After you've put in your time with Paul's self-kicking machine, you can give yourself a pat on the back, using this pat-on-the-back machine invented by Heinz Stöver of Bremen, Germany. Or, as it's called in German, a Schulterklopfmaschine.
Not sure when this picture was taken, but I'm guessing sometime in the 1980s.
It seems like the Germans like pat-on-the-back machines, because a Google search pulls up a variety of them. And if you do a search for "Arschtrittmaschine" you'll find quite a few self-kicking machines, which they also apparently like.
January 1936: In Rome, Italy, Goffredo Galluzzi, a "self-styled electrical engineer," created a "snoremeter" in an attempt to stop his wife from snoring. The device, which fit over her mouth like a muzzle, included a thin brass blade that would be lifted by the heavy breathing of snoring, causing an alarm to go off, thereby waking his wife and stopping the snoring. However, the blade came loose, went down her throat, and almost choked her to death.
When I did a keyword search on this story to see how many papers it had run in, I came across something odd. The story was reported as news both in January 1936 and April 1946, but with one difference. In 1936 Galluzzi was reported as living in Rome. In 1946, he had become a resident of Syracuse, Sicily.
So a case of recycled news. It's also quite possible the story was complete baloney, both in 1936 and 1946.
The Evening Times (Sayre, Pennsylvania) - Jan 29, 1936
Conceptual artist Jan Strmiska recently sought to raise money to fund the production of his invention, the Audiopill. It's a pill-like device that you swallow that will play sound within your body (but not audible to anyone else). His description definitely makes me want to try this thing. (uhh.. or, maybe not).
When swallowed it starts beating within you innards at a preset BPM. Restless feeling will pump you up to insanity.
Audiopill (pill) will make you feel like you are standing in the middle of a concert hall with a powerful audiosystem inside your body. Or like you are standing in a factory workshop full metal working machines and ramming an impact drill into your stomach. The only diference is there’s an absolute silence all around and you are experiencing the music in perfect privacy and only from the inside.
Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.
Chuck is the purveyor of News of the Weird, the syndicated column which for decades has set the gold-standard for reporting on oddities and the bizarre.
Our banner was drawn by the legendary underground cartoonist Rick Altergott.