Weird Universe Archive

January 2023

January 21, 2023

‘The Girl With Whom I Would Most Like To Go Skiing For Two Weeks in the Cairngorm Mountains’

Dec 1966: Instead of simply being called 'Miss Cairngorm Mountains,' or something similar, June Fletcher was awarded the oddly specific title of 'The Girl With Whom I Would Most Like To Go Skiing For Two Weeks in the Cairngorm Mountains'.

Lincolnshire Echo - Dec 2, 1966

Posted By: Alex - Sat Jan 21, 2023 - Comments (0)
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests, Sports, 1960s

January 20, 2023

Noses

Read it here.



Posted By: Paul - Fri Jan 20, 2023 - Comments (0)
Category: Body, Science, Psychology, Self-help Schemes, 1950s

Midwatch In Verse

A new book explores the obscure poetic tradition of sailors in the U.S. Navy writing the first deck log of the new year in verse. As explained by the NW Arkansas Democrat-Gazette:

For the average person, the deck logs of the U.S. Navy are what Dave Johnson would call mind-numbing and indecipherable.
The records, quasi-legal documents, were a requirement of each ship to note various bits of technical information -- ship speed and direction, even the number of propeller rotations and other things that would only be useful or make sense if you were in the Navy.
But one time of year, sailors were allowed to deviate from the benign record keeping and exhibit creativity with brief storytelling. During the first watch of the New Year, from midnight to 4 a.m., the Officer of the Deck could record in verse.

No one is sure when, or why this tradition began. The earliest known example (reproduced below) dates back to 1926, but the tradition was apparently already well established by then.

More info: midwatch-in-verse.com

I stand on the deck at midnight
As the clocks are striking the hour
And I’ll keep the watch until morning
To the best of my humble power.
We are anchored in Pedro harbor
Tho there isn’t much of a lee
And why they call it a harbor
Is something I never could see
But our hook is in hole A seven
And our center anchor chain
Has forty-five in the hawse pipe
And a very gentle strain.
When we anchored our trusty leadsman
Made a very careful cast
Finding eight and a half good fathoms
As the bugler blew the blast.
And down below in the fire rooms
Which the black gang ought to man
The steam is blowing bubbles
In number seven can.
All the battleship divisions
Swing nearby on the blue
Except the West Virginia
And the Mississippi too.
The Senior Officer Present
Floats peacefully in his sleep
On the good ship California
The guardian of the deep.
At one fifteen Roskelly
A pill rolling pharmacist’s mate
Returned from his leave on schedule
He’s lucky he wasn’t late.
That’s all the dope this morning
Except, just between us two
If the Captain ever sees this log
My gawd what will he do?

E.V. Dockweiler,
Ensign, U. S. Navy


Posted By: Alex - Fri Jan 20, 2023 - Comments (4)
Category: Military, Books, Poetry

January 19, 2023

Casseroles I Have Known

For some reason, this 1973 cookbook sounds rather melancholy.



Posted By: Alex - Thu Jan 19, 2023 - Comments (3)
Category: Cookbooks, 1970s

Gamma Goochee



A YouTube commenter explains:

According to the notes to "Great Googa Mooga" (Ace CHCD 830) Gamma Goochee Himself was a dental technician named John Mangiagli from southern California. Each year, he would spend his summer vacation making and promoting a self-produced record. This disk was the only one that even came close to charting in the US. The backup singers were his pre-teen nieces. Strange song, even stranger story behind it..


Hear another song by Mangiagli at the link (non-embeddable).





Posted By: Paul - Thu Jan 19, 2023 - Comments (3)
Category: Amateurs and Fans, Jabberwocky, Scat Singing, Nonsense Verse and Glossolalia, Music, Outsider Art, 1960s

January 18, 2023

An eccentric spelling of height

I came across the following anecdote in Coronet magazine (Sep 1955):

John H. Holliday, peppery founder and editor of The Indianapolis (Indiana) News, stormed into the composing room one day, determined to find the culprit who had spelled height—"hight." A check of the original copy showed that it was spelled "hight" and that, furthermore, the copy had been written by Mr. Holliday.

"If that's the way I spelled it, that's correct," he said—and the word was spelled "hight" in The Indianapolis News for the next 30 years.

I thought this sounded like an urban legend of journalism, but a check of The Indianapolis News archive confirmed that the newspaper did indeed consistently substitute 'hight' for 'height' — and not just for 30 years. They did it from 1887 until 1947 when, as reported by Time magazine, they finally updated their style guide.

The misspelling occasionally attracted the attention of readers:

The Indianapolis News - Aug 10, 1934



But as far as I can tell the paper never told their readers why they were misspelling the word. It was a long-running, private joke kept going for sixty years (long after Holliday had died) by the editors.

Posted By: Alex - Wed Jan 18, 2023 - Comments (8)
Category: Journalism, Puns and Other Wordplay

The Miss Ka Palapala Beauty Contest

Contestants divided into racial categories? Seemed like a good idea at the time. Until a cow almost won.

















Posted By: Paul - Wed Jan 18, 2023 - Comments (1)
Category: Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues, Contests, Races and Other Competitions, South Pacific, Twentieth Century

January 17, 2023

People who know… buy Bigelow

The carpet for when you just got back from the clown convention and feel like lying on the floor.

House Beautiful - Oct 1968



Or for topless, indoor sunbathing.

House & Garden - Mar 1966

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jan 17, 2023 - Comments (2)
Category: Advertising, Interior Decorating, 1960s

Shoes with Hinged Soles

There must be a good reason why, for millennia now, all shoes have come with unibody-construction soles. But Robert M. Lyden thought differently.

Full patent here.







Posted By: Paul - Tue Jan 17, 2023 - Comments (4)
Category: Body, Inventions, Patents, Shoes, 1990s

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