Weird Universe


Hypnotizing High School Principal

Down in Florida, the Sarasota County School Board has agreed to pay a settlement of $600,000 to the families of three high school students who died. One of the students was in a car accident, and the other two committed suicide. But all three had previously been hypnotized by George Kenney, the High School Principal. Kenney had been hypnotizing many students (about 75 in total) in the belief that it would help them with athletic and academic performance.

The case against Kenney is that the hypnosis may have been a causal factor in the deaths because it somehow messed up the fragile brains of the teenagers. Dr. Alan Waldman, a specialist in neuropsychiatry, testified that, "The wires that connect the neurons are still getting the fatty covering that insulates them. It doesn't stop forming till the early 20s. And they're a child's brain. That's a factor."

More info:, Huff Post.
Posted By: Alex | Date: Sun Oct 11, 2015 | Comments (5)
Category: Education, Psychology

Right to Compulsory Education

As far as I know, the terminology that compulsory education is a "right" continues to be used by international organizations, although it does sound vaguely Orwellian. The wikipedia page on Compulsory Education notes that the idea that children should be forced to go to school has a long history of controversy and has been criticized on the grounds that "it violates freedom and liberty" and that "it is slavery." However, pretty much every country in the world has some form of compulsory education.

The Daily Herald (Provo, Utah) - Apr 8, 1959

Posted By: Alex | Date: Mon Sep 07, 2015 | Comments (2)
Category: Education, 1950's

Sleep Learning

"Discover how you can apply sleep learning to gain health, relaxation, confidence, personal magnetism, self mastery, memory power, success in business and human relations... learn foreign languages and how to play the piano."

Learn to play the piano? In your sleep?

Source: The San Mateo Times - Aug 25, 1959
Posted By: Alex | Date: Sun Jun 28, 2015 | Comments (2)
Category: Education, Music, Sleep and Dreams, 1950's

Teaching history and science by dance

Marian Morgan believed that dance could be used to enhance the instruction of just about any subject. And back in 1916, she toured the country with her six dancers, demonstrating how dance-enhanced education would work.

The basic theory was that students would pay more attention if young female dancers performed at the front of the classroom as the lecturer talked. For example, as explained by the Washington Post (Aug 20, 1916):

Picture a fat freshman dosing in the chemistry class. The day before he had said boldly, and unashamed, 'I think I'll cut that beastly class in chemistry. I don't care what those darned atoms do to each other.' The fat freshman enters the class, bored and rebellious. He remains in it sleepy and indifferent. Suddenly he starts, suppressed a yawn, stealthily arranges his tie sheepishly, combs the hair with hurried fingers.

What happened? Has Old Bones (his disrespectful nickname for the professor of chemistry) been rooting around some second-hand store and found Aladdin's lamp?

The freshman's perception, newly acute, pierces his usual mental haze. The scene is a real one and delightful. True, 'Old Bones' is continuing his discourse. He is describing the chemistry of the blood. 'But this war of atoms may be a beneficent one,' he drones. 'The presence of disease-breeding bacilli in the blood is not necessarily destructive. For there are vigilant baccilli who lay hold upon the destroyers and slay them, as you see illustrated by this dance.'

The eyes of the freshmen beam. Never have 'Old Bones'' lectures been rewarded by such rapt and flattering attention. On the platform one lithe young Amazon in short Roman tunic is struggling with another.

Too bad this never caught on. Certainly would have improved a lot of lectures I had to sit through back in my college days.

Morgan's dancers

More >>
Posted By: Alex | Date: Mon Dec 22, 2014 | Comments (9)
Category: Education, Universities, Colleges, Private Schools and Academia, 1910's, Dance

Follies of the Madmen #236

Posted By: Paul | Date: Tue Nov 25, 2014 | Comments (5)
Category: Business, Advertising, Products, Education, Stupidity, 1960's, Cars

Streakers Unmasked

A rare case of an exciting, full-contact economics class. Rita Balaban, a senior lecturer in economics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, knew there was a school tradition of classes being disrupted by masked streakers. So when it happened to her — three masked streakers rushing into her classroom — she was "mentally prepared." She said, "To me, it was a no-brainer. It was like, you're coming right at me. This is too easy. I grab the one guy's mask and just -- pfsh! -- pulled it right off, no problem! The other guy wasn't so easy. He dragged me out into the hall." [inside higher ed]
Posted By: Alex | Date: Wed Nov 05, 2014 | Comments (9)
Category: Education, Universities, Colleges, Private Schools and Academia

Your Life Work:  The Librarian

"Are books your friends?"

I don't believe the information sciences are much like this anymore.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Sat Oct 18, 2014 | Comments (5)
Category: Education, Books, 1940's

Empty Tank, Empty Head


Original article here.

Her obituary, curiously enough, makes no mention of this brush with fame.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Mon Oct 13, 2014 | Comments (3)
Category: Education, 1980's, Cars, Brain Damage

Follies of the Madmen #231

Posted By: Paul | Date: Sat Oct 11, 2014 | Comments (3)
Category: Anthropomorphism, Business, Advertising, Products, Education, 1970's

Buttleopener forces resignation

Mark Gregory invented the Buttleopener, which is a bottle opener shaped like a woman's buttocks. Gregory also served as a member of the Williamson County school board in Tennessee, recently rising to become chairman. But the two aspects of his life (buttleopener inventor and school board chairman) have proven to be incompatible. Gregory recently resigned his position as chairman, bowing to pressure from parents who really, really didn't want him involved with the school board. []
Posted By: Alex | Date: Sun Oct 05, 2014 | Comments (11)
Category: Education, Inventions, School
Page 1 of 7 pages  1 2 3 >  Last »
Custom Search

weird universe thumbnail

This page has been viewed 35922890 times.
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.