair Larry, though he deliberately set off on his aerial adventure.

I hadn't known that hydrogen balloons were used to harvest pine nuts. Some footage below:

Posted By: Alex - Mon Sep 12, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Air Travel and Airlines

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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.

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