Weird Universe Archive

November 2023

November 5, 2023

How to brush your hair

I showed this to my wife and she said that when she was a teenager she used to brush her hair like this. So maybe it's something that looks weird to men but is familiar to women.

source: Mildred Graves Ryan, Clothes For You (1954)

Posted By: Alex - Sun Nov 05, 2023 - Comments (0)
Category: Hair and Hairstyling

November 4, 2023

Ja Da, Ja Da, Jing, Jing, Jing!

Written by Bob Carleton in 1918, it became a hit during WWI. Covers of it have been recorded by many different artists since then. Apparently it's quite well known, but I just found out about it!

From wikipedia:

In his definitive American Popular Songs, Alec Wilder writes about the song's simplicity:
"... It fascinates me that such a trifling tune could have settled into the public consciousness as Ja-Da has. Of course it's bone simple, and the lyric says almost nothing, except perhaps the explanation of its success lies in the lyric itself. "That's a funny little bit of melody—it's soothing and appealing to me." It's cute, it's innocent, and it's "soothing." And, wonderfully enough, the only other statement the lyric makes is 'Ja-Da, Ja-Da, Ja-Da, Ja-Da, Jing, Jing, Jing.'"



Posted By: Alex - Sat Nov 04, 2023 - Comments (4)
Category: Music

Marco Dog and Cat Food—With Kelp!

And we all know how much cats and dogs love to chew kelp!



Posted By: Paul - Sat Nov 04, 2023 - Comments (2)
Category: Oceans and Maritime Pursuits, Cats, Dogs, Twentieth Century

November 3, 2023

Bridge Color and Suicide

There's a popular hypothesis that the color of a bridge can influence how many people commit suicide from it. Dark bridges are said to attract more jumpers than brightly colored ones.

The most widely cited example of this effect is Blackfriars Bridge in London. It originally was black, but in 1928 it was repainted green with yellow trim. In fact, it was repainted with the specific intention of reducing suicide attempts. And sure enough, the suicide rate reportedly dropped by 30%. (More info: "The influence of color," Penn State)

Blackfriars Bridge is no longer green, but it's still brightly painted (red and white). I can't find info on how many people still jump from it. So I don't know if the color effect is still working.

Yonkers Herald Statesman - Sep 15, 1928



Blackfriars Bridge (source: wikipedia)



Another example is the Clifton Suspension Bridge near Bristol, England. In 1957 its color was changed from dark red to a light silver-gray — again with the specific hope of deterring suicide jumpers. Unfortunately I can't find any follow-up data to know if the color change worked.

Toronto Daily Star - Mar 13, 1957



Clifton Suspension Bridge (source: wikipedia)



The connection between bridge color and suicide seems a bit dubious to me. It would be nice if there was more substantial data to back up the hypothesis.

Posted By: Alex - Fri Nov 03, 2023 - Comments (3)
Category: Architecture, Suicide

The Scythe Tree

Atlas Obscura article.

Roadside America article.

Local newspaper article.

James Wyman Johnson attended a Union army recruitment meeting at the Vail country schoolhouse in October 1861, about five months after the start of the Civil War. As he was mowing with his scythe the next morning, he decided to enlist. When he returned to the house, he hung his scythe in the small tree, about 8 inches in diameter and just a few feet tall, near the kitchen door. He told his parents he was going to enlist and remarked that the scythe was to stay hanging on the tree until he returned from war.... He died on May 22, 1864, from his wounds and was buried in an unknown grave.... Years passed and the handle fell away, the tree grew and gradually surrounded the blade. The long scythe blade only protruded a few inches outside the mammoth tree trunk.






Posted By: Paul - Fri Nov 03, 2023 - Comments (2)
Category: Agriculture, Death, Family, War, Fables, Myths, Urban Legends, Rumors, Water-Cooler Lore, Nineteenth Century

November 2, 2023

The Linden Springs Rocket Restaurant

The Linden Springs Rocket Restaurant, located in Staunton, Virginia, opened in 1959. A full-size, neon-lit rocket stood outside of it.

Going along with the theme of being a restaurant of the future, it boasted that it served food "cooked by radar." By this it meant that the food was microwaved.

This has to be one of the few times that a restaurant has actually bragged about serving microwave-cooked food.

image source: hippostcard.com



The restaurant went out of business in the 1970s, and the rocket was taken down. I haven't been able to find out where it ended up.

Staunton Daily News Leader - Nov 20, 1959



Staunton Daily News Leader - Nov 2, 1959



Staunton Daily News Leader - July 31, 1959

Posted By: Alex - Thu Nov 02, 2023 - Comments (4)
Category: Restaurants, Spaceflight, Astronautics, and Astronomy, 1950s

The Bergen Evans Vocabulary Program

I am having fun trying to make a coherent story out of all the sample sentences. It's a surreal masterpiece!






Posted By: Paul - Thu Nov 02, 2023 - Comments (0)
Category: Education, Vinyl Albums and Other Media Recordings, Rhetoric, Eloquence, Public Speaking, and Vocabulary

November 1, 2023

How to protect the home and family after a nuclear explosion

"I am sure if the powers that might wage war upon us knew that the population of the country was calmly clear on the information which can be used to protect themselves and their families, and knew what steps will be taken, then that might be the greatest deterrence to the use of any form of nuclear warfare."

It'd be nice to think that it was the calm practicality of British housewives that saved the world from nuclear warfare.

Vancouver Sun - Nov 27, 1957



Westminster and Pimlico News - Feb 27, 1959

Posted By: Alex - Wed Nov 01, 2023 - Comments (1)
Category: Atomic Power and Other Nuclear Matters, 1950s

The Acme Barbecue College

Once upon a time, in Alhambra, CA, you could go to school just for BBQ. One presumes that this is where Wile E. Coyote learned how to cook a Road Runner--if one such could ever be caught!





















Posted By: Paul - Wed Nov 01, 2023 - Comments (8)
Category: Education, Food, Regionalism, 1950s

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