Weird Universe

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Li’l Castros

[From Life magazine for April 13 1959.]

Of course, we all recall personally or at least have heard of the Davy Crockett Craze of the mid-1950's, when Disney's promotional genius had kids everywhere running around in coonskin caps. But who among us lately has dared to summon up memories of the Castro dressup craze from a few years later?

Yes, once upon a time, at the start of his revolution, Castro was received in the USA as a hero of the oppressed peoples of Cuba, and seen as a fit role model for tykes to imitate.

Please click on the image for the full glory of this era, and excuse any flash glare from my poor photo skills. I had to photograph rather than scan, to capture the full impact of the double page spread.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Fri Sep 05, 2008 | Comments (8)
Category: Body Modifications, Facial Hair, Business, Products, Fads, Family, Children, Parents, Government, Military, Pop Culture, War, Weapons, 1950's

It Takes a Weirdo to Know a Weirdo

Under the aegis of my pal, Gorgeous and Brilliant Editor Ann VanderMeer, the legendary magazine WEIRD TALES is entering a renaissance. But Ann & company surely haven't forgotten the past, as they've compiled a list of the 85 weirdest storytellers of the past 85 years, to celebrate the zine's long existence.

And perhaps you won't be entirely surprised to learn that our own Chuck Shepherd made their honor roll! Don't let that sunny, smiling countenance to the right trick you into imagining he's not the equal of Stephen King or Warren Zevon!

Way to go, Chuck! H. P. Lovecraft is beaming down on you from above. Or up at you from below. Or through the cracks of the spacetime continuum.

Six Faces of FATE

Please enjoy this imagery from one of the spiritual ancestors of WEIRD UNIVERSE, FATE MAGAZINE.

More >>
Posted By: Paul | Date: Thu Aug 21, 2008 | Comments (11)
Category: Art, Eccentrics, Forteana, Magazines, Paranormal, Pop Culture, Unsolved Mysteries, 1950's, Yesterday's Tomorrows

Bonomo’s Turkish Taffy

For no perceptible reason, I woke up this morning thinking about Bonomo's Turkish Taffy, a childhood treat I have not pondered in decades. After waxing nostalgic (despite Nostalgic's objections to being waxed), I began to wonder:

If this candy were still being manufactured today, would its allusively Muslim name doom it?

Posted By: Paul | Date: Tue Aug 19, 2008 | Comments (5)
Category: Food, Pop Culture, Advertising, 1950's, 1960's

Get Your Geek On

Yes, the San Diego Comic Con--or "Nerd Prom" as it is sometimes called--might be over for another year. But it's never too late to fill your life with tchotchkes that uphold your geek credentials. And it's especially easy when you have a resource like The Budk Catalog. Imagine the envy of your nerdly pals--and the instant appearance of a SWAT team--when you parade through your hometown while wearing these Wolverine claws. Hospital coverage due to police sniper fire not included.

Jetpack Dreams

That most silly and pointless and inutile, yet much desired of flight mechanisms, the jetpack, is back in the news. You can read a New York Times piece about the latest model here.

And a review copy of this book recently arrived in my mailbox, portending lots of fun.

Yet such mechanisms pale before the magnificently insane accomplishment of Yves Rossy, who, a couple of years ago, basically turned himself into Iron Man. Watch his jet-powered flight below.

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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.