Weird Universe



Posted By: Paul | Date: Wed Aug 27, 2014 | Comments (2)
Category: Anthropomorphism, Military, PSA's, Diseases

Second Shortest Man in the Air Force

This picture and caption ran in papers back in October 1951. It's not clear why it was considered newsworthy. It also left unanswered the question of who the shortest man in the Air Force was, if Sgt. Perkins was the second shortest.

Posted By: Alex | Date: Thu Oct 25, 2012 | Comments (10)
Category: Military, 1950's

The Inflatoplane

Developed by Goodyear in the 1950s, the Inflatoplane could fit in the trunk of a car, and then be inflated to full size in 10 minutes. The idea was that the air force could drop inflatoplanes to pilots stranded in enemy territory, allowing them to fly themselves to safety. But the project was eventually abandoned because of a series of accidents, and the military's concern that the plane could too easily be shot down. Link:

Posted By: Alex | Date: Wed Aug 15, 2012 | Comments (4)
Category: Inventions, Military, Air Travel and Airlines

The Flying Platform

According to the Air and Space Museum:

In the mid-1950s, Hiller constructed a series of innovative Flying Platforms for an Army-Navy program as a one-man flying vehicle that the pilot could control with minimal training. The pilot simply leaned in the desired direction and the platform would follow. The platforms, which utilized the aerodynamic advantages of the ducted fan, were incapable of tumbling, because if the pilot leaned over too far, the platform would pitch up and slow down.

Unfortunately, the flying platform was plagued by engineering problems. Otherwise, we'd probably all be floating around cities in these today. More info here

Posted By: Alex | Date: Mon May 21, 2012 | Comments (6)
Category: Inventions, Military

Atomic Planes

[Clicke either half to enlarge.]

Sometimes even generals come to their senses. The notion of airborne nuclear reactors proved too worrisome even for the military, despite the brilliant failsafe plan of catastrophic ditching into water.

Original article here.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Thu Mar 22, 2012 | Comments (10)
Category: Accidents, Disasters, Flight, Military, Atomic Power and Other Nuclear Matters, 1950's

How lace curtains helped win World War II

The story goes that, during the Battle of the Bulge, in the winter of 1944, Sgt. William Furia (shown) decorated his helmet with some lace curtains that he found in an abandoned home. He did it as a joke, but then he and his fellow soldiers realized the lace made excellent camouflage in the snow. So the practice of decorating helmets with lace curtains became widespread. And thus camouflaged, the Allied soldiers were able to beat back the German offensive. Which is how lace curtains became America's secret weapon that allowed it to win the war.

Posted By: Alex | Date: Wed Jan 18, 2012 | Comments (5)
Category: Fashion, Headgear, Military

GI Joe Rocks!

Did you ever know that America's most famous soldier was also such a talented musician?

This little bit of stop-motion magic was created by my very gifted cousin, Peter St. Amant.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Wed Jul 21, 2010 | Comments (1)
Category: Military, Music, Reader Recommendation, Stop-motion Animation

Neptune Party

Perhaps you've heard of the naval ceremonies involved when a ship crosses the Equator.

Well, here's how our virile warriors used to celebrate the occasion. Not sure what happens in today's co-ed Navy.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Fri Jul 16, 2010 | Comments (6)
Category: Military, Oceans and Maritime Pursuits, Parades and Festivals, Patriotism, Fetishes, 1940's, Gender-bending

Freediving in Navy Tank

Freediving in Navy tank from Fredrik Naumann on Vimeo.

That is one weird swimming pool.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Tue May 25, 2010 | Comments (6)
Category: Military, Swimming, Snorkeling, and Diving

A Little Light Weirdness – 9

First up, apologies if this post contains more typos than usual, I'm sending it from my new ultra-small netbook and I'm still getting used to its itty-bitty keyboard. Which brings me nicely to my first story. That according to a survey for satellite channel SKY-HD, British consumers waste £52 billion a year on hi-tech features they don't use. For example, half of the people polled did not know their high definition television also required a hi-def signal source such as a blu-ray player or HD satellite receiver – like the ones sold by SKY-HD perhaps (Telegraph).

And it's not just the the British, military officials in Russia recently discovered 100 front-line battletanks parked and forgotten by the side of the road near Yekaterinburg in the Urals. Locals say the tanks, which were unguarded and unlocked, have been there for several months and lack only ammunition and the all important starter keys (Reuters).

Someone who might have had a use for those tanks were guests at a wedding in New Delhi in India recently. The Hindu ceremony was somewhat marred when an elephant hired for the event went on a rampage after becoming aroused by the smell of a nearby female in heat. The amorous pachyderm then proceeded to crush 20 limousines, smash through a nearby mall and mount a truck before it could be tranquilised (Orange).

Also losing it this week was the man on the RyanAir flight who found he had won 10,000 euros on a scratchcard he bought on the budget flight from Poland to the UK. Furious that the airline had not seen fit to equip all their planes with the requisite amount of cash onboard, hence he could not be given his prize there and then as he demanded, the unnamed passenger ate the winning card rather than wait to claim it at his destination (BBC News).

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All original content in posts is Copyright © 2008 by the author of the post, either Alex Boese ("Alex"), Paul Di Filippo ("Paul"), or Chuck Shepherd ("Chuck"). All rights reserved. The banner illustration at the top of this page is Copyright © 2008 by Rick Altergott.