Weird Universe


Insect Aircraft


This 1906 article is the lone reference I can find on the internet to this craft, and I suspect it never existed except on paper.

Posted By: Paul | Date: Thu Oct 08, 2015 | Comments (14)
Category: Insects, Inventions, Air Travel and Airlines, 1900's, Europe

The Wrist Twist Steering Wheel

March 1965: The Lincoln-Mercury division of Ford Motor Co. began testing the "wrist twist" steering wheel at dealerships around the country. With this "no-wheel steering wheel," the driver controlled the car by means of two rotating plastic rings, five-inches in diameter. The rings turned simultaneously and could be turned with one or both hands.

As the video below explains, the benefit of the "wrist twist" was that you could more easily rest your arms on armrests while driving.

I guess the drawback was that you got carpal tunnel syndrome in your wrists by constantly having to twist them around.

More info: Popular Science - Apr 1965

Posted By: Alex | Date: Tue Oct 06, 2015 | Comments (21)
Category: Inventions, 1960's, Cars

Toilet Sanitary Shield For Men

Florida inventor Vladimir Laurent recently received a patent for a device which he describes as a "toilet sanitary shield for male genitalia." From his patent application:

The toilet sanitary shield for male genitalia is a device that is placed in the toilet to prevent the male genitalia from touching the walls of the toilet while in use. The toilet sanitary shield for male genitalia comprises a shield, a securing device, and a ball and socket joint.

Laurent told the South Florida Business Journal, "It's a home product and it's designed for a specific need, for something that I felt was needed, personally." He also said that he's spent "between $25,000 and $30,000" on developing the product.

His patent included a line drawing (below) which illustrates his device being used. I've put a purple circle over the male dangly bit, in order to avoid any risk of offending that company which pays our web hosting bill (because that company is easily offended). You can see the unaltered patent image at the South Florida Biz Journal link above.

Posted By: Alex | Date: Mon Oct 05, 2015 | Comments (13)
Category: Bathrooms, Inventions, Genitals

The Violaeol


Original article here.

In 1935, one Alfred Grosjean (as named in a separate TIME magazine article) invented the "violaeol."

Some years later, luthier Josh Rieck recreated one for his own use.

Posted By: Paul | Date: Sat Sep 26, 2015 | Comments (2)
Category: Inventions, Music, 1930's

MacLevy Leg Massager

Image source: Time magazine - April 19, 1948

Displayed at a Beauty Shop trade convention in Manhattan's Grand Central Palace, April 1948.

The machine (the MacLevy Leg Massager) was marketed to beauty shop owners. The introduction of home permanent wave kits in the mid-1940s had caused a steep decline in business for beauty shops, so the inventors of machines such as the leg massager were promising the shop owners that they could lure customers back by installing gadgets such as this, which would allow them to offer new services without having to hire trained masseuses.

The leg massager was invented by Monte MacLevy, who filed a patent application for it in July 1939. From the patent:

[It is] the contemplation of my invention to provide mechanical means for massaging a persons legs and thighs in a manner that has heretofore been possible only by a well-executed manual massage. And in this aspect of my invention it is a further objective to effect a simultaneous massage of the calf and thigh so as to produce most efiective results in a minimum of time. It is also within the contemplation of my invention to enable the massaging operation to be effectuated while the legs are relieved of practically all strain, an objective that I attain by providing such supporting means for the subject as to enable him to recline in a position where the legs and thighs are conveniently supported in natural angular relation with respect to each other so that they may be completely relaxed during the massaging operation. And in this aspect of my invention it is a further object to provide mechanical massaging implements simultaneously and operably movable in different directions so as to be engageable with various portions of both legs and thighs.

Posted By: Alex | Date: Mon Sep 21, 2015 | Comments (6)
Category: Inventions, 1940's

Electric Exercise Gloves

Posted By: Paul | Date: Thu Sep 10, 2015 | Comments (6)
Category: Inventions, Bodybuilding

Multirotor Super Drone

The high-tech equivalent of attaching helium balloons to a lawn chair. Except it doesn't work as well.

Posted By: Alex | Date: Sat Sep 05, 2015 | Comments (5)
Category: Inventions, Air Travel and Airlines

Bulletproof Wheat

I wonder whatever became of this miracle product. If Larry Rogers, its inventor, was 31 in 1984, then he'd be 62 now. Is he still working away on it somewhere? Or did the product actually make its way onto the market, though under a name other than "bulletproof wheat"? Who knows. I can't find any follow-up info about the story.

Larry Rogers, 31, a Salinas scientist, figures he has the answer to the nation's wheat and coal surplus problem. Earlier this year he invented a substitute for firewood out of wheat and corn. Now he says he's reconstructed things to make the firewood bulletproof. He says he also can turn it into an excellent replacement for wood as a building material by adding high sulfur coal, carbon and cellulose. The material will also be fireproof. He says it stopped an Army M16 rifle bullet during testing. And, because its impact resistant, it's ideal for protective housing units for troops, he says. The product is being tested at Micro Organic Fuel in Carson City, Nev.

Spokane Chronicle - Sep 24, 1984

Santa Cruz Sentinel - Sep 18, 1984

Posted By: Alex | Date: Tue Aug 18, 2015 | Comments (7)
Category: Inventions, 1980's

Cattle Delivery Via Motorcycle


I really wish this practice had caught on, for I would be delighted to be driving down a highway and see such a sight.

Original article here.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Tue Jul 28, 2015 | Comments (2)
Category: Animals, Farming, Inventions, 1920's, Motorcycles

Holmes & Yoyo

In the view of some: Worst. Show. Ever.

Wikipedia page here.

Posted By: Paul | Date: Fri Jul 17, 2015 | Comments (7)
Category: Ineptness, Crudity, Talentlessness, Kitsch, and Bad Art, Inventions, Robots, Television, 1970's
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